By Eddy Montilla.
(Taken from Real stories told as fiction).
Chris ran his hands through his hair and later used them to cover his mouth. The back-and-forth movements of his eyes betrayed his calculations and skepticism. On their way back, Chris and Erika were both physically and emotionally separated.
”From here, I will go home alone. The dinner was good. Thank you very much for everything.” She said and went away while Chris stood frozen there, watching her become smaller through the distance until disappearing into the darkness. He did not know what to think or what to do. He just stood there completely indifferent to time, to the snow that started to fall, indifferent to that place and beyond. Some time later, once at home, he lay down on the bed, unable to sleep that night. His action did not worry him so much as the indelible impression that Erika’s impassive face and her twenty years of forced abstinence made on him.
”How on earth could her husband sentence her to something like that for a reason like that? How many Erikas are living here?” He asked himself.
The following days were long and confusing for Chris. He decided to make a long trip to think deeply about his future and, above all, because a bad experience is more traumatic when you are closer to it. At the station, his patience was tested when he couldn’t read the instructions on how to use the ticket machine. He was good at controlling his emotions, but always had difficult times when he had to conceal them. So, the customer behind him knew exactly what was going on, and with little spontaneous but correct English, helped him buy his ticket.
”Thank you, and you speak very well.”
”Oh, no! We can’t speak English and you know that, Chris. I am a psychologist. By the way, my wife told me that all the students had a wonderful time during the party the other day.”
”Why does he know my name? Is he Erika’s husb…? No way, Chris. He said clearly: “All the students…”
Chris felt safe and breathed a sigh of relief. He said goodbye to him amid the noise of trains that were coming and leaving the station.
”Thanks for helping Erika with her English!” He shouted.
Chris was petrified with his right foot on the ground and his left leg motionless in air like flamingoes fleeing from cold waters. He glanced at the sky, went back to where Erika’s husband was and while shaking hands with him, left the ticket on his palm.
”I return to San Antonio right now.” He said with his hands into his pockets and walking away calmly while Erika’s husband found himself dumbfounded for seconds trying to figure out Chris’ actions.
”Chris, are you all right? If you have problems, I can help you. I am a psychologist. Chris さん(san), Chris さん(san)!”
Chris stopped walking, turned around and told him: “Do me a favor, please. Use that ticket and go immediately to see a doctor, I mean, another psychologist, but more normal than you and ask him: “What’s Hell, doctor, twenty years without love when you are still young or the next twenty years when you realize you can’t make love?”
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