Saturday, January 3, 2015

Hope - Drama Monologue

As per a request from yesterday's blog entry.

BY: Paul William Fassett

We were standing at the train station, waiting, hoping we could get out of the city. Honduras was a war zone. Gangs fighting for their own stretch of land that was never theirs to begin with. We were like chattel to them to be bought and sold and slaughtered. We had been there for weeks waiting for a chance to board but we never got on a train. There were much more desperate people willing to fight harder for what they wanted. We knew that if we did not get out that night, the gangs would be back to collect their daily tribute and we would be coming up short. Our daughter was only twelve at the time.

To the Mara, however, she was old enough.

We waited at the boarding platform and were the first to enter when the doors opened but a line had formed that snaked around the building and off into the thicket of palm trees and fronds behind us. We were quickly overtaken by a flood of people and soon we found ourselves washed out, our little girl, Lupe in tow behind us. So many people, all of them pushing against one another, jockeying for position at the front of what had become a wall of flesh.

There was no hope. We were so far behind and the people in front of us were young and full of strength and anger and determination and our bodies were old and worked and tired. Resigned as we were to our fate we still decided to wait out the turbulence as people pushed passed us and shook the crowd like a mighty wave but suddenly the sea of bodies parted and a hush fell over the crowd. A middle aged couple, fair haired and pale skinned were escorted by armed guards as a path opened to the train.

The two of them were massive compared to the crowd. Round bellies, apprehensive faces drawn long from the despairing faces of the thicket of dark skinned stick figures. We were a group of skeletons watching the living pass by. Something dropped from his pockets in front of Lupe and before I could grab her, she was off running for the couple. Armed guards spun on her pointing their rifles at the child. My wife was not far behind her, holding her, putting out her hand begging.

The man spoke with a heavy accent and helped lower the men's rifles with a gentle hand. “Vat is it little girl?”

Lupe extended her hand and in her palm was a gold watch attached to a silver chain. He took it gently from her hand as I came to stand behind her. I apologized profusely, looking down at my feet all the while. The German's were probably diplomats on vacation, I thought. Why they would chose a place like this, however, was beyond me.

He knelt down and said: “Sank you. Ziss vas my father's and my father's before him. It is dear to me.” He was silent for a moment and his mind seemed to be elsewhere. “Vat is your name?”

Lupe, she replied. He stood and turned to his wife and exchanged hushed words. She nodded.

“How vould you like to ride in a train Lupe?”

The words hit me like a brick and buckled my knees. My wife cried and our daughter's excitement was so child-like and innocent. She had no idea the implications of his action. The price of a ticket may not have seemed like much to him but as we drew closer to the train cab and we looked up to the roof to see families riding on the top with only blankets to shield them from the cold and the rain, we knew. Knew that his simple act of kindness gave hope to a family that was hopeless.

1 comment:

  1. I like it very much.
    Both the darkness and the light .
    Much more impactful.