Lost and Pained

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Everything around me was pitch-black. I couldn’t see a thing and I had no clue where I was. I heard footsteps, whispers, my breath, but I still could not see. The smell all around me was of gasoline and the floor was wet and gritty. My back was against a stone wall, but I didn’t know where any of these feeling walls could be. I was afraid to speak, to let those around me know I was awake, so I just lied against the wall and waited as the footsteps drew closer.

“Despierta tonta! Tu hablas español?”” A man with a strong Spanish accent kicked me awake. I could feel his looming body standing over me. The weight of his presence was huge, and I was happy at this moment that I could not see.

“What do you want with me? I haven’t done anything wrong.” The Spanish man laughs. Another voice in the backgrounds gives a slight chuckle. He kicks me again since I didn’t answer his question, making my side ache even more than the hunger was causing. I could feel something dripping down my side.

“If I could speak all this Spanish that’s how I would be talking to you. But I am just visiting.” I hear movement coming from where the chuckle had been.

“For a spy you seem very lost. I’m surprised you aren’t calling us by our first names already.” This man had the kind of Spanish accent you get from being in Mexico a long time.

“A spy?” I couldn’t help but laugh. How could these idiots think I was a spy? “What gave me away?” I couldn’t help but be sarcastic. The man that had been kicking me didn’t like it so much. He grabbed my hair and yanked my head back, holding what felt like a knife to my neck. The pain surged through my body and I couldn’t help but gasp. It felt like every part of my body was on fire with feelings of knife stabbings all over. The Spaniard kept the knife to my neck and a hand in my hair, adding to the pain.

“¡No, Santiago deja que se vaya! Let her go!” Santiago let go of me and I felt I could breathe again. Why am I in so much pain? I can’t even feel my legs besides the pain! I lean forward and begin to fall onto my face, unable to stop myself. A gentle hand catches me and carefully picks me up. He puts me in what feels like a cot and removes the blindfold that had been covering my eyes. When I look up there is a rush of light and I quickly shut my eyes.

“You are not a spy are you?” The man’s voice is soft and concerned. How could he be involved in my kidnapping?

“No señor. I am simply one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. Un testigo de Jehova. I came to help teach others about the bible. I have not come to harm anyone.” As I slowly open my eyes I see the world around me taking shape. There is a very kind face looking back at me. The face looks very much like my own and it takes me back. The man I was looking at looked almost identical to someone I knew. He looks much older yet that could be because I have only seen pictures from twenty years ago. Yet that couldn’t be, he was dead.

“Well Tina you must be very convincing for my boss to think you were a spy.” In his eyes I saw the distrust. Even though he was being kind and letting me speak, he did not fully believe me.

“My name is not Tina. My name is Ginevra.” The name made this man’s eyes goes dark. He turned away and stared at Santiago who was behind him.

“Do not play games with me,” his words became venomous. “In your bag we found everything with your name on it.”

“You mean the bag I found on the side of the street and was taking to la policia? That wasn’t mine Juan, that was someone else’s.” My breath caught after I had spoken these words. Did I really just call him Juan? He spun back around and got within inches from my face. His eyes were scared even though his face read anger. He couldn’t even speak without keeping his teeth clenched.

“How do you know my name?” I gasped. Juan is a very common name. I am probably hallucinating. I couldn’t be staring into my Tio’s eyes. Not my capturer!

“You are Juan Emilio San Frios?”

“How do you know my name?!” Juan took hold of my throat and lifted me into a sitting position.

“My name is Ginevra Emilia San Abril. The man Juan Emilio San Frios is my uncle.” I couldn’t believe the mixture of emotions going across my Uncle’s face. It ranged from one edge to the other.

“You are my niece?” Tears began to run down Juan’s face as he let go of my throat. It wasn’t mistrust in me I had seen before in his eyes. It was distrust in himself. Juan gently wraps his arms around me and held me close to his chest. He started to sing a lullaby that my mother had sung to be every night before I fell asleep. He seemed to be trying to calm himself. Santiago looked at us in wonder, unsure of what he should do. As cold hearted as he seemed he too had feelings.

“They told me you were dead. They told me you hadn’t made it past your first breath of air.”

“That’s why you left? Because I was told that you had died in an accident.”

“I left because I couldn’t imagine living around your mother knowing that she had lost you. She would have been heartbroken. It broke my heart. Yet your father had lied. You hadn’t died. He just didn’t want me around. He thought I would be a bad influence on you I suppose.”

I didn’t get a chance to respond. All of a sudden there were gunshots fired and people yelling. When I looked over I saw Santiago dead on the floor. I can’t lose my uncle again!

“Don’t shoot!” I scream at the top of my lungs and stand flailing my arms. Everything goes quiet at the sound of my voice. The English female voice made them know I was okay. They all took aim at Juan.

“Don’t shoot! El es mi Tio. He is my uncle.” With these words the guns were put down. At the same time my mother and father come rushing into the room. At the sight of Juan my father takes charge ready to hit him with all his might. Yet I jump in front of him. My father stops dead in his tracks.

“Ginevra what are you doing? You don’t know this man. You don’t know what he has done or will do.” I do not move but instead stand up straighter. I am in horrific pain doing so and I know it is written over my face, yet I hold my grounds.

“This is my uncle. You lied to him. You lied to me. You do not get to say what he has or will do. You are no better.” The anger and pain are screaming from my father’s eyes. I want to crumble and cry but I know I cannot, or else my father will win.

“You can’t listen to him. He is the one who is telling you lies.”

“You don’t even know what he’s said. He told me you told him that I was dead. Plus you told me he was dead.” I turned around falling against my uncle. He supported me and we walked out of the room. The police parted for us, all looking somewhat confused. My mother followed behind. She stopped briefly and told the shot-caller that this man was family and that everything is okay now. She thanked him and ran after us. She supported my other side, gasping at the blood covering my shirt.

“We need to get her to a hospital hermana.”

“How did you not recognize your own family Juan?” My mother was angry, though she still kept her focus of care on me.

“I’m sorry mija. I didn’t recognize you. I had my job to do. I didn’t let my thoughts get in the way.” He looked at me with sorrow written in his eyes. His apology was heartfelt.

“I love you Tio.” I then turned to look at my mother. “He was just afraid of what he believed. Especially since he was told I was dead. He thought I was a spy."

“Hermano, what are we going to do? You are obviously in trouble.”

“Focus on Ginevra. I will get out of this mess. I promise.” My father then appeared next to my mother. He was still angry with my uncle, yet he seemed to be more focused now.

“Juan is right. We need to focus of Ginevra’s health and safety. We can worry about Juan later.”

As they neared the end of the hallway they saw a figure in the distance outside. By the time we recognized that it was not an officer it was too late. The man pushed something and ran in the opposite direction. My uncle picked me up and everyone began to run. An explosion was heard behind us as we flew out onto the ground twenty feet in front of us. Before I blacked out my uncle took my hand.

“I will always love you mija.”

The next thing I knew I was waking up in the hospital. I had an IV in my arm and I could feel stitches in my chin. I carefully moved my hospital gown to the side and saw that I was all bruised up along the side of my stomach. There were stitches here as well. I figured I couldn't feel any of this because of the stuff being pumped into my arm. I looked over ad saw my mom lying in the bed next to me.

She had fallen asleep facing me, obviously watching me until she couldn't keep her eyes open any longer. She had a gash along her forehead that was stitched up. She looked so fragile and small lying there. Her hair was matted down with dirt, ash and dried blood. Her face was clean along her forehead but still dirty on her cheeks where she had gone into the dirt after the explosion.

My mother was always so strong. With her brother having left, and having to constantly take care of all the trouble I got myself into. She was always the one that held back the tears, held back the anger and got our family through a situation. If I hadn't picked up that stupid bag none of this would have happened. Mom would be okay. But then again I would have never gotten to meet my Tio. Tio! Dad! Oh no where are they?

I shot up in my chair my heart starting to race as I looked around searching for two important faces. A nurse came running in, since my heart rate had jumped up. I couldn't help but let her see the worry on my face. I needed to find the rest of my family, I needed to know that they were alright.

"Ginevra está bien. Usted necesidad de poner marcha atrás."

"I know I'm alright. I don't need to lay down. Yo necesito mi padre y mi tio."

"Your father and uncle are in the next room. Your Uncle hasn't woken up yet." Oh no! I just found my uncle, I can't lose him again.

As I lied back down, there was only one thing running through my mind. All I could think of was the last words my uncle said to me before I blacked out. He will always love me.

These words are what got me through the next 24 hours. I was released a few hours after I had woken up, with some soup in my stomach to get my stomach comfortable with food again. I spent the rest of the time sitting by my uncle, holding his hand, praying that he would wake up. On the news they said that everyone that had been inside the building had perished with the explosion. They hadn't caught the man that did this, which was very unnerving. I kept wondering if he was going to walk on and end us as well.

Thankfully some of my worry went away. My uncle finally came around and I was able to look into his eyes. He had hit his head harder than the rest of us so he needed some surgery done besides stitches to make sure he was alright. My dad hadn't been happy that I was sitting with him, but he couldn't make me move.

Things were going to be rough. I knew this. It was more than just that we were all bruised and cut and hurt. My uncle coming back into my life was a major change from anything I had ever expected. There was still a lot of problems between him and my dad, not to add that he had kidnapped me and would have let me die if I hadn't been family. But I knew my family loved me, and that we just needed to take each day one at a time.

"I will always love you mija." I knew my uncle meant that every time he said it.





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