Under the Stairs

I finally made it into the country after 3 days of running around dehydrated out in the open. I sneaked into a huge truck that was carrying furniture in it when it was outside a gas station. I hid all the way in the back behind some mattresses, but I got discovered and had to run.  I didn’t have a place to go! I was just a 19 year old immigrant in some country who’s language I did not speak! I didn’t have anybody. Well, that’s what I thought. I came across some fellow residents who spoke Spanish, I asked them if they would help me and give me a place to stay, but they all shooed me away like if I was some pest. No one wanted to help me, except for one boy. He came up to me and took me to a diner. We chatted until midnight and left together. He offered me a stay at his place as a guest. I said well sure, why not? I don’t have anywhere else to stay, after all. He was the only one who helped me.

He wasn’t an immigrant, though. He was a born and raised citizen who spake perfect English along with other languages, my favorite was French out of the ones he knew. He had white skin and semi long black hair, he was a college student.  He was the son of a once immigrant mother, though. But even she didn’t offer me any help. This guy took me to his apartment, I think it was an apartment, but a very big one. A two story apartment, wow….

The apartment had 2 bathrooms and 3 rooms: 2 bedrooms and a studio. He would use one of the rooms as a bedroom, another as an office space and the third one as his recording studio since he was also a skilled musician. He offered me to sleep in his room but I said no, since something caught my eye: A door beneath the stairs. I went to it and opened it. I pulled on the little string that would turn the light bulb on to reveal what was in there: it was a small room that took up the space under the stairs! It was perfect for me. I asked if I could stay in that room and he said no, that I should stay in his room meanwhile he emptied out his office, but I couldn’t let him clean out his work space just for me, so I begged him to let me stay under the stairs. He said yes. He went upstairs to a storage closet and got out a little small bed and unfolded it inside the room for me. He then put some blankets over it to make it more comfortable for me along with a pillow. He also moved out of his office this mini plastic dresser for me and hanged a mirror for me above it. In the space that was left in the room, which was the most narrow part, he drilled a metal bar that he detached from his own storage closet into the wall for me to hang my clothes. It was perfect.

I stayed inside the room under the stairs on my first night.

The next day, he offered me a job at his families food factory. He told me to take a shower and get dressed, which I did. He took me to the factory headquarters which was lead by his father. He spoke with his father and the kind man gave me a job. At first, I would be taken to the gardening stations in which I would plant, water and harvest many different types of vegetables and fruits. It was quite tiresome, but it was enough. I would leave work at 9:00 pm and at that hour, the boy would be outside waiting to take me home. After a month, I received my first ever paycheck. It wasn’t a lot of money, but that didn’t matter. I gave my paycheck to the boy in order to pay for all the food, water and electricity I would use, basically my whole stay. He denied accepting it, and told me that I didn’t have to pay him anything, I could stay as long as I wanted without any worries.

I stayed inside the room under the stairs on my first month.

Many time went by, and me and him bonded together. He would always go and pick me up from work, we would go out together, eat dinner, watch movies, everything. I loved to watch him in his recording studio as he sang and played guitar, and I loved it when he would play his piano. He taught me how to read, write and speak in English and he put me in an open high school where I could finish my education, since I had only finished elementary and middle school back in my native country. He prepared me. His family, though, was against it. Everyone except his father and him were against me. They would go visit him and ask him why he didn’t charge me any rent, why was I living underneath the stairs like a rat and most importantly, why was I even in his home. He would just reply with the same:

She’s my guest. She’s the guest who stays inside the room under the stairs.

He took care of me for so long. I always appreciated it. One day, I got a promotion at the factory. A few months later I was moved into the packing stations where I would pack and can vegetables and fruits. One day while working there, one of the large machines malfunctioned. A team of engineers were trying to fix it but had no luck. When they left for a break, I went to see the machine and It was almost like a tortilla making machine! I fixed it. The engineers were amazed, and I earned a big promotion. I would be one of the people who would walk around the factory and check up all the machines and mechanical works. Many time went by and I had money to move into my own place.

But even though I had the money, I stayed inside the room under the stairs.

A year went by, I would send money to my family back in Mexico. They were proud of me and my great works and efforts, but it was all due to the boy. One day, we started dating. It was amazing, we were the one for the other.

One night, we both stayed inside the room under the stairs.

two years went by, and we married. Once married, he gave me U.S. citizenship. I was no longer an immigrant, I would no longer have to live in fear of being deported back. Many time went by, and it was the happiest time ever. I regret nothing. After coming back from a trip to France and Japan, it was finally time to leave the small room.

One night, I no longer stayed inside the room under the stairs.

And that night, was the best night.


this love story was based on a true story, the only difference is that it was my mom who helped out a 19 year old girl from Mexico who had just crossed the border but ended up in Delaware. A family member of my biological dad found her and brought her with him to see who wanted to help her out. No one wanted except for my mother. My mom took her home with my brother and gave her a room that was under the stairs in which she unfolded a bed, gave her a plastic dresser and a bar to hang her clothes on. She would live under the stairs inside the house where my mom, brother and father lived. My dad wasn’t happy with her there but my mom never kicked her out or anything, my dad didn’t even spend the night at the house anyways. My mom never charged her any rent or anything, she would live there for free and was free to do anything. She would even sometimes babysit my brother. She would work at the same factory where my mom would work at which was a food packing factory. She then met a young boy and after a year she moved out and started to live with her boyfriend who then got married to her and gave her citizenship. The girl never did anything to upset my mom, but the family didn’t like her and would try to kick her out, something my mother and brother never permitted.

My mother was also an immigrant. She went through the same things the girl went through in order to get into the United States since she wanted my brother to be born in that country, where she knew he would be okay. She couldn’t let that girl alone in the streets, as my mother didn’t run the same luck, so she helped her out.

After she moved out, I was born. :3

And now I’m here telling her story but in a different way.



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