cierre cafe

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
a young man brings himself to a town from his past for matters greater than himself.

Submitted: October 16, 2018

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Submitted: October 16, 2018

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Music was blasting in his air-filled ears, giving him refuge for the days to come. He glanced over out to the wide, open, free, blue sky. A place that seemed that only a god could live in. An unjust god that hid away from man and all of its troubles. An unjust god that took from those who least deserve it. No. That god can stay in the clouds.

A well dressed woman asked him for his beverage choice, “I’m good, thank you though. I had a lot of coffee already”. He smiled to the woman as she nodded her head and left him be. He had not slept a wink throughout the night and didn’t expect to sleep until this new day’s night. All he had to keep him company was his beloved coffee and Netflix shows, while trying not to awake his roommate.

He checked his music player; his phone was placed safely turned off in his backpack. The time stated 8:38 am, his flight was only to be an hour. Yet it was an hour that the young man held onto dearly. It’d been years since he last took a wingful journey to the city he would never wanted to see again. It brought back too many ill memories that he would rather forget. But this weekend was not going to be about that. No, he wouldn’t allow those memories to surface in his scarred heart.

His short journey ended much to his dismay. He had wished to lose himself further in the company of the birds. But the journeys of life could never grant him such a wish for having the capacity of knowing like he did.

He thoughtlessly walked onward with the other flock of people he journeyed with. He had no need to, but it was a routine feeling that he instinctively did as he always would. His belongings were already on his person; one bag in his hands and another over his shoulder. Both were light, never bothering him in the process.

When they reached the common area, the young man spotted a familiar face. One whom he hadn’t seen in the five years they’d been apart.

Abuela!” He called out to the woman; she was shorter than he with a rounder physique. Her hair was dark brown, nearly black, with some streaks of gray, possibly due to not re-dying it recently. She also had a single streak of pure white at her scalp; it reminded him of a skunk, like Pepe Le Pew.

The woman smiled brightly as she called out back to him, “Damien! Mi nieto pequen?ito!

The two embraced nicely and quickly; the first time after five long years of being apart. Yet the two acted as if those years never stood in between them, as if it had only been a couple of months since the last they’d seen each other. This feeling relieved Damien.

“How are you?” His grandmother’s questioning had begun, “How’s your mother?” She slightly rolled her tongue after ever ‘r’ she spoke.

Damien gave a small smile, “I’m okay. Mom’s fine tambie?n.”
“That’s good. Oh! And your little sister? How’s she doing?”
“Heh, that little demon? She’s fine as can be, plays rough like the boys - like Lupe.

Lupe’s still in wrestling, no?” His mode of pronunciation was slowly changing, molding itself to that similar of the woman beside him. As it always did around those of this side of the tulip tree. Soaring from the Land of Flight to emerging in the City of Wind.

Their small talk continued as they found their mode of transportation for the next few days and exited onto the highway. The exchange of words between the two was light; the questions ranged from asking about the family to asking if Damien’s single status had changed yet. But there were also some periods of silence between them, the air around them becoming heavier until one found another question to ask.

It wasn’t until they reached their first destination did Damien felt more melancholy than ever. He knew beforehand that he would have to prepare himself - but it was still an arduous task for him. Beside su abuela he walked through a large building with many windows. Its halls were vast and lifeless - dark, yet necessary. The smell of death and pain followed him from these clean walls. Anytime he would take even one step into a place like this did his hairs stand up in full attention.

They entered a more sectioned part of the building, signed their names and who they were visiting and walked off towards the patient’s room. His grandmother opened the door as if she had been here multiple times. In fact, she had.

Damien smiled, his heart slowing it’s racing pace as he looked upon his prima. Her left arm was casted and her feet stuck in place. She could not sit up, but she saw him. She knew he was here.

“Dami! Hi!” Her smile glowed a bright light of hope that lit up the hearts of those who watched over here day after day. Her mother, his ti?a, and a couple of their second cousins. Damien strolled over to his cousin’s side to give her a light kiss on the cheek. He didn’t want to cause her any more pain than she was already in.

Hola, Ximena.” He grabbed the nearest seat and sat beside her bed, talking to her in a light manner. Not only her, but all who were in the room. They spoke about random things for a long period of time; being asked some of the same questions his grandmother inquired. This was what he had missed in their five year separation. This feeling of being together with his other half, with a part of himself he ran from for so long.

He remembered that he still had the baby picture of Ximena when her parents announced her birth via mail. His mother thought it to be a good idea to hold onto it. She was right. From then to now, after 12 years of living, she’d had grown so much it was unbelievable to him. He still had a good amount of memories of her as a newborn.

It wasn’t until the two cousins were left alone in the room did Ximena’s heart start to open. She stared up at the ceiling as she relived the events that brought her to this moment. The events that finally brought Damien back into this family. Damien sat still, listening on with a sullen look on his face - devoid of any emotion. Ximena glanced over to the right side of her bed, gazing upon a picture of a man, a face she’ll never see again. Who no one would ever see again.

 

Damien awoke in a bed unfamiliar to him - it was not his own. His brain had needed a bit more time to recognize that he was in the bed of his cousin, Lupe. She was courteous enough to let him sleep in it, despite his greater stature. Groaning, he rubbed his tired eyes with his hands, “Dios mi?o, ¿por que? yo?”

He grabbed one of the two bags and entered one of the few bathrooms, starting the water to fall and bring upon the steam. He was thankful that he remembered to bring soaps to clean himself without having to borrow anything. Being in a house full of women, he didn’t want to smell like one of them. Damien could have borrowed his uncle’s, but he doubted that would be acceptable.

Once he felt clean, Damien left the water and dried himself, allowing his hair to dry on its own - forming their nearly perfect curls at the bottom of his neck-length hair. His hair always appeared to be darker when it was wet. Sometimes he contemplated dying it to a jet black color. Yet he was grateful he did not; some color this day was to be better than a full black appearance. Brown, the most fitting of colors.

Damien had requested beforehand that he not see the body, his mind could never comprehend the idea of a still individual, vacant of any life. He did not wish to see it anything like that again. He stood by himself most of the event, speaking very little. He fiddled with his smartphone here and there. His cousin Lupe played around with some of the other younger children around her age. Complete strangers to him. Many people were here.

¿Quie?n es el gringo de alli??” One of the attendants asked the person nearest to them. The question reached Damien’s ears, his jaw clenching.

No lo se?. ¿El novio de alguien?” The other person answered. Damien scoffed as he thought that they must think him to be some white, privileged, only-English-speaking How could they not? Damien stood around in a field of dirt, being the only lily growing. Their natural skin was blessed by the sun’s kiss, yet his was scorned by the same lips. Damien cursed Huitzilopochtli for his negligence of this one Hispanic boy; descendant of his Aztec people.

But he could not curse a god. So he turned towards the two and did the only thing he could, “Soy el sobrino del difunto.” Damien gave them a small, yet warm smile. Trying to kill their gossiping with the greatest kindness he could muster. To make them seem more racist than they ever thought themselves to be. He inclined his head to them before strolling away, with the greatest smile on his face.

Fuck you! I didn’t take Spanish classes for 6 years, intensely, just for that bullshit. His thoughts brought along with him a small amount of anger. Should he continue to vent in his mind for a longer period of time would his anger flare to its greatest heights. He didn’t wish for something like that here. Not here. He didn’t want to be another him.

He coincidentally found his way to his aunt, who was surrounded by several more women, one of them being his abuela. Before he could back away to leave the women be did he hear the most interesting thing.

“I keep finding them around the house randomly. It’s weird. I keep finding these little messages all around my house! Even in my yard!”

He thought and stuck around to find out more, his curiosity getting the better of him.

“I mean, I love you too, baby - but it’s just odd.”

Damien’s head couldn’t really wrap around what she was saying; he only had more questions. But he stood still to wait for someone to answer said questions before he had to speak. His vocal cords weren’t warmed up and feared sounding like a prepubescent teenager.

“You should check the time when it happens next.” His second cousin Salome suggested. She usually spoke about the craziest of things, to Damien’s memory.

“Why? What does time have anything to do with that?” Damien asked before he could stop himself. He surprised the small group as they turned to him. Luckily for him, his voice had not cracked.

Salome answered, “Depending on what her angel numbers are, it could really be a sign to see it’s really from him.”

Damien gave her a confused look with his left eye squinted and his mouth slightly agape. The group softly giggled at the look that reminded them of his mother, someone who they all thought highly of. Especially for dealing calmly and civilly with the man who gave her her son.

His aunt responded to Salome, “I’ll check next time. Maybe it’ll happen again at three o’clock or something.” Three was his aunt’s favorite number.

The young man walked away before his brain could hurt him anymore than it already was. His caffeine absorption overruled his almost non-existent H20 intake, he was a pro of handling headaches. But adding the weirdness of these women’s silly wives’ tales? No, he could only take so much. Pro or no.

He watched. And watched. And couldn’t stop watching the tears of so many people fall to the newly dug ground. They all witnessed the giving of this lifeless body unto the earth as his soul wandered its way into Mictlan. When that soul walked amongst those in the living world, his smile and laugh would bring happiness to those around him. The same smile that Ximena displayed - living proof that he lived. This same soul worked day in and day out for the sake of his family, for his wife, for his friends.

Yet something bothered Damien to his very core. He couldn’t shake this feeling as he stood still, listening to story after story about the man in the casket. Stories of him as a father, a husband, a friend, a business owner, a car enthusiast, an immigrant and creator of his own euphemisms.

The casket landed at its final destination, where it was to stay for eternity. Yet his spirit traveled with who were in attendance. The memories that were made in his lifetime, the love he gave to many, the life he created - they will travel. They will reach far and wide, and he would never be forgotten.

Many people started to dissipate like the seeds of a dandelion in the middle of spring. It wasn’t long until the only ones in the necropolis were Damien, his grandmother, his aunt and Lupe. Ximena’s injuries were too severe to let her leave the facility for this day. Her heart and mind wouldn’t be able to take the pain either - not at this moment. She was already under watch for the time being.

Before all four turned for their vehicle, Damien made up his mind, “Could you give me a few minutes?”

Lupe took her older cousin’s hand, looking up at him with an understanding smile, “I can stay with you.”

lo siento, Lupe. But I need to speak to ti?o by myself. Hombre a hombre. ¿Tu? entiendes?”

Lupe wasn’t entirely happy with his decision, but understood as much as she could. She left his side and walked along with her mother and grandmother to their vehicle. They had left Damien at the new tombstone alone.

He turned his back to those who left him and sat at the ground, not caring that it was dirtying his nice suit. He enjoyed getting dirty and besides, clothes can easily be cleaned. He knew this, as did his uncle, who smelled of oil everyday after work. Damien did all that he could to search for any personal memories of his uncle. But to no avail, he found none. He had no significant memories of his uncle. And how could he? He was young when he saw his uncle, who worked so hard everyday.

This frustrated him; he hated himself. How could he not have any memories of his own uncle? His own family? Deep within his heart, he knew why. He tried so hard to run away, to deny a single part of himself. But doing so only alienated him from the entirety of that part. Not only the crumble, but the entire cookie.

His head throbbed in pain as his own tears started falling for the first time since hearing the news. His original goal for this visit was to help his family in their hardest of times; he sought no closure for himself. He didn’t believe himself to deserve such. But here he was - crying his silent tears, he being the next nurturer of this brown soil.

Lo prometo... Lo prometo. I will do better in being a part of this family. I will not allow my fears, my worries, my irritations get in the way of being in this family. I’m so sorry... I’m so sorry, .

The only response Damien was given was the howling of the cold wind.

 

“Uggggh”, Damien groaned as he walked through the hare’s station to soar back to his home. His head had hurt more so than it had in a long time, his eyes slightly red and swollen. It didn’t make it any easier on him that he was sans coffee this early in the morning. Barely anyone was up - it was miracle he awoke when he did.

He found the the terminal’s Starbucks and stood in line for the darkest, strongest coffee they could muster. In front of him, a young woman slightly older than him, accidentally swung at him with her large bag after paying for her drink. She didn’t seem to know what she had done with music blaring in her own ears like he had.

Damien rubbed his arm, thinking that the possibility of her bag carrying around a large amount of coins was high. But once he glanced at the bag to determine the exact percentage, he found the design very peculiar. It was a simple red bag with two, white, rooted trees in the shape of a heart. A classic design as a Valentine’s gift.

Before he could think another thought; Damien pulled his smartphone from his jeans back pocket in haste. He used his thumb to click the lock button on the right side.

The time was 3:33 a.m.


© Copyright 2018 NaelaNightshade. All rights reserved.

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