The black van head raced along at great speed. “Where are they taking me? Oh I know, to the American Consulate, of course! That’s why he didn’t speak to me this morning when I shouted at him through the iron bars in jail. Or maybe even straight to the Aeropuerto de Maracaibo? ” I was feeling a little better thinking that as soon I get to Caracas to change planes I will call William in San Francisco, and tell him I am having a great time seeing Maracaibo! I would love to stay in the same hotel where we stayed! Sweet memories: we danced in the disco club until the wee hours of the morning. But I have to go to Canaima too, my brother is waiting for me. William’s memories are haunting me, and my love for him after all those years still makes my heart jump!
All this made me feel nostalgic suddenly, and I was not very happy about Tad abandoning me. What a coward with a capital C!….. William would never do that–
or would he? I will tell him how much I still really love him, no matter how many lovers or husbands I have had over the years!
The van kept moving, I think we went past the aeropuerto. “Now where are we going?” I dared to ask, but no answer. I need to open these dark windows to see, but of course they were sealed, so I could only see a little bit, from where the driver and his companion looked through their big window, which of course was not tinted. I really would like to see and get some air, it’s an inferno in here! The temperature must be over 100F and the air conditioner does not reach back here. But I just shut up and said nothing at all. The AC seems to work only in the front cabin, far away, separated by bars. Of course the windows were sealed and the bars were locked.
Now I realized I was the only one in the baucan (van) wherever it was, with these two jailers, and they were staring at me, which did not look very good to me! “Oh not, not that, my dear God. They’re not going to do something like rape me!”
Finally they stopped the van and the doors were open and these two guys stepped out and closed the doors-what now? I guessed they were buying cigarettes liquor, rum, and then they would take me to a remote place, rape me and may be even kill me. and no one would ever find me, oh dear God please help me!
They took their time in the store, in the mean time I could try to sea where we were., It just looked like the street of a colonial old style suburb, but I could only see half of the store. I couldn’t see the whole picture because of the way the windows were blacked out, with my nerves on fire and my mind spinning thinking of hundreds of scenarios, none of than very good! but at least I had the faith that always took me through life unharmed. My thoughts were interrupted by the guards getting back in the van and shouting “Vamonos!” I yelled at one of them, “What’s going on? ” No answer.
After what seemed an eternity, I heard voices and another car and lots of commotion going on, but I couldn’t see from my seat. I was still handcuffed. Then the van came to a stop, voices and cars noises, and finally they opened the side door that gave me access to get out, “Out,” one of the jailers said, “out! afuera!”
It was a nice street in a very old colonial area, the sky was blue and clear with fluffy clouds dancing to a soft breeze and the temperature over 100 F, but I did not care!
At least I could breathe fresh air, not the putrefying odor of that jail! There was a big corner house, very old Spanish style, with those old windows I liked so much and some big wooden doors; it was painted a blue grayish color with white borders all around the entire house. There were women with children coming out of the right far door, and from the center door there were men in suits, looked like lawyers, going in and out.
Through the left door they escorted me, we went inside to a big sala with a beautiful old wooden desk with lots of papers piled up, and many people coming and going, so I stood there while some policemen (regular police) came in and took their handguns off me.
. My guards pointed to a long bench down the room and left me, saying “Stay there.” So I sat there, immobile, I dared not move or even ask where the bathroom was. This was okay, I thought. The interior of this mansion was very elegant, a good place to be in its day.
I could see through an open door. There was a large inside patio with rooms around the square, and men sitting and talking. Some were shaving, talking, or drinking coffee. Oh I really wanted something to drink! They all looked like regular people. I felt like God was smiling down and I just sat and enjoyed the comings and goings of so many different people. What a welcome distraction! On the far end of the room, opposite me, there was what looked like a very private office. Only a few people went in. I could hear telephones ringing everywhere, but behind doors that were closed all the time.
I sat and sat until around 4 pm (there was a big clock in the wall, very visible to all) . There were typewriters click clack clicking and the constant sound of a busy office. I thought, This big old casona must have been very expensive, maybe it belonged to some hacendados, a rich Spanish or Venezuelan family, maybe some big oil money from the black gold!
The private door to that big office came open and a very pleasant pretty young lady looked at me and said politely, “Please follow me!” What now!