(con’t from part 2)
The next day, we thought Salam wouldn’t return, but he did, I changed the ointment on his hands and said to him,” Alright! It won’t hurt when you bake tonight, in a few days the skin will grow back.”
Salam was quiet, he didn’t say much. As he was leaving it looked as if he had something to say, but he held it back. When he got to the door he suddenly turned around and said, “Thank you!” I felt strange at the time, but I just replied, “It’s nothing, don’t go crazy again, hurry up and go to work!”
Then he smiled at me in a weird way, my heart tightened and I thought, something just isn’t right, I have never seen Salam smile!
The morning after that, I was going to take the garbage out, and when I opened the door two policemen came towards me.
“Excuse me, are you Mrs. Quero?”
“Yes, I am,” and I thought to myself, Salam is dead.
“There is a Salam Hamidah…”
“He’s our friend,” I said calmly.
“Do you have any idea where he might have gone?”
“He what?” I asked them instead.
“Last night, he took the money from his brother’s shop that was supposed to be used for buying goods, and he took money from the bakery and ran off…”
“Oh…” I did not expect Salam to make such a choice.
“Did he say anything strange lately? Or did he mention where he was planning to go?” the police asked.
“No… if you knew Salam, you would know, he doesn’t talk much.”
After seeing the police off, I closed the door and took a nap.
At dinner, José said, “How is it possible at all for Salam to give up the desert? It’s the root of Saharawis.”
“He can’t come back here anyway… they’re looking for him everywhere.”
We sat on the rooftop after dinner, it was a windless night. José told me to turn on the light, as soon as the light was on, bugs flocked towards it. They flew round and round the light, as if the light was the only thing that could prove them alive. We looked at the bugs together.
“What are you thinking?” José asked.
“I was thinking, when moths fly towards open flames, they must be truly happy.”
– The end –