Several years ago my downstairs neighbor called and told me he had received a surprise visit, from the daughter of the former owner of the building where we live. She showed great interest in visiting only my apartment, so he had given her my phone number.
The next day I got the call, and we arranged to meet. Still a young woman, she was very excited when I gladly received her. She was apprehensive because of the stories they told her that everyone here is afraid that those who left will come again to take away what had belonged to them. She realized immediately that I had no such fear, and immediately there was a surge of empathy. Of course I showed her the whole apartment and the garden we had built on the roof. She was very emotional and told me that her father had designed the building with three apartments, one on each floor, for the enjoyment of the family. The building was finished in 1958 and two years later they were already in exile, which was very hard for the family. This floor was of particular interest because it was where she lived since birth. Her grandparents lived on the first floor and her uncles on the second.
It was I who really felt excited, and at the same time embarrassed, at seeing with what sacrifice and love a family had saved money and built something so they could always be together; suddenly, by the circumstance of a social phenomenon, they were forced to abandon everything.
Today I heard from her and this time I owe it to my blog. She has become my reader, and I hope, with time, my friend. In short, she and I have been puppets of destiny.
Translated by Tomás A.
August 2, 2010