West Side Story "Somewhere a Place for You" Maria's POV

Set after the end of West Side Story with inspiration from the 1961 film. After Tony's death, who will Maria reveal her secret to? How does she cope with Tony's death? Will she have the strength to forgive Chino and Anita? What lies in her future?

"Te adoro Antone," are the last words to my love. "Santa Maria," I pray in my heart, "Bring him home to your love."

What's left of the Jets and Sharks are those who lift Tony's body above all our suffering. Their pain is my own now; they understand why all I wanted was to shoot every single one of them. All my life I had been protected by Bernardo and then betrothed to Chino by my parents without a voice. Never had I felt so powerful as when I held that gun. What stopped me? I saw their pain and Tony in all of them. Who was I? What had hate transformed me into? I was just as capable to act violently as one of them. Oh God, save me from myself! Be with all of them.

I rise.

While they transport Tony's body to the police station, Baby John walks me home. I see my former innocent, child-like self reflected in his actions. In truth, neither of us are as brave as we want others to believe.

The walk up the winding staircase to my family's apartment is the longest I have ever taken. My tears blur the sight of my path. Chino has been arrested and I am to attend his trial in a few days. It doesn't matter what he has done. They will condemn him either way because he is Puerto Rican. By the time I make it into my room, I collapse onto my knees beside my altar. I glance up wishing Tony will somehow emerge through my window. Instead I see someone whom I don't expect.

"Anita?"

She looks horrible; I have never seen her so downtrodden.

There is deep bitterness in her voice. "Baby John was here and I spat on his face; he deserved it!"

"Anita, no!"

"You don't know them, Maria, how can you?" she snaps, "They would have raped you like me if they had the chance!"

"That's not true!" I can't believe her words. She has been hurt badly within.

"Maria!" She grips my arm full of fury. I don't budge.

"Chino killed Tony, Anita. Don't you understand? They have just as much anger in them as we do. I understand why this feeling drove Tony to kill Bernardo."

Anita releases my arms, silent before slumping down upon my bed.

"Maria, you'll never forgive me."

"What do you mean?" I kneel down beside her.

She stares at me, her face numb from anger and grief. "It's all my fault Tony is dead. I never delivered your message to him at Doc's store. Those filthy Jets…if Doc hadn't stopped them I'd be in a lot worse state! Instead I wanted to hurt all of them, even Tony. I told them Chino killed you."

I am shocked, numb to the core at her words. If only Tony had known the truth. No, there is nothing more I can do. I am surprised at my words in reply.

"I am sorry too. I forgave Tony too hastily for Bernardo's death. I didn't give myself enough time to grieve."

I take Anita's hands in my own. If she and Bernardo had married, we would have been sister-in-laws. Now all we have is each other.

That night Tony comes to me in a dream. I am climbing the stairs to the roof. Bernardo tries to stop me along the way grabbing my arm.

"Maria, you have forgotten me."

"Bernardo," I reply looking into his eyes, "I am sorry. He's everything to me. Please understand."

Bernardo bows his head. "God will guide you, not I."

He lets go of my arm and I reach the roof, my scarlet dress replaces my nightgown. There he is, waiting for me with a smile.

"Tony," I cry, running into his outstretched arms, "Don't leave me."

"Never," I hear him murmur in my ear, "I'm right here. I'm not going anywhere, Maria."

A rush of peace fills my soul. Somehow I know I will always find Tony's spirit in my dreams.

After I testify about Tony's murder, the judge sentences Chino to six years in prison. After the trial, I visit Chino in his cell.

"Chino," I whisper to him through the bars at a loss for words.

He hardly says a word to me and refuses to meet my eyes.

"Please, may I take your hand?" I ask him, wanting to remember his humanity despite the inner anger remaining. He reluctantly gives me his hand.

"Chino, why did you it?"

"For your brother."

"You're wrong, Chino. His life was not yours to take."

At first he won't listen to me. I then tell him about seeing Bernardo in my dream and tears fall from his eyes.

His voice trembles. "I never deserved to have you as a wife."

I sigh, "None of that matters now. Chino, if I can forgive Tony for Bernardo's death, I can do the same for you."

Before I leave him, I press my rosary into his hands.

A few days later, Anita and I wear our black mantillas to Bernardo, Riff, and Tony's funerals. Baby John and Anita help me close Tony's casket. Afterward, along our walk home, I announce unexpected news to Anita.

"I am carrying Tony's child."

Anita's mouth drops wide open. "You can't in this town, Maria!"

I shake my head. "I will stay here for as long as I can to act as a peacekeeper between the two gangs. Tony tried to do the same."

"You'll be disgraced!"

My hand gentle touches her shoulder calming her fears for me. "My husband was killed. Tony and I made marriage vows anyway. That's all people ever need know."

Anita finally shakes her head at my foolishness wrapping her arm around my shoulder. "Well, at least America is nothing like Puerto Rico."

I laugh for the first time in days.

That night I climb to the rooftop in my nightgown feeling more free than I have in months. My child, if a boy, will be named Antone after his father. It comforts to me to look back and know there was life in me as I held Tony dying in my arms. Now I sing to my unborn child the same words Tony once sang for me.

"There's a place for you, somewhere a place for you."

As I do, I feel a smile playing on my lips. My feet begin to move before they transform into a dance.