The next thing I felt was the warmth of the sun. The selva was coming to life. I heard birds and insects and the chatter of the monkeys. I opened my eyes. I stood, stretched and yawned. I was hungry and headed for the kitchen door. As I reached for the door handle, Señor Alvarez was opening the door to go outside.
“Oh, there you are.” Alvarez looked me over from head to foot.
“I must have dozed off out here in the swing.”
“Join me for coffee.” He looked at my clothes. “Do change your shirt.” He made a disgusted face and gestured toward the sweat stains.
I was a mess, “Yes, good idea.”
We entered the kitchen and I hurried on up the stairs. As soon as I got into the room I removed the shirt, and washed my hands and face and arms. I needed a shave but I thought it better to wait on that. I was back down at the kitchen table where Señor Alvarez was sipping his coffee.
Maria Terèsa set a bowl of soup, and a plate of empanadas in front of me. She searched my eyes as she poured my coffee. “Enjoy, señor.” She turned back to her work.
“Consider yourself lucky, that old bruja says very little to anyone.”
The soup tasted excellent and the empanadas were just like my mother’s.
“Aguila, as soon as you finish, we’ll be off.”
“And la señora?”
Alvarez let out an ironic chuckle, “Alma? No, my friend she sleeps, it seems more and more. Anyway, she has no interest in things like this.” Alvarez left the room.
I drank my coffee and stuffed two empanadas in my shirt pocket.
Maria Terèsa approached me and grabbed my wrist. She spoke with some urgency. “Take her away with you.”
“Abuelita, please, I am here to do work for el señor, nada mas, nothing more.” I gently removed her hand. “I can do nothing.”
“You choose to do nothing.” She took my wrist again, this time she held on harder. “You are her only hope and she is your only hope.”
“Aguila, come along!” Alvarez called from the hallway. “We’re taking the Jeep. Let’s get going.”
I put my hand on top of Maria Terèsa’s, “I will think on it.” I took one last sip of coffee and rushed after Alvarez.