Wendy, the Girl Who Ate Rocks, and Marvin Who Cried Even though It Wasn’t His Fault

Edgar Bonilla, Undergraduate
Originally Published, Spring 2010

Wendy was the girl we told to eat rocks when I was eight. She wasn’t American, so it didn’t matter. But now she was dead in the living room.

She drowned, they said, and I didn’t have to come to El Salvador, my parents said, but I did. I could see her through the glass with cotton in her nose and all the color gone. Pobrecita, my mom said. And I thought about how I gave her the dirtiest rocks so that I could watch her eat them. There she was in a wedding white dress in the living room of the house where I visited when I was in El Salvador, for the neighbors to see.

I asked about the cotton and my dad said it was to keep all the water in her body from leaking out. See? Look there by her ears: agua.

She had gone swimming in Rio Lempa with Marvin and another girl, but the river was too strong and Marvin was not strong enough.

Afterward, Marvin sat in the truck for two days. He wouldn’t cry, but only let some tears flow at times. He wouldn’t look up or down, even when the chickens jumped onto the truck. He just sat there as if he had drowned with her.

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