The Marriage that Lasted a Year and a Day

Lisa Martens
4 min readAug 10, 2018

Kelly went to volunteer in Granada, Nicaragua after college. She fell in love with a bartender named Armando. He worked in three different bars (all owned by Americans) along the calzada. He had long hair and always shaved a day too late. His knees were knobby and his dick was large. Kelly had a hard time looking at it.

He cheated on her whenever she wasn’t at the bar, so she started going to the bar all the time. She would bring her laptop, drink Diet Cokes, and glare at the drunker, hotter women. She stopped her volunteer work with the kids. After all, wasn’t being in love a form of volunteer work?

Then they got married — the ultimate charity. Kelly had other prospects, better prospects, but she said yes to Armando because she was a good person willing to give someone different a chance. They had a backyard wedding. Only Armando’s family came. The staff Kelly hired didn’t show, so she served drinks and picked up plates at her own wedding. She received no money or gifts from home. Kelly’s parents didn’t approve. Her mother spent hours online researching sex trafficking in Nicaragua and wondered if her daughter was speaking in some kind of code.

Armando’s family had a house. Kelly moved in. None of the toilets worked. The house shared a wall with the neighbor. The wall between them was crumbling and the families argued over who should fix it. It didn’t get fixed. Armando slept with wet hair and got the pillows wet. He always had a cold. His father joked that his sickness was God’s punishment for fucking random women at the bars. He always made this joke in front of Kelly, but Kelly thought that marriage must have changed him.

They say that your hearing and vision get worse as you get in older. But in women, they are more fine-tuned. The older a woman is, the better she can hear Jaws music and see red flags. This is why men like younger women. It has nothing to do with fertility or attractiveness. It’s because younger women cannot yet hear the frequency of bullshit. They listen to the things old men say with wide eyes and claim their mothers are “just jealous.”

Kelly could not yet hear the frequency of bullshit. She had come to Nicaragua because the literacy rate was low and she thought she could make a difference. She couldn’t get a job at home, but she could make a difference here. And this man Armando was just another victim of poverty. His attitude was institutionalized. She learned all about it. Armando had a…

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Lisa Martens

A remote working Latina. Storytelling is a calling. Read, support, and more here: https://linktr.ee/lisathewriter