It is early morning as the sun peeks through the small porthole-like window just a little too brightly. I turn on my side but it is too late. My younger siblings are excitedly jumping all over me, speaking a blur of Catalan and English they know I cannot understand.
Once up (as if I had a choice), I get dressed before trudging downstairs for breakfast. The large windows and door are open, inviting both sunlight and blood-thirsty mosquitos and anxious flies in the house. I can already tell it will be a beautiful day in Cunit, Spain.
After breakfast, my dad, my stepmom, and my two half-siblings pack all of our belongings into our compact van. After saying goodbye to my step-grandparents, we leave their hand-made home, squeeze ourselves into the car and drive down the narrow roads of the Cunit Mountain.
Before long, we are approaching Barcelona. I cannot help but slightly wish we were going back. I always enjoy my time near downtown Barcelona or Port Vell. There are enough fun things for my siblings to do while I remain entertained as well.
Novice tourists marvel over the statue of Christopher Columbus (Cristobel Colon) pointing towards the New World and the angel-shaped buttresses at his feet. They “ooh” and “awe” at the shopping kiosks on the streets and double-decker tour buses.
I, however, love seeing the fish at the aquarium and pretending not to understand the usher when he says not to take photos even though, “My Catalan es not so good, but my Spanish it es perfect.” I always stare at the boy-like statues in Port Vell. They do not possess the commanding stature of Columbus’s pointing index finger that dares to order angels of heaven. Instead they stare straight up above with their hands held respectively behind their backs.
Breaking my reprieve, my little brother complains of a stomachache and I resist the urge to roll my eyes. He’s always complaining of a stomachache. I ask one more time where we’re going. “A Comfort Inn, in southern France,” he answers. I nod and lean against the door, pressing myself against the glass window in order to avoid my anxious little brother.
We’re passing mountains of memorials. For the life of me, I cannot remember what they are called but they terrify me. Dead bodies stuck in between slabs of rock for all to see. Perhaps it is simply my point of view. My stepmother is from Spain and seems to have no problem with this “openness” every time we pass.
A few hours later, I hear my brother complain again of his stomachache and as I go over in my head of what he’s had to eat today in the car (Cheetos, Orange Fanta, San-), my thought process breaks off mid-thought as I hear the undeniable sound of retching. I wasn’t expecting to see those Cheetos so soon. It smells awful and we stop for a few minutes to clean him and his car seat off.
Several hours later, we arrive at the St. Etienne Comfort Inn where the manager is kind enough to show us to our room even though we had arrived quite later than expected.
The room is nice but it is difficult to sleep with my brother only an arm’s length away. I dreamed of home and staring up at the sky. I dreamt of independence from younger siblings. I dreamt for only a little while until, like the day before, the sun came up too soon and I was on the road again, pressed against the glass.
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