Waiting for Havana

No more, no less, than fifty years had passed since they all had disappeared and he had been left.

Vilero, as they called him, was staring toward the distant coast of America: a dark line that fringed the distant horizon, barely visible in the mist of the Carribean. The scarlet rays of the setting sun could not penetrate this mist. It was gray or white or a pale blue, and heavy as a blanket of lead.

Sitting on the seawell stretched across the island’s coast, like he had every night since they’d left. The Malecón held back the waves unceasingly, but what was it guarding; what was it protecting from the tide? There was nothing left here. The pale glow of the streetlights reflected off the water and fell upon the cold cement of the Malecón. Its illumination did not reveal anything, and the whispers of the streets were silent. He remembered this same night.

An hour passed. The rain had begun to fall, and Vilero remained. A collection of boys crowded into an empty doorway to hide from the torrent of water from above. Their breath was warm, their hands shaking with energy and just beginning to feel the cold. It hadn’t rained like this in a very, very long time. Vilero was waiting for snow in Havana, but perhaps this freezing rain was the closest he would ever come.

He didn’t know exactly how long it had been, for whenever he tried to remember his mind was clouded with memories of those he had lost. The streets had raised him, and they had raised him well, but a son always takes the spirit of his father. Vilero was the son of these muttering streets.

He slipped off the Malecón, plunging into the waters of the Carribean. They were not as warm as they had been years ago, and while they weren’t cold, a strange chill shivered up Vilero’s old body as he sank. He did not even struggle as he died, and it was not a death of fear or sadness. This was the end he had been waiting for. This is the happy ending.

A corpse floated to the surface, exposing itself to the night air. A young couple were sitting by the Malecón, and they saw the body. They stared at it, but did not move.

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