Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta thanks. Mostrar todas las entradas
Mostrando las entradas con la etiqueta thanks. Mostrar todas las entradas

sábado, 29 de octubre de 2016

The phoenix

   The majestic bird rose above the tea plantation and flew very high into the sky. The people that had been working in the cave where it had been sleeping for thousands of years, ran towards the exit in the hope of catching a glimpse of the animal flying free in the sky. No one really understood why or how the creature had survived living in a cave, apparently, for so long. It wasn’t common for a bird to live in such a place but, then again, it wasn’t no ordinary bird. According to the legend, that red feathered animal was the mythical phoenix.

 As the bird appeared to defy all laws of gravity by flying as fast as a supersonic airplane and as high as a weather balloon, the people below began considering the options: they could try to capture the creature but they had no real way of doing so. If the legend was true, such a fantastic bird would have the strong of a thousand oxen and its screeching sounds could tear down the roughest wood. At least that’s what it said on the many manuscripts kept by the monks in several temples of the region. But should such ancient scriptures be taken into account?

 It was well known that people exaggerated their fear when they felt threatened. They wrote tales of the most horrible things in order to surprise others by saying, “we endured this” or “we vanquished this”. Maybe the phoenix that was now hovering over the plantation was just like any other bird, just much more beautiful and graceful, and also very big and beautifully garnished by nature. In any case, most people agreed that capturing it would not be good at all for anyone. Their gods may punish them for those actions.

 Most of the population of the region consisted of peasants. They grew tea and rice and some other valuable goods that they tried to trade with other regions. But the economy all over was very hard for everyone and competition was rough from places that were much more advances, being able to produce tons more of tea leafs and rice grains. They were too far from any modern science and too close to ancient traditions that prevented them from going too far into the future. It was a very complicated situation indeed.

 The bird descended and landed on top of one of the tea bushes. The workers, who had been there all day, watched the creature with expectation, finding it very odd that such a big bird could pose itself on such a small bush and not fall to the ground. They believed it to be the magic of the phoenix and many of them started praying to it. As the sun sunk in the horizon, the bird’s feathers started glowing with a reddish hue that made look as if it was on fire. No… It was on fire. It became engulfed in it and suddenly it became a pile of ashes on the dark doil.

 The wind carried away the ashes and no one in the vicinity was able to say a word for some time after that. They had been witnessed of something beautiful and also very confusing. The people that had been digging in the nearby cave arrived just as a gust of wind cleaned the soil from any residue of the bird and when they asked what happened, no one could really explained what they had seen. It was only the next day that a young boy told them they had seen the bird burn, as the legend said it could happen at any moment.

 The problem with the people of the cave was that they were not from those parts. They came from the capital, saying they wanted to investigate the cage, which they thought was filled with uranium which they need to build a power plant not very far from there. At least that was what they said once and again, every time someone dared to ask why they had a arrived out of the blue and not years before, when the energy crisis was in its peek. They never really answered in a very straightforward way. There was always something elusive about them.

 After the bird burned, most of them left for the capital. Only one remained behind. He sealed the cave and stood guard there every single day. He lived in a small tent built by the entrance of the cavernous place. Apparently, they wanted no one to go there because they thought it was a place worth protecting but who knew why? Maybe they thought the phoenix had laid eggs or maybe they assumed the bird would be reborn in the same place it had been living for, apparently, a very long period of time. Their reasons were unclear.

 The people of the mountains went back to work as normal, grabbing tea leafs and cultivating their rice in the old fashioned way they had always done it. Some of them had begun to resent the government: it had never made any presence to help them in the past and out of nowhere it had send those people and now they couldn’t even get into their own cave, where they sometimes mined for precious stones that could give a family some more food to feed their children and the elders. Sadly, being farmers didn’t mean they could live at their heart’s content.

 Many of them had not eaten the meat of any animal in a good while and the children had no idea of what a sweet fruit tasted like. The only thing growing around them that could be similar were wild berries but they were always really tangy and many species were poisonous. So their diet was based on rice and tea, accompanied by a handful of vegetables each farmer grew in their private orchard. They were very careful with them because it wasn’t much.

 A year passed when the government, finally, decided to retire the man they had left in front of the cave. They claimed to have been unable to find uranium there so the decision was to let the cave in the hands of the people that had taken care of it for so long. It was a bunch of nice words but they all knew the truth: they had given up on the phoenix making its appearance once again, just as the farmers. No one thought it would come back again but everyone believed the bird still lived somewhere in the vicinity or maybe far in to the higher mountains.

 Children did many drawings of the bird and people started talking more freely about what they had felt when they has seen the bird flying over them. They now could do it because they didn’t feel the pressure of the government on their backs. They could say whatever they wanted, just as they had thought, without any restriction. That was the good thing of living ins such a remote area: those people were actually free, at least in a way most people would find alluring. Besides, they were happy despite everything.

 The celebration of the tea harvest that year was simply over the top. Artists from other regions were invited over and they showed everyone how elegant and hilarious they could be. There were also dances and music and many people wore costumes. The most magnificent thing was the construction of a huge phoenix made out of wood. It had been painted red by the children and built patiently by farmers after the working hours were over. They wanted to thank the creature for such a great year for their crops. They truly believed it was because if it.

 The happiness was contagious. Everyone laughed that night, celebrating with simple joy. They were glad to be who they were and the truth was that they didn’t want to become anything else. Most of the people day would never accept a trip to the capital or changing in any way the lifestyle they had enjoyed for the last hundred years. They respected each other, they took care of one another and they believed in the same core principles that ruled over most aspects of their lives. One of those was the belief that everything was possible.

 Late, when the party was about to end and dawn approached; they saw the bird flying over their crops and above the party, released what seemed like sparks. Everyone saw the bird with delight, thanking it for everything good that year. They would have another great year after that and for many more because they had been blessed by the phoenix, which had finally found the perfect spot on Earth to live in peace and learn from the good things humans had to offer.

jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2015


   Blood was always difficult to clean off. She grabbed a sponge from the bathroom and put it under the water with some soap. She then grabbed the sponge and started cleaning her boots, as they were covered in red. The sponge, that used to be yellow, got heavily tainted and it was almost impossibly to clean it after having removed almost every trace of blood from her boots. As she walked the bathroom, she grabbed the sponge and walked with her footwear on the other hand.

 Her name was Linda, which means “beautiful” or “cute” in Spanish. But that had nothing to do with her. First, because her parents had no idea of another language and they would have never bothered to learn anything about a world outside theirs. Second, because although she had a nice body and all the curves men would like to stare at, she didn’t found herself all that cute.

 She put on the boots in the living room and then went to the kitchen to throw away the sponge. She grabbed a yogurt, cheese and an apple from the refrigerator and ate them all practically at the same time. She hadn’t had a decent meal in a while and she had to take that moment to eat something recharge batteries. As she gulped down the yogurt, she realized her hands had lots of little cuts and she had blood under her nails. When Linda finished eating, she tried to clean it off but failed.

 It was time to go. Linda took out a cellphone and checked her messages. She had told Marlon to only text her and never to call her. Apparently he had gotten the idea because she had not received any calls, only one text when he asked if she was ok. She answered by only writing “yes”.

 When she walked out the house through the back, a gust of very cold wind hit her directly in the face. Maybe rain or some kind of snow front was coming. But that wasn’t important right now. She just closed her jacket the best she could and walked towards the car that was parked just on one side of the garden. It was one of those houses where everything looks perfect. But what was inside was not perfect, unless you were a homicidal maniac with a thing for order.

 Linda dismissed the thought of it all and got in the car. She had found the keys in an ashtray inside, as if the person that drove the car was always very careful about them. Linda drove faster than the previous owner, getting to the highway in no time. She tried not to speed in order not to attract any attention but it was hard. Her only wish was to be very far away from there, and that had to be done fast or they would link everything that had happened the last few days to her. And she couldn’t face that.

 Night came fast and also a thin rain, which was more annoying than anything else. She kept driving, remembering the faces she had seen recently and putting tags on the ones that she would never see again. Many people had died violently because of her lately and it was something that, although not honestly shocking, she did want it to be left behind. She wanted to be free from those awful memories and sights; she wanted to be left alone.

 However, as the “gas” sign on the car’s dashboard started beeping, she knew that wasn’t going to be possible. Right now, many cops, many people in general, were thinking that it was all her fault, it was all because of her and it was her who had done it all. And they were right, at least partially. Because she did have blood under her nails, because her body did ache because of the struggle and because she had seen what no one else had seen that week.

 Seven hours after departing the house, Linda pulled over a gas station. It was self-service, so she used the cash she had found on the house to fill the tank and hope no one would catch up with her there. She entered the store to pay and realized a table had been set up inside and, before she could walk back, the family having dinner there noticed her and smiled. Somehow, they were happy to see her, even if she had no idea who they were or what they were doing. Suddenly, people got up and smiled and she saw food on the table and remembered.

 It was Thanksgiving Day. She had forgotten all about it as she had been too busy dodging life. She walked closer and asked to pay for her gas but the family invited her to a plate. She insisted on paying but the mother replied they had all decided to celebrate the day there because the station was family property and they couldn’t close it down so the best way to celebrate was to do it in the store and give any costumers a plate to share the joy of the holiday.

 Linda insisted many more times, looking out at the car, but every single one of them kept insisting. They then put a plate on her hands and she had to do something she had almost forgotten how to do: act. She forced a smile on her face and went around the table putting various types of salads and vegetables and turkey on her plastic plate. She then thanked them all and told them she would prefer to eat it in her car, as she didn’t want to interrupt.

 Then, Linda heard it again. She froze right where she stood as the voice, which was not feminine or masculine, invaded her head. She didn’t understood how it had found her again. It had to be close. She asked for it not to do anything to her or to the people there but, when she realized it, she had dropped her plate of food and was now holding the knife they were using to cut the turkey. Her arm moved and she was inside of her body, unable to control anything. But as she was about to slash one of the attendants, a bullet entered her leg and she lost balance, collapsing to the floor. She lost consciousness right there.

 The woman had some awful dream, were voices in different tones told her what to do. One wanted her to poke her eyes out, another one advised to grab a knife and cut her legs off. Another, deeper voice, ask her to just drop dead. And then they all stopped talking and she heard a beautiful female voice. It was someone she knew or at least she seemed to be very familiar to her. But that didn’t matter. The voice told her, in words that felt like a medicine, that she had to fight back, not letting them in.

 Linda woke up, panting and sweating in a hospital bed. She had wanted to move but two things stopped her: she was tied to the bed, as they did with mental patients, and her leg was hurting too much, so she could barely move properly. She tried to fight her restraints but it was useless and she tried to scream too but her throat was dry and she would only hurt herself. Linda couldn’t cry either, as much as she had wanted to do so many times before. Somehow, she couldn’t.

 Two men then entered the room, a policeman and a doctor. The agent started talking about how she was going to be incarcerated due to her having murdered over twenty people the past few days and her attempted murder of a family that had been seating about to have dinner. Linda just shook her head, unable to speak. The men ignored this. The doctor then spoke, telling her that she apparently suffered from a condition in which illusions and voices were very present so he had recommended the police not to put her in jail but in a psychiatric ward.

 Again, Linda tried to scream, but couldn’t.

 She was transferred to a psychiatric hospital two days after they had extracted the bullet. There, she wouldn’t be isolated but she would remain for life. They had deemed her “incurable”, so she was just left alone with her thoughts.

 As much as she tried, for several years after her demise, she never regained the ability to speak. However, people understood her all the same. She had no idea why and she had no need for an explanation. The voices, both the crazy ones and the beautiful one, disappeared from her life. So she was just a regular girl living in a place filled with the most criminally insane people in the world. And all because of what some voices had told her to do, controlling her mind and body.

 As she got older, the clinic used her as the patient that welcomed any new additions to the madhouse. It was then when she realized how it was possible that people understood her. And it was amazing no one had said anything, as if it was the most normal thing in the world. Maybe she was manipulating them too but realized that was too far fetched. Linda could only be in their heads, that was it.

sábado, 19 de septiembre de 2015

Drunk gentleman

   The moment I opened my eyes, I realized how much I had to drink the night before. I didn’t even tried to sit down or stand up; I just opened my eyes and then shut them again. Although I didn’t really remember everything that had happened the night before, I was glad to know I had gotten home and that my cellphone and my wallet were in the nightstand. Those were the most important things to know, that I was alive and ok and in the right place. But my head was spinning so much I decided to close my eyes and try to get some more sleep. It had to be a Saturday or Sunday so I didn’t have to be anywhere or to do anything. I turned around, feeling cozy and warm and then, when I stretched my feet a bit, I felt someone else in bed with me.

 My eyes opened immediately but everything I could see was a head, short auburn hair and a tattoo on the shoulder, that happened to be uncovered, as he wasn’t wearing a t-shirt. I was only wearing my underwear but that didn’t matter, as that was my bed, in my home. Who was that guy? I had no idea and I didn’t wanted to be rude and wake him up just to ask. After all, he was there for a reason. Normally, any friend or friend of a friend would stay in the couch, which was very comfortable. But, somehow, I had decided not to leave him there but instead ask him to sleep with me. I then raised my head a bit and looked at the nightstand again and at the floor. There was nothing on my side that would indicate intercourse.

 Then, I remained still for a moment as I checked mentally if any part of my body felt funny. As I did that, I realized how bad my memory was at retaining any kind of information. Not only I couldn’t remember a single thing from the night before, I had to practically touch myself to know if I had sex with the man that was sleeping beside me. That made me feel like shit, as if I did that kind of thing every time I went out. I then turned around and closed my eyes and tried to think of something to do, a way to know who he was or why he was there. The best idea would be to write my friends and ask them if they knew, although that would reflect very poorly on me. Anyway, I fell asleep in no time because of how tired I was.

 It always happened that, when I had too much to drink, I would have the wildest and weirdest dreams. That time was no exception as in, the probably one hour that I rested my eyes, I dreamt about some strange creatures that I was supposed to kill with a team of others. We were using laser weapons and the guy that was sleeping beside me was there too, covering the left flank. It was like being in a movie, people shooting all around. I was having a lot of fun there but then the dream changed and I was in a room observing two people having a fight. They couldn’t hear me and I couldn’t do anything to intervene. The yelling and their insults made me wake up, sweating a bit.

 I sat on my bed, trying to catch my breath, realizing it had only been a dream. It was a nightmare that always came back, a remembrance of a past I always tried to forget. Then, I realized the guy on my side was not there. For a second, I thought I had just imagined him but then I saw his clothes on the floor and realized he was still around. It was exactly at that moment when he came in with a tray, my only tray. There was some orange juice, a sandwich made in the toaster and a banana. But that really wasn’t what surprised me most. The guy had the body of a model or even better. Instinctively, I pulled up the sheets, as I didn’t wanted for him to see my body, which was very far from his in terms of beauty and acceptance. He had some other tattoos and he was only wearing some black briefs.

 The beautiful man passed me the tray and told me he had already had breakfast. The only thing I could do was to smile and listen to him tell me how had the idea to make me breakfast after all I had done for him and how he had found everything he needed in order to make a somewhat decent breakfast. As I drank some juice, he laughed and said he thought of giving me some cereal but he remembered me saying that I couldn’t drink any milk. Again, I just smiled, as I had no idea at what point I had told him any of that. For that matter, I had no idea in what planet I could have met a guy such as him and why he was “thankful” to me. I just ate my breakfast and, in between bites, asked him if he had eaten something yet and he said yes.

 He looked at me as I ate, which was strange already, never minding those big green eyes, the tattoos and the body that seemed to have been taken out from a fitness magazine. When I finished, I decided to be honest. First o f all, I thanked him for his kindness but then I had to confess that I didn’t remembered much about the night before. I told him I could imagine I had a lot to drink because I really didn’t know where I had met him and why he had stayed with me, even in bed. His reaction was strange as he laughed and looked even better looking as he did it. He looked at me straight in the eye and I have to say I couldn’t hold his look for a long time. His bright eyes hurt a little.

 He showed me his hand and told me his name was Steven and that we had met in the bathroom of a club where we were both having some time with friends. Steven said that, when I entered the bathroom, I seemed to have been drinking for a while already so he had no idea what I had done before he met me. Anyway, he wasn’t there alone but with another guy. He said that guy was someone he had met at work and who was very obsessed with getting high and drunk. As I came in, he was apparently trying to convince Steven to get high with something he was keeping in a small bag, but he didn’t told me what it was. I apparently went to a stall and they kept arguing outside.

 Things got pretty bad as the guy who was with him started to scream and push him. Apparently, Steven had opened the little bag and thrown all its content into the drain. The man went crazy and he punched Steven on the face. He bled a bit and it was then when I came out. According to Steven, I just went insane when I saw him on the ground bleeding. I went straight for the guy and told him to get the fuck out, the guy pushed me and then I punched him hard in the face. Two, three, four times until he could stand up. I even kicked him in the stomach and we just left that place. I didn’t even tell my friend or anything, we just left for my place and I told him I would take care of him for good.

 Steven smiled as he remembered all of that. He knew I was just being nice and maybe my reaction was due to the fact that he was a very handsome man. And, without any hesitation, I told him that that wasn’t the case. Yes, he was beautiful, but I reacted like that because I had seen too much violence in my life to let people keep doing that to each other. I guess my answer wasn’t the best way to solve it, but that guy would probably think again before punching someone like that just because they wouldn’t have some of his shit. Steven just smiled as I said that and I realized I had talked very passionately so I decided to thank him again for the breakfast. He took the try back to the kitchen and I used what little time I had to put on my t-shirt.

 He reentered the room as I put it on and he asked why I was doing that. He told me that I was in my house, so it was a bit strange that I decided to cover myself as if I was doing something wrong. I told him the truth that I felt little ashamed to be next to him. I had a belly, I had no perfect body like he had and it would make me feel less weird if I wore the t-shirt.  I pulled it down and sat on the bed, waiting for something although I didn’t know what it was. He was doing exactly the same thing by the door, just standing there like waiting for something to happen but not knowing exactly what. It was a bit uncomfortable.

 Finally, I decided to get into the bed again and pull up the sheets. Then, he walked up to the bed and lay down too, this time with his face towards my side. I was looking up. We stayed like that for a good while until I decided to take off the t-shirt and turn towards him. He smiled again and I just got closer and kissed him. I wasn’t going to meet a guy like that ever again. We kissed for a long time and he told me, between kissed, that I had been a gentleman the night before, as we talked in the taxi and in my living room. We had already kissed but because he had leaned forward. Now, it had been me.

 We had sex afterwards and starting going out rather frequently. But that story and its outcome, will not be told here.

martes, 15 de septiembre de 2015


   Usually, Norma ate pizza on Friday nights. But it wasn’t the norm that she ate it in a car, as she was doing now, next to her friend Beatrice. Bea had convinced her to do some spying, as she thought her boyfriend was actually not in a “football party” with his buds, but with another women. She was sure of it and had been nagging Norma about it for at least two weeks. So she finally came up with the idea of following him all around town if it was necessary in order to know what was the truth. Norma had only convinced her to take a tomato and cheese pizza with them and at least let her hear some music from time to time. She loved Bea and would never leave her alone but Friday nights were sacred, no matter if it was pizza in bed or partying till dawn.

 Anyway, they parked outside his house and followed him once he got out of there. He took the bus a few blocks away from his home and then they had to follow the bus, which was the most annoying thing ever as it had stops every two blocks and apparently the route was very long. Bea just kept saying she didn’t know any friends of her boyfriend that lived around there, but Norma didn’t really pay attention. She just enjoyed her pizza and the fact that she had found a really good radio station, with every song being amazing. When the boyfriend got off the bus, they followed him for four blocks until he entered a building and there was no way to seeing him for some time. Bea decided to call him right then.

 Norma, bored out of her mind, look around the neighborhood. It wasn’t the nicest place on Earth but it wasn’t too bad to be honest. There were some people walking around, mainly couples, possibly walking to the subway or the bus stop in order to get downtown, where most of the clubs and party places where. Norma didn’t really like to go to clubs unless she was feeling really depressed or something. Otherwise, it was too loud and too “happy” for her. Then, she saw a man sitting on a bench, a few meters behind them, talking to himself pointing at things that weren’t there and looking very worried about something. The guy was actually rather young and not ugly at all.

 Bea scared Norma with her elbow, trying to get her attention. Her boyfriend had told her he was at his friend’s house and that the game was about to start. She was holding her cellphone very tightly and asked Norma to look for games that were happening that night. She needed to know if that part was a lie or not. Norma complied but, once in a while, she looked outside to the man talking to himself. After not finding anything about a game, she told Bea she was thirsty because of all the slices of pizza she had eaten so she needed to get to a supermarket or something. Bea looked at her with annoyance but Norma told her she had seen a store a few blocks back so she could go in a second.

 After stepping out of the car, Norma felt the night was warm and just perfect. Summer wasn’t in yet but it could be felt in the air. She walked slowly, having no urgency to get back to the car. She passed by the man talking to himself and stopped right there for a moment, hoping to hear what he was talking about but it wasn’t very clear. He said something about an animal, some kind of farm animal, and then he switched to bombs and nuclear warfare or something like that. Then, the man kind of jumped in his seat and turned around, looking at her. He kept moving his head and hands but didn’t say a word as he checked her out. Norma just turned around and walked a bit faster towards the store, only thinking about the beautiful chestnut colored eyes that crazy guy had.

 The store was very empty and only a young Asian woman was there as the cashier. She was reading a magazine and the TV was turned on somewhere in he store. Norma walked around slowly, as she didn’t want to go back so soon. Bea could really get annoying with all of her boyfriend stud and Norma had no opinion about it all. So what if he was cheating on her? It wouldn’t be the first time a guy does that to a woman. And besides, they had just being together for six months. It was better to find out now that in two years or something. Norma was just a good friend but sometimes being that good was a very demanding job.

 She kept walking through the aisles until she remembered why she had come in for: something to drink. So she grabbed a bottle of ice tea and also some gum, hard candy and a women’s magazine if the night turned to be one of those long evenings with her best friend. When she was around the ice-cream freezer, the door of the store opened but she didn’t turned around to see who it was. However, the cashier was apparently not very pleased to see that person come in because she was telling him to leave and to get lost and many other things. He had a bit of a stutter, trying to respond to the woman, and Norma realized who it was: the guy from the bench, the one of the chestnut eyes.

 She walked up to the cashier and asked her to let him in, as she wanted to help him by buying him something to eat. The cashier looked at her as if she had become insane in front of her eyes but finally complied. Norma bought the man one of those microwave noodle soups. She heat it up on the machine behind the cashier and then paid all of her shopping and, with difficulty, she got out and walked up to the crazy guy and gave him the soup. It was incredible to see, as she got her stuff in order, how his eyes had lit up just because of some soup. It was boiling hot but he ate fast and she was surprised to see a smile when he was done. Norma smiled back.

 She then tried to get her name but the man wouldn’t say a word. It was hard to know if he couldn’t say anything or if he didn’t wanted to, but anyway, the soup had been a nice gesture and Norma was glad she could do that for someone. She turned around and started walking to Bea’s car but then the guy took her arm, a little too strongly, and started to tell her about nuclear bombs and how the world would end. He was talking so fast, it made her a little bit dizzy and the fact that he was pressing on her forearm with such strength was nothing to be amused by either. Like out of some kind of hypnosis, Norma pulled her arm out of his grip and told him to be nice or she would call the police. Then, as if that had been a code of sorts, he looked at her and begged her not to call the police.

 His voice right then was calm and rational. His eyes, hands and body in general had stopped moving awkwardly and he was just staring at Norma. She told him she wouldn’t call them but that he needed to learn not to treat people like that, especially when they have just bought him some soup. He asked her for forgiveness, as most of the time he was not really in control of anything, not his body or his mind or his mouth. He had lost control over himself long ago and now he just drifted around the world, trying to make sense of a life that seemed like a dream. He spoke so eloquently, that it was difficult for Norma not to walk up to him and just look at his face with a bit of regret.

 She then asked why was he living on the streets. Again, his face seemed to change in a second but his words kept their sense and she could understand everything he was saying. According to him, he had been a very good student in a physics laboratory not very far from there. He had helped all his teachers in various experiments and had even done some research on his own theories too. But then some guy, some teacher that was supposed to be his mentor and a great mind in the scientific community, he just stole every single idea his student had come up with. And as he was such a brilliant guy, every single one of his theories was proved to be right and it changed a lot in their field.

 This kept going for a while until the student accused the teacher to the board of the institute but they wouldn’t hear him. They thought it was one of those young people that are so obsessed with discovering something or being important, that they would invent anything in order to be considered into the scientific community. This had a very bad effect on the student’s mind, as he was already a patient for a number of mental illnesses. He wasn’t well at all and even confessed to Norma that he should have never being there in the first place, but life always has its ways. Suddenly, Norma’s cellphone rang. It was Bea, nothing had happened and she wanted to leave.

 Norma promised the guy, who said his name was Stuart, to come back and help him some more, with anything he might need. He told Norma that she had already done enough with the soup and by hearing his story. They shook hands and separated. Norma thought of him all the way to the car and more than night. Bea didn’t ask her where she had been; she just theorized what her perfect boyfriend was doing in his football party. As they drove away from the building, on a way of the fourth floor, it was clearly visible how the boyfriend was there all right, but naked and having sex with his friend. The game was on the screen.