Friday

Belize Survivor, part 92

Thousands of miles separated Alexis from her family in the U.S., but they kept in touch through the post office in San Ignacio and the occasional phone call made from the local Belize Telecommunications Authority. On the next trip to town, Alexis received the news that her grandparents’ estate was breaking up in order to allow the old folks to enter a Senior Living Facility, and she had some inheritance coming. It was a badly-needed windfall.

"Well, I think we ought to use the money to get some more jewelry equipment and supplies for you,” said Max. “Then we ought to use the rest to buy another vehicle."

Alexis' mouth twisted. "But it's my inheritance. They're my grandparents." She knew she was taking a chance by voicing her opinion.

"So what’s your objection to using it for something worthwhile?" he asked sarcastically. “I suppose you want to put it into a bank account and let it earn some interest, right? Well, that's just more crap your parents put into your head. Work a job, put it in the bank, the only life they know. Self-employed people don't save money for a rainy day, they invest it. When you're in business for yourself, you can't let money sit around in a bank account. You have to turn it over. Banks are for people who don't know how to invest their money; they get the bank to do it for them. Do you know how many times we could invest and reinvest within a few years?"

"I understand what you're saying." She was on dangerous ground. "But I still think I should have some—“

"Oh. So what's yours is yours, and what's mine is ours, huh? Well, guess what, Mama? I'm running this show. You don't have a choice. I'm the brains in this outfit, and I’m going to tell you what's going to happen. I'm going to take that money, fly to the States, buy a new vehicle, get some more jewelry supplies for your army business, then drive back down. I'll be gone about ten days. That ought to be enough time. If you have any objections, then I suggest, in the best interests of your continued health and well-being, that you keep them to yourself."

June arrived during Max's absence, and the renewing rains of Yum Kax, the Mayan god of spring, brought forth the greening of the land. Overnight, the flowering trees burst forth in their tropical rendition of spring. Royal Poincianas opened their flame-red flowers among the feathery mimosa-like leaves. Giant Crepe Myrtle bloomed in flowers of lacy purple, and bukut trees opened their tiny delicate blossoms of the palest mauve.

Jordan was turning into a robust little boy. Almost four now, he was intelligent and strong. He had learned to swim almost before he learned to walk and had quickly developed sturdy leg muscles from hikes to the river. Basically, Jordan was a happy child. The only dark cloud in his young mind was the friction he felt between his parents. He loved both of them, but was hurt and confused by the constant strife. Often he heard them when they thought he was asleep and, somehow, felt it was his fault. He thought that if he could be a really good boy, they would stop arguing.

While Max was gone, Alexis thought she might feel lonely or afraid, but instead she found herself having a wonderful time with her young son. Every day, from morning until night, they worked and played together. It was a time of discovery for both. Jordan helped her feed the chickens, milk the goats, cook the meals, and clean the house. He carried the basket from the chicken coop when they collected eggs, and helped her hang the clothes on the line. Later, in the cool of the evening when day was done, Alexis and Jordan sat together on the back step overlooking the river valley and she sang to him. He laid his head in her lap while she stroked his platinum hair and ran her finger over the outline of his ear. To Jordan, there was no sweeter sound than his mother's singing.