DISEQUILIBRIUMS The Individuals. Chapter 28

Thursday 22 December 2016

Time: 7:00 pm


The madness is now gathering pace. Furthermore, the deadline Nicola gave us is fast coming to an end. We only have a few hours to the dawn of the winter solstice and we’re not fully prepared.

After listening to Sofia, everything makes sense. We’ve decided to act immediately. The three of us are in the living room, around the large dark mahogany table my parents bought when they got married. Sofia has begun to do an Internet search on my brother’s computer, while Erik works on his tablet. I don’t know how he did it, but Samuel appeared at my apartment two minutes after I opened for Sofia and Erik. I imagine that he must have heard me talking to Sofia on the phone when she told me that they were coming over to my home. But, how was he able to come so quickly? Well, I don’t really know where he lives, so I don’t know if he was fast or slow. He connected a small wireless keyboard to the tablet he always carries in his backpack and now he is busy tapping away on the keyboard. Elsa is connected via video and we’ve already identified several things, but I am going very slowly.

Erik has begun to tell us what happened at his home with his parents, until he told them Sofia’s father’s name.

“… and I told him not to tell me anything more.” Sofia rouses me from my thoughts.”

“How you mean ‘not to tell you anything more’?” Elsa asks.

“She asked me if it was linked to what was happening to us these days in the city,” Erik replied, looking at Elsa, or rather her image on the screen.

Although the four of us are around the living room table, I have connected my laptop to the system we have at home via the Wi-Fi, which links the audio feed to the sound equipment and projects the video onto the wall above the sofa through a cable we put up on the ceiling. I think it’s a very good device which they started selling this year and, as my mother is an IT expert, she always likes having the latest gadgets in the market.

“Are you OK with all of us listening to it?” We hear Elsa’s words resounding through the living room.

Sofia doesn’t answer, but nods her head in agreement.

“Could you start?” Samuel takes us by surprise with his question, as he stands up, goes to the armchair under the window and, with an uncharacteristic elegance, he sits down slowly. With hands resting on the arms of the chair and tilting his head a little, he looks directly up at Erik.

The three of us look at each other in amazement. He looks almost comical, with his large overcoat open to reveal black trousers and a black jumper. It’s strange because I’ve always imagined him to be a bigger guy, but with the close-fitting jumper he is wearing today, I realise that he is quite slim. We’ve always seen him in overcoats and baggy clothes, and so he’s created a very different image from what I’m seeing today, especially as his coat has some stains on the sleeves, making him look untidy.

He puts his feet together, which seems almost exaggerated as he sits with his knees together. Who sits like that?

“What’s happening?” We hear Elsa’s voice.

No one answers. Samuel continues looking at Erik.

“Helloooo,” We hear Elsa’s voice again.

“Nothing’s happening, Elsa,” I answer. “It seems that our friend Samuel has something to tell us.”

The three of us turn to look at him. He looks different.

“I prefer Erik to tell us what he wants to say,” Samuel interrupts with a slight smile.

“What are you on about?” Erik asks, “Do you know something that you want to tell us?”

Erik stands up and leans on the back of the chair. He looks at Samuel in a defiant way.

“I know that your parents didn’t come here only for the sun and the wind,” Samuel replies.

His words resound throughout the room. Even the expression on Elsa’s face projected on the wall undergoes a change. Erik walks over to Samuel. I don’t like his attitude. I stand up and go between them.

“Shall we all sit down?” “Darn it!” Sofia shouts.

Good God! What a reaction! I think that it is the first time I’ve heard her say a bad word. Has super-polite Sofia discovered her more unpleasant inner self when she becomes agitated? Or is it what Erik has told her, that is beginning to change her? He turns towards her and looks at her wide-eyed as I have never seen him do before. You could cut the silence with a knife. Samuel has not even batted an eye. Elsa, on the screen, looks paralysed. I sit down. Erik does the same.

“Samuel, can you tell us,” Sofia begins, speaking to him slowly, articulating her words in a tone that no longer reflects as much congeniality as before, “what you know?” She stops for a moment to look at Erik, “And why you know it?”

WriterGlen Lapson © 2016

English translator: Rose Cartledge

PublisherFundacion ECUUP


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