Author Topic: In This Time- Ch 17 (start)--Political novel set in Peru (1102 words)  (Read 435 times)

Offline Sharon L

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What follows is broken into scenes that take place at the same time, but the latter one is not presented here in its entirety (will cont. with next post). The first of these may need to be told from a different POV, but I'd love any advice on how to juxtapose scenes that are taking place simultaneously in one chapter.

All comments/notes welcome!

Chapter XVII.

At the Hizolo household, Antay was mixing drinks for himself and his wife. The girls were exhausted after rough-housing with him and Tigre following dinner. Bathing and dressing them in their nightgowns had been quite a chore, but when he joined them beside to say their prayers together they were starting to unwind. Antay let each daughter select the book he would read knowing they knew the tales by heart. Whenever he or Lidia brought a new book home, each girl had to pick one off their shelf that they would donate to their neighborhood school’s library. Though Tamaya and Kespi weren’t old enough just yet, their parents believed this was a good way to make them acquainted with that building long before they’d start to attend regularly.
Lidia knew he had a lot on his plate that he wanted to discuss, but she wanted to be sure her vodka tonic would have already started to take effect. When the phone rang, she had him speak to his father-in-law for a while as she stirred her drink just right after mixing his rum. Seated on the loveseat when Antay handed her the phone, she kicked off her shoes and made herself comfortable as he stoked the embers in the fireplace before adding another packaged log. It had been a while since they’d thought about cozying up together like this. She was glad Antay had made the suggestion though she fully expected his motives weren’t purely romantic. Fortunately, she had made a mental list of the topics she wanted to cover before the fire burned out. As the alcohol made its way through her system, she was pretty certain she could keep the buzz going and get through each point without holding up the lovemaking that would follow. We don’t need a bear rug beneath us to make another baby—the sheepskin in the living room she had pulled out, just for them, would do just fine.

We still hadn’t made it to Soledad’s soirée so Valentín found the previous day’s issue of Oiga on the dining room table. He started to read the front page while I finished dressing Mateo in our room.
"When did you buy this newspaper?"
"Ingrid brought it with her yesterday. Lázaro picked it up for her because our hostess tonight works there."
Mateo came running out of room and disappeared, leaving me with his comb in hand. Not yet six, he still thinks he can escape being well groomed, but tonight he’ll learn a bit more about what it is to be a grown-up boy. Standing in our doorway so that I could catch Mateo when he showed up again, I continued: "What you think about that paper, papa?"
Valentín commented on an editorialist’s piece that accused Hizolo of being too closely aligned with Venezuelan President Horacio Coel. Much later in the presidential campaign this was a sentiment popularized by several in and around Lima who favored Kimiko.
"I don’t know the whole story, but it seems the papers always accuse leftists for taking on a more global view of how government should work, but when conservatives do the same there doesn’t seem to be a problem. Arturo tells me that even the Vasdea’s party is acting as if Hayashi’s old objectives are worthwhile considerations, whatever the cost."
"Since when are you interested in all of this, daughter?"
"Politics don’t interest me much, papá, but as I am interested in Arturo, I should probably understand it a little more, right?"
As we spoke, I had been keeping an eagle eye out for Mateo and found him under the dining room table, tangling his grandfather’s shoestrings up in knots. Pulling him away from this activity was no easy task, but after I found his most ticklish spot I grabbed Mateo around the waist and together we plopped onto the sofa. I quickly parted his mane straight down the middle and let it go at that, making a mental note that the boy needed to get to a barber soon or risk being made fun of for having too-long tresses at his new school.
Getting up from the table, Valentín said, "Monica, I hope to learn more about this Arturo tonight."
"Of course, papá. He will be getting here soon so fix yourself up and we’ll meet him downstairs so as not to delay in finding a taxi. Mateo is already set and getting unruly."   
Half an hour later, my father and Arturo were getting along well as we rode together to Naoko’s place. I held onto Mateo in my lap. Valentín did not interrogate Arturo until we got out and made our way to the front door, but I could tell he already had a list of questions in his head to find out what his intentions were regarding his youngest daughter. That night, neither he nor I had an inkling that Lázaro would be shaking things up in our family—nor that the effect of his actions would leave a bad taste in our mouths for a while.


The Cusqueña had already circulated well among the other guests by the time we arrived. Mateo ran straight towards Ingrid, hugging her so tightly that he ruined my attempt to keep his hair in line, but in the end it didn’t matter. When I let him go, I took the opportunity to grab Arturo’s hand and squeezed it quickly, faster than anyone could see. His dark glance made me dizzy and furthered my resolve to take a chance and be more demonstrative in my admiration of my friend.  Months later, Lázaro told me that was the day he first saw that I was falling for Arturo.
At the time, however, Lázaro had a great deal more to consider without worrying about my situation. As the evening got started, Valentín was uncomfortably ensconced at the dining table where all the dishes since had already been placed. Lázaro had invited him to share a bottle of Cusqueña with Arturo. Together they made a comical pair seated at the table beer amidst a sea of fine china. Mateo and I were sitting at the other end of the table trying to make out what we could of the see the delayed pre-game commentary on the other side of the sofa. We could have sat closer to the TV set, but I wanted to hear what my father was saying. After a while Mateo made his way to his mother’s lap and it seemed that the only person who was intently following my father’s train of thought was Arturo.

Continued with next post...
« Last Edit: December 18, 2011, 10:01:02 AM by Sharon L »