Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

13 de Mayo del 2000

QUESTIONS LEFT WITHOUT ANSWERS. By Rafael Contreras, Cuba Free Press.

Pinar del Río.- She looked at the trees in the park and asked herself a thousand questions. All the questions were left without answers. On that same bench where she sat, her fiancé had given her that first kiss. It was a kiss she would never forget. They had decided to get married the next year. They were to meet again at the end of December. Only the cold air was there; he was missing.

In the first month of the year they had chosen for their marriage he was mobilized. The government said they were sending him to a war far away. Throughout the island people were being taken away to the war.

The months passed and the first letters arrived in which he talked of the jungle, strange animals and other things bizarre. He never told her of bullets and death. He understood that it was not worthwhile to worry her. He also talked in those letters of the marriage and the many children they would have. He liked children a lot. He wrote of going to that same park where they had kissed. He talked of playing with the children.

A year and six months later the letters stopped coming. She kept going to the park. Questions came without answers. Maybe he had fallen in love in that distant place, she thought. That was not fair. At least he should have written to her telling her of his new foreign loves. That would be the right thing. But no letters arrived.

One afternoon seated on the porch of her house she saw a car stop with two soldiers. Their faces were serious. Then they gave her the news. At first she knew how to endure it without crying. The men left and she went into her room. Then she cried with all the world's fury. She had been the unjust one, inventing nonexistent loves of his. She asked his pardon a thousand times but finally realized that the dead do not hear. That is why they do not pardon or seek anyone.

Later the routine of the trips to the same park started. After that the park was sadder. She looked at the children playing but could not hear the laughter. In a tree next to the bench she noticed two birds. They were a pair. Then one day there was only one. She did not know which one was missing, the male or the female. Sometimes it's not easy to know that in birds. She kept looking at the trees and it seemed to her that the air was becoming much colder than when he had been there with her.

She kept asking herself questions without answers. They were questions bereft of explanations. They left her in that dismay in which those who lose remain. Why that war? Why did he have to go so far away to kill or be killed? Who invented wars? She spent a long time like that until the neighbors came and told her the ceremony was about to start. She got up from the bench and the air hit her hair softly, reminding her of one of those lost caresses.

When the afternoon ended everyone had gone. The cemetery was a quiet dominion for dual departure. She was seated on one of those benches of the vault where they buried everyone by decree. There in the vault the questions kept harassing her. Why had they brought him so small? Why that small box for that immense amount of kisses and dreams? Why had they moved him from the park to these walls of silence?

Then she looked at the trees in the cemetery and realized that it would definitely be that way. Her whole life she would be drawing out questions from her breast without any of them having answers. She knew that on the island the dreams could be broken as an old handkerchief is ripped. Even if they are broken they do not give you answers. They can also change the crystal-clear air of a park for the infinite silence of a cemetery vault.

Rafael Contreras, Cuba Free Press.

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