The turning of the tide
By Parson Thru
“Carlos! Come and see what I have for us. Come and look.”
Carlos walked in the kitchen and found Javier with a piece of red meat wrapped in paper.
“Are we making stew? Where are the ingredients? We have no vegetables.”
“No, Carlos. Not stew. This is filete - prime beef. We must grill it.”
“How much have you paid?”
“I bought it from Angelo in the mercado. He was closing his shop and almost gave it to me. For you, he said. ‘Here, take this for Carlos. It will build him up.’ At the price he was asking, how could I refuse? So here – I’ll cut it in half.”
Carlos chuckled to himself. Angelo was not usually known for his largesse.
“The grill is small, but we will manage, Carlos. But we mustn’t overcook the meat. We must respect the animal for giving up its life for us.”
“It gave up only a small part for us, Javier.”
Javier held out the hand he was using to steady the meat. “By bringing this home, we have bloodied our hands. When this animal feeds us tonight, we will have joined others in its death.”
“And what of all the chickens? Aaaaay! Whatever! But you will need all of your wits to do the poor beast justice in this kitchen.”
Carlos wandered back to the living room and picked up his book.
Javier carefully smoothed the two fillets under the old electric grill and attended to his task.
Presently, they sat down at the small table to eat. There was nothing else on the plate, save a small dash of Tabasco sauce on the meat, which in fairness to Javier was delicious.
“I am going to the reading tomorrow.” Carlos announced without looking up.
Javier stopped chewing and looked across the table at him.
He chewed on for a while, then rested his knife and fork.
“Because I am curious and because Miguel wanted us to hear his Will read.”
“How do you know Miguel wanted this? He died too suddenly to tell anyone.”
“Why else would the lawyer have asked us, Javier? Anyway, I know he would have wanted this.”
Javier pushed his unfinished plate into the middle of the table and stood up. He was against attending the reading for fear of what he might hear in the presence of Miguel’s estranged family. He was afraid of the years he might lose. The Miguel of the Will would not be the Miguel that Javier knew.
“I am going out.” he said, flatly.
Carlos was not expecting the news to be well received. He had made up his mind earlier in the day that he would go to the city with or without Javier. This response was no surprise.
Javier tipped the remains of his meal into the bin and walked out of the door, unhooking his hat and jacket on the way.
Saddened but determined, Carlos took an opened bottle of wine and a glass and sat down alone to finish the filete.