24 July 2024

07 – Him

I approach to face him. I feel Ramiréz trying to hold me by the shoulders, in vain. The rebel still hasn’t looked down, nor blinked. When our faces are only a few centimeters apart, I calmly address him.

— Are you part of García’s group ?

Ramiréz doesn’t have time to translate, as the young man is already answering, with a strong Spanish accent.

— How is that any of your business, American coño ?

Oscar is speechless. A smile appears on my face.

— So you can speak my language. That’s perfect, it will make interrogation easier when your turn comes.

— Fuck you, I have nothing to say to you. Like everyone else in your country, you’re only interested in Yara to exploit what it has to offer. You don’t give a damn about its people and their condition.

I open my mouth to answer him, but Castillo is suddenly on my right and speaks up before I can say a word.

— And Clara García, in what way does she care about the people of Yara’s condition ?

The young man looks puzzled. Far from being disconcerted, he replies to the dictator.

— In a less abject way than yours. We are fighting for everyone’s freedom, not just for those who have money to buy a better life.

The president bursts into a devilish laugh. He addresses the two guards who have been following us discreetly from the beginning.

— This one is very funny. Make sure he doesn’t die before we can question him.

He turns on his heels and heads for the exit with a determined step, closely followed by Oscar, the kid and the two henchmen. Now alone with him, I cast a last glance at the prisoner. He stretches his fist through the bars to show me his watch.

— You like it, don’t you ?

Surprised, I remain silent. What is he getting at ?

— Get me out of here and it’s yours.

I want to burst out laughing. But something holds me back. His nerve almost matches his handsomeness. How can he think for a moment that I would help him escape ? I stare at him in disbelief. My heart is pounding. Sure, the watch is beautiful and would look great on my own wrist. But this mysterious young man attracts me much more than I want to accept. Without warning, words involuntarily leave my throat.

— It’s a deal.

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