They went back to his apartment and made love almost immediately, amongst the cheap student furniture and stacks of medical textbooks. They would have made love a second time, but Fernandoís wife came home unexpectedly. Catching the two in bed, she began picking up whatever was within armís reach and hurling it at the both of them. "Whore!," she screamed, in spanish. "You dirty whore, get out of here! Why do you want to destroy my family?"

Angela had no idea what the hell was going on and looked over to Fernando for an explanation and at least a little protection from the oncoming missiles. He simply shrugged and said quietly, "I think you had better go before my wife finds something more dangerous to hit you with." Angela saw that there was a temporary lull in the barrage and could hear the woman rummaging through drawers in another room. What was she going to attack her with next? She could well imagine the distraught woman appearing again in the doorway brandishing a long butcher knife, so she grabbed her clothes and bags and made a run for the front door.

Halfway there she saw Fernandoís wife coming around the corner holding what appeared to be a large handgun. Angela saw the weapon was pointed directly at her and saw the tears running down the face of the woman holding it. She had no doubt at that point that she was going to die. She was going to die here in Monterrey Mexico because a medical student that she slept with neglected to tell her that he had a murderously jealous wife -- well, actually, he had neglected to tell her that he had a wife at all. Fernando watched the scene unfolding from the bedroom doorway and just started to laugh and speak to his wife in spanish.

God I hope heís not taunting her to shoot me, thought Angela, as she decided to risk continuing her dash out of the apartment, trying to mentally prepare herself for the bullet that would be entering the back of her spine any second now. Somehow she made it to the front door, and somehow Fernando was already there, smiling a vicious smile and opening the door wide for her. She did not stop in the hall but kept on down the stairs until she was sure she was well out of the line of fire. She heard a manís voice call out after her, laughing, "So how much do I owe you? Maybe you should get your money up front next time!" and a door slammed.

There she was, half-dressed in the dark stairway of an apartment building, her things lying on the stairs around her. She overcame the urge to break down in tears by realizing that she really had nothing to cry about. She had her stuff, and as far as she could tell no bullets had entered her body. Crazy people! And sitting on the stairs in that building in the middle of who-knows-where, she started to laugh out loud, despite herself, at the absurdity of her situation. Well, though Fernando had forgotten to tell her that he was married, he had warned her that he was the evilest man she was ever likely to meet. And she had survived the encounter anyway. And the sex was good to boot.

She tried to dress herself as well as she could in the dark, grabbed her bags and left the building. By now it was late and the street was deserted, no taxis in sight. The only light on the street came from a little all-night food stand that appeared to double as someoneís home. As she came closer, the smell of warm tacos reminded her of how achingly hungry she felt, and she ordered a few from the kind-looking older woman making the food. She sat on one of the available stools and ate as she watched the woman, who continued to cook although there were no other potential customers in sight.

Her emptiness filled, at least physically, Angela tried to ask the woman where she could get a taxi, without much success. Then she remembered the spanish for Ďbus stationí and asked "Donde esta el central de autobus?" The woman made some kind of ambiguous gesture and said something very quickly in spanish, and Angela could not for the life of her figure out what the woman was trying to say. Then it looked like she was making a curved pointing motion to the right and nodded rapidly. Angela decided to go with it and grabbed her things and mumbled a gracias as she started down the street in the apparent direction that the woman had pointed. Of course, the old woman could have been saying, donít go that way, you will get attacked by bandits, but probably it was okay.

Angela took the next right and found herself staring at the back of the Monterrey bus station. She knew it was the back of the bus station because there were about twenty large inter-city busses lined up. It was a welcoming sight, indeed, and she wanted to run towards the station with arms outstretched as if it was a long lost friend who had come to meet her at the airport.

That creep Fernando! No wonder he hung out at the bus station, it was just next door! Angela made her way towards the station, passing the new arrivals to town and imagined that they were headed towards the old woman and her delicious tacos. The inside of the bus station was bustling with activity, but there was at least one counter where there was no line, and approaching it she surveyed the list of available destinations. Guadalajara was not on the list, but something else caught her eye, a place that Fernando had mentioned while they were in his car on the way to the mountain.

"Ciudad de Mexico, por favor," she said, in her best spanish accent. It was not until she found her seat on the bus and looked out the window at the departing city of Monterrey that she remembered how she had felt on the mountain with Fernando, and she started to cry.

Chapter 22

 

Chapter 21 was first written November 25, 2001

It was last edited December 29, 2001