« on: April 01, 2015, 08:51:18 pm »
She took off with expert heel shod strides before I even finished standing. “We do not have much time,” she said again. She pulled out her phone from the clutch and began dialing. It rang and when the other end answered she spoke, her Spanish flowing, its pace the same as her English but smoother, less awkward. More than ever I wished I understood it. She hung up and turned sharply to the right.
“We are lucky,” she said.
The last week struck my mind like a sledgehammer. “W-we are?”
She laughed. “We are very lucky! There is a rental shop still open. The hotel manager is going to call ahead for us as a favor. I knew flirting with him would pay off.” She stopped and looked at me for a moment, a look of scrutiny, like she was seeing me for the first time. “I hope they have something in your size. Most men here they are a bit…”
“Shorter?” I said.
She hurried on through the streets and I followed and this was Colombia. It was rails of barbed wire and beautiful people painting the blurs of my vision, towed by family, or the occasional malevolent godlike being, or worse, this smirking woman. I knew so little of it. I knew so little of her.
“So have you always lived in Bogota, or…” I said.
“Now? You ask me this now?”
“We aren’t doing anything.”
“You aren’t doing anything! I am planning to steal one of the most precious artifacts of my country’s history!”
“I am from Cali,” she said.
“Ah. El Gato del Rio, the barrio Normandia,” I said, remembering two weeks ago that was more like a year.
“You have been? I grew up a long way from the barrio Normandia. It was not so nice. It is not safe there now, but then it was worse. It was a dangerous time for Colombia, a bad time.”
I stayed quiet.
“My mother was a maid for a wealthy family,” she went on, “she stayed there most nights. They were kind. They paid for me to go to the German school and I went from there to university in Canada.”
“What brought you to Bogota?”
“Work,” she said.
I laughed. “Better thieving in the capital?”
“I was not always a thief, J,” she said quietly. She quickened her pace.
I limped after, cursing myself. There was too much I did not understand.