This is a part of a longer story that I have been writing over the last few weeks.
See here for the last part of the story, which also contains links to all the others, if you want to read more:
The next day Pablo woke early. The sun was just coming up over the horizon, its light slowly ebbing into the dark night sky, hiding all its stars and turning it blue and getting brighter and brighter towards the east.
He put a small pack together, a change of clothes and a few simple belongings, he didn’t own much. He also put on the silver St Christopher charm necklace that his mother had given him. He didn’t usually wear it as the memories of his mother filled him with that longing for her touch that would never come. It was a charm to protect travellers and he was going with his Uncle Carlos to the City of Valencia. Likely, he would need its protection now.
Quietly he went down the ladder to the main parlour. It was the main room of the house which was a kitchen, dining room and living area all rolled into one. His father’s bedroom was the other room on this level and upstairs was a room for his Aunt and his own little room.
His Aunt was already up and making breakfast. She looked at him with sad eyes.
“So you are still determined to go are you? Pablo, your Father loves you, he just doesn’t realise it. We need each other. You should stay.”
“I love you Aunt, and I suppose I love my Father too. I am fifteen years old. That is old enough for my Father to realise whether he loves me or not. I am not going to stay here cringing like some cur waiting for his affection. This is an opportunity to become a man and I mean to take it.”
“Your Uncle Carlos is not to be trusted. Remember that. I love him, he is my brother, but he is not to be trusted.”
The door to his Father bedroom opened and his Father came out. He looked like he hadn’t slept much, his greying hair was messy and the undershirt he wore needed a wash.
“So you’re off are you?” His father said gruffly. There were no tears in his eyes.
Pablo remembered one of his Grandmothers favourite sayings. She said that the “Wind may blow your house down, but it sheds no tears”. His father was like that wind.
“Yes Father. I am leaving now. Good bye.”
His Aunt came over to him carrying something wrapped in a chequered cloth.
“Here is some food for the journey, nothing much, just some bread with ham and cheese.” She gave him a hug which he briefly returned.
Then he quickly left the little house that he had always called home.
He walked along the quiet streets and slowly more people came out of their houses getting ready for the day. He walked up the hill towards the only tavern where his Uncle Carlos was staying. The tavern was on the northern side of the house by the main road that wound its way over the hills and valleys until if finally reached the grand city of Valencia. He had heard many tales about the city, but the only person he knew who had been there was his Uncle Carlos.
As he approached the Tavern which was set back, next to the road and had large stables next to it, he saw his Uncle standing outside smoking a cigar.
“There you are, my boy. I wasn’t sure you’d come. You could have changed your mind; I wouldn’t blame you if you did. I know how hard it is to leave the comfort of your home and family for a life of uncertainty. I did that fifteen years ago myself, when I wasn’t much older than you are now.”
“What made you leave Uncle?”
“Lots of things, I never got on so well with your Grandfather. Nor did I get on well with your Father. I was always close to my Mother and to Anna-Maria. They had the kindest hearts. The last straw was the fact that both your father and I loved the same girl. A beautiful girl, your Mother was. She had the most lovely smile. However she clearly preferred your Father to me and when they got married, I decided to make myself scarce. I didn’t exactly make my fortune in the big city, but I am no pauper either. There is plenty of opportunity there for a young man whose is willing to work. Or who knows a trick or two. Let’s head off shall we? I have bought you a pony to ride. It isn’t the best, but it will be better than walking.”
Pablo got up carefully onto the pony. It didn’t look like it was particularly young and he thought it had a bit of a mulish look about it. He was grateful that it appeared to be placid and slow. He had been brought up with boats and had very little experience with horses.
They rode out of town, his Uncle taking the lead on his more impressive black horse, followed by his pack mule, then Pablo bringing up the rear.
As they climbed the hill Pablo turned to look back. He could just about see the large white casa in the distance. He could also see a figure standing on its porch. It was too far to be able to identify who it was but he knew it was her. It was Margarita.
“I’ll come back for you one day. I promise.” Pablo whispered into the wind.
He wanted to cry, but as his grandmother said, the Wind shed’s no tears. He had to be like the wind.
The End of Part Five……
Copyright: Kristian Fogarty 26/April/2018