Los Varados (5)
Late that evening I heard this crowd around Hilly Side High while out jogging. I ran to the school and made a mistake by arriving on foot. I saw a small group of those shirtless guys out there. Some of them were short. I went pass through the gate. Some of them popped eyes at me. Normally nobody enters the school in a pair of tiny shorts but I did.
It was a large complex deserted at the hour when classes were over. Some kids might still be there playing volleyball or engaged in some extra-curriculum. I ran to an inner quarter to come across some girl students and a couple of teachers. They were closing a drill on safety measures during radiation hazards in a classroom.
Luna was there in a mauve tight top and a silvery grey skirt. She was tall and skinny. There were two other friends; Clara and Maite. All those underage girls looked innocent to me. Lady Marissa wasn’t in sight but the two teachers called me. It seemed those guys outside caused nuisance all day but none attempted to enter the schoolyard.
At that moment, girls were asked to get behind a stack of desks placed by the wall and hide under as part of the drill. It was partially dark in the classroom without any light switched on.
Right there this shirtless crowd entered in a fury shouting at me. “Traves! If you come in, we come in. You sleep with them…we sleep with them…”
It was an unexpected confrontation. I cried, “No one sleeps with Hilly High girls. These girls are innocent. I never touched anyone…”
“You are a liar! We maintain good discipline and never crossed this boundary until you did…”
It was all about me. I was standing on the wrong side. Teachers faced them and ironically defending me. I had very little to say. Their argument was inappropriate to discuss and particularly irrelevant for teens. It lasted a good twenty minutes before they pulled out.
One of the girls not behind the desks was Maite who listened to the grim conversation. She whispered in my ear, “I will sleep with you anytime you ask. You think I’m virgin but I’m not.” I was dumbstruck.
They were gone and we began to dismantle the desks piled up. Luna was behind a desk all this time. She was shaken and crying in fear to sit under a desk blocked on all sides and in the dark.
Class was called off. I tried to comfort Luna but she continued to sob. She grabbed me and leaned on my shoulder. I carried her with other girls on their way home. She was few inches taller than me. I never touched her like this before.
We came out of the gate and the pack followed us hooting and calling her name. At that point I insisted on Luna to go home alone with other girls. She managed to split and go with Clara and Maite.
I turned into another lane and the crowd began to follow keeping close to me and provoking. “We sleep with Luna tonight…”
I said, “You can have any girl you want.”
“We want Luna. Is she your girlfriend?”
“She’s my wife! Leave her alone!”
“Hey Traves! What will you do if I tell you she is not a virgin. We already tested her.”
I got angry, “Go after another girl. Pick Maite…”
They sniggered, “Why her? Does she drop out of your favourites? We tested her too…”
This crowd continued to follow and annoy until I reached the main street. It was my luck I didn’t drop in on my bike.
I woke up next morning to find black patches all over the walls of my lodges; three in fact. They painted a skull on the glass panel of the room I slept and written in capital letters, ‘YOU ARE DEAD’ with crude oil. A kind of substance so thick and stain to penetrate deep into the mural and wall paint.
They entered the shack and ransacked the place, destroyed my bike. Outsiders who got stranded on the beach.
“Mi falda!” I was furious but I never had guts to face a crowd like that. I shared few thoughts with Juliette and reached a conclusion to report to the mayor.
“Do they report?” I asked her.
“Not that I know of,” she uttered, “What else can you do? There’s no other place to take a dispute. All I can say, if you have to pay damages to the property-owners, mayor can help.”
I submitted my case to the Mayor’s Office.
Soon I was told to write down a testimony.
Later I was summoned to the Mayor’s Office and he addressed the court, “We read your report to find you guilty. Money is not a problem. We don’t file disputes. We profile people. You put blame on innocent people pulling rackets, companies behind scandals, life after death. You ought to be tested.”
There were other officials around the chair. One of them was the most notorious doctor, a professor, sole supremo of the hospital, in a white suit and white beard. Dr H Shipman cleared his throat, “Mental disorders can’t be tolerated. You’ll be shipped to Isla de Los Varados and confined to lunatic asylum to diagnose your case.”
And that’s how I found peace as a schizoid at a very hospitable Pedazo del Cielo – a piece of heaven.
– END –