Ampersands

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Chapter 6

I sat before the small table with the phone resting on. It was dead as my mind. Long silence enveloped that mount of time I didn’t measure. Not before long I fished a sum of money out of the jacket’s pocket. Remembering that am a free lance writer, it was easy to imagine where that money came from. I must sold a piece or something.

No credit card? No! OK!

It came to my mind a certain name for a studio, I found myself calling them, giving a name belongs to the executive producer there. Some moments of waiting have passed before I heard the voice of the secretary—A beautiful sexy vixen whose lusting exhibiting out her marvelous tites—saying he’s too busy.

The same script came true with every number I’ve tried. Either he/she’s not there, or too busy. Now am sitting before the phone with it’s empty answer-machine. I’ve gone for two weeks or so, nobody missed me, needed me, or even felt so anxious calling even to name me.

No one did.

I lit a cigarette and leaned my face on my right palm, breathing the smoke away, while asking myself what’s really going on? Hours later I was walking slowly in the streets of that city supposed to be living all the past decade, hitting spots my deeper instinct led me to, after that snobby meeting with that maniac in the café. I missed the warm smiley waitress in all the places I’ve went to. It was difficult me to invent a purpose entering places like bakery, grocer, and barber but to deal with their goods, so that I have a bottle of milk, some bread, and I got my hair cut. They all seems to know me, from an eye look or a body gesture, but they all didn’t spoke much. I couldn’t open up a dialogue about anything, just waited for my little Godot—A question says “Where have you been?”, but I didn’t hear any. Just receiving a way of careful treatment bothered me like hell.

I gone with my package to some specific places, avenues, cafes and neighborhoods which I believe there’s something waiting for me there, like a residence of an old uncle, or a gathering point for a bunch of friends. I didn’t trace anything, although I identified some faces in some places, but they are usually heading away, or simply waving their heads in the opposite direction. While I was standing around the corner in a some kind of poor, darkened neighborhood—my legs and underground took me to—I remembered a place there, just a hundred meters away of here, it’s a bookshop. I get myself near to it. A small tiny place with glassy front which typed on it the very name it comes to my mind. I memorized an old face, full of wrinkles here and there, wearing a thin glasses he always talking about its high price in pride mixed with some anguish. His wide lovely smile rose into my head, guiding me entering the place with some kind of hope.

I found that smile like it was waiting for me. He came with a warm laugh, shaking hands with his little hatchback and simple old clothes, then gave me my ever waiting Godot:

“Where have you been?”

“Ummm,” I never thought how am gonna receive Godot, but he cut me short.

“It’s the new project you told me about, right?”

I looked at him with a complete ignorance for a second, then cried “The novel! Yes, the novel.” He nodded his white-haired face and said jokingly “Yep! The Novel you bright writer,” then he bunched me softly in my shoulder “what’s happened to you, sonny? Are the pretty doctor ate your brain?”

He knows about the pretty, young doctor.

“Come, come!” he led me to his near desk, showing his wide smile to the few consumers wandering around, offer me a cup of coffee, but before I say anything he said with a laugh “Sorry! Sorry! Sorry!,” he leaned back to his chair “I always forget and serve you coffee instead of tea!” I smiled. “And—as usual—I’ll get you Coke!” He continue laughing while I was watching his face, I knew I do adore that guy.

He stood up, going out to the cans’ machine out there, then came in with the can, he handed it to “You open it! Am too old to do that!,” he said “aaaaaaaaand do not tell me ‘God help you with women, chief!’ like you always saying!“. He has a great appetite for laughing, I must admit.

And like it was with the waitress—with different means of course—I found myself smiling.

“Why are you that quietness, champ?!” He asked.

“I really don’t know,” I replayed “maybe it’s your charm or something!”

“Get out!” He’s laughing again.

I opened the can and lift it to my lips. He didn’t got me a glass because he knows I do like to drink it like this. That’s what hit my brain back then.

“But you really didn’t tell me, what’s about your novel?”

“Just in the first three chapters” I answered without hesitating, I thought.

He nodded his head as an old wise man. “Yea, it takes time” he said.

“Yes”.

“And by the way, you’ve been sold two more copies!” He said while a sudden glamorous shining coming out of his eyes.

Two copies of what?!

Oh!

“The short-stories collection! Yea…Yea!” I cried.

He looked at me the way you give a maniac, then said quietly, while pressing in his words “Yea. The short-stories collection,” he bent forward near to my head “what’s wrong with you?”

“Nothing.”

“don’t say nothing! I know this nothing."

I kept hushed.

“Come on! We are friends for over a decade here! Since you first arrived here!”

“I know and I do treasure that so very much.”

“It seems not.”

His voice’s tone made me look at him. All the time I was just looking nowhere. I find his doggy look upon his poor face. The guy is really care for me.

I nodded my face down. “If you don’t wanna talk, it’s ok,” he said “but you know I do care for you as a son”.

“Look. You may not believe me if I told you that” I murmured.

“What?” he said with an abrupt cheerfulness.

“Ooookieee!,” I said helpless “Today I woke up….”

And I continued telling that strange story, he leaned back to his chair, and fell into a complete silent. I finished my story with “And I came here just by instinct. And they happily lived ever after!“. He kept silent, looking at me with fixed still eyes. I felt weird, because it was the first moment me being here I couldn’t red his eyes. He turned to a solid box. He sat still without even move a thumb. I was quivering my knees in nervous way, biting my lower lip, and looking at him.

“Why you are escaping your true you?“. He said with a very calm tone.

I didn’t get it. I kept looking at his face which gradually—but in fast stages—turned wicked into my eyes. Those harmless eyes with a genteel shining became devilish and sharp. His wrinkles which gives you the feeling of good and wise heart turned to be more like a hideous deformation. That welcoming wide smile became sly and nasty. I felt like I must get out of here. I catch the brown paper bag of mine and I was standing when he cuffed my hand with an odd strength, looking straight into my eyes.

“Why?“. He whispered.

Annoyance is what overwhelmed me meeting the other guy in the café. You can add fear in here. I couldn’t divert my eyes away of his. “Don’t be afraid, I can’t harm you,” he kept whispering “aren’t you amazed why we always meet? You, me, and him? Why you always coming to us? Why you are familiar with that face, while I never met you with before?“.

I was lost.

His fest almost crunch my hand, sweat is gushing all over it. Dizziness. Bizarre loosen eating me.

“What the two of you want from me?”

“Are you still ignorant?”

“What the two of you want from me?“. My tone became bristly. I didn’t meant that.

“To be reunited,” he whispered with his endless quietness “to have you back”.

“I’ve never been with you!” I shouted.

“Yes, you were”. He said without a blink.

“Who’s the hell are you?” I began to be hysteric. once more I didn’t meant that.

“You know it deep down your heart, sonny”.

I finally grabbed my hand vigorously, “Am not your fucken son!” I yelled.

“How come?“. He said with his shit eating smile “He’s the holy spirit, and am the father, and you—accordingly—is……………”

He stopped, looking at me.

I felt nothing.

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