I cannot explain how good it felt to write today. We are in the middle of a tropical storm with still three more days of rain, wind, thunder, and lightning to go, so I took a “stay in bed” day.
I tuned into Clair de Lune by Debussy and for a while playing with the ideas of where I wanted Javier and Anel’s journey to travel as it unfolds in the story. Once I started typing it was fabulous and before I knew it chapter 13 had plugged itself into the story. Yes, I know it is only one chapter, however, considering that it has taken me nine months, since my beloved Ali’s death, to get this far I am thrilled.
So just to get you as excited over Javier and Anel as I am, you can read chapter 13 below (unedited);
*Chapter Thirteen – Hometown*
A week of romping in the Caribbean ocean and doing pretty much nothing other eating and sleeping, Javier hired a car and headed toward Valladolid, his hometown. It was a grey day – the heavy rain clouds had been brewing at the end of each scorching hot day but had not released a single drop of rain. This day though would be different; those clouds meant business. Javier kept looking up at the sky as he drove hoping that they would at least wait until he reached his destination before unleashing havoc on the roads. At twenty kilometers outside Valladolid, the first huge blop of water fell on the windscreen of the car. He mumbled in Spanish looking up at the sky through the windscreen once more, “ ai, no podrias esperar otros quince minutes.”
The bright Mexican colors of the old colonial buildings welcomed Javier as he entered the main square of the town, the central park and huge church steeple submerged in the grey hue of the rain smiled at him; welcoming him home.
Javier sighed, relieved at the comforting feeling of returning to his hometown. He parked the rental car near the market opposite the park and remained seated staring at the surroundings of the historic town. He looked at himself in the park playing and running up and down while his parents sold items at the market. He saw himself drawing on the paper attached to the easels in the park, discovering his artistic talent. How far removed had he become, how much had his art changed? He sighed again. His realization that his art was far, far removed from what he knew his heart desired to paint. He felt a deepening sadness tugging at him, or was that his stomach that growled. Javier shook the melancholy from his mind and dashed the market, and some delicious home-style Mexican food. He absorbed the vibe of the market even in the pouring rain, a market of food aromas from the various kiosks.
The small house he grew up in was only a few blocks from where he sat in the market, and he wondered how much if at all it had changed. From what he experienced in the town nothing had changed in Valladolid. The town was caught up in a bubble frozen in time, remaining as it was in the 1980’s. He wondered who lived there now and would they invite him inside to walk down the memories he placed there. Pondering on these thoughts, he dodged the rain on his way back to his car.
Ten meters away from him a battered delivery van screamed through the red traffic lights; not having sufficient or adequate brakes on the wet and waterlogged surface the van skidded sideways when the driver tried to avoid Javier. Without success! The side of the rusted van connected Javier sending him flying meters from where he was walking. He lay on the ground unconscious or dead; the onlookers couldn’t tell the difference. The driver of the van ran away and disappeared into the alleyways never to be seen or heard from again.
The paramedics and police were on the scene within minutes, accessing Javier’s situation and stabilizing him as best as possible; just enough to get him to the hospital. With the sirens blaring the ambulance, with a police escort, raced toward the only hope Javier had of survival. From his identity card in his wallet, his was determined not to be a John Doe and admitted to the operating theatres in the emergency unit of the hospital. The police searched for any next kin, found none then searched his phone for contacts. One contact was regularly dialed, and so they dialed that number. Convinced he would not survive the next critical forty-eight hours the police knew they had to have someone to identify the body.
Jim Nordicksy sat motionless in the waiting room of the ICU; it was two days since the accident and Javier was hanging on by a thread. He was given all Javier’s belongings, and as he sat in the armchair numb and without thought, he fiddled with Javier’s broken watch. They had their differences, and perhaps their relationship was mostly business, but Jim loved Javier like a brother. He was gutted to the core that this had happened to him. Dr. Miguel Dizb interrupted his dull thoughts by introducing himself as the lead physician. They sat at the small round table in the corner of the room, Dr. Dizb cleared his throat and shifted in his chair; Jim knew he was on the receiving end of bad news.
“The injuries are severe but he has made it through these first forty-eight hours, and this is a huge step in the right direction. He is in an induced coma….” The blood drained from Jim’s face at the mere mention of a coma. Dr. Dizb quickly stood and went to the water dispenser, poured purified water into a cup and returned to Jim insisting he drink it immediately. “The induced coma is to help him recover. We will bring him out of it in a day or two when his vitals improve, and we feel he will be strong enough to handle the discomfort and pain.”
“His injuries?” Jim mumbled.
“They are numerous. A couple of broken ribs pierced his lungs, broke bones – a lot of broken bones, head trauma; actually to be quite honest we do not know how he survived his injuries. There is certainly someone looking after him.” Dr. Dizb looked heavenward, and Jim nodded.
“He is a Christian, strong faith from what I know of him. Can I see him?”
“Well yes, that would explain it then. You can go in for a few minutes; since you are all he has here I will make sure the staff considers you as family.”
“Thank you, doctor.” Jim rose with Dr. Dizb; his voice was as unsteady as his feet as he trudged beside Dr. Dizb toward the ICU unit, fearing what he was about to see.
What he did encounter caused him to collapse into the chair next to Javier’s bed and weep. There were dozens of machines and Javier was literally enclosed in a case of plaster and bandages. All Jim could see of Javier was his swollen eyes, nose, and mouth. His beautiful locks of hair had been shaved off, and Jim contemplated if it was even Javier lying there; perhaps it was a case of mistaken identity. He looked at Javier’s hand, and there was no mistaking those hands. He knew those artistic hands belonged to his friend and he continued to weep.
Jim had no idea what to do in this situation. He had never been on this road before. Should he pray – to whom and what would he say. “Maybe I should speak to Javier’s God; I’m sure he is somehow connected to why he is still alive?” Jim spoke silently to himself. He laid his hand gently on Javier’s scratched and bruised hand and closed his eyes. “Javier’s God, if you around please help him. I don’t know you, but Javier believed in you so much, so help him please.” He didn’t know what else to say, so he sat there staring at the mummified body on the bed and tried to shut out the sounds of the machines.
He was exhausted and said goodnight to Javier and went to check into a hotel across the road from the hospital. He needed to attend to business that he hurriedly left back in Miami but would be in the right frame of mind to concentrate on anything; he doubted it. He checked in, dumped his overnight bag and laptop on the chair and crashed on the bed, and remained in the same position until morning. Waking up he was confused at first as to where he was, once he figured that out he immediately phoned the hospital to check on Javier’s status. No change the nurse informed him; well that was better than the negative he surmised.
Carys’s dust flustered in an unfamiliar manner; she was watching Anel type away on her latest blog bored and frustrated that she was still in this spiritual state. She felt a strange sensation suddenly, a tugging sensation coming from somewhere else; from somewhere far away. She hovered away from Anel, and the sensation grew stronger. Was it finally time for her to leave this existence of dust? Fixing herself to the glass of the window the urge to leave the room became stronger, and at the same time, her heart was calling her back. She did not know what to do. Void of human feelings this sensation was the closest she had felt to any form of the human senses that she knew something was wrong somewhere. She fluffed her dust aggravated that she did not know what it meant. Anel was leaving soon on her holiday, so perhaps this is what the feeling was connected to although it was not a convincing argument.
What do you think of the chapter, I’d love to have your opinions and thoughts on it.