A kaleidoscope of theretofore repressed feelings battled inside Guillermo’s throbbing head. He was about to face the son he had lost twenty years ago and he’d locked the car door with the keys in the ignition. Worse, the engine was running.
What would he look like? Would he recognize his son? What could he say to him? Could he explain that the pain of losing a family had made him disappear from their lives? Would his son Guillermo (now answering to the anglicized nickname Bill) understand?
Guillermo stared, amazed. He’d immediately recognized him but he was so different. More like his brother than his son. Then he rushed to him and, after starting to embrace him, held out his hand. Bill took it, shook it firmly, and then said “Father, it’s been a long time. And you don’t look anything like your picture!”
Guillermo laughed, relief flooding his body and tension oozing out. No recriminations, no sullen expressions. Just an obviously happy and pleased young man. He led Bill to the bar and offered him a drink. After all, he was twenty-three years old now. After they were served, Guillermo proceeded to explain that in his excitement at finally seeing him, he’d foolishly locked them out of their ride home. Bill had ordered Cardenal Mendoza, a Spanish Brandy that Guillermo favored during his brief life with Maria-Rosario. He was pleased, assuming correctly that his son had cared enough, and that Maria-Rosario had been forgiving enough, to acquaint Bill with visions of who his father had been. But so much time had passed.
Sara, Guillermo’s current wife arrived, out of breath, with their daughters, Nancy, Ellen and Sarita, and with another Guillermo, twenty years younger than Bill. That was going to be awkward to explain. But now Guillermo knew he would manage it as he always seemed to manage to solve all of his problems; if not then, at least now!
Sara was an attractive woman, short and dark featured, full of energy. She was, as usual, happy, excited and outgoing. She embraced Bill tightly, gave him a great hug and told him that he was with his family and that they loved him. The girls were somewhat quieter. Shy, curious and confused, they’d only found out yesterday that they had an older brother and that he’d be living with them, at least for a while. Guillermo chuckled happily to himself, he’d been dreading this moment for months and now it was here and had evolved in a manner much less awkward than he’d expected.
“Guillermo, here are your spare keys, Sara whispered. Why don’t you and Bill drive home together, alone, and talk. The girls and I will meet you at the party later.”
Guillermo smiled, kissed her, kissed the girls, and finally hugged his oldest son. Little Guillermo wanted to ride with the men but Sara quickly settled that issue.
Guillermo and Bill quietly walked to the car.
 © Guillermo Calvo Mahé; Ocala, Florida, 2002; all rights reserved