There was something about Coral. She was an extremely intelligent woman with a degree of self-awareness that contributed to her recklessness, instead of holding it back. We would call her a well-written exam. The questions and their right answers were both within her, but her grades were really not going to give her a better life. Coral’s addiction started around the time she realized the truth of her marriage. As she tells Moises in Season 2 of “Sky Rojo,” she had been married for close to 15 years. Her husband was a controlling man who dictated Coral’s life. She had gone to college and was a biologist, but she left her job after her wedding, likely at the insistence of her husband. Coral told Moises how her husband used to tell her what she could wear, how much makeup she could apply, who she should talk to, and how she should be living as a wife and as a person. Coral used to have friends, but over time, she lost them as her husband did not like her spending too much time with them. This is a modus operandi typical to most abusers, where they dismantle the victim’s confidence and support system step by step. As Coral says, when it started happening to her, she did not recognize it for what it was; in fact, she said that her husband’s possessiveness made her happy. By the time she understood what was happening, she was in too deep. Coral believes that it was her marriage that destroyed her self-esteem. We don’t disagree with her, but we believe that the explanation of it is a lot more complex.
As we said before, Coral had always been an intelligent and charming woman. It is likely that she came from a privileged background if she had the resources to go to college. A well-educated woman of the world, she might not have thought it possible that she could be trapped in a situation of domestic abuse. Coral would have found it humiliating that she ‘allowed’ herself to be trapped in such a way. Domestic violence, whether emotional or physical, happens due to a systematically imbalanced power structure. It is easy to fall under the illusion that certain privileges like awareness, education, and money make women immune to it because the fact of the matter is, no matter where a woman comes from, she is told the exact same thing about men and relationships and where her priorities in life should lie. It is the uniformity of this lesson that so deeply ingrains itself in women and makes them vulnerable to exploitation. Our theory is that Coral must have believed herself to be too intelligent not to have spotted it, but when reality struck, it was devastating for her. Any confidence she had in her abilities had to have been shot down if she was actually so gullible as to let go of her life against her will without even realizing it. This meant that Coral was never in control of her life the way she had believed herself to be. When the realization set in, she had no one to turn to because she had already lost all her friends and any sense of individuality. At a time like that, drugs and pills became her refuge. But it wasn’t enough. While they gave her a sense of control over herself, she must have wanted it all back, which made her come up with the idea of killing her husband. However, it can be described as nothing except one of God’s cruel jokes that it was Coral’s mother-in-law who ended up drinking the poisoned soup.
With Coral’s confidence as low as it was compiled with a weak justice system in place that acts unfavorably towards its women, Coral had no option but to flee. According to her, the best place for her to hide was Romeo’s club. She was probably right since the girls were rarely ever allowed to leave the place, and the law authorities obviously did not pay much attention. As for what she had to do there, Coral did not enjoy her job, but she claimed she did not hate it either because the humiliation of it did not hurt due to her already low self-worth. At times when she found it hard to cope, she turned back to drugs. Coral was a woman lost, someone who people wanted but no one understood. In fact, Coral was scared that if anybody ever came to know who she really was, they would hate her even more. But the heart never stops craving love. Coral was aware that Romeo was in love with her. She was not interested in him, but she kept him at arm’s length in a rather masterful way. We believe he served as an excellent ego boost for her. As for Moises, we think Coral genuinely liked him. But a relationship between a ‘pimp and a prostitute’ cannot end well, no matter how strong their feelings are. Moises was extremely loyal to Romeo and was probably aware of his feelings for Coral. He knew that there was no possible future with Coral, but that did not stop them from getting involved with each other. The regular push and pull of their relationship had to have left some scars, which fuelled Coral’s addiction more.
During the events of “Sky Rojo” Season 1 and 2, she needed her pills to function, even though they kept putting her and the girls in danger. In Season 3, the girls have moved on and are trying to live different lives, but Coral has not caught up with them. The trauma of their past worked against an already fragile mind, and she was unable to kick her addiction. But there was a noticeable change when she realized that her addiction was stronger than her sadness. It was when she was talking to Wendy in their kitchen that it dawned on her that contrary to her belief that the pills were helping her cope with her life, it was her insistence on being sad that gave her an excuse to keep taking the pills and the drugs. Later, when they set out to kill Romeo, she was in such a haze that she did not realize that his daughters were with him. Her negligence not only jeopardized her and Wendy’s life but could have harmed two innocent children as well. When Wendy confronts her about using drugs, Coral has no explanation anymore. She cannot deny that her addiction has cost her the things that she cares about the most, including Wendy and Gina’s child. Knowing that she now has a reason to get clean, she asks Moises for help. There are stages of her deaddiction process where she finds herself becoming weak-willed. When Moises is knocked out after his suicide attempt, she is completely unsupervised and has a chance to take the pills again, which she almost does. But seeing the flare shot by Wendy, Coral stops herself. That flare was a reminder of every reason Coral had to get clean, reasons that were bigger than her desire to exist in a haze, which is what stopped her hand.
It is said that once an addict, always an addict. One doesn’t overcome addiction; they just stop allowing it to control their lives. With Romeo dead and Wendy back with her, Coral has the friend, security, and support system she needs to live a life with her own agency and return to being the person she once was. Coral has not had an easy life, but she deserves to find happiness after everything she has been through.