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Chapter Fifteen

Chapter Synopsis

Hanging out in the dump, the girls try to convince Nayeli to find seven warriors here and head home, no fuss. Nayeli refuses and Tacho and Atómiko agree. Atómiko insists he must accompany them on their journey. He tells them he can get them across. Atómiko whistles very loudly and seemingly out of nowhere a man pulls up next to them. The driver tells the group he can get them across. They say their good byes to Araceli and Porfirio and Nayeli sneaks a twenty dollar bill into their house when they refuse any payment for their hospitality. On their way to Libertad, their driver, Wino, gives them a tour as they drive. Colonia Libertad had recently heightened its security along the wall, but that had not stopped a massive number of people from trying to cross. The girls get out of the car and watch Wino drive away. A US Border Patrol truck pulls up on the other side of the fence and kids throw rocks at it. An agent gets out of the vehicle. The girls are scared he is going to shoot, but instead he flips them off and drives away. The girls second-guess their decision but decide to go through with it at the thought of calling Matt on the other side.

The coyote begins to tell them the plan. They are to go through a cut hole in the fence: coyote first, girls second, Tacho third, and Atómiko last to close the hole. He tells them to run low and fast straight across the road into an arroyo. Then they will run to the north, which is right, for fifty yards then a sharp left. He tells them to hustle like they’ve never hustled before, and warns them if there’s any sign of trouble he will be gone before they can even process the danger. He tells them if they get separated and lost to run to the road and hope the agents get them before the narcos and rateros do, because they’ll kill you.

As darkness approaches they crouch by the fence. Atómiko tells them if they get caught he’ll meet them where they drop off the deportees in Tijuana. The girls ask how he’s going to meet them if he is caught and he claims “Nobody’s catching Atómiko!” The girls are scared he will not be there but he assures they drop everyone off in the same spot. They hear a US truck approach, idle for a few moments and then drive on. They each go through the fence and stop in the arroyo until everyone has passed. As soon as they all arrive in the arroyo, the coyote takes off. The girls charge on getting beat and battered by the terrain. As Vampi is running there is suddenly a pregnant woman running beside her grasping her belling with both hands. Tacho missed the left turn the first time and must go back, following the sounds of the girls. Atómiko had completely vanished. Vampi twists her ankle and is limping along when the pregnant woman suddenly grabbs her and holds her up. Scared at first, she then uses the woman for support leaning into her as they run together. They run to the bridge and hide under it. Everyone arrives, except Atómiko and they are all startled by the appearance of the pregnant woman. A car transporting prisoners drives over the bridge followed by another that stops above them. They hear the door open and slam shut and the coyote takes off immediately. Suddenly a stream comes down from above the bridge and lands very close to them. The agent is peeing. The group tries to stifle their laughs as the agent gets into his car and drives off.

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