Dare to Read

December 17, 2010

Garlic for Breakfast 7

Welcome again to my paranormal novel Garlic for Breakfast.
If you missed the previous installments, please check below.


by Carmen Ferreiro-Esteban

 

 

“Don’t.”

Federico’s arm shot in front of me and grabbed my hand. “Please, don’t,” he said. “Becquer might forgive me for breaking his car. Or for failing to drive you to the party. But if I do both, he will kill me for sure.”

I turned to look at him, surprised at the self-deprecating teasing in his voice.

“I thought you were immortal,” I said.

Federico smiled. “I’m sure he would find a way,” he said letting go of my hand. “His ingenuity to cause me pain knows no limit.”

“You love him,” I said and regretted it immediately, for I was afraid my inappropriate comment would throw him into another fit of anger. But Federico didn’t seem to hear. He was staring at the gaping hole in the dashboard where the wheel used to be as if he willing another one to appear.

“Becquer is right,” he said after a moment. “I do overreact sometimes.”

He sounded so defeated I felt sorry for him. Becquer was charming, I had to admit. It was not difficult for me to imagine falling for him and the pain at his rejection. “Not at all,” I said to cheer him up. “Your reaction was understandable giving the circumstances. He should have offered to pick you up.”

“You think?” he asked. Then, after I nodded, he added wistfully. “Let’s hope Becquer agrees with you when I tell him.”

I waited for him to produce a phone and call Becquer to ask him for a ride. Although it wasn’t cold outside, I was not looking forward to walking in the dark in my too tight black dress. But Federico didn’t move and when, after digging into my handbag, I offered him mine, he shook his head.

“That won’t be necessary,” he said. “Matt is coming.”

“How do you know that?”

“Becquer just told me.”

“But you didn’t…” I didn’t finish my words but waved the unused phone in my hand.

“I don’t need a phone to talk with Becquer.”

“You can read his mind?”

“Not exactly. I only hear what he wants to share. I cannot force myself into his mind. He would notice and block me. Actually, he just did that, when… Did Becquer ask you to be his secretary?”

“No. I’m just a writer.”

“Only a writer.” He smiled, a friendly smile that lit a twinkle of mischief in his eyes. And I found myself warming to him. “And what do you write, if I may ask?”

“Mainly stories for young adults, about impossible love and faraway lands.”

Federico nodded. “It sounds like something Becquer would love, and Beatriz would hate.”

“And you?”

“Me? I would have to read the story first. I used to write dramas when I was human. But I have mellowed with time.”

“You were a writer before you were immortal?”

“I was indeed.”

Federico bent forward and worked the CD player with his long fingers until he found the right track. “Listen,” he said. Sitting back against his seat, he closed his eyes.

Now in Vienna there are ten pretty women.

There is a shoulder where Death comes to cry.

The broken voice of Leonard Cohen came through the speakers, declaiming a poem made song. The first song I had danced at my wedding with the husband that had since become a stranger.

Take this waltz, take this waltz,

take this waltz with the clamp in its jaws.

Federico, eyes still closed, sang along keeping the beat on the dashboard with his fingers.

I looked at him in profile and, as if seeing him for the first time, I noticed his dark wavy hair, his cleaved chin, his arched bushy eyebrows. I gasped.

“You’re Federico,” I said, my voice breaking before I could complete his full name.

Federico nodded. “Yes, he said. I am ‘that’ Federico.”

Without losing his beat, he resumed his singing, his voice fitting perfectly the lyrics of the song, the lyrics of his perfect words.

To be continued …

If you missed the previous installments, please check below.

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