Let Me Take Your Hands, part 3

Welcome! This blog features short piano pieces I’ve recorded at home. It began as a project for the quarantine, a mental break during these tough times.

This week, I’m switching things up a bit in honor of Short Story Month. Each post features an installment of my short story “Let Me Take Your Hands,” originally published in The Woven Tale Press as a prizewinner in WTP’s 2017 literary competition. Find the first installment here.

This is a favorite story of mine. Each installment will be paired with a piece of piano music I’ve recorded.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog if you’d like a regular dose of music, and visit back soon!

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“Let Me Take Your Hands” part 3

By noon, Antonio had been sitting at his laptop for three hours. No one had been able to offer any help.

As if from somewhere on the ceiling, he watched himself dial another number. This lawyer, a white woman named Margaret Tillison, was far away in Denver. Antonio could neither imagine her helping him nor, if by some miracle she could, how he would manage to travel to the city to meet with her.

When she accepted the call from her secretary, Antonio laid out the words that by then had become routine. Aside from the pounding in his head, he could have been telling the lawyer about something that had happened to someone else.

She asked the usual questions, in a crisp, detached attorney-voice. To Antonio, she sounded older, possibly near his own age. Someone who had seen much of what life could throw at a person. When she finished questioning him, Antonio braced himself to hear the usual answer.

After a pause, though, she said something different. “Did the ICE tell you how long Ms. Cordeiro would be held at San Miguel?” She pronounced Consuelo’s last name perfectly, as she had Antonio’s own.

Antonio tried to think. “I don’t remember. I don’t think so.”

“You need to find out. I have one option for you to consider.”

Antonio realized his fingers were going numb around the phone. He massaged his wrist with his free hand, trying to wake the nerves back up. “Please tell me.”

She did. Antonio listened. The enormity and absurdity of the suggestion, the only thing he could do now to rescue a friendless woman, made it difficult to fit the idea into his head.

He forced himself to pay attention as Ms. Tillison finished, “It won’t be easy, Mr. Guerrera. And you’ll have to work fast. Most likely, she’ll be moved first to Texas and then deported. Once she’s out of Colorado, you won’t have the option anymore.”

“I see,” Antonio said. He didn’t see. This was too much for him to understand. “Thank you,” he said.

She wished him luck. Antonio listened to the click when she hung up. The “option” couldn’t possibly work…but suppose it could. Would it be worth it? Should he try?

He thought of Tess sitting silent in the bedroom, her arms folded across her empty stomach. He thought of Consuelo in a jail cell. He thought about what it would mean if he tried the lawyer’s solution, and if it worked. For the first time in a long time, he heard the words of an old prayer in his mind.

Dios que nos ve a todos, diríjame. God who sees us all, lead me.

~story continues in the next blogpost~

Musical pairing: Fugue in D minor, by Johann Sebastian Bach

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