Don’t let him in, Sarah, don’t let him in (last part)

January 1, 2018

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from the book True stories told as fiction)

Robert went up to his room and casted his eye around it finding out that the desk drawer was open an empty of the only thing that was always in its interior: a gun. He ran down the stairs leaping some steps, unable to move forward the lintel of the front door once he saw some muddy footprints on the white stones of the garden that were still reluctant to be washed out by the rain and were in the direction of Ramón’s house. His heart screamed his name: “Sarah!”, but not his lips.

“If Sarah killed him, she should have been here waiting for me and if she’s not here it’s because either both are dead or just only one: Sarah!”

Robert went to the kitchen and grabbed the largest knife he saw. Then, he went to Ramón’s house, walking slowly across his own garden over the grass. The sound of the rain silenced his steps. The back door was open. Robert took off his work shoes and, knife in hand, sneaked into the house, walked past the kitchen and got to Ramón’s room from where he could hear her wife shrieking. Robert gripped the knife tightly, burst into the room and saw Ramón wearing over his head his wife’s black underwear instead of his felt hat. Robert dropped the knife and remained there, petrified and highly skeptical, reluctant to believe what is absolutely true. Ramón covered with his hands what he didn’t in front of Sarah the first day she accidentally saw him relieving himself. After that, like a very bad remake of Adam and Eve, Ramón, and later Sarah, said to Robert:

“She came here. I didn’t ask her to come.”

“I couldn’t do what you told me, Robert. He was in my mind, he was in my mind.”

Copyright 2018 All rights are reserved.


Don’t let him in, Sarah, don’t let him in (penultimate part)

December 31, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from the book True stories told as fiction)

“Does not common sense tell you that smoke can bother your neighbours?”

“Yes, it does.” Ramón answered, “but each inconvenience always comes with something good behind. Take a look!”, He said and quickly removed part of the burnt leaves and twigs that covered three sweet potatoes.

“Now that you are here, please wait for a couple of minutes and take one for your husband and you.” Ramón told her with his warm smile.

“No, thanks! It is enough that the smoke does not reach my house!” Sarah shouted at him and before Ramón could say something, she was already heading to her house, walking over round white stones placed in strategic positions, like soldiers during a war, to not step on the lawn of the garden.

“If what this man eats is only sweet potatoes, I wouldn’t be surprised if his brain were full of leaves.” She muttered.

Sarah told her husband at night about the smoke. The following evening about the noisy sound made by him when he was chopping logs, then on how horrible he sang when he’s working on his field and so on. Thus, with the arrival of the new day, a new complaint came at night. On Sunday, the only day off Robert had, his wife asked him to talk to Ramón about all her altercations with him. At that time, like before, smoke rose from Ramón’s house. For Sarah, that day was the worst day she had had since they moved to that house because Robert went to Ramón’s house with a face as long as a fiddle, but after talking to him less than 30 minutes, he came back home smiling and… with a piece of sweet potato in his hands!

“Cursed be the day I came to this house and saw that man!” Sarah said.

“Ramón is a mere farmer who, by the way, is very kind. I’m not asking you to be his friend, but I see no reason whatsoever for so much hatred and despair. If you do not accept him as a neighbor, at least take him out of your mind, Sarah, out of your mind.”

But it was far too late for that. Even the slightest thing Ramón did irritated her and in order to be full aware of all of them, she put the armchair facing Ramón’s field and spent hours watching him from there. One morning, before Robert going to work, Sarah stared at him furiously.

“This man is driving me crazy, Robert. Talk to him again or I will not be held responsible for what I could do.”

In his 15 years and something of marriage with Sarah, Robert had never seen her so annoyed.

“A woman in love thinks silly things; a jealous woman does silly things, but from an angry woman, nobody knows what to expect. This situation is slipping from my grasp.” He thought.

“This Sunday, I will speak with him again. Until that, remember what I have told you: Don’t let him in. Get this man out of your head, Sarah”. Having that said, he went to his work.

Ramón’s work day began early, as usual. Around eleven, he suddenly stopped picking his green peppers, looked at the sky, took his shirt off and rushed to wash it with some other clothes he had inside an old basket.

Ramón did not belong to the category of “the handsome of the neighbourhood”, but he had an attractive and kind smile, which was in part for the beautiful whiteness of his teeth. He was not muscular either. However, the contours of his body were all sketched as if his figure had been moulded in clay by a great sculptor. He was only 26, but because of the bumps in the road of life, looked much older. He neither got married nor had children for only one reason: He only loved one woman in his entire life and loved her with all his heart to a point that instead of putting limits to love, he put them to his head. She was too much beautiful and conceited to tell him “yes” and he was too much naïve to understand her “no”.

“My wife is those blossoms you can see there and my children are the fruits that someday will come from them.” He always said to any person who asked him about his family.

“From what I can see, walking undressed from the waist up, you have no respect for other people.” Sarah yelled at him.

Ramón, as he had already done many times, greeted her with a beaming smile and told her: “Can you see those dark clouds? Over there, in the west. It means it’s going to rain and that’s for sure! So I need to wash these shirts quickly. If you are going to wash too, You’d better get down to work now because I guess you both have a lot of clothes. That means that you will need a lot of time to do the laundry and that rain is coming.”

Sarah always went off in a frenzy of rage and despair whenever she saw Ramón’s actions while he was a happy, placid and even-tempered man. Ultimately, rather than his inappropriateness, that was what she really hated most. Sarah spent the rest of the morning sitting on the armchair thinking about Ramón and, just as he had said, early in the afternoon, it was pouring with rain. At 5:20 p.m., Robert got home from work, unusually early; after all, a day of torrential rain is the worst enemy for a job at a dam. He opened the door and said hello, but his words did not receive any answer. It was then that he remembered his wife’s last words:

“This man is driving me crazy, Robert. Talk to him again or I will not be held responsible for what I could do.” (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

Don´t let him in, Sarah, don´t let him in (part 2)

December 30, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from the book True stories told as fiction)

Sarah waited until Robert relished his last sip of win to tell him what happened.

“Well, perhaps he did not have enough time to go the toilet and that’s why he had to urinate there, Sarah.”

“You don’t even know him and you already have tipped the scales in favor of the other! Believe me, Robert, this man is a barbarian. I told you before, we should not have come to live here.”

“And what else could I have done? Did you want me to make a daily commute of four hours from the nearest city to this country?” And the tone of the conversation became rather agitated.

“Can’t we at least make our fence taller?” Sarah asked. “I never want to see that troglodyte again.”

“It’s neither our fence nor our yard, Sarah. This house belongs to the firm; try to understand it and be a little be more tolerant. Besides, we are going to be here for six months only, the exact amount of time I need to repair the dam and by doing so, we can save extra money for the vacation of your dream, wherever you want. Look, I’m just asking you six months, darling, only six months.” Robert said.

Luxury vacation ideas appease the anger that prevailed in Sarah’s heart. She imagined herself walking the historic and dimly lit streets of Toledo on a summer night and enjoying Goya’s Black Paintings or having a coffee outside on a famous Parisian café and admiring Monet’s impressionist paintings. And to be fair to the person who would pay everything, they would go to one of those vineyards in Barolo, Italy, something that her husband would certainly love it. Finally, her trip would finish in Venice, under the incantation coming from the song of a gondolier.

“Well, considering those well-deserved vacations, it might be worth putting up with that animal for a while.” She said to herself.

“Well, I’ll find a way to tolerate him.” She said to her husband.

“Thanks, Sarah. And remember: Get him out of your head. I go to bed now because a long and hectic day is waiting for me tomorrow.”

Next morning, Robert left as usual and Sarah kept thinking about her trip to Europe. Everything was so quiet that silence, once a companion that brought her peace, turned at the end into a real tormentor. So she decided to open the windows, expecting to hear the sound of a bird or at least of the wind. However, the only thing that enter the house was smoke. Yes, smoke that spread throughout the living room and was threatening to engulf the whole house. With only one close neighbour, it was not difficult to guess where the smoke came from.

“What is the son of the mother ignorance and father stud doing now?” Sarah said and looked in the direction where Ramón was burning some dry leaves and branches. She sighed first and went later to the same place she left as a poisonous snake the day before. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

Don’t let him in, Sarah, don’t let him in (Part 1)

December 29, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from the book True stories told as fiction)

“Have you taken leave of your senses? Don’t you know the basic decencies of civilized society? ¿What are you doing there?”

“What you are seeing it, of course.” He answered. “I’m Christianizing this tree with the yellow water that comes out of my own fountain.”

“And now you are not only an irreverent man, but a sacrilegious one too. For goodness’ sake! Who is this?” The woman said while watching with astonished disbelief what he was doing just some meters away from her. He, however, answered nothing and seamlessly used his body and, somehow his mind too, to finish what he had started. After that, he pulled his trousers up and approached the 30-centimeter high fence that separated both houses, extended her his right “clean hand” and told her:

”Nice to meet you. My name is Ramón.”

”First, take your hand out of this property and second, I’d rather die than shake hands with you, honestly.” To get away quickly from there and him, she got hold of both sides of the fine and long skirt she was wearing, extended down to her feet to protect herself from the burning sun that wrapped her first morning up in that place, and scurried back to her house.

“My dad was right.” Ramón said. “Nobody likes the poor and nobody understands the rich.”

Ramón forgot everything as fast as many people forget their promises and began to work on his farm. He was wearing a felt hat, thick leather boots, jeans with a wide belt and a short-sleeve shirt with denim print. He never got tired of working in his field, but some memories that came to his mind from time to time made his work harder. So, rather than his body, it was his head that asked for a rest. After a couple of hours, there Ramón was, sitting on a rare and big rock shaped like a skull that was riddled everywhere. He admired his beans that began to blossom, his green peppers that could be picked already and, above all, his small wheat field.

“People get money from the city”, he said, “but it’s the country that gives us life and peace.”

The woman was sitting too, but slouched in a very comfortable European armchair having for snack cookies and tea with the memory of the incident still haunting her.

“This is the way the hoy polloi live”. She said with a mocking smile and spent the whole day inside her house, most of the time in the living room, looking at times through the window where Ramón was working. Night came, but her husband did not. She had dinner first, as usual, and after that, took a soothing bubble bath and went back to the living room until she heard the much-desired sound coming from the doorbell. Her husband entered the house, after ten in the evening, walking sideways instead of forward as symptoms of tiredness.

“I have been waiting for you all day, Robert. You are not going to believe what happened to me today. In the morn…”

“Not now, Sarah, please.” Her husband abruptly interrupted her. “Everything you want, but after taking a bath and having dinner.” He said, as if he were well accustomed to seeing the same scenery, but with different plots. Sarah did not say a word after that and went straight to prepare the bathroom for him. She placed a couple of folded bath towels and light clothing into a basket. Then, she heated up the dinner and put it on the dining table with a fine glass half-filled with full-bodied red wine, well-balanced on the palate with a pleasing finish close to the meaning of the word perfect.

Sarah had also been accustomed to her husband’s rules in the same way he did on her wife’s stories and caprices, which does not say anything good to me because since the moment habit reigns over a marriage, it falls apart or keeps the two pieces together, but without love. In both cases, the meaning is the same: The beginning of the end. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

From dream to freedom (last part)

December 9, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

Victor turned his gaze to the ceiling and noticed that all the five fans were hanging from it, right over the rotary table and the employees who were working in the middle of it. Either by a stroke of luck or by a trick of fate, it had turned out that the location of the fans coincided with the place of the lunch boxes he had already prepared and stored. Like before, he only had to double the number again. Then, he waited patiently until the boss were only several meters away from the center of the fans and then, as fast as he put the food inside the boxes every day (and he did it quickly), he began to throw the lunch boxes in the air hitting accurately either the low ceiling or the blades of the fans in their right or left side to his boss’s disgrace and luckily for the others. On that day, braised pork in a tangy tomato sauce and Neapolitan pasta were the main dish. The rest of the story is self-explanatory, I guess, since there was no part of the boss or his adorable suit without stain. The others, like children seeking refuge at the center of the circle, looked with astonishment how the lunch boxes turned into a rain of tomato sauce and pasta after hitting the blades.

Victor took out of his worn-out wallet a sum of money equal to the value of all that lunch boxes he had indirectly thrown at his boss and put it on the table. After that, he took a look at that factory and other workers, and later, he began to move slowly and serenely away that place with his hand into his pockets. Neither in the factory, city nor that country, he was never seen again.

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

From dream to freedom (penultimate part)

December 2, 2017

By Eddy Montilla.

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

Evening had fallen, but not the temperature, hence Victor´s sweat. The heat was so unbearable that workers don´t even feel up to saying a single word that could help break the monotony of their job. They just kept working, numbered and perfectly and slowly lined up as white domino pieces, but sweating as wild black horses galloping without any reason. Five fans moved trying to keep up appearances of job security to no avail since the faces and sweat of the workers brought the appalling condition and terrible humidity of that workplace to light.

I used to sing a song that taught me the value of friendship. The chorus said that when a friend is gone, there remains a gap that cannot be filled with the arrival of another friend. Today, I would give even “half of kingdom of paper and dreams” to meet the singer-songwriter and ask him: What if instead of one friend, all of them have gone away? Every day, I go straight to my room after work, almost always at the beginning of a new day and never get a phone call. I turn on my old computer looking of a single message and only find nothing. Over time, I have gotten used to waiting 365 days to be congratulated, words of congratulations that at my age are just a mere reminder of how old I am, similar to the few ones who sent them to me on that day. Nevertheless, I find myself a little bit less forgetful since I do not repeat the same phrases every year as if the copy and paste function of a computer were used.

Víctor closed his eyes trying to imagine what the last chapter of his life would be like in that place, but this time, he kept moving his hands. Few seconds later, he was forced to open them, not because of his boss’s customary yells, but when he heard the sobs of an old man leaving by the factory back gate. After that, he did not want to think anymore. I’d rather say: He could not think anymore because if a woman’s tears usually touch good people, an old man’s sobs are weights that oppress the soul. The rest of the workers remained in silent to a point that only the sound of the plastic containers could be heard. They continued their job, afraid of suffering the same fate as the old man. Only Victor gazed intently into his boss’s face that had shaped a grotesque and ludicrous landscape with its sign of fury and sarcasm at the same time.

When the boss felt the weight of someone’s eyes and had the feeling of being observed, he began to look for that man. The eyes of both gazed at one another. It was then that he went over to Victor enraged as an enclosed bull. This time, Victor was no longer fearing and quaking. He was waiting serenely for his boss with his hands into his pockets. And do not forget this: When a desperate person walks serenely or fear turns into calm, something big is going to happen and on that day, it really did. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.

From dream to freedom (part 2)

November 5, 2017

By Eddy Montilla

(Taken from Real stories told as fiction)

“I wanted to be an unpretentious writer or a good journalist.” He said in hushed tones. Today, I do not even write a letter of the alphabet, but numbers: How many lunch boxes I have prepared and how many boxes more are waiting for me until I can finally go to my room to take a rest for the next day because it’s not letters, but figures what ensure my subsistence: Less than 15 lunch boxes made, and my salary, already a pittance, is reduced; less than 10 and I will lose this job, the bane of my life, my Sysiphus masquerading as a saviour.

Victor continued thinking about his life and took without noticing his numb hands off the table with rotating movement that put in front of his eyes in small intervals the plastic containers and the different foods he had to package. The lunch boxes to be prepared every day were so many that he did not even look at the ten numbers outlining the steps to be taken. His work had become an almost daily routine and so had his life. A tear that never flew from his eyes for being deemed as a sign of imminent defeat (or perhaps for his deep pride of man) could be seen last week when he was tidying things up in his narrow room and made with his hands the same numbered steps he usually takes at work to put the food into the boxes: Automation has reached its zenith and his soul too.

He took a deep breath and repeated the same thing: “I just wanted to be an unpretentious writer or at least a good journalist. That’s all I wanted to be.” He said while he gently touched and counted each of his calluses on the right hand with his left index finger and did not have to do the same action with the other callused hand just by doubling the number.

“De nan blosadi drepensus togoshi”? (Why on earth have you stopped working?)” His boss asked with a face that looked like a chained bulldog.

Victor began to tremble in fear for the question and to sweat for another reason. It was no wonder since he could never find any trace of human sensitivity in this man’s face or words. In fact, the only visible aspect was his voracious appetite for money and banality, clearly reflected on the very expensive and impeccable way he always dressed, on his continuous gestures whenever he tidied up his suit and, above all, on the way he watched all his workers from his well heated in winter and air-conditioned in summer office, a place he never left except for rebuking or firing someone.

“Sorry, sir. You are telling me to keep working, right?” Victor said, trying to guess in his boss’s face what he could not understand from his words. Victor did not think anything until his boss went back to his office, but this time with his hands on the table.

When the absurd becomes normal, you have to make radical changes or accept your failure. And what could be more absurd than a place where you can stop thinking, but never stop moving your hands? My ten fingers, my two hands are the only things of value to this man. (TO BE CONTINUED…)

Copyright 2017 All rights are reserved.