The past days


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With the entry of autumn we return with a new story, "The past days" is a story of courage and courage that takes place between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A story that tells the life of a girl made woman who descends from a wealthy family, and by misfortunes of the time is losing positions on the social ladder. Showing the subsistence problems faced by a woman at that time and making great sacrifices to overcome how many difficulties they face.

We hope you like it!!!


Chapter 1. A kid for San José v

"Time is like a river that quickly drags everything that is born." Marco Aurelio, Roman emperor of 161 to 180 dC

19 of March of 1935, the warm winter in the field of Cartagena gives its last snatches, that inevitable advance of the days that postpone the sunset, announces the coming of a new station. Where the terms of San Javier, Torre Pacheco and Murcia are confused, the landscape is markedly rural, a space dotted with labor lands and small towns that have been extended to the heat of the parishes and their annexes. In it live small estates with vast latifundios, which give shelter in their domains to humble houses of farmers who develop their agrarian activity in exchange for the payment of a rent; sometimes in money, many in kind. Wheat and olive predominate in this place as elemental sustenance of the villagers, too, although to a lesser extent vines, figs and garroferos. Life is especially hard because of the scarcity of the most precious commodity for existence; the water, depending mostly on occasional rains, both for irrigation of the fields and for use in the home and animal husbandry. The product that gives the land is the engine of an economy oriented to self consumption, and the few surpluses are used for barter, sale or payment in kind for the relief of the family. Plowing the pot is the most present concern in the day to day of its people.

In a few days, there will be four dates since King Alfonso XIII had to leave the country embarking from the port of Cartagena to exile to France. These are times of turmoil and uncertainty in a Spain recently stripped of its last imperial strongholds. A decadence that keeps it irremediable away from the European vanguard. In Rosa's house, as in many other homes in the area, they are foreign to the future of the country. In their daily work, there are no such concerns, always more focused on the survival and well-being of their families. There is no room for distractions that do not concern them. Little José María, who is five years old, shows an overwhelming vitality; jumps, runs and causes his older brothers, Antonio and Joaquin to chase after him. The three of them have gone ahead by the way that crosses the town towards the house of the grandmother Rosa. It's close to noon. After them, his father Antonio follows them with steady pace, keeps the distance, they know that his father is watching them, and for the respect they have not want to disturb him. Antonio looks at them, but his head is somewhere else, he twists the gesture, it hurts to remember those who are no longer on a day like that, he does not want to be sad, or at least prove it. As a man he is, he must maintain his integrity and remain strong in feeling, a mirror where his children can look. The crossing comes to an end after traveling for more than a kilometer along paths and paths that are far from the town, stop before a humble house of one body. Two windows without bars look at noon, in front a sturdy pine holds the only shadow that relieves the raw summer evenings. At the door, the three children stop until his father arrives, Antonio pushes the door ajar and sneaks through a corridor that leads to the main room of the house. A small wooden table with six chairs of honor presided over that room, a still unlit candle hanging from one of the walls, and a portrait drawn by a couple from another time, are the only ornaments that break with the monotony of those sober bathed walls of lime. Around the wood-burning stove two women speak in a friendly tone, one of them is Carmen, Antonio's wife, the other is an old woman in her seventies, dressed in rigorous mourning, ankle-length skirt and a button-down blouse . With piercing eyes, green eyes and haughty gesture. His tired complexion of years, shows the ravages of a life that squeezes but does not drown, every indelible imprint that time has engraved on his face reveals the weight of his existence.

Upon entering, Antonio announces his arrival. "To the peace of God!" The children continue with the salute, "grandmother!", Then the three of them approach the old lady who corresponds with gestures of approval touching their heads. Instinctively, Antonio seeks the look of that old woman who soon finds, both are interpreted with brief secrecy. After a few seconds of silence, "How is the morning mother?" He asked. "Good, son. Preparing the meal we have been. She replied briefly without going into more detail. Rosa did have some last-minute ailment, she's not one who liked to worry her own. That day was a date marked in red on the calendar, it's the San Jose onomastic; head and defender of the Holy Family, he who devoted himself to the mission of protecting the Son of God. In days like this, I used to eat meat, only reserved for special dates. By the late afternoon of the day before, Carmen and her mother-in-law had killed a kid who had been working hard at home. Hanging in the patio, the evening's helor would prepare it for another day. Sitting at the table, the children eat eagerly because on rare occasions the daily menu of crumbs varies with some hard-boiled egg. Rosa interrupts the silence of the one who has everything said with brief comments, "Pepito, who is your saint today, and we do not know when we will see each other. The little Jose Maria answers with an accomplice smile that to the old one it fills of satisfaction. The happiness that seizes him to have these three young men at his table appeases the uneasiness of the memories that overwhelm him. "Take the teaching that this old gentlemen gives you," he added, "time is life, and life is time. "It's all about time. Of the time you give, of the time you give, of what you have, of what you waste, of which you enjoy ... Everything is a matter of time. It's the most valuable thing you have and it's the most valuable thing anyone can give you. "


Chapter 2. Prayer to San Miguel

It's midnight. In the distance one perceives a ringing of bells, twelve touches; twelve roars of bronze announce a new day, they announce that the present is past. The night is completely closed, it is a new moon, and were it not for the oil lanterns that vaguely illuminate those broken streets on the north bank of the Segura, we would believe to be in the very hades. The silence dominates everything, sometimes broken by the passage of some serene who watches so that the lanterns are still on. They are the first instants of an October 30; of an 30 Wednesday 1861 October. Located in one of the suburbs of the north of the city of Murcia, occupying part of the old wall that surrounded the city, a set of houses of the same estate with its plot of orchard, very close to the House of the Misericordia and the factory of the silk. From there and in the stealth of the night, you can hear the traffic of the water through the main irrigation channel aljufía.

In one of these houses, despite the untimely schedule, there is no rest for the moment, there is an uneasiness. Something is coming, screams of pain are heard, a female voice bitterly complains, there is not too much truce, the bellows do not cease, the disturbing echo of that woman redoubled its intensity. At the door of the bedroom, a handsome man in his thirties, wanders from side to side, his mustache is touched insistently, his shirt is rolled up, and the buttons on his waistcoat are loosened. It does not know how to contain that swarm of feelings. Inside, 3 women attend restless to the mourner who finds no rest.
"By God, this woman has been in pain since ten o'clock this morning!" Dona Luisa, I have to get the baby out as soon as possible, or her daughter and her grandson are leaving. The midwife said in a serious tone.
"Come, Rosa, my daughter, take a deep breath and push!" Dona Luisa replied, holding her hand in unconditional maternal warmth.
The effort and torment that the woman was suffering for hours made her lose consciousness. Anguish flooded.
"Quick Joaquina tell Antonio to get cold water out of the well!" Dona Luisa demanded the fifth of her eight children.
The midwife experienced in these arts applied an ointment on the lower belly of the exhausted woman to ease the pain. "Cold water girls, Miss!" He demanded it next.
"Daughter, we have to entrust ourselves to St. Michael. Lets go to pray! Dona Luisa proposed
In a few minutes, Rosa regains consciousness. Still stunned, she asks for water, she is thirsty. The midwife pressing on her abdomen tries to place the child who refuses to come to this world.
"Mistress Rosa, relax, she's already here." Come on, one more effort.
After a strenuous day of earthly help and divine help, the creature begins its life outside the womb. It's one o'clock in the morning.
-It's a girl! And she's healthy! Announces the midwife.
Delivering it to his mother, the breeding breaks in his first cry that gives them calm. The man waiting outside; Antonio, upon hearing the sob, enters the room with a start. Dona Luisa tells her that she is a child. His gesture reveals nothing but worry.
"Are you both well?" He asks.
He would have preferred a boy, but under such circumstances, having his wife and daughter alive was all he could ask for.

It's the morning of 31, just a day later. The young Joaquina carries in her arms the newborn wrapped in a linen sheet. Accompanied by Antonio they go to baptize the girl to the parish of the Archangel San Miguel, to few meters of the house. Aware that any lesser evil could claim the frail life of a little one, no one dared to postpone baptism more than strictly necessary. With this rite of initiation to Christianity the newborn was purified of the original sin and in case of premature death would avoid that its soul wandered eternally in the limbo.
The temple under the invocation of the Archangel St. Michael is an outstanding parish raised at the beginning of 1700 and located on ancient places of worship. Through the arch of the main door, the aunt and the father of the girl enter through the central aisle to the first benches, there they contemplate with reverence the stature of San Miguel, work of Nicholas Salzillo, father of the prolific sculptor Murcia. Raised and ruling the high altar, a warrior angel, leader of the heavenly armies and messenger of God, wields a sword in his right hand and a shield on the left, bowing at his feet to Satan himself in representation of evil.
Received by the priest, he asks with solemnity that when he was born and what name they want for this daughter of God. Antonio replied: "He came to the world in the first hour yesterday. We want him to name Rosa as his mother, and Micaela in honor of Saint Michael for blessing us with his protection.

-This girl will be called Rosa Claudia Micaela, Rosa for her mother, Claudia will be for Claudio de Leon martyred an 30 of October and will be Micaela by our employer. Sentenced the priest immediately warning his godmother the spiritual kinship that bound the child and the obligations involved ...


Chapter 3. A distinguished visit.

«Dream the king who is king, and live
with this deception sending,
arranging and governing;
and this applause, which receives
borrowed, in the wind writes,
and in ashes it turns
death, strong misery! […] »
Pedro Calderón de la Barca, Life is a dream

The miracle of life breaks through the avatars of one's own existence as a reckless warrior in open battle. From the first heartbeat, the portico of a winding labyrinth advances towards us, and with it a path that at times runs through steep climbs, other so many by paved plains or vertiginous descents.
A becoming subjected to the vagaries of chance and the unappealable causality.
Rosa Claudia Micaela, was born in a family of certain accommodation, his father Antonio serves as a butler of a distinguished distinguished city, and although he is not a native of the province of Murcia enjoys some consideration among the people around him. By maternal line descends from a Murcian family with a long tradition of small owners; his late grandfather Don Joaquin left behind a considerable amount of properties scattered throughout the Cartagena countryside, inherited by 1850, which were distributed to his widow and his eight children, among them the mother of the recently lit.

Little Rosa grows up in a moderately privileged environment, without faults or narrowness in a time very used to them. The yields of the lands of Pacheco's term together with the benefits that his father obtains under the protection of the Señorito allow them to survive with some relief. Antonio, although of humble origin, is among the three million Spaniards out of a total of fifteen who can read and write; he is a correct man, prudent and sparing of words, conditions that have earned him the trust and respect between certain circles of Murcia society. Rosa madre is a young woman who is not in her thirties, and since she lost her father unexpectedly when she was fifteen years old, her mother, dona Luisa, had to double her efforts to get her 8 children out. Since then, the family economy has suffered from having to face extraordinary expenses. However, the important number of properties that Don Joaquin accumulated during his life has meant a good umbrella to protect himself from the storm.

The last days of October of 1862 are over, the first year in the life of the little Rosa is approaching, her intense green eyes are becoming more curious, she is awake and does not miss those who, in her step, offer her a carantoña. Health is respecting her, if she continues like this, she may go ahead and become a good girl. He already babbles in response to the stimuli of his mother, and crawls to the last corner of the house.

Morning of Friday 24 of October. Murcia is adorned to receive a distinguished visit. Antonio, in the patio of the house begins to prepare the atalajes to hook the tartana, the beast is a chestnut mare of good bearing and elegant in the step. This catches your attention, "Doncella!" He exclaimed. The animal in noble and serene gesture approaches its owner, Antonio places the rigging without making any elusive movement. Once the carriage is arranged, Rosa and the girl settle into it; Antonio shakes the reins on the back of the animal, and this starts at noon leaving behind the neighborhood of San Miguel. The trip will not be long, but it is presumed to be especially exciting.

Murcia is exhibited more busy than usual, a movement of people on foot or in cars all seem to share the same destination. After traversing the firm bareness of its streets for scarcely ten minutes, the tartana thrown by Maiden reaches the bank of the river; They cross the Old Bridge towards the neighborhood of Carmen, as they penetrate the arteries of the south bank of the Segura, the concentration of people becomes more dense, the crowd crowds in front of an improvised station at the foot of the newly placed railroad tracks. In the distance one notices how a machine that drags several cars approaches from the south, moves over the rails at a constant pace, a great puff of thick smoke comes from the chimney of the locomotive leaving the trace of its presence . As it approaches the halt it slows down until it finally stops. The crowd gathered there is waiting for this unprecedented event, they had never seen such machinery advance before their eyes. A few minutes later, two halberdiers come down from the first car, guarding both flanks of the door through which they have left, followed by a plump woman of singular beauty, dressed with great distinction and adorned with lavish jewels, the fervent crowd receives her with cheers, to the cry of Long live his Majesty Queen Isabel!
Antonio and Rosa participate in that reception impressed with such a regal scene. The bustle caused by popular acclaim shakes little Rosa who breaks into an inconsolable weeping, her mother reacts by curling her in the warmth of his chest to comfort her. After the queen, the royal train descended from the train, the king consort Francisco de Asís de Borbón, the infantry Isabel and Alfonso, the Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba Antonio Maria Claret, confessor of the queen and a large retinue of characters. Received by the Murcian authorities, the governor of the province announces to the public: - His Catholic Majesty Queen Isabel II!
-Murcia welcomes you. Addressing the queen.
And turning again to the public proclaims: -With this trip the Murcia-Cartagena railway line is inaugurated.
Mounting all of them in several horse cars ready for the occasion march towards the center of the city between salves to the queen. After the main procession the bulk of those summoned accompany the preclear royal authority in procession.
Antonio drives the mare to follow closely what can happen in that historic day for the city of Murcia. Back, crossing the Old Bridge, and at the same pace of the royal car, amid the confusion of the hubbub, a disturbing declamation addressed to the King consort was heard: "Your noble face tarnishes / The blaze of dishonor, / Desfaced shortly that mist, / cut the horns, Lord: / That the whole world is pointing you out, / Europe calls you a bastard, / And "Cabrón" repeats the echo / In every Spanish town "
Antonio and Rosa, ashamed of those imprudent verses full of grotesque insinuations, tried to look for their origin, when they observed that a man with dissimulation tried to leave that place vanishing among the crowd.


Chapter 4. Time to learn

«Life is often terribly unpleasant; but as unpleasant as life may be, there is no life as pleasant as the life of a man who believes that the most pleasant thing in life is life.
Enrique Jardiel Poncela

The royal visit continued its march through the city accompanied by general ringing of bells. The stay lasted for just over two days without further setback. The retinue presided over by the queen attended mass in the Holy Cathedral Church, toured the most emblematic places of the city, visiting charities, convents, and traditional places. He received in a multitudinous meeting all the mayors and aldermen of the province there were summoned. And taking advantage of the occasion, he inaugurated the theater recently erected behind the back of the convent of Santo Domingo, which was called Teatro de los Infantes, in honor of his sons Isabel and Alfonso.

Meanwhile, Antonio and Rosa rejoice in the solemn events scheduled, participating in a particularly festive Murcia. Before the afternoon of that 25 Sunday, the marriage with his daughter returned home. On this occasion they are walking, since the distance to travel makes another means unnecessary. That walk back through the narrow downtown streets goes a long way. Antonio dresses impeccably in a dark suit with fine stripes, a white shirt and a bow tie. The golden chain of the pocket watch hangs from one of the buttonholes on the waistcoat. He covers his head with a bowler hat and carries a cane in his right hand. His prominent mustache completely hides the upper lip, imprinting virility on the character. Rosa, demure and elegant, carries the girl in her arms, follows her husband keeping a prudent distance from a step behind him, never in parallel. She sports a special glow. Both talk about the anecdotes that have occurred during these days of joy. Little Rosa tries to replicate, participating in her parents' conversation with still confusing sounds.
- Antonio, would the offensive verses of that man have any truth? He pointed out Rosa
- I do not know. The truth is that gossips are always intentional. The queen has her curses and may want to sully her honor. Antonio argued.
Then Rosa replies; -We must bear in mind that his Majesties are first cousins ​​and he is reputed to be short-changed
- In any case, the fuckup has no amendment. Antonio finished finishing those uncomfortable conjectures.
The house is near, Rosa gives an unexpected turn to the conversation. -Antonio, I have two faults and I think I'm pregnant.
- Goodbye !, woman, will be a man. I'm sure.
- I will ask God to be so. He argued.

It is already well into the night, more than three hours ago they returned home. The prevailing tranquility of that home is suspended by sudden blows thumping the door. Antonio gets up from the altered bed.
- Who goes? Question.
The voice of a young boy is heard; -I am manuel. Answer from the other side of the door. Inside Rosa is disturbed by what happened and wants to know who she is. Her husband, while opening the door, tells him that it is Manuel, the son of Concepción, the neighbor. In the entrance appears a boy of about 12 years with a regretful gesture
- What is offered to you at this time? Antonio questioned annoyed by the way to interrupt his rest, but at the same time fearful that something was going through the anguish that showed that young man.
- My mother sends me to let you know that my sister Carmen has died from the fevers she suffered.
Antonio gave a deep cry, but was not surprised. At that time, it was common for many children to not reach adults. - Receive my condolences son, now I go to your house to accompany your parents in this trance. He finished.
Rosa from inside had heard that it was, I knew that this girl from something over 4 years had been some time with fevers bedridden, unfortunately unable to escape the tragic end. As a mother, she knew what it was like to bring a child into the world, the suffering it entailed, the sacrifices to raise it, and the great reward of that unconditional love. The satisfaction of seeing it grow is broken by an untimely and unjust death that snatches the future, that amputates a part of your being and initiates the distaste of a defeat. Immediately, Rosa began to pray for the loss of that innocent creature, for her little Rosa who was beginning to live, and for the child that grew in her guts. Life passes without noticing the fleeting moment that no longer returns, that moves away, that is lost in oblivion and leaves behind both its own and strangers.

Little Rosa is not so much anymore, time has passed, she has 8 years. She is not alone, her parents have given her two little brothers, Luisa and Antonio. She has become an attentive and predisposed girl. Luckily, her parents can offer her a good education and since not long ago they have taken her to the convent of the Agustinas, not far from home, in the neighborhood of San Andrés, where they prepare her to be a woman of order; obedient, respectful and diligent in household chores. The elementary education received by the girls of their time is geared towards fulfilling the natural functions that society determines for a woman. They share with the children the learning of reading, writing and the four rules of arithmetic, beyond they are instructed in the work of hands, take a house, sew, cook, take care of the children, teach the first prayers, attend to the husband ... She enjoys the moments shared with the other girls, although the iron discipline of those women of habit cohabits her as a carefree child. He prefers Sunday walks with his family through the busy streets of downtown or the summer trips to the countryside, or visits to grandmother Dona Luisa and the aunts.
It is curious. He loves to listen to the elders, learn from them, but above all attend the teachings of his father. Both have a special connection. "My daughter, be prudent and temperate, do not be pretentious so as not to awaken unhealthy envy, and remember how they taught me; "Do not say few things in many words, but many things in a few words" (1). And so, Antonio said goodbye to his daughter just before riding the train that would take him after several hours on the way to the stopping place of Balsicas. From where he would continue by car to the properties of the San Cayetano party, Pacheco's term. The girl said goodbye with tears in her eyes, although there would be few days that Antonio would use to dispatch some collection issues, the girl was already beginning to miss him without even leaving.

(1). Pythagoras


Chapter 5. Parallel endings

«It is a mistake of God for not giving man two lives: one to rehearse and the other to act»
Vittorio Gassman (actor y director english)

Antonio from the carriage ladder gives his family goodbye with a serene smile on his face: it is he who will not be long in returning. The machine starts in a rhythmic pistoneo that is gaining quickly. As the convoy leaves, the children raise their arms in the final gesture of farewell to the head of the family. Antonio accommodates himself in one of those austere wooden seats that are minimally padded. The trip will last for several hours. The locomotive moves at a tedious pace, although it is faster than a stagecoach drawn by beasts. The rattle of the train causes Antonio to be abstracted in his most intimate thoughts while his gaze is lost through the landscapes that are happening.

Leaving behind the last villages of the orchard, the landscape becomes mountainous. Between abrupt summits the train penetrates until the party of Sucina. Arriving near the station of Riquelme, located in the hacienda of the same name, the locomotive begins to slow down. It is the last stop before arriving at Balsicas. The machine stops so that those who terminate their trip can get off. Only three people have left the convoy: a marriage, and a middle-aged man traveling alone, wearing a handkerchief tied around his neck, a hat and a briefcase.

Antonio through the window follows with his eyes the steps of that lonely traveler who had been sitting on the other side of the aisle. He had exchanged a few words with him, irrelevant questions without going into many details. At some point during the trip, she got up to stretch her legs and take a walk, picked up her briefcase and took care of it with jealousy and did not sit there again. Antonio, seeing him leave the car, examined him again and thought he had seen him somewhere else. I did not remember exactly where, but it was not the first time I saw him. He was curious about the tasks that man would have in that inhospitable plot inhabited by tough countrymen. When the machine started up, the mysterious traveler, feeling himself observed from the platform, in an instinctive movement turned on himself and found Antonio's curious gaze through the glass. Both were scrutinized during the moments in which the train left the place definitively. Antonio felt a strange chill and a certain uneasiness while the traveler's burning eyes were fixed on his pupils.
There were only a few kilometers to reach their destination. The train resumed its march and Antonio went back to mentally reviewing the matters that were in his hands. It was well into spring, the cold seasons have been disastrous, it has rained badly, the crops and the olive did not go ahead. He had to collect the rents from the farmers who worked his land, which his wife had inherited from his father. Visit Doña Luisa, her mother-in-law, her sisters-in-law, and supervise the work of a well that she had commissioned to build to alleviate periodic droughts. Suddenly, it came to him, the memory of the sordid verses dedicated to the king consort, and consequently Queen Isabel herself, when years before they visited Murcia. It was him !, the mysterious traveler, was the man who pronounced that incendiary flame and then disappeared into the crowd.

Near noon, the train has stopped at the stopping point of Balsicas. It is a small enclave inhabited by no more than 100 souls. Until its doors arrive the limits of the municipality of Murcia and from there the jurisdiction of Pacheco is born. Antonio takes a car and heads down precarious roads to the properties that once belonged to his father-in-law. In just over half an hour Antonio arrives at the house of Dona Luisa, his mother-in-law, where he lives with three of his daughters, who still remain single, to warn of their arrival and to take an interest in them.
-Good afternoon Mrs. Luisa, how are you?
-Hello Antonio, be well found. We are alright. Sit at the table and eat something.
Antonio without replying, taking off his hat and staying in shirtsleeves sat down and prepared to eat.
-Rosa and the children as they are?
-Very well, send me memories. They are looking forward to seeing you.
-And that they do not accompany you?
- I only came for a couple of days and I wanted to save you the hustle and bustle. As soon as I collect the rents and supervise the work of the well I leave, that I can not neglect my tasks. Autumn and winter have been very dry, these lands without water are a ruin.
-Of course. People are pulling the grain they have stored the previous year, but the forecasts are not flattering.
-It's a bad year. If there is no impediment I intend to return the day after tomorrow on the first train.
-Well, we'll wait for you at meal times. Take the mule to move.
-Thank you. I'll be here.
When the snack was over, he prepared the mule and went up the road away from Dona Luisa's house among the family property farmland. He took a leisurely stroll to the limits of the adjoining domains in order to check under what conditions the production of those lands was found. During the walk he stopped to talk with all the farmers who crossed the road to learn about the particular situations that were lived there.

The morning after breaking the day, Antonio left home, from his humble residence during summer periods, not very removed from the main doña Luisa. In the vicinity of the house is the work of a well, as an alternative to combat the scarce rainfall, and have water at all times. Through some rudimentary procedures, operators dig into the ground while securing the walls of the well and descending as a platform on a car wheel that is lifted with the earth extracted by a pulley pulled from a mule from the outside. When the rock to be drilled is very hard, explosives are used, such as those used in mines, in order to overcome the resistance of the ground until it reaches the underground aquifer.
Antonio has been supervising the work of the workers for several hours. That peaceful spring morning suddenly turned into a gloomy day, when exploding one of those holes, an untamed boulder flew fragmented into a thousand pieces violently striking the head of Antonio who fell down to the ground. The workers ran to help him in despair, but he did not react, the death was instantaneous. Unbelievers in the face of that unlikely situation gave the warning voice in search of help. Hours later, reunited political family, neighbors, the local authority, the priest of the hermitage of San Cayetano and a doctor who certified his death, wrapped the inert body in a linen savannah and loaded him in a car to the station of Balsicas to be returned to Murcia and receive there Christian burial. Doña Luisa, overwhelmed by what happened, shocked and incredulous, did nothing but think of her daughter Rosa, what was ahead of her and her grandchildren who would grow up without the necessary protection of a father.

A silent procession of more than twenty people between men, women and children, dressed in rigorous mourning, accompanies Antonio's lifeless body on his return to the capital. When the train stops at the Riquelme-Sucina station, two civil guards ride in the same car, carrying the body of another lifeless man, covered with a battered blanket. After a while of travel, José Tomas, the firstborn and only son of Dona Luisa, broke the silence by addressing the agents of the meritorious woman to find out who the deceased was and what had happened to her.

- This man arrived yesterday in the train of the morning, moved until Sucina and appeared dead apparently victim of a revenge. That's as far as I can tell you. One of the guards answered.


Chapter 6. The last good-bye

My God, how alone
the dead are left!
Gustavo Adolfo Becquer, refrain of the rhyme LXXIII
Antonio left two days ago. The day has been presented radiant in the capital of the Segura honoring the spring dates, but to overcome the equator of the day the sky suddenly became sad turning gray and overcast. Rosa watches the sky predicting a strong storm. Think of Antonio, and fear that any possible adverse weather phenomenon will surprise you in the open. He knows that maybe tomorrow or at the latest the day after tomorrow he will return home.

The afternoon progresses, but not a drop has fallen. Impatient of waiting for the rain that does not arrive, little Rosa and her brothers have gone out to play in the garden. Luisa is now six years old and little Antonio, three years old. He is very unruly and daring despite his young age. Everything investigates and touches it. Throwing pebbles at your sisters is one of your favorite distractions.

Meanwhile Rosa attends her work inside the house. From the entrance you can smell the fresh and suggestive aroma of alábega that invades the atmosphere of that home. She is in the kitchen preparing some torrijas, that typical Easter sweet that her husband likes so much. On a poyete, it has some slices of bread for several days, a bowl with goat milk, eggs, a clay vase overflowing with wine, sugar and a pan with olive oil on the fire. Some slices are soaked in milk for children and others in wine for Antonio. At times, he becomes entangled in an uncertainty that has been stalking him for a few days. Lately he has a bad body and nausea. Accurately perceive smells, Maybe I'm pregnant again! Suddenly, Rosa is startled. He is hearing the mare whinnied and he feels it scrabbling on the ground. It is very strange that the animal is altered in that way and goes out into the yard to see what may be happening. Maiden, with her head above the door of the stable, exclaims. Rosa, putting her hand on his head and speaking softly tries to appease him. Without waiting for it, they knock on the door.

-Who goes? Ask Rosa as she returns to the interior of the house. Outside Doña Luisa with her daughter Joaquina dressed in unequivocal mourning have come forward to report the tragic end.
-Mother. Doña Luisa answers with a deep tone.
Rosa at the sound of her mother's voice shudders. If there was not a special reason for that visit, his mother would not be there. Rosa opens the door and seeing them completely black a spear of cold steel felt pierce his abdomen.
-Who? He asked briefly after a few moments of bewilderment wanting to know the cause of the mourning. Doña Luisa took a breath for a few seconds and answered by closing her eyes, thus avoiding the first moment of bitterness on her daughter's face. Disenchanted Rosa succumbed to discouragement and fell unconscious on the floor. Upon regaining consciousness, even pale and confused, she looked up and saw a car approaching accompanied on foot by the rest of her brothers, brothers-in-law and nephews. Simultaneously the bells of the temple of San Miguel sang the sober chords that announce the death.
- And children? Ask Joaquina.
-They are in the garden playing, go for them Joaquina. Rosa between sobs enters distressed to the house.
By the time Antonio's lifeless body rests in the marriage bed, Rosa is already dressed in mourning, the windows are covered, and the albebegas no longer perfume that ambience wrapped in drama. The little Rosa hugs her mother without being able to repress a fierce cry that breaks the strength of the strongest.
- Children to the kitchen! Grandma Luisa orders.
Rosa prepares the shroud with the best suit, washes the body and dresses it carefully.

Throughout the night there is only despair, dejection and misery. Family neighbors and friends share the suffering of Rosa and her little ones at the wake. A toast of pain that tomorrow will only be a slam in the memory, and only they will have to face an uncertain future with the absence of the father and the husband.
After a rigorous duel of 24 hours, in the early stages of the afternoon the funeral procession starts to the parish of Arcángel San Miguel where the funeral will be celebrated. After the last goodbye all the women and children return to their homes while the men accompany in a serene procession the coffin of Antonio to the cemetery of the Albatalía, place of his eternal rest.

Rosa, resigned to the luck she is living, tries to cope with the day-to-day anxiety, giving birth to a mourning that has three creatures and another one on her way. With the loss of Antonio, the available resources are depleted. The considerable expenses of the funeral have taken part of the savings. Doña Luisa and Joaquina have stayed in Murcia with Rosa and the children until the beginning of summer, when they will definitely move to the properties of San Cayetano. Few attachments are left in Murcia. They prefer the tranquility of the countryside where they can take better advantage of the resources they have left.
Rosa has been going around a painful process that she has to face before leaving. You need to sell the mare and the tartana. Doncella has been a noble and faithful servant of Antonio, but the royals she will charge for her will help her for some time.


Chapter 7. Living with the memory

«Remember from now on, every time something grieves you, to resort to this maxim: that adversity is not a misfortune, rather, to suffer it with greatness of mind is a bliss.»
Marco Aurelio, Roman emperor of 161 to 180 dC

Murcia, late spring of 1869. The commotion of the first days by the loss of Antonio is diluted in a gloomy confinement that does not distinguish between day and night. Locked doors and windows, the sunlight does not manage to sneak inside but is when someone enters or leaves the house. In the freezing environment there is pain and absence, only the unconscious mischievousness of little Antonio alters the recollection of that home. Rosa no longer seeks explanations to her fate, has given up on finding the whys of fate, nor does she calculate how she could have sinned to deserve such punishment. In this new scenario there are no glances to the past, no sterile laments. She tries to convince herself but feels overcome by having to face a new life as head of the family.
Think of your children, only of them. He knows that things will be raw when they spend the saved, and only the resource of the rents that the earth has left them. Little Rosa suffers the emptiness that her father has left, barely speaking, she finds herself misplaced, lost in a sea of ​​feelings that her tender perception can not understand.

With the imminent arrival of summer, Dona Luisa's intention is for her daughter Rosa and her grandchildren to accompany them and to move definitively to the countryside. There they will be closer to the whole family, and together they will make the load lighter. Rosa is aware that life in Murcia under the new circumstances is complicated in a way. It is preferable to be close to their own and at the same time control the fruits that give their lands.

When the day arrived, Rosa and her children, loaded with their most personal belongings, left Murcia to start a new life. A rural life, modest, quiet and far from the great events of the city. Covering the route of the last trip that Antonio made in life, his wife and children retrace their steps to the same place where he lost his life. The image of a woman aged by a tenacious mourning that does not give rise to the slightest hint of relief, accompanied by three little ones also dressed in black cloths, are the objective of the curious gazes of the locals who cross their path.
Rosa and her family have entered lands they own. You are looking at the well that you have been told so much about. The Golgotha ​​of Antonio. It does not take his eyes off. Courtesy of courage, she approaches decisively. He caresses the curbstone with his right hand and slides it across its abrupt surface running its perimeter. Children at a distance from their mother observe her without flinching. Rosa tries to collect Antonio's last breath of life in that place. Recreate in silence how your last moments in this world could be. It hardens the gesture so that its tears of bitterness do not contaminate the spirit of the children. He looks to the bottom of the well trying to see the water inside, but there are no answers in it, he only sees the regretful reflection of a withered widow.

They march to the house. The trip has been exhausting, both because of the emotional strain and the insufferable heat. Rosa takes a sizeable wrench from the bag and opens the wooden door that leads to what was once her recreational residence. The housing of a certain size is composed of two roofed bodies, parador, stable, hayloft, solar and ejido. It also has a garrofero and a fig tree in its vicinity.

Days go by, months go by and the years fly. So much so that in Rosa's house, there are no longer four, but five. The pregnancy happily fructified until the birth of a beautiful girl who was baptized in the hermitage of San Cayetano with the name of Rita. Little Rosa is a little woman, she is the great daily support of her mother in this forced adventure that life raised them. He is fluent in both housework and the education of his brothers. Not long after will be a good girl.
Despite the resignation and the proven integrity, the shadow of Antonio is still very long. Time devours everything, but the pain of a loss like that remains latent in an imperishable memory that makes it an immortal figure. In the same way, there are gaps that can never be filled, nor can a vast portion of the universe be occupied.


Chapter 8. The look of a suitor


«True love, solid and durable, is born from the deal; the rest is the invention of poets, musicians and other lazy people. »
Benito Pérez Galdós


When the day wakes up.
-Jose Maria! Let's go get the sun! One of the twins exclaims from the door.
-You are a Juan Canseras. Barely visible. Replica a slender young man of about 20 years that appears through the corridor. At the same time, the first song of the cock that presumes dominant in its pen resounds.
Three brothers. Three waiters with toasted skin for countless days in the open are getting ready to start the job. Two of them are like two drops of water. The same look, the same gesture, the same reflection. Rugged countrymen hardened in the effort, as demonstrated by their hardworking hands.
The youngest, José María; barbilampiño, nose collected and incisors clear eyes. Harness from the reins to the mule. In the back of the car, the twins sat with their backs to the direction of the march. In the load, all the necessary tools to collect the olive that his father has to terraje. The road is short, in no more than ten minutes you will be in the olive grove.
The morning goes by and the work is going at a good pace. Two wooden stairs copan to the most inaccessible heights, in them, the largest gather the fruit by hand. José María crosses the branches and then picks up all the falls on the ground. There are several esparto baskets that are filled with olive. From above, Ramón notices that at the end of the ravine next to the owner's house, 3 have entered goats that are steep eating the tree. The child who is guarding them admires them impassively while they gobble their mouths full.
- Boy, the goats! Ramón shouted from the top of the stairs.
-They're eating! He answered from a distance without any qualms.
-It will be the boy!
José María walks a few meters cutting the distance between him and the animals. Pick up a stone from the ground and throw it violently against the goats hitting accurate on the head of one of them. The animals run terrified. Without saying a word, the child of about 13 years of age responds quickly without having to look for any stone, since in his hand he kept one. The retort of the youngster has to be avoided by José María but he wants her to destroy his chest. He runs out to reprimand the boy. They get into a discussion almost to the hands. The child is not intimidated although the difference in age between the two is notorious.
Upon hearing the screams, a beautiful lady between 18 and 19 years leaves the house asking about that scandal. José María already knows her, although she has not talked much with her until now. She is the daughter of the owner of some of the olive trees. Seeing her softens her anger. He feels intimidated. He does not know if because of its beauty or because of the place it occupies. She shows indifference to the eyes that look at her and addresses her brother first.
-Antonio picks up the goats and goes inside. Forgive you. My brother is a little rebellious.
"Do not call me about you, Miss Rosa, I'm not that old.
-In any case, avoid having more confrontations with Antonio. Have a nice day.
Brief and cutting, Rosa settled the dispute that could well have ended with blows. Jose Maria without adding much more, he took it for granted and retraced his steps to continue with his work.

The next day, the three brothers take the same routine. José María has been thinking about yesterday's episode all morning. It irritates him that the daring of that brat has been unpunished. On the other hand, it does not want to get involved in a conflict that would be unprofitable. Or if! Suddenly he changes his mind. Take the pitcher of water that always accompanies them during the workday and empties it on the ground. His brothers look at him strangely. And he leaves with her walking in the direction of Dona Rosa's house. As he approaches, he sees how the eldest of his daughters is hanging clothes.
-Good morning, young lady.
-Good day. What is offered today?
-We have run out of water. If you have to fill the tank ...
- To the field you go, of what you take you will eat! At this time it is not very hot for you to have drunk all the water. Unless it was brought half empty.
The young woman's response caught him off balance and before he could reply, Rosa continued.
-You're going to be lucky, because since the flood last October, the cistern is full. Before it was scarce and we were mixing it with the well to drink.
-Thank you. We in our house were the same.
With the pitcher full, José María went back to his labors intoxicated by the beauty of that woman. Halfway he thought about turning to see her again but it would have been too obvious. Since then, every night in the privacy of his humble cot, he thought before falling asleep. In what way could you approach her and awaken her interest.

After several days, you are presented with a new opportunity to see it. Once the olive is crushed, his father will take dona Rosa's share of the oil as payment. Impatient offers to accompany him. He doubts how to face this long-awaited moment. He greets her respectfully as he had done on previous occasions, and fixes the sparkle of his celestial gaze on Rosa's awake green eyes. He wanted to say with his eyes what he did not know in words. She perfectly captured the message of admiration. Recatada dodged him once more, although he began to feel some curiosity about the intentions of that man.

Although she was of another condition, daughter of a proprietor and he was the son of a farmer, he did not care about impediments or social distances. He was determined to give himself completely to his purpose. I could not offer you great comforts but a life of surrender.
Little by little, they began to sneak in to avoid what they would say. They were short interviews in which they talked about their concerns, their projects, their affiliations and their phobias. Nevertheless, Dona Rosa had already noticed that Paco's son the farmer was looking for his first-born. She longed to fix her daughter with someone who could give her a better life, but in those parts good suitors were scarce. Being realistic, his status was already mere appearance. Without the possibility of offering a good dowry for the marriage of his daughter, the alternatives were reduced.
José María felt an unstoppable desire to lie with her and make her his. I did not want to offend her and there were only two roads. Take it to the brave or ask your mother.


Chapter 9. The call of Eros

«Love is painted blind and winged. Blind not to see the obstacles and with wings to save them.

Jacinto Benavente


The still alive embers of the kitchen warm the atmosphere of the advanced winter of 1880. Rosa and her four children are sitting around the table. At one end of it the mother presides over lunch. In front, the vacant chair that used to occupy Antonio, nobody has dared to use it in all this time. At first it was easy to imagine him sitting there, but the routine of his absence has dispelled that thought. Some soups of garlic with a slaved egg to distribute among the five diners is the meager food that will warm those bodies. Two days ago he passed the recovero, and Rosa changed the dozen eggs he kept from his two hens for a dress for Luisa's trousseau.

The young Rosa has something to tell her mother. The nerves are gripping her, she doubts and she does not know how to deal with that process. He is armed with courage and his voice is broken ...
-Mother, I want to tell you something.
-Dime, because what today costs you money, tomorrow they give it to you for free.
-José María, the son of Paco the farmer is pretending to me.
-and you correspond? He answered without disturbing the least, as one who expects the news.
-I do not know mother. I was distant and cold from the beginning, but their looks show sincerity.
-It is not what I had thought for you. Sincerity does not eat my daughter.
-It is hardworking and has no vices.
-None has vices until he has them. The truth is that we are not in a position to be delicate but ...
-I can not grant. If you want to go with him, I will not stop you but if I consent to the marriage, people will see our despair, they will take it as a weakness and we can not allow it. We have to keep up appearances.
-I understand mother.
-So I work accordingly.

Luisa, Antonio and Rita listened attentively to the conversation without saying a word, although the young Antonio was left wanting to curse the compromise he had just witnessed. However, he preferred to remain silent for saving a quarrel.

Rosa and José María met again. She told him that her mother did not approve of the engagement without going into more details. He was willing to ask for it and fight for it, but he wanted to save him the drink of facing disappointment. Rosa, always demure, did not insinuate her desire to leave with him, but he asked her to do so.
-Rosa I do not want to give up on you.
- You can not always have what you want.
-Let's go and start our journey together.
After a few seconds of reflection Rosa replied:
-Expect me tomorrow at dusk at the end of the road, but if you find me there, do not look for me anymore.
José María nodded angrily, and she turned around back home.

Throughout the night and all day, that sleeplessness absorbed him completely without even trying to live. Rosa closed in on herself, remembered the passage of her days from childhood, looked for answers, signals that would guide her on the way forward.
Moments before the sun was completely hidden, José María already made the wait mounted on the car in the agreed place. The minutes passed, the gloom began to take over everything and Rosa did not arrive. The lantern that he carried with him almost did not reach to light what was coming. The anguish devoured him, would not he come? Suddenly she sensed seeing a silhouette move towards him, those walks she knew, it was her. The jet of her dress mixed with the night. When she saw that it was Rosa, her heart leaped, detonating in a quick beat. He jumped out of the car and ran towards her until he melted into an emotional hug. That moment was the first physical contact and the first time they broke the barrier of decorum.

From there they left for the hermitage of San Cayetano where they would be espoused under the figure of the saint of providence, bread and work. Formalized the marriage return to the house of José María where they will remain until they can be installed in their own home. Received by Paco and Encarnación, his recent in-laws, humbly celebrated the link eating and drinking until satisfied. Rosa is grateful for the treatment she received but feels strange in someone else's house, her mother and her brothers are missing. You will have to get used to the life of a married woman.
It's time to go to bed. José María waiting for this moment has sought a more spacious and comfortable bed than his bachelor bed. Rosa takes her nightgown out of her luggage and undresses slowly, blushing, turning her back to her husband. The light light of the oil lamp projects the turned forms of Rosa's incorrupt body. He admires her eager and impatient to make her his and she feels increasingly insecure as the moment of consummation of marriage approaches.


Chapter 10. A new sunrise

«If you give the impression of needing anything, they will give you nothing; to make a fortune it is necessary to appear to be rich. »

Alexandre Dumas (father)


It is the first time Rosa wakes up accompanied by a man. It has been an intense, burning, lascivious night, in which he has given his honor; Your most precious asset as a woman. As a new wife and inexpert in bedroom matters, she has not known how to act and has only let herself be carried away. He has not rested especially well, spending most of his time in a sleepless sleep. He misses his bed and the singular smell of his bedroom. During waking hours, thoughts lurk. She doubts whether the first conjugal encounter will have pleased her husband, whether she has acted correctly in marrying him or in the situations that life has brought her, taking her there. Intranquila fears to stay sleeping more than strictly necessary, since she feels the obligation to help her mother-in-law in the household chores and to assist José María before beginning her work day.

With the passage of the days the news of the link runs between the country houses of the contour. Family, neighbors and friends from both sides come to offer their humble presents for the young couple. There are those who bring a pot, a lamp, a pair of used chairs, a wool mattress, a pillow, a chest, some chicken, a painting of the purest conception ...
Within a few weeks, Paco, the father of José María, a well-known country man among day laborers, farmers and owners of the area, has sought a modest home and land to work where the newlyweds can start their new life. From now on the chimney will blow smoke from your account. The house is humble, is located not far from the house of Dona Rosa, further north, inserted in the party of Avileses, Murcia. Of three rooms, of which two are bedrooms and a kitchen, a patio with a small stable for raising animals and paleras outside, frequented as a place to depose the intimate needs.
Since she left with him, Rosa has not seen her mother again. Decide that the time has come to meet again, you need to talk to her, hug her, feel her close.

- They knock on the door !. Open Luisa. Demand Dona Rosa
-I go. It's Rosa, mother!

When the two sisters meet, they merge in a meaningful hug. Rosa goes in search of her mother and does the same. Even if nothing was said, mother and daughter needed each other, when they saw each other's faces, they intoned a grimace of joy and satisfaction.

-How does life treat you, my daughter?
- I'm not complaining mother. We have put home in the frock. We lead a modest life but at the moment we do not miss anything.
- I know. Is that man good?
- Yes mother. He is hardworking, attentive and respects me.
-I'm glad you're happy, it comforts me.
-I have to give you a good news
-I imagine, I can see it in your face, that shine, so you tell me.
-There is nothing that escapes you. Yes, I'm pregnant.

The conversation between mother and daughter continued in a relaxed manner for several hours, detailing what happened during this time apart.

José María works the land under his charge, at the moment he works with his father's mule and implements until he can buy a beast and the atalajes. They are exposed to the vagaries of the weather, depending on the rainfall so the year will be given. Alternate cereal crops; wheat and barley. Plant melons in early spring. Rosa also contributes to the hard work of the field. With a pollizo de olivera "clueless" the melon plant beating and breaking its tips so that it does not grow too much and thus focus on the fattening of the fruit. Some melons that endured since the end of summer without getting lost until Easter. It also diversifies with winter crops; ball peppers, scones and beans. The modest production, all of it of dry land has to cover the needs of the home, and the surplus if there is is sold or exchanged for other goods of necessity.

With the birth of the firstborn of both, named Paco, in honor of his paternal grandfather, needs increase, and José María has to double efforts and get hooked on what comes out to earn extra money. That same August he joins a gang of men who moved by train to Tobarra for the wheat harvest. For a month and a half away from home, under harsh conditions in days from sunrise to sunset, José María works with other day laborers to take his family forward.

That time of absence, Rosa lives with uncertainty, wishing the return of her husband. Although some visitors are always dropped, in a few occasions they are alone. The recovero as usual happens with some frequency by the houses of the field, trying to make some business opportunity, well are known his love arts, which takes advantage of any lack of the house to exchange it for intimate favors.

-Good morning, lady, how's the day? Greet the merchant.
-Good morning Pedro. Answer Rosa
-Do you need something? And your husband that I have not seen him?
-I'm served. He is throwing peons in the harvest.
-Miré I have a cops that I just bought, the same makes you eye and I make you a good price. He offered knowing that Rosa did not have to buy the animal. Insinuating that he could give it to him in payment for a carnal favor.
To which Rosa replied vehemently
"Since I knew plum tree, what manger you were from my mules, that from your fruit I did not eat, that the miracles that you do are thrown at me!
The recovero took notice, caught the refusal and continued his march.

José María on his return, and with part of the money he had earned as a result of his efforts, he half bought with his father a pig to finish fattening him in the house and do the slaughter in the first days of December. The appointed day was an event in which almost the whole family participated, in a festive atmosphere where there was no need to put oneself in one's mouth. With this, they made sure to have a good reserve of meat and sausage to face all winter.

Chapter 11. The Twilight

«They will forgive you the hours,
The hours that are filing the days,
The days that gnawing are the years ».

Third final of the sonnet that begins «Less requested speedy arrow» Luis de Góngora, 1623.


The arrow of time rides inexorably with audacious stealth, without possible containment as an avalanche in the thaw. In an eternal beat, inflexible and uniform, he appears invincible before the tiny lives he has devoured since the dawn of humanity. This constant evolution seeks imperceptible changes in the work of a moment, but observed from a distance, that sum of fleeting lapses build millions of parallel stories.

In the house of Rosa and José María, the offspring have increased to five offspring without any impediments to conception that those imposed by nature. Little Paco is no longer the only one who occupies Rosa's attention. This was followed by a girl with a brown curl, which was named Encarnación by her paternal grandmother. The third Antonio, noted for his vividness, took the name in honor of his deceased grandfather. The fourth was a girl with a sweet look, named Rosa, like her mother and grandmother. And the youngest José María as his father. There was not much room for doubt at a time when the rooting of names is scrupulously respected as part of one's family identity, however humble it may be.

Rosa is already a lady, a woman from her house who is far from that innocent little girl who walked the streets of Murcia at the hand of her father. She has made herself, from adversity, absence and necessity. The obstacles that have been found in his path have carved a steely and resolute character. He has known the pain of death since he was young, he has learned to live with him, to understand that death is part of life, just as defeat is part of victory, and that without the danger of falling he would not be valued stay upright He has known the greatest joy with the birth of his 5 children. He has discovered the purest love that can be felt, the unconditional unconditional love of a mother for her children. Despite his fullness he feels a shame, the bitterness that his late father has not known his grandchildren. Perhaps without that loss today he would not be who he is, the same would not be there, and his children would not have existed. Maybe not that way.

Early as usual, José María prepares to start his work day. He saddles the donkey with the harness for farming, an old Roman plow that his father gave him. The animal, an essential force for the work of the earth, could buy it from a dealer with much sacrifice and the sweat of his brow. A piece in fallow that will prepare for the sowing of the wheat will occupy it in the next days, will be several the days of tedious work until completing the farm. José María drives the beast and squeezes the implement until the gate is nailed to the ground and opens up to kiss, that first initiating furrow that will be the guide of the others. The animal pulls strong with firm step. It shows that it is not your first job. José María is a hard man who has been tanned in the effort required by field work. Throughout the morning he finds himself tired, sleepy, something unusual in him. He attributes it to the fact that he has not eaten meat for quite some time, what little they have available to his children. You may have to sacrifice some laying hen and eat it in pot.

Before the sun sets and after a strenuous day of work, he returns home.
-How was your day? I see you in a bad face Rosa said when she saw him enter.
- Tired after all day struggling. Kill one of the chickens and make it in pot for dinner.
Rosa nodded with the surprised gesture. She knew that her husband was not a man of cheap complaints, let alone ask to sacrifice a hen that can continue to give eggs.

After having dinner, José María goes to bed without having too much fun. You need to rest, because tomorrow you have to continue with the task. Rosa collects the pots, puts the children to bed and goes through her room to see how the head of the family is. When he opens the door he sees him sleeping soundly to the rhythm of a loud snore.
The next morning José María continues his march, continuing the task of the previous day. During the course of the morning fatigue returns to take its toll, and this is compounded by an uncomfortable and irritating cough that occurs at constant intervals, which accompanies him throughout the day. Rosa believes that the ailment that afflicts her husband in a common cold, and prepares eucalyptus infusions and other home remedies to relieve symptoms. But with the advance of the days, José María worsens progressively, he has to stay bedridden, he suffers from fever, difficulty breathing, chest pain, persistent coughs and what has alarmed Rosa the most, spitting with blood. At that moment, thinking of nothing good, call the closest thing to a doctor in the area to examine it and put some remedy.

-Sir, what's wrong with my husband?
-Let's see, depending on what you tell me and recognizing this man, I'm afraid he suffers from tuberculosis.
Rosa was perplexed with the frozen gesture. The doctor understood the trance of that woman and continued with his diagnosis.
- This disease is very contagious, you must isolate the patient, that nobody enters this room except for what is strictly necessary. I'm going to bleed him and administer a purgative, little else we can do for him. It will depend on your strength.
The words of that man fell with a clatter like a slab on the suffering woman who sensed a final irremediable conclusion.

March 19 1935.
-And so was your grandfather, Pepito. Half life I lost with his departure. A Dantesque panorama that we can not imagine until it happens. That's why time is so important. We are made of time, the moment that passes does not come back, it is irreversible, and with it the life of your loved ones. And as I have told you, it was my past days, turned into very long while I suffered and in very short while I enjoyed.



First of all, thank Melones El Abuelo for its commitment to culture, for demonstrating that tradition and modernity are not at odds. To those who have trusted me. To Don Jacinto for his advice and corrections. To my friend Juan for his gatherings and inspirations. To my Rosa, the one of every day with her nights, to put up with me in this time of "literary" production. This modest story is dedicated to those who are no longer there, because without them I am unable to explain myself. And very special to my Angel, a gift from heaven.

David García Rodríguez

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