The waiter had come up with a tray of drinks and their salsa. Gloria pointed to a perfect table overlooking the sea, and they made themselves comfortable. They toasted to a wonderful afternoon, and then all eyes turned to the sun’s final show of the day.
Jeremy felt more content than he had in years. He sipped his drink while taking in the magnificent view. “You know, ladies. Central Market was interesting, but I think I won’t be going back. I’m afraid my stomach is too weak for the smell of the butchered meat. And, I was rather disturbed when I saw the display of pig heads.” He laughed. “They were presented with such gusto.”
“Jeremy, you should think about changing your mind. There are so many great things to see there.” Gloria loved every inch of her town. “Emma and I have gone there many times just to buy tamales. There are good ones all over town but we really enjoy them from one of the booths inside the market. Maybe because it’s nice to get away together, but I really do think they are the best in town.”
“Well, if they’re as good as this salsa, I need to make that trip.” Paul was devouring the chips. Then he turned to Emma. “Sweetheart, I’m here with you guys because I wanted to talk to you about your experience this afternoon. Do you think we could find some time to talk about it tonight?”
Jeremy was stunned. “Why did you do that, Emma? You know it’s a waste of time, and all the nonsense Paul says leading up to the hypnosis pretty much ensures that you’re going to experience something ugly. You know, whether you believe in what he’s doing or not, it can be depressing to go through his session. Because of his hype, you’re bound to see death during your hypnotic state, it’s very common.” He looked at Paul. “Why don’t you just advertise yourself as someone who’s good at providing nightmares for people?”
Gloria was quick to intervene. “Ok, boys. We’re having a nice time, why don’t we stay away from convention talk tonight? I have some news. We are all going to have some visitors on Wednesday.” She put her hand on Emma’s shoulder. “My astute assistant will be entertaining her parents while they are here making their debut at the hotel, and I for one am excited to see them.”
Paul was in the middle of munching through another chip, and put it on his plate. He became very quiet, and suddenly seemed miles away. He shook his head as if to relieve his mind of something bothersome. Then, he pushed his chair back, and stood. “I don’t know about the rest of you, but without the sun, the wind up here is giving me the chills. I say we go to a great restaurant so I can buy you all a good meal.” He looked at the other man at their table. “Even you, Jeremy. Yes, I want to buy my biggest skeptic a great big expensive meal tonight.”
“I don’t think I’ve had a nicer invitation in a long time.”
Emma laughed. “Why don’t we walk back to the Machado and eat at Pedro y Lola’s? Unless you have a better idea, Gloria.”
“Perfect choice.” Gloria stood, and started to walk to the stairs. “Meet me at the bar downstairs. I’m going to pay the bill. And, boys. I expect you to behave at the restaurant. I know the people there and don’t want you hurting my reputation.”
Just before beginning their decent down the stairs, the ladies excused themselves for the bathroom. Emma was washing her hands, and Gloria, fixing her hair when Emma began to unload. “I did see something under hypnosis today. I had decided it was nothing but a dream, but I’m not sure of anything anymore.”
Gloria stopped her fussing in the mirror, and gave her attention to the young lady. “Tell me, Emma. What’s bothering you?”
“I heard Paul’s voice get further and further away until it was gone all together. It was then that I found myself in a restaurant watching an old couple finishing their dinner. They seemed to be on a vacation, and were very much in love. I followed them outside, when this man came up to them and tried to hold them up. The old man fought, but was shot. Gloria, I saw him die right before my eyes. The next thing I knew, I was in the old lady’s bedroom. Time must have passed by. She was on the bed, and she was dying. Her family was all around her.” Emma could barely finish, “She looked at me. She looked right at me and said, Love him. Gloria, no one could see me, I wasn’t really there. And yet, she saw me, and I know her words were for me.”
Gloria put her arms around Emma, and hugged her. “You’re right. It was only a dream.” She pushed herself away from Emma, and stared into her eyes. “Now, forget about this, and let’s go order the most expensive dinner on their menu so Paul can pay the bill.” She turned around, and began to walk out.
“I saw the old man again at the market today. He said that he had been like a father to Ben.”
Gloria froze in her footsteps. It seemed like an eternity before she turned around to face the young girl.
“What did this old man look like”?
“He was very tall, and wore an old, tattered cowboy hat. He seemed very sweet.” The color left Gloria’s face, and she just stared at Emma. “What is it? Tell me.”
She took Emma’s hands, and stared some more. Finally, she spoke, but her voice was weary, almost a whisper. “There was an old man that fits that description, and he did hang out with your dad the year you were born. But, Emma. That was 25 years ago. You couldn’t have seen him today. He’d have to be well over a hundred years old.” She hesitated, “His name was,” She could barely be heard, “Mickey.”
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish