People From The Sea – War Games



She looks incredulous to the gun she has just shot. Years ago her mother had alerted her: “Be careful when you pick someone. Some men know how to appreciate a woman while others will destroy her, humiliate her, try to erase her from the list of human beings.”


From the start she knew Carlos wasn’t right for her. Nevertheless, they were connected by nothing but rational. He was the one who forced a way into her world and conquered a space in it. She couldn’t say exactly when she had surrounded to him but she had a couple of reasonable whys: his persistence and the fact that he only had eyes for her. The day she admitted that he was the one, she didn’t lost time. She gave him her hand and they disappeared in the cold, foggy November.


She looks at him now (so quiet, so silent!) and she can only remember his gestures of lover in that cold afternoon of November, before the war started between them – war representing a chain of humiliation, suffering and anger, with occasional periods of peace.


Their first battle was during a night out with friends. He decided to ridicule everything she was doing and saying. A deep pain grew inside of her all night long. At home she argued with him. Carlos justified his behavior with jealousy, yet the excuse sounded inconsistent to her. The peace happened later and was signed with her tears and his kisses. She suspected some couples were just like that but their case bordered on madness.


The situation didn’t improve with the wedding. On the contrary! One day the china was broken, the next day the silence of lost battles invaded the house. In days of reflection, she could clearly see that he only wanted her in a permanent state of nerves.


Why was the communication between them so difficult? Why could they only maintain a relationship based on the dichotomy love/hate? Could the problem be his temperament or was he orchestrating a plan to destroy her? Should she have done something in order to stop the escalation of war? Those and many other questions had tormented her over the years.


She could have run away, look for protection somewhere else. What about her two sons? When they were little she kept them away from the battlefield. Now, with 10 and 12, they were part of the war game they played. Depending on their own interests, they betted in one of the sides – usually the stronger one.


Early on that day both boys went out without her permission, after a dispute and serious offenses. She had just lost another battle! She couldn’t accept losing with her own children. She felt so tired!


She shot him the moment he opened the entrance door. He didn’t had time to open his mouth to say hello or ask for the boys.


First she saw the surprise written on his face. Only that deep puzzlement seemed to keep him in silence and paralyzed. Then she looked at the object that had just produced a penetrating ra-ta-ta-ta sound.


She recognizes her sons’ toy machine gun. She must have picked it mechanically. She lets it fall with a bang on the hard floor. Without giving him time to wake up from his numbness, she breathes deeply, walks to the entrance, slams the door and disappears. It is November again and she smiles.