enero 21, 2011

Chapter 1 " Hurried Times"

            I remember it perfectly, almost as if it were yesterday.  It was near the end of the year 1899 and many changes were coming for our village, the city and, I believe, for the world in general.  Political changes, changes in fashion, even changes in marital state for many, and I still don’t understand why the belief that one must be married before the start of the new century came about, maybe it was simple superstition
            Everyone rushed to find a wife, to build or remodel houses, etc.  Everything around me was constantly in motion.
            For me, I tried to distance myself from that particular foolishness in that time of outrage and frivolity.  Isolated from all that, I lived with my adopted family on a small farm to the south of the village, very close to the mountains that surrounded it, just behind the Great Lake.
            The countryside was amazing, the air carrying the pleasing odor of mint and the perfume of the purple flowers, the intense color in sharp contrast to the green of the thin blanket of herbs and sprinkling of yellow tulips.
            I spent my days helping with the chores around the farm, which were not a few, and didn’t even see much of my closest neighbors, a woman, Mercedes, and her daughter, Nassay.
Mercedes, who lived in a little house to the east of the lake, some 400 meters from the edge of our farm, was a lovely woman who made a delicious roast horse.  Her daughter, the young Nassay, was truly beautiful.  She had a penetrating gaze and long jet-black hair, and lips that…she was most beautiful creature that I had ever seen.  Not only was she beautiful, she was very intelligent and well-educated, the smartest girl in the whole village.  Nassay had also inherited her mother’s culinary talents, making pastries that won every year in the county’s spring dessert competition.
I remember that year in particular.  How could I ever forget?  She was turning twenty in April, and with that age reached legal adulthood.  As was the custom, there was a grand party for all the youth of the village to attend.
I was, one day, repairing damage to our fence when I heard my mother shouting for me.  Surprised, I immediately ran to see what was wrong.
What’s wrong, mother?” I asked her worriedly.
“They’ve come to see you, my son,” she said with a tone that intrigued me.
The amazement on my face must have been obvious as I saw that selfsame angel standing in the front hall of my house waiting for me; for me, the strangest and most withdrawn youth of the village
“He-he-hello, how are you?” I stammered uncontrollably, legs trembling.
Nassay smiled, perfectly aware of the nervous thrills that were running through every inch of my body and said, “Hello, Daniel, I’ve come to invite you to my birthday party.  Also, I need you to do me a big favor.”
“Y-y-yeah, of course, wh-whatever you w-w-want,” I stumbled again.
“Great!  My mother and I need you to fix the fence around the garden for us.  It’s broken and the horses have eaten all of the vegetables.  It’s a disaster!”
“Okay, tomorrow first thing I’ll be there and everything will be good as new.”
Thank you so muchI knew I could count on you.  And for that I brought you this cake I myself made just a moment ago.  Be careful, it’s still hot!”
“Thank you, Nassay, you needn’t have bothered.”
It’s no bother, I made it especially for you, Daniel”
My face instantly reddened as if a bonfire raged beneath my skin.  My mother began to laugh, with great gulps of laughter that made me even more uncomfortable, y Nassay bid us farewell, somewhat flushed, and left.
I returned to my worked and wanted to finish repairing the fence, but it was impossible for me to concentrate.  I saw her all around me.  Everywhere I looked, I saw her face.  I tried to hammer a nail into the fence but only succeeded in smashing my hand.

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