It is a normal day, quiet in the midst of people walking in opposite directions, unaware that an instant is coming that will change everything. We have come to Barcelona other times. The holidays are over next week and a new year begins. The one so individual, which for many begins in September.
I try to walk slowly so as not to wake her up. She does not like the heat that the sun still imposes from the sky at that moment and in those hours. Luckily there is a bit of shade. Everyone seems to follow her, looking for a respite. The bracelet fits me big and dances around my wrist. I remember the last walk on the beach: the sand was burning, the air not so much.
All the faces showed a message: that of having left the house, the hotel, the pension, the apartment, the house of friends perhaps too soon. The world seems to be represented around me. A world distracted by shop windows, flowers or terraces that offer themselves promptly to welcome, at least for a few minutes, a conversation in any language.
That road that seems to unite Spain to Europe, but also to America and the enigmatic East, and which for Hemingway is the most beautiful route that his eyes have ever contemplated, with or without shadow. And while love walks by the hand, configuring itself in different ways, a scream breaks the calm, like lightning before the storm …
In an instant, terror destroys tranquility
A van is driving in an area where it shouldn’t. Very fast, breaking lives, causing pain and leaving bodies lying on the ground that will no longer be able to walk on any continent. In an instant, what is reflected in all the faces is bewilderment, then panic. I run and the little girl wakes up, and cries, and screams, because, just like the others, she doesn’t know what’s going on, what woke her up from her nap. The air does not breathe sea or salt, but blood and fear.
In an instant everything changed …
I run firmly grabbing the stroller, as if there was no tomorrow – “who knows if there will be?”, An often ignored truth that a few times made my skin crawl -, with accelerated beats, a trembling heart. I just want to go away. Suddenly something pushes me and I fall, the stroller keeps running away and gets lost as my eyes close. In my head the distant echo of the last desperate cries resounds. Love has fallen to the ground because no one is holding it anymore, and it has broken into a thousand pieces.
All the roses, in an instant, turn black …
I feel that someone is turning me and that a noise runs through my whole body. It is very difficult for me to think. I try to order my eyes to open, but they don’t obey me. I ask them and then I beg them, I want them to let me take back that hope that has escaped from my hands in the midst of horror.
The sound of the sirens sticks to my temples as if it were a dagger, the pain is no longer that of a nightmare and becomes real even for the most incredulous. Someone tries to drag me with difficulty, but fails. He leaves me on the ground, now there are two people who try. One has small and soft hands, those of the other person seem to have traveled the world raising anchors.
I try to say Amaya, as if I were saying a conjuration, for you to come back. I sense that they have arrived in a safe place, because they no longer move me and someone gently takes me by the wrist. They control my heartbeat, barely perceptible, despite the tension around me. Someone speaks, they try to wake me up. They hit my face with shame and repeat my name.
A moment to go back to life, a whole life to explain
I also want to go back and see why somewhere outside there is something that is more important than me. It is something that happens to you on the day you become a mother. That day you feel that you will never be the first again, as well as having new fears. A long list, scary if you think more carefully. But I hadn’t imagined that I could end up in a place surrounded by tapes and policemen, in which a tragedy had just taken place. That in an instant I could have lost so much …
I open my eyes and the pain intensifies. It is the arm, but also the hip, the back and the right leg. I try to catch my breath and then yes, I say Amaya, it is my answer, the only one I have at this moment for my name. At this precise moment I don’t remember it, I’m just looking for the light blue color with white polka dots. I always hated that stroller that I now desperately want to find. I close my eyes and take strength. I see it at the bottom. I point to him and someone runs and approaches him: one of the wheels had broken, and he does it with difficulty.
Amaya. I gave her this name because I saw in her the same freshness and the same life that one finds in a landscape after the rain. Green, intense, rainy and mysterious. I do not hear, I only search with my eyes, any noise seems far away. They free my hand and I push against the ground. The same blood that fills my throat frustrates my efforts.
I want to lean out and then I hear her scream. This cry gives me a question, how will I explain to her when what happened is great, how will I be able to tell her that someone tried to kill her before she could make her first mistake or say her first word.
However, first she had to understand that she had committed so many… and that in that instant they all seemed very small to her for what she could lose in the blink of an eye, which now yes, they could close in peace.