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ADEVRATA BUCURIE

JUDY GILL
CAPITOLUL 1
Nu numai c arta extic!"ar a#ea c$iar %i un a&t'e( "e mir&!extic!armat!cu i)
"e m&c*+att ,ie"(er &e &u-u&e im-u(&u(ui care .( cn"u&e -/n .n -ra0u( u%ii
"e&c$i&e*E)it/n" numai -entru un mment!-%i .nuntru!-un/n" .n mi%care un
&et "e "e(ica1i c(-1ei rienta(i*A#an& "i -a%i*Un c#r 0r&!.n aceea%i
cu(are 0ri2-a( ca ta-etu( -ere1i(r!.i .n3u%i -a%ii!.n tim- ce c(-1eii amu1eau
tre-tat*Accente "ecrati#e "e cu(area -ier&icii %i #er"e2-a( creau atm&'er
"i&tinct 'eminin*E( rma&e nec(intit!mi%c/n"u2%i numai c$ii .n tim- ce &e
3i%nuia cu am3ian1a ne'ami(iar a unui ma0a)in "e (en4erie 'eminin*
Adevrata bucurie era &cri& -e #itrin*Era unu( "in ce(e cinci ma0a)ine ce &e
a'(au (a -arteru( $te(u(ui "e a-artamente Westmarch*
Ace&t nume!care .i &u0era&e ima0ini &u0e&ti#e!.( atr&e&e (a ace&t boutique*E(
inten1ina&e & 'ac -(im3are .n 4uru( c("irii -entru care Metcom Inc*!-atrnu(
&u!a#ea -1iune "e cum-rare*A-i!#)/n" un neglij "e mta&e ex-u& .n
#itrin!&e "eci&e & in#e&ti0$e)e .n cntinuare*Neglij-ul era ne0ru!3r"at cu
"ante( r)2"e&c$i&!tran&-arent %i 'r .n"ia( c ar 'i '&t a"e#rat 3ucurie!
#)ut -e 'emeia -tri#it*5e 0/n"i c "ac ar 'i '&t un &-ecia(i&t .n -u3(icitate!
-ate &2ar 'i "eci& %i e( -entru ace&t nume "e ma0a)in*Per&ana!care .( "enumi&e
a%a!a#ea 0/n"ire -e aceea%i (un0ime "e un" cu a (ui*+ai a#an& un -a& .n
ma0a)in!.ntin&e m/na %i atin&e un neglij &-um&!a(3!&im1in" &atinu( 0reu &u3
"e0ete(e &a(e!-ene(e "e(icate "e mara3u atin0/n"u2i .nc$eietura m/inii*
2 Bun "iminea1a*E( tre&ri (a tim3ru( #cii %i .%i retra&e 3ru&c m/na "e -e
neglij2u( "e &atin a(3!&im1in"u2&e u%r 4enat!ca 2%i cum ar 'i '&t -rin& um3(/n"
.n "u(a-u( unei 'emei*
2V -t 'i "e '(& &au "ri1i & # mai uita1i -u1in6
Aceast voce7Au)in" acea&t #ce i &e ri"ic 'iecare 'ir "e -r "e -e cr-*5e
.ntar&e %i 'cu c$ii mari*Tt ceea ce -utu #e"ea (a 'emeia "in 'a1a (ui erau
c$ii!&-r/ncene(e! c(aie "e -r ca&taniu!ma(e!un 3ra1 &u31ire %i m/n cu
-ie(ea 3rn)at*Dar cea'a .nce-u & .( 'urnice!iar 0ura i &e u&c 3ru&c*Nu &e
-utea*Nu*Era $a(ucina1ie*
2E&te .n r"ine!&-u&e e(*Tcmai -(ec***
2+att6 .( .ntreru-&e #cea*Acea&ta #eni "at cu )0mtu( cutii(r -e care ea (e
&c-a -e te40$ea!c$ii mari "e un a(3a&tru inten& -ri#in"u2( 'ix*
2+att6 &-u&e ea "in nu!"in &-ate(e te40$e(ei*Era ca un murmur "e ne.ncre"ere
mirat*Ea a#an& un -a&!'cu -au)!c(i-i %i .i r&ti "in nu nume(e!
trium'tr!ca %i cum ea (2ar 'i creat*
2+att7Dee nu era re&-n&a3i( "e )/m3etu( ei!im-&i3i( "e re-rimat!ce .i (umina
'a1a*5im1i c .i inun" .ntre0u( cr-*
2+att ,ie"(er7 &-u&e ea*
Era e(*De&i0ur!mai .n #/r&t!mai (at .n umeri!-urt/n" nu 3(u0ii %i tricu( "in
uni'rma c(e0iu(ui!a%a cum .%i amintea!ci un im-ermea3i( ecru -e&te un c&tum
3(eumarin cm-u& "in trei -ie&e*Pru( &u .nc$i&!-er(at acum cu &tr-i "e -(aie!
era aran4at cu 0ri4*A(t"at .( (&a -ur %i &im-(u & crea&c c/t tre3uie!"u- care
ci-/r1ea -arte "in e( .n 3aie*Era ttu%i +att*A4un0/n" (/n0 e(!.i .ntin&e
m/ini(e*
2Ei!ia uite7Te2ai &c$im3at 'arte -u1in!& #e"em2c/t & 'ie62"i&-re)ece!
cinci&-re)ece ani6
2Trei&-re)ece!&-u&e e(!(u/n"u2i m/ini(e %i )/m3in"u2i*E( arta (a 'e( "e mirat %i
"e amu)at ca ea*+/ini(e (ui (e .ncercuir -e a(e ei .ntr2un m" .n care tru-u( ei
%i2( aminti ime"iat!.n 'iecare "eta(iu**Trei&-re)ece ani*De&i0ur ea %tia ace&t
(ucru*Nu era ne#ie ca e( & .i reamintea&c c/t a trecut "e atunci*Trei&-re)ece
ani!cinci (uni %i 4umtate2%a&e!(a 1 "ecem3rie*Ea &e uita inten& (a e(!.n aceia%i
c$i "e cu(area a(unei care "at au .n&emnat centru( uni#er&u(ui ei*
Trei&-re)ece ani*Damne! mu(1ime "e #a(uri au #enit %i au -(ecat "e atunci*
2+ 3ucur & te #" "in nu*Ca-u( .i #/4/ia "e un 'ir ame1itr!ne3une&c!
-ri#in"u2( c/t era "e .na(t!"e -uternic %i "e #iri(*
O$!Damne7 Nu a .n#1at nimic .n ace%ti trei&-re)ece ani6Ea .ncerca & &e
retra0!& -%ea&c .na-i!"ar e( .i 1inu m/ini(e &tr/n&!ne(&/n"2 & -(ece*Ea .%i
cntr( em1ii(e!-un/n" .ntre ei "i&tan1 -e care %tia c tre3uie & men1in*
Ace&t 3r3at a -r&it2*I2a .n%e(at .ncre"erea!(2a )"r3it inima*8i ce 'cea ea
acum!3ucur/n"u2&e %i "/n" "in ca" ca un c1e(u% -ier"ut care %i2a re0&it
&t-/nu(6 Un"e era m/n"ria ei6Vcea ei "e#eni mai rece cu c/te#a 0ra"e!(a
ni#e(u( (a care ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie (a .nce-ut!c/n" r&ti9
2Ce mai 'aci!+att6
25unt 3ine*E( .%i 'reca "e0ete(e mari "e .nc$eieturi(e m/ini(r ei!"ar "e "ata
acea&ta ea reu%i & &e e(i3ere)e*Re-e"e!ea .%i a&cun&e m/ini(e (a &-ate!
.m-reun/n"u2(e &tr/n&!"e-arte "e acei c$i care "at #e"eau ttu(*Nu a#ea nici
un mti# & tremure*8i ttu%i ea tremura*
28i tu!&-u&e e(!c$ii &i .ncre1in"u2&e .ntr2 'in re1ea "e ri"uri "e r/&!care numai
&e .ntre)rea atunci c/n" era "e "u)eci %i trei "e ani*Te2ai &c$im3at!Dee*Nu
cre"eam c -1i & ar1i %i mai 3ine*E( .i -ri#i &i(ueta!cnturat c(ar!%tia!-rin
rc$ia "e trict 'in "e (/n r)*Ai cre&cut2e( .%i "re&e 0(a&u( %i cntinu2'arte***
.ntr2a"e#r 'arte 'ruma&!-uiu(e*
2:Puiu(e:***&-u&e ea!#cea ei "e#enin" r0u%it %i .necat "e%i #ia & rm/n
rece %i "i&tant*Nu -t &2mi aminte&c c/n" mi &2a mai &-u& a%a u(tima ar*
De&i0ur c %tia*E( era u(tima2"e 'a-t &in0ura2-er&an care i2a &-u& a&t'e(*Uneri
.i &-unea ;"uce&a:!"ar ca u%ar in&u(t!re-r% (a ceea ce e( cn&i"era
ar0an1*Dar nu mai am nu&-re)ece ani!+att**Pri#irea (ui trecu "in nu -e&te
ea!-rin"u2&e ici2c(*
28tiu*E( .n0$i1i #i)i3i(*Pt #e"ea %i &in0ur ace&t (ucru*
2Ce***ce 'aci aici6 .ntre3 ea*Tt ceea ce +att era .n &tare & 'ac era & &e uite (a
ea .ntr2un 'e( care 'cu & &e &imt &t/n4enit*<ntre3area ei (2a tu(3urat!-utea
#e"ea ace&t (ucru*A-i!0ura (ui &e &tr/m3 .ntr2un mic r/n4et cara0$i&!care2
"e&c-eri ea2-utea .nc & 'ac & ame1ea&c*E( &e e&c$i#a*
2Vrei & &-ui aici!-e Ca&ta "e Ve&t!aici .n acea&t c("ire!&au aici2cu un c$ictit
amu)at!-ri#in" .n 4ur ca %i cum nu ar 'i -utut & crea" ceea ce #e"ea .n 4uru(
&u2<n ace&t ma0a)in6R/&u( era exact cum %i2( amintea ea!-r'un"!&ex=!
0utura(!ca %i cum ar 'i '&t rcit*A&ta 'cea .ntt"eauna & "rea&c & .(
.n0ri4ea&c!& .( .n&nt%ea&c*Dar +att "e atunci era -rea "ur!-rea .nc- /nat!
ca & &e .m3(n#ea&c &au ca & a"mit c are ne#ie "e cine#a*E( &e mi%ca -rea
re-e"e -entru a 'i -rin& "e #reun micr3*5au "e 'emeie*Ea &e .ntre3a "ac a
mai .ncetinit ritmu(*
2Ei***ricare "in a&tea!&-u&e ea u%r*5au tate*Te a'(i -e Ca&t -entru a'aceri6
8i te a'(i aici!.n ma0a)inu( meu!-entru a cum-ra ce#a -entru aca&!-entru &1ia
ta6
2+ a'(u .n ra% -entru a'aceri!treceam -e (/n0 c("ire %i am intrat .n ma0a)in
"intr2un im-u(&*Nu &unt c&trit*+att 'u i)3it 3ru&c "e &en)a1ia "e u%urare -e
care &im1i c/n" .i &-u&e (ui Dee tate ace&te (ucruri*Era ca %i cum ar 'i '&t
e#a"are reu%it*Ar 'i #rut & #a" "ac -e m/na ei era #eri0$et!"ar ea .%i 1inea
am3e(e m/ini (a &-ate*E( ar 'i -utut &-une "u- ri0i"itatea umeri(r ei c .%i 1inea
m/ini(e &tr/n& .m-reunate!a%a cum 3i%nuia c/n" era ner#a&*Era ner#a&
acum6 Din cau)a (ui6 Dac "a!"e ce6 R&-un&uri -&i3i(e 'cur & .i 3at inima
ne3une%te*
2Dar tu6 .ntre3 e(*+ritat6Oc$ii (ui &e .n0u&tar ca r&-un& (a ar0an1a cu care
ea .%i ri"ic 3r3ia*
2Nu*8i cine .1i " "re-tu( & .ntre3i6 .%i &-u&e ea .n 0/n"*Nu tre3uia & &-un cu
0(a& tare*Pentru c(i- ner#)itatea (ui amenin1 & crea&c*8i cine "racu> are
mai mu(t "re-tu(6 #ru e( & .ntre3e!"ar "e&i0ur nu -utea*Cu trei&-re)ece ani .n
urm e( -r&i&e -e acea&t 'emeie!nu %i2a 1inut -rmi&iunea "e a &e .ntarce!
c$iar "ac a '&t -rmi&iune -e care a &c&2 cu 'r1a "e (a e(*C$iar atunci
c/n" a 'cut2 %tia c e&te -rmi&iune mincina&*Dar 'a1 "e Dee a '&t un
(a%!a a(e& ca(ea mai u%ar!a -rmi& %i nu a mai #enit*E( &e uita "in nu .n 4ur!
cut/n" cu "i&-erare un &u3iect neutru "e "i&cu1ie!&im1in"u2&e 3ru&c mai
&t/n4enit ca (a -rimu( &u inter#iu "e an0a4are*
2Deci!ace&ta e&te ma0a)inu( tu6Ea .%i a"u&e m/ini(e .n 'a1!.ntr2un 0e&t -&e&i#!
-(in "e m/n"rie*
2Da!unu( "intre e(e*
2Ai mai mu(t "e unu(6
2Trei!&-u&e Dee!urmrin"u2i cu aten1ie c$ii (ui +att .n tim- ce #r3ea*Ace&ta a
'&t -rimu( %i ce( un"e am 3iruri(e*5untem aici "e a-ra-e cinci ani*Am "e&c$i&
Adevrata bucurie II .n ?e&t Vancu#er acum c/ i#a ani %i Adevrata bucurie
III (a Oa@ri"0e!.n (una iunie anu( trecut*E( nu ""u nici un &emn "e m/$nire
a'(/n" c e&te 'emeie "e a'aceri -(in "e &ucce&!iar ea &im1i ciu"at &en)a1ie
"e u%urare*Ceea ce!.%i &-u&e ea!era ne3unie*<nt/(nirea cu +att era -ur
.nt/m-(are*De&i0ur c -e e( nu .( intere&a nici &ucce&u( ei -er&na(!nici ce( a(
cm-aniei -e care "e1inea .m-reun cu mama &a*Nu c ar 'i a#ut ce#a "e2a
'ace cu Em3a&&= A("in0& &au c ar -utea &2%i a&ume "re-turi a&u-ra
-r&-erit1ii ace&teia "ar &2ar -utea***&2( intimi"e)e -e +att*Ea )/m3i*+att nu
arta c ar 'i -utut 'i intimi"at*Dar!"e a(t'e(!nu 'u&e&e nici"at*
2Ei!3ine!&-u&e ea!c/n" e( tcu*Cu ce te -t a4uta!+att6 5au #rei & m -ri#e%ti6
2Eu***1i2am &-u&!nu am #enit & cum-r!i2a &-u& a&ta6 A '&t nume(e 'irmei ce(
care m2a atra& .nuntru*+2a intri0at*Adevrata bucurie*Cum ai a4un& (a nume(e
&ta6Pri#irea ei inten& .( 'ix c/n" .i &-u&e9
2Am cre)ut c #ei 'ace (e0tur!#)/n"u2m aici*
2Le0tur***$7 De&i0ur*De(i0$tBBucurieC*D/m3i*8tii!a-ra-e c am uitat c "e
'a-t -renume(e tu e&te De(i0$t*Pur %i &im-(u te 1in minte cu nume(e "e Dee*
Oc$ii aceia "e un a(3a&tru c(ar &e uitar (a e(!can"i"!.ntre3tri*D/m3etu( .i
"i&-ru&e*
2E%ti &i0ur6 .ntre3 ea!ca %i cum ar 'i intere&at2 un r&-un& &au ca %i cum ar 'i
amu)at2 "ac e( &2ar 'i "eran4at & &-un ce#a*+ 1ii minte!#reau & )ic6 .n
0enera(!&au numai c/n" ai intrat aici %i m2ai #)ut6E( .%i "re&e 0(a&u( "in nu
.nainte "e a -utea r&-un"e*
2+i2am amintit!Dee*Ori "e c/te ri am #)ut c(aie "e -r ca&taniu2r%cat .nc$i&
&tr(ucin" .n &are!mi2am amintit*5au -ri#in" un -r'i( care ar 'i -utut 'i a( tu*
E( )/m3i*5au "e c/te ri au)eam un tn re0a(! &c$im3are "e 'ra) "ictatria(!
m uitam re-e"e & #" "ac e%ti tu*Ea a&cu(t "e un im-u(& care #eni "e un"e#a
"in a"/ncuri!ri"ic m/na %i .i m/n0/ie cu "e0etu( cnturu( 'e1ei*
2+2am 0/n"it (a tine*Pie(ea ei era (a 'e( "e 'in ca &atinu( -e care .( -i-i&e mai
"e#reme*<%i aminti c era a%a tt tru-u( ei*8i2 ima0in "e"at .n unu( "in ace(e
artic(e &ex= ex-u&e -e ra'turi "e2a (un0u( -ere1i(r*8i r&-un&e .ntr2un m" ti-ic
3r3te&c*
2Un 3r3at nu uit nici"at -rima "ra0&te*Genunc$ii (ui Dee &e .nmuiar (a
atin0erea "e0etu(ui &u -e 'a1*Nici 'emeie nu uita -rima &a iu3ire*Primu( &u
iu3it**C$iar unu( care a rnit2 a%a "e mu(t cum a 'cut +att*5im1i c -ie(ea "e
-e 3ra1e i &e 'ace ca "e 0in*<%i tra&e .n 4& m/neci(e rc$iei!"e (a cate -/n (a
.nc$eieturi*
O!Damne7 Nu era -&i3i(*Nu era -&i3i( ca tru-u( ei & reac1ine)e (a atin0erea
(ui*Nu "in nu*Acum %tia mai 3ine*Cun%tea -e"ea-&a ce a%te-ta .n ca)u( .n
care ar 'i uitat (ec1ii(e -e care #ia1a i (e2a "at*Lec1ii!-e care e( a a4utat2 & (e
.n#e1e*
28i tu6 .ntre3 e(*Te2ai mai 0/n"it (a mine6 Ea r/&e %i &e .n"e-rt "e e(!.n
&-ate(e te40$e(ei un"e &e &im1ea .n &i0uran1*
2De&i0ur*Ori "e c/te ri #e"eam un 'i(m "e 0ra) (a TV*E( urm %i &e &-ri4ini
cu 3ra1e(e "e &ti#e(e "e cutii -e care ea (e -u&e&e (/n0 ea!r/)/n"u2i "e "ea&u-ra
(r*
2A&ta!"mni%ar ,arri&!nu &un a cm-(iment*Ce anume 1i2a reamintit ce( mai
mu(t "e mine6 Pata6 Musca6
2Godzilla!&-u&e ea*Ea tra&e cutia "in #/r' "e &u3 3r3ia (ui %i &ca&e un 'uru!.(
&cutur %i .( at/rn -e un umera% "in &-ate(e te40$e(ei*Pu(#eri) -e&te e( -u1in
a- ca(" %i cute(e "i&-rur*5au -ate a '&t ing ong*Oc$ii (ui "an&ar %i ea
"ri & nu 'i 'cut acea&t cm-ara1ie*5e 0/n"i (a -ru( (ui ne0ru "e -e -ie-t!(a
-ru( a&-ru "e -e -iciare %i 3ra1e!amintin"u2%i cum .i 0/"i(a cr-u(*
2Aei7 Aai"e!&-u&e e( cu re-r%!ing ong nu era un 'i(m "e 0ra)*
Ea -u(#eri)a a- -e un a(t 'uru*
2Pe mine m2a &-eriat*+att .( &ca&e -e urmtru( "in cutie %i .( 1inu "e 3rete(e(e
&u31iri "e &atin*+/na (ui mare -rea c$iar mai mare!mai 3rn)at!a%a cum 1inea
3iectu( "e(icat*
2Dr0u1!&-u&e e(*Tu 'aci cum-rturi(e -entru ma0a)inu( tu6Ea &e uit (a e(*
2Da*Ea (ucra re-e"e & at/rne (en4eria!"u- ce termin cu ce(e #er)i!trecu (a a(t
cutie cu (en4erie 3(eu*De%i ace&tea nu erau (ucruri(e ei -er&na(e!&e &im1ea
&t/n4enit c +att -ri#ea cum (e aran4ea)!c (e atin0ea e( .n&u%i!ri"ic/n" %i
a"mir/n" une(e "in e(e!c i (e .ntin"ea & (e at/rne*Era mu(t -rea intim*Lcu( (ui
nu era .n ma0a)inu( ei*Era -rea ma&cu(in*Prea mu(t*8i!.n m" &i0ur!nu 'cea
-arte "in #ia1a ei*Ca %i cum i2ar 'i &e&i)at ne(ini%tea!e( .%i 30 m/ini(e .n
3u)unare(e im-ermea3i(u(ui!(&/n"2 & "e&-ac$ete)e &in0ur*D/m3etu( (ui
i)3i cu 'r1 c/n" &e uit (a e(*
2<mi aminte&c cum te &-eriau tate 'i(me(e "e 0ra) -e care (e2am #)ut
.m-reun!&-u&e e(*E%ti &in0ura 'at care &e cui3rea .n 3ra1e(e me(e ca &
-rte4e) "e "emni %i &ta'ii*<1i aminte%ti "e !ste "n via#6
2O$7 Da*Pentru c(i- m/ini(e ei rma&er nemi%cate .ntre cute(e "e mta&e
a(3a&tr*Ea .%i amintea 'i(mu(*Dar ceea ce .%i amintea ce( mai 3ine era -ie-tu( (ui
-uternic!3ra1e(e care .ncercuiau!-iciare(e (ui*+ir&u( -ie(ii &a(e*Tate ace&tea
'ceau & merite #i)inarea 'i(me(r "e 0ra) -re'erate (ui*Ra-i"!ea a(un0
amintiri(e %i a3uri un a(t 'uru*E( )/m3i ma(i1i&*
2Ce )ici "e $trlucirea6
2Damne!"a7Ei r/&er .m-reun un mment*Era mu(t -rea u%r & r/)i cu +att*
Ar tre3ui & .%i im-un & &e a31in*E( r/&e "in nu!c$ii (ui!#r3in"u2i .n tcere*
Cute(e "in 4uru( 0urii &e a"/ncir*E( nu a '&t nici"at un 3r3at 'rum&!nici nu
#a 'i #re"at!"ar ce#a .i -unea mereu &im1uri(e -e 4ratec*
<n m" &i0ur era ce#a (e0at "e acea ex-re&ie a-ra-e ne"e'init "in c$ii (ui!&e
0/n"i ea! atitu"ine "e ne-&are .nn&cut! -ri#ire "e ;$ai2'2"ac2ai2cura4:!
ttu( cm3inat cu &i0uran1 .nc- /nat a&u-ra ca-acit1ii &a(e "e a &c-a
u%r!"e a -rimi r&-un&uri*8i "e a 'ace -(cere*<n m" cert e( nu -ier"u&e nimic
"in tate a&tea*Pri#irea (ui .i urmri m/ini(e cum .m-tureau $/rtia &u31ire
-un/n"2 a(turi*A-i e( .ntre3 u%r9
28i mai -ri#e%ti 'i(me "e 0ra) cui3rit .n 3ra1e(e cui#a6
Dee "e&c$i&e a(t cutie*
2Nu!&-u&e ea!at/rn/n" 3rete(e "e &atin 0a(3en -e a(t umera%*Nu m mai uit "e(c
(a 'i(me "e 0ra)*
2Atunci (a ce te ui1i6 8i cu cine6
2Nu -rea!&-u&e ea!i0nr/n" cea "e a "ua .ntre3are*A'aceri(e .mi (a& -rea -u1in
tim- "e "i&trac1ie*<n a'ar "e a&ta!'i(me(e "e 0ra) nu &unt ce#a "e -ri#it &in0ur*
Tu ce mai 'aci!+att6Era tim-u( & &c$im3e &u3iectu( cn#er&a1iei*8i un"e
(cuie%ti6Ai terminat "re-tu(!a%a cum inten1inai6 .i a-eri -e cei (i-&i1i "e
a-rare %i (u-1i cntra -re&iunii riun"e ai .nt/(ni26
Ex-re&ia (ui &e .ntunec a%a cum &ttea .n -iciare!-e 4umtate .ntr& cu 'a1a &-re
curtea interiar!un"e &e #e"ea cum %iria -(aie rece "e niem3rie*
2Nu!&-u&e e(*Ea tre&ri*Vi&uri ne.m-(inite*Ea -utea & (e #a" .n -r'i(u( (ui!.n
a&-rimea 0urii!.n ri0i"itatea maxi(aru(ui*Ar 'i "rit & nu 'i -u& .ntre3area at/t "e
nn%a(ant*Ce &2a .nt/m-(at cu i"ea(uri(e (ui6 Nu &2a 0/n"it nici"at c -ate nu
&2a .ntr& (a ea -entru c nu a -utut***
2Am "i-(m .n "re-t*5unt un #/ntr "e .ncurcturi %i m2c$eie (a
cm-anie "e ex-(atare*Din Trnt*
2Tre3uie***& 'ie intere&ant!&-u&e ea atac/n" nu &erie "e cutii ce cn1ineau
&eturi "e &utiene %i &(i-uri "in "ante(!.n tim- ce aten1ia (ui era .n a(t -arte*
E( &e uit "in nu (a ea*
2E&te ame&tecat!a"mi&e e(*E( &e uit (a (en4eria "in m/ini(e ei!a-i (a &/nii ei!(a
%("uri(e ei!ca %i cum %i2ar 'i .nc$i-uit2 .n ace(e artic(e*Ea %tiu &ecun"a .n care
e( 'u cn%tient "e 'a-tu( c ea 3&er#a&e "irec1ia -ri#irii (ui*Oc$ii (ui (icrir
&c(i-iri #er)ui*Nu c$iar "e r/&*De ea6 De e(6
2Pate nu e&te at/t "e atracti# &au "e &ati&'ctr "in -unct "e #e"ere em1ina(
ca 0enu( "e "re-t -e care am #i&at "at &2( -ractic!&-u&e e(!"ar rea(itatea e&te
un (ucru -e care 'iecare tre3uie &2( .n'runte*8i recm-en&e(e***&unt 0enu( "e care
a#eam ne#ie*,inanciar*<m-rumuturi(e "e &tu"ent tre3uie&c ram3ur&ate!iar
rea(itatea .( tem-erea) c$iar %i -e ce( mai i"ea(i&t m*Ea ""u "in ca-!.n tim- ce
termina cu "e&-ac$etatu( %i .m-in&e .n ma0a)in ca"ru( meta(ic -e rti(e!-e care
erau at/rnate umera%e(e*
2<n1e(e0*Ea .n'runta&e rea(itatea atunci c/n" +att nu a reu%it & &e .ntarc (a
%niversitatea McGill .n ace( &e-tem3rie "e "emu(t*Pate &2a .nt/m-(at c$iar
.nainte "e a&ta!atunci c/n" e( a re'u)at & ia cu e(!c/n" a '&t c$emat aca& .n
Nua 5c1ie!.n acea #ar*Dar***a&ta a '&t "emu(t*Ea .nce-u & tran&'ere
artic(e(e .n "i'erite raiane*E( urm!-iciare(e (un0i mi%c/n"u2i2&e m("i&!.n
ace&t im-ermea3i( ecru -/n (a 0enunc$i!e( .i amintea "e -anter (a -/n"*
5-r/nceana (ui ri"icat!0ura (ui -u1in &tr/m3 .i &-uneau c e( &e .n"ia c ea ar
'i -utut .n1e(e0e*Dee tr/nti un umera% cu 'r1 care nu era nece&ar*Ei 3ine!ea
nu ceru&e .m-rumuturi "e &tu"ent*Dar a#/n" -rin1i 30a1i nu .n&emna c ea a
tre3uit & muncea&c mai -u1in -entru a2%i trece examene(e!&au c ar 'i '&t
inca-a3i( &2%i .n1e(ea0 -rietenii care tre3uiau & muncea&c -entru a -utea
a"u0a ce#a (a 3ur&e(e &tu"en1e%ti &au (a .m-rumuturi(e 'cute*
2Du-!cum &e -are!&-u&e +att!%i tu 1i2ai &c$im3at -reri(e .n (e0tur cu 1e(u( tu
.n #ia1*Nici tu nu e%ti c$iar -er&ana care tre3uia & &crie artic(e .n"r)ne1e .n
-re& .n (e0tur cu aceia%i ex-(atatri "e care urma eu & .i a-r -e cei a&u-ri1i*
2A%a e*Am 'cut2 "at*Dar acum &unt ne0u&tr**Ca %i cum tnu( ei ti& i2ar 'i
&-u& mai mu(te "ec/t a inten1inat!ex-re&ia!0(a&u( (ui &e .nmuiar c/n" .ntre39
2Ce &2a .nt/m-(at!-uiu(e65-re mirarea (ui!+att #)u um3r .n -ri#irea (ui
Dee!-ri#ire care nu ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie -(ic "ec/t "e &are %i "e )/m3ete*
2E&te -#e&te (un0!&-u&e ea*E( -u&e m/n -e umru( ei!&im1in" 'ra0i(itatea
tru-u(ui ei -rin materia(u( rc$iei*Ea a '&t 2.ntt"eauna 'ra0i(*
Drin1a 3ru&c "e a -rte4a a-ra-e .( 'cu & ca" .n 0enunc$i*Va -utea
#re"at & 'ac & .n1e(ea06 Va "ri ea are ace&t (ucru "u- at/ta tim-6
2Am tim-!Dee!&-u&e e(!3(e&tem/n" .n 0/n" tnu( a&-ru a( #cii &a(e*Ce2%i "rea
e( era ra'inamentu( rece!"e 'e(u( ace(uia cu care ea &e n&cu&e %i -e care e(
cre)u&e c reu%i&e .n &'/r%it & %i2( .n&u%ea&c*De ce (2a -r&it tcmai acum6
2Urmtarea mea .nt/(nire e&te (a ra "u*E( nu2%i -utea ima0ina un (c mai
3un un"e &2%i -etreac re&tu( re(r (i3ere "ec/t ace&t 3utiEue cu (ucruri
e(e0ante!'ruma&e %i -ar'um atr0tr!ertic*Cu -er&an at/t "e atr0tare ca
Dee ,arri&*De mu(t!mu(t tim- nu2i mai -(cu&e a&t'e( un (c &au -er&an*
2P#e&te%te2mi "e&-re #ia1a ta!&-u&e e(*
2Eu***5e .ntreru-&e %i .%i mu%c 3u)a!iar e( 'u i)3it "e tri&te1ea "in c$ii ei!.nainte
ca -ri#irea ei & .%i &c$im3e "irec1ia*Ea c(tin "in ca-*U%urarea ei!atunci c/n"
trei 'emei intrar -e u%!era a-ra-e -a(-a3i(*+att -ri c/n" ea #ru &
.nainte)e -entru a2%i 'eri a4utru(*
2Putem cntinua acea&t "i&cu1ie (a "e4un6 .ntre3 e( .ncet*Ea ""u "in ca-!.n
tim- ce .%i e(i3er 3ra1u(*
2A&t)i nu iau -au) "e -r/n)*A&i&tenta mea (i-&e%te*
2Dac nu (a -r/n)!atunci (a cin!in&i&t e(*Dee &cutur ca-u(*C$iar -rin
materia(u( rc$iei!atin0erea (ui .i trimi&e&e mu(1ime "e &en)a1ii -e -ie(e!
&en)a1ii .n'ric%tare!care nu erau nece&are*E(e nu tre3uiau & re#in*Ea .i
trimi&e un )/m3et u%r!"ar nici ex-(ica1ie*Ea a .n#1at cu mu(t tim- .n urm c
nu era ne#ie*
2<mi -are ru!+att!"ar nu*E( nu a#ea inten1ia & renun1e*Ea ar 'i tre3uit & %tie!&
.%i amintea&c*
2De ce nu6 .ntre3!.n tim- ce &-r/ncene(e i &e .ncruntar "ea&u-ra c$i(r
c-rui*Ri"ic/n" 3r3ia %i men1in/n"u2%i )/m3etu(!ea reu%i & "ea nt
cn&i"era3i( mai rece #cii &a(e!"e%i .nc "e&tu( "e -rietena&*
2Pentru c nu m intere&ea) & iau cina cu tine*Ace&ta ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie
&'/r%itu(*Ar 'i tre3uit!"ac ar 'i '&t ricare a(t 3r3at*Erau "e a(t'e( anii >FG*O
'emeie a#ea tt at/t "e mu(t "re-tu( & &-un nu!"u- cum -utea %i & &-un "a*
Oc$ii (ui &tr(ucir "e "u- 0ene(e "e&e*
28i "e ce nu!"ac -t & .ntre3!"uce&6 Exi&t un 3r3at .n #ia1a ta!care ar -utea
a#ea 3iec1ii6Tnu( (ui era (a 'e( "e -(cut "i&tant cum 'u&e&e %i a( ei*D/m3etu(
(ui era 'a(&*
2Dac e&te a%a!e&te %i e( in#itat*8i a&ta era minciun*Ea -ri#i (a c(iente(e &a(e*
E(e -reau mu(1umite & -ri#ea&c %i & "i&cute .ntre e(e*
2Nu exi&t nici un 3r3at .n #ia1a mea .n mmentu( "e 'a1!&-u&e ea*
D/m3etu( (ui (icri!a-i "e#eni ca(" %i natura(!re'(ect/n"u2i2&e .n c$i*
2Gr)a#*Atunci nu e&te nici un mti# & nu cinm .m-reun %i & ne -#e&tim
'iecare #ia1a*Erau tate mti#e(e*<n -rimu( r/n" 'iin" ace(a c ea "rea cu
"i&-erare & &-un "a*Un a(t mti# &eri& & &-un nu era -entru c ace(ea%i
(ucruri (e0ate "e e(!care au atra&2 atunci c/n" era 'eti1!'unc1inau mai 3ine
acum c/n" era 'emeie*Dar ea era 'emeie care .%i 'cu&e #ia1 a ei! 'emeie
care iu3ea acea&t #ia1 %i care nu #ia & &c$im3e*
<n a'ar "e a&ta!.n m" cert e( #eni&e .n ma0a)inu( ei cu inten1ia "e a cum-ra
ce#a -entru cine#a*Un 3r3at nu cum-r "e 3icei (en4erie tran&-arent!
c&ti&itare!-entru mama &au &ra (ui*Iar +att nu a#ea nici una!nici a(ta!ea %tia*
Nu!&2ar -utea & nu 'ie c&trit!"ar era e#i"ent c exi&ta 'emeie .n #ia1a (ui*
Acea&ta 'iin" &itua1ia!Dee nu a#ea inten1ia & &e an0a4e)e*,iin" ea -er&na(
rnit!.n ace&t 'e(!re'u)a & ri%te (ini%tea %i 'ericirea!a(tei 'emei*
2+att!&-u&e ea!cre"e2m!a '&t -(cut!'arte -(cut & te re#"*Dar -/n acum
cinci&-re)ece minute tu nu a#eai nici cea mai #a0 i"ee c eu (cuie&c (a
Vancu#er %i nici eu c tu #ei "a 3u)na .n ace&t ma0a)in .n -au)a "intre "u
.nt/(niri "e a'aceri*Ne cuna%tem "e mu(t tim-!"ar a&ta nu .n&eamn c mai
a#em ce#a .n cmun*Ne2am "e&curcat -er'ect unu( 'r ce((a(t tim- "e
trei&-re)ece ani %i nu e&te nici un mti# -entru care nu -utem cntinua*A%a c!
& nu .ncercm & 'acem "in acea&t .nt/(nire mai mu(t "ec/t e&te .n rea(itate*
2Nu .ncerc & 'ac mai mu(t "ec/t e&te!&-u&e e(*E( .i atin&e -u(&u( (a20/t!(u/n"2
-rin &ur-rin"ere cu ra-i"itatea 0e&tu(ui (ui*Dar tu6Un #a( "e c("ur &tr3tu %i
ea &ri .na-i*
2Bine.n1e(e& c nu7
2Atunci "e ce & nu (um a&t &ear cina .m-reun %i &2mi "#e"e%ti c nu a#em
nimic cmun6 De a(t'e(!-rietenii #ec$i 'ac a&t'e( "e (ucruri .n 'iecare )i*Ce te2ar
c&ta6C/te#a re "in tim-u( tu!-ate -u1in -(icti&ea( c/n" & a3r"m
&u3iecte cum ar 'i ;.1i mai aminte%ti "e a&ta %i aia: %i ;Ce &2a mai .nt/m-(at cu
cutare6:Dar "u- aceea tu -1i &21i cntinui "rumu( tu!iar eu -e a( meu %i
nimeni nu #a a#ea "e &u'erit*A%a c!"e ce nu6Ea re&-ir a"/nc*C$iar!"e ce nu6
C/n" e( a &-u&2 a%a!-rea .ntr2a"e#r a3&(ut ne#in#at*Amintirea "e0etu(ui (ui
-re&at -e -u(&u( ei "e (a 0/t .i &u0er c "ac ar 'i re'u)at e( ar 'i -(ecat cu
cn#in0erea c ea &e temea "e ceea ce e( ar 'i -utut &2i -r#ace*Dar "ac ea
acce-ta!exi&ta -&i3i(itatea c(ar ca e( & atin0 "in nu*8i atunci e( ar %ti cu
-reci)ie*<n rice ca)!in"i'erent ce "eci)ie ar 'i (uat!ea %tia c e( #a -(eca "in nu*
Pr3a3i(!.n ciu"a "e)min1irii &a(e!cu un artic( &ex= "e (en4erie -entru "amna
cu care .%i .m-r1ea #ia1a*Acea&ta 'iin" &itua1ia!a%a cum a &-u& %i e(!"e ce nu6 A
trecut mu(t tim- "e c/n" nu a mai (uat ma&a cu un 3r3at atr0tr*8i ea %tia 'r
.n"ia( c "at "e-%ite ;.1i aminte%ti c/n": -(icti&ea(a nu #a 'i -r3(em*Nu
cu +att (a ma&*<n ceea ce -ri#e%te -rietena (ui!ea nu ar -utea 'i rnit "e 'a-tu(
c +att ar 'i (uat ma&a cu cine#a -e care e( &in0ur (2a caracteri)at "re-t ca ;un
#ec$i -rieten:*+ai a(e& c ace( ;#ec$i -rieten: nu a#ea inten1ia "ec/t "e a &a#ura
mai mu(t "e m/ncare 3un %i cn#er&a1ie a0rea3i(*
2<n r"ine!ca-itu( ea cu un &ur/& care!&-era ea!& 'ie nn%a(ant %i "e&tin&*C/n" %i
un"e ne #m .nt/(ni6 E( r/&e u%r!un r/& ce atra&e aten1ia ce(r trei c(iente care
&e uitar .n "irec1ia (ui!a-reciati#*
2Nu21i mai aminte%ti nici c$iar e(emente(e "e 3a) "e&-re mine6 .ntre3 e(*Du-
cum #" a &&it tim-u( & ne .nt/(nim "in nu!"ac nu "in a(t mti#!mcar numai
"in ace(a "e a21i reaminti cum -rce"e) eu!ric/t "e "em"at 1i &2ar -rea*Eu .mi
iau -artenera "e (a u%a ei!Dee*8i a"uc .na-i*Pri#irea &a "ur &-unea c nu
acce-ta cntra)icere*
2D2mi a"re&a ta*Du- ce .i ex-(ica&e c .nc$iria&e un a-artament .n c("ire!ea
rea(i) c nu ar 'i tre3uit & &e mire c a ce"at at/t "e u%r*+att a#ea un &ti( a( (ui
"e a 31ine tt ceea ce "rea*E( )/m3i*<i atin&e "in nu 3ra)u(*
2Di&ear!&-u&e e( 'arte ca(m*La -t*P/n>"i&ear!.%i 4ur Dee .n 0/n"!#a 0&i
-uterea "e a2i arta c nu e&te .ntt"eauna "u- cum #rea e(*Di&ear*La -t*
G/n"u( 'cu & &imt mici 'urnicturi "e(icia&e trec/n"u2i -rin #ene*
CAPITOLUL H
De "ata a&ta +att intr .n #ec$ea c("ire im-untare!ce a#ea 'a1a"a &-re G('!
-rin intrarea re)i"en1ia(*E( &e -(im3a "e2a (un0u( unr &cri "e marmur!care .n
&tra" erau ac-erite "e un 3a("ac$in .n "un0i #er)i %i a(3e!iar un -rtar .n
uni'rm .i "e&c$i&e (ar0 u%i(e "e &tic(!-e care erau im-rimate (itere aurii*<(
.ntre3 -e +att nume(e %i .( cn"u&e .ntr2un 2$( care mir&ea a u(ei "e (m/ie %i
antic$it1i!#r3in" cu cine#a (a un inter'n*
2Dmnu( ,ie"(er a &&it!"mni%ar ,arri&*Vcea (ui Dee &e au)i c(ar*
2Bine!Jen@in&*P1i & .( trimi1i &u&*
Ea '(&i c$eie %i "e&c$i&e u%i(e unui a&cen&r cu u%i "in (emn "e nuc %i .(
intr"u&e -e +att*Nu erau numere care & .i in"ice (ui +att c/n" &e #a -ri
a&cen&iunea &a*Li'tu( urc u%r!a-i &e -ri*E( -%i .n nea%te-tata atm&'er a
unui &(ar ca(" %i ume"*Intri0at!&e -ri %i -ri#i -a(mierii!'(ri(e tr-ica(e #iu
c(rate %i -(ante(e a01tare eta(ate "e (umini -(a&ate &trate0ic*C/te#a -&ri
mici '/('/iau %i ciri-eau .n ramuri(e unui c-ac "in "rea-ta a&cen&ru(ui!a-i .%i
(uar )3ru( .ntr2un nr 0a(3en %i ne0ru*A-a &u&ura -e -ant "e -iatr i &e
#r&a .ntr2un 3a)in*Un -a-a0a( r%u &e n-u&ti &-re e(!a-i .%i &c$im3 "irec1ia %i
ateri)a -e ramura unui c-ac cu 'run)e (ate!&c /n" 1i-ete a&cu1ite*
Ca %i cum 1i-ete(e -a-a0a(u(ui ar 'i '&t un &emna(!Dee a-ru "in &-ate(e unui
-a(mier .n 'rm "e e#antai*Ea -urta rc$ie (un0!(ar0!"in 3um3ac %i
-erec$e "e mnu%i "e 0r"in*<ntr2 m/n -urta un c% cu r%ii!-ra&-ete*
2Bun!+att!&-u&e ea*Pentru c(i-!e( 'u &i0ur c a "e&c-erit em1ie .n c$ii ei
a(3a%tri*A-i!cu un )/m3et rece!-(itic&!ea .( .ntre39
2Ei!ce )ici "e #eran"a mea6
25unt***u(uit!&-u&e e(*E&te ce#a unic!acea&t #eran" a ta*A"ic!cm-arati# cu
#eran"e(e "in ex-erien1a mea "e -/n acum*De a(t'e(!ex-erien1a (ui %i a ei nu
-rea &2au -tri#it nici"at*Dee!:#eran"a: ei nea%te-tat %i c$iar c("irea .n &ine
#r3eau "e&-re 3ani &eri%i!cu #ec$ime %i e( &e 0/n"i c acea&ta ar 'i &curt
c(trie &entimenta( .n tim-!.n &en& in#er&*Ace&t 0/n" .i arunc .ntr2
mmentan &tare "e "i&-erare*Dar 'cu un e'rt %i "e-%i mmentu(*De ce are
&e &im1ea .ntr2un 'e( tr"at 0&in"2 ac(!.n acea atm&'er6 E( a %tiut a&ta "e (a
.nce-ut!.ntr2 arecare m&ur*Dac ar 'i %tiut ttu( cu certitu"ine!nici nu ar mai
'i '&t un ;.nce-ut: -entru ei*
E( &e 0/n"i c/t ar -utea & c&te c$iria -entru ace&t a-artament %i &e mira "e ce
nu a cum-rat tat c("irea -ur %i &im-(u!cu mu(t tim- .n urm!"ec/t & ri%te &
-iar" nu numai a'acere "ar %i un cmin!-e care era e#i"ent c .( iu3ea %i .(
.n0ri4ea*Era cn#in& c &(aru( nu exi&ta&e .nainte "e a 'i creat "e Dee*
2,a&(e #er"e!&-u&e ea!art/n"u2i 'un"u( c%u(ui*Cu(ti# %i "#(eac "in A'rica "e
5u"!"ar .nc nu 'ace 'ructe*De a&emenea!(e0ume -entru &a(ate!cum ar 'i &a(at
#er"e %i ca&tra#e1i!ri"ic$i i cea- #er"e*+att r/&e*
25unt im-re&inat*Dee )/m3i*
2Nu e%ti*<mi -are ru*Gr"inritu( $i"r-nic e&te un ;$33=: a( meu!"ar %tiu c
ma4ritatea ameni(r nu &e intere&ea) "e a%a ce#a!a%a c nu e&te ca)u( & 'ii
-(itic&*Intr*Tre3uie numai & .mi -un -ant'ii %i $ain*
Ea "i&-ru "in nu .n &-ate(e -a(mieru(ui %i e( urm!trec/n" -rintr2 -er"ea "e
mr0e(e "e 3am3u&!ce )rnir .n &-ate(e (ui!3(c/n" tt"at a#/ntu(
-a-a0a(u(ui ce )3ura "in nu curi&!&-re nu( intru&*
Dee .( a%te-ta .n #e&ti3u(u( ce &e-ara a-artamentu( -r-riu2)i& "e &(ar*C%u( cu
(e0ume era a%e)at -e ma& mic!rtun"!cu mar0ini(e %er-uite!care era 'r
.n"ia( -ie& antic*Ea .%i &c&e&e %r1u( %i mnu%i(e %i .nc(1a&e -erec$e "e
-ant'i ne0ri cu tcuri .na(te*Lumina (ucea .n -ru( ei %i .i a-rin&e&e 3ra4ii*
Pie(ea 3ra1e(r %i a umeri(r!#)ut -rin 3(eru( "e "ante( -e care .( -urta -e&te
rc$ia &tr/mt "e &atin ne0ru .( tenta .ntr2un m" a-ra-e in&u-rta3i(*
Diamante(e "in urec$i(e ei re'(ectau &tr(ucirea cri&ta(e(r "in mica (u&tr "e
"ea&u-ra*
2Dee***7 E( .ncerca & .n0$it r0u%ea(a "in 0/tu( (ui*
2Ar1i &-(en"i"!.i &-u&e*Acum!era cu a"e#rat im-re&inat*Ea &e ""u .na-i un
-a&!cu un )/m3et cntr(at*
2+u(1ume&c!+att!&-u&e ea -(itic&*Ea cut .ntr2un "u(a- %i &ca&e $ain
nea0r "e &t'!cu un 0u(er "e 3(an "e cu(are 'arte "e&c$i&*
2+er0em6
2E%ti 0ata6E( nu &e -utu a31ine & nu 'ie &ur-rin&*Ea .%i arcui &-r/ncene(e*
2Ai &-u& -t!nu2i a%a6
2Da!"ar eu iau tt"eauna .n ca(cu( 'actru( -ier"erii cerce(u(ui*Re)er#area "e
ma& e&te -entru ra nua 'r un &'ert*E( &-era&e & 'ie in#itat (a un a-eriti#*
2+i2am amintit "e e(emente(e "e 3a) .n (e0tur cu tine*Ai uitat cum#a c eu
.ntt"eauna m2am (u"at cu -unctua(itatea mea6
2Da!&-u&e e(!mirat c "e 'a-t uita&e ace&t amnunt "e&-re ea*Cre" c nu mai &unt
3i%nuit cu 'emei -unctua(e*Ea )/m3i cu un" "e m/n"rie*
2Eu &unt .ntt"eauna -unctua(!nu2mi -ier" nici"at cerceii*7
E( ""u "in ca-!&im1in"u2&e "e -arc ar 'i '&t a&-ru -e"e-&it %i .i (u $aina &
a4ute*B(ana .i .nca"ra 'a1a!m/n0/in"u2i 0/tu( %i urec$i(e!a%a cum ar 'i "rit e( &
'ac*Ea a#ea un -ar'um a-arte!ca nimeni a(tcine#a (/n0 care a &tat a-ra-e*E(
re&-ir a"/nc %i .%i &trecur m/n -e &u3 -ru( ei!&c /n"u2( "e &u3 0u(er!
(&/n"u2( & ca" (i3er ca un %u#i "e cu(area 3erii -e&te 3(ana aurie*
Tru-u( (ui &e .ncr" (a "rin1a "e a (ua .n 3ra1e!"e a2%i 30a m/ini(e .n $aina
ei %i "e a &tr/n0e*Ea .%i nete)i -ru(!.%i trecu -e&te umr cureaua unei -%ete
mici %i &e .n"re-t &-re ie%ire*E( .i 'eri 3ra1u(!-e care ea .( acce-t!.n tim- ce cu
cea(a(t m/n (u c%u( cu (e0ume*
2A&tea &unt -entru -rtar!&-u&e ea!.n tim- ce -er"eaua "e mr0e(e )rnia .n
urma (r*Ea )/m3i "i&tant!.n tim- ce .nc$i"ea u%a "e &tic(*
2+ai u%r "e "ata a&ta!nu2i a%a6
2+ai u%r6 re-et e(*Ea 0re%ea "ac .%i .nc$i-uia c #a 'i &ear u%ar -entru
e(*E( nu &e mai &im1i&e a%a "e mu(t tim-*Ce era are!un &im-(u ecu a(
trecutu(ui6 Ori ce#a cu mu(t mai im-rtant6
2Nu mai exi&t "amna Iim3a(( care & -ri#ea&c cu!ceea ce tu numeai ;c$i
acu)atri:!&-u&e ea*E( r/&e!a-i .m-in&e .n a&cen&r!care a%te-ta cu u%i(e
"e&c$i&e*
2&ta e&te un (ucru -e care nu (2am uitat nici"at*Ori "e c/te ri #eneam & te
iau!ea m -ri#ea ca -e un -&i3i( #i(atr*Pate c .mi citea 0/n"uri(e!&-u&e e(
.ncet*
2N2ai 'i -utut 'i nici"at a&ta!&-u&e ea cu tri&te1e*Nu cu mine*Eu eram 'arte***
amatare*Dar acum nu!ea nu r&ti ace&te cu#inte!"ar e( (e au)i (a 'e( "e c(ar ca %i
cum (e2ar 'i &tri0at*
2Te2am "rit "in -rima c(i- .n care te2am #)ut*C$iar %i atunci c/n" te2am
-r&it!tt te "ream*8tiam -ur %i &im-(u c nu te -uteam a#ea*Ea r/&e*
2Nu!nu ai #rut*<n -rimu( mment c/n" m2ai #)ut erai -rea cu-at & &cui-i
)-a" %i 3(e&teme -entru a 3&er#a c eram 'emeie*
2Nu erai 'emeie!Dee*Nu atunci c/n" te2am cun&cut*
2Am "i&cutat "e&-re a&ta "e mai mu(te ri!&-u&e ea .n tim- ce a&cen&ru( c3ra
.ncet*Eram 'emeie care -ur %i &im-(u nu a#u&e&e ca)ia & "#e"ea&c ace&t
(ucru*5-er c nu .nce-i iar -#e&tea aia cu &entimentu( "e #in#1ie (e0at "e
#ir0initatea mea!nu2i a%a6E( ""u "in ca-*
2Nu!"e&i0ur c nu*Dar tu erai "ar un c-i(!Dee*E( )/m3i -entru a2i a"uce
aminte cum >numi&e e( "at ;-uiu(e:*E( c3r. #cea!.n tim- ce m/na .i
m/n0/ia 3r3ia!-/n c/n" &e .n'un" .n 3(ana "in 4uru( 0/tu(ui ei*
2Dar cur/n" ai "e#enit 'emeie*<n ciu"a #i0i(en1ei -a)nicu(ui tu*Ea .%i 'eri
-ri#irea "e inten&itatea -ri#irii (ui %i a&cen&ru( &e -ri*5(a# Dmnu(ui7 U%i(e
(i'tu(ui &e "e&c$i&er*
2Damna Iim3a(( era mena4era mea*E( )/m3i*
2Pa)nicu(*Dee acce-t cu .nc(inare a ca-u(ui*
2Bine!-rin1ii mei2 nu a#eau .ncre"ere c -t &2mi -rt &in0ur "e 0ri4 .n m"
a"ec#at*Prin1ii ei au '&t "e acr" ca ea & (cuia&c .n incinta uni#er&it1ii!.n
cam-u&!.ntr2 ca& cu a(te trei 'ete care au .nc$iriat camere "e (a ea!numai .n
cn"i1ii(e -e care ei (e2au cn&i"erat &i0ure9 %i anume cu un a"u(t care & ai3
re&-n&a3i(itatea (r*Au trimi&2 -e "amna Iim3a((!care era .n &er#iciu( (r "e
c/n" Dee era "ar un 3e3e(u%*
2Ea era 3ine inten1inat %i nu a#ea nimic -er&nat .m-tri#a ta!&-u&e ea!.n tim-
ce tcuri(e ei r&unau -e -ar"&ea(a "e marmur*Ea .( -ri#ea -e rice 3r3at ca
-e un -&i3i( #i(atr*Prietenii c$iria%e(r me(e erau (a 'e( "e "eran4a1i "e ea ca
%i tine*
2Un taxi!"mnu(e6 &-u&e Jen@in&!"u- ce .i mu(1umi (ui Dee -entru (e0ume*
2Le mai .nt/(ne%ti -e t#ar%e(e "e camer6 7 .ntre3 +att!.n tim- ce -rtaru( ie%i
-e u%a "u3(!c3r/n" &cara (at "e &u3 3a("ac$inu( arcuit*
2Nu!"e mu(t nu (e2am mai #)ut*De (a .nmrm/ntarea "amnei Iim3a((!acum
)ece ani*7
2<mi -are ru!&-u&e e( -(itic&*Nu am au)it "e&-re "ece&u( ei*8tiu c 1ineai (a
ea*
2Nu a#eai "e un"e & a'(i!&-u&e ea!"ec/t "ac cine#a 1i2ar 'i &-u&*Tu %i cu mine***
ea &e .ntreru-&e!amintin"u2%i "in nu c era mu(t -rea t/r)iu -entru re-r%uri*
Dee #)u anume .ncr"are -e 'a1a (ui c/n" &e uit (a ea*
2Da!am -ier"ut (e0tura "e atunci*I &e -ru c #e"e amintiri "urera&e .n c$ii
(ui! urm "e re#(t*Re#(t6 .m-tri#a ei6 Dar "e ce6 Din cau)a 'ami(iei "in
care #enea6
2Nu eu am '&t cea care a a(e&***& nu mai 1inem (e0tura!.i reaminti ea*Un #a( "e
'urie acumu(at "e trei&-re)ece ani cu-rin&e 3ru&c*Eu m2am .ntr& (a McGill&
Tu nu*E( ri"ic "in umeri!ca %i cum tate a&tea nu ar mai a#ea #re im-rtan1*
2Nu***a '&t -&i3i(*
2Nici mcar un te(e'n6
2Ji2am &cri&*
25i0ur*Du -ara0ra'e*A 'ost 'rumos(dar s-a terminat*,r ex-(ica1ii!'r a"re&
-entru r&-un&*Nici*** &-eran1*
2Dee!recuna%te*O ru-tur 3ru&c a '&t mai 3un*+ai u%ar*
Pate c ttu%i mai erau (ucruri care tre3uiau e-u&e*
2+ai 3un6 +ai u%ar6 Pentru cine!+att6 Pri#irea (ui a#ea un 'e( "e tri&te1e -e
care rar a #)ut2 .n c$ii (ui*Vcea (ui era .ncr"at*
25-eram c -entru tine*
2Ai 0re%it*E( nu 'cu nici un cmentariu*Un mu%c$i &e mi%ca &-a&m"ic -e
maxi(aru( (ui*Dee 'ta u%r*
2,ami(ia ta!+att6 Ce 'ace6 C/n" ai -(ecat .n #ara aceea!tat( tu era 3(na#*A***6
28i2a re#enit!&-u&e e( &curt*E( nu a -#e&tit nici"at "e&-re 'ami(ia (ui!.n a'ar
"e une(e (ucruri 0enera(e*A '&t cre&cut .n Nua 5c1ie!mama (ui muri&e cu -u1in
tim- .nainte "e a .nt/(ni -e Dee!a#ea trei 'ra1i!t1i mai mici!iar tat( &u era2&au
'u&e&e2miner (a Ca-e Bretn*
2Ce mai 'ac 'ra1ii ti6Dintr2 "at e( &e re(ax!'a1a (ui &tr(ucea "e m/n"rie*
2Exce(ent*T1i trei*+artin %i C(in &2au c&trit!au c-ii am/n"i!iar Rn!
me)inu(!e&te (0"it cu 'at -e care a cun&cut2 (a %ca(a "entar*Au a3&(#it
am/n"i anu( trecut (a )alhousie %i au "e&c$i& .m-reun un ca3inet*
2Bra# (ui*Bra# (r*)alhousie&Cea mai #ec$e!cea mai mare uni#er&itate "in
re0iunea At(anticu(ui*
2+att6
2Da6E( "e#eni -ru"ent!ca %i cum ar 'i %tiut ce urma*
2Ac( te2ai "u&6 La )alhousie6 Un"e 1i2ai (uat "i-(ma .n "re-t6
E( &e cncentr a&u-ra unei -(cu1e "e a(am care in"ica #/r&ta c("irii*
2Da*
2De ce6Era ce#a mai mu(t "ec/t %a-t!"ar -ru c &'/%ie tcerea $(u(ui ca un
ecu!-(in "e re-r%!-(in "e "urerea -e care a trit2!ca %i cum ar 'i cu-rin&
tate .ntre3ri(e -e care ea (e2a -u& #/ntu(ui!ceru(ui %i ei .n&e%i!"ar nici"at (ui
+att!-/n acum*E( .%i ri"ic umerii %i .%i -u&e -iciare(e unu( (/n0 ce((a(t!cu
-reci)ie atent*
2Tat( meu era 3(na#!Dee*8tiai &ta*A#ea ne#ie "e mine*,ra1ii mei a#eau
ne#ie "e mine*Eu eram ce( mai .n #/r&t*Lcu( meu era (/n0 ei*
28i eu a#eam ne#ie "e tine*E( )/m3i &u31ire*
2Dee***Tu a#eai tt ceea ce -ate 'i nece&ar*Nimic "in ceea ce 1i2a% 'i -utut "a eu
n2ar 'i '&t &u'icient "e 3un*Eu nu a#eam nimic*Eram nimic*8i c/n" m2am "u&
"in nu aca&!"e-arte "e tine!am #)ut a&ta mai (im-e"e "ec/t .nainte*Am
#)ut***rea(itatea*
28i acea&t rea(itate era c tu nu a#eai ne#ie "e mine*Ea .ncerca & )/m3ea&c*
A '&t 0re%ea(a mea!nu2i a%a!c te2am ru0at & m iei cu tine %i c 1i2am 'erit
3ani6E( .i e#it -ri#irea!'ix/n" &-ate(e -rtaru(ui .n uni'rm*+u%c$iu( .i -u(&a
-e maxi(ar*Dee .%i .nc(e%t -umnii .n 3u)unare(e $ainei*
Pate c +att a a#ut ttu%i "re-tate*O"at ce au .nc$eiat cn#er&a1ia "e rutin
"e&-re ;.1i mai aminte%ti a&ta %i aia:!&eara ar -utea "e#eni -(icti&itare*5au ce(
-u1in 'arte ten&inat*Ea 'ix &tra"a .ntunecat!u"!(umini(e!&-er/n" c nu #a
trece -rea mu(t -/n c/n" #a a-rea un taxi*Ea &e .ntre3a "e ce nu .i &-unea -ur
%i &im-(u ;na-te 3un:!& &e .ntarc %i & urce .na-i (a ea!.nainte ca acea&t
tcere "urera& & "e#in mai -r'un"*Ea era mai 3i%nuit &2%i -etreac
&eri(e &"in" -(ante!nu & .ncerce & -arte cn#er&a1ie u%ar!care &
e&tm-e)e amintirea tuturr 0re%e(i(r -e care (e2a 'cut .n tinere1e "in (i-& "e
ex-erien1*Gre%e(i*Damne!at/t "e mu(te 0re%e(i .n #ia1a ei*8i acce-tarea
acea&tei .nt/(niri a '&t .nc una*
2+att***Vcea (ui &e au)i (a uni&n*
2Dee***Pri#iri(e (r &e unir (a 'e( "e &tr/n& cum erau -umnii ei*Am/n"i .ncercau
& )/m3ea&c*D/m3etu( (ui -rea a%a "e cr&-at!.nc/t un n" "e "urere &tr3tu*
Ea .ncerc & #r3ea&c "in nu!"ar nu ie%i nici un &unet*
2A$!Dee*E( .%i -u&e m/na -e &-ate(e ei!&trecur/n"u2%i2 &u3 -r*O tra&e &-re e(
cu 3(/n"e1e*Ea %tia ce #rea & 'ac*Ea %tia c ar tre3ui & &e -rea&c c$iar
.nainte "e a .nce-e*Ea %tia c erau mu(1ime "e mti#e -entru a &e .m-tri#i!"ar
-u(&a1ia a"/nc!-uternic "in interiru( ei tre3uia & 'ie a(inat!n"u( & 'ie
"e&'cut*
2<mi -are ru c te2am rnit!murmur e(!cu r&u'(area (ui ca(" atin0/n"u2i
3ra)u(*E( .%i ume)i 3u)e(e!.i -rin&e cu m/na &t/n0 3r3ia %i .i tra&e ca-u(
.na-i*Eu***a tre3uit & -(ec c/n" am -(ecat!&-u&e e(*8i tre3uia & te (a& .n urm*
28tiu*Era &ur-rin)tr!"ar %tia*Ar 'i .n1e(e& %i acum trei&-re)ece ani!ric/t "e
"urer& ar 'i '&t!c rana (ui era (a 'e( "e a"/nc*8tia c e( iu3i&e*Ea .%i -u&e
m/na -e -ie-tu( &u .n V2u( im-ermea3i(u(ui -e care .( -urta &tr/n& .n ta(ie*
2<mi -are ru c te2a "urut %i -e tine*+ta&ea cra#atei era ma(e &u3 "e0ete(e ei*
Inima (ui 3tea a%a "e -uternic &u3 -a(ma ei!.nc/t ea &im1i #i3ra1ii(e trec/n"u2i
-rin tt cr-u(*
2Vreau 'arte mu(t & te &rut!Dee!&-u&e e( .n %a-t*
2Da*De0ete(e ei &e cri&-ar -e cra#ata (ui!.n tim- ce .( tr0ea &-re ea*
28i eu #reau*
A '&t un &rut u%r!unu( "e a"uceri aminte %i -&i3i( unu( "e re.nnire*
E( &a#ur u%r*O "rin1 a-rin& amenin1a & .( aca-are)e!"ar e( &e a31inu!&e
retra&e*C/n" ea .%i "e&c$i&e 3u)e(e!"e0ete(e (ui &e .nc(e%tar -e cea'a eiK cea(a(t
m/n .i tremur &ecun"!"u- care .i a(unec "e2a (un0u( 3ra)u(ui &-re
urec$e*<%i trecu (im3a -e&te a ei!.n tim- ce m/na .i arcui cea'a*E( &ca&e un &unet
ca %i cum ar 'i '&t un 0eamt .n3u%it!"u- care ttu( &e termin*
Ea tra&e a"/nc aer .n -ie-t %i 't tri&t*N"u( "in interir &e accentua&e*
+att &tr/n&e (a -ie-tu( &u! 1inu mu(t tim-!"i$nin"u2%i 3ra)u( .n -ru(
ei!re&-ir/n"u2i -ar'umu(!.i ""u u%r ca-u( -e &-ate %i .i -ri#i 0ene(e care
'(uturar .n tim- ce e( .i m/n0/ie 3ra)u(*E( .%i &trecur m/na "e2a (un0u(
umru(ui %i 3ra1u(ui ei!&im1in"u2i -rin 0r&imea $ainei &en)a1ii(e -rin care ea
trecea*5 .%i a"uc aminte*<%i .m-reun "e0ete(e cu a(e ei!.i ri"ic m/na %i
.ntrc/n"2 .%i *-u&e 3u)e(e .n centru( -a(mei ei*Din nu!ea 't u%r!.%i retra&e
m/na %i 30 .n 3u)unar*
2Un"e (um ma&a6 .ntre3 ea!.n tim- ce Jen@in& urca tre-te(e*Un taxi a%te-ta .n
&tra"*Ea -are cm-(et "eta%at!&e 0/n"i +att*
2*+r'ul muntelui *ancouver!&-u&e e(*5e -utea %i e( "eta%a*+2am 0/n"it & 'ac -e
turi&tu( %i & a"mir -ri#e(i%tea*Rece-1ineru( "e (a $te(u( meu a &-u& c e&te
-ri#e(i%te &-ectacu(a&! "ac nu e&te cea1*
2+ie .mi -(ace & -ri#e&c natura!"in 4uru( meu!&-u&e ea!c$iar c/n" e&te
cea1*A&ta .i -ate "a nt "e mi&ter**+r'ul muntelui a '&t unu( "in (curi(e
me(e -re'erate .nainte "e a m muta aici*
2C/n" &2a .nt/m-(at a&ta6 E( .i ""u -rtaru(ui un 3ac%i%*
2Acum cinci ani*Ea &e &trecur -e (cu( "in &-ate 'c/n"u2i (c .n taxi*Ime"iat
"u- ce a murit tat( meu*Tat( ei6
2O$!Dee78tia c ea .%i a"ra tat(*La nai3a7 Ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie ac(!& a4ute &
treac -e&te a&ta!&***E( c(tin "in ca-*
2<mi -are ru!-uiu(e*Nu am %tiut*A '&t &u3it6 Am3a&a"ru( ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie .n
4ur "e LG "e ani*Ea ""u "in ca-!-ri#in" 'ix -e 'erea&tr .n tim- ce ma%ina
-rni*Ar 'i #rut & #r3ea&c!"ar nu -utea*Ea .n0$i1i!.m-reun/n"u2%i m/ini(e
&tr/n&*Da ce tre3uia are ca +att &2i re"e&c$i" at/t "e 3iuec rni(e6 Oare
-ier"erea (ui Ga#in .i amintea c .( -ier"u&e -e +att6
2P#e&te%te2mi "e&-re a&ta!Dee!&-u&e e(!e(i3er/n"u2i una "in m/ini %i -un/n"2
-e (cu( "intre ei*Nru( "in interiru( ei .nce-u & &e "e&trame!"ar ea nu &-u&e
nimic*
<n tim- ce .%i &r3eau 3uturi(e!a%te-t/n" cina!me(anc(ia (ui Dee &e "i(ua %i ea .i
""u c/te#a -uncte "e re-er .n tim- ce re&taurantu( &e rtea*La a-eriti#e(e cu
&mn a'umat!&er#ite .n tim- ce (umini(e "in c-aci "i&-reau .n &-ate(e (ui
+att!e( &-u&e ce#a ce "ec(an% un c$ictit*A-i #r3in" "e&-re ameni -e care
i2au cun&cut!"e&-re cncerte -e care (e2au urmrit %i 'i(me -e care (e2au #)ut
.m-reun!e( reu%i .n &curt tim- & 'ac & r/"*5e &im1ea 3ine*Nimeni nu
'cu&e & r/" a%a cum reu%ea +att*Cu 'e(uri(e -rinci-a(e "e m/ncare .n 'a1a (r!
-ie-t "e -ui um-(ut cu cre#e1i -entru ea %i -u(-a "e mie( -entru e(!.i -#e&ti c/te
ce#a "e&-re Metcom*Ea .i -#e&ti "e&-re ma0a)inu( Adevrata bucurie!"e&-re
ren#ri(e .n cur& (a ma0a)inu( numru( unu!inten1ii(e ei "e extin"ere .n (ca(u(
cu-at anterir "e un &a(n "e ca'ur*
2Acea&ta ne #a -ermite & ne "u3(m &-a1iu( "e #/n)are %i .n ace(a%i tim- .i #a "a
&ecretarei me(e Gai( mai mu(t &-a1iu "e re&-irat .ntre 3iru( ei %i -erete*Lucru( "e
a3ia a .nce-ut*Va 'i &cum- & rea(i)e) tate .m3unt1iri(e!"ar #a merita -entru
#iitr*Ai #)ut c/t e&te "e minu&cu( ma0a)inu(!iar 3iru( meu %i a( (ui Gai( e&te
c$iar mai mic*E( ""u "in ca- %i ea a#u im-re&ia c a #)ut mic cut ce .i
tra#er&a 'runtea -entru c(i-*Dar -r3a3i( c a '&t ne(ini%te trectare!
'iin"c ex-re&ia i &e "e&tin&e a-ra-e ime"iat*La .ntre3ri(e (ui intere&ate!ea
cntinua & #r3ea&c entu)ia&t "e&-re ma0a)ine(e ei*
C/n" un c$e(ner "e3ara&!iar a(tu( a"u&e ca'eaua %i (ic$iru(!"u- ce "i&cuta&er
%i mu(1ime "e (ucruri cn#en1ina(e!ea era "e-arte "e a 'i -(icti&it*Re(at/n"u2i
"e&-re ;,urismul "n ora-ul natal:! ru3ric -e care a#ea .n &-tm/na(u(
(ca(!Dee ar 'i "rit & .%i -etreac re&tu( n-1ii &t/n" "e #r3 cu +att*
2Exi&t at/t "e mu(te (curi .n 4uru( ra%u(ui!-e care (ca(nicii nici nu &e 0/n"e&c
& (e #i)ite)e!&-u&e ea*C/n" am #enit -entru -rima ar aici!am '&t2ea ri"ica
"in umeri!ne'iin" 'arte .nc/ntat c tre3uia & acce-te ace&t (ucru2cre" c
&in0ur*E&te cu#/ntu( -tri#it*8i am #i)itat )na .n treact!-rin" .n "rum &-re
-/rtia "e &c$i "e (a ?$i&t(er*Tt ceea ce am #)ut au '&t -uncte(e turi&tice
3i%nuite!a%a .nc/t am .nce-ut & ex-(re)!cut/n" atrac1ii "e&e3ite*Cur/n" am
"e&c-erit c -uteam 'ace c/te excur&ie!-(ec/n" "e (a (cuin1a mea!.n 'iecare
)i!tim- "e un an %i ttu%i & nu e-ui)e) tate -uncte(e "e intere&!at/t interiare
c/t %i .n aer (i3er*+i2am 'cut mai mu(1i -rieteni "ec/t a% 'i -utut &2mi .nc$i-ui
%i am "e&c-erit (curi intere&ante!-e care %tiam c tre3uie & (e .m-rt%e&c %i
a(tra*Ru3rica mea a '&t 'arte 3ine -rimit*
2Ce #ei -re)enta &-tm/na acea&ta6 .ntre3 e( %i c/n" ea .i -#e&ti "e&-re mica
3rutrie cu cea2mai 3un -ati&erie!e( -rmi&e c #a mer0e ac( ime"iat ce #a
a#ea -u1in tim- (i3er*
2Ceea ce a% "ri & 0&e&c!&-u&e ea!&-ri4inin"u2%i 3r3ia .n m/n!e&te un (c care
& #/n" a"e#rata carne a'umat "e +ntrea(*A&ta e&te ce#a ce &e -are c nu
-t 0&i aici*5unt mu(te imita1ii!"ar nici una nu &e a-r-ie "e m"e(u( autentic*
Jii minte ce 3un era6Tim- "e c/te#a minute ei .%i .m-rt%ir a(te amintiri!a-i
Dee &-u&e9
28i ce 'aci .n tim-u( tu (i3er!+att6 E( r/&e*
2Tim- (i3er6 Ce e&te a&ta6 A-i "e#enin" &eri&!e( cntinu9 nu am -rea mu(t!
"ar c/n" -t!&c$ie)!4c $an"3a( %i***A-i a"u0!m"e&t!"u- -rerea ei9 %i 'ac
munc #(untar -entru un 0ru- "e a#ca1i "in Trnt*Ea &e a-(ec .nainte!
intere&at*
2Prce&e .n ac1iuni .ntre c(a&e!&au 0enu( &ta6E( ""u "in ca- .n tim- ce &e
cncentra & tarne (a-te .n ca'ea*Dee )/m3i*
2Deci .i a-eri -e cei 'r a-rare*E( &e uit .n &u&*
2Cre" c "a!-u1in*Numai -u1in*Eu numai inter-rete) (im3a4u( "e &-ecia(itate*
Oricine -ate 'ace ace&t (ucru*
2Nu ricine -ate7 De ce te &u3e&time)i!+att6 Tu ai meritu( tu*Ar tre3ui & 'ii
m/n"ru*E( ri"ic "in nu "in umeri %i &c$im3 &u3iectu(*Lui +att nu .i -(cu&e
nici"at & #r3ea&c "e&-re e(*Pe m&ur ce "i&cu1ia .nainta -e tema a'aceri(r
curente!Dee &ttea a-(ecat .n 'a1 -e &caunu( ei!-ri#in" cum c$ii (ui &e (uminau
atunci c/n" era "e acr" cu ea!&au cum &-r/ncene(e (ui &e uneau atunci c/n" .i
&-unea c e&te ne3un 2ceea ce 'cu "e&tu( "e "e& %i cu 'r1*
E( nu '(&i&e nici"at 'r1a %i nu '(&ea nici acum*Ei .i -(cea a&ta (a e(*
Printre a(te (ucruri*O trata cu re&-ectu( cu care ar 'i tratat -e rice -er&an
inte(i0ent care (uctea) .n a'aceri*Dac nu au '&t .ntt"eauna "e acr" cu
met"e(e!ei erau "e acr" c atin0erea &c-u(ui era im-rtant!"ar (a 'e( era %i
&ati&'ac1ia .ntr2 a'acere 3ine 'cut*Di&cu1ia .n cntra"ictriu cu e( era c$iar mai
&timu(ati# "ec/t .n1e(e0ere -er'ect*Pentru c(i-!ea .%i a"u&e aminte c/t "e
3ine &e .n1e(e0ea ea cu Ga#in!c/t "e (ini%tit au (ucrat .m-reun!"ar c$iar atunci
+att &-u&e ce#a intere&ant %i ea %tiu c nu -utea &2%i ir&ea&c tat &eara
0/n"in"u2&e (a a(t 3r3at*+att um-(ea e( &in0ur .ntrea0 (ume*
2E&te in'(uen1a a&iatic cea care a 'cut ca Metcom & "e#in intere&at "e
ac$i)i1inarea "e -r-riet1i -e Ca&ta "e Ve&t!&-u&e e(*P/n "e cur/n" ne2am
cncentrat aten1ia -e -ie1e(e -r1ii "e e&t a Americii "e Nr"!"ar &'era "e
in'(uen1 .nc(in tt mai mu(t &-re Vancu#er!5eatt(e!5an ,ranci&c!"earece
3anii cur0 "in&-re ca&ta Paci'icu(ui*
28i .ntr2a"e#r!nu numai ca-ita( "e in#e&ti1ie!"ar %i "(ari turi&tici!&au mai 3ine
)i& =eni!&-u&e Dee*Am un -rcent at/t "e mare "e c(ien1i 4a-ne)i!c .n &e)nu(
turi&tic tre3uie & an0a4e) -er&na( care #r3e%te (im3a*Dar merit!.ntruc/t
#/n)ri(e cre&c*De a&emenea 'ac %i rec(am ac(!-recum %i .n re#i&te(e care &e
0&e&c (a "i'erite cm-anii aeriene*+i2ai #)ut rec(ama .n anuaru( $te(u(ui6
E( )/m3i %i &e 4ntin&e -e&te ma& &2i atin0 m/na*
2Da2 "at!am %tiut c De(i0$t a mea era -r-rietar (a $heer )elight*<nainte "e
a&ta!tre3uie & recun&c!nu -rea am "at mu(t aten1ie rec(ame(r!"e%i am
3&er#at c mu(te "in e(e erau .n (im3i &trine*
De(i0$t a mea6 Inima ei &e )3ucium 3ru&c*<%i a"u&e aminte c nici c/n" erau
aman1i nu .i &-u&e&e a&t'e(*Cu anii e( "e#eni&e mai manierat!mai &'i&ticat*Acum
-utea &-une (ucruri a0rea3i(e!"ar .ntruc/t -utea & 'ac at/t "e u%r ace&t
(ucru!.n&emna c era mai #er&at*E( .%i exer&a&e maniere(e %i cu a(te 'emei*
28i &e &-une c merit & 'aci rec(am7&e -(/n&e ea*Tu e%ti "#a" #ie a
inuti(it1ii -u3(icit1ii*C(ien1ii $te(u(ui ar tre3ui & citea&c ace&te anun1uri*Oare
mi2am ir&it 3anii6+att r/&e*
2Ei!-ate c "ac a% 'i a#ut ne#ie "e (en4erie "e "am a% 'i citit rec(ama c/n"
am r&'it cartea*
2Crect*Dac nu a#eai ne#ie!ce te2a 'cut & intri .n ma0a)inu( meu6
E( &e uit (un0!0/n"itr (a ea!ca %i cum nu &e -utea "eci"e ce r&-un& &2i "ea*
2Pate am "e#enit excentric (a 3tr/ne1e6 Ea .i .ntar&e -ri#irea cu re-r%*
28i -ate c nu ai "e#enit*E( )/m3i!re'u)/n" & 'ie -r#cat*
2Aminte%te21i numai!am #enit!am -ri#it!"ar nu am cum-rat nimic*
2Am 3&er#at a&ta!acce-t ea*Era "urer& c e( re'u)a & .i &-un a"e#ru(*+att
ce( "e acum!era mai matur!mai ur3an!mai manierat!a&cun"ea (a 'e( "e mu(te ca
atunci c/n" era t/nr!"ar ea -re&u-unea c "in ace(a%i &entiment "e auta-rare*
2Am '&t extrem "e tentat "e mr'uri(e ta(e 'arte 'ruma&e!'arte atr0tare!
"mni%ar ,arri&!&-u&e e(!%i &2ar -utea 'arte 3ine &***-artici-*D/m3etu( (ui!
ca(" %i &ex= %i -e 4umtate a&cun& "inc( "e 0ene!&u0era c nu &e re'erea (a
;mr'uri(e: "in ma0a)in*
28i ai #enit -e Ca&t ca & cum-eri!nu (en4erie!ci -r-riet1i!&-u&e ea*Pt
.ntre3a ce 'e( "e -r-riet1i6E( e)it %i ea .i &ur-rin&e .nc "at ex-re&ie
tu(3urat .n c$i*
2E&te***incert!&-u&e e( .ncet*Examinm "i'erite -&i3i(it1i*Dee ""u "in ca-*
De&i0ur*Nu &ur-rin&e & a'(e c inte0ritatea -er&na( a (ui +att rm&e&e
intact*Ea )/m3i*
2Iart2m*A '&t .ntre3are increct*De&i0ur!nu -1i "i#u(0a "eta(ii -ri#in"
a'aceri(e -atrnu(ui tu*
2Nu tre3uie & te &cu)i*+att ar 'i "rit 3ru&c & .i -at &-une a"e#ru(*Dar nu
-utea*Ttu%i!i &e -ru cam ne(ia(!& 1in &ecrete ne0cieri(e (ui Metcom -ri#in"
Westmarch A.artament /otel!'a1 "e ea!care era (catar .n acea&t c("ire*
Ttu%i e( .i "atra (ia(itate cm-aniei care .i -(tea un &a(ariu "e(c ne0(i4a3i(*E(
.i "atra a&ta %i 'n"atru(ui cm-aniei!E"Min Jame&!care (2a an0a4at -e +att
ime"iat ce a terminat "re-tu( %i care (2a a4utat .n mu(te &itua1ii "i'ici(e*
2Era .ntre3are -er'ect (e0itim!cntinu e( %i &e tre)i m/n0/in"u2i "in nu
m/na*O &tr/n&e .ntre "e0ete(e (ui*Nu &e -utea a31ine & nu atin0*Era ne#ie
care era mai -r'un" "ec/t 'u&e&e .nainte*5unt c/te#a -r-riet1i -entru care
a#em -1iuni %i a(te "u &au trei -e care (e in#e&ti0m*Ace&ta e&te numai
.nce-utu( extin"erii na&tre .n Ve&t!cntinu e(*Urmtarea "eca" ar -utea 'i
crucia( -entru "e)#(tarea ra%u(ui Vancu#er 2 i a .ntre0ii re0iuni LMer
+ain(an"*Cm-anii(e care #r & intre!tre3uie & intre acum!&au #a 'i -rea
t/r)iu*E( ri"ic "in umeri ca %i cum "i&cu1ia nu ar 'i meritat & ai3 (c*8i
Metcom #rea & intre*
2A&ta .n&eamn c te #ei .ntarce aici6 Ame1ea(a nuci -e Dee!ca re)u(tat a(
ame&tecu(ui a-ra-e in&u-rta3i( a( em1ii(r -rin care trecea*Ea -utea numai &
&-ere c +att nu #a 'i cn%tient "e cre%terea -u(&u(ui ei*O$!Damne!ce 'cea ea
are6 Ce &e .nt/m-(a cu ea6 Era tt ce -utea 'ace!&2%i amintea&c "e 'e(u( cum a
rnit2 "at*O -rea mare -arte "in ea in&i&ta c a&ta a '&t "at!iar acum e&te
a(t'e(*E( a-r3*
2Da*Vi #eni aici .n m" 'rec#ent*A-i!ca %i cum i2ar 'i -utut citi 0/n"uri(e!a%a
cum 'cu&e %i .n trecut!e( a"u0 .ncet9 a&ta .n&eamn c inten1ine) & te #"
"in nu!Dee*Ea .%i tra&e u%r m/na "intr2a (ui %i %i2 -u&e .n -a(!un"e &e a'(a %i
cea(a(t*Am3e(e .i tremurau*
2Nu!+att*Vcea ei era 3(/n"!"ar $tr/t*Pentru c!.n ciu"a ace(ui &rut "u(ce!
&rut -e care am/n"i (2au cn&i"erat ca nece&ar!ea inten1ina & -&tre)e &u3
cntr( &itua1ia*+ai a(e& -r-ria inim*Ea %tia c/t "e #u(nera3i( era*
2Nu!&-u&e ea "in nu!at/t -entru ea c/t %i -entru e(*
2Ba "a!Dee!&-u&e e( cntra)ic/n"2 cu 'ermitate*C/n" r&ti ace&te cu#inte!+att
%tia c &e an0a4ea) (a ce#a ce nu ar tre3ui!ce( -u1in nu .nainte "e a 'ina(i)a
ne0cieri(e cu 0hang International!actua(u( -r-rietar a( (ui Westmarch*Ar
-utea 'i -ri#it ca un cn'(ict "e intere&e %i "ac &2ar a'(a ce#a***
Dar e( nu &e -utea a31ine*Ar 'i tre3uit & %tie "in mmentu( .n care a #)ut2 -e
Dee c (ucruri(e #r e#(ua ra-i" .ntre ei*E( era #ita( cn%tient c %i ea %tia!%i .i
era team*Tremurui "in #cea ei era "#a"a*E( -utea c$iar .n1e(e0e teama ei*
2+att!&-u&e ea!a-i amu1i!uit/n"u2&e .n 4&*O$!"a!&-u&e e( "in nu .n 0/n"!.n
tim- ce .i &tu"ia -(ea-e(e 'ar"ate cu a(3a&tru "e&c$i&!cu(area .m3u4rat "in
3ra4i!3u)e(e ume"e*<ntr2un 'e( &au a(tu( (ucruri(e a#eau & &e -etreac .ntre
ei*,ie #ec$i(e &entimente2&entimente #ec$i!-e care "e a3ia era .n &tare & (e
&t-/nea&c -rin &im-(u( 'a-t c %e"ea .n 'a1a ei2#r &tr(uci &curt ca &tea %i
a-i #r muri!&au &e #r a-rin"e %i #r men1ine un 'c -ermanent!ne3&it!care
.( #a ar"e -/n .n &tr'un"uri*Nici e( nu %tia ce ar 'i #rut mai mu(t*5au &
.n"r)nea&c***6
2Via1a mea e&te 'arte***-(in!acum!&-u&e ea!cu un )/m3et rece!-(itic&!care
cntra)icea cm-(et cu(ri(e "in 3ra)u( ei*Nu am -rea mu(t tim- &2'iu
&cia3i(2"u- cum mama mea ar -utea cu re0ret & cn'irme*De%i!.mi -etrec
ma4ritatea Mee@en"2uri(r cu ea .n Victria*,cu -au)*De a&emenea -(ec .n
c(trii "e a'aceri -eri"ic!.n "i'erite -r1i a(e (umii*Ln"ra!Pari&!
Rma!+a"ri"*8i A&ia*De a&emenea Trnt %i c$iar 'rec#ent!"ar nu &-u&e cu
0(a& tare*
2E&te -ur .nt/m-(are c m2ai 0&it a&t)i ac(*De a&emenea a '&t un nrc
-ur!"e%i .n ace&t mment ea nu -utea &-une "ac 3un &au ru!c nu &2au
.m-ie"icat unu( "e a(tu( (a Trnt*
2A"e&ea!cntinu ea!(i-&e&c "e ac( )i(e .n ir*Ea )/m3i "in nu!cam .n ace(a%i
'e( .n care e( #)u&e -e re0ina E(i)a3et$ )/m3in" (a te(e#i)r*
25-tm/na #iitare -(ec (a Pari&*E( .i -rin&e -ri#irea %i &-u&e -e un tn "ur9
2Nu #ei reu%i*Nu -1i &c-a "e mine!Dee!nu a%a "e u%r*La nai3a!e( %tia c
"e#eni&e -rea #e$ement!-rea re-e"e*Cu e'rturi e( .%i atenu tnu(*
2Vi #eni %i #i -(eca "in ra% .n m" re0u(at!.n urmtare(e (uni*E( )/m3i*8i nu
.1i #i cere & 'ii &cia3i(*Pur %i &im-(u .1i #i cere & 'ii cu mine*
Dee &e cutremur*Ea %i +att .m-reun!'r & 'ie ;&cia3i(i:!.n&emna -ur %i
&im-(u c ea %i +att***<m-reun*5in0uri*Ea ""u "in ca- %i &c$im3 &u3iectu(*
E( ri"ic "in umeri %i a3an"n &u3iectu(*Dee era mu(1umit*Era tim-u( &
mear0 aca&*

CAPITOLUL N
25 ne -(im3m!&-u&e ea "e .n"at ce ie%ir "in re&taurant!cn&tat/n" c -(aia
.nceta&e!iar nrii "i&-ru&er*Ar 'i '&t mai 3ine "ec/t a-r-ierea ine#ita3i( "in
taxi*+att -ri#i (a tcuri(e ei .na(te*
2P1i mer0e cu -ant'ii aceia6
2Nici -r3(em*5unt 'arte cn'rta3i(i*E( .i (u m/na %i .i &-u&e cu
ne.ncre"ere9
2Bine!"ac e%ti &i0ur*Dar "ac 3&e%ti!&2mi &-ui & iau un taxi*
Dee r/&e "e e( .n tim- ce .i &tr/n0ea "e0ete(e*
2<1i 'aci -rea mu(te 0ri4i*Era -(cut &2%i 'ac cine#a 0ri4i*Aai"e*Nu e&te "e-arte
%i e&te na-te 'ruma&*Era rcare %i un aer -ra&-t!cu un -&i3i( .n0$e1 ce
ar 'i -utut a-rea -/n "iminea1a*O na-te c(ar era un (ucru rar .n ace&t &e)n*
Ac-eri1i "e )-a"!mun1ii Nrt$ 5$re &tr(uceau .na(1i "ea&u-ra ra%u(ui!.n
(umina (unii*
2,rum&!nu2i a%a6 .ntre3 +att!urmrin" "irec1ia -ri#irii ei*
2Da*Nu 3&e&c nici"at & -ri#e&c mun1ii %tia*5unt a-ra-e (a 'e( "e
ca-ti#an1i ca %i ceanu(*De (a 'ere&tre(e %i tera&e(e a-artamentu(ui ei!ea a#ea
exce(ent -ri#e(i%te!ace&ta 'iin" unu( "in mti#e(e -entru care a(e&e&e & tria&c
aici*Cn&i(ierii ei in&i&tau mereu &2%i cum-ere un (c a( ei!"ec/t & arunce 3anii
.ntr2 (cuin1 .n care nu a#ea %an&e*Dar (cu( i &e -tri#ea!iar c("irea a#u&e&e
aceia%i -r-rietari a-ra-e "u)eci "e ani*Nu era nici un mti# & &e 0/n"ea&c
& &c$im3e ce#a!-entru #iitru( a-r-iat*
2E&te -entru -rima ar c #" mun1ii "e c/n" m a'(u .n acea&t c(trie!&-u&e
+att*Au '&t ac-eri1i "e nri .n u(time(e )i(e*
2Nu te -(/n0e!&-u&e ea*De mu(te ri .n acea&t -eria" a anu(ui!c/n" -(u aici
4&!ac( &u& nin0e*Lcuitrii ace&tui ra% &unt 'arte m/n"ri & -at na#i0a!
4uca 0(' %i & 'ac &c$i tate .n aceea%i )i %i (a "i&tan1 "e "u)eci "e minute "e
centru( ra%u(ui*Ei .ntar&er &-ate(e munte(ui %i &e .n"re-tar &-re &u" "e2a
(un0u( -enin&u(ei ?e&t En" ctre G('u( en0(e)*
2<1i -etreci -arte "in tim-u( (i3er -e -/rtii(e "e &c$i6
2Nu!&-u&e Dee*Nu am &c$iat "e c/n" mi2am "e&c$i& -rimu( ma0a)in*
2Cum6 8i (cuie%ti (a "u)eci "e minute "e trei -/rtii "e &c$i6
2A% #rea & -t!"ar cum am &-u&!tim-u( meu (i3er e&te (imitat*Tu6
2Nu recent*5-eram & -t 'ace c3r/re2"u .n acea&t c(trie!&-u&e e(!"e%i
nu mi2am "at &eama -/n .n ace&t u(tim Mee@en" c tre3uia &2mi a"uc
ec$i-amentu( "e &c$i*Nu antici-a&em -re'erin1a ameni(r "e a'aceri "e -e
Ca&ta "e Ve&t "e a2%i (ua (i3ere Mee@en"2uri(e*Ne0cieri(e na&tre actua(e nu
-ar & &e .nc$eie .nainte "e 4umtatea &-tm/nii #iitare!a%a .nc/t #i 'i .nc .n
ra% .n Mee@en"2u( #iitr*Pate***E( (& 0/n"u( neterminat*
Dee -ri#i -e&te umr (a -i&curi(e &tr(ucitare*
2Pcat c e&te -rea "e#reme .n &e)n*Pate c aici arat 3ine!"ar 3a)a nu -are &
'ie &u'icient "e a"/nc -/n a-ra-e "e Crciun!a%a .nc/t nu e&te nimic .n
'unc1iune .nc*<n &c$im3 ?$i&t(er %i B(ac@cm3 &unt "e&c$i&e*5unt (a "i&tan1
"e nu)eci "e minute "e mer& cu ma%ina!a"u0 ea*5unt &i0ur c ai -utea
.nc$iria rice ac(*Ea e)it un mment*
28i am mic (cuin1 -e "ea(uri(e "e (a ?$i&t(er Vi((a0e!-e care -1i
'(&i*Nu cre" c am -rmi&2 cui#a -entru urmtare(e &-tm/ni*E( &e -ri*
2Ai (cuin1 (a ?$i&t(er %i nu ai &c$iat "e cinci ani6Dee ri"ic "in umeri*
2Du- cum 1i2am mai &-u&!&unt 'arte cu-at*Cre" c ar tre3ui & #/n"!"ar
cn&i(ierii mei mi2au &-u& c e&te in#e&ti1ie 3un %i am -rieteni care &e 3ucur
& '(&ea&c*8i mama .%i "uce -eri"ic -rietenii ac(!"ar***Ea .%i &ca&e una
"in mnu%i!a-i -u&e (a (c!.ntin)/n"2 -e "e0ete*Dar***
2Dar tu nu*De ce!Dee6 Ea .i e#it -ri#irea*
2Eu***nu -rea am c$e'*Aai"e & mer0em*5e 'ace 'ri0*+att nu mai #r3i 3un
3ucat "e tim-*A-i &-u&e9
2Ce anume .n (e0tur cu (cuin1a ta "e (a ?$i&t(er te .ntri&tea)!Dee6
Ea .i arunc -ri#ire uimit*
2Nu e&te a"e#rat7Ne0area #eni (a 'e( "e autmat -e c/t era "e 'a(&*E( .i .n'runt
-ri#irea*
2Ba "a*7 Ea .%i &tr/n&e 0ura*+att era .ntt"eauna ca-a3i( & .i citea&c "i&-)i1ia*
2De ce nu #rei & #r3e%ti "e&-re a&ta6
2Pentru c***ai "re-tate*<ntr2a"e#r m .ntri&tea)*Cre" c a '&t -r&tie "in
-artea mea & -&tre)!"ar am &-erat c tim-u( .mi #a a(ina "urerea*Ttu( e&te
(e0at .n mintea mea "e unu( "in ce(e mai ne'ericite mmente "in #ia1a mea*Am
cum-rat (cu( cu c/te#a &-tm/ni .nainte ca tat( meu & mar*Urma & 'ie
&ur-ri) -entru #iitru( meu &1*
517 Cu#/ntu( .( (#i -e +att .n -ie-t ca un cican %i a-ra-e &e c(tin!"u-
care .%i re#eni*La nai3a!n1iunea nu ar tre3ui &2i 'ie at/t "e &trin*E( rea(i)a c
ea tre3uie & 'i a#ut re(a1ii %i cu a(1i 3r3a1i*Ttu%i tre3uia & (u-te cntra
ima0inii .n care a(1ii 'ceau "ra0&te cu ea! m/n0/iau!.i m"e(au tru-u(*E(
tre3ui &2%i .nc(e%te)e -umnii .m-tri#a "rin1ei "e a i)3i -e cine#a*Un 3r3at
care a rnit2 -e Dee a -u& acea&t -ri#ire tri&t!"i&-erat!.n c$ii ei*
2Ce &2a .nt/m-(at6 .ntre3 e(*
2C/n" tat( meu a murit!nrma(!am am/nat c&tria*A-i***(ucruri(e &2au
&c$im3at .ntre ni %i nu***am mai re(uat -riecte(e*+att era &i0ur c era cu mu(t
mai mu(t "ec/t at/t*Lucruri(e &2au &c$im3at*Ce (ucruri6 E( "rea & %tie "eta(ii(e
a-ra-e (a 'e( "e mu(t cum &e temea & (e a'(e!"ar .nainte "e a .ntre3a!ea &-u&e9
2Ca mu(te e#enimente care (a mmentu( re&-ecti# -ar "e)a&tre!ace&ta a a#ut
ttu%i un 'ina( 'ericit*
2Care a '&t ace&ta6Ea r/&e!iar e( &e (ini%ti*Pate c ea a '&t rnit "e
ex-erien1 acum cinci ani!"ar nu ire#ca3i(*
2Acea&t (0"n ru-t m2a -r-u(&at .n "e&c$i"erea -rimu(ui meu ma0a)in*
2De ce6
2Ga#in!'&tu( meu (0"nic!era e"itru( )iaru(ui "e %tiri (a care (ucram (a 5an
,ranci&c!&-u&e ea*Ar 'i '&t "i'ici( & rm/n ac(!c$iar & !&tau .n ace(a%i
ra%!a%a c .mi tre3uia a(tce#a!.n a(t (c*Prin1ii mei &e muta&er (a Victria
atunci c/n" tata &2a retra& "in &er#iciu( "i-(matic!%i!"u- ce a murit!am #rut &
'iu (/n0 mama*Am #enit .n Nr"*In&u(a Vancu#er nu are 3a)a "e --u(a1ie "in
LMer +ain(an"!a%a c "in -unct "e #e"ere mar@etin0 era mai inte(i0ent "in
-artea mea &2mi &ta3i(e&c &e"iu( -era1ina( aici (a Vancu#er*
25 cn"uci un ma0a)in*
2Da*A-ra-e ime"iat am cn&tatat c .mi -(ace*5e -are c eram mai mu(t "ec/t
-re0tit -entru a(tce#a*
2Cre" c era cu ttu( "i'erit!&-u&e e(*De (a )iari&tic (a #/n)are cu amnuntu(6 O
&eria&a &c$im3are*Dar "e ce (en4erie6Cr1i!a#/n" .n #e"ere .nc(ina1ia ei!
re#i&te!ar 'i '&t "e .n1e(e&*Ea .i )/m3i %i e( 'u u%urat & cn&tate c .n c$ii ei nu
mai era nici urm "in tri&te1ea "e a"ineauri*
2Atunci c/n" .m-reun cu Ga#in am a4un& (a cnc(u)ia c (ucruri(e nu #r mer0e
.ntre ni!-rimi&em "e4a -arte "in ca"uri(e "e nunt!iar mu(te "in e(e erau
-ac$ete cu (en4erie 'in*Gura (ui &e c&c -entru &ecun"*
2Vrei & &-ui c tru&u( tu a cn&tituit -rimu( tu &tc "e mar' .n ma0a)in6
5e au)i r/&u( ei &nr*Lui .i -(cea & au" r/)/n"!.i -(cea & #a" c$ii ei
(umina1i "e amu)ament*
2+att7 Bine.n1e(e& c nu*Ar 'i '&t "e -r&t 0u&t*O$!Damne7 .%i -u&e m/n
-e&te 0ur %i .i arunc -ri#ire #e&e(*+ .ntre3!are c/ i "intre -rietenii mei %i
ai mamei m &u&-ectea) c am -rce"at a&t'e(6De a(t'e( cre" c am -rimit
(en4erie %i cm%i "e na-te -entru )ece ani*Ar 'i '&t un &tc &u'icient -entru un
mic 3utiEue*O$!&-er c nimeni nu a -utut cre"e a%a ce#a "e&-re mine*
Bine.n1e(e& c am 'erit ca"uri(e .na-i!"ar nimeni nu (e2a acce-tat*
+att r/&e (a i"eea c ace(e "amne 'arte -(itica&e &e .ntre3au .n &ecret "ac
Dee a 'cut ce#a cu tru&u(!"ac (2a #/n"ut cum#a*
2Deci cum te2au "eci& ace&te (ucruri & "e&c$i)i un 3utiEue6
2Am .nce-ut & m 0/n"e&c c "ac -rietenii mei mi2au cum-rat at/t "e mu(te
(ucruri "re-t ca"u -entru #iitarea mirea&!.n&eamn c exi&t -ia1 #a&t*
8tii!am #rut & 'ac ce#a care & m aca-are)e tta(*Am #rut & 'ac ce#a care &2
mi mute 0/n"uri(e "e (a neca)uri(e me(e!& m cncentre) &-re a(tce#a*
+intea!(ui era "e a&emenea -recu-at "e exact ace(e a(te ;(ucruri: &-re care
Dee %i2a .n"re-tat aten1ia .n u(timii cinci ani*Lucruri 'ruma&e*Pe cr-u( 'rum&
a( (ui Dee*E( &e uit (un0 (a ea*
2Deci ce ai 'cut cu tate ace(e (ucruri ra'inate -rimite ca"u6 .ntre3 e(*Le2ai
-u& cum#a "e-arte -entru #iitarea (un "e miere -e care ai .n -(an6
2Bine.n1e(e& c nu*Le2am***'(&it*Le '(&e&c*Le -rt*Ea 'cu -au)*Unei
'emei .i -(ace & 'ie 'rum& .m3rcat .n 'iecare )i!nu numai .n (una "e miere*
+intea (ui +att &e um-(u "e ima0ini*Du(a-uri(e "in "rmitru( (ui Dee!
&crinuri(e -(ine "e 3iecte minunate!tran&-arente*Putea & (e #a" .n cu(ri
-a&te(!ne0ru!a(3!tnuri #ii**Cu "ante(e!cu -ene!cu -an0(ici %i 'un"e*5u'iciente
-entru un &tc "e ma0a)in*O re)er# -entru )ece ani*8i au trecut numai cinci
ani*E( (e -utea #e"ea .ntin&e -e -atu( ei &au -e 3ara "e (a "u%*5 (e #a" -e ea*E(
.n0$i1i*Putea & (e #a" cum erau "e)3rcate "e -e tru-u( ei 'arte!'arte .ncet*
2<n 'iecare )i6 .ntre3 e(*Vcea (ui era r0u%it*A&t)i6
Ea .i )/m3i .n tim- ce &e a-r-iau "e tre-te(e ce "uceau (a intrarea c("irii*
2+att!a '&t &ear 'arte -(cut*+u(1ume&c 'arte mu(t*Ea .i .ntin&e m/na*
Na-te 3un*+att r/&e*
2Na-te 3un6 E( .i a-uc m/na -e care i2 'erea %i 1inu &tr/n& ca & nu
&ca-e*<nc nu!-uiu(e*<nc nu e&te tim-u( -entru na-te 3un*
5eara %i "i&cu1ia nu &e termina&er .nc*Nu .n ceea ce .( -ri#ea -e +att*
Tr0/n"2 "e m/n %i 1in/n"2 (/n0 e(!mer&e c/ i#a -a%i!.n tim- ce -rtaru(
#i0i(ent %i -rtectr .%i -r&i -&tu( i c3r. "u tre-te*
+att .n"re-ta -e Dee &-re cur3*
2De&-re ?$i&t(er!&-u&e e(!c/n" -au) .n tra'ic (e -ermi&e & tra#er&e)e &tra"a
&-re 'a(e)a (at "e "ea&u-ra -(a4ei*Dac acce-t 'erta ta "e a21i .nc$iria (cuin1a!
#ei mer0e cu mine6
2Nu7Dee .%i &mu(&e ctu(*I &e -ri r&u'(area*<%i mu%c 3u)a %i .%i ca(m ner#ii!
.m-reun/n"u2%i m/ini(e*
2+u(1ume&c!"ar nu!&-u&e ea mai ca(m*Eu***nu #i a#ea tim-*Nu &unt 0enu( "e
m "e a'aceri care .%i ia (i3ere -rea mu(te Mee@en"2uri!min1i ea!uit/n" c .i
&-u&e&e c2%i -etrece ce(e mai mu(te Mee@en"2uri cu mama &a*+att .i .ntar&e
'a1a &-re a (ui %i &e uit (un0 %i cercettr!.n 3taia (uminii "in &tra"*
2La&7Ea &e .n'r/n %i &e .ntar&e &-re e(*
2Nu e&te crect7 5unt cu-at*
2Ocu-at!&i0ur*8i &-eriat*Ea &e .ncrunt*
2Bine*Ji2am &-u& "e4a*Nu .mi -(ace (cu(!+att*<mi reaminte%te "e (ucruri
ne-(cute*Eram ac( c/n" am -rimit #e&tea c tat( meu a murit*Dac #rei &2
mi &-ui c e#it (cu( "in ace&t mti#!atunci &unt "e acr"*Dar cre" c amenii au
"re-tu( & &e aut-rte4e)e .m-tri#a "urerii*+ai a(e& una care nu e&te nece&ar*
2<mi -are ru c (cu( .1i reaminte%te "e (ucruri ne-(cute!&-u&e e( -e un tn
neutru!.n tim- ce -ri#irea (ui &tr-un0ea*Oricum!%tiu c nu ace&ta e&te mti#u(
-entru care re'u)i!Dee*,ie cu a"mi1i &au nu!.1i e&te 'ric & mer0i ac( cu
mine*Am &e&i)at un re'u) -anicat*Dee &cr/ ni "in "in1i*+att nu a (&at2
nici"at & &ca-e 'r & 'ie cin&tit!.n &-ecia( cu ea .n&%i*E( .i (#i u%r 3r3ia
cu un "e0et*
2Re'u)u( tu "e a mer0e are mai -u1in (e0tur cu trecutu( "ec/t cu -re)entu(*
A%a e&te!Dee 6Dee .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea*Era (i-&it "e &en& & .ncerce & .( mint*
2Bine!&-u&e ea*A"mit*Dar am "re-tu( & m -rte4e) .m-tri#a ace&tui 0en "e
traum!nu2i a%a6
2De ce ar 'i traumati)ant un Mee@en" cu mine6Ea .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea*
2Pate nu #a 'i*Pate c -eria"a ce #a urma "u- aceea m .n0ri4rea)*Atunci
c/n" te #ei .ntarce (a #ia1a ta rea( %i (a***Pri#irea (ui &e .n0u&t 3ru&c*
2La ce***6Ea %tia c &2ar -utea & nu2i -(ac r&-un&u(!"ar tre3uia ttu%i & -un
.ntre3area*
2Ai #enit .n ma0a)inu( meu & cum-eri!+att*
Pt & -re&u-un c exi&t 'emeie .n #ia1a ta care urma & 'ie 3ene'iciara a ceea
ce ai 'i cum-rat*Tre3uie & ai3 im-rtan1 -entru tine acea&t -er&an*8i tu
-entru ea*A#/n" .n #e"ere exi&ten1a ei .n #ia1a ta!"e ce mai #ii &-re mine6
+att 't ne-utinci&*La nai3a!nu -utea &2i &-un "e ce intra&e ini1ia( .n
ma0a)inu( ei*At/t Metcom c/t %i actua(ii -r-rietari ai c("irii "reau & -&tre)e
ne0cieri(e cm-(et cn'i"en1ia(e!"in mti#e c(are*
2Dee!&-u&e e(*Nu #in (a tine*Eu***5e .ntreru-&e cu 0rima& "e)0u&tat*De&i0ur
c #enea (a ea*Dee nu era -ra&t*8i ea a#ea un "re-t (a r&-un&*
2Bine!&-u&e e(*Am #enit (a ma0a)inu( tu cu un &c-!"ar nu ca & cum-r ce#a
-entru cine#a*Nu exi&t nici 'emeie .n #ia1a mea!acum7
2Ce &c-6 .ntre3 ea*Pre&u-un c e&te unu( -e care nu te .n"uri & .( .m-rt%e%ti
cu mine6E( .ncerca & -&tre)e tnu( in"i'erent*
25c-u( -entru care am intrat .n ma0a)inu( tu a '&t!a%a cum 1i2am &-u&!nume(e
care m2a intri0at!iar neglij-ul "in #itrin mi2a &u0erat c #r 'i %i a(te (ucruri .n
ma0a)in "emne "e***a"mirat*Am intrat .n c("ire %i -entru c .mi -(ac c("iri(e
#ec$i*Dee .%i reaminti ace&t (ucru "in trecut*Din 'ericire %i ei .i -(ceau c("iri(e
#ec$i!a(t'e( &2ar 'i -(icti&it & 'ie -urtat -rin ce(e mai #ec$i "in +ntrea(*
Bine*Ea -re&u-u&e c a&ta era ex-(ica1ia -e care -utea &cate "e (a e( %i "e%i nu
&ati&'cea -e "e-(in!tre3uia & &e mu(1umea&c cu at/t*
28i!cntinu +att cntr#er&a!.ntruc/t nu e&te nici un 3r3at .n #ia1a ta!nu #" ce
ne .m-ie"ic & -etrecem un Mee@en" (a &c$i ca .ntre #ec$i -rieteni6Ea .%i
&ca&e mnu%!a-i -e cea(a(t %i .%i 3tu mnu%i(e "in -ie(e 'in "e
.nc$eieturi*
Aceea%i cntr#er&!a-ra-e ace(ea%i cu#inte!au cn#in&2 & ia cina cu e(*
Cre"ea e( are c .i #a reu%i %i cu un Mee@en"6 Pr3a3i( c "a*
A-i!&tr-un0/n"u2i cu -ri#ire!ea .( .ntre39
2De&-re a&ta #r3im ni!+att6E( .nc$i&e c$ii -entru un mment*De&i0ur c nu*
Nu .ntru ttu(*Dar &2ar -utea*Dac #a tre3ui*
2Dac "e&-re a&ta #rei & #r3im!atunci 3ine*Dac mer0i cu mine!nu ar tre3ui
&21i 'aci 0ri4i cu***Pre&u-un!ca3ana ta are mai mu(t "e un "rmitr6
Din c/te #)u&e e(!ma4ritatea a#eau*<n ca) cntrar!-reci& c tre3uia & 'ie %i
cana-ea*Dar a &-u& c a .nc$iriat ca&a unr -rieteni*
2Nu ai "e ce & te temi .n -ri#in1a a&ta*Ceea ce #reau eu e&te un Mee@en" -e
-/rtie!nu unu( .n &ac*Ea .%i ""u ca-u( -e &-ate!'en&at*
2A&ta a '&t ne-(itic&*C$ictitui (ui cn1inea -u1in umr*
2<1i mai a"uci aminte6 Eu nu &unt unu( "in 3r3a1ii care au un &trat "e )a$r*
Uneri &unt ne-(itic&*E&te m%tenirea mea*Dar am/n"i %tim "e mu(t tim- c
m%tenirea ta %i a mea nu -t 'i cm-arate*<nt/m-(tr eu -re'er -e a mea*
E&te***mai -u1in arti'icia(*
2+att***A#ea nuan1 "e amenin1are .n 0(a&*Nu am "e 0/n" & a&cu(t &n3i&mu(
tu .n &en& in#er&*Nu e&te ne#ie %i nu 1i &e -tri#e%te*
2 E( 't "in nu*
25cu)e*Ttu%i!a% #rea & cre" c m cun%ti mai 3ine ca & nu te temi c te2a%
-utea 'r1a!&au c$iar & .ncerc & te &e"uc*E( .%i &trecur "e0ete(e -rintre a(e ei*
C/n" #ei #eni (a mine!#ei 'i (a 'e( ca .ntt"eauna9 "e&c$i&!ner3"tare %i
"ritare!(a 'e( ca mine***
2+att!eu nu***Ea &e .ntreru-&e!.n tim- ce e( .i atin&e cu "e0ete(e 'a1a!&-re
3r3ie*E( %-ti cu #ce r0u%it9
2Jii minte6O$!c/t "e 3ine .%i amintea*O &im-( -ri#ire "e2a curme)i%u( unei
.nc-eri a0(merate .i -utea 'ace -e am/n"i & &e .n"re-te &-re u%!& -(ece
"e-arte "e -rieteni %i & 0&ea&c &in0urtatea!un"e#a!riun"e!un"e & .ncerce
&2%i -t(ea&c "rin1a cmun*Ea .%i a(unec m/na -e 3ra1u( (ui &-re
.nc$eietur!.i .ncercui "e0ete(e %i .i tra&e m/na "e -e 'a1a ei*Autmat!.%i
.ntre-trun&e "e0ete(e cu a(e (ui!&a#ur/n" &en)a1ia m/inii (ui ca("e!u&cate*
2+att***nu m 'ace &2mi aminte&c "e ace(e (ucruri*
Pri#irea (ui amenin1a & .ncerce & uite*Ttu%i!tt ceea ce &-u&e 'u9
2<n (e0tur cu ace&t Mee@en"***0/n"e%te2te!Dee*G/n"e%te2te (a -(cerea -e care
a#eam am/n"i c/n" &c$iam*Am -utea ree"ita a&ta*<ntr2un 'e(!Dee au)i un
tcut ;8i c$iar mai mu(t: "inc( "e cu#inte(e (ui*Dar cu#inte(e au a-rut numai
.n mintea ei %i inima ei!ca iar3a nu -rim#ara*Ea c(tin "in nu ca-u(*
2Ji2am ex-(icat*<mi -etrec ce(e mai mu(te Mee@en"2uri cu mama*
2<n m" &-ecia(!urmtru( Mee@en"6Ea &e .ncrunt!e)it!a-i .%i ""u &eama c
e( nu are cum & %tie "ac ea &-une a"e#ru( &au nu*
2Da*
2+in1i!Dee!r/&e e( -e un tn (ene%*Ea -ru in"i0nat*
2+att***
2R%e%ti c/n" &-ui minciuni*Cre)i c am uitat ace&t mic amnunt6
2Nu r%e&c*O3ra4ii mei &unt r%ii "e 'ri0*E( c(tin ca-u(*
2R%e%ti!iar un mu%c$i c$iar aici!e( atin&e -artea &t/n0 a maxi(aru(ui ei!&u3
urec$e 2)#/cne%te ne3une%te*
2O$*Ea .%i retra&e "e0ete(e "intre a(e (ui %i .%i 30 m/na .n 3u)unar*
E( nu mai &-u&e nimic!"ar .i &ca&e m/na "in 3u)unar %i i2 1inu .n tim- ce
mer0eau .na-i &-re (cuin1a ei %i .n tim- ce urcau tre-te(e*
2Nu e&te ne#ie & #ii &u& cu mine!&-u&e ea c/n" intrar .n 'aier*
2Ji2am ex-(icat*<mi -reiau -artenera %i a"uc .na-i (a u%*Ea intr"u&e c$eia .n
-erete!.n -artea (atera( a (i'tu(ui -er&na(*
2Acea&ta e&te u%a mea*E( )/m3i*
2Eu .mi cn"uc -artenera -/n -e #eran"!&-u&e %i intr .n (i't "at cu ea*C/n"
u%i(e &e .nc$i"eau!e( .i "e&-r1i -ru( (a cea' %i &rut -e 0/t*Ea .nc$i&e c$ii
%i .%i a-uc &tr/n& 0eanta!.n tim- ce cn#u(&ie -uternic &tr3tu*
2Te r07 Era un &tri0t "4enitr*Ai &-u& c nu m #ei &e"uce*
E( .ntar&e cu 'ata &-re e(!cu m/ini(e (ui -uternice -e 3ra1e(e ei*
2Nu te &e"uc*Dar .1i "emn&tre) c(ar ceea ce &imt*Dac e&te #r3a "e -&i3i(
&e"uc1ie!a&ta e&te .n mintea ta*Ea .%i mu%c 3u)a*A#ea "re-tate*Ce &e &-unea
are6 C )na er0en cea mai &en&i3i( e&te cea "intre urec$i6 Tat &eara %i2a
amintit cum a '&t!0/n"in"!cn%tient %i incn%tient!cum ar -utea 'i "in nu*
,iecare atin0ere a (ui!&unetu( #cii!)/m3etu( "in c$ii (ui!i2au re.m-r&-tat
"rin1a*Oc$ii (ui!ne0ri acum!.i 'ixau -e ai ei!cntr(/n"2!3(i0/n"2 &
0/n"ea&c (a ceea ce e( .i ;&-unea*De a&emenea!%i (a ceea ce nu &-unea*Ceea ce
"eran4a -e ea era ceea ce e( nu &-unea*
2A$***nu!murmur ea!.ncerc/n" &2%i -rea&c m/na & nu2i mai m/n0/ie 'a1a*
E( .%i -u&e m/na -e&te a ei!1in/n"2*
2Nu #a 1ine!Dee!&2mi &-ui mie ;Nu:*P/n (a urm!tt &e #a .nt/m-(a cu mine*8i
(a 'e( cu tine*Ea &ca&e un &unet tremurat %i &e "e-rt "e e(*Cu mi%care a
ca-u(ui!ea .%i a"u&e -ru( (a (c*Reu%i c$iar un r/& %i un )/m3et amu)at!ca %i
cum e( nu ar 'i -re)entat nici un -eric(*
2Ce anume6
E( )/m3i %i 'cu -(ecciune .n mmentu( .n care (i'tu( &e -ri %i u%i(e &e
"e&c$i&er*
2Eta4u( tu!cre"!"uce&*<n tim- ce .m-in0ea &-re ;#eran"a ei "in 'a1:!e( )/m3i
"in nu!cu acea -ri#ire .n"r)nea1 care a ca-ti#at2 "at*Pri#irea "e 3iat ru*
Ea nu %tia "e ce a#ea*<n rea(itate nu a '&t nici"at*Pate -entru c %tia c ar
-utea 'i ru %i a&ta a .ntr/tat2 at/t "e mu(t*8i .nc .ntr/ta*E( .i cu-rin&e cea'a
cu m/na %i .i ""u ca-u( -e &-ate*
2O &21i 'ac -(cere 'iecare minut!&-u&e e( cu #ce ca %a-t*A%a cum .1i
-(cea .n trecut*<n ciu"a #a(u(ui "e c("ur -e care .( -r#cau cu#inte(e (ui!ea .i
'eri ceea ce ea &-era & 'ie un )/m3et ec$i(i3rat ce in"ica neta ei (i-& "e
inten1ie "e a 'i #ictima unei &e"uc1ii ra-i"e*5au a uneia (ente*C$iar "ac tate
ace&tea erau .n mintea ei*Ttu%i .n interir ea era "in nu "e -t&-re)ece ani!
.n"r0&tit ne3une%te -entru -rima ar .n #ia1a ei!"rin"u2%i ace( 'e( "e
&e"uc1ie ra-i" -e care (2a cn&im1it cu mu(t 3un#in1 atunci*Ea %i2ar 'i "rit
ce#a -a(-a3i(!"e care & &e a0ate!"ar &in0uru( "i&-ni3i( era +att ,ie"(er %i
numai -ri#in"u2( &im1i c i &e c(atin -m/ntu( &u3 -iciare*Tre3uia "emu(t & .i
&-un ;na-te 3un:*Cu #ce .nceat!tremurat!ea &-u&e %i a-i a"u09
2+u(1ume&c!+att*A '&t &ear -(cut*5-re uimirea!c$iar &-re u%urarea ei!e(
&rut!)/m3i %i intr cu &-ate(e .n (i't*A-& 3utnu( "e c3r/re (a ni#e(u(
&tr)ii %i &e uit (a ea cum .( -ri#ea .n tim- ce u%i(e &e .nc$i&er .ntre ei*
Oc$ii ei a(3a%tri .( 3&e"ar c/t mer&e cu taxiu( -/n (a $te(*Oc$ii ei nu erau
a(3a&tru2"e&c$i& atunci c/n" a &-u& ;na-te 3un:!ci nuan1 .nc$i&!-(in "e
um3re %i &tri &u'(ete%ti*
;A '&t &ear -(cut*+u(1ume&c7: Duce&a "u- .nt/(nire a-rin&*
+att )/m3i .n tim- ce &ttea .n -at!amintin"u2%i 'iecare "eta(iu a( ei!'iecare
um3r %i #aria1ie "e ex-re&ie!'iecare &ecun" a ace&tei &eri -etrecute cu Dee*E(
ar 'i "rit & "arm!"ar ca-u( .i era -(in "e temeri*
Dee*At/t "e mu(te &c$im3ri .n #ia1a ei*Tat( ei "ece"at!mama ei (cuin" (a
Victria!'r .n"ia( .ntr2 &-(en"are re0a( -e care e( nu -utea &-era &
31in #re"at*8i nici & "rea&c*O &-(en"are -e care Dee!ca unic c-i(!
#a m%teni .ntr2 )i*5e 0/n"i (a a-artamentu( ei!(a 3utiEue2uri(e ei .n'(ritare*
<n m" e#i"ent!ea a m%tenit "e4a "e&tu( "e mu(t -rin martea tat(ui ei*
Tat( ei***E( .n0$e&ui "u -erne .m-reun %i &e &-ri4ini "e t3(ia -atu(ui!
0/n"in"u2&e (a 3r3atu( &(i"!ari&tcratic!care reu%i&e &2i in&-ire ce( mai*mu(t
teama*Dac nu a&ta!ce( -u1in team ame&tecat cu re&-ect*Tat( ei!Linc(n
,arri&!a '&t am3a&a"r (a Curt ' 5t*Jame& atunci c/n" (2a cun&cut +att*
8i ca %i cum acea&ta nu ar 'i '&t &u'icient -entru un t/nr!e( mai tre3ui &2i 'ac
'a1 %i mamei &a(e*Ari&tcra1ie 3ritanic "intr2 'ami(ie #ec$e "e #re mie "e
ani*La"= Ae(en*,iica unui (r"!nici mai mu(t!nici mai -u1in*
La "u)eci %i "i!"u)eci %i trei "e ani!e( nu -utu 'ace 'a1 (a tate a&tea*
C/n" a cun&cut2 -e Dee!ea era ce#a mai mu(t "ec/t un 33c*E( era mai
matur!&t-/n -e &ine!cun%tea #ia1a %i a#ea &c-uri -reci&e*Pr3a3i( c nici nu ar
'i 3&er#at2 "ac nu ar 'i '(&it -/rtia "e &c$i "re-t t30an exact -e&te #/r'u(
&c$iuri(r (ui!(ucru care .( trimi&e cu ca-u( "re-t .ntre cren0i(e 0ra&e a(e unui
-in*Ea .( a4ut & &e ri"ice!.n tim- ce e( &cui-a &u'icient )-a"!care .( 'cu &
certe c %i2a 'cut ace( a'uri&it t30an -e -/rtia "e &c$i*
Ea .i -ri "i&cur&u( -rintr2 mi%care a 3ra1u(ui!care nu ar 'i tre3uit!"ar ttu%i
reu%i & 'ie autritar!c$iar "ac m/na era &tr/n& .ntr2 mnu% r%ie!
-u'a&*Cu accentu( ei rece!meticu(&!ea &-u&e&e9 ;Dmnu(e!a#/n" .n #e"ere c
mi2am -etrecut anii "e 'rmare .n 1inuturi cu c(im mai ca("!nu &unt at/t "e
nrca& ca & %tiu & &c$ie)*8i )-a"a e&te )-a"*A &-une c nu -t '(&i un
t30an -e ea!e&te (a 'e( "e i(0ic cu a'irma1ia c numai un C$e#r(et -ate
'(&i aut&tra"a*E( .%i ""u&e ca-u( -e &-ate %i i)3ucni&e .n r/&!(a care ea .%i
&trecura&e un -icir .ntre 0$ete(e (ui "e &c$i incm"e %i .ntr2un m" 'arte
neceremni& .( .m-in&e&e (a (c .ntre cren0i(e "e -in*P/n c/n" e(
reu%i!)3t/n"u2&e!& &e e(i3ere)e %i &2%i -un "in nu (e0turi(e "e &c$i!ea
"i&-ru&e*O 0&i .n ce(e "in urm .n #a(e!recun&c/n"u2i cciu(a cara0$ia&!
r%ie!trictat!cu "u c)i (un0i care .i '(uturau -e umeri*A '&t -rea -r&t
atunci & cn&i"ere cm-rtamentu( ei ari&tcratic!ar0ant!ca natura(*Ttu%i (2a
intri0at %i .n ace(a%i tim- (2a .nc/ntat*8i e( %i2a a&umat r&-un"erea "e a .n#1a
& &c$ie)e*8i & 0tea&c*8i & 'ac "ra0&te*La -rime(e "u!ea a '&t un e(e#
(ene% %i in"i'erent*Dar a&tea au '&t .nainte "e a2i cuna%te -rin1ii*52a
.n"r0&tit "e ea .nainte "e a %ti c 'iu( %i ne-tu( unui miner nu -ate a#ea nici
(e0tur2%i nici un #iitr2cu ne-ata unui n3i(*C$iar %i acum .%i amintea "e
&tarea "e "i&-erare -e care a trit2 .n &-tm/ni(e "intre martie!c/n" (2a
cun&cut -e -rin1ii ei %i &'/r%itu( (ui mai!c/n" a -r&it %niversitatea McGill cu
-rmi&iunea 'r1at c &e #a .ntarce (a Dee*A '&t -rmi&iune -e care nu %i2a
1inut2*Cu mu(t .nainte & 'ac %i2a "at &eama c nu era a(tce#a "ec/t
3ra#a"*In"i'erent c/t "e mu(t &2ar 'i &tr"uit & &e cn#in0 -e &ine c era (a 'e(
"e 3un ca ricare a(tu(!nu -utea & crea" -e "e-(in ace&t (ucru*+ereu %i mereu
.%i &-unea c a&t'e( "e (ucruri cum ar 'i 'ami(ia!-)i1ia %i cn"i1ii(e 'inanciare nu
au im-rtan1!nici -entru e(!nici -entru ea*Era &ec(u( "u)eci!nu
%a-te&-re)ece*A '&t cre&cut .ntr2 &cietate 'r c(a&e!tria .n una "e ace&t 'e(*
Demcra1ia &-unea c un m e&te recun&cut -entru ceea ce e&te .n &tare!nu
-entru ceea ce au '&t &trm%ii (ui*Dee .i &-u&e&e ace(a%i (ucru*Dar un"e#a .n
interiru( (ui %tia c nu a#eau "re-tate*
A -(ecat "e (a McGill atunci c/n" tat( (ui a a#ut *ne#ie "e e( aca&!%tiin" c nu
#a mai #e"ea -e Dee*5e &im1ea ca un (a% c/n" a -r&it2!'iin"u2i team &
cncure)e -entru a &e -une imen&ei -#eri a a#erii 'ami(iei ei %i a tra"i1ii(r
ace&teia*Dar n2ar 'i &u-rtat & #a" cum &u'er a%a cum &e .nt/m-(a&e cu
mama &a!(u-t/n"u2&e cu &rcia unui ra% minier "in Nua 5c1ie*<n 'ina( a
a3&(#it .ntre -rimii cinci "in c(a& %i atunci c/n" a a4un& (a 3ar reu%i&e "e4a cu
&ucce& & .%i &cat "in memrie -rima (ui "ra0&te a"e#rat*Cu exce-1ia unei
&curte -eria"e ciu"ate "e tim-*Era are acea&ta cate0ria .n care tre3uia inc(u&
%i &eara -re)ent6

A "ua )i "iminea1!Dee -r&i (i'tu( -er&na( (a ni#e(u( -arteru(ui %i .( &a(ut -e
-rtar*Ea tra#er& -ar"&ea(a "e marmur a#/n" &en)a1ia c a reu%it & &ca-e
"intr2 'urtun -ericu(a&*A tre3uit &2%i a"une tat 'r1a & nu c3are .nc
un eta4!(a 0ara4!& &e urce .n ma%in!& -arcur0 "i&tan1a mic -/n (a $te(u(
(ui +att %i & cear (a rece-1ie & .( &une .n camer*Numai & #a" "ac e&te
ac(* A&ta numai -entru c &2a tre)it 0/n"in"u2&e c -ate e( .%i ia micu( "e4un
&in0ur*<%i aminti c (ui .i -(cea & ai3 cm-anie atunci c/n" m/nca*N2ar 'i
c&tat2 nimic "ac i2ar 'i artat un"e .%i cum-ra ea ca'eaua %i c$i'(e(e
'a#rite*De a(t'e(!era &trin .n ra%*5au era are .n &tare & mn/nce ca "e 3icei
un mic "e4un cn&i&tent!cu mu(te ca(rii %i mu(t c(e&ter(!a%a cum m/nca %i
.n re&tu( )i(ei6<%i aminti "e &-ate(e &u (at!"e -iciare(e (un0i %i "e mu%c$ii
-uternici "e -e -ie-tu( (ui*8i .i &-u&e&e c 4ac $an"3a(!care & .( 1in .n 'rm*
Ea )/m3i 0/n"in"u2&e (a micu( "e4un -e care a"e&ea (2au (uat .m-reun .n -at*
Crem "e cic(at cu 3i&cui1i!3uc1i mari "e c/rna1i %i 3ere*Orice &e -utea 0&i
.n a-artamentu( (ui "e 3ur(ac*C$iar %i -i))a rece*Re&turi "e m/ncare c$ine)ea&c
"e (a re&taurant*8i a-i!in#aria3i(!erau acti#i***<m-reun*Nu $an"3a(*
5e a'(a e( are acum (a ca'ea!0/n"in"u2&e (a ea6
O$!0ata .%i &-u&e ea*E( -r3a3i( c &e a'(a "e4a "e c/te#a re (a (ucru!.n .ntruniri*
Dac a (uat "e4a micu( "e4un!-r3a3i( c a '&t cu c(e0ii &i!.ntr2unu( "in
re&taurante(e $te(u(ui &u %i -r3a3i( c au "i&cutat -(icti&itare a'aceri (e0ate
"e -r-riet1i!.n tim- ce m/ncau*A&ta c/n" nu .i 3/r'eau -e amenii (ene%i "e -e
Ca&ta "e Ve&t!care nu erau nici"at at/t "e 0r3i%i ca aceia "in E&t*
Ea intr .n ma0a)in!&-eriin"2 -e E(i&e!"irectarea ei*
2Damne7 Ce 'ace1i a)i aici6 Cre"eam c mer0e1i (a .nt/(nirea "e (a Par1 2o3al&
2+2am r)0/n"it!&-u&e Dee!&im1in"u2&e u%r 4enat!ca %i cum E(i&e ar 'i -utut
0$ici "e ce &e a'(a ea ac(*+att cun%tea numai (ca(i)area ace&tui ma0a)in!nu
%i a ce(r(a(te*Erau c/te#a (ucruri "e care***#iam & m cu- .n "iminea1a a&ta*
5unt .n 3iru( meu "ac***cine#a .ntrea3 "e mine*
Ea trecu %i "e &ecretara ei (a 'e( "e uimit!"e a3ia &-un/n"u2i 3un "iminea1a %i
.nc$i&e u%a "e (a 3iru( ei cu mai mu(t 'r1 "ec/t era nece&ar*
Va -etrece ac( &u'icient tim- -entru a 4u&ti'ica a-ari1ia ei!"u- care #a -(eca*
+att nu #a #eni & caute*8i nici nu &e 0/n"ea (a ea*A%a c nici ea nu &e #a
0/n"i (a e(*5ca&e c/te#a "&are "intr2un "u(a-!"e&c$i&e unu( "in e(e -e 3iru %i
&e uit 'ix (a cn1inutu( (ui!(#in"u2%i u%r "in1ii cu &ti(u(*

CAPITOLUL O
Cu "i'icu(tate!+att .ncerc "in nu &2%i cncentre)e aten1ia a&u-ra &u3iectu(ui
.n "i&cu1ie!care era -r-unerea 'irmei "e a cum.ra Westmarch A..artment
/otel!ca -arte a unei -arce(e mai mari*E( nu reu%i!.n tim- ce #ci(e ce(r -t
-er&ane care &e a'(au .n &a(a cn&i(iu(ui &e 'ceau au)ite!'iecare -re)ent/n"u2%i
ra-rtu(*P/n (uni "iminea1a!+att a#ea "u -inii .n (e0tur cu recman"area
&a -ri#in" cum-rarea (ui Westmarch*Ca m im-rtant!e( &2a a'(at .n ra% cu
c/te#a )i(e mai "e#reme "ec/t c(e0ii &i*P(im3ri(e &a(e .n )na c("irii au '&t
.ncura4atare*Dna era "em(at!"ar "ac ar -utea 31ine -r0ramu( "e .nnire
ur3ani&tic 'inan1at "e 0u#ern!a%a cum &e -rmi&e&e!%i care & e(imine urme(e "e
"ec"ere "in centru!ar -utea a#ea &ucce&*Ttu%i Westmarch nu era e&en1ia(
-entru -riect %i nu -utea 'i cata(0at .m-reun cu ce(e(a(te -r-riet1i 'erite "e
0hang International&Ca -r1iune .n ime"iata a-r-iere a ceanu(ui!terenu( -e
care era &ituat era mai #a(r& "ec/t tt re&tu( a"unat (a un (c*
E( .nc(ina mai mu(t &-re -&i3i(itate rea(!tcmai c/n" a "e&c-erit boutique-ul
(ui Dee ,arri&*Nu ar 'i tre3uit & .i &c$im3e 'e(u( "e 0/n"ire*
8i ttu%i a%a &2a .nt/m-(at**Acum!.nce-u & #a" ar0umente mai mu(te %i mai
-uternice .m-tri#a cum-rrii c("irii*Va(area terenu(ui 'iin" cu mu(t mai
mare "ec/t cea a c("irii .n cau)!.n ca)u( .n care Metcom ar !'i cum-rat2!e(
.m-reun cu Iar(!ar$itectu(!care &ttea (a ma&a "in 'a1a (ui!ar urma & ai3
&eria& (u-t -entru a &a(#a Westmarch*8i!tt"at!ca&a (ui Dee!3utique-ul ei
%i .m3unt1iri(e -e care ea (e2a ini1iat*Oare E"Min Jame&!-re%e"inte(e "e (a
Metcom!#a acce-ta &'atu( (ui +att %i a( (ui Iar( "e a men1ine intact Westmarch
&au #a in&i&ta & 'ie "em(at6 Dac #a 'i a(ea& a "ua #ariant!tate
.m3unt1iri(e -(nuite "e Dee #r 'i 3ani arunca1i (a cana(*Banii ei*Cana(u( ei*
E( &e .ncrunt!"rin" ca 0hang International & 'i 0&it un mti# "e a .m-ie"ica
ace&t -riect!"e%i cm-ania nu "rea & &e 'ac -u3(ic 'a-tu( c -r-rietatea (r
&e a'(a -e teren*E( .ncerca & &e cn#in0 c Dee a#ea mai mu(1i 3ani "ec/t
ma4ritatea -r-rietari(r "e boutique-uri(c -ier"erea nu ar a'ecta2 at/t "e mu(t
c/t i2ar a'ecta -e a(1ii care (cuiau ac( &au a#eau a'aceri (a -arteru( 3(cu(ui!
"ar nu ace&ta era (ucru( -rinci-a( %i e( %tia*E( era .n0ri4rat -entru Dee*
O't!"rin" & uite c Dee nu era a(tce#a "ec/t c(trie cu un taxi tim- "e
cinci minute*E( -utu & .%i .nc$i-uie cum ar 'i "ac ar intra -e nea%te-tate .n
ma0a)inu( ei!-entru a "ua ar*Oc$ii ei mari!&tr(ucitri!&2ar (umina (a #e"erea
(ui!a%a cum &2a .nt/m-(at cu )i .n urm*Ea ar tra0e a"/nc aer .n -ie-t %i ar
)/m3i*Bu)e(e ei r%ii &2ar .ntre"e&c$i"e %i ar &-une***
2+att6 +att7Cine#a .( .n1e- .n ca&te*Era +arcia Ln0&treet!%e'u(
"e-artamentu(ui 'inanciar*E( ri"ic re-e"e -ri#irea "e -e -a0ina -e care &e
-re'cea c &tu"ia)*
2Ce6+arcia art &-re %e'u( (r*E"Min -ri#i (a e( cu curi)itate*
2Da!"mnu(e6 &-u&e +att*5cu)e*+***cncentram (a a(tce#a*
2Am 3&er#at*Prerea ta!te r0*
2Tre3uie & recun&c!E"Min!c nu e&te cm-(et 'rmat*Am ne#ie "e mai mu(t
tim- & ana(i)e) "eta(ii(e .m-reun cu cmitetu( )na( 2care "e a(t'e( ar "ri &
'i1i %i "umnea#a&tr -re)ent (a .nt/(nire2%i & "i&cutm cn"41ii(e -re(urii
.m-reun cu a#ca1ii ce(ei(a(te -r1i*<n& nici unu( "in 0ru-uri nu #a 'i "i&-ni3i(
-/n m/ine "u-2amia)*A-i!&im1in"u2&e arecum ne(ia(!e( men1ina #i)ite(e
&a(e (a Westmarch(at/t &in0ur c/t %i cu Iar(*E( nu men1in .n& 'a-tu( c era
cun%tin1a -er&na( a unuia "intre c$iria%i*
2Recman"area mea e&te c "ac trecem (a cum-rarea -ac$etu(ui cm-(et a( (ui
C$an0!'ie incr-rm Westmarch!a%a cum &e a'(!.n -r-unerea na&tr
0enera( "e -riectare &au acce-tm un -ac$et mai mic*
2<n1e(e0*E"Min &e uit 'ix (a e(*Pre&u-un c recman"area ta nu are nici
(e0tur cu 'a-tu( c c("irea e&te #ec$e6
2E&te c("ire #ec$e!E"Min!acce-t e( -e un tn neutru*Dar Iar( %i cu mine
cn&i"erm c e&te &(i"*+erit & 'ie -&trat*Intact!a"u0 e( cu em'a)*Cu
a(te cu#inte & nu 'ie "em(at -entru a 'i re'cut .ntr2un &ti( cu care nu &e
-tri#e%te*Iar( a-r3 "/n" "in ca-*
2De&i0ur!#a tre3ui & examinm mai atent "ec/t am 'cut2*Iar in&-ectrii
munici-a(i #r -re)enta ra-rtu( (r a&u-ra &trii ace&teia!%i a 0ra"u(ui "e u)ur
.n tim-*
2Vm -utea a"uce %i ni amenii n%tri!ca & examine)e .m-reun cu
Iar(!&-u&e +att*?e&tmarc$ ar -utea "e#eni -unctu( centra( a( .ntre0u(ui
cm-(ex*,iin" c("ire i&tric!&ti(u( %i &tructura &a ar -utea 'i '(&ite ca tem
-entru .ntre0u( -riect*Nu2i a%a!Iar(6<nainte ca ace&ta &2i -at r&-un"e!
E"Min &-u&e &ec9
25ur-rin" nt "e entu)ia&m .n "i&cu1ia na&tr*<ntt"eauna &e .nt/m-( a&ta!
nu2i a%a +att!c/n" .ncerci & &a(#e)i re(ic# -e ca(e "e a 'i mturat "e 3ra1e(e
-r0re&u(ui6 + 3ucur c (ucre)i -entru mine!'iu(e!%i nu -entru &cietatea (ca(
"e -&trare a -atrimniu(ui*Era are nt "e amenin1are .n tnu( (ui E"Min6 Nu
ar 'i -rima c("ire -entru care e( %i +att au a#ut "i&-ute*Dar E"Min .nc nu
#)u&e Westmarch*+att ar 'i #rut & .i arate %e'u(ui &u &(aru( (ui Dee*
2Du- c/te cun&c eu!&-u&e +att!amenii "e (a -atrimniu nu (2au -u& -e (i&ta
(r*
2Bine*8i & (&m (ucruri(e a%a cum &unt*Un a(t a#erti&ment &u3ti(*In'i(tra1ii!cum
ar 'i inc(u"erea (ui Westmarch .n acea&t cum-rare!nu ar 'i -ri#it cu c$i 3uni*
A '&t u%urare c/n"! r mai t/r)iu!E"Min .%i a"un "cumente(e "e -e ma&!
.%i .m-in&e &caunu( %i )i&e9
2Bine*Cam a&tea ar 'i -entru a&t)i*A%a cum &-unea %i +att!nu -utem 'ace -rea
mu(te -/n nu ne .nt/(nim "in nu %i cu re-re)entan1ii -rimriei*Dar t1i a#em
"e&tu( materia( "e &tu"iat*Ne .nt/(nim "in nu aici!m/ine "iminea1 (a ra nu
'ix!-entru a "i&cuta a&-ecte(e 'inanciare*5unte1i (i3eri -entru re&tu( )i(ei "u- ce
#e1i &tu"ia ra-rtu( +arciei*+arc=!e%ti "i&-ni3i( -entru .ntre3ri6
Ea ""u "in ca-!a-i!.n tim- ce E"Min ie%ea!.%i ri"ic c$ii &-re ta#an %i
murmur ctre +att9
2Li3eri -entru re&tu( )i(ei***5i0ur*Dar & 'ii "i&-ni3i( -entru .ntre3ri*Ea
't*Pr/n)u(!+att6 P$i(6+att c(tin "in ca-*
2<mi -are ru***am ce#a "e 'cut*C/te#a minute mai t/r)iu +att c3r. "in taxi .n
'a1a c("irii (ui Dee*8i a-i &e -ri*A#ea trei ma0a)ine*A '&t .n ace&ta ieri*Nu
era nici 0aran1ie c #a 'i "in nu ac(*<%i -ier"ea tim-u(*C$iar "ac ar 'i '&t
%an& ca ea & 'ie ac(!-r3a3i( c .%i -ier"ea tim-u(***

La 1H!NP Dee %tia c -ier"u&e mai mu(t tim- "ec/t ar 'i tre3uit*C/te#a minute
mai t/r)iu!cu 4ac$eta aruncat -e un umr %i 1inut .ntr2un "e0et!ea .i 'cu cu
m/na #/n)tarei %i -(ec*Prtaru( #)u #enin" %i .i "e&c$i&e u%a!&a(ut/n"2 .n
tim- ce ea trecu -e (/n0 e(!-e 4umtate .n 'u0*Era arecum -(icti&it "e ea
.n&%i c )3#e%te ca a"(e&cent .n"r0&tit!care &e teme & 'ac c/ i#a -a%i
"e (/n0 te(e'n!ca nu cum#a & &une iu3itu( %i & nu 0&ea&c*Ea &e &tr/m3 .n
tim- ce c3ra tre-te(e "e &u3 3a("ac$inu( "e (a intrare*Atunci c/n" a '&t
a"(e&cent .n"r0&tit!a '&t "e ace(a%i 3r3at*Oare c/n" & &e .n#e1e minte6
+att &e -ri c/n" #)u -e Dee care!ie%in" "e &u3 3a("ac$in!intr .n (umina
-uternic a &are(ui*Purta 'u&t &tr/mt!nea0r!un -u(#er 0ri "e&c$i& cu ni%te
ara3e&curi r) -e un umr %i a#ea 4ac$eta -e m/n*Ea c(i-i!-ri#i .n "irec1ia (ui %i
&e -ri -ri#in"u2( 'ix "e (a c/ i#a -a%i*E( a#an& un -a&*Ea 'cu ace(a%i (ucru*Un
)/m3et .i tremura -e 3u)e*
2Pr/n)6 .ntre3 e(!cu #ce a&-r*Oc$ii ei (ucir .n tim- ce &e .n"re-ta &-re
e(!-rin"u2&e (a 4umtate "e -a& "e e(*
2Da!&-u&e ea*Pr/n)*E( .%i trecu 3ra1u( -e "u- umerii ei*
2Un"e6
2+i2am -etrecut -rea mu(t tim- 0/n"in"u2m (a tine .n "iminea1a acea&ta!&-u&e
+att*Ei &e -(im3au!m/n .n m/n!"e2a (un0u( )i"u(ui 'a(e)ei .n 5tan(e= Par@!
m/nc/n" cren#ur%ti*
28e'u( meu nu a '&t mu(1umit "e mine*Dac 'a-tu( c e%ti -re)ent mereu .n
0/n"uri(e me(e m #a c&ta &(u43a!te #ei mu(1umi cu .nt/(niri ie'tine ca acea&ta!
tt tim-u(6Dee re'u) & &e 0/n"ea&c (a mai mu(te .nt/(niri!ie'tine &au nu*Ea
#ia & &a#ure)e mmentu(!)iua acea&ta*
2Nici "irectarea mea nu a '&t mu(1umit "e mine!&-u&e ea*Cre" c &e temea c
#eri'ic atunci c/n" am a-rut ac( a)i "iminea1!.n (c & mer0 (a unu( "in
ce(e(a(te ma0a)ine!a%a cum -(nui&em*E( arunc $/rtia "e (a cren#ur%ti .n (a"a
"e 0uni*
2Ce &2a .nt/m-(at cu -(anuri(e ta(e6 .ntre3 e( cu #ic(enie!.n tim- ce 3&er#a
cu(area a-rin& ce &e .ntin"ea -e 3ra4ii ei!cu(are -e care nu -utea & -un
-e &eama 'ri0u(ui .n acea&t "u-2amia) .n&rit %i nea%te-tat "e 3(/n"*
E( nu in&i&t a&u-ra unui r&-un&!"ar &e a-(ec %i cu(e&e cri)antem armie -e
care intr"u&e .n 3utniera 4ac$etei ei "e anti(- nea0r*Ea )/m3i*
2Ai -utea mer0e (a .nc$i&are -entru a&ta*
2Nici -r3(em!&-u&e e(*Am "i-(m .n "re-t*A% -utea & -(e"e) ca & 'iu
e(i3erat*Ea r/&e*
2Tu!-rietene!ai -utea 'ace a&ta c$iar 'r "i-(m .n "re-t*E( .i tra&e m/na %i %i2
a-r-ie*
2C$iar &unt -rietenu( tu!Dee6Ea .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea!un )/m3et u%r -(utin"u2i -e
3u)e %i .n c$i*
2C$iar #rei & 'ii6 E( ""u "in ca-*
2+ai mu(t "ec/t rice!&-u&e e(!a-i )/m3i .n tim- ce &-unea a"e#ru(9 Ei 3ine!
a-ra-e mai mu(t "ec/t rice*
2O$!+att***tu***
Ea &e .ntreru-&e %i -entru un mment .%i .n0r- 'a1a .n re#eru( $ainei (ui*
2Ce6 .ntre3 e(! un" "e tan"re1e a&-rin"u2i #cea .n tim- ce 1inea a-ra-e*Ce
#iai & &-ui!Dee6
2Nimic*Ea &e .n"e-rt "e e( %i .%i cntinuar -(im3area*
2Vrei & cinm "in nu .m-reun a&t &ear6 .ntre3 e(!3a(an&/n" m/ini(e .ntre
ei*Dee c(tin "in ca-*
2<mi -are ru*Am "e &cri& "u artic(e a&t &ear*Tre3uie & 'ie -e 3iru(
e"itru(ui meu m/ine "u-2amia)*<n m" nrma( ar tre3ui & 'ie numai unu(!
"ar "in cau)a c(triei (a Pari&!tre3uie & re)(# .n a#an& ace&t (ucru*
Pari&*E( -ri#i 'ix*Ea #r3ea at/t "e in"i'erent "e&-re a&ta*Era ce#a mai mu(t
"ec/t mic -(icti&ea( 'a-tu( c tre3uia & &crie un artic( .n -(u&*E( c(tri&e
mu(t!ttu%i &im1ea ne(ini%te &ecret ri "e c/te ri &e urca .ntr2un a#in cu
"e&tina1ie .ntr2 1ar &trin!&-un/n"u2%i .n 0/n"9;Ei!mam!ce -rere ai "e&-re
mine acum6:
28i "e&-re ce (curi #ei &crie "i&ear6.ntre3 e( ra-i"*Vr 'i -entru #inerea
acea&ta %i -entru urmtarea6E( &e 0/n"ea "ac &2ar -utea a3na!ca &2i 'ie
trimi& )iaru( &-tm/na( -e a"re&a (ui "in Trnt atunci c/n" nu &e a'(a -e
Ca&t*A-i!ar -utea & .i te(e'ne)e (ui Dee!& cmente)e!& .ntre3e &au***Ar
a#ea un -retext & 'ie .n (e0tur*O &cu)6 Va a#ea ne#ie "e una6 Ea a-r3*
2Unu( "in artic(e e&te ca %i &cri&!a%a c nu ar tre3ui & m -(/n0*Am 0&it
mic 3i4uterie "e (c!care m .nc/nt ri "e c/te ri mer0 ac(*A%a c ace&t
artic( &e &crie &in0ur*E&te #r3a "e ce((a(t artic( care .mi " "ureri "e ca-*
2P#e&te%te2mi "e&-re a&ta!&-u&e e(*E#a"/n" "in*m/na (ui!ea &-u&e9
2E&te un mic -arc .n &-ate(e -rimriei %i "u- c/te mi2am -utut "a &eama!&in0urii
care .( '(&e&c &unt 'unc1inarii munici-a(i care ie& (a aer & 'ume)e!acum!c/n"
.n tate c("iri(e 'icia(e e&te inter)i& 'umatu(*Dar exi&t un &entiment &-ecia(
care m2a i)3it "e -rima "at c/n" am -%it ac( %i care cntinu & m intri0e*
<ncerc "e (uni "e )i(e & &criu "e&-re a&ta!c(ar a&t &ear tre3uie nea-rat &
'ac*Dac a% a#ea a(tce#a a% '(&i!"ar nu am*
2Ce e&te at/t "e "i'ici(6 Ea &e .ncrunt nemu(1umit*
2Nu %tiu*,r un mti# anume!"e c/te ri .ncerc & &criu!.mi e&te c(ar .n
minte!"ar me&a4u( nu &e tran&mite*8i e&te un (c 'rum&!.n &-ecia( -rim#ara
c/n" .n'(re&c r""en"rnii!"ar c$iar %i acum are un anume 'armec*!E( ar 'i
#rut 'arte mu(t & ia "in nu cina cu ea*A#eau at/t "e mu(t tim- "e recu-erat*
2Bine!&-u&e e(!"eci a&t &ear tre3uie & !&tai aca& &21i &crii artic(e(e*Dar
m/ine6
2<mi -are ru!+att*Nu*Nu2i 'eri nici ex-(ica1ie*E( nu a#ea inten1ia & renun1e*
2Ji6
2Ji e&te &eara mea (a centru( "e a4utr .n ca)uri "e #i(*R&-un" (a te(e'ane*
E( -ri#i (un0!.ncruntat*Di&cu1ia "e#eni 0enera(!(e0at "e (curi(e -e (/n0
care treceau*Ttu%i Dee nu a#ea im-re&ia c +att renun1a&e*Ea nu era &i0ur "e
ceea ce &im1ea*Drea & 'ie cu e(!&2a 3ucurat "e tim-u( -etrecut .m-reun .n
-arc!"ar erau a%a "e mu(te .ntre3ri rma&e 'r r&-un&!c nu %tia "ac ar tre3ui
& ri%te & .i #a" "in nu*Va -rimi are r&-un&uri (a ace(e .ntre3ri!"ac nu (e
#a -une6 Ttu%i era at/t "e "i'ici(*Era .m-tri#a e"uca1iei ei!.m-tri#a re)er#ei
ei "e 3un cre%tere .ntre1inut "e 0enera1ii & -un .ntre3ri in"i&crete a(tei
-er&ane*Dac un -rieten a $tr/t & nu "i#u(0e "eta(ii "in #ia1a (ui!tre3uie & i
&e re&-ecte intimitatea*Dar are ace&t -rinci-iu &e extin"ea %i a&u-ra cui#a care
era mai mu(t "ec/t un &im-(u -rieten6 8i era a&ta ceea ce "rea +att6 +ai mu(t
"ec/t -rietenie6
2Pt & te .n&1e&c -/n (a $te(6 .ntre3 ea -(itic& c/n" a4un&er (a (cuin1a
ei*5unt .n "rum &-re -artea "e #e&t a ra%u(ui!a%a c nu m "eran4ea)*Tre3uie
numai & &ct ma%ina*E( c(tin ca-u(*
2Nu!mu(1ume&c*Am "u-2amia)a (i3er*Am & m -(im3 -u1in*Cine %tie6 Pate
.ntr2 )i am & "re&c &(u43a ta*
2Ce6 5 #in)i (en4erie "e "am6 +att r/&e %i .i m/n0/ie cu "e0etu( 'a1a*
2A% 'i 'ericit7 Nu*Viam & &-un!& caut (curi ni!intere&ante!%i & &criu cu
.n"r)nea( "e&-re e(e!-entru un -u3(ic care & a-recie)e*
2A%a cum m &imt a)i!1i2a% "a 3ucura& &(u43a!"ar m tem c e"itru( meu nu
#a 'i "e acr"*
2A&ta a%a e&te!acce-t e(*<1i ure) nrc (a ce( "i'ici(*La am/n"u %i nu (ucra
-rea mu(t*Pie(ea ei 'urnic un"e atin&e&e*
2Nici tu!&-u&e ea*Ar tre3ui & intre!& ia ma%ina %i & -(ece*Nu ar tre3ui & &tea
ac( %i & a%te-te & &rute!"ar -ri#irea (ui 1inea -e (c ca %i cum era
.n1e-enit!'a&cinat*Ea (u-ta cu ea .n&%i!.%i "e-%i "rin1a "e a &ta %i a "i&cuta!"e
a -re(un0i mmentu(*Cu "eci)ie 'erm!&-u&e9
2La re#e"ere!+att*E( &e a-(ec %i .i ""u un &rut u%r -e 3u)e!ca("!
im-a&i3i(!tta( ne-tri#it!a-i )/m3i "in nu %i %-ti9
2Pe cur/n"!"u- care -rni &-re 'a(e)*Dee rma&e %i .( -ri#i "in &-ate!-/n
c/n" "i&-ru "in #e"ere!.n &-ate(e $te(u(ui 5=(#ia*
<n tim- ce mer0ea!+att (ua .n cn&i"erare ci %i mi4(ace "e a &c$im3a "eci)ia
(ui Dee*Ea inten1ina & .ntreru- cntactu( cu e(!& re'u)e & .( #a" "in nu*Era
&i0ur "e a&ta*A mai #)ut -ri#irea acea&ta .nc- /nat .n c$ii ei!atunci c/n" &2
a $tr/t & .n#e1e & &c$ie)e .n -ara(e( &au c/n" a#ea "e trecut un examen
"i'ici(*
Dar ceea ce .n#1a&e .n a'aceri a '&t 'a-tu( c ricine are -re1u( (ui*5au a( ei*8i
e( %tia "e4a c -re1u( (ui Dee era "e a2i cum-ra 4umtate "e r "in tim-u(
ei*Ttu( era & 0&ea&c &ur& a ace&tei #a(ute &-ecia(e*Pe &tra"a Denman 'cu
&emn unui taxi*8'erii "e taxi erau .ntt"eauna un .nce-ut 3un*
<nc nu mer0ea*Dee .%i .m-in&e &caunu( "in 'a1a 3iru(ui -e care era cm-uteru(*
De&crierea ei "e&-re micu( -arc um3rit "e c-aci "in &-ate(e -rimriei nu #ia &
&e .nc$e0e*Nu &e -utea cncentra %i #e"ea 'a1a (ui +att mai c(ar "ec/t -e cea a
c-itanu(ui Ger0e Vancu#er!.i au)ea 2#cea -urtat "e #/ntu( "e a'ar %i
"rea!mu(t -rea inten&!& 'ie cu e(*5neria "e (a u% &un me("i& %i ea .m-in&e
&caunu(!cu &ati&'ac1ie*Pr3a3i( c e&te Jen@in&!care anun1a c a intrat .n
&er#iciu %i c .i trimite .na-i c%u( "e (e0ume 0(!"ar .ntreru-erea 'u 3ine#enit*
2Dmnu( ,ie"(er "re%te & # #a"!"mni%ar ,arri&*Cr-u( ei "e#eni a-ra-e
cm-(et ma(e!tim- "e &ecun"!.n tim- ce &e 1inea "e &-taru( &caunu(ui*
25-une c e&te ur0ent!"mni%ar*Era are un" "e ma(i1ie .n #cea "e 3icei
'rma( a (ui Jen@in&6
2<n1e(e0!&-u&e ea*<( -rime&c -e "mnu( ,ie"(er!Jen@in&*E( #r3i .nainte ca ea &
-at mcar &2%i a"une 0/n"uri(e .n m" cerent*
2Dee***C$iar -rin inter'n!#cea (ui a#ea -uterea &2i 'ac inima &2i 3at mai
re-e"e*Cum mer0e cu &cri&u(6
2Nu***-rea*Nu era -rea &i0ur "e ce .i &-u&e&e a"e#ru(*L2am terminat -e ce(
u%r*Ce((a(t -ur %i &im-(u nu mer0e*
2Pr3a3i( -entru c 1i2e 'ame!&-u&e e( %i ea &e mir cum "e %tia c nu m/nca&e
nimic "e (a -r/n) .n a'ar "e ace( cren#ur%t*Ar 'i mai 3ine & m (a%i & urc!Dee!
.nainte & &e rcea&c mar'a*
2Ce mar'6
2Carne a'umat!&-u&e e(*5an"#i%uri cu carne a'umat a"e#rat*,ier3in1i*
A3urin"e*Im-(r/n" & 'ie m/ncate*Lui Dee .i (& 0ura a-*Ea tra&e a"/nc aer
.n -ie-t*Ima0ina1ia ei .i &-unea c &imte mir&u(*Dar nu era -&i3i( nici ca e( &
ai3 ceea ce -retin"ea*Nu aici!nu (a at/t "e mare "i&tan1 'a1 "e &ur&*
2Carne a'umat "e +ntrea(6 .ntre3 ea ne.ncre)tare*
2Verita3i(*Vcea (ui -rea auta-reciati#*Nu &e -utea &***Putea are6 Nu*+att
nu ar 'i tri%at*Dac &-unea c e&te autentic!atunci era*Dar cum6
2Pe -/ine "e &ecar6Vcea ei &una mic %i umi(!ca %i cum ar 'i im-(rat*<%i
"re&e #cea*
2De&i0ur!-e -/ine "e &ecar*Dee 0emu*
2Nu***nu!+att*Nu m tac$ina*Pur %i &im-(u nu e&te -&i3i(*P(eac*Tre3uie &
(ucre)*Dumne)eu %tia cum ar mai 'i -utut (ucra acum*Pate2i #a &ur-rin"e %i2i #a
"e)am0i -e t1i &criin" ce#a 3ana( "e&-re ac#ariu!care nici nu era "meniu(
ei*Tat (umea &cria "e&-re ac#ariu7
2Cu mu(t mu%tar*Vcea in&i"ia& a (ui +att .i .ntreru-&e 0/n"uri(e*8i
ca&tra#eciri mura1i*Ace%ti ca&tra#eciri!Dee!tre3uie & 'ie #)u1i -entru a 'i
cre)u1i*8i mir&i1i*8i 0u&ta1i*Nu!nu 0u&ta1i!&a#ura1i*
O$!Damne7I &2a -rut c .( au"e mu%c/n" "intr2un ca&tra#ecir6 Ima0ina1ie "in
nu!3ine.n1e(e&*De ce nu .%i -utea '(&i ima0ina1ia (a (ucru( -e care .( a#ea "e
'cut6
28i &an"#i%uri(e***cntinu e(*Carnea e&te .n &traturi "e %a&e inci .n(1ime*+ira&e
3ine*Nu2i a%a!Jen@in&6
2Dac "mni%ara ,arri& nu e&te intere&at & 0u&te -artea ei***"mnu(e***
2Ba "a!Jen@in&*E&te numai timi"*<1i &-un eu!Dee!nici c$iar )unn s nu ar 'i -utut
'ace &an"#i%uri cu carne a'umat mai 3une ca ace&tea*La men1inarea nume(ui
ce(ui mai 'aim& ma0a)in "e carne a'umat "in +ntrea(!ea 0emu "in nu*
2Cre" c te ur&c!+att$eM ,ie"(er*Jen@in& trimite2(!te r0!&u&*
Cinci minute mai t/r)iu +att .%i %ter&e -ictur "e &uc "e -e 3r3ie %i )/m3i*
2Bun!nu6
2+mm***Ea .nc$i&e c$ii %i &a#ur*De un"e ai 'cut r&t "e e(e6
Ea examin -un0i(e "e $/rtie a(3!&im-(!.n care au '&t .m-ac$etate*Nu era
in"icat nici un nume!nici a"re& &au numr "e te(e'n*La nai3a!n2ar 'i tre3uit
cine#a!care 'cea (ucruri at/t "e "e(icia&e!& .%i 'ac rec(am6
2Cine e&te ma0icianu( care (e 'ace6 .ntre3 ea*8i cum Dumne)eu a 0&it
autenticu( .n numai c/te#a re!.n tim- ce eu caut %i te&te) %i re&-in0 "e cinci ani6
E( c(tin "in ca-!)/m3in" ma(i1i&*
2<mi -are ru*5trict &ecret*Bucur2te numai*Ea .( -ri#i 'ix .n tim- ce e( tra&e
"u%c )"ra#n "e 3ere!0(in" -a$aru( %i -un/n"u2( -e ma&*
2Nu -1i 'i at/t "e cru"7 &-u&e ea*Nu -1i 'i at/t "e cru" .nc/t & 1ii a&ta &ecret
'a1 "e mine7 +att!eu trie&c aici7 E&te "re-tu( meu ca (cuitr a( ace&tui ra% &
%tiu*+att!tre3uie & %tiu7E( rma&e nemi%cat*
2Nu!nu tre3uie*At/ta tim- c/t eu %tiu %i tu nu!#a tre3ui & te 3i)ui -e mine ca &
te a-r#i)ine)*A%a cum am &-u& mai .nainte!inten1ine) & #in 'rec#ent -e
Ca&ta "e Ve&t "e aici .nc(*Ce -rere ai & .1i a"uc c/te unu( "in &ta "e c/te
ri #in6Ea 't %i cu(e&e u(time(e 3uc1e(e "e carne "e -e 'ar'urie*
2E%ti un m cru"!+att ,ie"(er*Aai"e!&-une2mi7E( .m-in&e &caunu( %i &e ri"ic!
-(a&/n" 'ar'uria (ui -e&te a ei*
2Nu*Cu un a(t )/m3et &e a%e) "in nu*Ace&t 0en "e in'rma1ie tre3uie -rte4at*
Pr3a3i( .n ca(itate "e )iari&t c(a3ratr te2ai &im1i 3(i0at & &crii un artic(
"e&-re a&ta*5 #r3e%ti "e&-re un te)aur ne"e&c-erit*8i atunci tat (umea ar
%ti*Tat (umea ar mer0e ac(*8i ar "e#eni un a(t re&taurant!un"e mn/nc
ra-i"!amenii 3i%nui1i*+c 5m@e" -e +c R=eB+c A'umat -e +c -/ine &e
&ecarC*P1i &21i ima0ine)i a%a ce#a6Putea "e&tu( "e 3ine*Dee &e .n'ir*
28i acum!&-u&e!acea&t )iari&t2c(a3ratare are "e &cri& un artic(*
28i acum! .n0/n +att!ace&t cercettr 2c(a3ratr #a a4un0e (a a"e#ratu(
mti# a( #i)itei &a(e*E( &ca&e c/te#a 'i .n"ite "e $/rtie 0a(3en!(iniat!"in
3u)unaru( cm%ii %i ie tr/nti -e ma&a "in 'a1a (ui Dee*
2Ce e&te a&ta6
2Cercetare!&-u&e e(!cu 'a1a .m3u4rat*Aai!cite%te*
Curia&!ea "e&-turi $/rtii(e!uit/n"u2&e ra-i" -e -rima*A-i!mai .ncet!ea citi
"in nu a"ntri(e (ui +att %i trecu (a -a0ina a "ua %i a-i (a a treia*P(ine "e
'a-te %i -er&na4e %i anec"te intere&ante "e&-re c-itanu( Ger0e Vancu#er!a
crui &tatuie &e a'(a .n -arcu( "e&-re care #ia & &crie!-a0ini(e nu a(ctuiau c$iar
un artic(!"ar 'urni)au exce(ent 3a) "e -(ecare*Pre&u-un/n" c ea ar &crie un
artic( "e&-re -er&na4e i&trice*Ceea ce ea!cu re0ret!nu urma & 'ac*
2+att***ea &e uit (a 'a1a (ui ner3"tare*Tu***m uime%ti*De un"e ai 31inut
ace&te in'rma1ii6E( nu r&-un&e (a a&ta*
2E&te un (c cam "e)(ant!nu2i a%a6 <ntre3 e(*
2Da*Dee &e .ncrunt*8i e&te acea&t &tare &u'(etea&c -e care am .ncercat &
re"au*Nu #"***
2Nu e&te "e mirare! .ntreru-&e +att*D/m3i*E&te 0reu "e #)ut ce#a -rintre
mucuri "e 1i0ri &tin&e %i -rum3ei care cer%e&c m/ncare!'(utur/n"u2%i ari-i(e
"ea&u-ra &rmanu(ui Ger0e*Ea &e &tr/m3*
2<ntr2a"e#r!&racu( Ger0e*Dar ce -rere ai "e &raca Dee!care nu are ce -une
.n 'a1a &racu(ui e"itr6C$iar "ac nu men1ine) mucuri(e "e 1i0ar %i
-rum3eii!"ac m cncentre) (a iar3 %i (a -/n)e(e "e -ian4en care
rnamentea) ar3u%tii!(a ca(mu( nea%te-tat a( (cu(ui %i (a ex-re&ia curia& "e
-e 'a1a c-itanu(ui!tt nu ar 'i ce#a mai mu(t "ec/t "e&criere*8i nu a&ta e&te
ceea ce caut*E&te at/t "e 0reu & ex-rimi 0enu( "e &tare &u'(etea&c -e care .(
0enerea) un a&t'e( "e (c*Ea -u&e -a0ini(e -e mar0inea me&ei*
2De%i .1i &unt recun&ctare -entru c "re%ti & m a4u1i!tre3uie & &-un c nu
e&te ceea ce caut eu*
2E%ti &i0ur6 in&i&t e(*G/n"e%te2te!Dee*Pate ceea ce am "e&c-erit eu e&te
exact ceea ce ai ne#ie*Ai "re-tate!e&te "i'ici( & ex-rimi ce#a at/t "e ne3u(&
cum e&te &tarea &u'(etea&c*,iecare in"i#i" #e"e2&imte2atm&'era .n m" "i'erit!
c/t "e tare ar &emna unu( cu a(tu(*Tu .ncerci & (e ar1i unr &trini ceea ce &im1i
tu .n (e0tur cu ace( (c!.n (c & (e "ai un mti# & &e "uc ac( %i &2%i
'rme)e &in0uri -rere!a%a cum ai 'cut cu acea mic -ati&erie "e&-re care ai
&cri& &-tm/na trecut %i cu urme(e "e &u3 -" "e&-re care mi2ai -#e&tit a&t)i*
2Ai citit u(timu( meu artic(6Era mi%cat & cn&tate c e( %i2a -ier"ut tim-u( &
caute un exem-(ar "in re#i&ta Garna "e &-tm/na trecut*E( ri"ic "in umeri*
25i0ur*De ce nu6 Am #rut & #" ce 0en "e trea3 'aci*8i am mer& .n -arc!a%a
cum am &-u&!& #" "ac -t & .n1e(e0 ce anume 1i2a -(cut ac( %i "e ce ai
-r3(eme & -ui -e $/rtie ace&t (ucru*Am terie*Ea )/m3i*<%i aminti c/t "e
-tima% "e#enea ei c/n" "rea & ;c(ari'ice une(e (ucruri:*
2Bine!& au)im teria ta*
2Cre" "e&-re C-itanu( Ger0e!care -ri#e%te 'ix .n "e-rtare!c e&te ce( care
cntri3uie ce( mai mu(t (a am3ian1a (cu(ui*Ei nu -are .n "r)ne1!a%a cum ar
tre3ui & 'ie un ex-(ratr!me(anc(ic*Pate &tarea (ui &u'(etea&c e&te
cnta0ia&*A&ta m2a 'cut & .mi -un .ntre3ri .n (e0tur cu e(!un m care %i2a
-etrecut #ia1a a"u(t ex-(r/n" %i "e&c-erin"!un m 'r un cmin &au cu unu(
-e care .( #e"ea 'arte rar*+att &e ri"ic!-iciare(e &caunu(ui )0/r/in" "a(e(e "e
ceramic "e -e -"ea*E( &e "u&e &-re 'ere&tre(e care ""eau &-re 0(' %i rma&e
-ri#in" 'ix (a (umini(e care &e re'(ectau .n a-*
2Ce mti#e a#ea e(6 .ntre3 e(!.ntrc/n"u2&e*Ce .( .m-in0ea are ctre ce(e mai
.n"e-rtate c(1uri a(e (umii6 E( &e .ntar&e (a Dee!&-r/ncene(e unite um3rin"u2i
c$ii*8i m2am 0/n"it (a a(tce#a9Ce -rere a#em "e&-re arti&tu( care a creat
&tatuia6 5im1im cum#a %i &tarea (ui &u'(etea&c6
<n tim- ce +att &e mi%ca!Dee #)u urm "in ace( t/nr -tima% care 'u&e&e!ce(
care -(nui&e ca tat #ia1a & .i a-ere -e cei 'r a-rare*<( #e"ea -%in" .ntr2un
tri3una(!cucerin" 4uriu(*E( &e mi%ca acum .n &u'ra0eria ei!cucerin"2 cu -rea
mu(t u%urin1*
2+2am .ntre3at!a .n1e(e& are &cu(-tru( ce#a "e&-re Vancu#er!mu( -e care
ma4ritatea i&trici(r nu (2au .n1e(e&6 &-u&e e(*A&ta m2a 'cut & m .ntre3 are
cum &e &imte un ex-(ratr!care a -rnit cu mari &-eran1e!atunci c/n" .n &'/r%it
a"mite c tre3uie & (e &-un &u-eriri(r &i c Nrt$Me&t Pa&&a0e nu exi&t6
52a cn&i"erat un ratat6A cn&i"erat #ia1a &a un e%ec6+2am 0/n"it c "ac
cititrii ti ar %ti cine a '&t cu a"e#rat!cum a '&t #ia1a (ui!ar intra*mai mu(t .n
centru( aten1iei*Nu m 0/n"e&c (a a &crie 'a-te &eci -e care ricine (e a'( (a
%ca(!ci "eta(ii!anec"te!extra&e "in 4urna(e(e &a(e*, "in e( mai mu(t "ec/t
a(t &tatuie "e 3rn) ac-erit cu mur"rie "e -rum3ei*, ca amenii & .(
-ri#ea&c cu a(1i c$i!-ri#e%te2( "intr2 (umin "i'erit*,2i & 'ie intere&a1i &
mear0 ac( %i & #a" &in0uri ceea ce ai #)ut tu -e c$i-u( (ui!ceea ce am
#)ut eu!ceea ce &cu(-tru( a #rut ca ni & #e"em*
2Da***&-u&e Dee!m(i-&in"u2&e "e (a em1ia (ui +att*Un )/m3et .i (umina 'a1a .n
tim- ce &e ri"ica .n -iciare!"e&'c/n" "in nu -a0ini(e .n"ite %i citin"u2(e
ra-i"*
2De&i0ur! & 'ie 'arte 3ine*Ri"ic -ri#irea %i &e uit (a e(*+att!cre" c tcmai
mi2ai &a(#at #ia1a*E( -%i mai a-ra-e "e ea*
2Du6 Atunci .n&eamn a&ta cum#a c .mi a-ar1ine6O m/n0/ie -e 'a1 %i &rut
.n treact*Ea .%i -t(i tremuru( "e -(cere care .ncerca & ia& (a &u-ra'a1*
2+att***Tnu( ei era amenin1tr*Vcea (ui era irnic*
2Dee***Oc$ii (ui r/"eau!"ar ea #)u "rin1a ar)tare!-ur!%i .%i "ri & ce"e)e*
Pentru am/n"i*+/na ei tremura c/n" ri"ic %i .i atin&e cnturu( maxi(aru(ui
nete"*5u3 cea(a(t m/n a ei m/na (ui tremura!"ar e( nu &e mi%ca!nu .ncerca & .i
'r1e)e "eci)ii(e*E( a%te-ta -ur %i &im-(u*
2Am "e &cri& un artic(!&-u&e ea "in nu*8i "e "ata a&ta!mu(1umit 1ie!-ate am
& reu%e&c*Dac .ntr2a"e#r #rei & m a4u1i*E( .n%'c -a0ini(e "e nti1e "in
m/na ei %i (e a&cun&e (a &-ate*
2<n -rimu( r/n"!acce-t un (ucru*Dac reu%im & a"ucem artic(u( .n &ta"iu( "e a
'i ti-rit .ntr2 r &au mai -u1in!-etrecem re&tu( &erii .m-reun*8i (um micu(
"e4un .m-reun m/ine "iminea1*Ea r/&e*
2A&ta .n&eamn "u (ucruri*+att -ri#i cu ca"a c$iu(ui %i .%i r&uci mu&ta1
ima0inar*
2Numai "ac in&i%ti*
2Nu m .m-in0e mai "e-arte!,ie"(er*Ea era ne.n"u-(ecat!"ar tre3uia & mai
in&i&te*Tre3uia & &e &tr"uia&c mu(t & .( &cat "e ac(!"ar "e 'a-t nu "rea
ace&t (ucru*8i ce "ac %tia c artic(u( nu #a -utea 'i .n 'rma 'init .n mai -u1in
"e r6 Ea antici-a&e cam trei re!ce( -u1in "u .n rice ca)*Deci!ce a#ea "e
-ier"ut6 Nu a#u&e&e nici un &ucce& %e)/n" r .n 'a1a ecranu(ui %i 0/n"in"u2&e
(a +att*Pate "ac .%i #a -etrece r cu e(!#a reu%i & &e (ini%tea&c %i &
(ucre)e ce#a "e .n"at ce e( #a -(eca*Ea ar 'i "rit & crea" a&ta*
2Bine*O r*<n rice ca)!eu "eci" c/n" e&te 0ata -entru ti-ar!cn"i1in ea*Nu tu*
+att )/m3i*
2O r!&-u&e e(*E( .i .ntar&e m/na %i .i tr/nti materia(u( .n -a(m*
Aai"e!"amn*Un artic( 0ata & 'ie -u3(icat*A"au0 -ur %i &im-(u ex-re&ii(e
caracteri&tice a(e (ui Dee!une(e e(emente -r-rii!ame&tec %i &crie*
A-i!a-r-iin"u2&e!.i &-u&e .ncet9 8i acum 0r3e%te2te %i -une -e $/rtie .ntruc/t
ai -rmi& c "e .n"at ce e&te 0ata!&eara a&ta e&te a na&tr*
Dee (u $/rtii(e %i .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea*
2Bine*Dar "ac &eara e&te ;a na&tr: nu ar tre3ui & %tiu %i eu cum ar urma &
-etrecem6+att -ri#i -recaut*
2Cum ai "ri & -etrecem6
2Vr3in"!&-u&e ea*Pur %i &im-(u & #r3im*Eu .1i "au r -entru artic(u(
meu!tu .mi "ai r "e cmunicare*E( &e .n"e-rt "e ea*
2De&-re ce6
2+att$eM ,ie"(er!&-u&e ea*Via1a %i -recu-ri(e (ui*Deta(ii "in #ia1a (ui curent!
anec"te "in 4urna(e(e (ui*Tate ace(e "eta(ii!+att!care .i a4ut -e ameni &
a4un0 .n centru( -r3(eme(r*5-r/ncene(e (ui &e unir*
2<mi '(&e%ti cu#inte(e .m-tri#a mea*Ea c(tin "in ca-*
2Nu .m-tri#a ta!+att*Cre"e2m nu &unt "u%manu( tu %i nu am nimic cntra ta*
Te2am iertat "emu(t*Ceea ce a% "ri acum e&te & 'iu ca-a3i( & .n1e(e0 ce te2a
"eteminat*Cre" c &untem am/n"i "e acr"!c exi&t anumite (ucruri
nere)(#ate .ntre ni*E( ""u "in ca-!c$ii (ui artau tri%ti*
2Cre" c tre3uie & (e c(ari'icm!&-u&e ea .ncet*Dre&c2tre3uie2& %tiu cine e%ti %i
"e ce ai 'cut anumite (ucruri*
2Nu*+att .nc$i&e c$ii -entru &ecun"!'a1a ei!c$ii ei a(3a%tri!ru0tri!
"i&-r/n" -entru c(i-*A-i e( .n'runt cu $tr/re*
2,ii &incer!Dee*Nu e&te #r3a "e ;anumite (ucruri:*E&te unu( &in0ur*,a-tu( c
te2am -r&it*
2Da*,iecare -rticic "in e( &e .m-tri#ea cererii ei*Ea ar 'i #rut ca e( &2%i
"e)#(uie &u'(etu( .n 'a1 ei*E( nu 'cu&e a&ta cu nimeni*Nu cre"ea c ar 'i -utut*
2Tat( meu era 3(na#*
2&ta era -retextu(!+att*Nu mti#u(*8i -/n c/n" nu am & %tiu ce a '&t!cine
e%ti!nu #i 'i ca-a3i( & .n1e(e0 "e ce ai -(ecat a%a cum ai 'cut2*
28tii cine &unt!&-u&e e( &ec*5au ai %tiut*
2Am cre)ut c %tiu*Dee r&uci $/rtii(e .ntr2un &u( &tr/n&*,r .n"ia(!am 0re%it*
Iar 3r3atu( -e care (2am cun&cut &2a &c$im3at .n m" cert .n r&tim-u( c/t am
'&t &e-ara1i*Cum a% -utea & %tiu .n ce 'e( %i c/t anume!"ac nu .mi &-ui6
2521i &-un7 r&-un&e e( ex-()i#*Ce &21i &-un6 +2am n&cut .n tim-u( unei
'urtuni "e )-a" "in (una martie!am a#ut -4ar!#arice(!rein %i un 'rate
.nainte "e a .nce-e %ca(a!%i a(1i "i mai t/r)iu*Am &rit -e&te c(a&a a N2a*<n anu(
.n care am .m-(init F ani mi2am ru-t -iciru( a(unec/n" -e un "er"e(u% "e
0$ea1*+2am .n"r0&tit "e 5an"ra +an"(e= c/n" am .m-(init 1N ani %i am
.ncetat & 'iu .n"r0&tit "e ea c/n" a#eam 1O ani*+2am .n&cri& cu 3ur&a (a
McGill c/n" a#eam 1Q ani*C/n" am .m-(init H1!mama a murit %i am .ncetat
&2mi -etrec #eri(e aca&*Am a#ut &er#iciu tem-rar -e -eria"a c/t am mai '&t
(a McGill!ttu%i am 31inut nte 3une %i am .nt/(nit t/nr 'emeie c/n" eram .n
u(timu( an*+2am .n"r0&tit*Tat( meu &2a .m3(n#it %i a '&t ne#ie "e mine
aca&!a%a c am -r&it +ntrea(u( %i nu am mai #)ut2 -e t/nra 'emeie "e
atunci*A&ta e&te tt*Via1a (ui +att$eM ,ie"(er*8i acum & trecem (a ceea ce urma
& 'acem*E( #)u c r3"area ei ex-("a!#)u 'urie .n c$ii ei %i -ete r%ii .i
-tar 3ra4ii*
2La nai3a!+att!eu #r3e&c &eri&*C/n" eram t/nr!te2am (&at & m -re%ti*
Acum!tu e%ti ce( care ai #rut & #ii aici a&t2&ear*Tu e%ti ce( care a a'irmat c
am/n"i tre3uie & a#em %an&e "e a ne cuna%te "in nu unu( -e ce((a(t*Cum a%
-utea & a4un0 & te cun&c "ac tu re'u)i***E( .%i .nc(e%t -umnii .n tim- ce 'cu
un -a& %i &e a-r-ie "e ea*
2Da!am #rut & #in aici a&t2&ear*Da!am #rut &2mi -etrec tim-u( cu tine*Dar "e
ce ne -ier"em #remea "e)0r-/n" c-i(ria!care nu are (e0tura cu -re)entu(6
Ea nu 'u "e(c intimi"at*
25 "e)0r-m6 &-u&e ea*Nu am au)it "ec/t c/te#a "u)ini "e cu#inte "e&-re
a&ta*
2Ai au)it "e&tu(*E( .%i -r-ti -umnii -e %("uri*8tii c eram &rac!Dee*Nu am
'cut un &ecret "in a&ta*8tiam c erai 30at!"e%i (a .nce-ut ai 'cut tain "in
a&ta*Dar -entru c erai 3ine e"ucat!nu erai r&'1at*E( c(tin "in ca-9 De ce nu
acce-1i c a#em 'iecare "e&tu(e in'rma1ii "e&-re c-i(ria ce(ui(a(t6 De ce nu
-utem .nce-e & cn&truim ce#a -e 3a)a a ceea ce &e .nt/m-( acum %i & #e"em
un"e ne "uce acea&ta***rice ar 'i6
2Pentru c nu e&te &u'icient "e 3ine -entru mine!+att7 Am ne#ie "e mai mu(t*
E( .%i a(unec #/r'u( "e0ete(r "e2a (un0u( 3ra)u(ui ei!&-re -r %i &-re cea'*O
&rut .n treact -e 3ra)!.i atin&e 3u)e(e mu(t -rea &u-er'icia(!&im1in" 'reamtu(
care .i &-unea c ea a#ea ne#ie "e mai mu(t "ec/t &-unea .n cu#inte!"rea mai
mu(t "ec/t era "i&-u& & acce-te* Dac e( ar 'i (uat ceea ce e( %tia c ea are "e
'erit!"/n"u2i (a r/n"u( (ui ceea ce ea "rea (a 'e( "e mu(t ca %i e(!ar uita ea are
re&tu(6E( e)it -rin& .ntre cn%tiin1 %i "rin1!a-i &e retra&e*
2Nu %tiu "ac -t &21i 'er mai mu(t "ec/t at/t!Dee*
2Cre" c "a*E( &e uit (un0 (a ea!a-i (a $/rtii(e 0a(3ene r&ucite .n m/na ei*
2De ce are &imt c ar tre3ui &2mi iau .na-i (ucrarea "e cercetare %i & "i&-ar6
Pri#irea (ui Dee &e -ri 'ix a&u-ra (ui*
2Nu %tiu!+att*De ce are cre)i a&ta6 Dar a&tea &unt cn"i1ii(e me(e*Le acce-1i
&au nu65tteau unu( .n 'a1a ce(ui(a(t!(a trei -a%i "e-rtare!uit/n"u2&e unu( (a
a(tu(!-/n c/n" e( &-u&e9
2Ne a-ucm "e trea36

CAPITOLUL P
2Gata7Dee .%i r&uci &caunu( "in 'a1a 3iru(ui!"e "ata a&ta trium'tare*+att &e
uit (a cea&*
2+ai &unt )ece minute -/n &e 'ace ra*Ea .i )/m3i .n tim- ce &e .ntin"ea %i .%i
mi%c umerii ca & &(3ea&c ten&iunea*
2Pentru a&ta meri1i %i un "e&ert*E( .%i .n(1 &-r/ncean .n tim- ce ri"ica .n
-iciare*
2De&ert6 .ntre3 e(!-(im3/n"u2%i -ri#irea .ncet -e&te 'a1a ei -/n c/n" &e -ri cu
c("ur -e 3u)e(e ei*O 'urnicau*Ea .%i ume)i 3u)e(e*Oc$ii (ui +att &e .ntunecar*
E( .ntar&e %i .i ""u -ru( (a -arte ca &2i ma&e)e umerii*
2+mm!&-u&e ea*Ce 3ine e&te7
2+mm! imit e( .n tim- ce .%i &trecur m/ini(e &u3 "ec(teu( -u(#eru(ui %i
.nce-u &2i ma&e)e mu%c$ii*Dee 'ta*Pie(ea 'urnica!&e .ncin&e&e!ar"ea*Ea .%i
-u&e m/ini(e -e 3iru!(&/n"u2%i ca-u( &2i ca" .n 'a1*Un tremur -r'un" .i
&cutura tt cr-u(*Puterea "e0ete(r (ui a#ea e'ect ma0ic %i ea &ca&e un a(t &unet
&(a3 "e -(cere*C/n" &im1i c("ura r&u'(rii (ui -e cea'!a-i &rutu( (ui u%r -e
-ie(e!ea &im1i un 'ir "e "rin1*
2+att***"e&ert6C/n" e( ri"ic!ea &e &-ri4ini "e -ie-tu( (ui!3ucur/n"u2&e "e
c("ura (ui!&im1in"u2i -uterea*+/ini(e (ui 1ineau u%r "e ta(ie*
2Ce 'e( "e "e&ert6 murmur e(*
2<n0$e1at!%-ti ea*Pa(me(e (ui &e mi%car .n &u& %i &e -rir -u1in &u3 &/ni*Ea
&im1i c era -e ca(e & ca" (a -"ea*Ce #a urma6 Cu***trei 'e(uri "e***&ir-!&-u&e
ea*E( .ntar&e cu 'a1a &-re e(*
2Trei6 Care &unt #ariante(e6E( &e a-(ec %i mu%c u%r "e -ie(ea "e &u3 urec$e*
2Ca'ea*E( .%i .n'un" 'a1a .n -ru( ei*
2Cic(at***cu#/ntu( ie%i cu 0reutate!ca un 'tat!.n tim- ce e( &ruta u%r -e
3u)e*P(ea-e(e .i "e#enir mai 0re(e!cr-u( mai ca("K inima .i 3tea mai re-e"e!
"rin" mai mu(t*Ea 'cu un e'rt &2%i 1in c$ii "e&c$i%i*5au***)meur*
E( .%i a(unec m/ini(e -e &-ate(e ei!.i cu-rin&e 'e&e(e %i tra&e &-re e(*E( )/m3i!
cu 0ene(e -e 4umtate (&ate*
2Eu #reau cic(at cu )meur %i ai c/ ti0at un 3r3at*Dee )/m3i!'iin"
cn%tient "e cr-u( -uternic care .i &tr/n0ea tru-u( ei ma(e*Trecur -rin ea
&ume"enie "e &en)a1ii*
28i "ac nu #reau a&ta6 .ntre3 ea*D/m3etu( (ui "i&-ru*
2Dee***cre" c ai unu( ricum*Ea .%i -u&e m/na -e 3ra)u( (ui*
2Ce & mai 'ac cu e(6La atin0erea ei e( tra&e a"/nc aer .n -ie-t*+/ini(e i &e
.nc(e%tar .n -ru( ei!tremur/n"*
2Dre&c***
28i eu!murmur ea*O!Damne7 A#ea ne#ie***+att***Ea .i tra&e ca-u( .n 4&!.%i
-u&e 3u)e(e ei "e&'cute -e&te a(e (ui %i atin&e -e cea "e 4& cu #/r'u( (im3ii*
2O$!+att***Pie-tu( (ui &e ri"ic .ntr2un m" care -entru a(t 3r3at ar 'i -utut 'i un
&u&-in*Gura (ui -uternic -re(ua &rutu( -e care ea .( .nce-u&e!cer/n" mai mu(t
"ec/t cre"ea ea c i2ar -utea "aK m/ini(e (ui cer%eau cr-u( (ui cerea cu
in&i&ten1*E( .i m/n0/ie 'a1a cu 3u)e(e!cu "e0ete(e!cu 3ra)u(*E( &e r&e&e .nainte
"e a #eni (a ea .n acea&t &ear*Ea .i mir&i &-unu(!-ie(ea*R&u'(area (ui era
'ier3inte %i ume" -e 0/tu( ei!.n urec$ea ei!.n tim- ce .i murmura nume(e*Bra1e(e
ei .i .ncn4urar 0/tu(!"e0ete(e .i m/n0/iau -ru(!re"e&c-erin"u2(*Ea re&-ira
-ar'umu( (ui %i .nc$i&e c$ii ca & -rea&c (acrimi(e care amenin1au*Lacrimi
-entru trecutu( -ier"ut!-entru #iitru( intan0i3i(!"ar mai a(e& -entru "ui%ia
mmentu(ui "e 'a1*Ca %i cum ar 'i "an&at un "an& (ent!&en)ua(!ei &e mi%car!(a
uni&n!&-re cana-ea*E( (& .n 4&! urm!0reutatea (ui "i$nin"u2&e "ea&u-ra
ei!%("uri(e (ui a-&/n"u2i2(e -e a(e ei*C/n" e( .i ac-eri "in nu 0ura cu a (ui!ea
't tremur/n" %i &e (& cu ttu( -ra" &en)a1ii(r extrar"inare "e a 'i .n 3ra1e(e
(ui*Ea tremura*Era -rea mu(t!nu mai -utea cntr(a ceea ce &e .nt/m-(a cu ea*Ea
ar 'i #rut & &e -rea&c (a 'e( "e mu(t cum ar 'i #rut & cntinue*
A-i!ca %i cum ar 'i %tiut &tarea -recar a em1ii(r ei!e( .ntreru-&e &rutu( "ar .i
(u ca-u( .n m/ini!1in/n"u2i 'a1a a-r-iat "e a (ui!.n tim- ce .%i &trecura m/ini(e
-rin -ru( ei*Ea .%i trecu 3u)e(e "e2a (un0u( 0/tu(ui (ui!&-re 3r3ie!&im1in"
a&-rimea -erciuni(r*O$!Damne!c/t "e mu(t i2a (i-&it*Ea .i &a#ura -ie(ea*Gu&tu(
(ui!&en)a1ia cr-u(ui &u -uternic*C/n" a 'cut "ra0&te cu Ga#in nu a '&t at/t
"e inten&*8i2a &-u& c a&ta &e "atra 'a-tu(ui c era mai 3tr/n!c &exu( nu mai
era un (ucru nu %i mi&teri&!un teritriu &trin!-a(-itant!care tre3uie ex-(rat cu
&eri)itate*Ea &2a cn#in& -e &ine c nu era (i-& a (ui Ga#in!&au a ei!&au a
ca(it1ii re(a1iei "intre ei*Ea .nc$i&e c$ii*<n m" c(ar!Ga#in %tia mai 3ine*
2Uit2te (a mine!&e au)i #cea (ui +att*Ea "e&c$i&e c$ii %i +att -ri#i 'ix .n ei*E(
't %i r&uci 3uc( a ei .n 4uru( "e0etu(ui!.n tim- ce &tu"ia*E( .%i trecu %u#i1a
"e -r -e&te 3u)e*
2Dac nu ne -rim acum!Dee!nu ne mai -rim "e(c*Ea ""u "in ca-*
28tiu*E( &e ri"ic*Dee 'cu ace(a%i (ucru!a-(ec/n"u2&e & ri"ice -ern "in &atin
auriu care &e r&t0(i&e -e -"ea*O "rin1 "urera& .nc 'remta .n interiru(
ei %i ea &tr/n&e -erna (a -ie-t*
2Ji2am 'cut -rmi&iune*Nu #reau & .nca(c*Am 'cut -rea mu(t a%a ce#a .n
#ia1a mea*Un (un0 mment rma&er tcu1i -ri#in" unu( (a ce((a(t*
2+att***<n1e(e0*E( c(tin "in ca- .n tim- ce &e ri"ica*
2Nu*Nu cre" c .n1e(e0i*8i cre" c ai "re-tate*Ar 'i tim-u(*Dee &e ri"ic*
28i eu 1i2am 'cut -rmi&iune*<n0$e1at*Cu &ir- "e cic(at %i )meur*
Cu ca&trane(e .n 'a1!ei %e"eau "in nu (a ma&a rtun" "e &te4ar "in &u'ra0erie*
+att (u (in0ur %i m/nc .ncet!uit/n"u2&e (a rice .n a'ar "e Dee*Du- .nc
c/te#a .n0$i1ituri e( .i arunc -ri#ire "e &u3 &-r/ncene*Ea %e"ea ac(
a%te-t/n" ca(m!'a1a ei era &enin!-ri#irea (im-e"e*E( .%i "re&e 0(a&u(*
2Nu %tiu!&-u&e e(*Dee .%i -&tr #cea ca(m!.nceat*
2Ce anume nu %tii6O "urea & .( #a" -e +att *&u'erin"*Pate c ar 'i mai 3ine &
(a&e (ucruri(e .n #ia (r!& &e "e&'%are .n m" natura(*Pate cu tim-u( e( &e #a
"e&tinui! #a (&a & .( cuna&c*5 'ac "ra0&te***&ta era un m" "e
cmunicare!nu2i a%a6 Nu -utea a&ta are & "uc (a 0enu( "e a-r-iere -e care .(
#i&a ea .n (e0tur cu +att6 Cum ar 'i -utut ea & cntinue & &u-rte -ri#irea "e
trtur "in c$ii (ui!trtura -e care cereri(e ei au "eterminat26
2+att***
2Nu %tiu!&-u&e e( "in nu!cum & re)(#m a&ta*+ re'er!"e un"e & .nce- are
&2i -#e&te&c unui m ca tine "e&-re #ia1a mea6 C-i(ria mea*Nu a '&t
intere&ant*8i .n m" cert nu a '&t n3i(*A '&t*** cr#a"*Ce#a -rin care
tre3uia trecut*O )i "u- a(ta*Era***cenu%ie!Dee*A&ta e&te ceea ce .mi aminte&c ce(
mai 3ine .nainte "e #ia1a mea "e (a McGill*Era -ur %i &im-(u 'r cu(are*
Cine#a ca ea6 A&ta "uru*E( .nc 'cea "i'eren1e .ntre ei!.nc 1inea "e-arte!
ca %i cum ceea ce &im1ea!ceea ce e( &im1ea!nu 'erea nici &-eran1 "e a2i
a-r-ia*
2Nu #reau & m amu)!&-u&e ea*Vreau & 'iu in'rmat*La&2m & a'(u*+i2ai
"at 4urna(u( c-itanu(ui Vancu#er*D2mi acum 4urna(u( (ui +att$eM ,ie"(er*
E( .nc re)i&ta!0ura &tr/n&!-umnii &tr/n%i!"ar ""u "in ca-*
2Bine*At/ta tim- c/t ai &21i a"uci aminte c e&te #r3a "e +att$eM ,ie"(er!
"mnu( "e (a Metcom Inc!%i nu "e c-itanu( ,ie"(er!ex-(ratr a( ,(tei Re0a(e*
E( tcu c/te#a mmente!ame&tec/n" .n0$e1ata -e 4umtate t-it!.nainte "e a
cntinua*
2Via1a a '&t mai mu(t -(icti&ea(!Dee!nu una "e a#enturi %i "e&c-eriri*
5in0uru( (ucru care m (ea0 "e 3tr/nu( tu (u- "e mare e&te "e)am0irea!c$iar
&entimentu( e%ecu(ui -entru c nici eu nu am 0&it Nrt$Me&t Pa&&a0e*
2Ce anume era a&ta6 E( 'ix cu -ri#irea*
2Cun%ti r&-un&u(!Dee*8tia*Un 3iru "e a#catur*5 .i a-ere -e cei 'r
a-rare*5 .i e(i3ere)e -e cei -rima1i*A&ta era ceea ce "rea atunci*A trecut
-rea mu(t tim- "e atunci*Pate nu .%i mai aminteau (ucruri(e .n ace(a%i 'e(*Ea
c(tin "in ca-*
2Nu*Vreau &2mi &-ui tu*E( mai (u c/te#a (in0uri!.ncet!.nainte "e a r&-un"e!cu
0reutate!#cea 'iin"u2i arecum -(icti&it c era -re&at & "ea un r&-un&*
2Era #r3a "e tine!"e&i0ur*Pe tine te #iam %i nu te2am -utut a#ea*Nu te2am
-utut***0&i*G/tu( ei era numai "urere*Pie-tu( .i era ten&inat*
2Eram ac(!+att*Tt tim-u(*8tiai a&ta*Tre3uia numai & #ii (a mine*
E( .m-in&e ca&trnu( (a -arte*
2Nu .n &en& (iterar*Vreau & &-un c %tiam c nu -uteam 0&i ca(e & te am!& te
-&tre)*A%a c am -(ecat*Pentru a ne "a %an& (a am/n"i & 0&im***E( .%i
a(unec "in nu -ri#irea &-re ea*5 0&im ceea ce***-uteam 0&i*Ea .i .nt/(ni
-ri#irea %i i2 &u&1inu*
28i ce ai 0&it!+att!ce ;nu -uteai: a#ea6Ea re&-ira a"/nc!a"uc/n"u2%i aminte
cum 1inu&e e( .n m/n ace( neglij "e &atin!atunci c/n" (2a #)ut -entru -rima
ar (uni "iminea1a*Ar -utea -rimi tate r&-un&uri(e "at*
2Cine6Oc$ii (ui &e mrir!uimi1i*Nu &e a%te-ta (a .ntre3area a&ta!.n1e(e&e ea*
2Nimeni*
2+att***Tnu( ei era -(in "e re-r%*Ai NL "e ani*
2Ei 3ine*Nimeni***-ermanent*8i .n m" &i0ur!nu atunci!nu (a .nce-ut*Nu era tim-
%i ricum nu a#eam c$e' "e a%a ce#a*5e uit (a ea tri&t*La nai3a!Dee!nu am #rut
&21i &-un a&ta*Te2am min1it*Ji2am &-u& c mer0 aca& -entru c tata era 3(na#*
Nu era 3(na#*A '&t cnce"iat*A#ea ne#ie "e mine*A&ta a '&t a"e#rat*
E( tra&e -uternic aer .n -ie-t*
2Dar c$iar "ac nu &2ar 'i .nt/m-(at!tt a% 'i -(ecat*Am '&t mu(1umit & 0&e&c
&cu)*Am #rut & &e &'/r%ea&c .ntre ni "i*Ea &e uit 1int (a e(*
2De ce nu mi2ai &-u& a&ta atunci6 .ntre3 ea*E( .nc$i&e c$ii*
2Eu***Damne7Dee*Erai at/t "e t/nr!"e tan"r!"e "e(icat*Nimeni nu te rni&e
.nainte*Eu te2am 'cut &21i -ier)i #ir0initatea*Eu***te2am 'cut & m iu3e%ti*
Te2am 'cut #u(nera3i(!8i am %tiut .n c(i-a .n care 1i2am cun&cut -rin1ii c
(ucruri(e nu #r mer0e .ntre ni*,a-tu( c tata a#ea ne#ie "e mine a #enit ca
ca)ie -entru mine!ric/t "e "i'ici( a '&t*5e uit .n 4& un minut!a-i .%i ri"ic
-ri#irea*
2Pentru tat (umea*Inc(u&i# -entru mine*Ea &e 0/n"i "ac ar tre3ui &2i
mu(1umea&c -entru acea&t in'rma1ie!"ar &e r)0/n"i*Cu c/t #r3ea ea mai
-u1in!cu at/t #r3ea e( mai mu(t*<n a'ar "e a&ta!0/tu( "urea -rea tare -entru a
.ncerca & &cat cu#inte(e*+axi(are(e "ureau*C$iar %i "in1ii "ureau*
2Ji2am -#e&tit #re"at cum a murit mama mea6
La nai3a!e( %tia c nu .i -#e&ti&e7 ,r un cu#/nt!ea c(tin "in ca-*
2A murit "in cau)a &urmena4u(ui "e #ia1*5urmena4 %i "i&-erare*52a numit
cancer!"ar &ta a '&t &im-tmu(!nu 3a(a rea(*<n a'ar "e 'a-tu( c a cre&cut
c-ii %i 1inea ca&a .n -er'ect cur1enie!.n tim-u( )i(ei (ucra ca c$e(neri1!a-i a
'&t cnce"iat %i cur1a 3iruri(e cm-aniei miniere .n 'iecare &ear*Ea 'cea
a&ta nu -entru (ux!nu numai ca & -(tea&c 'acturi(e mni-re)ente!"ar cu
&-eran1a "e a a4un0e .n 'runte*&ta era 1e(u( ei*5 a4un0 .n 'runte*E( re&-ira
acum cu 0reutate!ra-i"!'a1a .i "e#eni -a(i"*Pentru 3ine(e meu*Dee &e .ntin&e!.i
atin&e m/na %i .i r&ti nume(e*Ca %i cum atin0erea ei ar 'i '&t "urera&!e( &e
retra&e!'rec/n"u2%i m/na ac( un"e atin&e&er "e0ete(e ei*
2Banii -e care i2a ecnmi&it erau "e&tina1i &2mi "ea mie %an&!cntinu e(*
+ie!ce(ui mai mare cu cinci ani!-entru c ea cre"ea c "ac eu reu%e&c!am
-re0tire!#i 'i .n &tare & .i a4ut %i -e cei(a(1i & 'ac (a 'e(*A%a c ea a muncit %i
a ecnmi&it %i .mi &-unea mereu c "ac am -re0tire!a% -utea (ucra -entru un
anume E"Min Jame&*Era un 'e( "e ru" cu ea*Cre" c "at &2au -(cut*<n rice
ca) e( .i -rmi&e&e .n m" &(emn c "ac ar 'i a#ut ne#ie "e ce#a & #in (a
e(*5au cine#a a-r-iat ei!.( #a a4uta*<n ace&t &c-!ea era $tr/t & m #a"
(icen1iat*Dar "e 'iecare "at c/n" cre"ea c a reu%it!era nu &c"ere -e -(an
mn"ia( a cr3une(ui %i nu era -r'ita3i( -entru cm-anie & cntinue*A%a c
renun1au (a ameni!"e mu(te ri (uni .ntre0i %i "e c/te#a ri c/te un an &au mai
mu(t*A'aceri(e (a ca'enea nu mer0eau nici e(e 3ine!a%a c &er#iciu( mamei &2a
e#a-rat*Cu numai c/te#a -er&ane .n cn"ucerea cm-aniei!nu mai era ne#ie
"e &er#icii(e ei & cure1e 3iruri(e!iar c/n" a&i0urarea (a %ma4 a ex-irat!nu mai
era nimic "e 'cut*Tata 3ea "in ce .n ce mai mu(t!&ttea -/n t/r)iu .n ra%!&e
3tea %i &e .ncurca cu 'emei*Ori "e c/te ri &e .nt/m-(a a&ta!mama "e#enea tt
mai &(a3!mai 3&it!mai "i&-erat*Nu -uteam -(eca*Bcnia!Mandle34s!
a-ar1inea cm-aniei*Le "atram 3ani*Ca&a na&tr era a cm-aniei*Nu -uteam
& ne -ermitem -(ata c$iriei .n a(t -arte!-re&u-un/n" c tata ar 'i 0&it "e (ucru*
Tt ceea ce %tia e( era mineritu(!ceea ce 'cu&er tat( %i &tr3unii (ui*
Dar mama .ntt"eauna &-unea c eu tre3uia & 'iu ace(a care & ru- cic(u(*C
tre3uie & "e#in un m im-rtant!.m3rcat .n c&tum "in trei -ie&e!(a 'e( ca
(e0en"aru( E"Min Jame&*5 iau "eci)ii -e care a(1ii & (e execute*C/n" &-unea
a&ta!c$ii ei &tr(uceau*,a1a ei (ua .n'1i%are "e &'/nt*Ea m numea &-eran1a
ei*U%a ei &-re #iitr*Dac eu a% 'i -utut & e#a"e) "in cercu( "e "atrii %i "e
"i&-erare .n"urate "e tate 0enera1ii(e "inaintea na&tr!"ac a% 'i -utut &
e#a"e) .nainte ca 'a1a mea & 'ie 3r)"at "e 0ri4i %i tatuat "e -ra' "e cr3une %i
& .i 'ac %i -e 'ra1ii mei & m urme)e!atunci ea ar 'i -utut muri*,r &2i 'ie
ru%ine*E( &e -(ec .nainte!c(tin/n" ca-u( -e care %i2( 1inea .n m/ini*
2+ama mea a trit cu ru%inea %i eu nu am .n1e(e&2 .n .ntre0ime*Ei .%i ri"ic
-ri#irea9P/n c/n" am '&t eu ce( care a 'cut2 "e ru%ine*<n )iua aceea mi2a
&-u& cum tre3uia & (u-te ca & 1in ca-u( &u& atunci c/n" tat (umea .i &-unea
c tat( meu 3ea %i era in'i"e(*Ea reu%ea & a-ar .n ace(a%i tim- recun&ctare
"ar %i m/n"r!atunci c/n" -rimea "e -man*Ea nu ne2a (&at nici"at -e ni!
c-iii!& a'(m c/t "e ru%inat &e &im1ea ea "e #ia1a -e care ne2 'erea*
2Dar nimic nu era "in #ina ei!-rte&t Dee*Cum -utea & crea" a&ta6
2Putea*E&te mare ru%ine & trie%ti "in -meni %i %ma4!Dee*Tu nu #ei cuna%te
a&ta nici"at*Nu #ei .n1e(e0e*C$iar .ntr2un ra% .n care a-ra-e t1i &unt cam (a
'e(!e&te ttu%i un &ti0mat -e care nu .( -1i %ter0e cu ttu(*Dee #)u re.n#ierea
umi(in1ei -e 'a1a (ui!.n c$ii (ui*
2<ntr2 )i m2a trimi& (a ma0a)in & cum-r un ame&tec "e -ra'uri -entru trt %i
(um/nri -entru c era )iua "e na%tere a (ui Rnni!care .m-(inea cinci ani*E( e&te
ce( mai mic*Dmnu( +an"(e= a re'u)at & (e -un -e cre"itu( -rin1i(r mei*A
&-u& c ameni ca ni nu2%i -t -ermite (uxu( "e a cum-ra trt*+axi(aru( (ui
+att &e .nc(e%t*8i 5an"ra +an"(e=!-rietena mea!era c$iar ac(*+2a au)it cum
am cerut %i a au)it %i r&-un&u( tat(ui ei*Era martr a umi(in1ei me(e %i am
ur/t2 -entru a&ta*Pentru c 3ie1ii "e 1O ani nu &unt .ntt"eauna ra1ina(i!am
ur/t2 c$iar mai mu(t!c/n"!mai t/r)iu!&2a &trecurat (a ni aca& cu -ra'uri(e "e
trt %i (um/nri(e %i ni (e2a 'erit "re-t ca"u*Am "at2 a'ar "in ca& %i am
aruncat -ra'uri(e "u- ea*Nu am &im1it nici"at at/ta!'urie!amrciune %i
"i&-erare*Nu***m2am -urtat ca un 0ent(eman! 0re%ea( ca-ita( .n c$ii
mamei*Ea &-unea .ntt"eauna c -utem 'i &raci!-utem a#ea -etice!"ar c
&untem "intr2 ca& 3un %i c tre3uie & ne -urtm ca atare*Dac nu! 'acem "e
ru%ine*E( .%i trecu m/n -rin -r*
2<ntr2a"e#r am 'cut2 "e ru%ine*<n na-tea !aceea am intrat .n ma0a)in*Cu un
3a&tn "e 3a&e3a(( am &-art mu(1ime "e (ucruri "in ma0a)in*P1i & 'aci
-a0u3 &u-rin)tr "e mare .n )ece minute*<n #a(are "e mii %i mii "e "(ari*Nu
am '&t -rin&*Vcea (ui tremura*Nimeni nu m2ar 'i &u&-ectat*Eram un c-i(
3un*A#eam nte 3une (a %ca(*A#eam un -ten1ia(*Eram un 'a#rit a( ra%u(ui*
E( .%i .n0r- 'a1a .n m/ini -entru un mment!a-i .%i tra&e umerii %i &e uit 'ix
(a Dee*
2Dar mama a %tiut*De .n"at ce &2a r&-/n"it #e&tea!ea a %tiut*Ea m2a .ntre3at!iar
eu am recun&cut*A -(/n&*Nu am #)ut2 nici"at -(/n0/n" a%a*<n c$ii (ui
a-rur (acrimi!ca %i cum "urerea ace(ei &cene ar 'i '&t -rea mu(t!"ar cntinu9
Nu a -(/n& mu(t tim-*A (uat ecnmii(e -e care (e a&cun&e&e*A '&t -rima "at
c/n" am a'(at "e exi&ten1a (r!-rima "at c/n" am rea(i)at c -(anuri(e ei -entru
mine erau mai mu(t "ec/t &im-(e #i&e*Erau -t -u%cu(i1e um-(ute "e2a (un0u(
ani(r cu 3ac%i%uri(e mi)era3i(e -e care (e -rimea (a re&taurant!a"unate "(ar cu
"(ar!cu mrun1i% -e care -utea &2( -un "e-arte "e (a ne#i(e ca&ei*Nu -utea
-une 3anii (a 3anc at/ta tim- c/t -rimea a4utr "e %ma4*Nu e&te -&i3i( & ai
ecnmii "e ace&t 'e(!nu 'icia(*8i cum#a!0&i&e m"a(itatea "e a (e a&cun"e "e
tat( meu!atunci c/n" ace&ta a#ea ne#ie -entru e&ca-a"e(e (ui*+2a 'cut & m
"uc -/n (a ma0a)inu( Mandle34s*A tre3uit & mrturi&e&c %i &2i cer%e&c iertare*
Ea mi2a &-u& c "ac e( ar "eci"e & &-un (a cm-anie ttu(!ceea ce -r3a3i( ar
'i "eterminat cnce"ierea tat(ui meu!ea tt ar 'i &-u& a"e#ru( (a tri3una(*Ea mi2
a mai &-u& c nici ur %i "urere!ric/t "e mari!nu m2ar 'i .n"re-t1it & 'ac ceea
ce am 'cut*De&i0ur!a#ea "re-tate*<n rice ca)!in"i'erent "e "eci)ia (ui +an"(e=!
-runca ei era & .mi cer &cu)e*8i & '(&e&c ecnmii(e ei ca & ac-r -a0u3a*
E( -ri#i c/te#a mmente .ntr2un -unct -e&te umru( (ui Dee*
28i mi2a mai &-u& c "ac!"atrit 'a-te(r me(e!nu #i -utea rea(i)a #i&e(e -e
care (e2a a#ut -entru mine!a&ta #a 'i -e"ea-&a ei %i a mea!-entru -catu(
m/n"riei*8i "ac -(ata "atriei ctre cm-anie %i "mnu( +an"(e= era -re1u( -e
care tre3uia &2( -(tim -entru a2mi rec/ ti0a narea!atunci ea 'cea cu 3ucurie
ace&t (ucru*A%a c ne2am -(tit "atria*Datria ;mea:*Cu 3anii ei*A-i m2a
iertat*Ea***m2a a3&(#it "e 0re%ea( %i a "eci& c tre3uie & mer0em .nainte!
.nce-/n" "in acea )i*8i a&ta am 'cut*Ea nu a mai men1inat nici"at "e atunci
inci"entu(!nu %i2a &c$im3at atitu"inea 'a1 "e mine*Dar eu m2am &c$im3at*C/n"
mina &2a "e&c$i&!ea &2a "u& .na-i (a ce(e "u &er#icii a(e ei %i a .nce-ut "in nu
& ecnmi&ea&c*+i2am 0&it %i eu "e (ucru!"e&tu( "e ciu"at!c$iar -entru
+an"(e=!.i &-(am -"eaua %i %ter0eam "e -ra' ra'turi(e %r c/n" am ac$itat
cre"ite(e 'ami(iei!am .nce-ut & .i -(te&c .na-i mamei*Ea a numit ace&t 'n"
;ecnmii -entru .n#1m/nt:*Eu (2am numit re&tituirea 3ani(r ei*Nu #iam &2i
'(&e&c*Am '&t "e&tu( "e nrc& c am 31inut 3ur&a!"ar ea a in&i&tat ca
ecnmii(e & 'ie '(&ite -entru c$e(tuie(i "e trai -e care 3ur&a nu (e -utea
ac-eri!a%a ca & nu2mi -ier" tim-u( nece&ar -entru .n#1tur!(ucr/n"*Dar #eri(e
mer0eam .na-i (a +an"(e=>&*Inc(u&i# #ara .n care a -r&it26
28i 5an"ra6E( )/m3i 'r c$e'*
25an"ra a rma& .n&rcinat c/n" a#ea 1R ani %i &2a mritat cu un ti- cruia ni .i
&-uneam Denni&2Jcmti#a:*E .ncrctr .n min %i au trei c-ii*5an"ra
(ucrea) "imine1i(e .n ma0a)inu( tat(ui ei!iar &eri(e 'ace cur1enie (a %ca(a
e(ementar*Ex-re&ia (ui .i &-unea c e( era mu(1umit c &c-a&e*
2+ .ntrceam #eri(e ca & 'iu cu mama*A#ea cancer (a &/n*Ea &-unea mereu c
a .n#in& 3a(a*Dar nu era a%a*Pate ar 'i reu%it "ac ar 'i a#ut &u'iciente re)er#e
ca & -at (u-ta!"ar era -rea &(a3!-rea 3&it!-rea***<n'r/nt*Cu un an .nainte
& te cun&c!a murit*8i m2a 'cut & -rmit c #i .nceta & mai #in .na-i*<i era
team c -ate #i 'i cum#a -rin& .n cur&!.n ciu"a 'a-tu(ui c -(eca&em (a
%ca(*E( &-u&e&e ;am .nc(cat -rea mu(te -rmi&iuni:*
2Dar***te2ai "u& ttu%i .na-i6 5au a '&t %i a&ta -arte "in minciun6
E( a-r3 "in ca-*
2E&te ciu"at*Cun&c mu(1ime "e ameni care au a#ut -rin1i a(c(ici*Lucru(
u)ua( e&te & .i cn"amni!& .i ur%ti*Ttu%i eu nu (2am -utut ur. -e tat( meu*Am
ur/t ceea ce 'cea e(!"ar -e e( (2am iu3it*E( a .ncercat!Dee!"ar &i&temu( (2a
"3r/t a%a cum a 'cut %i cu mama*Eu am '&t nrc& c am reu%it & e#a"e)
"in ace( &i&tem!am reu%it & 'ac ceea ce "rea ea*A(t'e(!a% 'i .nc$eiat (a 'e( "e
.n'r/nt cum a '&t tata*Dar atunci c/n" a '&t cnce"iat!3ine.n1e(e& c a tre3uit &
-(ece "in ca&K a-ar1inea cm-aniei %i 'r &(u43!cu -r3(ema 3uturii %i "i
c-ii mici "e .ntre1inut!a#ea ne#ie "e a4utru( meu*E( &e a-(ec .n 'a1!
ten&inat!im-(r/n"2 & .n1e(ea0*
28i nu -uteam & te iau cu mine!Dee*Tu erai 'at "e 1Q ani "intr2 'ami(ie
-ri#i(e0iat*Bine!atunci a#eai 1F ani!cntinu e( c/n" ea .ncerc & #r3ea&c*Nu
era im-rtant #/r&ta ta*Ci***#iitru( tu*Pentru mine*Nu numai c ai 'i '&t
cm-(et inca-a3i( & 'aci 'a1 unei a&t'e( "e #ie1i!"e &rcie!"ar ar 'i '&t %i
in&u(t a"u& mamei me(e %i memriei ei!& a"uc 'emeie exact .n acea #ia1
-entru care ea ar 'i murit numai & -at & m 'ac & e#a"e) "in ea*
Dee &e uit 1int (a e( %i .%i &tr/n&e m/ini(e .n 4uru( ta(iei*
2Te2ai .ntr& %i ai (ucrat .n min6 E( c(tin "in ca-*
2A '&t i"eea mea!"ar nu 'ceau an0a4ri*A%a c (2am mutat -e tata %i -e cei "i
'ra1i mai mici (a Di0$=!un"e (cuia 'rate(e tatei %i un"e2C(in!'rate(e meu!
urmtru( ca #/r&t "u- mine!era (a %ca(a cmercia(*Am 'cut .ntreru-ere "e
(a %ca( un an %i am (ucrat -e 3arca unc$iu(ui meu*<ntr2un 'e( am reu%it &
'acem 'a1*
28i a-i6 .ntre3 ea!atunci c/n" tcerea (ui &e -re(un0i*
2A-i tata a .ncetat & mai 3ea %i a .nce-ut "in nu & (ucre)e -e 3arc*+2am
.n&cri& (a %niversitatea )alhousie!mi2am (uat "i-(ma .n "re-t!mi2am trecut
examene(e "e a#catur %i m2am "u& ac( un"e &unt 3ani mu(1i!(a Trnt!%i
am 31inut &(u43*
2La E"Min Jame&*
2Exact*E"Min Jame&!Metcom Inc&Dee &e uit (a e(!nemu(1umit!.n ciu"a
cantit1ii "e in'rma1ii -e care e( i2 'urni)a&e*
25'/r%itu( -#e&tirii6O 'cu&e mai curia&*Ce &2a .nt/m-(at cu #i&e(e (ui6 Ce &2a
.nt/m-(at cu cei -rima1i!cei &raci!'r a-rare6Oameni ca -rin1ii (ui!ea
.n1e(e0ea acum -e cine #i&a e( & a-ere*Pr3a3i( c a renun1at (a ace(e #i&e
-entru a -utea c/ ti0a ca &2i a4ute -e 'ra1ii (ui .n -re0tirea %c(ar*Dar Rn!ce(
rnai t/nr!-r3a3i( c e&te (a c(e0iu acum*
25'/r%itu( -#e&tirii!&-u&e +att!cu tn &ec*Cre)i c acum m cun%ti mai 3ine6
+ai (a 3iect!m -(aci mai mu(t acum6Ea &e ri"ic %i &e "u&e & tra0 "ra-eri(e
(a 'ere&tre*
2Nu!+att*Ea nu %tiu c/t "e a-ra-e era .n &-ate(e ei!-/n c/n" e( #r3i .ncet*
2Nu!(a care .ntre3are6Ea &e .ntar&e %i .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea*
2Te2am iu3it!%tii a&ta*A% 'i -utut 'ace 'a1 ricrui 'e( "e #ia1!"ac a&ta ar 'i
.n&emnat & 'iu cu tine*+ "are & %tiu c nu ai a#ut .ncre"ere .n mine!.ncre"ere
.n -uterea "ra0&tei me(e*E( 't cu amrciune*
2Dee***$ai"e7 Erai "ar un c-i(7
2Pate!"ar***Ea &e .ntar&e %i &e "u&e .n camera "e )i un"e -u&e .n 'unc1iune CD2
-(a=er2u(!'r a acr"a -rea mu(t im-rtan1 (a ce urma & c/nte*+)art in#a"
camera*
2Dar ce6Ea &e r&uci %i .( .n'runt*
2Dar tu tre3uia & m (a%i & $tr&c &in0ur7De%i e( &e a'(a (a 4umtatea
camerei!ea #)u c$ii (ui (ucin" "e 'urie*Vcea (ui &e ri"ic -e&te #iri*
2Pe nai3a!tre3uia75-ui c nu m cun%ti acum*Ei 3ine!"ac cre)i -entru un minut
c te2a% 'i -utut (&a -e tine &au -e ricare a(t 'emeie & ia "eci)ie
ne3unea&c!
una 3a)at -e a'ect %i nu -e ra1iune!nu m cun%teai nici mcar atunci7E( tra&e
aer .n -ie-t!a-i a"u0!&u3(iniin" 'iecare cu#/nt -e m&ur ce &e a-r-ia -a& cu
-a& "e ea9 Nu ai 'i -utut &u-rta ri0ri(e ace(ui 0en "e #ia17
2La nai3a!+att71i- ea!(#in" cu -a(ma ca-acu( -ianu(ui*Dac eram &u'icient "e
matur & .m-art -atu( cu tine!eram &u'icient "e matur & .m-art %i #ia1a cu tine*
Pr3(eme(e ta(e*Pate tu nu m2ai cun&cut nici"at &u'icient "e 3ine!"ac ai
cre)ut c m #i -r3u%i (a -rima .ncercare*
2Te cun%team!Dee*8tiam 'e(u( tu "e a 0/n"i!'e(u( .n care ac1inai (a 'iecare
ne"re-tate -e care #e"eai %i -e care #iai & .n"re-1i*8i nu ai 'i reu%it!-entru
c #ia1a "in care #eneam!cea .n care urma & m .ntrc era -(in "e ne"re-t1i*
Am 'i a#ut c/te#a (uni 3une!-ate c$iar c/ i#a ani!"ar a-i "ec"erea &2ar 'i
in&ta(at*Era -er&-ecti# -e care nu -uteam .n'runta*G/n"u( "e a te #e"ea
"e#enin" a&-r %i rece!&au tri&t %i "i&-erat!ca mama*I"eea "e a a4un0e & m
ur%ti era -rea mu(t -entru mine*8i ai 'i a4un& & m ur%ti!-entru c m/n"ria
mea nu mi2ar 'i -ermi& & te (a& & nu '(&e%ti ceea ce .n m" .n"re-t1it era a(
tu %i te2ar 'i 'cut &21i 'ie #ia1a mai u%ar*Dac m/n"ria e&te un -cat!atunci
eu .( cmit %i acum )i(nic*Dee &e c$irci*
2Deci a&ta e&te!nu2i a%a6 C/n" ai &-u& c tat( tu e&te 3(na# %i a tre3uit & -(eci
ime"iat!am 'cut 0re%ea(a "e a21i 'eri 3ani -entru )3r!ca & nu mer0i cu
aut3u)u( &au aut&t-u(*A&ta a '&t crima mea "e neiertat!nu2i a%a!+att6 Era
cm-ara3i( cu "rin1a "e a21i "a trt %i (um/nri -entru )iua "e na%tere a 'rate(ui
tu mai mic*
2Dee***
2Bine!a cntinuat ea*Pentru (i-&a "e 4u"ecat .mi cer &cu)e*Am 0re%it*8i a"mit c
au '&t tinere1ea %i (i-&a mea "e ex-erien1 care m2au "eterminat*Dar a&ta nu
.n&eamn c #/rt&a mea 'ra0e" ar 'i 'cut "in mine &1ie rea -entru tine*Dac
mi2ai 'i &-u& -ur %i &im-(u c 1i2am rnit &entimente(e 'erin"u21i 3ani2 ca
&(u1ie (a -r3(eme(e ta(e!a% 'i .n1e(e&*Nu eram -ra&t!+att!ci nai#*
252mi rne%ti***e( &e .ntreru-&e!.%i trecu m/n -rin -r %i .nc$i&e c$ii -entru
un mment!r&u'(/n" cu 0reu*Dee7 Pentru nume(e (ui Dumne)eu7 Cre)i c erau
numai &entimente(e***Din nu .%i .ntreru-&e 'ra)a*O$!'ir2ar & 'ie!nu a%a
inten1inam & -etrecem &eara acea&ta!"e)0r-/n" "urerea ani(r care au trecut
%i 1i-/n" unu( (a a(tu(*E( &e uit 1int (a ea -/n c/n" r&u'(area .i re#eni (a
nrma(*<%i 'rec na&u( %i c(i-i "in c$i ca %i cum (2ar 'i "urut*
2Am 'cut ceea ce am cre)ut c e&te 3ine!ceea ce am cn&i"erat atunci ca
&in0uru( (ucru -e care .( -uteam 'ace*Tu erai cine erai*Eu eram cine eram*Iar
tim-u( nu era -tri#it -entru ni*O ru-tur tran%ant era &(u1ia cea mai 3un*
Ea a-r3 "in ca-!&im1in"u2&e extenuat*Du- tate a&tea!ce &2a &c$im3at!"e
'a-t6 Ea era tt cine era*Iar +att!.n m" c(ar!a#ea .nc m/n"ria (ui*Orice ar 'i
#rut "e (a ea!era &i0ur!nu era nimic -ermanent*
2Da!&-u&e ea*O ru-tur tran%ant*Atunci*8i acum*<ncruntarea (ui &e a"/nci*
2A&ta e ne3unie*+ -e"e-&e%ti -entru trecut*Ea ""u "in ca-*
2Nu*+i2am "at &eama c trecutu( e&te ce#a ce nu -ate 'i &c$im3at!nu -ate 'i
rec("it*Ce am a#ut am -ier"ut*Era tentat & &-un ;tu ai aruncat:!"ar a&ta nu ar
'i '&t crect*Era #in "e am3e(e -r1i*+ai mu(t -r3a3i( "e -artea ei "ec/t a
(ui*Ea nu a '&t cin&tit cu e( .n (e0tur cu ea*Ea "rea un ;-rieten a"e#rat:!(a
'e( ca a(te 'ete!care erau c$iar mai tinere "ec/t ea!atunci c/n" (2a cun&cut -e
+att*Ea nu i2a &-u& cine era tat( ei!ce 'cea e( &au "e&-re a#erea 'ami(iei!(2a '&t
team2-e "re-t cu#/nt2c a&ta .( #a .n"e-rta*8i nici nu i2a &-u& c era #ir0in*
Ei era .ntt"eauna at/t "e a'uri&it "e ;nra3i(:*Ea .n1e(e0ea mai 3ine acum*<n
c(i-a .n care a %tiut c era -rimu( ei iu3it!a '&t cn#in& c tre3uie & &e .n&are
cu ea*A-i!"u- ce a a'(at "in ce 'ami(ie #ine!a '&t (a 'e( "e cn#in& c nu
tre3uie*Nu -utea*La un mment "at ea a cre)ut c (2a cn#in& c 0re%e%te*8i a-i
a -(ecat*Acum %tia!a '&t cu inten1ie*
2Tim- "e trei ani am a%te-tat!+att*Nu -uteam & cre" c***rn2ai a3an"nat!
+att*C ai a3an"nat ceea ce a#eam ni*Am cre)ut c .ntr2a"e#r m iu3eai*
2A$!Dee7Te iu3eam*8i nu #iam & te -r&e&c a%a*Dar nu am a#ut a(t &(u1ie*
+att ar 'i #rut &2i &-un c/t "e 0reu i2a '&t*Via &2i &-un c/t "e mu(t a
iu3it2*Via &2i &-un c %tia c &2ar -utea .n"r0&ti "e ea "in nu!'arte
u%r*C -ate &2a .nt/m-(at "e4a %i c nu ar 'i #rut &2 -r&ea&c!nici c$iar
-entru un minut*
2A% -utea***E( .nc$i&e 0ura!-ri#in" (a 'a1a ei #a(!"e(icat!&a#ur/n"u2i
'rumu&e1ea*<n &-ate(e ei!.n 4uru( ei!era aur "e 301ie care -unea .nc
3arier .ntre ei*Dar era are im-enetra3i(6 +ai a(e& c era numai .n ima0ina1ia
(ui6
2Ai -utea ce anume6 .ntre3 ea*
2+i2a% -utea ima0ina***reac1ia tat(ui tu (a cererea ta .n c&trie!&-u&e e(*+2ar
&-eria "e marte*
2Dar***Inima (ui 3tea cu -utere .n -ie-t!.n 0/t*Tat( ei nu mai era*Nu ar 'i ne#ie
& cear*Ar -utea 'ace!acum!ceea ce a 'cut cu mu(t .nainte "e a %ti mcar c
are un tat!-ur %i &im-(u & ia ceea ce 'erea ea at/t "e incent*Ea &e uita (a e(!
.ntre3tare*Nu2( in#ita & cntinue ceea ce inten1ina&e & &-un*Cea&u(
3unicu(ui 3tu "e "u&-re)ece ri*Am/n"i &e .ntar&er %i &e uitar (a e(!"e
-arc ace&ta ar 'i a#ut ni%te r&-un&uri -entru ei*
2E&te t/r)iu*Tre3uie & -(ec*Dee &-u&e9
2Da*E&te t/r)iu*+ai t/r)iu -entru tine "ec/t -entru mine*Tu e%ti .nc "u- 'u&u(
rar "in E&t*E( .%i "i$ni -ri#irea -e -r'i(u( ei*
2+ a"a-te) u%r*Ea nu &e .ntar&e*Nu2i &u0er & rm/n*5au & &e .ntarc*
C/n" &e mi%c!era .n "irec1ia #e&ti3u(u(ui*E( a%te-ta .n tim- ce ea .i &ca&e $aina
"in "u(a- %i i2 .ntin&e*5e &trecur .n ea*Ea "e&c$i&e u%a "e &tic( %i ""u (a
-arte -er"eaua "in mr0e(e*P&ri(e murmurau &mnra&e "e&-re 'iin1e(e
umane care a#eau re ri"ic(e*La (i't +att .i (u am3e(e m/ini .ntr2a(e &a(e*
2Na-te 3un!&-u&e e( "ui&*5eara (r &e termina&e*E( %tia a&ta*Ttu%i .i #enea
0reu & "ea "rumu( m/ini(r ei*Era -&i3i( ca ea & ai3 "re-tate %i .ntrea0a (r
(e0tur & 'ie terminat!.nc "e acum trei&-re)ece ani*C e( .ncerca & re.n#ie
ce#a ce exi&ta numai .n memrie!(a 'e( ca &-eran1a -entru nu arm "u(ce "e
#ar .n 't0ra'ia "ec(rat a unui tran"a'ir*Nu*E( re&-in&e i"eea*
2Pate c nu -utem recn&trui trecutu(!&-u&e e(*Dar ce -reri ai "e&-re un nu
.nce-ut6Din nu ea &e uit (a e( tcut!tim- "e c/te#a minute*
Cu un )/m3et at/t "e tri&t!c a-ra-e .( 'cu &2i "ea (acrimi(e!.i i&-u&e9
2Na-te 3un!+att*+att -%i .n (i't!iar (umina mai -uternic .i &tr(uci -e 'at!
&u3(iniin"u2i ri"uri(e "in 4uru( 0urii*Dee #)u cu c(aritate &in0urtatea tri&t!
-ier"ut!a-ra-e a&cun& .n um3re(e .nc$i&e "e &u3 &-r/ncene*Dar a-i u%i(e
&cu(-tate &e .nc$i&er %i e( "i&-ru*Dee %e"ea .n 'a1a ecranu(ui ei "e cm-uter!
recitin" cu#inte(e -e care (e &cri&e&e cu a4utru( (ui +att*Era un artic( 3un!
intere&ant %i era m/n"r "e a&ta*Pentru un mment .%i &-ri4ini 'runtea "e
-a(m!amintin"u2%i***;Dac m/n"ria e&te un -cat!atunci .nc .i &unt &u-u&
)i(nic***:O$!+att!+att*:Cu un 'tat ea -u&e cur&ru( .n -artea "e &u& a -a0inii!
im-rim tit(u( %i a-i "e"e&u3t!a"u0 cu#inte(e ;"e Dee ,arri&:*Du- &curt
-au)!mai a"u0 trei cu#inte*Pate mama (ui +att i2a in&u'(at &en&u(
narei*Prin1ii ei au cre)ut .ntt"eauna c tre3uie acr"at cre"it cui#a!ac(
un"e merit*De&c$i&e im-rimanta %i #)u cum caractere(e a-ar ne0re -e -a0ina
a(3 "e $/rtie*:)e )ee 5arris -i Matthe6 5iedler:*Nume(e artau 3ine
.m-reun*Numai "ac ea nu cre"ea c -entru +att ;a .nce-e "in nu: .n&emna
& ui1i (ec1ii(e trecutu(ui*

CAPITOLUL L
+att &e .n"e-rt "e -erete(e rece "e crmi"!"intr2"at a(ert "u- mai mu(t
"e 4umtate "e r "e a%te-tare -a&i#!&au a-ra-e -a&i#!-entru un m cruia
i2au .n0$e1at a&e(e*Pe&te "rum!Dee %i "u 'emei ie%ir "intr2un 3(c "e 3iruri
annim %i a(er0ar .m-reun -e tre-te(e (ate!una "in e(e 1in/n" 3ra1e(e
.ncruci%ate -e -ie-t %i tremur/n" .n m" exa0erat*Era na-te a&-r!ca
amenin1are "e -(aie mai -uternic*O -er"ea "e a- arunc*
<n 4ur &tr-i "e ar0int!.n tim- ce #/ntu( mtura %iraie "e a- -e trtuar*
Dee -urta 3(u0i! 4ac$et 0ra& mat(a&at %i ci)me a(3e*+/ini(e .i erau a"/nc
.n'un"ate .n 3u)unare*E( #)u c mer&u( ei era 3&it!iar umerii -reau c)u1i*
Pru( .i at/rna "e&'cut!iar #/ntu( i2( #/ntura -e&te c$i*Ea .( ""u (a -arte cu
m/na*E( tra#er& &tra"a %i a4un&e .n &-ate(e triu(ui!.n mmentu( c/n" e( &e
a-r-ie "e trei ma%ini -arcate una (/n0 a(ta!ma%ina +erce"e& cu-e &-rt a (ui
Dee 'iin" u(tima "in r/n"*
2A%tea-t!&-u&e e(!a-i &e 3(e&tem .n 0/n"!-entru c tate trei .n0$e1ar!cu
&-ate(e .nc#iat ca %i cum ar 'i a%te-tat (#itura*A '&t numai un mment*Cea
mai &(i" "intre e(e &e .ntar&e!cu m/ini(e .n &u&!.n -)i1ie "e (u-t "in arte(e
mar1ia(e*Ca-u( (ui Dee )#/cni .ntr2 -arte*Cea "e2a treia 'emeie &e a&cun&e .n
&-ate(e ma%inii*+att #)u ce#a (ucin" .n m/na ei*E( .%i a"u&e aminte "e 'emeie
care &-unea (a un -r0ram "e %tiri TV ;E&te en"emic*Peric(u( e&te
-retutin"eni:*E( %tia a&ta!tat (umea %tia*Pate ricine %tia a&ta teretic!"ar un
3r3at nu -utea tri 'rica unei 'emei -e &tr)i(e unui ra%!.n tim-u( n-1ii*E( #)u
teama!rea( %i -rimar!-e 'a1a (ui Dee %i a ce(r trei 'emei*
2O$!(a nai3a!&-u&e e(*<mi -are ru Dee***nu am #rut & # &-erii*
Cea cu -)i1ia in&tincti# "e (u-t!cu un ca- mai .na(t "ec/t !Dee %i -r3a3i( cu
QG "e -'un)i mai &(i"!&e -(a& .ntre +att %i Dee*
25unt ce#a -r3(eme6
2Nanc=!e .n r"ine!&-u&e Dee -%in" .n 'a1 re-e"e*+att e&te un -rieten*
Nanc= e)ita*
2E%ti &i0ur6
25unt &i0ur*Pentru a2%i a&i0ura -artenere(e!Dee .%i trecu "e0ete(e -e &u3 3ra1u(
(ui +att*Am uitat c tre3uia & #in & ne .nt/(nim a&t &ear!&-u&e ea*Na-te
3un!Nan*Na-te 3un!5ue*Cu u(tim -ri#ire &u&-icia&!'emeia &e urc .n
ma%in*Dee a%te-t -/n c/n" ce(e "u 'emei -(ecar!"u- care .%i &mu(&e
m/na "e &u3 3ra1u( (ui +att* S
2Ce 'aci aici6 .ntre3 ea*De un"e ai %tiut un"e & m 0&e%ti6 Pentru un m care
"rea & .ncea- ttu( "in nu!a reu%it & &e 1in (a "i&tan1 "e mar1ea trecut*
+att c(tin ca-u( cu re0ret!-ru( (ui .nc$i& era )3ur(it "e #/nt!c$ii .ntuneca1i*
2O & m cre)i "ac .1i &-un c te2am urmrit c/n" ai -(ecat "e aca& a&t &ear6
E( arta ca %i cum ar 'i '&t "i'ici( c$iar %i -entru e( & crea" ace&t (ucru*
Ea &e uit (a e( .n tim- ce &e ""u un -a& .na-i*
2+2ai urmrit6 Cum6E( ri"ic "in umeri %i .%i .n'un" m/ini(e .n 3u)unare(e
$ainei*
25-un/n"u2i unui %'er "e taxi ;Urmre%te ma%ina aia:!i2am &-u& c e%ti ne#a&ta
mea %i c #reau & te -rin" cu amantu(*E( a ac1inat ca %i cum nu m2ar 'i cre)ut*
Cre" c %i2a .nc$i-uit c eu &unt -(i1i&t iar tu e%ti e&crac*+2am &im1it ca
Jame& Bn"*Ea r/&e!iar +att 3&er# mici &emne "e &tre& .n 4uru( c$i(r ei*
2Numai c Bn" nu urmre%te nici"at 'emeie*
2Bine.n1e(e& c nu*Ar -utea .n& '(&i a&ta ca a(i3i*
2A%a e&te*Numai c e( ar 'i -u& -(itic& %'eru( -e trtuar %i ar 'i cn"u& &in0ur
taxiu(*A-i ar 'i mer& .n &(a(m -e "u r1i -rintre ma%ini -arcate %i ()i "e
0uni*Urmri&er mu(1ime "e 'i(me cu Bn"!.m-reun*E( a-r3*
2Ai "re-tate*Nu am 'cut nimic at/t "e "ramatic*Dar "e a(t'e( nici tu nu2 m2ai
'r1at!.ncerc/n" & &ca-i "e mine*,a1a ei era acum (ini%tit!-ri#irea .ntunecat*<n
(ini%tea "intre ma%ini(e care treceau!-er"eaua "e a- &u&ura %i .m-r%ca*
2Nu %tiam c m urmre%ti!&-u&e Dee*
28i "ac ai 'i %tiut6
E( au)i .ncuietarea "e (a ma%in "e&c$i)/n"u2&e %i .%i ""u &eama c -r3a3i(
a#ea te(ecman"*
2Eu***nu %tiu!&-u&e ea*Pri#irea ei era tu(3ure*E( "e&c$i&e u%a %i ea &e urc!"e-arte
"e #/nt!"e-arte "e 'ri0*V/ntu( .i (i-i&e -anta(nii "e -iciare*Im-ermea3i(u( .i
'(utura .n 4uru( 0enunc$i(r*E( .%i ri"ic 0uieru(*Ea "e&c$i&e u%a "e -e -artea
-a&a0eru(ui*
2Urc!+att*Te "uc .na-i (a $te(*P/n c/n" &e &trecur .n ma%in!ea -rni&e
"e4a mtru(*Cu am3e(e u%i .nc$i&e!ra"iatru( intr ra-i" .n 'unc1iune*
2Nu era -e a0en"a mea & m .ntrc (a $te(!&-u&e e(*De 'a-t am #enit & te iau
& 3em ce#a*
2+att***Dee .i .nt/(ni -ri#irea*Nu cre" c e&te i"ee -rea 3un*
2Nu6 &-u&e e(*5 ia un -a$ar6 5 &e #a"6 Nu tre3ui & .ntre3e*E( .%i &trecur
"e0etu( mare -e&te #ena care -u(&a ra-i" -e 0/tu( ei!.i (u m/na %i i2 30
.nuntru( $ainei (ui!1in/n"2 -e&te inima care .i 3tea cu -utere*
2Ai una mai 3un6 Ce#a care & te 'ac & nu te mai 0/n"e%ti (a mine!a%a cum %i
eu am cutat & .ncete) & m 0/n"e&c (a tine6 Ce#a care & -rea&c
&entimente(e!Dee6Ea nu .ncerc & ne0e c &e 0/n"i&e (a e(*Nu .( mai #)u&e %i
nu mai au)i&e nimic "e&-re e( "e c/n" -(eca&e "in a-artamentu( ei mar1i &eara!
"ar a '&t -ermanent .n mintea ei!.n #i&uri(e ei*A re(uat iar %i iar (ucruri(e -e care
(e2a &-u& e(!ce(e -e care (e2a &-u& ea %i a -etrecut -rea mu(te re amintin"u2%i "e
&rutri(e (ui %i cum -uteau & r&c(ea&c*5c$im3ar -ri#ire (un0*Ea &e uit
.n 4&!a-i .%i retra&e m/na*
2Nu!cre" c nu*Ar 'i mu(t mai u%r!#ia1a ei ar 'i '&t mai -u1in cm-(icat "ac
e( nu ar 'i a-rut .n ma0a)inu( ei*Dar -entru c a a-rut!%tia c nici unu( "in ei
nu #a -(eca -ur %i &im-(u*Nu cu u%urin1 %i nu cur/n"*8i nu ne#tmat*Dar rice
&2ar 'i .nt/m-(at!ea %tia c nu #a 'i un nu .nce-ut*<nce-uturi(e ni .ntre '%ti
aman1i &unt ce#a mitic*<ntt"eauna trecutu( #a 'i .ntre ei*Trecutu( -e care (2au
.m-r1it*8i trecutu( 'iecruia "intre ei*Ea 't*A-i!-entru c nu &e -utea
a31ine!-entru c era im-&i3i( & a'(e r&-un&u(!.ntre39
2De ce m2ai urmrit6<n (umina unui #e$icu( ea .i #)u )/m3etu( &tr/m3*
2Nu ca &21i 'er un -a$ar*Dar a&ta ai cn&tatat &in0ur!nu2i a%a6 Am #enit & te
a%te-t aici -entru c .mi era team c c$iar "ac a% 'i trecut "e -rtar!nu m2ar 'i
(&at & urc .n (i't*8i #iam & te #"***Viam***& 'iu un eru*Eru( tu*
Viam***& te 1in!c/n" ie%eai "in acea camer "e 0ra)*E( &e .ntin&e "u- m/na
ei %i i2 (u "e -e #(an!&tr/n0/n"2 .ntr2a (ui*De0ete(e (ui erau ca("e!&tr/n&area
(ui -uternic!"e%i 3(/n"*De "ata a&ta ea nu %i2a mai retra& m/na*5im1in"
cm-(icitatea ei!-ate c$iar "rin1a ei!e( .i 30 m/na .n c("ura 0u(eru(ui!-e
0/t*Du- un tim- Dee a-r3 "in ca- %i .%i r&'ir "e0ete(e -e -ie(ea (ui*
2+u(1ume&c!+att*Oricine (ucrea) cu ace&te (inii te(e'nice are ne#ie "e
.m3r1i%are c/n" a terminat*+ 3ucur c e%ti aici*Partenere(e me(e "e ec$i-
-(eca&er aca& (a &1i!(a 0ri4i %i "ra0&te*De mu(te ri (e2am in#i"iat -entru a&ta*
2A% #rea & te &tr/n0 .n 3ra1e!&-u&e e( %i ea .i &im1i #cea -rin m/na ei a%a cum
au)i .n urec$i*De ce tre3uie & cn"uci ma%in at/t "e mic6
25unt unii care ar 'ace ni%te mutre mirate "ac ar au)i c "e&crii un +erce"e&
NQG 5L ca ;mic ma%in cara0$ia&:*E( )/m3i*
2E%ti %i tu unu( "in ei6 Ea c(tin "in ca-*
2O ma%in e&te ma%in*+ama mea mi2a cum-rat2 "e )iua mea!anu( trecut*
Ce#a (uci .n c$ii (ui*8c6 De)0u&t6 Ea &e 0/n"i (a mama (ui!ecnmi&in"
3ac%i%uri(e "e (a re&taurant!"(ar cu "(ar!>.n -u%cu(i1e -e care tre3uia & (e
a&cun" nu numai "e un &1 3e1i# "ar %i "e cei "e (a 'r1e(e "e munc!care i2ar 'i
(uat -&i3i(itatea "e e#a"are a 'iu(ui &u*5e 0/n"i c/t a tre3uit +att &
muncea&c -entru nua &a #ia1 %i &e .ntre3 "ac era ne&i0ur -entru e(* Ttu%i!
e( tre3uia & .n1e(ea0 c mama ei nu .i 'cea nici"at ca"uri ie'tine*Dac
acea&ta #a 'i -r3(em!#ia & %tie acum*Aten1ia (ui era .n& .n a(t -arte*
2Tate ace(e (ucruri -e care (e2ai au)it mar1i &eara!&-u&e e(!te2au 'cut & ur%ti
3r3a1ii6Ea ""u "in ca-*
2Nu!+att*Ea .%i a'un" m/na mai a"/nc .n 4uru( 0/tu(ui (ui!&tr/n0/n" u%r*8i
nimic "in ceea ce ai 'cut tu nu m2a 'cut & te ur&c*E( .nc$i&e c$ii -entru un
mment!a-i &e uit (a ea!'a1a (ui 'iin" 'r ex-re&ie*
2Nu te2am .ntre3at a&ta*Ea .i cercet c$ii*
2Nu m2ai .ntre3at6E( 't!.i &ca&e m/na "e &u3 0u(er %i i2 -u&e "in nu -e
#(an*
2Nimnui nu2i -(ace un ;%tie2tt:!&-u&e e(*
2+att!a% #rea & nu te .n0ri4re)i "e ce(e ce au" eu 4ia &eara*Pr3(eme(e nu &unt
-r3(eme(e me(e*Eu cn&(e)*<ncerc & nu (e am-(i'ic*5e uit (a m/ini(e ei "e -e
#(an!a-i .( -ri#i "intr2 -arte!(un0!-e +att*Cre" c "ac mi2a% retri #ia1a %i ar
tre3ui & 'ac a(e0ere!%tiin" ceea ce %tiu acum "e&-re mine!a% a(e0e -&i$(0ia!
nu )iari&tica*
2Exi&t ttu%i anumit -&i$(0ie '(&it .n )iari&tic!&-u&e e(*
Dee a-r3 "in ca- %i ""u ma%ina cu &-ate(e*
2Da!"ar ceea ce a% #rea cu a"e#rat & 'ac e&te & .n1e(e0 m"u( "e 0/n"ire care
-ermite unui 3r3at & 'ac (ucruri 0ra)nice!#i(ente!.m-tri#a 'emei(r*
Tre3uie & exi&te m"a(itate "e a trata un a&t'e( "e 3r3at!"e a2i arta ca(e
mai 3un*E( &e uit (a ea*
2Nu mu(te 'emei au cm-a&iune -entru #i(atri*Ea ""u "in umeri*Nu &unt
&i0ur "ac eu am*Dar tre3uie & exi&te un m" "e a a 'ace & nu &e .nt/m-(e!
-ate a&ta e&te "irec1ia .n care tre3uie & .ncercm & -ri#im*C/n" -ri .ntr2
)n "e -arcare a unui re&taurant ;Dri#e2in: "u- c/te#a &tr)i!+att )/m3i*
2Damne7 Nu am mai '&t "e ani "e )i(e (a unu( "in a&tea7 +ai exi&t .nc mici
c$e(neri1e cu 'u&te &curte %i ci)me .na(te6Ea r/&e %i "e&c$i&e 'erea&tra!.n tim- ce
un 3r3at .n -anta(ni (un0i %i #e&t mat(a&at #eni .n 'u0 &-re ei*
2Pr3a3i( nu ai '&t "e ani "e )i(e6 &-u&e ea!a-i .ntre39 Ce #rei & iei6
Du- ce au cman"at cic(at 'ier3inte!ea ri"ic "in nu 0eamu(*
2Ce ai 'ace!+att!"ac ai -utea &21i retrie%ti #ia1a6 Ai intra .n a#catur ca &
.n"e-(ine%ti #i&u( mamei ta(e*A '&t %i #i&u( tu6
2A#catura nu era .n m" nece&ar ceea ce "rea ea -entru mine*Pur %i &im-(u
.n#1tura*Un "rum &-re e#a"are*Eu am a(e& a#catura -entru c mi2a -(cut
i"eea "e -utere care am cre)ut c mi2 #a "a*Puterea "e a aran4a (ucruri(e*Dar
"ac a% -utea 'ace "in nu!cre" c a% a(e0e ar$itectura*E&te c$iar mai mu(t
-utere .n a&ta*Puterea "e a crea ce#a "ura3i(!ce#a "e***#a(are*
2Putere!&-u&e ea )/m3in"*A&ta e&te "rin1 ti-ic ma&cu(in*E( .i .ntar&e
)/m3etu(*
25unt 3r3at*Dee a-r3*
2Am 3&er#at a&ta "at &au "e "u ri*V" c (ucr/n" -entru cm-anie
an0renat &eri& .n "e)#(tarea "e -r-riet1i!a4u1i -rin crearea unr (ucruri "e
#a(are "ura3i(*+ 3ucur "e a&ta -entru tine!+att*E( .%i termin "e 3ut cea%ca
%i .%i (in&e mu&t1i(e "e &-uma "e -e 3u)a &u-eriar*
2Iar eu m 3ucur -entru tine c -1i "a "in tim-u( tu ca & a4u1i ameni care au
ne#ie "e cm-a&iune!"e &im-atie*Dee .%i termin cic(ata %i a%e) am3e(e
ce%ti -e ta#a -u& .n a'ara -rtierei*Biatu( &e .ntar&e a-ra-e ime"iat %i )/m3i
ca mu(1umire -entru 3ac%i%u( -e care i2( a"u0 +att (a nta "e -(at*
A4un& (a $te(!+att nu &e (& .m-ie"icat "e 3r"u( ma%inii & 'ac ceea ce
"rea*Ceea ce %i Dee "rea*5e a-(ec!.i a-uc cea'a cu m/n %i a-r-ie "e
e(*5rutu( (ui era ca(" %i -r'un" %i ume"!"u(ce "e cic(at %i "e -r-riu( (ui
0u&t*O tu(3ura -/n .n a"/ncuri*O 'cu & .i #/4/ie ca-u(!&2i acce(ere)e inima %i
& i &e -rea&c re&-ira1ia .n 0/t*
2Na-te 3un!iu3it!&-u&e e( )/m3in"*Vi 1ine (e0tura*Vi***
Ceea ce a inten1inat & &-un &2a .ntreru-t!e( a .nc$i& 0ura %i a c3r/t "in
ma%in*Tr/nti u%a %i murmur ;Na-te 3un:*<n tim- ce -%ea &-re u%i(e "e (a
intrare!ea "e&c$i&e u%a!&ri "in ma%in %i .( &tri0*Inima (ui +att a-ra-e &e -ri
(a &unetu( #cii (ui Dee*5e .ntar&e*Ea &ttea cu cate(e -e ca-ta ma%inii ei!cu
ca-u( .ntr& .ntr2 -arte*V/ntu( i &e 4uca .n -r!ciu'u(in"u2i2(*Lumina "e (a
'irm (umina& cu nen "e -e&te "rum crea un e'ect "e $a( .n 4uru( ca-u(ui
ei*E( nu2i -utu citi ex-re&ia!"ar #)u cum i &e ri"ic -ie-tu( c/n" tra&e aer .n
-ie-t*Era ca %i cum ar 'i a#ut ni%te &'ri -rin&e "e 0(e)ne!&e 0/n"i e(!"e&c-erin"
c -iciare(e i &e -u&er ime"iat .n mi%care*E( &e .ntar&e (a ma%in!&e &-ri4ini -e
ca-t!.n cea(a(t -arte*
2Vineri!.n )iua "e 1N!ru(ea) un 'i(m (a un teatru nu "e-arte "e (cuin1a mea!
&-u&e ea*E&te un &-ectac( -entru &in0ur &ear*Vineri*
2Trei&-re)ece!&-u&e e(!a-i a%te-t ca ea & cntinue*Va 'i are )iua mea
nrca&6 .ntre3 e(!c/n" ea nu &-u&e nimic*Ea %tia!in#it/n"u2(!c acce-ta nu(
.nce-ut -e care e( .( "rea*Pe care %i ea .( "rea*Ceea ce nu %tia era "ac #a
mer0e*Dar cum ar 'i -utut & nu acce-te6 Cum ar 'i -utut & nu2%i a&ume ri&cu(6
Ace&ta era +att care a%te-ta ac( ca ea & &-un ce are "e &-u&*+att***care nu
#a -(eca!in"i'erent c/te mi(e &au ani ar 'i -u& .ntre ei*
2Vrei***#rei & #ii (a mine & (um cin u%ar %i a-i & mer0em & #e"em
-ie&a6E( )/m3i*
2Damn!ai "e4a .nt/(nire*A-i!c/n" ea &e a-(ec .na-i .n ma%in %i .nc$i&e
-rtiera!e( rma&e .n -iciare -ri#in"2 cum -(eac*<nc$i&e c$ii*+/ine Metcom
%i 0hang International urmau & &emne)e acr"u( 'ina( -ri#in" cum-rarea unei
-r-riet1i care inc(u"ea %i Westmarch A..artment /otel*,r .n"ia(!"u-
aceea #a urma cin "e &r3trire a e#enimentu(ui!"i&cur&uri!ta&turi!tat
-rce"ura -(icti&itare*5e .ntre3a cum ar -utea &2( cn#in0 -e E"Min &2(
&cutea&c "e tate a&tea*Din 'ericire!%e'u( (ui %i a(1i re-re)entan1i ai 'irmei tcmai
ie%eau "e (a 3ar c/n" intr e( .n $(u( $te(u(ui*Au &tat -u1in "e #r3!"u- care
+arc= &e &cu) &-un/n" c m/ine #a 'i )i (un0 %i cu-at!"/n"u2i a&t'e( %i (ui
un -er'ect -retext "e &cu)*
2Nici -r3(em!3iete7 C/te#a -a$are "e M$i&@= cu &i'n cntri3ui&er (a
ex-an&i#itatea (ui E"Min!iar 0/n"u( (a .ncununare -(in "e &ucce& a a'acerii
-rinci-a(e era .m3ucurtr*
2De 'a-t!#iam &21i -r-un & -(eci m/ine aca&*De a(t'e( ai a#ut aici
&-tm/n .n -(u& 'a1 "e ni cei(a(1i*+eri1i -au)*
2+u(1ume&c!E"Min*E%ti &i0ur c nu ai ne#ie "e mine6 8i "ac nu te &u-eri nu
& -(ec m/ine*Am .nt/(nire &eara %i***E( e)it*Nu &unt &i0ur .n (e0tur cu
Mee@en"2u(*
2Tu!c/ine #ic(ean*E%ti .n ra% "e mai -u1in "e "u &-tm/ni %i 1i2ai 0&it "e4a
-i-i1*Lui E"Min .i -(cea & #r3ea&c cum cre"ea e( c e&te ;m"ern:*
Da!"a*P&trea) camera*<( .n0$inti -e +att cu ctu(*Pate a"uci -e "amna
&21i cuna&c %e'u(*Ai &cu) 3un & a"uci (a $te(*A-i ar 'i &im-(
c$e&tiune "e ;ne#ia: "e a (ua ce#a "in camer %i***D/m3i %iret*Cun%ti rutina*
+att ""u "in ca-!&im1in" u%ar re-u(&ie*:Rutina: nu era ce#a ce Dee ar 'i
a-reciat*<( -r&i -e E"Min!mintea (ui 'iin" cu-at .n .ntre0ime "e Dee*<n tim-
ce (i'tu( urc!.i #)u .n -erete(e "e 0(in" "in 'a1a (ui )/m3etu(*5e -tri#ea cu
'a1a (ui*<( &im1ea 3ine ac(*5in0uru( (ucru care (2ar 'i 'cut & &e &imt mai 3ine
ar 'i '&t ca .nt/(nirea "e m/ine &ear & nu 'ie u(tima*

Era -(cut & te .m3raci -entru .nt/(nire cu +att!c$iar "ac era numai -entru
un 'i(m*A "ua .nt/(nire .n at/t "e mu(1i ani!&e 0/n"i Dee*8i am3e(e cu ace(a%i
3r3at!am3e(e .n aceea%i &-tm/n*5ttea .n 'a1a 0(in)ii "in "rmitru( ei!
.nc$i)/n" un cr"n auriu .n ta(ie -e&te -u(#eru( "e ca%mir 0a(3en2-a(*<%i nete)i
-u(#eru( -e&te 'u&ta nea0r %i &e a%e) -e mar0inea -atu(ui &2%i tra0 ci)me(e
.na(te "in -ie(e ma(e*+att #enea "in nu .n (cuin1a ei*Va %e"ea (a ma&a ei!#a
m/nca m/n2carea -e care ea a 0tit2*O 'i citit artic(u( "in Garna6 Era (a
&tan"uri .nce-/n" "e "iminea1*<i ceru&e e"itru(ui & -u3(ice artic(u( (a care
+att a a4utat2!ca & -at a-recia reac1ia (ui (a re)u(tatu( c(a3rrii (r*A0ita1ia
cu-rin&e! a0ita1ie -e care nu %i2 -utea .n'r/na*Era at/t 3ine & .m-art
anumite (ucruri cu +att7<n &(ar &e au)i 1i-tu( -a-a0a(u(ui!iar Dee uit cm-(et
"e re#i&te &-tm/na(e %i artic(e*+att era ac(*+att***
2&ta!&-u&e +att )/m3in" .n tim- ce Dee ""u (a -arte -er"eaua "e mr0e(e
ca &2( (a&e & intre .n a-artament!e&te ce( mai "i&tinct &i&tem "e &nerie -e care
(2am au)it*5au e&te -a&rea ta "e -a)6
2La& (a a(e0erea ta!&-u&e ea!in"ic/n"u2i "rumu(*Aai!"2mi $aina*+ai -(u6
2Ce a(tce#a ar -utea & 'ac6 .ntre3 e(*Ea .i arunc -ri#ire -(in "e re-r%*
2Ei!$ai!)u7 <1i aminte%ti "e mar1i6 8i "e ieri6 A -(uat %i atunci6E( tre3ui &
a"mit c nu!"ar era amu)ant & tac$ine)e!&2i 'ac c$ii & &tr(ucea&c*
2Arta ta "e a 0ti!&-u&e e( "u- 4umtate "e r!.n#/rtin" &-a0$etti .n 4uru(
'urcu(i1ei!&2a .m3unt1it cn&i"era3i(*Dee .i )/m3i*
2+u(1ume&c*Dar tu6
2Eu6E( 'cu -au) cu 'urcu(i1a .n "rum &-re 0ur*
2Nu era nimic .n nere0u( cu mine*Eu te2am .n#1at!1ii minte6
2+2ai .n#1at & -re0te&c u 4umri!+att*8i -i))a "e (a -ac$et*8i cam a&ta a
'&t tt*&ta nu2i 0tit*E( r/&e .n $$te*
2N2ai tre3ui & .ncerci & #r3e%ti a%a*Pare cara0$i& "in -artea ta*Ce ar &-une
-r'e&ru( tu "e "ic1ie6
2Nu am a#ut nici"at un -r'e&r "e "ic1ie!&-u&e ea*Nici nu am a#ut ne#ie*
E( )/m3i*
2Da!cre" c nu ai a#ut ne#ie*La tine ace&t accent #ine .n m" natura(*
E( &r3i "in #in uit/n"u2&e (a ea -e&te mar0inea -a$aru(ui*
2+u(t tim- 3i%nuiam & #i&e) #cea ta*+ tre)eam cu #cea ta .n urec$i*
Ceea ce nu &-u&e era c ;%i #iam & -(/n0:*O "at &au "e "u ri!c/n" era:
-rea 3&it ca &2%i -&tre)e cntr(u(!a -(/n&*
2+att***-ri#irea ei .i &crut 'a1a a-i ""u "in ca-*Da*Vr #r3i "e&-re acei ani
care au trecut*Dar nu acum*Termin21i m/ncarea*,i(mu( .nce-e -e&te mai -u1in
"e r*<n tim- ce &e &trecurau -e trtuaru( u"!.n0$e&ui1i &u3 um3re( care nu
.i ac-erea 3ine -e am/n"i!+att &-u&e9
28i nici nu erau u 4umri*Era m(et*Om(ete mari!'ruma&e!um-(ute cu tt
'e(u( "e (ucruri 3une*Ciu-erci!3r/n)!cea-!m&(ine!&(nin!ca%ca#a(!cam a&ta
e&te ce .mi a"uc aminte*+ai %tii6 Dee .n0$i1i n"u( "urer& "in 0/t*<%i amintea!
.%i amintea -rea mu(t!-rea 3ine*<i re#enea ttu( .n minte cu at/ta -utere!.nc/t &e
.ntre3a cum #a -utea &u-ra#ie1ui ace&tei &eri**,i(mu(*5e #a cncentra1ia e(!&e
$tr. ea!"e .n"at ce intrar .n &a(*<%i #a cu-a .ntrea0a 0/n"ire cu a&ta***
2Ei6 .ntre3 +att c/n" ie%ir "in &a(*Ji2a -(cut6<i -(cu&e*,arte mu(t*Dar ceea
ce i2a -(cut ce( mai mu(t a '&t 3ra1u( (ui .n 4uru( ei!"e0ete(e (ui care .i &tr/n0eau
umerii*
2Pr3a3i( c #i a#ea c%maruri!&-u&e ea*Oc$ii (ui "an&ar c/n" ea .%i ri"ic 'a1a
&-re e(*
2Vi mer0e aca& cu tine %i #i &ta & te -rte4e)!"ac "re%ti*Dee nu r&-un&e %i
mer&er .n tcere -/n (a 3(cu( ei .n tim- ce -(aia %iria .n 4uru( (r*
Ea %tia c ar 'i "rit 'arte mu(t!ca e( &2%i -etreac na-tea -rte4/n"2!nu
numai .m-tri#a c%maruri(r "ar %i .m-tri#a &in0urt1ii -r'un"e .n care a
tre3uit & tria&c at/t "e mu(t tim-*A%a "u- cum ea ar 'i -utut &2( -)ea&c "e
ceea ce #)u&e .n c$ii (ui 4i!&eara!teama c ea (2ar -utea ur.*
Nu2( ura*5e 0/n"i c exi&t -&i3i(itate 'arte &eria& & &e .n"r0&tea&c "in
nu "e e(*C/n" ie%ir "in (i't!e( &ur-rin&e &-un/n"u2i9
2E%ti .n &i0uran1 -e #eran"a ta!"uce&*+u(1ume&c -entru cin*8i -entru 'i(m*
A &ur-rin&2 "e a&emenea atunci c/n" nu a 'cut nici un cmentariu .n
mmentu( .n care ea a &c& 3i(ete(e ac$itate "e4a*<nainte!'u&e&e c$e&tiune "e
nare -entru e( & -(tea&c -entru tt!c$iar "u- ce a'(a&e "e&-re &itua1ia ei
materia(*:.n &-ecia(: "u- ce a a'(at*Amintin"u2%i cum a '&t!&-un/n"u2i na-te
3un -e #eran"a "in 'a1 ca "u- -rima (r .nt/(nire cu at/1ia ani .n urm!ea .%i
.m-reun m/ini(e -e cea'a (ui!.( tra&e .n 4& %i .( &rut u%r -e 3u)e*A%a a 'cut
cu mu(1i ani .n urm!&im1in"u2&e cura4a& %i matur*
2Na-te 3un!+att*E( .%i -u&e m/ini(e -e ta(ia ei %i tra&e c/ i#a centimetri mai
a-ra-e*A-(ec/n"u2%i ca-u(!e( -u&e un &rut -e 3u)e(e ei!"e&'c/n"u2(e u%r!
&trecur/n"u2%i #/r'u( 'ier3inte a( (im3ii*
2Na-te 3un!Dee!&-u&e e( &(emn!"ar cu ace(a%i (icr .n c$i ca atunci*E( .%i
amintea7 A%a &e 'ace!iu3ita Cu#/nt cu cu#/nt*Exact ce i2a &-u& atunci*
Retrin" acea -rim .nt/(nire!ea tremura!nu era ne#ie & 4ace teatruK ace(ea%i
em1ii cu-rin&er %i 'cur & &e cutremure*5e a-r-ia&e mai mu(t "e c("ura
(ui atunci!.n acea na-te rece "e ianuarie!%i (a 'e( a 'cut %i acum!.n atm&'era
ume" a &(aru(ui*<%i .n'i-&e "e0ete(e .n -ru( (ui %i .i tra&e "in nu ca-ur( .n
4&*De "ata a&ta &rutu( ei era mai (un0!0ura ei -u1in "e&c$i&!ume"*V/r'u(
(im3ii ei atin&e 3u)a (ui in'eriar!cu ex-erien1*
2A%a6 %-ti ea*E( 0emu u%r %i .%i &trecur m/ini(e .n interiru( $ainei ei!
.ncercuin"u2i ta(ia*
2Da*A%a*8i a%a*E( .i atin&e cu 3u)e(e maxi(aru(!cu r&u'(area (ui ca(" -trun)/n"
.n urec$ea ei*
2+ir%i at/t "e 3ine!murmur e(*Ea .%i cui3ri 'a1a .n un0$iu( "intre 0/tu( %i
umru( (ui*
28i tu*Cu un c$ictit e( &rut .n cntinuare "e2a (un0u( 0/tu(ui!(im3a (ui
cut/n" %i 0&in" un -unct care -u(&a!-e care .( .ncerc*
28i ai un 0u&t a%a 3un*Ea .n"r)ni %i .( mu%c u%r "e -ie(e*
28i tu*
2O$!Damne7 Dee7E( .%i .n'i-&e m/n .n -ru( ei %i .i .n"re-t 'a a &-re a (ui!
a-uc/n"u2i 0ura .ntr2un &rut care nu mai 1inea cnt "e nimic*C/n" &e
.ntreru-&e!-entru a &e uita ia ea!c$ii (ui erau -(ini "e "rin1!cr-u( t/n4ea "u-
a&ta*Ea &e mi%c! mi%care u%ar -e care nu -utu e#ita!e( .%i "e&'cu
-iciare(e .n 4uru( ei!aca-ar/n"2*Inima ei 3tea ne3une%te %i ea tremura!
a-r-iin"u2&e mai mu(t "e e(!cu "e0ete(e .n'i-te .n &-ate(e (ui*Pa& cu -a& retriau
ceea ce 'u&e&e .nainte*E( .i m/n0/ie &/nii -rin ca%mir %i &atin!-/n c/n" ea 0emu
%i &e arcui &-re e(!cu &'/rcuri(e tari .n -a(me(e (ui*Un tremur -uternic "e "rin1
cu-rin&e .n tim- ce &ca&e un mic &unet*
2C/t "e 3ine .mi aminte&c acea&t &en)a1ieK &-u&e e( .n tim- ce .%i .ntin&e m/ini(e
&-re 'e&e(e ei -e care (e cu-rin&e arcuin"2 mai tare &-re e(!urmrin"u2i 'a1a*8i
tu6
2Da!'t ea in#(untar!&im1in" &en)a1ia 'ier3inte!-uternic ce inun"a*
E( .i m/n0/ie 3ra)u( cu "e0etu( mare*Ea &e uit .n c$ii (ui*E( )/m3i .ncet %i .i
trecu mar0inea un0$iei -e&te 3u)a &u-eriar*Ea .( atin&e cu (im3a!"rnic & .(
0u&te!"ar e( .%i retra&e "e0etu(!m/n0/in"u2i 3r3ia*Ea &e ri"ic -e #/r'uri!iar e(
&rut u%r -e 3u)e!re-etat!re)i&t/n" m/ini(r ei!-/n c/n" ea &tri0 cu 'ru&trare*
2+att!&rut2m7E( r/&e u%r .n urec$ea!ei %i &tr/n&e mai tare .n 3ra1e*
2Nu am 'cut2 atunci!&-u&e e(*Jii minte6 Dra0nu( a a-rut -e #eran"*Iar eu
eram at/t "e excitat .nc/t "e a3ia -uteam 'ace un -a& 'r & &ct un 0eamt!"ar
am -(ecat*Ea r/&e*
2Ai -(ecat*Dar te2ai .ntr&*
2Damne!"a!)/m3i e(*8i a '&t ca acum***E( .i art c/t "e 3ine .%i amintea!
atin0/n"2 cu m/ini ex-erte!-(im3/n"u2%i 3u)e(e -e 0/tu( ei &-re 0u(er!-/n (a
umr*<i tra&e "e0ete(e .n 0ura (ui!unu( c/te unu(!-/n c/n" ea "e#eni ma(e!
tremur/n"!cer/n" mai mu(t*
2+att***+att***!'t ea!im-(r/n" &rutri!ace(e &rutri -r'un"e cu care
3i%nui&e*
2Cur/n"*A%tea-t*Ai r3"are!Dee*Ex-erien1a***ttu( cu mine!a%a cum a '&t!a%a
cum a '&t cu ni*E( .i (u m/na "e -e cea' %i i2 -u&e -e 0/t!-entru a2i &im1i
-u(&u( ra-i"!-uternic*
2Atin0e2m! &-u&e e(!a%a cum .i &-u&e&e & 'ac a(t "at*<n#a1 ceea ce tre3uie
& 'aci cu mine*La&2m & %tiu ce & 'ac cu tine*Te r0!Dee*Ea .nc$i&e c$ii %i
%-ti9
2Da***cu un 'tat (un0*O$!+att*+ 'aci & &imt at/tea*At/tea &en)a1ii -e care
(e2am uitat*
2E 3ine*Geamtu( -r'un"!&ati&'cut!"in urec$ea ei era ca recm-en&*A%a "e
3ine!3a3=***+ir&u( "e -m/nt %i '(ri tr-ica(e &e &im1ea -uternic*Ttu( era
(ini%tit .n 4uru( (r!cu exce-1ia r&u'(rii!a %a-te(r!a '/%/itu(ui m/ini(r -e
1e&turi!a 0uri(r -e -ie(e*Im-ermea3i(u( (ui c)u -e -"ea*Jac$eta ei .i urm*Ea
"e&c$i&e c$ii %i &e uit 1int ia e(*<%i a"u&e aminte "e cu#inte(e (ui "in &eri(e
trecute*:O & &a#ure)i 'iecare minut*A%a cum 3i%nuiam ni &***: A%a era*A%a
&im1ea*E( .i &rut -(ea-e(e .nc$i&e*
2Acce-t ceea ce &e .nt/m-( .ntre ni!Dee*Bucur2te "e a&ta .m-reun cu mine*
Nu #m mer0e a&t &ear mai "e-arte "ec/t #ei #rea tu*A&t &ear6 Dar .n
ce(e(a(te &eri6 Ea nu &e 0/n"i&e .nc (a a&ta*Va 'ace cum #a #rea e(!#a acce-ta***
5e #a 3ucura*Lumini(e erau &c)ute!mmente(e erau -re1ia&e!.n tim- ce
ex-(rau .m-reun &en)a1ie "u- &en)a1ie*5e au)i uri u%r )"rn0nit c/n"
cr"nu( ei c)u -e -"ea*A-i m/ini(e (ui erau -e &-ate(e ei 0(!-e &/nii ei!0ura
(ui a3&r3in" a"/nc!(im3a m/n0/in" carnea tare*Ex-eriment/n"***ttu(*Din nu*
Re.n#iin" trecutu(*Cre.n" -re)entu(*,c/n"u2( & c/nte*Nu &e 0/n"eau (a
#iitr!numai (a m/n0/ieri*Ea nu era &i0ur c/n" &e #a termina c(tria .n trecut
%i c/n" -re)entu( .i #a (ua (cu(!"ar c/n" ea tremura .n 3ra1e(e (ui!"u- ceea ce
-ru #e%nicie!+att .i ac-eri .n &'/r%it 0ura cu a (ui!"in nu*Ea 0emu "e
-(cere*Cu mi%care -uternic (im3a (ui .i "e&c$i&e 0ura!nucin"2*5e .nc(e%t
"e e(!.%i .n'i-&e un0$ii(e .n -ie(ea "e -e -ie-tu( (ui!-rintre na&turii -e care .i
"e&c$eia&e*Via mai mu(t!mu(t mai mu(t "in +att*Pie(ea ma(e!nete"!"e -e
ca&te tenta!a-i "e0ete(e ei &en&i3i(e .nce-ur & ex-(re)e mu%c$ii tari ce
mr0ineau c(ana #erte3ra(9In#a)ia ei .nt/(ni un im-e"iment! curea %i .ncerc
& &e &trecare!& treac "e ea!.n interir*Pa(me(e ei a(unecar mai 4& &-re
e(a&ticu( (en4eriei!care nu -re)enta un 3&tac(*E( 0emu %i ri"ic &-re e(!
.n"e-rt/n" trtura ace&tei atin0eri!a(unec/n"2 -e cr-u( (ui .n &u&!a&t'e( .nc/t
-iciare(e ei nu a#eau un"e mer0e!nu a#eau "e ce & &e -rin"!"ec/t "e
e(*<ncet!e( mi%c .n &u& %i .n 4&!'u&ta ei ri"ic/n"u2&e "in ce .n ce mai &u& -e
%("uri!-/n c/n" m/ini(e (ui!&u3 'e&e(e ei!nu erau "e&-r1ite "e -ie(ea ei "ec/t
"e mta&ea &u31ire a (en4eriei*Dee 0emu (a acea&t &en)a1ie incm-ara3i( a
-ru(ui &u "e -e -ie-t care .i 'reca &'/rcuri(e %i era -e -unctu( "e a atin0e
a-0eu(*+att 1inu nemi%cat*R&u'(area (ui &e au)i $rcin" a&-ru*
2+ai 3ine ne2am (ini%ti!&-u&e e( r0u%it*E( nu .i ""u "rumu( .nc!1in/n"2 .n
cntinuare!"e -arc ar 'i a%te-tat ca ea & acce-te &au***nu*
Ea %tia c nu ar 'i '&t ne#ie & .i &-un nici un cu#/nt care & .i in"ice c a
0re%it!c ;a &e (ini%ti: era u(timu( (ucru -e care %i (2ar 'i "rit*G mi%care "in
-artea ei ar 'i '&t &u'icient! a(t &rutare!-ate c$iar numai un 'tat!"ar
un"e#a .n interiru( ei &una a#erti)are*Pate aceea%i -e care au)i&e %i e(*Ea
nu .n1e(e0ea!"ar ce#a in&i&ta ttu%i & &e &u-un*
2Ai "re-tate!&-u&e ea .n &i(*Cu un 0eamt a"/nc e( -u&e "in nu -e -iciare %i
(& ca 'u&ta & ac-ere "in nu*<i -u&e &utienu( (a (c!.i tra&e -u(#eru( .n 4&
%i &ttu (ini%tit!1in/n"2 &tr/n&!.nc/t a3ia -utea re&-ira*Dar ea nu a#ea ne#ie "e
xi0en ca & tria&c*A#ea ne#ie numai "e +att!"e 3ra1e(e (ui!"e cr-u( (ui! "e
mir&u( (ui*8i amintiri(e*O!Damne!ace(e amintiri -uternice!-r#catare -e
care (e2au re.n#iat m/n0/ieri(e (r*A&ta era ceea ce .i &-unea a#erti)area*
<ncet!ea ""u (a -arte amintiri(e!-/n c/n" a#u numai -re)entu( cu care tre3uia
& &e cn'runte*8i #iitru( incert*E( .n"e-rt "e e(*Ea -ri#i 1int (a cma%a
(ui!cu na&turii "e&c$eia1i!&ca& "in -anta(ni*Panta(nii (ui erau -e 4umtate
"e&'cu1i*Ea a 'cut a&ta!(2a "e)3rcat -e 4umtate6 Bine.n1e(e& c ea a 'cut
a&ta*
De&tr3(are*P(cere*A%a cum numai +att ,ie"(er -utea 'ace & 'ie ca-a3i(*<%i
aminti &en)a1ia -ie(ii &a(e .ntin&e!ca("e!.n -a(me(e ei*5e uit .n &u& (a e(!c$ii (ui
erau um3ri1i*Era are &u-rat c acce-ta&e -r-unerea ei "e a &e -ri "u- ce au
mer& at/t "e "e-arte6 Era umi(it6 De)am0it6
E( .i ri"ic 3r3ia cu m/n mare!"uia& %i .i )/m3i*
2,a1a ta e&te .m3u4rat %i ra"ia&!&-u&e e(*Bu)e(e ta(e &unt um'(ate %i r%ii*<mi
-(ace & te #" c ar1i a&t'e( -entru mine*Ea nu -utea #r3i*E( .i urmri cnturu(
3u)e(r ume"e cu "e0etu(*
2Na-te 3un!Dee*Du(cea mea De(i0$t*Vi&ea)2m -e mine!nu mn%tri*O*I*6
2O*I*Dee ri"ic m/n %i .i atin&e 'a1a*8tia c .( #a #i&a*<n na-tea a&ta!na-tea
#iitare %i mu(te!mu(te a(te(e*8i a-i e( -(ec!(&/n" teri3i( &in0urtate .n
urma (ui*<n ace( mment Dee %tiu c nu #ia ca e( & -(ece "in nu "in #ia1a ei*<(
"rea***-e e(!cu m/n"ria (ui!cu tt*Pentru tt"eauna*5e a-(ec %i .%i ri"ic
cr"nu( "in )a(e!-un/n"u2( )n0nin" -e&te 3ra1*<ntre0u( ei cr- era &en&i3i(!era
-re0tit*O "urea*Iar +att -(eca&e*

CAPITOLUL R
Cu -ie(ea rcrit "u- "u%!.m3rcat .ntr2 cma% "e na-te "e mta&e!Dee
era .ntin& .n -at -ri#in" 'ix ta#anu(!0/n"in"u2&e (a ceea ce a '&t!.ntre3/n"u2&e
"ac #a 'i "in nu a&t'e( &au c$iar mai 3ine6 Erau am/n"i mai maturi!mai
ca-a3i(i & ia "eci)ii re)na3i(e*Era are %an& -entru ei6 5au -rice-erea ei era
(a 'e( "e "e'rmat "e em1ie a%a cum a '&t cu Ga#in65e r&uci .n -at %i -ri#i (a
't0ra'ia tat(ui ei care &e a'(a -e n-tier*Ar 'i "rit ca e( & 'ie ac( & .(
-at .ntre3a*De mu(te ri e( i2a "at r&-un&uri (a ce(e mai .ncurcate "i(eme a(e
#ie1ii %i a &'tuit2 & 'ie -uternic!& 'ie &i0ur!& nu 'ie re1inut "e "u3ii*
;Dac "re%ti ce#a!Dee2Dee!&-unea e( a"e&ea!atunci )3ate2te -entru a&ta*Nimeni
nu .1i -ate "a (ucruri(e -e care (e #rei!"e care ai ne#ie!mai 3ine ca tine
.n&1i*Pentru c nimeni nu %tie ce e&te mai -tri#it -entru tine*:
Dac2ar 'i ac(!ar a#ea are ace(ea%i re)er#e neex-rimate -e care (e2a a#ut c/n"
i (2a -re)entat -e Ga#in6 Ea a &im1it ace(e ne.ncre"eri!"e%i nu au '&t ex-rimate
.n cu#inte*A #)ut a&ta .n cm-rtamentu( (ui 'r1at!-recum %i .n ce( a( mamei
&a(e!'a1 "e 3r3atu( -e care .( a(e&e&e Dee*Dar!.ntruc/t era a(e0erea ei!nici unu(
nu .%i "ec(ara&e re)er#e(e*O$!mama ei 'cu&e une(e 3&er#a1ii!"ar .ntt"eauna cu
un )/m3et -e 3u)e!ca %i cum "e'ecte(e (ui Ga#in ar 'i tre3uit -ri#ite "re-t ce#a
.nc/nttr*Ae(en nu (2ar 'i criticat -e 3r3atu( -e care 'iica ei .( "rea*
Acum Dee .( "rea -e +att*Damne!c/t "e mu(t .( "rea*8tia c %i e( "rea*
Dac ea (2ar 'i in#itat!e( ar 'i '&t acum cu ea .n ace&t -at!'c/n" "ra0&te cu ea*
5rutri(e (ui nu min1eau*Nici tru-u( &u!care &e cu'un"a .n -a&iune ri "e c/te
ri erau unu( .n 3ra1e(e ce(ui(a(t*Dar***e( "ri&e %i .nainte!nu2i a%a6 8i -(eca&e*
Ea -ri#i (a ima0inea u%r )/m3itare a tat(ui &u!amintin"u2%i "e ce +att
-r&i&e acum 1N ani*Dearece era cine era*Dearece!.n tim- ce -ate e( era
-tri#it -entru ea!.n &c$im3 ea nu era -tri#it -entru e(*Dar a&ta a '&t atunci!.%i
&-u&e ea*Acum e&te acum*E( are acum tta( .ncre"ere .n maturitatea (ui*De "ata
a&ta!#a -ermite e( are ca &itua1ia ei & .( a(un0e6*
Ea nu a recun&cut -r'un"e(e (ui &entimente "e nea"a-tare atunci c/n" erau (a
c(e0iu!nu %i2a "at &eama cum -)i1ia tat(ui &u!tit(u( rar '(&it a( mamei
&a(e!a#erea 'ami(iei tre3uie &2( 'i intimi"at*Ea (2a cn&i"erat -e +att "e ne.n#in&
%i -entru c nu i2a cun&cut #u(nera3i(itatea!nu a .n1e(e& %i a 'cut 0re%e(i care i2
au c&tat &cum- -e am/n"i*Nu #a re-eta ace&te 0re%e(i*Dar "ac #a 'ace
a(te(e!#r a#ea ace(a%i e'ect "e#a&tatr a&u-ra 3r3atu(ui care era e( acum6 Un
3r3at care ar -utea nu numai & &e men1in .n rice &trat a( &ciet1ii "ar %i
;%tia: c -ate6;D3ate2te*Nimeni nu .1i -ate 31ine (ucruri(e "e care ai
ne#ie!mai 3ine "ec/t -1i 'ace tu .n&1i*: Cu#inte(e tat(ui &u*
8i ce(e a(e (ui +att9 ;Nu #a 'i nici &e"ucere!Dee*C/n" #ei #eni (a mine! #ei
'ace "e 3un#ie!"e&c$i& .nainte "e -rimu( &rut:*Nu a '&t c$iar a%a*52au
&rutat*8i iar*Dar a-i!e( a .ntreru-t ttu(!(&/n"2 -e ea & "eci"*Dac #a mer0e
(a e( acum!#a 'i "e 3un#ie!"e&c$i&!&au #a 'i "eci)ie 3a)at -e ne#ia "e
&ati&'ac1ie &exua(6Da!-a&iunea .nc era -uternic*Dar %i "ra0&tea*8i ea era
-r'un"*Cu m/na tremur/n" ri"ic rece-tru( %i 'rm numru(!a-i ceru
camera (ui +att*E( r&-un&e (a -rimu( a-e(!#ii!ca %i cum %i e( ar 'i &tat .ntin&!
trea)!0/n"in"u2&e*5au -ate a%te-t/n" un a-e( te(e'nic*A( ei*
2+2am $tr/t & mer0 m/ine (a ?$i&t(er!&-u&e ea re-e"e!.nainte "e a2%i
&c$im3a $tr/rea*Trecu un mment (un0*Ea a&cu(ta mu)ica -(ii c)/n" -e
tera& %i a-i &e au)i un -cnit -e (inia te(e'nic!"u- care #ce ciu"at!
tremurat!.n urec$i(e ei*
2E&te in#ita1ie!Dee6Era 0reu & #r3ea&c cu inima care .i 3tea cu -utere .n
0/t!"ar reu%i & &-un9
2Da*Acce-1i6

+att tra#er& $(u( ac-erit cu -arc$et %i -u&e 4& 3a0a4u(*Pri#i .n 4ur (a acea&t
;minu&cu(: ca& "e #acan1 -e care Dee cum-ra&e -entru a .nce-e #ia1a "e
'emeie mritat*A-artamentu( ei!cu &(aru( "e (a intrare! cm3ina1ie "e m3i(
m"ern %i antic %i cu -)i1ia &a &u-er3!#r3ea "e&-re a#ere "e 0enera1ii %i
cn'rt maxim -entru care nu &e cru1a&e nici un e'rt*Dar nu era un (c "e&e3it
"e mare*Nici nu &e a%te-ta&e & 'ie*Era "e a(t'e( ca&a unei 'emei &in0ure*
Dar ;a&ta:7 A&ta!(a care ea &e re'eri&e ca (a ;(c%ru(: "e (a ?$i&t(er!ar 'i cu-rin&
trei "in a-artamente(e ei "in Vancu#er %i cam 4umtate "e "u)in "in
0ar&niere(e -e care +etcm (e -u&e&e (a "i&-)i1ie -entru e( (a Trnt*Ea
.m-reun cu 3r3atu( cu care urma & &e mrite -r3a3i( c inten1inau &
-rimea&c mu(1i a&-e1i*5au inten1inau & ai3 'ami(ie numera&
.m-reun*5tmacu( i &e cri&-*<n camera mare!cu "u tre-te mai 4& "ee.t
intrarea!&e .ntin"ea (uxuriant mc$et -e care +att -utu numai .ntre)ri
-/n c/n" Dee c3r. %i tra&e "ra-erii(e crem*Lumina inun"a -rin 'ere&tre(e
.na(te c/t "u eta4e!care 'ereau -ri#e(i%te &-ectacu(a& a unui r%e( "e
munte*Ta#anu( ca "e cate"ra( c-tu%it cu (emn "e ce"ru n"ur& &e .n(1a!cu un
#/r' a&cu1it (a mi4(c*+att urm -e Dee .n camer*Du u%i &u0erau
"rmitare(e "e (a eta4*Pe -artea -u&!acce&i3i( -rin u%i(e "e (a 3a(cn!era
tera& .ntin& ac-erit cu )-a"*Acea&ta mer0ea .n tre-te &-re un r/u(e1
ac-erit "e 0$ea1*Pe trea-ta cea mai "e &u& &e a'(a &aun .nc-tare*
ac-erit "e -tur 0ra& "e )-a"*<n interir!0ru-uri "e m3i(ier cu -ie(e
ma(e %i -erne #iu c(rate!interca(ate "e -(ante cu 'run)e (ate creau am3ian1
-(cut -entru cn#er&a1ii intime*O -ianin era a%e)at .ntr2un c(1*Patrn/n"
ttu( "intr2 -)i1ie "e nare "ea&u-ra unui %emineu "e -iatr ma&i#!'(ancat "e
ra'turi cu cr1i!&e a'(a un -rtret a( tat(ui (ui Dee!.ntr2 uni'rm care -r3a3i(
era cea "e am3a&a"r*+att &e c$irci .n interir (a acea&t reamintire a trecutu(ui
cm3inat cu e#i"en1a c(ar %i actua( a -r-a&tiei "intre e( %i Dee*: Greutatea
"i'eren1e(r (r 'inanciare c)u -e umerii (ui ca $ain rece!u"!-e care cre"ea
c a .n"e-rtat2*Gre%i&e*Ar 'i "rit & nu 'i #enit*+ai 'cu un tur %i #eni .n 'a1a
ei*Oc$ii ei erau -ru"en1i!aten1i!0ura .i era .ncr"at*E( reu%i un r/& &curt!
necn#in0tr*
2 Deci a&ta e&te ceea ce nume%ti ;un (c%r:6Ea ri"ic "in umeri!-e care erau
-un0i cu cum-rturi*
2Ei 3ine!&-u&e ea!e&te mrime re)na3i(*A&ta 'ace ca& mai***cm-(ex!nu
cre)i6E( a#u #i)iunea unr mari -etreceri!cu 3r3a1i e(e0an1i %i 'emei &r3in"
%am-anie %i ciu0u(in" a-eriti#e!"u- )i -e -/rtii(e "e &c$i*Oameni crra e( nu
(e #a a-ar1ine nici"at*Pr3a3i( .n a&t'e( "e ca)ii #a 'i un 3uctar %i un c$e(ner
(a 3uctrie %i c/te#a 'ete .n uni'rm*Dac a '&t -(ani'icat 'ami(ie
numera&!c-iii ar 'i '&t -r3a3i( 1inu1i "e-arte!a&t'e( .nc/t & nu mur"rea&c
-er'ec1iunea "ecra1iei -r'e&ina(e a c#are(r a(3e!-ie(ea 0ri2 -er(e %i (emnu(
"e &te4ar &(i"!"e cu(area mierii*Cm-(ex6 Era are e( &u'icient "e cm-(ex &
"e-%ea&c um3re(e trecutu(ui &au &2%i cu-e (cu( -e care &tu"ii(e %i inte(i0en1a
i (e2au cn'erit6 Cu &en)a1ie ciu"at!-e&imi&t!e( .nce-u & ai3 &eria&e "u3ii
"in nu*<%i aminti "e 'e(u( .n care -rin1ii (ui .%i -rimeau a&-e1ii9 &&uri
-icante!c$i(i %i 3ere*8i 'e(u( .n care mtu%a %i unc$iu( (ui!-recum %i cei cinci
c-ii au #enit & -etreac #acan1e(e "e #ar .m-reun cu 'ami(ia (ui*
2Cre" c e&te cm-(ex!'unc1ina(!&-u&e e(!.ncerc/n" & ai3 umr*G/n"e%te2te
numai (a &acii "e "rmit care &e -t .ntin"e aici -e -"eaua "in (i#in0!c/n" #a
&&i ceat "e a&-e1i*Dee c(i-i (a nta "e irnie "in #cea (ui*De cine .%i 3tea
4c!"e ea2&au "e e( .n&u%i65e uit (a 'a1a (ui!.i #)u ex-re&ia .ntunecat*Acea&t
e#i"en1 a 3un&trii ei 'inanciare (2a 'cut & &e &imt "in nu amenin1at*La
nai3a7 Ar 'i #rut & nu .( 'i a"u& ac(*Putea #e"ea c &e .nt/m-(a "in nu*A&ta .(
#a mcina!.i #a "i&tru0e .ncre"erea .n &ine %i "ac #r 'i "in nu .m-reun!.n
'ina( e( #a -r&i "in nu*Dac e( nu #a -utea acce-ta rea(itatea #ie1ii ei!ea nu
#a -utea 'ace nimic &2( -rea&c!nu #a a#ea nici un atu .n -(u& 'a1 "e acum
trei&-re)ece ani*Inima ei &e 'r/n&e c/n" #)u reticen1a cu care e( -ri#i (a
-rtretu( tat(ui ei!0ura (ui 'iin" &c$imn&it .ntr2 (inie "urera&*
2Aai"e!&-u&e ea &curt!&c$im3/n"u2%i "e"at inten1ii(e .n (e0tur cu re)u(tatu(
-&i3i( a( ace&tui Mee@en" cu +att*Vr &c$ia %i a&ta #a 'i tt*Va &c$ia -/n c/n"
#a 'i 0ata & ca"*A(t'e(!tim-u( -etrecut .m-reun #a 'i in&u-rta3i(*
2Aai"e!&-u&e ea "in nu*<1i #i arta camera ta*
Camera (ui6 +att .i arunc -ri#ire tcmai (a tim- & #a" -e Dee -(ec/n"*E(
.%i .nc(e%t maxi(are(e cu mirare*Oare a citit 0re%it in#ita1ia 'cut6
<n m" e#i"ent*E( urc ce(e "u tre-te %i #ru & ia ce(e "u 0en1i*Cu
.n4urtur .n &ur"in e( .%i a-uc 0eanta (ui %i .ncerc & ia %i -e a ei*Ea %i2
ri"ica&e "e4a*
2Pe aici!&-u&e ea!art/n"u2i "rumu( "e2a (un0u( unui cri"r "e&c$i& ce .ncn4ura
camera "e )i %i "in care &e "e&c$i"eau mai mu(te u%i*Ea .i .ntin&e -un0i(e cu
cum-rturi cn1in/n" ec$i-ament nu "e &c$i %i &e ""u .na-i & .( (a&e &
intre*Era un "rmitr mare!.n&rit!cu un -at ac-erit cu cu#ertur a(3a&tru2
<nc$i& cu 0ri*Re'(ectat .n "u(a-u( cu u%i "e 0(in"!camera -rea "u3( ca
"imen&iune %i +att 3&er# camer "e 3a(e c$iar (/n0 "u(a-*Era &i0ur c tate
"rmitare(e "in acea&t ca& erau ec$i-ate a&t'e(*C/te r 'i6 Cinci6 8a&e6
La 'e( cu camera mare %i acea&ta a#ea un %emineu "e -iatr!"e%i era ce#a mai
mic*Era camer 3r3tea&c!"e&tinat .n m" c(ar mu&a'iri(r ma&cu(ini*8i (a
'e( "e c(ar era c e( urma & &tea ac(*5in0ur*
2Cre" c a&ta & 1i &e -tri#ea&c!&-u&e ea 'rma(*+ai &unt %i a(te camere "e
a&-e1i!a%a c "ac cn&i"eri c acea&ta nu e&te &u'icient "e cn'rta3i(!-1i &
a(e0i -e ricare "e -e ace&t eta4*,ata "i-(matu(ui 'erin" &-ita(itate unui
re-re)entant -u1in "rit a( unui &tat ne-rieten7E( .i -rin&e -ri#irea .n 0(in"*
De%i )/m3ea!c$ii ei a#eau c("ura unui cer "e niem3rie!iar mra(u( .i &c)u
c$iar mai mu(t*
2De ce nu te &c$im3i6 &u0er ea*Am & 'ac %i eu ace(a%i (ucru %i ne .nt/(nim 4&
.n )ece minute*Cu a&ta!.%i (u -r-riu( 0eamantan %i "i&-ru -e &cri!(&/n"u21
-e +att & &e .ntre3e ce anume &2a .nt/m-(at .ntre atm&'era #e&e( %i r/&u( "in
ma%in %i atm&'era "e aici!c/n" au intrat .n acea&t camer*
,ru&trarea .( ar"ea -e "inuntru ca un aci"*O "rea -e Dee*O "rea ca(" %i
'(exi3i( .n 3ra1e(e &a(e!a%a cum a '&t .n ace(e c/te#a minute minunate!&eara
trecut*8i e( &2a cn#in& c in#ita1ia ei "e a #eni cu ea .n&emna c ea .( "rea (a
'e( "e mu(t*Ea 'u&e&e (a 'e( "e excitat ca e( #ineri na-tea*A&ta era #i)i3i( .n
c$ii ei!tan0i3i( .n "uritatea &'/rcuri(r!&e&i)a3i( .n tremuru( #cii*A '&t c$iar un
ecu a( ace&tui tremur r mai t/r)iu c/n" i2a te(e'nat ca &2( in#ite
ac(*O$!"a Dee .( "ri&e (a 'e( "e mu(t cum "rea e(*Deci ce &2a .nt/m-(at
0re%it .ntre atunci %i acum6Drumu( a '&t -(cere!cu mu(t r/&!cn#er&a1ie
#iaie!amintiri care ie%eau (a &u-ra'a1 cu 'iecare r/u(e1 "e munte .n0$e1at -e
care .( tra#er&au "u- &&ire*
+att 0emu u%r c/n" &e (& & ca" .ntr2un &caun cu -(u% a(3a&tru "in 'a1a
%emineu(ui %i .%i tra&e ci)me(e*Ace(e -rime mmente "u- &&ire!a &tat uit/n"u2
&e .n 4uru( (ui ca un 0ur2ca&c!re&-in0/n" trecutu( ei!&itua1ia ei materia(
actua(!&im4in"u2&e ca un #r &rac "e (a 1ar*
<%i 'rec "e0ete(e mari "e (a -iciare!a-i .%i &ca&e cira-ii*La nai3a!"e ce are
nu a '&t -re0tit menta( %i em1ina( -entru un a&t'e( "e (c!-e care e#i"ent c
ea .( "e1inea .ntr2una "intre ce(e mai &cum-e &ta1iuni "in 1ar6
52a 0/n"it are (a Dee ca (a ;"e1intare "e ma0a)in:!a%a cum &2a "e&cri& ea
.n&%i!(ucru care ar 'i a-r-iat2 "e -r-ria (ui &tare materia(6 52a 0/n"it e( are
c ceea ce 'cea ea era mai mu(t "ec/t & "e1in numai un (an1 "e 3uti20ue2uri6
Bine.n1e(e& c nu7 Dar &itua1ia &cia( %i 'inanciar nu ar mai tre3ui & cn&tituie
un &u3iect "e "i&cu1ie .ntre ei*E( .%i -ri#i -iciare(e 0a(e!a-i &e uit (a un
ta3(u "e R3ert Bateman!ce .n'1i%a un (u- 0ri!-ri#in" a(ert!"in um3ra unei
-"uri*A#ea %i e( aca& "u ta3(uri "e Bateman %i unu( "e Remin0tn!-e care
.( -re1uia .n m" "e&e3it*O$!(a nai3a!(a ce &e 0/n"ea e( are6 Ac$i)i1ii(e nu
erau im-rtante*5e 4u"eca -e &ine "in -unctu( "e #e"ere a( re#er&u(ui ace(ei Dee
&na3e!-e care ei "ete&ta*De)0u&tat "e e( .n&u%i "e a &e 'i -urtat ca un ne3un!&e
ri"ic!.%i "e)3rc $aine(e!(e at/rn .n "e3araua .nc-tare %i .%i &ca&e "in
0eant $aine(e "e &c$i*De&-turin" un -u(#er a(3!.( tra&e -e e(*Tre3uia & &e
0r3ea&c*Tre3uia & &e -re0tea&c & "ea "in nu c$ii cu ea*8i c/n" &e #a
.nt/m-(a!.i #a arta c e( nu #a -ermite ca trecutu( & .i &t-/nea&c!-e nici unu(
"in ei*8i "ac .i #a (ua tim- & cn#in0!#a '(&i c/t tim- #a 'i nece&ar*
Dar!.ntr2un 'e( &au a(tu(!e( %i Dee ,arri& #r 'i "in nu .m-reun*+ai "e#reme
&au mai t/r)iu!&e #a .nt/m-(a*Putea numai & &-ere c #a 'i mai cur/n"*
Dee .nc$i&e u%a "rmitru(ui*5e &-ri4ini "e ea!(&/n" & ca" cu )0mt .n3u%it
0eamantanu(!-e c#ru( 0r& "e cu(are r) "e&c$i&*Camera arta exact cum
arta&e c/n" a #)ut2 -entru u(tima ar acum cinci ani!cu -atu( cu 3a("ac$in
im-rimat cu un mti# '(ra( r)!crem %i #er"e!(a 'e( ca "ra-erii(e %i cu#ertura*Era
camer -e care "ecra&e & .i 'ac -(cere!nu cea mai mare "in ca&!"ar .ntru
ttu( "e(icat!intim %i -rimitare*Era camera ei*
Ca&a 'u&e&e "e&tinat .n m" &-ecia( -entru Ga#in*Ea a a(e&e&e!"e%i era -rea
mare -entru ne#i(e (r!-entru c %tia c/t -(cere .i #a 'ace atm&'era ei*Nici
m"e&tia nici m"era1ia nu erau #irtu1i -e care e( inten1ina & (e -ractice "u-
ce &2ar 'i c&trit cu Dee*E( &2a 3ucurat 'arte mu(t "e -re&ti0iu( &cia( -e care .(
a"ucea &itua1ia ei %i 0enu( "e cun%tin1e2-e care e( .i numea ;-rieteni:2care
#eneau a-ra-e autmat .m-reun cu -)i1ia ei "e 'iic a -rin1i(r ei*Pentru
Ga#in era -a(-itant m"u( "e "i&trac1ie &tr(ucitr -e care t1i amenii 30a1i .(
-racticau!ace&ta 'iin" -entru ei un (ucru "e (a &ine .n1e(e&*De%i nu era 0enu( "e
#ia1 a(e& "e Dee!ea ar 'i '&t "e acr"!"e "ra0u( (ui*
Ga#in***E( era .nc/ntat & .ntre1in re(a1ii cu ameni -(itici!&criitri!arti%ti %i a(1i
inte(ectua(i!-e care .i cn&i"era e0a(i cu e( %i ea %tia c/t "e m/n"ru ar 'i '&t e( &
.i in#ite .ntr2un a&t'e( "e (c*Cun%tin1a cu ace%ti ameni %i 'a-tu( "e a 'i .n
a&emenea re(a1ii cu ei!.n a%a 'e(!.nc/t & (e &trecare2.nt/m-(tr2nume(e .n
artic(u( "e 'n"!(a re#i&ta (ui!ar 'i &-rit cn&i"era3i( tira4u(!"u- -rerea (ui*
Dee tra#er& camera %i tra&e "ra-erii(e!-ri#in" &-re 3a(cnu( un"e "at #i&a&e
& a"mire r&ritu( "e &are %i & ia micu( "e4un cu Ga#in!.n tim-u( #erii!a-u&uri
"e &are %i &ruturi care & "uc (a (un0i n-1i*&en)ua(e!tt tim-u( anu(ui*
De%i ea &2a artat 0ata &2i recuna&c ten"in1e(e "e a&cen&iune &cia(!a&ta nu a
'cut2 & .( iu3ea&c mai -u1in*Era -ur %i &im-(u 'e(u( (ui "e a 'i*A&ta a creat .n
ea tan"re1e -entru e( care atin0ea mi(a*Cre"ea c e( are ne#ie "e ea*
8i a&ta a '&t ce#a ce ce((a(t iu3it a( ei i2a "#e"it c(ar c nu*+att*G/t(e4u( i &e
.nc(e%t*5e (& & ca" .ntr2un &caun (/n0 u%a tera&ei!-ri#in" a'ar "in a(t un0$i
"ec/t ce( "in (i#in0*Du -ri#e(i%ti at/t "e "e&e3ite "in aceea%i ca& erau ca
cntra"ic1ie!(a 'e( cum cei "i 3r3a1i au 4ucat 'iecare un im-rtant r( .n #ia1a
ei*Aici!mun1i .m-"uri1i!.n)-e)i1i!cu -i&curi "e 0$ea1 .n( /n"u2&e mu(t
"ea&u-ra (iniei c-aci(rK ma&i#i %i &(3atici!"e -arc ci#i(i)a1ia &2ar 'i a'(at (a
mii "e mi(e "e-rtare*Ac(! #a(e .ntin& un"e un &at a-ra-e "e#eni&e un
r%e(!un"e (umini(e &tr(uceau .n na-te!iar (cuitrii (ui tem-rari arareri
"rmeau*Ga#in!recun&cu ea acum cu c(aritate!nu ar 'i '&t nici"at mu(1umit
cu a-u&ur!cu r&rituri "e &are!&au cu ea*E( &2ar 'i a'(at -rintre aceia -entru care
& "rmi e&te -ier"ere "e tim-*Trecutu(2%i un 3r3at care a r/#nit 301ia ei!
care &2ar 'i .n&urat cu ea -entru a cuceri*8i -re)entu(2un 3r3at care nu ar
-(utea 'i cum-rat nici"at!un 3r3at care a -ermi& "at ca 301ia & &a-e
-r-a&tie .ntre ei*E(!"e&i0ur!era ce( -e care .( "ri&e mai mu(t "ec/t rice*
Acea ex-re&ie teri3i( "e c$in "e -e 'a1a (ui +att c/n" a #)ut -rtretu( tat(ui
ei7Era 'r &-eran1!t/n4in" "u- ce#a trainic .ntre ei*8i 'r #iitr -entru re(a1ia
(r!-utea ea -ermite ca ace&t Mee@en" & ia cur&u( -e care .( inten1ina&e6 Va 'i
&u'icient un Mee@en"6Dee .%i .n0r- 'a1a .n m/ini*Nici"at*
Dac nu ar 'i '&t -ictura aceea care &2i reamintea&c (ui +att "e tt ceea ce e( a
re&-in& "in #ia1a ei*+ama ei i2( "rui&e ca un ca"u -entru ca& nu*
;Ca un ca"u -renu-1ia(:!&-u&e&e ea!cu c(i-ire "in c$i*:Pentru tine!nu -entru
Ga#in:*Una "in -u1ine(e ca)ii .n care Ae(en ,arri& a (&at &2i &ca-e -inie
mai -u1in 'a#ra3i( "e&-re (0"nicu( (ui Dee a '&t atunci c/n" Ga#in a 'cut
3&er#a1ia c arti&tu( nu (2a 'cut -e tat( (ui Dee & -ar &u'icient "e ;art&:*
Pate c -rtretu( nu i2a exa0erat tr&turi(e ce(e mai a&-ectua&e!"ar arti&tu(
reu%i&e & -rin" ce#a "in -r'un)imea (ui inte(ectua(!"in tria (ui "e
caracter*Dee 1inea (a e( -entru c )u0r#ea mu( "in interir mai mu(t "ec/t
ima0inea ra'inat!ur3an!care .( re-re)enta -e tat( &u ca -er&an -u3iic*<n
ca)ia re&-ecti# Ae(en i2a murmurat (ui Dee c ;3iatu(: era (a 'e( "e ;-r'un"
ca cu- Dixie:*Dee 'u&e&e "e a&emenea &i(it & nu .( &u-ere -e Ga#in "u- un
.ntre0 Mee@en" .n care (a 'iecare 'ra) .i &-unea mamei &a(e ;La"= Ae(en: %i
a-r3a tt ceea ce &-unea ea &au &1u( ei*
<n (e0tur cu -rtretu(!mama ei &-u&e&e9 ;Dac e&te #r3a "e ca&!c/n" .( iei
ac( -entru -rima "at!ce -ate &-une6 Nu m "eran4ea) & 1i2( "au "u-
c&trieK nu #reau & &e &-un c &unt a&t'e( "e &acr*:
Du- cum &2au .ntr& (ucruri(e!ea nu a mai '&t nici un 'e( "e &acr*<n &c$im3 a
"e#enit #"u#K Dee!a'(/n" "e&-re martea tat(ui &u!nu a mai "e#enit mirea&a
(ui Ga#in*Ea rm&e&e cu &eria&e .n"ie(i .n (e0tur cu -r-ria ei -rice-ere!
.n"ie(i care cntinuau & 3&e"e)e!a%a cum &e .nt/m-(a %i cu amintiri(e -e
care #ia & (e %tear0*<m3rcat .n $aine(e "e &c$i!Dee "e&c$i&e u%a .ncet %i
tra&e 0a(eria ca & -ri#ea&c .n 4& .n camera cea mare "e )i*+att &ttea .n 'a1a
'ere&trei!cu m/ini(e .n 3u)unare*O ra) "e &are .i 'cea -ru( .nc$i& & -ar
armiu*<i cntura 'rma umeri(r &u3 -u(#eru( a(3!-recum %i %("uri(e .n0u&te
.n -anta(nu( "e &c$i "e cu(are .nc$i&*Aanracu( (ui r%u era aruncat -e un
&caun!'c/n" ca .nc-erea & -ar -entru -rima ar (cuin1*
Ea -ri#i (a -rtretu( tat(ui ei!care -rea & .( &tr'u(0ere)e cu -ri#irea -e +att!(a
'e( ca ea*;Un ti- "intr2 3ucat: a &-u& e( "e&-re +att "u- &in0ura %i &curta
.nt/(nire care a a#ut (c*:Are &tr/n0ere "e m/n care in&-ir .ncre"ere:*Dac
-rin1ii ei ar 'i 0$icit re(a1ia ei cu e(!nu (2ar 'i acce-tat nici"at*
Ce ar 0/n"i acum Linc(n ,arri& "e&-re +att6 Lacrimi(e 'ceau & "ar 0/tu(*
A#ea at/ta ne#ie "e .n1e(e-ciunea tat(ui eiK (i-&a tat(ui era ca ran mare!
"e&c$i&!care nu &e #a .nc$i"e nici"at!iar re#enirea .n acea&t ca& 'cu&e & &e
%tear0 -atina -e care trecerea tim-u(ui -u&e&e*De -arc ar 'i &im1it -re)en1a
ei!+att &a .ntar&e %i &e uit .n &u& (a ea*E( )/m3i*Dee 'cu un e'rt &
.n"e-rte)e tri&te1ea %i c3r. &cri(e*
2E&te ca& 'ruma&!&-u&e +att .ntin)/n" m/n &-re ea %i c$em/n"2 &-re
(cu( un"e &ttea e(*+u(1ume&c -entru in#ita1ie*Ea -ru & nu #a" m/na (ui*
2E%ti 3ine#enit*Tnu( ei era -(itic& %i neutru!'arte -(cut!"ar c$ii ei erau (a
'e( "e -ru"en1i ca aceia ai (u-u(ui "in ta3(u( (ui Bateman*Cn%tiin1a (ui .(
)0/n"rea cu 0$eare mari "e re0ret -entru cm-rtamentu( &u anterir*
2E&te un -rtret 'rum& a( tat(ui tu*Cine (2a 'cut6Pri#irea (ui Dee &e .n"re-t
&-re -ictur*
2+ar0arete Gen"rn!(a Viena*
2Ac( a '&t trimi& tat( tu "u- Ln"ra6
2Da*Tnu( (ui Dee era cnci&*Era c(ar c nu "rea & "i&cute cu e( "e&-re tat( ei*
2+er0em!&-u&e ea!.ntrc/n"u2&e 3ru&c!"ar nu .nainte ca +att & #a" &tr(ucirea
(acrimi(r .n c$ii ei*E( .i a-uc m/na %i tra&e cu 'a1a &-re e(!.i ri"ic 3r3ia!
a"uc/n"u2%i aminte ce &-u&e&e!anume c &e a'ia .n acea&t ca& c/n" a a'(at
#e&tea "e&-re martea tat(ui ei*
2Dee***E&te -rea "urer& & te a'(i "in nu aici6 .1i tre)e%te amintiri tri&te6 .ntre3
e( 3(/n"*Bu)a ei in'eriar era u%r mai -reminent*Br3ia ei a#u )#/cnire
.nc- /nat c/n" %i2 &mu(&e "intre "e0ete(e (ui*C(i-i "in c$i ra-i"!.ncerc/n"
& )/m3ea&c cu &enintate*
2Nu*E&te .n r"ine!in&i&t ea!"ar e( %tia c nu e&te*Ea &e &tr"uia &2%i men1in
ca(mu(*E( -ri#i (un0*
2+incina&!&-u&e e( 3(/n"!a-i .%i &trecur m/na -e 3ra1u( ei!-e&te umr!-entru
a2%i "i$ni -a(ma -e cea'a ei*Pie(ea ei era ca(" %i &im1i cum c("ura ei i &e
tran&mitea %i (ui*Oare ei i &e -rea ca("6 .i 'cea -(cere atin0erea (ui6 .i
"i&-(cea6.i cercet 'a1a*Via & cn&(e)e!& .i .n"e-te)e "urerea care .i
.ncn4ura ca ni%te cu3uri "e 0$ea1 inima*E( .%i -ier"u&e mama*8tia cum e&te*
2De ce nu am -(eca .n a(t -arte!Dee6 &u0er e(*5unt "e&tu(e $te(uri*C$iar a(te
&ta1iuni*Nici nu tre3uie & mer0em (a &c$i*Nu #reau & 'ii aici "ac a&ta .1i
-r#ac "urere*
2Nu*E( #)u cum .n0$ite!a-ra-e -utea &im1i .nc(e%tarea "in 0/tu( ei*Era
arecare "i&-erare .n tnu( ei c/n" &-u&e9
2+att!$ai & mer0em & &c$iem*Pentru un mment e( a-ra-e ce"!"ar a-i .%i
""u &eama c nu -utea (&a (ucruri(e a%a*O cun%tea*Dac ar 'i mer& -e -/rtie
a%a cum era!ne'ericit %i ten&inat!.ncerc/n" & &e 'erea&c "e e(!"e ea .n&%i!#a
&'/r%i -rin a &e acci"enta!mai a(e& "u- cinci ani "e -au) "e &c$iat*
2+er0em! a&i0ur e(*<ntr2un minut!a"u0 e( trec/n"u2i m/na -e &u3 -r*Dar
mai .nainte tre3uie & 'ac a&ta*Ea nu re)i&t c/n" e( tra&e a-ra-e!.i ri"ic 'a1a
%i &e a-(ec & &rute -e 3u)e*
2A%a!&-u&e e(*Un &rut -entru #in"ecare*Ea -ri#i at/t "e inten& (a $anracu(
(ui!.nc/t e( .nce-u & &e .ntre3e "ac nu cum#a (&a&e etic$eta cu -re1u( &2i
at/rne "e 'ermar!a-i ea .%i .n(1 -ri#irea!%i .i trimi&e .ncercare "e )/m3et*
2A-ra-e c .mi "re&c & nu ai a3i(itatea "e a m citi at/t "e 3ine*
2A a#ut e'ect &rutu(6 .ntre3 e(*Te &im1i mai 3ine6Ea .n0$i1i #i)i3i(!a-i c(tin
ca-u(*
2Pate***-ate .ncerci "in nu6E( r/&e u%r!.nc/ntat %i "e-u&e un nu &rut -e
3u)e(e e(*Ace&tea erau -u1in 3&um'(ate %i e( "e a3ia &e a31inu & nu (e mu%te*
Dar a&ta ar 'i &ati&'cut "rin1 a (ui*Drin1e(e ei erau a(te(e acum*8i a&tea erau
.n c(i-a "e 'a1 -re"minante*E( .i )/m3i*Era at/t "e 'ruma& .ntr2un $anrac "e
&c$i r%u cu ne0ru %i -anta(ni &u-rae(a&tici ne0ri!.nc/t ar 'i -utut -)a -entru
rec(ame "e ca3ane "e &c$i*Pru( ei ca&taniu at/rna (i3er -e umeri!n"u(/n"u2&e
u%r*O cciu( a(3 era -rin& &u3 e-(etu7 "e -e umru( &tin0*+nu%i(e .i ie%eau
"in 3u)unare*
2<nc unu(6 .ntre3 e(*Ca &cu)e centru 'e(u( mi)era3i( .n care m2am -urtat c/n"
am intrat aici6Ea .i &tu"ie c$ii un (un0 mment!a-i .i )/m3i*
2Nu tre3uie & te &cu)i*<1i .n1e(e0 reac1ia!+att*E( a-r3 "in ca-**
2Ai a#ut .ntt"eauna &im1 "e 3&er#a1ie!a%a c nu &unt &ur-rin& c ai .n1e(e&*Dar
%tiu c nu 1i2a -(cut*
2La nai3a!nu mi2a -(cut7
2Nu*Din nu &tr(ucire "e (acrimi a-ru .n c$ii ei*
2+att***nu m -t a31ine*Nu m -t a31ine & 'iu cine &unt*Ea &e .ntre3 "ac &
.i &-un "e&-re Ac#iunile Ambasadei!-artea ei!"e&-re #enitu( "in ace&tea -e care
nu .( atin&e&e nici"at -entru c -re'era&e & tria&c "in ce c/ ti0a &in0ur*
Da*erau ac( %i ca rice ca-ita(!c/ ti0au 0reutate .nainte "e a -utea a(ctui
'ra) cerent!+att &-u&e9
28tiu a&ta*E( re&-ira a"/nc*Iar eu nu2mi -t &t-/ni reac1ii(e*
2Da*Or0(iu( tu*U%r ea .%i trecu "&u( -a(mei -e&te 3ra)u( (ui*Nu am #rut
nici"at & "i&tru0 a&ta*La atin0erea ei!(a &unetu( #cii ei ca("e!.( &tr'u(0er un
curent "e "rin1 -r'un"*Era a%a "e ierttare!a%a "e "u(ce!)/m3etu( ei at/t "e
tan"ru!ar 'i #rut & &tr/n0 .n 3ra1e %i &2i &-un tate (ucruri(e -e care nu a '&t
nici"at ca-a3i( 2& i (e &-un "in cau)a tinere1ii!a (i-&ei "e ex-erien1 %i a
'ricii*Ea &e ri"ic -e #/r'uri %i .( &rut u%r*E( .%i a&cun&e #a(u( "e em1ii -rintr2
un &ur/& %i .%i (& m/ini(e -e ta(ia ei*
2&ta a '&t un &rut & m #in"ece6
2Da*E .n re0u(***acum6
2Nu &unt &i0ur!&-u&e e( u%r*Dar -ate a(t &rut #a a4uta*Ea .i ""u unu(!(un0 %i
"u(ce %i 0ener&*E( .( acce-t 3ucur&!cu un 'tat "e recun%tin1 %i un tremur
3ru&c -e care nu .ncerc &2( a&cun"*5u3 m/ini(e (ui!cu tru-u( (i-it "e a( (ui!e(
&im1i cum &e t-e%te ten&iunea ei*E( a-r'un" &rutu(!'c/n"u2( &en)ua(!.n
-eric( "e a ie%i "e &u3 cntr(*5e "e&-r1ir %i &e uitar 'ix unu( (a a(tu(*
2<nc unu(6 .ntre3 e(!'r r&u'(are*Pentru***u$!(a&2m un minut & 0&e&c un
mti# -(au)i3i(*Un )/m3et a-ru -e 3u)e(e ei*
2G/n"e%te2te mai re-e"e!,ie"(er*E( &rut "in nu*
2Bine!"ar &rut2m "in nu .n tim- ce eu m 0/n"e&c!"e acr"6
De "ata a&ta &rutu( (r a '&t mai (un0!mai -r'un"!mai in&i&tent*E( .i &a#ura
'amea!.n tim- ce (im3a (ui .nt/(ni -e a ei*Bra1e(e ei &e .nc(cir .n 4uru(
0/tu(ui (ui*Era 0reu "e re)i&tat "rin1ei care .( &t-/nea!"rin1ei "e a (ua -e &u&
%i a "uce .n acea camer care i2 re-arti)a&e*5 'ac "ra0&te!a&ta i2ar (ecui*Pe
am/n"i*5 'ac "ra0&te!ar 'i at/t "e 3ine*Cu Dee .n 23ra1e(e &a(e ar -utea "a
-ie-t cu rice*Pentru un mment e( &tr/n&e mai tare!a-i .ntreru-&e &rutu(!iar
ea &ca&e un &unet &(a3!"e)am0it*
2La nai3a!&-u&e e(!m/n0/in"u2i 3ra)u(!"e0ete(e .ncurc/n"u2i2&e .n -ru( ei!.n
tim- ce .i a-&a ca-u( -e -ie-tu( (ui*Parc tre3uia & m 0/n"e&c (a un mti#
&eri& -entru2&rutu( ace&ta!nu2i a%a6 8tii ce6 Am uitat*5-re 3ucuria (ui!De(i0$t
r/"ea*Ea i &e (& "in nu .n 3ra1e!iar e( "e-u&e c/te#a &rutri u%are -e 'a1a ei
(umina&*A-ra-e in&tantaneu!Dee &e &im1i mai 3ine!tri&te1ea .i "i&-ru&e*
Prtretu( tat(ui -rea & )/m3ea&c (a cei "i!iar -re)en1a 'ui +att ac( 2'cu
ca (cuin1a & nu mai ai3 ecu( -(/n&etu(ui ei "e "urere %i %c*+att um-(ea ca&a
cu -re)en1a (ui!a%a cum um-(ea rice (c .n care intra!mu(t mai e'icient "ec/t
m3i(a -e care ea %i "ecratru( ei tcmai aran4au .n acea )i 0ra)nic*
2Dac nu -1i 0&i un mti#!atunci cre" c nu ar tre3ui & te mai &rut*
2Pr3(ema e&te!&-u&e e(!c atunci c/n" m &ru1i!nu -t 0/n"i*
Ea r/&e "in nu %i .( &tr/n&e (a -ie-t*
2Nu te 0/n"i!&-u&e ea*<%i ""u ca-u( -e &-ate %i &e uit (a e(*<n ace&t Mee@en" $ai
& nu ne 0/n"im!&au & ne 'acem -r3(eme "e***urmri!&au & ne 0/n"im mai
"e-arte "ec/t "uminic &eara*Aai & &c$iem!& ne "i&trm!& -etrecem!ca %i cum
nu ar mai 'i a(t (ume .n a'ar "e 0rani1e(e ace&tui &tuc*:8i nici trecut*Nici
#iitr:*+att6 Te r07E( &(t .n aer %i .n#/rti .n 4uru( (ui*
2Da7 Da7 Da7!&-u&e e(!&rut/n"2 re-e"e %i a-&at -entru a cn'irma a-r3area
(ui*Ace&t Mee@en" e&te a( n&tru!Dee*Un "ar "e (a )ei -entru ni "i*O 'e(ie "e
tim-!"e-arte "e rice*8i c/n" &e #a termina!.1i -rmit***Ea .( .ntreru-&e*
2,r -rmi&iuni*Nici un cu#/nt -e care mai t/r)iu #a tre3ui & .( (um .na-i*
Numai tu %i eu*A%a cum a '&t "at*A%a cum a '&t "at7 E( -utea & aran4e)e
a&ta*
2O*I*!&-u&e e(*Tu e%ti %e'u(*Dee .%i 30 3ra)u( .n cur3ura umru(ui (ui!
'rec/n"u2&e "e e( ca -i&ic!&im1in"u2&e a-rat!-rte4at %i .nc()it*Ea %tia c
.nainte ca )iua & &e .nc$eie!#r 'ace mai mu(t "ec/t & &c$ie)e %i & &e 4ace
.m-reun*A-ra-e 0emu cu #ce tare!"rin"u2%i ceea ce %tia c #a urma "u-
)iua -etrecut .n aer (i3er*52a 0/n"it are c #a trece -rin ace&t Mee@en" 'r &
'ac "ra0&te cu e(6 Ce i"ee7 A&ta 'cu & r/"*<n m" -r&te&c!a&ta 'cu &
"rea&c & -(/n0 "in nu!"e 3ucurie*Ea re&-ir tremurat!iar +att* -u&e "in
nu -e -iciare!1in/n"2 .nc &tr/n& %i m/n0/in"u2i cu "e0ete(e -ru(!cut/n"u2i
c$ii*
2Nu!Dee*Nu mai 'i tri&t*
2Nu &unt*5are(e &tr(uce%te!)-a"a e&te a"/nc %i tu e%ti aici*5unt incre"i3i( "e
'ericit*A-i!cu un )/m3et care .( ri"ic mai &u& "ec/t -i&cu( mun1i(r!ea .(
.m-in&e .na-i %i .%i tra&e cciu(a -e&te -r*+att ar 'i "rit & nu ac-ere nici
mcar mic -r1iune "in acea&t &-(en"are*
2Aai"e!&-u&e ea*5 .nc$iriem ec$i-ament %i & atacm -/rtii(e*
Du- un mment!.n tim-u( cruia .i &tu"ie "in nu 'a1a!e( .i ""u "in nu un
&rut a-&at!ra-i" %i a-i "e&c$i&e u%a*Ea nu era c$iar a%a "e 'ericit cum #ia
&2( 'ac -e e( & crea"*<n interir!era .nc -arte "in 'ata care 'u&e&e
"e-&e"at "e ce#a "ra0 %i .nc &/n0era*+att %tia*E( &im1ea "urerea!.n1e(e0/n"2
*8i #ia!mai mu(t "ec/t a "rit ce#a (un0 -eria" "e tim-!& %tear0 acea
"urere "in &u'(etu( ei %i & .n(cuia&c 'iecare 'r/m "e tri&te1e cu 3ucurie*
<m-reun!ie%ir -e tre-te(e "in 'a1 .n aeru( rece a( &are(ui mntan!"e m/n ca
"i c-ii care e#a"ea)!"intr2 -"ure .ntunecat %i .n&-im/nttare*

CAPITOLUL Q
2A '&t extrar"inar7 Dee .m-r%c cu )-a" .n tim- ce 'cu -rire 3ru&c!cu
r&u'(area tiat "e r/& %i "e e'rt!"u- -rima c3r/re*5c /n"u2%i c$e(arii!
a-i cciu(a!.%i &cutur #i0ur& ca-u(*Am uitat c/t "e (i3er m 'ace &c$iatu(*Ca
-a&re*E( uita&e c/t "e 'rum& .i 'cea tenu( aeru( rece*5tr(ucea*
Oc$ii ei -&trau a(3a&tru( &c(i-itr a( unui (ac a"/nc!.n tim-u( #erii*Pru( ei!
"e&'cut!3tut "e #/nt!.i '(utura .n 4uru( 'e1ei*E( .i a-uc "u %u#i1e %i &e uit
cum &are(e (e ""ea cu(are armiei
2Ce &2a .nt/m-(at cu acea 0ra)nic cciu( cu c)i -e care a#eai6 .ntre3
e(!.ncerc/n" & .i (e0e -ru( &u3 3r3ie!a%a cum .ncerca&e cu c)i(e "e (a acea
cciu(!cu ani .n urm*Ea r/&e .n tim- ce .i .m-in&e m/ini(e (a -arte*
2Nu era 0ra)nic*Era "r0u1 %i cm-(et "i'erit "e tt ceea ce am #)ut -/n
atunci*O a"ram*Dar cre" c %i m(ii(e!&-u&e ea!.n tim- ce a(unecar (a #a(e &-re
%iru( "e (a te(e2&c$i*Dee -%i .ntr2 -arte -entru a &e -re0ti .n -)i1ia "e urcare*
+att urm!&-ri4inin"2 c/n" era a-ra-e 0ata & ca"*
2Cn&tat c am "e re.n#1at mu(1ime!"u- ce am (i-&it at/t "e mu(t tim- "e -e
-/rtie!&-u&e ea .n tim- ce te(e&caunu( .i -re(ua %i .i -urta -e&te #i cu #ite)
"e&tu( "e mare*
2<n &eara a&ta!&-u&e e( cu )/m3et!m tem c #i a#ea 'e3r mu&cu(ar*8tia c e(
#a &u'eri c$iar mai mu(t*E( a4uta&e ca ea & &u-rte mai u%r*
2Nu21i 'ie team!&-u&e*Cu 3aie 'ier3inte!a&t &ear & a(un0i tate "ureri(e*
E( .i -rin&e 3r3ia cu m/na .nmnu%att %i i &e uit 'ix .n c$i*
28i c$ii ti &teni1i #r a#ea ne#ie & &e "e&tin"!nu2i a%a6
Pri#irea ei a(3a&tr &e a"/nci*Lim3a ei ume)i 3u)a "e &u&*
2O$!"a!&-u&e ea*5unt &i0ur "e a&ta*Inima (ui +att 3tea cu -utere!necntr(at*
G/n"u( c &e #a .nmuia cu ea .ntr2 3aie 'ier3inte .( 'cea "e4a & .( "ar .n a(te
'e(uri*Dar nu era ex-rien1 -e care & &ca-e*De a(t'e( nu a#ea inten1ia & (a&e
&2i &ca-e nimic "in ceea ce .i 'erea ea .n ace&t Mee@en"*C$iar "ac Mee@en"2u(
era .nce-utu( %i &'/r%itu( 'ertei ei*
2Cine a cur1at )-a"a6 .ntre3 +att c/n" Dee .i .ntin&e can mare!"in -(a&tic!
-(in cu caca 'ier3inte*<( amu)a*Nu ar 'i a&ciat2 nici"at -e Dee cu ce#a "in
-(a&tic*Tera&e(e %i ac-eri%u( -i&cinei 'u&e&er cur1ate -arc "e &-iri"u%i!.n tim-
ce ei erau -e -/rtie*
2Am un &er#iciu "e .ntre1inere*Am te(e'nat .nainte "e a -(eca (a &c$i %i i2am
ru0at & re)(#e une(e (ucruri*Da*Via1a -ate 'i u%ar!c/n" nu ai nimic a(tce#a
"e 'cut "ec/t & te(e'ne)i %i & ceri & 1i &e re)(#e une(e tre3uri*
5mu(0/n"u2&e "in ace&te 0/n"uri!+att -ri#i -e Dee .ncn4ur/n" 3a)inu( &-re
tre-te*A3urii!care -reau mai 0r%i %i -aci "in cau)a i(uminrii .n0r-ate!&e
ri"icau "ea&u-ra a-ei*<i e&tm-a cnturu(!"ar memria %i ima0ina1ia .i
ten&inar cr-u(!atunci c/n" ea .%i &ca&e $a(atu( "e 3aie "in '(tir %i .( at/rn
(/n0 a( (ui*E( .i urmri -r'i(u( .ntunecat -rin cea1!.n tim- ce &e &cu'un"a .n
a-a .n&-umat*
2O$$7 Ce 3ine e&te7 Vcea ei &e au)i 3(/n" %i a-reciati#!reamintin"u2i "e a(te
tim-uri!a(te .m-re4urri*Tim-uri c/n" ea .i &-unea exact ace(ea%i cu#inte!(e0at "e
ceea ce 'cea e( cu ea*Acum nu era e( ce( care .i &timu(a -(cerea!ci 4eturi(e "e
a- care m/n0/iau!3a(na%e(e care &e &-r0eau -e -ie(ea ei ca %i -e a (ui*E( (e
in#i"ia -entru a-r-ierea (r "e ea*Oare &2i -ermit %i (ui ace(a%i (ucru .n
na-tea a&ta6,a1a ei era un #a( a(3 .n .ntuneric c/n" &e (& -e &-ate %i .%i
&-ri4ini ca-u( -e un &-tar ca-itnat*<n (umina 3(/n" a (unii!&u3 a-!cr-u( ei
a#ea 'rm nec(ar*Pri#in" .n &u&!e( #)u &te(e(e &tr(ucin" "ea&u-ra ca-u(ui*
Pr1iunea "e (un -e care au #)ut2 (umin/n" +un1ii Nrt$ 5$re!(uni na-tea!
cre&cu&e a-recia3i(*O 3ri) u%ar '(utur -entru un mment curentu( "e a-!iar
.n &tr(ucirea a&tra( +att #)u 3r3ane "e a- -e -ru( ri"icat .n &u& a( (ui
Dee*Oc$ii ei erau .nc$i%i*De"at ea -ru (a 'e( "e .n"e-rtat ca ceru(!cm-(et
"i'erit "e 'emeia #e&e( care i2a 'cut turu( ca&ei c/n" &2au .ntr& %i &e -re0teau
"e cin!"ecnect/n" .n m" &i&tematic %i ceremni& 'iecare te(e'n "in ca&*
2De ce e%ti at/t "e "e-arte6 .ntre3 e(*Ea .%i .ntin&e un -icir %i .i atin&e umru(!
cntinu/n" cu #/r'u( "e0etu(ui mare "rumu( -/n (a ct*
2Nu &unt at/t "e "e-arte!murmur ea*E&te "e&tu( "e 'ier3inte cacaa ta6
Cu .nt/r)iere!e( (u .n0$i1itur*Era "e&tu( "e ca("*Cniacu( "in ea i &e urc
"irect (a ca-*5au era atin0erea ei care .( ame1i&e6
2,atre ca("!&-u&e e(*,arte***"u(ce*Ar 'i %i mai 3ine "ac (2ar atin0e "in nu*E(
a%te-ta!a3ia r&u'(/n"*Ea nu .( atin&e "in nu*Dar "e 'a-t 'cu&e*<ntre0u( (ui
tru- 'remta "u- acea atin0ere!"rin" .n m" "urer& mai mu(t*
La nai3a!"e ce nu -utea -ur %i &im-(u & .ntin" m/na %i &2i a-uce m/na!&
tra0 mai a-ra-e!& #a" "ac ea #rea6 De ce e)ita acum a%a cum nu 'cu&e
nici"at2nici cu ea nici cu a(t 'emeie -e care "ri&e cu a"e#rat6
8tia*Era -entru c "rea mai mu(t "ec/t cre"ea c ar 'i -&i3i( & "rea&c -e
cine#a*8i era mai mu(t "ec/t &ex ceea ce "rea "e (a ea*Dar "ac &e mi%ca -rea
re-e"e!ar 'i ru-t #ra4a care &e crea&e!&e temea c ar -utea & -iar"*
G/n"u( c ar -utea & -iar" "in nu .i 'cu ru*Ce "rea Dee6 Numai ace&t
Mee@en"6 .( iu3i&e "at*8tia a&ta*L2ar -utea iu3i "in nu6
Nu &ta era &c-u( in#ita1iei ei6 O %an& "e a .ncerca "in nu6 Un nu .nce-ut6
Le2a 'cut -(cere (a am/n"i acea&t )i!.n ciu"a 'a-tu(ui c nu erau antrena1i*Au
c)ut 2.m-reun %i &e-arat2%i au r/&!&2au ri"icat unu( -e a(tu( "in )-a" %i au
cntinuat & &c$ie)e*Iar e( a &rutat2 .ntr2un nmete "e )-a"*Ea (2a &rutat
.na-i!ca("2nu 'ier3inte*O"at .n te(e2&caun!ea (2a &rutat &-ntan!"in -ur
exu3eran1*Pe m&ur ce )iua trecea!au "i&cutat!%i2au a"u& aminte!au retrit
mmente "in #ia1 -e care (e2au -etrecut &e-arat*Dar nimic -r'un"!nimic
im-rtant*Numai -r&tii!0(ume!0re%e(i mici!ne3une%ti!care .i .m-ie"ic -e
ameni & &e a-r-ie -rea mu(t!anec"te*8i ea &-u&e&e .n acea&t "iminea1 c
nu #r (&a ca (umea "e a'ar & (e -trun" .n &u'(et*
Au &c$iat -e -/rtie unu( (/n0 a(tu(!-tri#in"u2%i mi%cri(e!(ucr/n" "in 0reu!
0r3in"u2&e!"e -arc erau ner3"tri & .nc$eie u(tima c3r/re a )i(ei %i
&***treac (a a(tce#a*Au '&t 'arte &incrni)a1i!-tri#i1i .n mi%cri!.nc/t -arc %i
re&-ira1ia!3ti(e inimi(r &e 'ceau .n ace(a%i tim-*8i 0/n"uri(e (r*8i "rin1e(e
(r*52a 0/n"it (a a&ta %i .n tim-u( cinei*<ntre 'e(uri(e "e m/ncare (a re&taurantu(
-e care (2au a(e& -entru c 'cea rec(am (a rc$e&tr!au "an&at!iar cr-u( ei era
ma(e %i ca("!a-ra-e (ic$i" .n 3ra1e(e (ui!ca-u( ei at/rn/n" 0reu -e umru( (ui*
Din nu!a '&t acea cmunicare tta(! cr"nare a (im3a4u(ui tru-uri(r care
.( 'cu & &imt "e -arc ar 'i unu( &in0ur*C/n" e( i2a )/m3it!c$ii ei i2au &-u&
(ucruri -e care #cea ei nu (e r&ti&e nici"at*Iar acum erau aici!.n atm&'era
a3urin"!intim a 3a)inu(ui cu a- 'ier3inte!numai cu &te(e(e "e -e cer ca
martri***%i ea .( atin&e&e cu -iciru(*Era acum r/n"u( (ui & 'ac mi%care6
Ga(e%!+att .%i mi%c m/n -e &u3 a-*De0ete(e (ui .i a-ucar 0(e)na (ui Dee %i
a(unecar &-re ta(-a -iciru(ui*Ea nu &e retra&e*E( &e a-r-ie mai mu(t!a%e)/n"
c(c/iu( ei -e %("u( (ui!'rec/n"u2i u%r "e0ete(e "e (a -iciare*E( &im1i tremuru(
care trecu -rin ea*Reac1ia ei .( im-re&ina*Era -rea re-e"e*E( #ia ca
rea-r-ierea (r & 'ie un -rce& "e&e3it!(entT&2i 'ac curte!& iu3ea&c!%i***
Nu7 Pe cine -c(ea e(6 Ceea ce "rea cu a"e#rat era & .i "e&'ac -iciare(e!&
-trun" tta(!ac( un"e era ca(" %i ume" %i &tr/mt %i***& ai3*Via &
ai3 cu tat 'uria %i 3ucuria %i "rin1a -tima% a tru-u(ui &u!nu cu "e(icate1e!
a%a cum %tia c ea merita*Drea a&ta "in &u'(et*
Dar #ia ca Dee & ai3 ceea ce era 3un -entru ea!ceea ce 'cea & 0eam!& &e
)#/rc(ea&c!& im-(re %i .n 'ina( & ex-("e)e -entru e(!%i a&ta!numai a&ta!(2ar
'ace & &imt a%a cum #ia e( & &imt .n 'ina(*E( #ia mai mu(t "ec/t &ex .ntr2un
3a)in cu a- ca("*O #a iu3i -e 'emeia care "e#eni&e*Du- ce &e #a cu(ca cu ea*
A%a c e( re"u&e #ite)a!&e mai ca(m*<%i a(unec "e0ete(e "e2a (un0u( 0(e)nei
&-re &-ate(e 0enunc$iu(ui*
2Ce mai 'ac "ureri(e ta(e6 .ntre3 ea %i #cea .i -rea nrma(!.ncerc/n" &
"m(ea&c ten&iunea "intre ei*E( )/m3i*8tia c ten&iunea "in interiru( ei era (e
'e( "e mare ca a (ui*E( .%i 'ix -ri#irea .n "irec1ia ei!"e%i nu .i -utea "i&tin0e c(ar
'rme(e*
2Umerii mei &unt cam .ncr"a1i!"ar #i &u-ra#ie1ui*Dar ai ti cum .i &im1i6
2Pe mine m "ureau -iciare(e .nainte "e a a4un0e aici*Dar acum***m &imt 3ine*
Pentru c/te#a c(i-e ea &r3i cacaa 'ier3inte .n tcere!a-i &-u&e a%a "e .ncet
.nc/t e( nu era &i0ur "ac au)i&e 3ine9
2Umerii ti***Te2ar a4uta un ma&a46E( re&-ir %uiertr*Dac -unea m/ini(e -e e(!
#a 'i exc(u& rice -&i3i(itate "e a men1ine ex-rimare (ent %i "e(icia& a
ceea ce &im1ea -entru ea*
2Dee***Era un a#erti&ment ame&tecat cu ru0minte .n tnu( (ui!un a#erti&ment -e
care ea nu .( &e&i) .ntruc/t &e &trecur "e un"e era &-ri4init %i #eni mai a-ra-e
"e e(!a-a 3(3r&in" -e&te umerii ei!.n tim- ce &ttea cu'un"at a"/nc .n
a-!"e-arte "e aeru( rece a( n-1iL
2<ntin"e2te .nainte!&-u&e ea %i trecu .n &-ate(e (ui*+/ini(e ei .i atin&er umerii!
a-i -iciare(e .i -(utir .n 4uru( (ui*E( .i a-uc cu "e0ete(e 0enunc$ii!.ntr2
reac1ie &-a&m"ic!(a atin0erea &/ni(r ei "e &-ate(e (ui*E( 0emu*
2Nu -r1i c&tum "e 3aie7
2Nu!&-u&e ea!#cea ei &un/n" u%r amu)at*Piciare(e ei &e .n"ir iar m/na .i
urmri %ira &-inrii!-/n c/n" atin&e mar0inea &(i-u(ui*
2Dar 3&er# c tu -r1i*Cererea ei #eni ur0ent %i -e ner&u'(ate9 5cate2(!+att*O
& te "eran4e)e*,arte!'arte cur/n"*E( "e a3ia re&-ira*Nu -utea #r3i*Dar
tre3uia ttu%i & %tie*Tre3uia & 'ie &i0ur*
2Damne***Dee!e%ti &i0ur c %tii ce #rei & 'aci6
R&u'(area ei era ca(" .n cea'a (ui!a-i 3u)e(e ei .i m/n0/iar umerii*
2Tu ce cre)i6 .ntre3 ea*De0ete(e ei .i ma&au mu%c$ii umeri(r!mer0/n" .n 4& -e
&-ate*Ai &en)a1ia c %tiu ce am "e 'cut6 Ea &e a-(ec .nainte & .i atin0
3ice-%ii!iar &/nii ei &e )"r3ir "e e(*De 3icei .1i -(ceau ma&a4e(e me(e*
E( 0emu .n tim- ce .%i &trecura m/ini(e &-re 0(e)ne(e ei!*<i ri"ic -iciare(e %i i (e
.ncruci% .n 'a1a (ui*
2<nc .mi -(ace*+/ini(e ei care .( ma&au c3r/r -e 3ra1e!-e -ie-t!"e0ete(e ei &e
4ucar cu -ru( "e ac(!un0$ii(e .i )0/riau u%r &'/rcuri(e*E( &u-rt at/t c/t
-utu!a-i .m-in&e 3anca .n -artea cea mai a"/nc a 3a)inu(ui %i ""u "rumu(
-iciare(r ei*<n tim- ce ea -(utea (i3er!e( &e .ntar&e %i tra&e &-re e(!1in/n"2
&tr/n& .n 3ra1e*5'/rcuri(e ei!tari %i -reminente!.i atin0eau -ie-tu(*Piciare(e ei
-(uteau "in nu .n 4uru( (ui*C("ura ei .i &tr-un0ea .n -/ntece*
+/ini ne3&ite i &e -(im3au -e &-ate*Gura ei '(m/n" .i mu%c (3u( urec$ii*
2Tre3uie & mer0 & iau un -re)er#ati#!Dee!&-u&e e( cu #ce r0u%it*O-re%te2te
acum*O$!iu3it!-re%te2te -/n nu e&te -rea t/r)iu*Ea &e retra&e .n &-ate(e (ui!
m/n .ncercuin"u2i 0/tu(!cea(a(t -rin)/n"u2i maxi(aru(*
2Ai a"u& -re)er#ati#e6Erai at/t "e &i0ur6.ntre3 ea*De mine6 De re)u(tatu(
ace&tei c(trii6 E( cre"ea c ea .( tac$ina*Era "i'ici( "e &-u&*
<ncerc/n" &2%i ac-ere 3ti(e -uternice a(e inimii!e( &-u&e9
2Nu*Eu***am &-erat "ar*8i am "rit ace&t (ucru*<%i -rin&e m/ini(e &u3 tru-u( ei %i
&e mi%car in&inuant*O$!"ar te "re&c7 .nc te "re&c7 E( .i -u&e m/ini(e -e ta(ie
%i .n"e-rt -u1in "e e(*Dar nu #reau & ri&c nimic care &21i 'ac ru!a%a c
(a&2m & -(ec*A-r-iin"u2&e "in nu "e e(!ea .ntre39
2Ai ce#a care m2ar -utea rni!+att6
2Dee!#rei & rm/i .n&rcinat6 .ntre3 e( 0/'/in"*
2Nu #reau!&-u&e ea!&rut/n"u2( -e -ie-t!-e umeri!-e 0/t*Am a#ut 0ri4 "e a&ta*Ea
.%i mi%c -/ntecu( &-re e(*+att!'r -re)er#ati#!te r0!"ec/t "ac .( #rei -entru
-r-ria ta (ini%te &u'(etea&c*Nu ai '&t nici"at 0( .nuntru( meu*Nu am a#ut
nici"at un***te #reau a%a*Nici"at6 8i e( #ia a%a*5ex ne-rte4at era ce#a ce
nu mai -ractica&e "in )i(e(e c/n" era (a c(e0iu!c/n" era nein'rmat %i ne&3uit*
2O$!Damne7 Nu2mi 'ace***a&ta!Dee!&-u&e e( atunci c/n" ea .( atin&e .n (curi(e
intime*Dec/t "ac ai inten1ie*Ea .%i ""u ca-u( -e &-ate!iar e( #)u c c$ii ei
erau .nc$i%i!3u)e(e "e&'cute!'a1a #i&tare*
2Am inten1ie!+att*Te "re&c*Cu ttu(*Te2am "rit "in ce .n ce mai mu(t "in
)iua c/n" ai intrat .n ma0a)inu( meu*Acea&t "rin1 &2a "e)#(tat -rea mu(t
-entru a -utea i0nra*Nu mai cntea) nimic acum*Numai tu*8i eu*<m-reun*
;.m-reun:!+att 4u3i(a (a 0/n"u( c "rin1e(e (r erau at/t "e a-r-iate*
2Da!&-u&e e( %i &rut (un0 %i -r'un"*Ea a#ea 0u&t "e cic(at!"e cniac %i "e
Dee*Nimeni nu mai a#u&e&e un a&t'e( "e 0u&t ca a( ei*Nimeni nu ar 'i -utut*Tu %i
cu mine!.m-reun!%-ti e( c/te#a mmente mai t/r)iu*A%a ar tre3ui & 'ie!Dee*O
tra&e mai a-ra-e "e e(*A%a ar 'i tre3uit & 'ie mereu*Vcea ei era un 0eamt
-a&ina(*
28tiu*8tiu*, "ra0&te cu mine acum!+att*Aici!.n a-!&-u&e ea*
E( &e ""u .na-i -/n c/n" a4un&e (a 3anc$et (a ca-tu( 3a)inu(ui %i &e (&
& ca" -e ea!tr0/n"2 %i -e ea -e 0enunc$ii (ui*<i &ca&e a0ra'e(e "in -r!iar
3uc(e(e i &e "e&'cur -e&te m/ini(e %i .nc$eieturi(e (ui*Bu)e(e ei tremurar &u3
a(e (ui %i &e au)i un &unet care ar 'i -utut 'i un &c/ncet*E( .i "e&c$i&e 0ura %i
&rut cu 'r1*
2Am "rit a&ta "e mu(t tim-!&-u&e e( -u1in mai t/r)iu!cu-rin)/n"u2i &/nii .n
m/ini*A$!Dee!ai '&t .ntt"eauna a mea*Ea tra&e aer .n -ie-t!tremur/n"*
28tiu!%-ti ea!&tr/n0/n"u2%i -iciare(e .n 4uru( %("uri(r (ui*Vreau & 'iu "in nu
a ta*Te "re&c at/t "e mu(t .nc/t m "are*,2m & nu m mai "ar*
Ea .( )0/rie u%r "e2a (un0u( -ie-tu(ui -/n (a mar0inea c$i(tu(ui "e 3aie %i "e2a
curme)i%u( .n 'a1a ace&tuia!&tr/n0/n"u2%i "e0ete(e & m"e(e)e 'rma!mi%c/n"u2
%i m/na .ntr2un ritm -e care .( .n#1a&e at/t "e re-e"e %i &/r0uinci& "e (a e(*E(
murmur "e -(cere %i .%i ri"ic %("uri(e!in#it/"2 & cntinue*R&ucin"u2&e!ea
.i tra&e &(i-u( "e 3aie %i .( arunc cu -iciru(*
2Vin .na-i!&-u&e e(!&im1in"u2&e -r&it 'r un cntact cr-ra( cm-(et*E(
-rin&e "e ta(ie %i rea%e)*5-ri4inin"u2i umerii cu m/n! .m-in&e "in nu .n
a- %i &e a-(ec &-re &/nii ei*<i -rin&e un &'/rc .ntre 3u)e(e (ui!.( .ncercui %i a-uc
c/t -utu 0ura (ui mai mu(t*
2O$***a&ta e minunat7 )i&e ea*
2Bine!&-u&e e(*8i a&ta6 .i &u-&e %i ce((a(t &/n*Te &im1i 3ine!"ra0a mea6
2Nu mi2ai &-u& nici"at a%a .nainte***&-u&e ea*<ntt"eauna .mi &-uneai -uiu(e*
2+2am 0/n"it (a tine ca (a "ra0a mea!&-u&e e(!ri"ic/n"u2%i ca-u( %i &u'(/n" u%r
-e -ie(ea ei u"*E( .%i 'rec "e0etu( mare "e #/r'u( &/ni(r ei!'c/n"2 & &e
arcuia&c!im-(r/n" "in nu 0ura (ui*<ntt"eauna!Dee*Am '&t -rea (i-&it "e
ex-erien1 & &-un a&ta*Cu#inte(e (ui .nc/ntar*
2<mi -(ace & au"!&-u&e ea*<mi -(ace & 'iu a&ta*
2Dra0a mea*Dra0&tea mea***E( .i %-ti %i a(te cu#inte "e "ra0&te (a urec$e!tt
ceea ce nu &-u&e&e -/n atunci!a-&/n"u2i &rutri u"e -e umerii u)i!-e 0/t!-e
3ra1e*<i &-unea (ucruri -e care #ia & 'ac & (e &imt!tate ci(e -e care
inten1ina & (e urme)e -entru a atin0e ace&t &c-*
2Nu2mi &-une!0emu ea*Arat2mi!)i&e ea .ncerc/n" & .i -rea&c cu#inte(e cu
0ura*R/)/n"!e( &e tra&e .na-i!#r3in" .n cntinuare cu #ce 4a&!&ex=*
2+att!-re%te2te!.( im-(r ea*5im1ea -u(&ri(e "rin1ei*E( tac$in9
2Ce & -re&c6Ea &e mi%c &-re e(*
2O$!%tii tu7 8tii tu7
2Cum & %tiu!"ac nu2mi &-ui6 .ntre3 e(!cu #ce incent %i ne"umerit2.n
ace(a%i tim- &ex= %i amu)at*Dac nu #rei ca eu &21i #r3e&c!atunci #r3e%te tu
cu mine!Dee*5-une2mi ce #rei*
2O$!e%ti at/t "e cru"!&-u&e ea r/)/n"*Vreau ca tu &***'aci***
2Ce & 'ac6De c/te ri i2a 'cut a&ta6 8i "e c/te ri &2a &im1it -e 4umtate
"e&tr3(at!-e 4umtate Jenat!"ar cm-(et excitat "e cereri(e (ui "e a "e&crie
.n cu#inte "rin1e(e ei6 Ea ri"ic un &'/rc &-re 3u)e(e (ui*
2A&ta!&-u&e ea*E( .i &rut &/nu(!(/n0 &'/rc*
2A&ta6 Ea 0emu*
2Nu7E( .i &rut -artea "e "e"e&u3t a &/nu(ui!)0/riin"2 u%r cu -ie(ea (ui*Dee .i
-rin&e ca-u( .n am3e(e m/ini %i .i -u&e 3u)e(e exact -e (cu( -e care "rea ea*
2O$!a&ta7 &-u&e e(*
Ea &ca&e un mic c$ict*5e tran&'rm .ntr2un a"e#rat $$t "e r/& .n tim- ce
e( .i 0/"i(a &-ate(e c/nt/n"u2i un c/ntece( "e c-ii "e&-re r1u%te a(3e care
-(ute&c -e a-*
2+ac!mac!mac7 +att era at/t "e "e(ici& "e amu)ant .n -at2"ar %i .n a'ara (ui*
2Gu#ernanta mea m2a .n#1at c e&te ne-(itic& & #r3e%ti cu 0ura -(in!&-u&e
ea -e un tn a'ectat*E( r/&e %i tra&e .na-i*Cu#inte(e (ui &e au)eau trunc$iate .n
tim- ce .i &ruta &'/rcuri(e .n cntinuare*
2Atunci & .mi 0(e&c 0ura6 5 m -re&c "in ceea ce 'ac6
2Nu*Dee .%i .nc(e%t m/ini(e .n -ru( (ui %i .( tra&e mai a-ra-e "e ea*Nu te -ri
"in ceea ce 'aci!+att*Nu te -ri*:Te iu3e&c!te iu3e&c7: 5-u&e&e a&ta cu #ce tare
&au .n 0/n"6 Nu mai %tia %i nici nu .i -&a*E( tre3uia & &imt a&ta!tre3uia & %tie*
Ea &e &trecur mai a-ra-e!-rin)/n"u2i 3ra1e(e "e &u& .n m/ini(e ei!(e0n/n"u2i
cr-u( .ntre -iciare(e ei!mi%c/n"u2&e u%r &-re e(!3ucur/n"u2&e "e &en)a1ia
-ie(ii (ui (/n0 a ei .n c("ura a-ei!ce cntra&ta cu rcea(a aeru(ui*Ba(na%e(e
ex-("au .n 4ur!&-rin" &en&i3i(itatea ner#i(r (r*Drin1a &exua( &e ame&teca cu
tan"re1ea!iar "ra0&tea -u&e cm-(et &t2-/nire -e ea*
2O$!+att!+att***Ea &e mi%ca &-a&m"ic!"rin1a ei atin0ea cu(mi 'renetice*
Vreau***"re&c***
2Da!"ra0a mea*De(i0$t a mea*8tiu*8i eu "re&c*8i eu #reau*E( &tr/n&e mai
tare!.i ri"ic %i ce((a(t &/n %i .( (u .n 0ur*Ca-u( ei #/4/ia*Tru-u( ei "rea mai
mu(t*Ea .i (u m/na "e -e &/n %i i2 mi%c .n 4& -rin a-!&-re (cu( un"e "rea
ce( mai mu(t & 'ie m/n0/iat*De0ete(e (ui a(unecar -e carnea ei!
m/n0/in"!cercet/n"!ex-(r/n"*
2A%a6 %-ti e(*A&ta #rei6
2Da***0emu ea %i e( .i intr"u&e "u "e0ete atin0/n"u2i (curi(e &en&i3i(e*Prea
re-e"e!&-a&me a"/nci!incan"e&cente .nce-ur!"e#enin" &(3atice*O$!-re%te7
+att7 E&te -rea mu(t7 Prea re-e"e*
2Nu***nu m -re&c!Dee!0emu e( cu 'a1a .n0r-at .n -ie(ea ei*La& & &e
.nt/m-(e*Ea nu a#ea a(t a(e0ere*<nce-utu( r0a&mu(ui i #eni at/t "e
nea%te-tat!"e ire)i&ti3i(!.nc/t ea nu .( mai -utea cntr(a &au!.ncetini %i nici nu
"rea ace&t (ucru*
2+att7 &tri0 ea*Ea .i -rin&e &exu( cu m/n!.( 1inu m/n0/ietr %i &e a%e) -e
e(!.nc$i)/n"u2i carnea .ntr2a ei*Am/n"i &ca&er un &tri0t .n c(i-a .n care
cr-uri(e (r &e unir tta(*Ea .%i arcui &-ate(e %i &e &cutur cn#u(&inat*E( era
mare!"ur!cum &e mi%ca .nuntru( ei %i ea .( -rimi .n .ntre0ime!"rin"u2( .ntre0*
2+att!te r07 Era un 'tat 'r r&u'(are*Acum7
2Da*E( .i a-uc cea'a cu m/na!.i a-r-ie 'a1a "e a (ui %i .i -rin&e 0ura .ntr2un
&rut ertic .n tim- ce "e0ete(e (ui cntinuau & m/n0/ie .n centru( tru-u(ui
ei*Lim3a (ui .%i 'cu (c a"/nc .n 0ura ei!r0anu( (ui a"/nc .n'i-t .n cr-u( ei!iar
Dee .%i ie%i "in min1i!'rec/n"u2&e "e e( %i "rin"u2%i "e (a e( tt ceea ce e( -utea
"a*<%i e(i3er 0ura!.%i ""u ca-u( -e &-ate %i .i .n'i-&e un0$ii(e .n umeri*Ea -arc
au)i "in "e-rtare cum e( .i &tri0a nume(e mereu %i mereu!cu #ce 4a&!
r0u%it*8("uri(e (ui &e mi%cau .n cntinuare!-m-/n" cu in&i&ten1*E(
-trun&e "in nu %i "in nu!1in/n"2 &tr/n&!m/ini(e (ui .i a-uca&er %("uri(e cu
'ermitate*A trecut mu(t tim- -/n c/n" &2a terminat ttu(*

2Iu3it6 #cea (ui +att &e au)i ca -rin #i& .n &u3cn%tientu( ei*<nc mai -u(&au .n
ea &en)a1ii ca "u- %c*Ea &e &im1i 0a( 'r e(!"ar &ati&'cut .ntr2un m" .n
care nu &2a mai &im1it "e 'arte mu(t tim-*5ati&'cut em1ina(!ca %i 'i)ic*Era
&en)a1ie at/t "e -(cut!c nu #ia & inter#in cine#a &au ce#a & "i&tru0*A-a
3(3r&ea .n 4uru( ei!m/n0/in"2 cu c("ur!a%a cum 'cu&er %i m/ini(e (ui
+att*Te &im1i 3ine6 .ntre3 e(*Ca-u( ei &e (& -e umerii (ui*Ea tra&e aer .n
-ie-t!a"/nc!%i a-i .i ""u "rumu(*
2+m2$mm*E( c$icti!m/n0/in"u2i -ru(*
2Parc nici nu ai mai re&-irat tim- "e c/te#a minute*
2Nici nu a#eam ne#ie9 E( .i &rut urec$ea*
2De ce nu6
2Cine are ne#ie "e aer c/n" e&te cu tine6 E( 't %i .i trecu m/na -e&te cr-*
28tii ce a% "ri acum6
2Ce6 Orice ar 'i!"ac am!e&te a( tu*R/&u( (ui &e au)i r0u%it %i a"/nc*
2Da ai!-reci&*<n m" "e(i3erat e( .%i -(im3 m/ini(e -e tru-u( ei*8i am "e 0/n" &
.( 'ac "in nu & 'ie a( meu*Din nu**Dar .nainte "e tate tre3uie & ie& "in
acea&t a- 'ier3inte*Pate nu %tii!"ar a-a ca(" nu 'ace 3ine unui 3r3at!nu
-ate & rm/n***"ur*Ar 'i mu(t mai 3ine .ntr2un -at*
Ea &e &cu( .nc 1in/n"u2&e u%r "e umerii (ui!&e ri"ic c/ i#a centimetri!.%i
a-& c(c/ie(e "e mar0inea (cu(ui -e care .( cu-a e( %i &e arunc -e &-ate!
.m-r%c/n" exu3erant .n 4ur!3t/n" re-e"e a-a cu 3ra1e(e %i cu -iciare(e*+att
.%i -u&e m/ini(e -e 'a1 ca & nu2i intre .n c$i*
2Im-&i3i(!&-u&e Dee ie%in" (a &u-ra'a1 (a !ce((a(t ca-t ai 3a)inu(ui!-%in" ca
'rm ar0intie .n cea1a "in 4ur*
2Ce e&te im-&i3i(6tremur +att .n aeru( rece ce2i .n#(uia*Ea .i .ntin&e $a(atu(!
a-i .i .n'%ur %i -e a( ei -e umeri!30/n"u2( -e m/neci*Aa(atu( (ui era (a 'e( "e
rece ca aeru( %i u%r .n0$e1at "e 0er*Ei &e t-i -e tru-u( (ui c/n" ea -%i &-re e( %i
.i cu-rin&e ta(ia -e &u3 1e&tur*
2Tu!-1i & 'aci mai mu(t "ec/t at/t*
2,aci -ariu6 .ntre3 e( ri"ic/n"2 .n aer*
2Da*Am & ri&c un -ariu!&-u&e ea*E( -urt .n 3ra1e -e tera& %i "u&e .n
c("ura "in ca&*,cu( .nc ar"ea (ini%tit*O a%e) -e -ern mare!ma(e!.ntr2un
&caun cn'rta3i( .n 'a1a %emineu(ui %i a-i mai -u&e c/ i#a 3u%teni -e
'c*,(cri(e 4ucau -rieten&*
2Care e&te mi)a6 .ntre3 ea*E( c$icti %i .i "e&'cu $a(atu(!"e)0(in"u2i cr-u( .n
(umina tremurtare a 'cu(ui*E( .i &rut un &'/rc! (im3a (ui era ca '(am a#i"
-e -ie(ea ei*
2Dac c/ ti0!-t 'ace "ra0&te cu tine "e "u ri .nainte "e micu( "e4un6
Ea .%i &trecur m/ini(e -rin -ru( (ui! in/n"u2i ca-u( -e -ie-t*
28i "ac c/ ti0 eu6
2Atunci tu 'aci "ra0&te cu mine "e trei ri <nainte "e micu( "e4un*<i a3&r3i un
&'/rc a"/nc .n 0ur!a-&/n"u2i cu (im3a*
2 C/t e&te cea&u( acum6 %-ti ea "u- ce trecur c/te#a mmente*
2+mm!a% )ice un"e#a .ntre .ntuneric %i )ri "e )i*<n nici un ca) a-ra-e "e
micu( "e4un*A#em re .ntre0i (a "i&-)i1ie ca & #e"em re)u(tatu( -ariu(ui*
2O$*A&ta***e&te 3ine*Bu)e(e (ui c3r/r &-re -ie-tu( ei*E( (u .n 3ra1e %i "u&e
"in nu -e -ern!a&t'e( .nc/t ca-u( %i umerii i &e &-ri4ineau "e &caunu( "in &-ate*
+i%c/n"u2&e .ntre 0enunc$ii ei!e( a-& &rutri 'ier3in1i -e a3"menu( ei!.i
intr"u&e (im3a .n m3i(ic*
2+att***-arc &-uneai c #rei & mer0i .n -at*E( .i &im1i -iciare(e tremur/n" -e
umerii (ui*
2Da*Dar "re&c a&ta***mai mu(t*8i mai .nt.i*E( .i "e&'cu c/r(in1ii mi!ume)i!
Dintre -iciare! atin&e cu (im3a %i Dee %tiu c %i ea "rea a&ta mai mu(t*+ai
mu(t ca rice*Tan"ru!"ui&!e( a"u&e "in nu (a un r0a&m ne3une&c!a-i .i
cu-rin&e cr-u( ma(e .n 3ra1e %i -u&e -e c#ru( 0r&!mu(1umit acum numai
& 1in &tr/n&*Dee 't!un &unet (un0!tremurat "e tta( &ati&'ac1ie*+att &e
ri"ic %i a-uc c/te#a -erne "e -e cea mai a-r-iat &'a*<n"e&/n" una &u3 ca-u(
ei!a(ta &u3 umru( (ui!e( &e a-(ec a&u-ra ei!.n#e(in"2 cu $a(atu( ei*
2Re0rete!"ra0a mea6Ea )/m3i %i .i m/n0/ie 'a1a cu "e0etu(*
2Nu*Tu6<ncet!e( ""u "in ca-*
2Numai unu(*Oc$ii ei &e 'cur mari .n tim- ce &e ri"ic -e 4umtate*
2Ce6
2C nu am a#ut ca)ia &21i #" (en4eria &ex= %i & -ri#e&c ric/t "e mu(t "re&c
.n tim- ce 1i2a% 'i &c&2 "e -e tine*Dee r/&e %i c)u (a (c -e -ern*
2Exi&t %i un m/ine!&-u&e ea*
2E -rmi&iune6Pentru un mment ea nu r&-un&e*A-i &-u&e!'arte
&(emn!'arte atent9
2Da!+att*+/ine*E -rmi&iune*+att .i tra&e ca-u( -e umru( (ui %i .i m/n0/ie
tru-u( -/n c/n" 'cu( "in %emineu &e &tin&e*Ea .i -rmi&e&e -entru a "ua )i*Va
-retexta c e&te &u'icient*Am/n"i &e ri"icar %i urcar tre-te(e &-re camera ei*
C/n" a-rin&e #ei)!Dee #)u -ri#irea aruncat "e +att .n"re-tat &-re -atu(
ei cu -atru &t/(-i!&'aua %i &caunu( "in a(c#! m&u1 cu "u &caune
cn'rta3i(e -u&e &u3 ea!(/n0 'erea&tr*+axi(aru( (ui &e .nc(e%t*Ea %tia ce
#e"ea e(*8i ce .i "i&-(cea*5trecur/n"u2%i m/ini(e .n 4uru( (ui!ea )/m3i*
2A&ta e&te -rima na-te -e care -etrec .n ca&a acea&ta!+att*Nu -t &21i &-un
c/t "e 3ucura& &unt c -etrec cu tine*O urm "e ru%ine .i a-ru .n c$i -entru
c 'u&e&e -rin&!"ar )/m3i*
2E%ti #r4itare!%tii a&ta6 Ar tre3ui & m &-erii "e marte c/t "e 3ine .mi cite%ti
0/n"uri(e*Ea r/&e*
2Dac m2a% &-eria "e c/te ri m2ai 0$icit tu -e mine!cre" c ar tre3ui & 'u0
.ncntinuu*Um-(/n"u2%i m/ini(e cu -ru( ei!e( &rut cu tan"re1e ce .i a"u&e
(acrimi .n c$i*<i &rut c$ii %i &e a%e) -e -at!tr0/n"2 %i -e ea cu e(*
2Ce ai &-une "ac 1i2a% mrturi&i c am .ncetat & mai 'u0!Dee6 E( .%i -re& ca-u(
-e inima ei*Cre" c mi2am 0&it cminu(*C$iar aici .n tine*Ea nu r&-un&e*Nu cu
cu#inte*Dar +att &e 0/n"i c r&-un&u( ei era mai mu(t "ec/t -tri#it*
2Cine a c/ ti0at -ariu(6 .ntre3 e(!c/n" a#u &u'icient aer & -at #r3i*
Ea .( m/n0/ie -e -ie-tu( -r&*
2Are im-rtan16 Cu -tura 0ra& .n 4uru( (r!ea &e 0$emui mai &tr/n& .n e(*Nu
&unt &i0ur c mai .mi a"uc aminte "e&-re ce era #r3a*E( )/m3i*
2Nu!nu cntea)*Cre" c am/n"i am c/ ti0at!nu2i a%a6 A-i .n"e-rt/n"u2&e
"e ea!&tin&e (umina*
28tiu c "a*
2Dee***Ea &im1i c -atu( &e mi%ca u%r*Din .ntunericu( inten& &e au)i #cea (ui
4a&*Tre3uie &21i &-un ce#a*Nu a#eam inten1ia a&ta*Dar***te iu3e&c*Nu %tiu "ac
.nc!&au "ac e&te "in nu*8tiu numai c &unt .n"r0&tit "e tine*Te***"eran4ea)6
;52 "eran4e)e6: Ea .%i &tr/n&e -(ea-e(e*
28i eu te iu3e&c!+att*Nu au)i&e e( are c/n" ea re-eta mereu ace&te cu#inte c/n"
tru-uri(e (r erau unite6 5au (e &-u&e&e numai .n 0/n"6
2Bine!'u nimic mai mu(t "ec/t %a-t "in -artea (ui!.n tim- ce &ruta u%r -e
3u)e*Drmi acum!"ra0a mea!&-u&e e( c/te#a mmente mai t/r)iu!%i &e r&uci
.ntr2 -arte*Dee .ntin&e m/na &-re e( "ar nu 0&i "ec/t -atu(!nimic!nici mcar
re&-ira1ia (ui*De"at .n .ntuneric!-ier"erea atin0erii (ui!trimi&e a-re$en&iune
a-ra-e &u-rarea(i&t &-re ea! &en)a1ie 0ra)nic "e -ier"ere*
2+att6 Un"e e%ti6 La 1i-tu( ei m/na (ui -rin&e -e a ei*Ea &e a01 "e e(*5tai cu
mine!.( im-(r ea!(u/n"u2( .n 3ra1e %i -un/n"u2i un -icir -e&te %("*
25unt aici*Nu -(ec nicieri!&-u&e e(!1in/n"2 cu -utere*+2am .n"e-rtat -entru c
.nainte nu .1i -(cea &21i -etreci na-tea .n 3ra1e(e me(e*Viai -artea ta "e -at
numai -entru tine*A&ta era a"e#rat*Atunci a#ea ne#ie "e &-a1iu*Dar acum***
2Vreau & 'ii -e -artea mea "e -at .n &eara a&ta!&-u&e ea %i 'u mirat "e tremuru(
"e team -e care .( au)i .n -r-ria*#ce*:A&t &ear %i .n 'iecare &ear*:
O-re%te2te!-re%te2te!.%i &-u&e ea*Ace&ta e&te +att*Nu e&te***Ttu%i -ate -entru
c era +att!'rica "e#eni c$iar mai -uternic*La 'e( ca "ra0&tea ce &im1ea
-entru e(! c-(e%ea*
2Am ne#ie "e tine!+att7 1i- ea!1in/n"u2( &tr/n&*Am ne#ie "e tine at/t "e
mu(t7 Nu m -r&i*Nu m -r&i "in nu*Ea &e (i-i tat "e e( ca %i cum -rin
acea&t a-r-iere ea ar 'i -utut a(un0a 'rica "e a 'i &in0ur*,a-tu( c &2au re0&it
a '&t -ur .nt/m-(are!"ar nu era nici 0aran1ie c "e "ata acea&ta #r a#ea
%an& mai 3un "ec/t atunci c/n" erau (a c(e0iu*Dar ea "rea at/t "e mu(t un
#iitr .m-reun cu +att*
2Dra0!ca(mea)2te!&-u&e e(!m/n0/in"2 -e &-ate*Vi &ta cu tine!ric/t #ei #rea
tu*;Pentru tt"eauna:!&-u&e Dee!"ar nu cu #ce tare*E( .i -rmi&e&e ace&t (ucru
"at %i nu (2a re&-ectat*8i nu a '&t &in0uru( care a 'cut2*De "ata a&ta
.ncre"erea tta( #a #eni mu(t mai 0reu*
CAPITOLUL F
2Aei!nu -(eca!&-u&e +att!tr/ntin"2 -e Dee -e -at (/n0 e(*Nu #" cum#a "u
ce%ti -e ta#6Ea .%i "i$ni ca-u( -e umru( (ui .n tim- ce e( .%i &trecura &en)ua(
m/n &u3 %("u( ei .n#(uit .n &atin!ri"ic/n"u2i u%r cma%a -/n (a 0enunc$i*
2Nu -(ecam "e-arte!&-u&e ea*Numai -e -artea mea "e -at*
2Da*A&ta .mi a"uc aminte*O ri"ic "re-t %i i &e uit 'ix .n c$i*Partea ta "e -at*
De&-re ce a '&t #r3a na-tea trecut!Dee6 ,a1a ei "e#eni 0ra#*
2Nu %tiu "e&-re ce #r3e%ti*
2Nu6 E( ri"ic -e&te e(!.i .m-in&e -erne .n &-ate %i .i &er#i ca'eaua*Umr (/n0
umr!%(" (/n0 %("!ei &r3eau*
2Cre" c %tii -er'ect "e 3ine "e&-re ce #r3e&c!&-u&e e(*
Ea ri"ic "in umeri %i mai (u .n0$i1itur "e ca'ea!-ri#in"u2(*
2Oamenii &e &c$im3 .n trei&-re)ece ani*C/n" am .nce-ut & m cu(c cu tine!nu
mai .m-r1i&em -atu( cu nimeni -/n atunci*Tre3uie & te 3i%nuie%ti cu a&ta*
E( a-r3 "in ca-*
2Deci!te2ai 3i%nuit & "rmi cu cine#a!.n &'/r%it*Nu eram eu*Ea nu "ri&e
nici"at & 'ie (e0nat "e e( c/n" "rmea*A&ta .( "urea .n0r)itr!& %tie c
.n#1a&e acea&t -(cere "e (a a(t 3r3at*8tia c ar 'i tre3uit & a3an"ne)e
acea&t i"ee!"ar nu -utea*Cine!Dee6 L0"nicu( tu6
2Da*Ea &-u&e numai un cu#/nt %i -e un tn care nu (&a nici un "u3iu a&u-ra
(i-&ei ei "e inten1ii "e a cntinua &u3iectu(*5e (& tcerea!ten&inat %i
ne-(cut*+att .ntar&e ca-u( %i &e uit (a Dee*Oc$ii ei erau .nc$i%i c/n" &e (&
-e -erne & .%i 3ea ca'eaua*Ca %i cum ar 'i &im1it -ri#irea (ui 'ix!ea "e&c$i&e un
c$i!&e uit (a e( ra-i" %i .( .nc$i&e (a (c*A-i!.ncet!a-ra-e a3&ent!ea .nce-u
&2%i -(im3e -iciru( -e -iciru( (ui .n &u& %i .n 4&!.n tim- ce mar0inea cm%ii
ei &curte .i atin0ea u%r r0ane(e 0enita(e*E( re)i&t a-ra-e trei minute!a-i .i
(u cea%ca! -u&e -e ta#! a%e) %i -e a (ui a(turi %i &e .ntar&e .n -at*
Ea &e at/rn "e e(*
2Nu #reau & m 0/n"e&c (a nimic a(tce#a "ec/t (a c/t "e 3ine a '&t & m
tre)e&c cu tine a(turi!+att*5 m atin0i*5 m 1ii*Cre"eam c nici"at***Ea &e
.ntreru-&e & "e-un &rutri mici!'ier3in1i -e 0/tu( %i umerii (ui!& .( ciu-ea&c
"e -ie-t*<nc un minut %i e( #a -ier"e cntr(u( a&u-ra &itua1iei!"ar "ete&ta
'ra)e(e neterminate!(ucruri(e ne'ina(i)ate*8i Dee!cre"ea e(!a#ea ce#a care r"ea
-e "inuntru*Cu ca-u( ei &-ri4init "e umr!3ra1e(e 1in/n"2 &tr/n&!e( &-u&e9
25-une2mi Dee*Ce anume &2a .nt/m-(at "e .1i e&te 'ric & rm/i &in0ur
na-tea6Pentru c/te#a mmente ea nu r&-un&e!"ar "e#eni 1ea-n .n 3ra1e(e (ui*
2Nu mi2e 'ric & rm/n &in0ur na-tea*Aai )u!+att!m 'aci & m &imt ca un
c-i( cruia .i e&te 'ric "e .ntuneric*
2Na-tea trecut 1i2a '&t 'ric!c/n" m2am .n"e-rtat "e tine*Ea -(ec "e (/n0
e(!&e &-ri4ini -e un ct %i .( 'ix -rintre c.r(in1i*Duce&a era #u(nera3i(*E( ar 'i
#rut & )/m3ea&c*Dar nu )/m3i*
2<n m" c(ar cn'un)i -a&iunea cu 'rica!&-u&e Dee!"rin" &2%i 'i -&trat mai
3ine cntr(u( "e &ine .n na-tea trecut*+att nu era Ga#in*+att nu a#ea inten1ia
& -r&ea&c2-atu(!& &e &trecare .n na-te &***Te iu3e&c*E&te ce#a at/t "e
ne3i%nuit c #reau & 'iu a-ra-e "e tine6
2Eu cun&c!.n m" c(ar!0(a&u( unei 'emei tu(3urate c/n" au" c &tri0 "u-
mine -e .ntuneric!&-u&e e(*Cre"eai c am -(ecat*Ea ""u "in umeri %i a"mi&e
-unctu( (ui "e #e"ere*
252a creat un -rece"ent!cn&i(iere*
2+inciuni*+att nu &e (& cn#in&*Panica "e na-tea trecut nu a#ea nimic
cmun cu 'a-tu( c te2a% 'i -r&it anterir*Cre" c 'a-tu( c a% 'i -r&it -atu(
tu a '&t ceea ce te2a tu(3urat*8i a% #rea & %tiu "e ce*Oc$ii (ui &e .n0u&tar!.%i
""ea &eama c erau (ucruri "e&-re care ea nu #ia & #r3ea&c*
2P#e&te%te2mi "e&-re (0"na ta!Dee*A '&t -arte im-rtant "in #ia1a ta %i nu
%tiu nimic "e&-re a&ta*Dee .%i .nc(e%t "in1ii*
28tii tt ceea ce tre3uie & %tii*A exi&tat*A .ncetat & exi&te*Nu am "i&cutat
nici"at cu Ga#in "e&-re tine!+att*8i "ac te a%te-1i & "i&cut "e&-re e( cu tine!
m tem c #ei 'i "ece-1inat*Ea &e &trecur "in -at -e -artea ei %i &e .n"re-t
&-re "e3araua cu $aine %i &-re camera "e 3aie "in &-ate*C/n" .%i &ca&e -iciru(
"in -at!> +att -(n4a!.i a-uc -artea "in &-ate a $a(atu(ui %i .ncerc & tra0
.na-i*Ea ""u "in umeri %i .( (& & ca"!au)in" r/&u( (ui .n urma ei*<nainte "e
a -utea 'ace ce#a -entru a .m-ie"ica!ea tr/nti u%a cu -utere*
2O & 'iu "e)am0it!nu2i a%a6 murmur +att %i "e&c$i&e u%a*Prin urmtarea!
care era "e a&emenea .nc$i&!au)i )0mtu( "u%u(ui "in camera "e 3aie*Am
nut1i -entru tine "uce&*D/m3i .n tim- ce 'ixa u%a %i &e 0/n"ea (a &-ate(e
'rum&!&u-(u a( (ui Dee!c/n" -(eca&e "e (/n0 e(*8i (a $a(atu( ei &curt "in &atin -e
care .( 1inea .n m/n*+ai era %i ce( "e '(tir -e care .( (&a&e .n camera "e
)i*Dac nu cum#a mai a#ea un $a(at .n camera "e 3aie %i -e care e( & nu2( 'i
3&er#at!ea ar urma & ia& "e ac( .n'%urat .ntr2un -r&-!cu inten1ia "e a &e
3(in"a cu a(t .m3rcminte .n "e3araua "e $aine .nainte "e a "a c$ii cu e(*
E( )/m3i c/n" "e&c$i&e "u(a-uri(e!care .n mare -arte erau 0a(e*A#ea nut1i
-entru ea %i .n acea&t -ri#in1*
<nainte ca "u%u( & &e -rea&c!+att .%i turn a(t ca'ea!&e &ui (a (c .n -at %i &e
&-ri4ini cn'rta3i( "e un munte "e -erne*Cn'rm ce(r -re#)ute!Dee ie%i "in
"e3araua "e $aine .n'%urat .ntr2un -r&- mare a(3a&tru!-ru( 'iin"u2i .n'%urat
.ntr2unu( mai mic*E( nu mai #)u&e -e nimeni tr-in" .n -iciare(e 0a(e*Oc$ii
ei (uceau ca "u 3uc1i "e cer a(3a&tru*
2Un"e &unt $aine(e me(e6 E( )/m3i*
2De ce ai ne#ie "e $aine!"uce&6A#eam .n -(an & te 1in 0a( %i 'r re&-rira1ie
re&tu( "imine1ii*
2+att!a&ta nu e&te 0(um7E( c$icti %i 3tu u%r -atu( in#it/n"2*
2Eu #" un anumit umr .n a&ta*De &u3 ma("ru( "e -erne!e( extra&e -ie& "e
(en4erie tran&-arent*Dar "ac in&i%ti*Ai aici ce#a*Dac #rei & .m3raci!mi2ar
-(cea & te -ri#e&c*<nainte "e a "i&cuta*Nu era nimic a(tce#a "ec/t cma%
tran&-arent "in mta&e ecru!interca(at cu "e(icate "ante(e "e cu(are crem*Ea
.m-ac$eta&e 0/n"in"u2&e c +att &2ar 'i 3ucurat & i2 &cat*Nu i2a trecut -rin
ca- c e( #a "ri & #a" cum .m3rac*<m3rcatu( unei a&t'e( "e (en4erii nu
#a 'i nici"at at/t "e e(e0ant %i 0ra1i& ca &caterea ei %i c$iar cu ea!nu &e #a
&im1i &u'icient "e .m3rcat & -at 'ace 'a1 cn'runtrii -e care %tia c e(
inten1ina & -r#ace*<n m" e#i"ent!+att!(a 'e( ca %i Ga#in!.n1e(e0ea -er'ect
im-rtan1a .m3rcmintei %i c/t "e #u(nera3i( &e -ate &im1i -er&an 'r
.m3rcminte*Era mirat c e( nu era .m3rcat .ntr2un c&tum "in trei -ie&e %i
cra#at ca & intimi"e)e mai mu(t*E( arunc cu#ertura %i .%i a)#/r(i -iciare(e
a'ar "in -at!e( .n&u%i cm-(et 0( %i Dee &e &im1i ru%inat "e 0/n"uri(e ce .i
trecu&er -rin ca-*De&i0ur nu era #r3a "e&-re -utere*+att .%i cuta &ur&e(e "e
-utere .n a(t -arte*E( .i .ntin&e "in nu (en4eria*
2+u(1ume&c!&-u&e ea!.ntin)/n" m/na!cu inten1ia "e a (ua %i a 'u0i cu ea*Dar e(
'u mai ra-i"*<i -rin&e .nc$eietura cu "e0ete(e -uternice %i tr/nti -e -at!
.ntre!0enunc$ii (ui*E( .%i a01 cea(a(t m/n "e -r&-u( care era r&ucit -e&te
&/ni*De0ete(e (ui erau ca("e %i 'erme -e -ie(ea ei!amintin"u2i ce e'ect -utea a#ea
atin0erea (ui a&u-ra ei*5'/rcuri(e reac1inar*Pri#irea (ui 'ix a&u-ra ei era -(in
"e "ra0&te!0ri4!cm-a&iune!
2C$iar cre"eai c te (a& & 'u0i!Dee6
2+att***Ea "rea 'arte mu(t &2( cntra)ic!"e%i .n tim- ce era (a "u% a4un&e&e (a
cnc(u)ia c e( a#ea tt at/ta "re-t & a'(e "e&-re acea -arte "in #ia1a ei "u-
cum %i ea a#ea "re-tu( "e a cuna%te trecutu( (ui*<%i &cutur ca-u(!"e&'c/n"u2%i
-r&-u( ce( mic*E( at/rna rece %i u" -e umru( ei .nainte "e a c"ea -e -"ea*
Pur %i &im-(u e&te -eria" (a care nu2mi -(ace & m 0/n"e&c!cu at/t mai -u1in
& #r3e&c*Am ie%it "in acea&t (0"n cu re&-ectu( "e &ine cam )"runcinat!cu
&entimentu( c &unt -ra&t*Ea &e 'r1 & cntinue -ri#in" (a e(*
2+ &im1eam***ru%inat*8i rnit*8i***#in#at!-entru c ar 'i tre3uit & &e&i)e)
ceea ce &e .nt/m-(a*Vcea ei &e .ntreru-&e!"ar a-i cntinu*Dar nu am 'cut2
*Cre"eam c Ga#in m2a iu3it -entru mine*Nu #" mti#u( -entru care nu ar 'i
'cut2*A%a c e0u( %i (i3i"u( meu mi2au .ntunecat 4u"ecata*E( .i cercet
'a1a!!cu u%ar cut .ntre &-r/ncene*
2A&ta nu e&te ce#a ne3i%nuit!Dee*5e .nt/m-( ricui*Nu tre3uie & exi&te #in .n
a&ta!"ra0&tea mea*Nici ru%ine*La nai3a!au exi&tat mmente!mai a(e& .n u(time(e
%a&e )i(e!c/n" (i3i"u( meu nu numai c mi2a .ntunecat 4u"ecata "ar c$iar mi2a
.n0r-at2 &u3 a#a(an%*La u(timu( cu#/nt!+att .%i (& m/na & ca"!1in/n" .n
ea -r&-u(*<%i -u&e 3ra1e(e .n 4uru( ei %i &e a%e) -e &-ate*
28i nu #" nici un mti# -entru care (0"nicu( tu & nu te 'i iu3it a%a cum
cre"eai tu*Ea %e"ea "ea&u-ra (ui!mirat "e 3ru&ca &c$im3are "e -)i1ie %i (ini%tit
"e a-r-ierea tru-u(ui &u ca(" (/n0 a( ei*Dac nu ar 'i '&t (a 'e(!+att ar 'i
(&at2 &2%i -&tre)e -r&-u(*Ea .%i &-ri4ini ca-u( -e -ie-tu( (ui %i .( 1inu &tr/n&*
2Da!&-u&e ea!"ar a%a cum ai &-u& %i tu!-ate 4u"ecata ta nu e&te ceea ce ar tre3ui
& 'ie acum*
2Nu &unt .n0ri4rat "e a&ta!)i&e e(!m/n0/in"u2i &-ate(e cu mi%cri
(un0i!(ini%titare*5-une2mi!3a3=*5-une2mi ce anume nu a mer&*Dee 't %i ""u
"in ca-*Da*Acum .i -utea &-une*Cum#a!'r &2i "ea!"rumu(!e( reu%i & 'ac .n
a%a 'e( .nc/t -i(ta & 'ie "in nu "ea&u-ra (r*Ca-u( (ui Dee!u" %i mir&in"
"u(ce!i &e "i$nea -e umr*E( .i m/n0/ie -ru(*8i a%te-t*
2L2am cun&cut -e Ga#in (a -etrecere*Era cu 1G ani mai .n #/r&t "ec/t
mine!'rum&!ama3i(!cun&ctr %i ne2am -(cut ime"iat*E( mi2a 'erit &(u43 (a
re#i&ta &-tm/na( "e %tiri -e care -u3(ica*Am acce-tat ime"iat 'erta*
C/n"!-u1in mai t/r)iu!e( men1in c .ntruc/t .i (i-&eau 'n"uri(e a re&-in&
-&i3i(itatea "e a cum-ra )iaru(!eu am '&t 3ucura& & .i 'er ca-ita( "e
in#e&ti1ie*La .nce-ut mi2a &-u& c nu #rea ca eu & 'ac ace&t (ucru %i & am 0ri4
"e micu( ;cui3: -e care .( a#eam*Pentru a2( cn#in0e!i2am &-u& "e&-re 'ami(ia
mea iar e( a a#ut reac1ie at/t "e u(uit .nc/t am cre)ut .ntr2a"e#r c nu a#ea
i"ee cine &unt*+ai t/r)iu am cn&tatat c 0re%i&em>*E( reac1in***"e a&emenea
"i&tru&!iar c/n" am in&i&tat &2mi &-un "e ce!e( mi2a "ec(arat c &e .n"r0&ti&e
"e mine .n na-tea .n care ne2am cun&cut %i c .mi 'eri&e &(u43a -entru a 'i
a(turi "e mine*Era -e -unctu( "e a2mi -r-une c&tria!&-u&e e(!"ar acum c
%tia!3ine.n1e(e&!c nu mai -utea*Ea .%i ri"ic -ri#irea %i .nt/(ni -ri#irea (ui +att
-entru un mment*
2Cum#a!nu era atitu"ine care & m &ur-rin"*+att a-r3 "in ca-*Putea #e"ea
-ara(e(a cu e( .n&u%i*
2Cntinu*
2L2am cn#in& & acce-te 3anii mei!"e 'a-t e( a reu%it & m 'ac -e mine &
in&i&t*Am ar0umentat c!"e .n"at ce #a a#ea -&i3i(itatea & "irec1ine)e
-(itica )iaru(ui!#m -utea -(a&a centru( aten1iei &-re ceea ce "ream ni
am/n"i*Intere&e(e na&tre cmune erau ec(0ia %i ecnmia!im-actu( uneia
a&u-ra ce(ei(a(te %i cum tre3uie men1inut un ec$i(i3ru a"ec#at!-entru 3unu(
mer& a( (ucruri(r*Am cre)ut cu &inceritate %i .nc mai cre" .n a&ta %i eram
3ucura& c am %an&a "e a a'irma -u3(ic ace&te (ucruri*
Ea .i -rin&e m/na (ui +att %i i2 1inu &tr/n&*+2am &im1it cu a"e#rat 3ine c
tre3uia & in&i&t!a"u0 ea cu un mic r/& amar!%i c$iar mai 3ine c/n" e( m2a
a&cu(tat cu re&-ect -entru i"ei(e me(e*I2am &-u& c "at ce re#i&ta &e #a -une
-e -iciare %i #a 'unc1ina a%a cum inten1inam am/n"i!"ac in&i&t!.mi -ate
returna &uma -e care #iam & in#e&te&c*<mi -rmi&e!c$iar 'arte a-rin&!c a%a
#a 'ace*Am cre)ut a&ta!-entru c am a#ut .ncre"ere .n e(*De a&emenea a#eam
.ncre"ere .n "ra0&tea (ui*De a(t'e(!nu m a4uta&e e( atunci c/n" cre"ea c nu
&unt "ec/t a(t )iari&t 'r &er#iciu!care cuta un (c6Ea nu &-u&e9 ;A%a cum
%i tu ai 'cut cre)/n" c &unt &im-( &tu"ent (a McGill("ar +att au)i ecu(
cu#inte(r*
2A%a c m2a cn#in& c tre3uie & ne c&trim!cntinu Dee*Am cre)ut c
#iitru( meu e&te aran4at %i!"e%i am &im1it c -rin1ii mei nu &e -rea mrau "u-
Ga#in!nu au .ncercat &2mi in'(uen1e)e "eci)ia*Atunci!c/te#a )i(e .nainte "e
c&trie!eram .n acea&t ca& &u-ra#e0$in" am-(a&area u(time(r -ie&e "e
m3i(ier*P(nui&em ca a&ta & 'ie &ur-ri) -entru Ga#in*<( a"uceam aici -entru
(una na&tr "e miere*<mi (&a&e mie & 'ac tate aran4amente(e*
Dee &im1i m/na (ui +att cum &e .ncr"ea) &u3 a ei %i .nc$i&e c$ii!a%te-t/n" un
cmentariu*+att!"e&i0ur!nu %i2ar (&a #iitarea &1ie & -(ani'ice (una "e miere!
cu at/t mai -u1in & -(tea&c -entru a&ta %i & .i cum-ere ca& -entru e(*Dar
ex-()ia a%te-tat nu &&i*
2A%a cum 1i2am &-u& .nainte!eu eram aici %i am -rimit un te(e'n & m "uc (a
mama*Vcea ei era .na(t %i .ncr"at*Tat( meu***nu mai era*<m3r1i%area (ui
+att "e#eni mai &tr/n&!iar Dee &e &-ri4ini!0&i 'r1 .n acea&t &tr/n&are*Pur %i
&im-(u!&-u&e ea*,r nici un a#erti&ment!'r nimic*5e a'(a .n 3i3(itec!.n ca&a
(r "in Victria!uit/n"u2&e -e ni%te $/rtii iar mama &ttea a(turi!citin"*Ei 'ceau
"e mu(te ri a%a!&tteau unu( (/n0 a(tu( .n tim- ce tata (ucra*E( &e retr&e&e "in
&er#iciu( "i-(matic "ar &e cu-a "e a'aceri(e 'ami(iei!Ac#iunile Ambasadei!"e
aca&*Ea (2a au)it 'c/n" un )0mt!&2a uitat %i e( c)u&e "e -e &caun*
Era 3ucura& c +att 1inu mai &tr/n&*Dete&ta amenii care murmurau (ucruri
cum ar 'i ;Ce( -u1in a '&t ra-i":!&au ;Nu a &u'erit:*E( ;&u'eri&e:*Din cau)a ei*8i
mu(t tim- ea a trit cu &entimentu( "e #in#1ie!0/n"in"u2&e c -ate "urerea!
%cu(!.( mr/&er*Ea cntinu!cu #cea ei mic %i tremur/n"*
2C/n" am 'cut r"ine .n 3iru( (ui a&t'e( .nc/t a#catu( & .( -at '(&i -entru
citirea te&tamentu(ui!am #)ut exact ceea ce &tu"ia e( .n c(i-a mr1ii*Era un
ra-rt "e&-re Ga#in*De (a a0en1ie "e "etecti#i*Deta(ia #ia1a (ui Ga#in .n u(timii
cinci&-re)ece ani!"u c&trii -e care uita&e & (e men1ine)e!-atru c-ii -e
care uita&e & .i .ntre1in %i c/te#a a#enturi!tate cu 'emei 30ate*
Ea .%i "re&e #cea %i cntinu! urm "e m/nie "/n" -utere #cii ei*
2E( a#ea a#entur c$iar atunci c/n" #r3eam %i #i&am "e&-re #iitru( n&tru!
c/n" "ecram ca&e(e -e care urma & (e .m-r1im!c/n" -re0team (una "e miere*
<n tim-u( (uni(r "e (0"n (2am ru0at & &e mute (a mine!&au & m (a&e & m
mut eu (a e(*E( &-unea .ntt"eauna c "ac a% 'i '&t mai -u1in -re1ia& -entru
e(!ar acce-ta*Dar e( a-recia re-uta1ia mea!'ami(ia mea %i .i re&-ecta -rea mu(t -e
-rin1ii mei -entru a ri&ca un cm-rtament -e care ei (2ar cn&i"era cu
&i0uran1 re-r3a3i(*Dar***a&ta nu .n&emna c nu #ia & &e cu(ce cu mine*5au
ce( -u1in & ai3 re(a1ii &exua(e cu mine!"ar nici"at nu a rma& na-te .n
-atu( meu*8i ri "e c/te ri -(eca "e (a mine!cn'rm ra-rtu(ui "etecti#u(ui!&e
"ucea (a cea(a(t 'emeie*Din -atu( meu!.n a( ei*Ea (cuia (a "u &tr)i "i&tan1*
E( muta&e ac( -entru cm"itate*
2Dee***Vcea (ui +att era r0u%it*Nu tre3uie &***
2Ba "a!tre3uie*5e ri"ic!a-i &e a%e) "in nu uit/n"u2&e (a +att*L2am .ntre3at
"ac iu3ea*E( a &-u& c nu*Era numai 'a-tu( c re(a1ii(e &exua(e cu ea erau
&en)a1ina(e*Cu#inte(e (ui!nu a(e me(e*Eu eram -entru c(a&!-utere!&itua1ie*8i
3ani!"e&i0ur!"ar e( nu a '(&it exact ace&t cu#/nt*Dar ea era -entru "i&trac1ie %i
-(cere*E( nu a%te-ta ca 'emeie cu ;e"uca1ia: mea & 'ie 3un .n -at*Nu era
nece&ar*+att ar 'i "rit & nu 'i .ntre3at "e&-re acea&t -#e&te*Ar 'i "rit ca ea
& &e -rea&c!"ar %tia c acum ea tre3uia & &-un tt -/n (a ca-t*
2E( nu .n1e(e0ea "e ce nu ne2ar 'i -utut a#ea -e am/n"u!&-u&e ea %i c$iar acum
&una (a 'e( "e -er-(ex cum -r3a3i( a '&t %i atunci c/n" a au)it "in 0ura (ui
Ga#in acea&t amra(itate*E( mi2a -rmi&!atunci c/n" a '&t -rin&!& men1in
acea re(a1ie cu ea .n m" "i&cret!a%a cum 'cu&e %i -/n atunci*+i2a &-u&e c
mie nu .mi #a (i-&i nimic*C #a 'ace "ra0&te cu mine ri "e c/te ri #i "ri*<mi
#a "rui c-ii*C-ii7 .%i .nc$i-uia c mai "re&c c-ii cu e(7 Nu a#ea nici
.n1e(e0ere -entru ne#ia "e .ncre"ere!&inceritate!(ia(itate .n c&nicie!tate
(ucruri(e nece&are .nainte "e a cnce-e un c-i(*Nu a#ea inten1ia & renun1e (a
amanta (ui*E( "rea &u'icient "e mu(t ca & mint %i & .n%e(e .nainte "e
c&trie %i & -(ani'ice .ntrea0 #ia1 "e minciun "u-!-ur %i &im-(u -entru
ca & -at a#ea: %i -e ea*E( cre"ea c ne -ate a#ea -e am/n"u!c
;tre3uia:*Din nu ex-re&ie uimit .i trecu -e 'a1*5ca&e un mic r/&*
2Un 'e( "e (0ic ciu"at!.i &-u&e&e c e( merita tt ce .%i "rea!-ur %i &im-(u
-entru c "rea*Ea .i 'erea &ex!eu .i 'eream -)i1ie &cia(*E( cn&i"era c
-re)en1a mea (/n0 e( .i ""ea mai mu(t -re&tan1 %i .ncre"ere 'a1 "e amenii
"in (umea 3un*Nu &c-a ca)ia & &-un ca "in .nt/m-(are in'rma1ia c
3unicu( "in -artea mamei 'u&e&e (r"u( +nmunt*8i eu***Dee c(tin "in ca-*
Am '&t -rea -ra&t & #" tate a&tea*A tre3uit ca tat( meu & 'ac cercetri
-entru a a'(a ceea ce ar 'i tre3uit & a'(u eu*8i e( a murit %tiin" c #a tre3ui &2mi
arate ceea ce "e&c-eri&e %i %tiin" c #a tre3ui & m .n"urere)e "e ne&u-rtat*
Tat( meu***Ea )/m3i*Te2a -(cut!+att*+i2a &-u& a&ta .n #ara aceea c/n" ne2am
"e&-r1it*+2a .ntre3at "ac te #i re#e"ea*D/m3etu( ei era %#itr!i2am &-u& c
"a*Era .nc/ntat*D/m3etu( ei "e#eni mai c(ar*A &-u& c &tr/n0erea ta "e m/n
in&-ir .ncre"ere*+att &e &im1i "e -arc cine#a tcmai .i -rin&e&e me"a(ie -e
-ie-t*<%i 'rec m/n -e -ie-tu( 0(*
2+u(1ume&c c mi2ai &-u&*<n&eamn mu(t -entru mine*5e a%e) (/n0 ea!.i
.m-in&e .na-i -ru( 3uc(at "e -e 'a1*Era a-ra-e u&cat acum*
2Ai reu%it & te cn#in0i c re)u(tate(e ace&tei in#e&ti0a1ii au '&t ceea ce (2a
mr/t -e e(!nu2i a%a6Dee ""u "in ca-*
28tiu acum c a '&t reac1ie exa0erat!"ar mu(t tim- am cre)ut a&ta*
2Pt .n1e(e0e ace&t (ucru*Eu am '&t cn#in& mu(t tim- c "ac mama mea nu ar
'i tre3uit & muncea&c at/t "e mu(t "in cau)a "atrii(r me(e!nu ar 'i 'cut
cancer*<%i )/m3ir unu( a(tuia*Era 3ine!&e 0/n"ea +att!& -at & .i &-un c
.n1e(e0ea %i & %tie c .ntr2a"e#r era a%a*Era 3ine c -uteau .m-rt%i ace&te
(ucruri*E( .%i .m-reun m/ini(e -e cea'a ei %i .i tra&e 'a1a a-ra-e "e a Jui*
28tii ce6 &-u&e e(*
2Nu!ce6 c$ii ei )/m3ir*
2Dac (2ai 'i a"u& -e tic(&u( (a aici -entru (una "e miere!c$iar -entru un
Mee@en"!&au -entru un &in0ur minut!a% "i&tru0e ca&a a&ta cu -rimu( 3a&tn "e
3a&e3a(( care mi2ar ie%i .n ca(e!a%a .nc/t & nu ai nici mcar ima0inea (ui nici*
Dee c(i-i &im1in" u&turime .n c$i*
2Bine c nu am 'cut2*Nu am nici un 31 "e 3a&e3a((*Ar 'i tre3uit & re)(#i
ttu( cu rac$et "e teni&*
2Nu %tiu & 4c teni&*
2Te .n#1 eu!&e 'eri ea*
2Nuu***&-u&e e( &trecur/n"u2%i m/na &u3 un &/n a( ei!atin0/n"u2i &'/rcu(*+2a%
&im1i cara0$i& .n c&tumu( ace(a a(3*De&tu( "e ru c a tre3uit & .n#1 0(' ca
& -t .ntre1ine re(a1ii(e cu E"Min*Prt -ant'ii %i mnu%a!"ar nu %i -(ria aceea
cara0$ia&*
2La teni& nu e&te ne#ie & -r1i ce#a ce nu21i -(ace*
E( .i arunc -ri#ire -trun)tare*
2<1i -(ace teni&u(6 Ea a-r3 "in ca-*
2Bine*Am & .n#1*Dar 'r c&tum a(3*Ea a-r3 "in nu*
2Iar tu ai & m .n#e1i & 4c 3a&e3a((6
25i0ur!&-u&e e( cu un )/m3et (a&ci#*Ce( mai 3ine (ucre) cu un 31*
Dee &e ri"ic!.%i .ntin&e cr-u( %i &e a%e) -e 0enunc$ii (ui*
2P#e&te%te2mi "e&-re a&ta!%-ti ea*
2+ai 3ine .1i art*

+att %i Dee a(er0au r/)/n" -rin -(aie!m/n .n m/n!"e (a ma%ina ei (a c("irea
&ta1iei termina(e*5e -rir 'r r&u'(are (a 0$i%eu( "e .nre0i&trare %i Dee .%i
&-u&e nume(e .n tim- ce +att .i -u&e 3a0a4u( -e c/ntar*
25ecretara a aran4at & am 3i(etu( aici!&-u&e ea*<mi cer &cu)e c am .nt/r)iat*
2O$!"a!"mni%ara ,arri&*Omu( arunc -ri#ire ne"umerit (a a&-ectu( ei
ne0(i4ent*Nu era 3i%nuit ca -a&a0erii "e c(a&a .nt/i & a4un0 .ntr2 a&t'e( "e
&tare*Ea .%i .n0$i1i un a(t r/&et!0/n"in"u2&e ce #a cre"e e( "e&-re cn1inutu( unei
0en1i "e Mee@en"*Un 0eamantan -e rti1e %i 4umtate "e "u)in "e artic(e
&-uma&e .m-ac$etate "e -erec$e "e m/ini mari*Dar nu a '&t tim- & mear0
aca& %i & .m-ac$ete)e*Omu( &cri&e ce#a -e $/rtie!#r3i &curt .ntr2un rece-tr %i
&-u&e9
2Tre3uie & ne 0r3im*V r0 & #eni1i -e aici!#m trece -rin #am %i***
Ceea ce &-u&e "u- a&ta!.i &c- (ui Dee*:+att 1inea &tr/n&!(a 'e( "e &tr/n& cum
.( 1inea %i ea -e e(*
2O &-tm/n!murmur ea*Te &un c/n" a4un0 (a Trnt (unea #iitare*
25un2m .nainte "e a&ta*5un2m (a $te( "i&ear!&2mi &-ui c ai ateri)at 3ine*
5un2m m/ine .nainte & te "ai 4& "in -at %i &2mi &-ui "ac .nc m iu3e%ti*
5un2m ric/n"!Dee*5un2m ri "e c/te ri te 0/n"e%ti (a mine*
Ea &e &tr/n&e mai a-ra-e "e e(*
2Nu %tiu "ac m #r (&a & 1in "e&c$i& (inie tran&ceanic tim- "e "u)eci
%i -atru "e re -e )i*O$!+att!nu #reau & -(ec7
28tiu*5rutu( (ui era a-&at %i -&e&i#!m/ini(e (ui "u men0$ine -uternice care
.ncercau &2i -&tre)e cr-u( (i-it "e a( (ui*Nu #reau & -(eci*Dar te #ei .ntarce!
Dee*<i -rin&e ca-u( .n m/ini!.i ri"ic 'a1a &-re e(*Iar eu te #i a%te-ta*
Ea .i cercet c$ii un mment (un0!citin" ac( -rmi&iunea &(emn -e care e(
'cu&e!a"e#ru(!%i %tiu c .nce-/n" "e acum e( nu .%i #a .nc(ca "in nu
-rmi&iuni(e*5rutu( ei era 'ier3inte!ume" %i "i&-erat "e "rin1*Ea c(i-i*
2Aei7E( a-r3 "in ca-*
2Aei7 E( .n0$i1i*Acum "u2te!&-u&e e( )/m3in"*+icu1u( "e ac( care "an&ea) .n
&-ate(e te40$e(ei e&te -e -unctu( "e a 'ace -i-i "e ne(ini%te*Dee .( -r&i!r/)/n"*
R/&u( ei muri -e m&ur ce .%i -tri#ea -a&u( cu ce( a( 'unc1inaru(ui cm-aniei
aeriene care "iri4a &-re -arta "e .ntarcere*C/n" &e a-r-ie "e u%i(e 3atante
care urmau & &e-are "e +att!&e .ntar&e -entru u(tim -ri#ire %i .( #)u!.n
im-ermea3i(u( (ui ecru -/n (a 0enunc$i!.n"re-2t/n"u2&e &-re ie%ire*Cu ca-u(
"re-t!cu umerii (a1i!cu -iciare(e (un0i!e( nu &e .ntar&e*
Un &entiment "e ne(ini%te in#a" -e Dee .n tim- ce trecea -rintr2 &erie "e
u%i*Nu7 Ea %i +att nu a+re3ui & mear0 .n "irec1ii -u&e*Nu tre3uia!.%i 1inu
re&-ira1ia*<n0$i1i*8i &e -ri*
2Nu -(ec*Omu( -rin&e "e m/n*
2Dar 0eanta "umnea#a&tr***
2Ce cntea)6 Aaine(e "inuntru &unt ricum ne-tri#ite -entru Pari&*
2Nu -(eca1i -entru c a1i .m-ac$etat 0re%it6 Dee r/&e*
2Nu*Da*Tre3uie & -(ec*Acum*<%i &mu(&e ctu( "in &tr/n&area (ui!&e .ntar&e %i
a(er0 "u- +att*Un 0ru- "e turi%ti .i 3ar "rumu(*Ea &e )3tu & treac -rin
mu(1ime "ar!-/n c/n" reu%i & &e &trecare!+att "i&-ru&e "e mu(t &-re ie%ire*
Dee a(er0 mai re-e"e!ie%i .n #ite) a'ar .n #/nt %i -(aie!nrii 4%i ac-erin"
ceru(*+att "i&-ru&e*Nu*Nu .nc*Ea .%i #)u ma%ina ru(/n" &-re ie%ire!&e -ri %i
.( -ri#i cum -(eac!-(aia u"/n"2*Un cmi&inar .i atin&e 3ra1u(!0ri4u(iu*
2Dmni%ar6 A#e1i ne#ie "e un taxi6
2Da!&-u&e ea*Un taxi e&te ceea ce2mi tre3uie*De%i cre" c e&te -rea t/r)iu &2i
&-un %'eru(ui & urmrea&c ma%ina aceea*Va 'i &-tm/n a( nai3ii "e (un0!
&e 0/n"i +att*<n tim- ce .%i -arc ma%ina .n 0ara4u( $te(u(ui!.%i aminti "e
&rutu( (ui Dee*C("ura %i "u(cea1a (ui erau ca un c/ntec .n inima (ui*Nu era un
&rut "e 3un rma&!ci unu( care &-unea ;aminte%te21i "e mine:!:urmea) %i
a(te(e:*O!"a*De&i0ur*Vr 'i mu(t!mu(t mai mu(te!-entru e( %i Dee*
<n camera (ui &e tr/nti -e -at*+ai a#ea r &au mai mu(t -/n & &e .nt/(nea&c
cu E"Min %i cei(a(1i (a micu( "e4un!a%a cum era 3iceiu(*E( #)u (umina r%ie "e
(a te(e'n care -/(-/ia!"ar -u%e 'aie "e $/rtie "ea&u-ra*+e&a4e(e -uteau
a%te-ta*Pr3a3i( c a%te-ta&er tt Mee@en"2u(!"ar cu a'acerea C$an0 .nc$eiat!
nu -uteau 'i "e&e3it "e im-rtante*Acum #ia numai & )ac ac( %i & &e 0/n2
"ea&c!&2%i amintea&c!& retria&c 'iecare mment -re1i& a( ace&tui u(tim
Mee@en"*O &-tm/n .ntrea07 Numai cu &-tm/n .n urm!.n ca(itate "e
mem3ru c$eie .n ec$i-a Metcom!intra&e (a Westmarch A.artment /otel %i
#)u&e ma0a)inu( -e care &cria Adevrata bucurie6Metcom*5er#iciu( (ui %i Dee*
Nu -utea & (e ai3 -e am/n"u*A&ta era e#i"ent*5 tria&c &e-arat (a "i&tan1
"e un cntinent!nu ar 'i '&t -&i3i(*<nc$i&e c$ii!0/n"in"u2&e cum ar 'i!& 'ie e(
%i Dee .m-reun!.%i .nc$i-uia: a-artamentu( ei!&(aru(!-a-a0a(u( r%u*<i #)u
boutique-ul!&im1i mir&u( ertic!extic "in e(*+ir&ea ca -ie(ea (ui Dee*E( re)i&t
c$emrii!"ar au)i "in nu*:+att*,2*,2 acum*: Pri#i .n &u& %i era E"Min!
'i0ur .n um3r!&t/n" (a ca-tu( ce((a(t a( unei c("iri*
Pere1ii erau 0uri1i!0i "e riceK&/rme marte at/rnau (i3er*,ere&tre(e 'r
0eamuri artau ca ni%te 0uri*+3i(ieru( antic nu mai era!nu mai era nici &(aru(
ca("!ume"!un"e a-ra-e .%i -ier"u&e min1i(e %i un"e a#u&e&e -e Dee -e
-"eaua tare .n tim- ce -&ri(e tr-ica(e .%i murmurau "e)a-r3area*E( #)u
.ncrcturi "e "inamit mntate .n .n#e(i%u( 'ruma&ei c("iri!cn"amnate!nu
-entru c nu %i2a atin& 3iecti#u(!ci -entru c era .n ca(ea a(tuia*O -arte "in e( &e
r&cu( c/n" #)u ex-ertu( .n "em(ri r&ucin" c$eia*Nu era 'i0ur ne3u(a&!
nu era m/n &trinK era a (ui*Rea(i)area ace&tui 'a-t #eni ca un %c*Re&-ira1ia
(ui era 0rea!.ncerc &2%i -rea&c "e0etu( "e a a4un0e!.ncerc & -rea&c
im-u(&u( mu&cu(ar tran&mi& "e creier*Dar cman"a 'u&e&e "e4a tran&mi& ca
ten"ane(e & tra0!mu%c$ii & &e .n"aie!"e0etu( & a-e&e*E( "rea!cu ar"are!ca
ace&t (ucru & nu &e .nt/m-(e*Dar creieru( (ui cman"aK tru-u( a&cu(ta*Cr-u( &e
&im1i -re&at cntra unui -(a&tic "ur %i tran&-ir/n"!0/'/in"!e( urmri cum!.ntr2
tcere .n&-im/nttare!3(curi(e "e 0ranit &e "r/mar une(e -e&te a(te(e!
tran&'rm/n"u2&e .n ruine .n tim- ce c"eau*8i ac(!.n -ra'u( care &e ri"ica!
(en4eria "e(icat era .m-r%tiat!3uc1i "in ea )3urau "at cu &u'(u( ex-()iei*8i
"at cu*e(e 'a1a (ui Dee!m/ini(e ei .ntin&e &-re e(!"in ruine(e (cuin1ei ei*8i
a-i!ea "i&-ru .ntr2un nr cenu%iu!.n tim- ce 'u(0i c(ra1i r%u %i 0a(3en )3urau
.n aer*
2Nu7 &unetu( #cii &a(e .( tre)i!&e ri"ic!ie%in" "in c%mar*O$!Damne***Gemu!.%i
'rec 'a1a %i &e uit (a cea&*Ora trecu&e*<nt/(nirea "e (a micu( "e4un a#ea (c -e&te
1G minute*De%i!"in -unct "e #e"ere te$nic!nu era a%te-tat & -artici-e!e( #ia &
%tie cum a "ecur& &emnarea 'ina(*<n a'ar "e a&ta!.i #a .n"e-rta 0/n"uri(e "e (a
-(ecarea2(ui Dee*Damne &'inte!ce #i& a mai a#ut7
5ri "in -at %i intr ra-i" &u3 "u%*5t/n" &u3 4etu( "e a-!&e 0/n"i (a "u%uri(e -e
care (e 'cu&e .m-reun cu Dee*5-tm/n &e anun1a .n0r)itr "e (un0!(2ar 'i
-(cut & -etreac )iua &in0ur!cu'un"at .n 0/n"uri "e&-re Dee!"ar erau (ucruri "e
re)(#at!tre3uia & #a" une(e -er&ane!.ntruc/t nu -(eca&e aca&!E"Min &e
a%te-ta ca e( & 'ie (a "atrie*Te(e'nu( &un .n c(i-a .n care ie%i "e &u3 "u%*
,rec/n"u2%i un -r&- -e ca-!=a-uc rece-tru(*Pr3(eme!&e 0/n"i e( .n tim- ce
&e termina "e u&cat!.ncrunt/n"u2&e (a tnu( a&-ru a( (ui E"Min c/n" .i ceru & &e
-re)inte ime"iat*
2Pr3(eme!&-u&e e( r/)/n" .n (i'tu( care .( "ucea (a a-artamentu( %e'u(ui &u!%a&e
eta4e mai &u&*E"Min a#ea ten"in1a & intre .n -anic (a .nc$eierea 'iecrei
a'aceri*E( &e .ncrunt*Dar a'acerea &e .nc$eia&e #ineri %i nu #e"ea ce -r3(em ar
'i -utut a-rea*Orice ar 'i '&t!&-era & 'ie una -e care & -at re)(#a ra-i"*
A#ea .nt/(nire (a Trnt (unea #iitare!&eara %i rice &2ar 'i .nt/m-(at!era una
-e care inten1ina & re&-ecte*
CAPITOLUL 1G
Dee c3r. "in taxi %i -ri#i (a 0ru-u( care mr%(uia .n 'a1a c("irii ei*Damne
mai .n #/r&t cu 0(u0i "e -(aie "in -(a&tic mer0eau .n mar% a(turi "e 3r3a1i cu
-ru( (un0 %i 3r3i ne-ie-tnate*Br3a1i .n #/r&t 1ineau "re-t -ancar"e!a%a cum
"at au -urtat cu m/n"rie arme ca &21i a-ere 1ara*
;$alva#i Westmarch:!&cria -e -ancar"*:Nu lsa#i Westmarch s moar&
*iolatori din !st .leca#i acas&0o.ilul meu are nevoie de o mo-tenire&$alva#i
vecinii&)r+ma#i Metcom&Primrie-s.une N%:*Dee &e uit "e "u ri*
:Metcom6:Ea .%i cri "rum -rin 0ru-u( "e mani'e&tan1i %i urc tre-te(e*
2Jen@in&7 Ce e&te a&ta6 ,a1a (ui -rea .n0ri4rat*
2Nu &unt &i0ur!"mni%ar ,arri&!"ar &e -are c c("irea a '&t #/n"ut*Unei
cm-anii -e nume Metcom*Acei ameni &-un c nii -r-rietari #r &
"em(e)e*Nu -ate 'i a"e#rat!nu2i a%a!"mni%ar ,arri&6 Va a-r3a -rimria
a%a ce#a6,a1a (ui Dee .n0$e1 .n tim- ce .( a&cu(ta -e Jen@in&*
2Nu!&-u&e ea*Vcea ei &una rece c$iar %i -entru urec$i(e ei*Rece %i &-eriat*
+att!%-ti ea!-ri#in" mu(1imea*Metcom6 +att6 5 "em(e)e Westmarch6
Nu*+att iu3ea c("iri(e #ec$i*Ea &e c(tin %i Jen@in& &-ri4ini! cn"u&e (a
(i't!.i "e&c$i&e cu c$eia %i urc .n e(*
2V &im1i1i 3ine!"mni%ar ,arri&6 5 c$em -e cine#a6Dee .%i c(tin ca-u(*
2Nu*Nu!mu(1ume&c!Jen@in&*Vi 'i***3ine*Am & c$em eu***-e cine#a*Dar c/n"
(i'tu( &e .nc$i&e!ea .%i &-ri4ini ca-u( "e -anuri(e .ntunecate %i %-ti u%r9
2Nu!&-u&e ea*O$!+att***te r0!nu***<n a-artamentu( ei (& 0eanta & .i ca" -e
ma& %i mer&e "irect .n "rmitr*Ri"ic rece-tru(!3&er#/n" cum .i tremur
m/na!-ri#i (a numru( &cri& .n 0ra3 -e $/rtie #ineri na-te %i 'rm*
2<mi -are ru!"mnu( ,ie"(er nu r&-un"e*Dri1i & (&a1i un me&a46
Dee .nc$i&e %i a-& -e c"u( "e memrie*
2+ama7 5(a# Dmnu(ui*Am -r3(em*Cine#a a cum-rat ?e&***
2Nu21i 'ace -r3(eme!"ra0! .ntreru-&e Ae(en!cu #cea ei 'iin" c(ar %i #iaie .n
ciu"a rei t/r)ii*8tim ttu( %i ac1inm .n cn&ecin1*+ 3ucur c e%ti ac(*
Cre"eam c -(eci (a Pari&*Dar nu cntea)*Tre3uie & mer0i (a -rimrie .n c(i-a
.n care &e "e&c$i"e!& -rte&te)i .m-tri#a cererii Metcom "e "em(are*5a(#a"r
te #a .nt/(ni ac(*Nu .nt/r)ia!"ra0*Metccm are renume(e "e a ac1ina ra-i"
"at ce a .nc$eiat a'acere %i &e )#ne%te c are .nt/(nire cu in0inerii muni2
ci-a(i .n "iminea1a a&ta*Un"e ai '&t tt Mee@2en"2u(6 Am tt .ncercat & te
0&e&c "e c/n" am -rimit exem-(aru( "in Goarna!&/m3t "iminea1*
-Goarna6 +am!ce***6
2Artic(u( e&te ce( care m2a a(ertat*+u(1ume&c -entru a&ta*E&te un (ucru 3un c ai
intr"u& &curta 3i0ra'ie "e&-re +att$eM ,ie"(er (a &'/r%itu( artic(u(ui!"ra0!&au
cm-ania (ui ar 'i &c-at*<n c(i-a .n care am #)ut nume(e Metcom!au .nce-ut
&2mi &une tt 'e(u( "e c(-1ei "e a(arm*
2Dar "e ce6
2O$!Dee2Dee!"ac ai acr"a ce#a aten1ie acti#it1ii (ui !mbass3 /oldings&
Metcom e&te cm-anie "e "e)#(tare*Dac &unt .n ra%2rice ra%2atunci e&te
&i0ur c urmea) neca)uri!a%a c am "emarat #eri'icri!ceea ce nu a '&t u%r .n
Mee@en"*Ttu%i!am a'(at c 0hang Interna#ional a ne0ciat cu Metcom & #/n"
Westmarch!ca -arte a unei -arce(e mai mari "e teren*Au &emnat $/rtii(e 'ina(e
#ineri "u-2amia)*+2am temut!%i -e 3un "re-tate!"u- cum &e -are!-entru
Westmarch!-entru c e&te -(itica (ui Metcom & cum-ere )ne "em(a3i(e!&
3r)"e)e ttu( %i & .ncea- ttu( nu*Dee -utea au)i #cea (ui +att*:De ce nu
-utem .nce-e "e (a .nce-ut!Dee6: Di&-erat &e a01 "e #cea mamei &a(e -entru
a .ncerca & uite amintiri(e*
2<n -rinci-iu!nu e&te ce#a ru!cntinu Ae(en!"ar -r3(ema e&te c au tiat
3ra)" -rea mare %i nu a'ectea) numai )ne(e "em(a3i(e*5unt &i0ur c "u-
cum #" ei!"ac (a& .n -iciare ?e&tmarc$!a&ta #a &trica -ri#e(i%tea!-entru
c$iria%ii "in ni(e c("iri*Oameni ca %tia nu .n1e(e0 nici"at c Westmarc$ e&te
-ri#e(i%te*Au cmi& acte "e #an"a(i&m "e acea&t natur %i .n a(te ra%e %i nu
e&te nici un mti# -entru care nu ar 'ace ace(a%i (ucru %i aici7 Ji2am &-u& c ei &e
mi%c re-e"e %i (a 'e( tre3uie & 'acem %i ni*A% 'i .m-tri# ca ei & ia c("irea
c$iar "ac tu nu ai (cui ac(!"ra0*Pate c/n" Metcom #a a'(a c ni
inten1inm & -unem tate -ie"ici(e -&i3i(e .n ca(ea (r!#r acce-ta & ne
#/n" nu (cu( (a un -re1 re)na3i(* Nu e&te "ec/t mic -r1iune a .ntre0u(ui
(t cum-rat "e (a U$an0*<n #cea ei &e .nre0i&tra un )/m3et*
2De aceea am cn#cat Cmitetu( "e Ac1iune*De a(t'e( ce a#anta4 ar a#ea "e (a
c("ire "ac nu (e2ar 'i -ermi& &2%i rea(i)e)e inten1ii(e6
Ea #r3i mu(t!in'rm/n"2 -e 'iica ei*Du- ce .nc$i&e!Dee 'rm "in nu!"ar "e
"ata a&ta .n (c &2i &-un c nu r&-un"e nimeni .n camera (ui ,ie"(er!
centra(i&ta .i )i&e c "mnu( ,ie"(er a -r&it $te(u(*Dee .nc$i&e c$ii!&e cu(c
-e -at!&im1in" (acrimi 'ier3in1i care .i cur0eau .ncet .n -r*

2+att*Oc$ii (ui +att (uceau reci -e 'a1a (ui mare*Intr!(a (c*E"Min nu
%e"ea*+att c(tin "in ca-!re'u)/n" (cu(*
25-une2mi ce &2a .nt/m-(at!E"Min*Ai &-u& c &unt neca)uri*Neca)uri mari*Nu ar
tre3ui & a'(e a&ta %i re&tu( ec$i-ei6
2Nu7 O ca'etier "e ar0int &e cutremur c/n" E"Min tr/nti m/na -e ma&a "in
(emn "e tran"a'ir*Pe Dumne)eu!m2am 0/n"it7 Am #rut ca 'iecare & a'(e ce &e
.nt/m-( cu un %ar-e care2mi #in"e cm-ania -e a-a &/m3etei7 Eu***
2Cum6 +att nu2%i -utea cre"e urec$i(r*E( .( mai #)u&e -e E"Min &u-rat
.nainte!"ar nici"at ca acum %i nici"at -e e(*Pate .mi &-ui %i mie ce nai3a &e
.nt/m-(!E"Min*Am &en)a1ia c m acu)i "e ce#a6
2Te acu)6 Ai "re-tate c te acu)*C$iar mai mu(t "ec/t at/t7 Te***Re&-ir a"/nc %i
'cu un e'rt #i)i3i( &2%i cntr(e)e 'uria*+att!am a#ut .ncre"ere .n tine*Numai
-entru c am***am a#ut 2re&-ect -entru tine!am -re'erat & a#em acea&t "i&cu1ie
.ntre -atru c$i*Dar tu ai tr"at acea&ta .ncre"ere*
2Eu am tr***
2Da*Ai 'cut2*8i .nainte "e a a"uce %i re&tu( 0ru-u(ui aici -entru a .ncerca &
re-arm 0re%ea(a!.nainte "e a mer0e (a -rimrie!a% #rea & %tiu -entru -r-ria
mea &ati&'ac1ie!"e ce ai 'cut26
2Ce am 'cut6 1i- +att (a %e'u( (ui*
2Ce am 'cut6 .( imit E"Min*La nai3a!-t .n1e(e0e un 3r3at care &e .n'ier3/nt
-entru 'emeie!mai a(e& care arat a%a ca a&ta*Lu un )iar ce 'u&e&e "e&'cut %i
a-i .m-turit (a (c (a 4umtate!-entru a "a (a i#ea( un artic( cu -rtretu( (ui
Dee "ea&u-ra*Dar ca &21i #in)i -/inea %i untu( -entru 3uc1ic "e***
2Aten1ie7Vcea (ui +att era 'erm!c/n" &mu(&e )iaru( "in m/na (ui E"Min*
,urismul local!citi e(*)e )ee 5arris -i&&&Mathe6 5iedler6 E( 0emu!c)u 0reu -e
un >&caun %i .%i ac-eri 'a1a cu -a(ma*O$!Dee!nu7
2La nai3a!a 'cut27E"Min a-uc )iaru( .na-i %i art cu "e0etu( .n 4&u(
artic(u(ui*)ee 5arris!citi e(!este o 'emeie de a'aceri ale crei articole a.ar "n
'iecare edi#ie a revistei Goarna&Matthe6 5iedler(avocat la Metcom Inc&(un gru.
de dezvoltare din ,oronto(a colaborat cu domni-oara 5arris la realizarea
acestui articol "n tim.ul unei recente vizite "n ora-&
2Dar!+att c(tin "in ca-*Era mirat nu numai "e 'a-tu( c Dee a"u0a&e nume(e
(ui (/n0 a( ei!"ar %i "e reac1ia (ui E"Min*La nai3a!&-u&e e( cn'u)!artic(u( nu
tre3uia & a-ar -/n &-tm/n #iitare*
2Exact!E"Min tr/nti )iaru( -e un &caun*Exact7 Tre3uia & a-ar &-tm/n
#iitare c/n" -(anuri(e me(e ar 'i c)ut "in cau)a unui -rte&t*C/n" m2a% 'i
.ntr& (a Trnt!.n'r/nt "e nu %tiu ce re0(ementare (ca( a unui 0ru- "e
&a(#atri "e rice!'r & %tiu "e cm-(icitatea ta*+att -rin&e cu#inte(e*
2Prte&t6E"Min .i arunc -ri#ire "e -ur "e)0u&t*
25cute%te2m "e teatru( ne#in#1iei!+att*Cuna%tem am/n"i -re'erin1a ta
-entru c("iri #ec$i*C &ta e&te un cn'(ict "e intere&e!a&ta m2a -recu-at -e
mine!"ar .ntt"eauna m2am 3a)at -e inte0ritatea ta*Oricum!'a-tu( c te2ai cu(cat
cu 'emeia a&ta!e ai "i&cutat a'aceri cu ea!a '&t mai mu(t "ec/t un cn'(ict "e
intere&e*A '&t***
2La nai3a!E"Min7 +att &ri .n -iciare*Cu tt re&-ectu( cu#enit!ai mer& -rea
"e-arte7 De&i0ur!(a -rima #e"ere!a&cierea mea cu Dee ar -utea -rea un
cn'(ict "e intere&e!"e%i unu( minr*Nu 1i2am &-u& c cun%team un c$iria% "e (a
Westmarch -entru c nu a#eam inten1ia &2i &-un ;ei: c 'irma (a care (ucre) era
.n tratati#e "e cum-rare a ca&ei ei*
2+att!nu &unt -r&t*Cun&c cn#er&a1ii(e care &e 'ac .n -at*8tiu***
2Nu %tii nimic7 Pre&u-ui*Nu i2am &-u& (ui Dee c am cum-rat -r-rietatea!nici
mcar c a#em .n #e"ere ace&t (ucru7 +att .nt/m-in -ri#irea 'uria& a (ui
E"Min cu una (a 'e( "e a-rin&*Cn%tiin1a mea e&te curat*Nume(e meu care
a-are .n ace&t artic( nu m cm-rmite .n nici un 'e(*
2Pe nai3a!nu7 1i- E"Min!(#in" cu -a(ma ma&a!-e care #e&e(a %i ar0intria
.nce-ur & )n0ne*La nai3a7 C$iar acum c/n" #r3im!exi&t un -ic$et .n 'a1
(a Westmarch*E&te ac(!nn&t-!.nce-/n" "e &/m3t (a amia)*5unt 0enu( "e
-rte&tatare care 'ac "e(iciu( )iare(r! m/n "e matrane in"i0nate cu -ru(
#-&it #i(et!3tr/ni care 'umea) -i-!tinere 'emei cu cruciare cu &u0ari*5unt
ac( .n 'r1!cer/n" ca -rimria & ;&a(#e)e: Westmarch "e ;#i(atrii "in
E&t:*A"ic ni!+att*Eu*Cm-ania mea7 Cum ex-(ici ace(e -ic$ete "ac nu au
'&t an0a4ate "e -rietena ta6+att .%i trecu m/n -rin -r*
2Nu -t ex-(ica*Tt ce -t 'ace e&te & te a&i0ur c eu nu &unt r&-un)tr %i nici
Dee*
2Ba "a!-e nai3a!&unte1i7 Tu %i -rietena ta*8i nu .ncerca &2mi &-ui c nu are un
t-r "e tiat!-entru c %tiu c are*Nu numai c are ma0a)inu( (a -arteru(
3(cu(ui %i cu- un a-artament!"ar ea***
2<1i &-un ce#a!E"Min!.( .ntreru-&e +att*Dee nici mcar nu %tia c c("irea e&te "e
#/n)are*La nai3a!ea a 30at cu 3ani .n c("ir%!a 'cut .m3unt1iri (a boutique-ul
ei!mrin"u2(*Ar 'i 'cut are a&ta "ac ar 'i %tiut c (cu( e&te "e #/n)are6
25i0ur c "a!-entru c .%i .nc$i-uie c m -ate -ri*Inten1inea) &2mi
3(c$e)e rice .ncercare "e 31inere a -ermi&u(ui "e "em(are*Ea %tie c!'r
a&ta!-r-rietatea nu are #a(are -entru mine %i***
2Un ce6 +att a#an& un -a& ctre E"Min*Un -ermi& "e "em(are6 Btr/nu( &e
""u un -a& .na-i*Acea&t c("ire urma & 'ie ren#at!nu "r/mat7A&ta a '&t
recman"area mea*8i cea a ar$itectu(ui*C$iar amenii (ui C$an0 au a#ut re1inere
& inc(u"!"in cau)a re-uta1iei ta(e*Nu e&te a&ta are .n -rinci-a( mti#u(
-entru care ai '&t "e acr" & &a(#e)i!E"Min6Ai '&t "e acr"7 Re&turi "in
c%mar .i trecur -rin minte*O$!(a nai3a7 De ce mai ai cn&i(ieri "ac nu (e
a&cu(1i &'atu(6 Dac ai cerut un -ermi& "e "em(are!nu e&te "e mirare c exi&t
-ic$ete .n 'a1a c("irii7 Lucruri ca a&tea nu -t 'i 1inute .n &ecret7 Nici nu ar
tre3ui*C("irea a&ta e&te &(i"!.n ace(a%i tim- #ec$e %i 'ruma&*E&te
em3(em a ra%u(ui*Ar 'i tre3uit inc(u& .n -atrimniu cu ani .n urm!"ar c
cum#a &e -are c a '&t &c-at "in #e"ere*
E( &e a-(ec -e ma& cu am3e(e m/ini .m-reunate .n tim- ce im-(ra*
2Nu e&te -rea t/r)iu!E"Min*Putem -ri a&ta!&ca- "e -ic$ete anu(/n" cererea*
Putem 'ace & a-ari ca un eru .n ace&t ra%*Nu e&te ne#ie & "i&tru0i
Westmarch*Inc(u"e2( .n nu( -riect "e "e)#(tare!a%a cum am &u0erat Iar( %i cu
mine "e (a .nce-ut*La nai3a!ce te2a 'cut &21i &c$im3i 0/n"u(6 5au m2ai min1it
tt tim-u( -ur %i &im-(u -entru a m -c(i6,(ci(e (ui E"Min tremurau*
2<mi &t .n ca(e*E&te numai c("ire!+att*O 0rma" "e -ietre*<n .ntrea0a
&c$em!ce mai cntea)68i nici nu cre&-un"e &tan"ar"e(r &ei&m(0ice*
E&te***5e .ntreru-&e %i '(utur "in m/n a renun1are*E&te .n a'ara -r3(emei!iar eu
nu am inten1ia & "e)3at cu tine*Nu e&te -r3(em care & te -ri#ea&c -e
tine*C("irea .mi a-ar1ine*Vi 'ace ceea ce cre" c e&te mai 3ine*Iar tu #ei***
Gura (ui E"Min &e .nc$i&e c/n" &e au)i 3taie .n u%*5tr3t/n" cu -a%i mari
camera!e( "e&c$i&e u%a*Li'tieru( %i "irectru( erau .n u%*U(timu( &-u&e9
2Ba0a4e(e "mnu(ui ,ie"(er au '&t .m-ac$etate!a%a cum a1i &(icitat!"mnu(e
Jne&*5 (e re1in 4& -entru "umnea#a&tr6Vcea (ui E"Min 3u3ui*
2,arte 3ine*Dmnu( ,ie"(er #a c3r. ime"iat*5 .i 'ie -re0tit 3i(etu( %i taxiu (a
u%*A&ta e&te tt*<nc$i&e u%a cu )0mt*Am aran4at & -(eci "in $te(!+att*C/n"
#ei a4un0e (a Trnt!(ucruri(e ta(e -er&na(e #r 'i .n"e-rtate "in 3iru( tu %i
"in a-artament*Rece-1inera .1i #a -utea &-une un"e au '&t "e-)itate (ucruri(e
ce21i a-ar1in*,cu -au)*
2Nu #a 'i nici &cri&are "e recman"are*De&c$i&e (ar0 u%a!uit/n"u2&e rece (a
+att*
2A&ta e&te tt!&-u&e e(!cnce"iin"u2( -e +att!un an0a4at cu #ec$ime "e a-ra-e
)ece ani!(a 'e( "e u%r cum ar 'i cnce"iat -er&na(u( $te(u(ui*+att &e .ntar&e*
2E"Min*<mi &-ui!c &unt cnce"iat6 ,r mti#6 ,r "#a"a "e cm-(icitate6
Ace( artic( a( (ui Dee nu e&te nimic mai mu(t "ec/t e#i"en1 "e circum&tan1
%i nu are nici (e0tur cu -ic$ete(e*A'uri&ita ta "e cerere "e "em(are care i2a
a"u& ac(*
2Nu am 'cut2 .nc*A#em .nt/(nire (a -rimrie mai t/r)iu .n "iminea1a a&ta*
+att c(tin "in ca-*
2Nu ai 'cut2 .nc6 Dar***La nai3a!nu .n1e(e0*Eu***
2<n1e(e0e a&ta*Vcea (ui E"Min era ca "e 1e(!(a 'e( %i -ri#irea*Nu 1in .n &(u43a
mea un m .n care nu -t a#ea .ncre"ere*<i "au 'iecrui m %an&*Nu i2 "au
nici"at "e "u ri*Ie%i!%i 'ii mu(1umit c nu te &ct "in 3aru( a#ca1i(r
-entru a&ta*+att ie%i -e cri"r!a-i &e .ntar&e %i -u&e -a(ma -e u%!
<m-ie"ic/n"u2( -e E"Min & .nc$i"*
2Gre%e%ti!&-u&e e(*Nu %tiu cum &21i "#e"e&c!"ar 0re%e%ti*Am & -(ec!-entru c
nu2mi 'eri a(t a(ternati#!"ar exi&t a(t ex-(ica1ie*5-er ca .ntr2 )i &
0&e%ti*Pentru un mment E"Min -ru & &e r)0/n"ea&c!"ar a-i ri"ic ca-u(
-u1in %i &-u&e9
2Dac 0re%e&c .n (e0tur cu a&ta!'iu(e!atunci .n&eamn c 0re%e&c %i .n a(te
-ri#in1e*Nu am cre)ut c te (a%i -c(it "e 'emeie!"ar cre" c e&te
-&i3i(itate*<n &-ate(e ace(r -ic$ete e&te cm-anie cu un numr "e "i#i)ii*Una
"in ace(e "i#i)ii cum-r c("iri #ec$i .n ra%e(e "e -e ma-amn"!(e ren#ea)
%i (e "nea) &ciet1i(r "e -atrimniu!&au munici-ii(r &au 0u#erne(r &tate(r*
E&te %mec$erie -entru im-)ite*Acea&t cm-anie!+att!&e nume%te !mbass3
/oldings&E&te -r-rietatea a "u 'emei*La"= Ae(en ,arri& %i 'iica ei!Dee*
C/n" m/na (ui +att c)u "e -e u%!E"Min .nc$i&e "irect .n 'a1a (ui +att*
Ace&ta nici nu 3&er#*Au)ea ca un ecu cu#inte(e ;-c(it "e 'emeie:*
2Nu!&-u&e e( cu #ce tare*La nai3a!nu*Dac a '&t -c(it atunci a '&t "e ctre
E"Min Jne&*Era mai u%r & .n1e(ea0 acum &u0e&tia (ui E"Min ca +att &
(i-&ea&c "e (a .nt/(nirea 'ina( cu 0hang Interna#ional*+ai u%r & .n1e(ea0
recman"area (ui E"Min ca +att & &e .ntarc (a Trnt -entru un
Mee@en"*,r .n"ia(!"ac ar 'i -(ecat!E"Min ar 'i 0&it ce#a care &2( 1in
cu-at ac(*E( a #rut & e#ite un &can"a( cu +att -ri#in" "i&tru0erea (ui
Westmarch*5e .ntre3 are ce a cre)ut E"Min a'(/n" c +att a -re'erat &
rm/n %i c a#ea .nt/(nire #ineri &eara6 Nu .%i ex-rima&e &-eran1e(e -entru
&/m3t %i "uminic!&-eran1e care au '&t mai mu(t "ec/t .m-(inite*Pate c %i
&-eran1e(e (ui E"Min au '&t .m-(inite -rin "i&-ari1ia (ui +att .n tim-u( Mee@en"2
u(ui*5e .ntre3a are ce cn1ineau ace(e me&a4e te(e'nice "ac ar 'i2a#ut tim- &
(e a&cu(te*:+att "u2te aca&*+att e%ti cnce"iat*:
8i ce im-rtan1 mai a#ea a&ta acum6 Era cnce"iat "e'initi#*Permanent*
5mu(0/n"u2&e "e (/n0 -erete(e "e care &e &-ri4ini&e!+att &e "u&e 4& .n $( &2%i
ia 3a0a4e(e*

Dee .%i cri "rum -rin 0ru-u( "e cet1eni -rte&tatari %i 'u 3(i0at &2%i im-un
cm-rtamentu( ei "e "uce& -entru a reu%i & treac "e rece-1inera "e (a
-rimrie!-/n (a camere(e cn&i(iu(ui!.n ca(itate "e c$iria% (a Westmarch!a#ea
"re-tu( & 'ie a&cu(tat %i inten1ina & '(&ea&c ace&t "re-t*C/n" intr!'u
&ur-rin&2%i u%urat2& cn&tate c +att nu era ac(*Un 3r3at &(i"!
.n'(ritr!aca-ara&e &a(a!era .n -iciare %i &e a"re&a -rimaru(ui!care .( a&cu(ta cu
aten1ie*
2***%i re0ret c &unt 'r1at & -artici- (a acea&t2&e&iune care .n&eamn -ier"ere "e
tim-!"mnu(e -rimar!&-u&e e(!.n tim- ce Dee &e a%e)a -e un &caun*Am #enit .n
acea&t "iminea1 & m .nt/(ne&c nu cu "umnea#a&tr %i cu cn&i(iu(!ric/t "e
nrat &unt "e au0u&ta "umnea#a&tr -re)en1!ci cu in0inerii munici-a(i %i cu
in&-ectrii!-entru a "i&cuta a#i)area .ncercrii "e a ren#a Westmarch
A.artment /otel!-e care (2am cum-rat recent*Primaru( ri"ic &-r/ncene(e*
25cu)a1i2m c # cntra)ic!"mnu(e Jne&!"ar in'rma1ia mea era c .nt/(nirea
"umnea#a&tr cu "e-artamentu( munici-a( "e in0inerie .n acea&t "iminea1!era
"e a &(icita -ermi& "e "em(are a-(ica3i( (a Westmarch A.artment /otel!
Bine7 Pate c a&ta nu #a 'i a%a cum a cre)ut Metcom %i +att*Oare "e a&ta nu era
+att ac(6 Cre"ea are c nu era ca)u( & &e "eran4e)e6
Dee r&u'( a"/nc*<n ace( mment u%a &e "e&c$i&e %i +att intr .n .nc-ere!iar
Dee uit cm-(et & mai re&-ire*Oc$ii (ui -rur & 0&ea&c -rintr2un 'e( "e
ma0neti&m*8c!uimire!.i cu-rin&er 'a1a*De&i0ur*Cre"ea c ea e&te .n &i0uran1!
"e-arte!-entru &-tm/n*5 #a" ac( era "e&i0ur un %c -entru e(*Un (un0
mment &e -ri#ir*A-i!c/n" re-re)entantu( Metcom .nce-u "in nu &
#r3ea&c!+att &e -r3u%i .ntr2un &caun!"e -artea cea(a(t a 3nci(r*
Dee .%i a"u&e aminte c tre3uia & re&-ire*Durerea e'rtu(ui 'cu & &e c(atine
%i a-uc &-taru( &caunu(ui "in 'a1a ei*+att #)u&e -a(area 'e1ei (ui Dee c/n"
intra&e*V)u c .nc$eieturi(e "e0ete(r ei &e a(3i&er*O #)u cum .n0$ite*V)u
'uria!ura "in c$ii ei*De ce era ac(6 De ce nu &2a urcat .n a#in6 O$!
Damne!ea cre"ea c e( e&te ame&tecat .n tate a&tea7 Ce a(tce#a -utea 0/n"i6
Via & mear0 (a ea!&2i &-un c nu %tia nimic "e&-re acea "em(are -(nuit
"ar***cum ar 'i -utut6La nai3a!e( %tia cum (ucra Metcom&E( %tia c/t "e -u1in
-r3a3i( era ca E"Min &2( a&cu(te -e e( %i -e Iar( "e "ata a&ta!c/n" "e cinci ri
"in -t!e( nu a reu%it ace&t (ucru .nainte*E( &2a (&at r3it &in0ur cu
a"e#ru(!-entru c .i "i&-(cea & &e 0/n"ea&c (a re)u(tat!"ac E"Min ;mer0ea
%i e(:-/n c/n" ttu( era &emnat %i -ara'at*
<nc$i&e c$ii %i .( a&cu(t -e E"Min a'irm/n" c ei #iau -ermi&u( numai ca
m&ur "e -recau1ie!a&t'e( ca e(2%i -rimria2& nu 'ie a"mne&ta1i "e aceia%i
-rte&tatari 0(0i%i!a( crr &u3iect "e "i&cu1ie erau acum*De&i0ur Metcom nu
ar 'i '(&it -ermi&u( "ec/t "ac ra-rtu( -ri#in" &tarea c("irii ar 'i "#e"it c
acea&ta nu era &i0ur .n ceea ce -ri#e%te &(i"itatea*8i 'r +att ac( care &
ai3 0ri4 c ttu( e&te crect!ce 0aran1ii ar 'i '&t c E"Min nu ar 'i 0&it -e
cine#a care & "ec(are c c("irea nu e&te &i0ur6Era cu(mea irniei*O -ier"u&e
-e Dee "in cau)a &er#iciu(uiK -ier"u&e &(u43a "in cau)a (ui Dee*8i 'r acea&t
&(u43!e( nu -utea 'ace nimic & c/ ti0e .ncre"erea (ui Dee*
2Metcom Inc*a 'cut mu(te (ucruri 'ruma&e -entru mu(te ra%e "in acea&t 1ar
%i "in &trintate!&-unea E"Min!c/n" +att .nce-u "in nu & a&cu(te*E( "e&c$i&e
c$ii %i .%i 'ix -ri#irea -e -r'i(u( (ui Dee!&-er/n" ca ea & &e uite (a e(*
Dar nu 'cu a&ta*
2A#em tate &-eran1e(e & 'acem ace(a%i (ucru %i -entru ace&ta!&-unea E"Min!cu
&inceritate ne3&it*Rata "e %ma4 "in ra%u( "umnea#a&tr e&te mai mare
"ec/t me"ia na1ina(*Ce(e -atru eta-e "in -r-unera na&tr "e -riect "e
"e)#(tare #r a4uta (a .m3unt1irea ace&tei &itua1ii a&i0ur/n"!-/n (a
terminare!trei ani "e (ucru -entru &ute "e ameni*A&tea &unt a#anta4e "irecte "e
(ucru!"mnu(e -rimar*De&i0ur!&e #r a"uce .m3unt1iri %i .n in"u&tria "e
&er#icii!cre" c &unte1i cn%tient "e a&ta*
Dee .( #)u -e -rimar &c$im3/n" -ri#iri cu c/ i#a mem3ri ai cn&i(iu(ui*Inima ei
c)u*<n tim-uri "e %ma4!crearea "e (curi "e munc a"ucea "u- &ine #turi*<%i
mu%c 3u)a "e 4& at/t "e tare .nc/t .i &/n0er*5im1ea -ri#irea (ui +att a&u-ra
ei!.nc$i&e c$ii!%tiin" c era -e -unctu( & -(/n0*
Nu #a 'ace!nu -utea!aici*5e ri"ic!i0nr/n" -ri#irea mirat a (ui 5a(#a"r!
a#catu( "e (a !mbass3 /oldings!.n tim- ce E"Min Jame& .i ex-(ica .n
cntinuare -rimaru(ui & nu acce-te ca ;Nemu(1umirea mrunt: & .m-ie"ice
;-r0re&u(:!ea trecu cu -a%i %#itri -rin "re-tu( 3ncii un"e &e a'(a +att!&-re
u%!care -rea (a mi(e "i&tan1*Vcea -rimaru(ui!care -rea iritat! urmri -e
Dee -/n (a u%!"ec(ar/n" 'r ec$i#c c nu &e -utea (&a "minat nici "e
-rte&te nici "e e(c#en1a "e antre-renri*Deci)ii(e erau (uate -e 3a) "e 'a-te***
Ne&i0ur "ac #r3e(e -rimaru(ui erau 3une &au re(e!Dee mer&e r3e%te -e
cri"r!-/n c/n" a4un&e (a ca-t!.%i &ca&e ca-u( -e u%a "e incen"iu %i &e tre)i
a'ar!.n -(aie*Nu cnta*P(aia nu -uteai rni*Cu ca-u( -(ecat!cu 3ra1e(e .n
4uru( ei!mer0ea -e a(ee ac-erit "e 'run)e*
5e (#i "e 3anc "e -iatr!3&er# c era u&cat!&e uit (a ea c/te#a c(i-e %i &e
a%e) -e &u-ra'a1a rece!&-ri4inin"u2&e "e )i"u( "in &-ate*Acum c/n" era &in0ur!
ac( un"e -utea & 0&ea&c u%urare -rin (acrimi!ace&tea re'u)au & a-ar*Oc$ii
ei!u&ca1i!ar"eau!-ri#irea 'ix!.( 'ixa -e c-itanu( Ger0e Vancu#er! cu umerii
ac-eri1i "e mur"rie> "e -rum3ei*<n c/m-u( ei*"e #e"ere a-ru m/n
mare!3rn)at*De ea era at/rnat un &et "e c$ei*A(e ei*Le a-uc!&e ri"ic %i -(ec
'r & &e uite &in0ur "at (a +att*Nu a#ea i"ee un"e &e a'(a ma%ina ei*Nu
cnta*Ceea ce cnta!era & -(ece "e-arte "e e(*5 &ca-e "e "urere*
<n m" &ur-rin)tr!0&i ma%ina 'r & caute!-e &tra"a "in 'a1a -rimriei*
Cn"u&e "irect -/n aca&!0/n"in"u2&e c/t tim- #a mai a#ea un cmin*Nici a&ta
nu mai cnta -rea mu(t*Trecu -rin na-te*Trecu %i "e urmtare(e cinci*8i "e
)i(e(e "intre e(e*O uimea & &e au" #r3in" inte(i0i3i( cu -er&na(u( "in
boutique-urile ei!r&-un)/n" (a &(icitri(e c(ien1i(r!&cu)/n"u2&e 'a1 "e
"e&i0nerii -e care urma &(i .nt/(nea&c2.n ,ran1a*Vr3i cu mama ei!trncnin"
(ucruri 'r im-rtan1*Nu .ntre3 "e&-re &ta"iu( cntr#er&ei*Nici mama ei nu
&e 'eri*O "at &au "e "u ri Dee c$iar r/&e %i a&ta i &e -ru "e&tu( "emrma(*
Ea a%te-ta!)i(nic!nta "e -rea#i) "e e#acuare*Di&cuta &itua1ia cu Jen@in&!cu
-rtaru( "e )i %i cmenta cu am/n"i -ier"erea &(u43e(r (r*
5/m3t cu(e&e (e0ume "in 0r"ina ei -entru Jen@in&!(e trimi&e 4& cu (i'tu( %i
a-i rma&e (ini%tit mu(t tim-!mir&in" -m/ntu( ca("!"u(ce!.n care cre%teau
-(ante(e ei tr-ica(e*5e 'r1a & &e mi%te %i -u&e "e m/ncare -entru -&ri*
<n 3uctrie &e tre)i &t/n" 'arte (ini%tit "e -arc ar 'i a%te-tat ce#a*5e uit (a
cu-tru( cu micrun"e*A -u& m/ncare .nuntru6 Era 0(*+/nca&e6 Rma&e
(ini%tit un tim- 0/n"in"u2&e (a a&ta*<( au)i -e Jen@in& c trimite (i'tu( &u&*<( au)i
-e -a-a0a( 1i-/n" %i &e .ncrunt!-ri#in" &-re u%*Per"eaua "e mr0e(e!#i)i3i(
-rin arca"!&e "e&c$i&e %i "e"at -iciare(e (ui Dee &e .nmuiar*5e a%e) 3ru&c
-e un &caun %i .( 'ix -e +att care intra*Pru( (ui era u"*,a1a (ui &(a3!tra&!
.ncr"at*Era -a(i" "ar m/ini(e (ui erau (a 'e( "e mari ca .ntt"eauna*Ducea "u
cutii a(3e!-u&e una -e&te a(ta*Din e(e emana un mir& -uternic!"i&tinct!"e carne
a'umat "e +ntrea(*Gura (ui Dee era -(in "e a-*La 'e( %i c$ii ei!.n0$i1i %i
c(i-i*
2Bun!&-u&e e(*
2Bun*Era #ce &u31ire*Ea .n0$i1i %i cntinu*Bun #enit aca&*
Ca %i cum nu ar 'i au)it2 +att &-u&e9
2L2am mituit -e Jen@in&*A%e) cutii(e -e ma&*Cu una "in a&tea*De&'cu cutie
%i ri"ic un &an"#i% .n#e(it .ntr2 -un0 "e $/rtie a(3!-e care i2( 'eri*Ea mu%c
"in e(**<nc$i&e c$ii "in nu*+att &e &-ri4ini "e -artea cea(a(t a me&ei %i (u
ca-acu( "e (a cea(a(t cutie*<n tcere!'r & &e uite unu( a( a(tu(!m/ncar
&an"#i%uri(e!a-i ca&tra#ecirii mura1i*Dee .%i (in&e mu%taru( "e -e un "e0et*5e
ri"ic %i mer&e (a 'ri0i"er*Berea (ui era .nc ac(*Ea turn .n "u -a$are %i .i
.m-in&e unu( .n 'a1*E( 3u cu ne&a1!-u&e -0$aru( 4& %i &e uit (a>ea*A%te-ta*
Ea (u cutii(e & (e -un (a 0uni %i #)u &cri&u( "e -e ca-ac*Nume(e
re&taurantu(ui*A"re&a*Numru( "e te(e'n*Ea tra&e a"/nc aer .n -ie-t*
2De ce***6 Vcea ei &e &-ar&e!"ar .nainte ca ea & cntinue 'ra)a!e( #r3i*
B0/n"u2%i m/ini(e .n 3u)unare e( ""u "in umeri!cu c$ii .n0u&ta1i!ca %i cum
(2ar 'i "urut*
2Cum a% 'i -utut 'ace a(tce#a6 +2am .ntre3at un"e era (ia(itatea mea6 ,a1 "e
'emeia -e care iu3eam!&au 'a1 "e mu( care .mi -(tea &a(ariu(6 Nu a '&t
"eci)ie u%ar*Lucru( ce( mai 3un -e care .( -uteam 'ace era & m a&i0ur c
ace&t (c #a &u-ra#ie1ui*Am .ncercat & 'ac a&ta*Dac a% 'i -r&it -&tu( "e (a
Metcom!a%a cum m2am 0/n"it & 'ac!a%a cum ar 'i tre3uit & 'ac "ac "ream
& te a#erti)e)!atunci tu***Westmarch nu ar 'i a#ut nici -rtec1ie*
Gura (ui &e &tr/m3 .ntr2un )/m3et &(a3*
25au ce( -u1in a%a am cre)ut*Nu eram (a curent cu Di#i)ia "e Patrimniu "e (a
!mbass3 /oldings!&au "e -uterea ace&teia*D/m3etu( (ui &e (r0i 'rac1iune "e
&ecun" %i -entru un mment c$ii (ui &e .m3(/n)ir*
2E&te a"e#rat 'emeie mama ta*<nce- & .ntre#" ce ai -utea 'i tu -e&te
trei)eci "e ani*+i2a 'erit &(u43*Am '&t tentat & acce-t*Dar***E( ri"ic "in
umeri!ca %i cum ar 'i &-u& c e&te mu(1umit cu &(u43a -e care are*
<%i e(i3er una "in m/ini %i .%i "e&c$eie im-ermea3i(u( -entru a a4un0e (a $ain*
Dintr2un 3u)unar interir &ca&e un -(ic %i i2( .ntin&e*Dee .( (u!cu c$ii a1inti1i
-e 'a1a (ui!a-i &e uit .n 4& -entru a2( "e&c$i"e*De&-turin" $/rtia!ea "e&ci'r
ca(i0ra'ia rnamenta( a ceea ce -rea & 'ie un "cument*Era men1inat ac(
c Westmarch A.artment /otel era -r-rietatea (ui !mbass3 /oldings(Di#i)ia
"e Patrimniu*Era &emnat "e E"Min %i "e mama &a!.n ra%u( Victria!cu "ata "e
a)i*Dee .nc$i&e c$ii*
2Cum***6 Ea .i "e&c$i&e "in nu %i .( #)u -e +att "i&-r/n" -rin& -er"eaua "e
mr0e(e*
2Nu7 &tri0 ea*+att7 A%tea-t7E( &e .ntar&e!-ri#i (a ea %i a%te-t*Ea tra&e aer .n
-ie-t!a"/nc %i a-i .i ""u "rumu(*
+att!c/n" te2am .ntre3at ;"e ce: nu te2am .ntre3at "e ce nu mi2ai &-u& ce
-(nuia Metcom*8tiu "e ce*Am "e&c-erit a&ta "e&tu( "e cur/n"*+ &u3e&time)i
"in nu*De "ata a&ta!ca-acitatea mea "e a .n1e(e0e etica "e a'aceri!inte0ritatea ta
-er&na(*Cre"eai c am & 'iu inca-a3i( & .n1e(e0 c "ac ai 'i .nc(cat
.ncre"erea %e'u(ui!1i2ar 'i '&t im-&i3i( & te re&-ec1i -e tine .n&u1i6 C "ac 1i2ai
'i -r&it &(u43a %i mi2ai 'i &-u& "e&-re -(anuri(e (ui!a( 'i '&t %i tu #in#at "in
-unct "e #e"ere mra(6 Am %tiut %i a&ta!%tiu***aici*Ea .%i atin&e *inima*La 'e( cum
%tii %i tu*E( &e .ncrunt!a-i .%i 'rec cu "e0e4u( cuta "intre &-r/ncene*
2Atunci ce***6
2La ce &e re'erea ;"e ce:6 Pentru c ai (&at &an"#i%uri(e .n cutii*Pentru c .mi
""eai a"re&a*E( ri"ic m/na %i .i atin&e 'a1a*
28tii r&-un&u( (a a&ta7A #enit tim-u( & -(ec!Dee*Am #enit &2mi iau rma&
3un!-uiu(e7Dee .( -ri#i 1int!(u-t/n"u2&e cu "urerea "in -ie-t*
2+2ai -r&it "at %i ai min1it &-un/n" c te #ei .ntarce*,r minciuni "e "ata
a&ta!+att7E( c(tin "in ca-*
2,r minciuni "e "ata a&ta!Dee*
2Dar tt -(eci*E( a-r3 "in ca-*
2&ta e&te un r&-un& -e care nu2( cun&c*De ce!+att6
2Pentru c nu am &(u43*La nai3a!nu am nici mcar un cmin*5unt .n aceea%i
3arc .n care era tata c/n" %i2a -ier"ut &(u43a*Ca&a mea a-ar1inea cm-aniei %i
am -ier"ut2 %i -e a&ta*Ce(e mai im-rtante (ucruri a(e me(e &unt c/te#a -icturi
.n u(ei*Nu e&te &u'icient!Dee*Nu e&te &u'icient -entru mine*5 #reau & .1i 'er
mu(te*Ea .i &u&1inu -ri#irea*
2Ai ttu%i un (ucru!nu2i a%a!+att6
2Ce anume6
2+/n"rie!&-u&e ea!ri"ic/n" "in umeri c/n" &e .ntar&e*Bucur2te "e ea*
De "ata a&ta e( a '&t ce( care &2a .ntin&!i2a -rin& m/na %i a .ntr&2 cu 'a1a (a
e(*Era m/nie .n c$ii (ui*8i "urere*8i***&-eran16
28i tu ai -(ecat!Dee*Nu mi2ai "at nici %an& "e a21i ex-(ica*Nici %an& "e a21i
&-une***ttu(*
28tiu*8i .mi -are ru*Ea nu -utea uita cn'u)ia ace(ei )i(e c/n" ar 'i tre3uit &
-(ece (a Pari&*Nu cre"ea c ar 'i -utut ex-(ica*Nu cre"ea c tre3uia & 'ac a&ta*
A&ta era unu( "in (ucruri(e 3une .n "ra0&te*Dac 1i2a% 'i "at %an&a "e a #r3i!ce
mi2ai 'i &-u&!+att6Ne'ericirea (ui era a-ra-e tan0i3i( -entru ea*Ea nu .( -utea
e(i3era*Tre3uia & 'ac e( &in0ur*
2Nu %tiu!&-u&e e(*Pate c %i mie .mi -are ru*Pate c te iu3e&c*Pate***<ntr2
)i***Ea &cutur "in ca-*
2Nu!+att*Nu .ntr2 )i*
2O*I*E( ri"ic "in umeri*5e -re0tea & -(ece*
2+att*Am a(t .ntre3are*De ce nu 1i2ai &c& $aina6
2Cum6
2C/n" ai intrat*5tteai ac(*+i2ai a"u& cina*Nu te2ai a%e)at*8i nu 1i2ai &c&
$aina*
2Nu am '&t in#itat*
2Ai ne#ie "e in#ita1ie .n -r-ria ta ca&6 E( &e uit 'ix (a ea*
2Nu e&te ca&a mea*
2E&te a mea +att*Dac tu ai a#ea una %i eu nu!te2ai a%te-ta (a in#ita1ie6 Am
&-u& ;3ine ai #enit aca&:*5incer*Ce cre)i c e&te "ra0&tea!2+att6 Vrei &21i
-etreci re&tu( #ie1ii 'u0in" "e mine -entru c eu &unt 30at!&au .ncerc/n" & te
4ci "e2a -rin&e(ea!-entru ca a&t'e( & te &im1i ca(i'icat6Gura (ui &e &tr/n&e*O (inie
a(3 .i a-ru .n 4uru( na&u(ui*
2La nai3a Dee*Ce #rei "e (a mine6 Dee 't*
2Ttu(!+att*Via1a ta*Dra0&tea ta*Viitru( tu*Ea e)it!.%i ri"ic 3r3ia %i a"u0
3(/n"9 c-iii ti*C$iar nume(e tu!"ac e%ti "e acr" &2( .m-r1i*
E( tra&e (a c/ i#a centimetri "e cr-u( (ui*Ea .i &im1i mir&u(!c("ura*5im1i
"rin1a (ui*
2Nu am & trie&c "in 3anii ti*Ea ri"ic "in umeri iar m/ini(e (ui erau 0re(e -e
umerii ei*
2Atunci c/ ti021i exi&ten1a*
2Nu #i 'i .ntt"eauna -(itic& .n &cietate*Dac #a tre3ui &21i .nt/(ne&c ru"e(e
cu tit(uri!&2ar -utea & &tric ttu(*
2E&te .n r"ine*Nu e&te .ntt"eauna &cietate -(itica&*<n ceea ce -ri#e%te
ru"e(e cu tit(uri!& &e a-ere &in0ure*
2Nu te #i (&a & te retra0i -e -artea ta "e -at*
25unt "e&tu( "e matur & nu "re&c ace&t (ucru!+att*
2Nu #i .nceta & 'iu 0e(& -e tic(&u( ace(a!Dee*Dac .( .nt/(ne&c .i #i )"r3i
'a(ca*Dee )/m3i*
2Cu un 3a&tn "e 3a&e3a((6E( tra&e mai a-ra-e*Am/n"i tremurau %i &e 1ineau
&tr/n& unu( "e a(tu( ca %i cum &2ar 'i at/rnat "e &t/nc %i acum a#eau &i0uran1*
Dee ri"ic 'a1 ra"ia& &-re e(*
2Ce a(tce#a nu #ei mai 'ace6 .ntre3 ea*
2Nu te #i mai (&a & -(eci!&-u&e e( r0u%it*Nici"at*

EPILOG
+att 'cu -au) .n tim- ce urca tre-te(e*Jen@in& .( #)u a-r-iin"u2&e %i &e
0r3i & tra#er&e)e $(u(*+att nu a%te-t!.%i &ca&e c$eia %i "e&c$i&e u%a .nainte
ca 3tr/nu( & a4un0 (a e(*D/m3etu( (ui era u%r m/n"ru c/n" .%i trecu m/neca
-e&te em3(ema im-rimat -e u%i(e 0re(e "e &tic(*,he Westmarch /ouse*8i .n
cntinuare !mbass3 /oldings2$ediul central al )iviziei Patrimoniului&Matthe6
7&5iedler(director&Dee a4un&e atunci trec/n" -rin u%a ce &e-ara $(u( "e -artea
re)i"en1ia(*5trecur/n"u2%i m/na .n 4uru( ta(iei (ui!ea .%i ri"ic 'a1a -entru un
&rut*
2Un"e &unt c-iii6 .ntre3 e(*
2+ama i2a (uat (a cum-rturi*C=nt$ia e&te $tr/t & ia ce#a 'r 3rete(e
-entru rece-1ia "e a&t &ear*+ar@ e&te (a 'e( "e $tr/t & -arte 3(u0i*
2Amm*<nainte ca C=nt$ia & -arte ce#a 'r 3rete(e!ar tre3ui & -r"uc ce#a
care & .i -ermit & 1in rc$ia .n &u&*Dee a-r3 .n tim- ce Jen@in& "e&c$i&e
(i'tu( -entru ei*
2Va -utea!"ra0*C$iar mai cur/n" "ec/t #ei #rea!&-er*
2Cre)i c mama ta #a a"uce c-iii .na-i mai cur/n" "ec/t a% #rea6 .ntre3 e( .n
tim- ce intrau .n &(ar!care mir&ea a -m/nt "u(ce!'(ri extice %i -t(0e(e
r%ii*Dea&u-ra un -a-a0a( r%u trecu .n )3r %i &ca&e un 1i-t*
Dee .i )/m3i (ui +att*
2A&ta "e-in"e "e ce ai .n ca-*E( tra&e .ntr2 -arte -er"eaua "e mr0e(e!"e&c$i&e
u%a "e &tic( %i .m-in&e re-e"e .nuntru*Lu/n"2 .n 3ra1e!.i &-u&e*
2Pentru ceea ce am .n ca-!ar 'i mu(t mai 3ine "ac mama ta ar 1ine c-iii .n
a-artamentu( ei "e 4&!.n &eara a&ta*Dee .%i .n(1 ca-u(!-ri#in"u2(*
2Cre" c a&ta &e -ate aran4a*De a(t'e(!c/t "e "e& a#em ca)ia tu i cu mine &
-etrecem na-te &in0uri!.n ra%6 .ntruc/t mama &-unea ce#a "e&-re 'a-tu( c
#rea & -(ece mai re-e"e "e (a rece-1ie %i .ntruc/t c-iii au numai -t %i nu
ani!mi &e -are 'arte -tri#it & .i ia cu ea!atunci c/n" &e #a retra0e*8i "e 'a-t
e&te &eara ta!a%a c #m -utea &2ti 'erim ceea ce21i "re%ti*
2Crect!&-u&e +att*Cea "e a )ecea ani#er&are a mea ca "irectr a( Di#i)iei*8i -t
a#ea tt ce2mi "re&c6Dee .i trecu m/na -rin -r*
2De-in"e!&-u&e ea "in nu*A-(ec/n"u2%i ca-u(!e( .i &-u&e ce .%i "rea!a-i
a%e) .n -iciare %i &e ""u .na-i*Ea .%i ri"ic &-r/ncene(e!a-i 3r3ia %i &-u&e9
2+att$eM7E( r/&e %i &tr/n&e mai a-ra-e*
2N2 (&a & te -c(ea&c!iu3it7 Duce&e(e 'ac*
5,AR5IT