“Come out with your hands up! The house is surrounded. Come out peaceably or we will come in after you. It is futile to resist. We have you surrounded. Come out now or we will come in after you!”
This time, only one person emerged from the house. Slowly…she opened the door, stepped out into the sun. And we all saw her.
She was caramel colored, jet black hair with only a few strands of white on either side.
Her skin was like leather, from the years in the hot sun, but…her eyes were caramel colored brown.
Alistair would remember those brown eyes anywhere.
She walked out with her hands up screaming in Spanish “My baby. Protect my baby. Ramon, please protect my boy!”
Alistair got out of the helicopter and ran to meet Iglesias as he handcuffed the woman.
Alistair looked at her. It was as if time had stood still. It was 40 years ago. She looked the same.
“Maria. Maria. Is it you?”
She looked disheveled. She was pleading for someone to protect her son, but then…she saw him, she looked at him in his eyes and saw him.
And she said, “Alistair, those sparkling blue eyes. Our son has your eyes. You finally came for me. I knew you would come. Is it Prom Night already? Can we tell them that you love me? Can we tell them now?”
Brandon broke in at that moment “Tell me where my son is! Tell me what you’ve done with my son!”
Maria looked away from Alistair and stared at Brandon, “My boy, my Alistair, he is all I have of my love. Please don’t take my son. Don’t take my baby!”
At that moment Brandon knew…
He turned away from her and determined to get to that field; he jumped into the truck that had been used by the man trying to warn this woman.
Carpenter and Blaire tried to stop him, but…then, they let him go.
Brandon drove like his life depended on it.
All of his years working on the farm at home, at The Camp Center, with the migrant workers, learning their language, tutoring them, teaching them English, understanding their lifestyle and heritage…
It all brought him to this one moment of clarity. He had seen some workers in the field as they approached.
There were men, there were women. But in the back row…he saw boys.
It didn’t register at the time, but he thought, “Why are the boys alone, working the field, away from the crew? The children are never left to work alone”
Brandon had to get to those boys.
The other cars had followed him but…following Carpenter’s lead, allowed Brandon to stay first in line and lead the caravan of cars.
Alistair, Jade, Carpenter and Blaire piled in with Iglesias and were in hot pursuit behind him.
They were ready, just in case…in case they needed to be…there….There for reinforcement or…there for Brandon.
Brandon saw the boys. He stopped the truck at the row where the boys were.
They looked up and saw their father’s truck, but…where was their father?
Brandon stepped out of the truck. Gringolito saw that it was NOT his Papa. Where was his father?
He stood to protect his brothers. Brandon walked toward him, slowly, cautiously, not wanting to scare the boy.
Brandon felt tears falling from his face. There he was. Light brown hair, tanned skin…and sparkling blue eyes.
It was him. It was really him.
The boys were scared, confused, not sure why this man had stepped out of their Papa’s truck.
Gringo stood in front of them. Arms outstretched to protect them. He was the perfect Big Brother.
Brandon put one hand on his heart and reached out with the other.
Gringo saw the man, the light brown haired man….and he saw his eyes.
They were sparkling blue, not brown eyed like everyone else. This man’s eyes were blue, like Gringo’s… just like Gringo’s.
And for one split second…Gringo stopped and looked directly in his face, like he was looking into a mirror.
Brandon slowly, with tears now falling like rain, whispered, “Yo soy tu padre. tú eres mi hijo”
Gringo looked at Brandon confused, hearing the words but not comprehending the meaning.
Brandon put his hand on Gringo’s heart and repeated “Yo soy tu padre. tú eres mi hijo”
“I am your father—you are my son!” Brandon whispered in English.
Gringo looked at the face, looked into those eyes, saw the tears and felt that hand on his heart.
And finally…He understood. Brandon reached over to him, extending his arms.
Gringo looks suspiciously, withholds himself. Then a tear forms. It flows down Gringo’s left cheek.
Brandon reaches over slowly and… wipes it away.
Brandon gets on his knees, looks into Gringo’s eyes…tears rolling down his face…and he says in Spanish “I am your father. You are my son. I have searched for you—and here you are!”