“The Day It Happened” by Rosario Morales is basically about something that happens a lot in Hispanic families. It’s about domestic violence and a community that knows all about it. This story is told in the first person point of view by a girl that seems to be the author herself; Rosario Morales, as a child.
This story takes place in an apartment building with thin walls somewhere in a city. It starts off with the narrator washing her hair. She had the bathroom window open and could see Maria who she called nosy even though they are equally nosy by how the story is told. Basically half way through washing her hair, nosy Maria sucks in air very loudly when she sees Josie leaving the house at 5 o’clock just before her husband Ramon gets home. The only reason that the narrator knew any of this was because their neighbor Olga rang the bell and knocked on the door when Josie was leaving to tell the narrators mother about all of this. Some kid named Mikey had been the one to get the cab for Josie to leave in and he was telling everyone what was going on. Basically as Josie is leaving Tona and Betty Murphy who are neighbors of Josie all go outside to help her leave. Then the story goes through flashbacks of the past 6 months. Basically Josie is leaving because after 6 months of being married to Ramon who has been an abusive husband Josie can’t stand it anymore and has decides to leave.
Ramon works and when he gets home he expects a well-cooked meal waiting for him at home. He screams at her if it’s not ready when he gets home or it if is he screams at her for being a lousy cook. On Saturdays they would go out to party and Ramon would get angry at her if men looked at her for being too beautiful. He would say that she is a whore. If she decided not to dress up to look beautiful he would get angry because she looked ugly and wouldn’t satisfy his manly needs. He would scream at her when they got home and would then throw things at her. After a while he began to beat her and she would cry and scream very loudly so that everyone could hear what was going on. The narrator says that’s the worse fighting she has ever seen between a couple because her parents would only angrily whisper at one another for a while and then work things out and get on with life. One day after the fighting Josie didn’t show up to church so the narrator’s mother went to see if she was sick but when Josie answered the door she had a bruise on her face.
After that she would spend every Sunday with her instead of going to church. One Saturday Josie told her that she was pregnant and that she feared for the baby’s life. The word was spread around the apartment. Everyone agreed with Josie including Joe who used to beat on his wife until he head Ramon beating his wife so he stopped. They all saw it as Josie was a sweet girl who loved Ramon too much. She defended everything that he did to her. Ramon was just seen as a psycho by everyone. Then the story goes back to Josie waiting in a cab for Ramon to come home with everyone around her. Everyone is in front of Josie to keep Ramon from her as he walks down the block and up the steps only to have Josie call him. He’s shocked by what he sees and says her name in a small voice.
She says I told you if you hit me again I was leaving you, my life and the life of our baby is unsafe with you the way you are. She says she left rice and chicken for him along with the electric bill waiting for him on the table upstairs. Josie hugs everyone and then Ramon lunges at her and grabs her by the ankles and starts begging her to stay. He tells her I love you, you don’t understand were married for life, I’ll kill myself if you leave me, etc, etc. The narrators mom ten grabs Ramon and tells him that Josie’s a mother now and that leaving him is best for the baby so that she can properly take care of it. He keeps begging for her to stay, Josie kisses someone else goodbye and leaves. This is a situation that happens in allot of homes but mostly Hispanic homes.
This happens in Hispanic homes a lot more then in any other homes because in Hispanic culture men aren’t supposed to do anything; except be served on by the women of the family. This leads the males to believe that they are superior to women and leads to them mistreating women when they don’t get what they want from them. In most situations the beatings go on for years but no one ever does much about it. The women hangout at the abused ones house, so as to not allow an opportunity of abuse to happen again. The men just tell the abuser to chill out and stop because she doesn’t deserve what you are doing to her and that she’s too beautiful to hit.
Eventually the abuser will hit the abused too hard and then as the saying goes, the shit hits the fan. The cops are called all the men get involved and will hold back the abuser. If the abuser keeps acting up they’ll sometimes beat the crap out of the abuser. The abuser will spend a night in jail and then he’ll come back a “changed” man. That will usually happen twice and then the women will leave or thee man will change after getting talked to by every women in the family and screamed at and pushed around by every guy.
This is a common thing that’s still happening today in many homes. It’s an occurrence that many people have seen throughout their lives. This won’t stop happening any time soon. Maybe in about 1000 years this might stop happening, but for now our world is full of too much frustration and annoyance. People will always seek to get rid of their anger and a loved one will usually be the one to take all of the abuse.It’s just a negative part of human nature.