By Eddy Montilla.
(Taken from Real stories told as fiction).
“Horsemeat”. The elderly lady said indicating with her curved and wrinkled hand the food over the counter while her countenance reflected an odd contrast between the pride she felt for her dish and her astonishment for the presence of that unusual client.
“What am I doing here?” He thought.
And now, I am not sure if someday we will know what he was exactly referring to. The tavern where he was or the remote part where he ended up in?
A windy and bitter cold night… The tavern was small and old. Its wooden walls and faded color made customers remember the scars left by the passage of time. Right in the center, an age-old stove did its best to heat the place, but customers, most of them fishermen, preferred the hot “sake” that flowed slowly through their throats.
The daughter and, above all, the granddaughter of the elderly lady were in charge of serving the food and alcohol there. The girl was really beautiful. She had black and long hair, full lips and pronounced curves that could be imagined rather than seen. She was not sexy; she was beautiful. But what it really sets her apart from everybody was her deep and naive look, a look that she usually fixed on the roof or on her own thoughts, trying to avoid those old fishermen who could not gaze at her discreetly while they had the best of their dreams: Something beautiful, but impossible.
“You miss her a lot. Do you?” Erika asked him.
“That’s not a problem”. Chris said.
Of course, that was not. He was a man who always proceeded circumspectly, and those kinds of men never miss or love a woman one hundred percent. He took his time to look closely at all small details around that place: The Lilliputian dishes they had on the table, the traditional curtain hanging on a bamboo stick in front of the door, indicating that the place was open, a couple of old paintings on the wall and, of course, he also looked at the girl, but not with the same intentions as the fishermen had. He just wondered if she would find a way to leave that place, anchored in time, to go somewhere and try to do something else, something different or she would stay there serving drinks to customers for the rest of her life until becoming a grandmother like her grandmother. TO BE CONTINUED…