I feel I still owe you so much thanks! I want to tell him that I graduated with maximum qualification, that I am happy, and that I have an eternal debt to him. I want to hug his olive suit and tell him how much my voice shouts for him, everything, always for him. Three years after his disappearance exclusively physical, I recreate a chronicle that I wrote that 2016 at dawn, a few hours after his death.
“Today I woke up earlier than ever, a neighbor would get me out of bed at three in the morning to give me the unhappy news of the year, at least I feel that way now. The drowsiness and the early schedule did not allow me to quickly understand the news that slipped through the cold through the slit of the window next to the one I spent the night.
Yesterday I went to bed to read, after taking a look at the television proposals. One always sleeps with the hope that tomorrow is a new day with better offers, with the hope that something different will happen, never, one places the head on the pillow thinking that misfortune could happen.
In my neighborhood we received the unexpected news from a Cuban collaborator in Venezuela, who gave credit for the early mobilization of the Cuban brothers in that country … Resistance and denial dominated that moment, then reality occurred in my senses to leave me deep inside trace of sadness and melancholy. I understood that he had not died then the most extraordinary man I have ever met, the human phenomenon to which I have not yet found him, nor will I ever find him, similar or equivalent.
The news spread in the early morning like fleeting fog. The telephone lines echoed from house to house spreading the painful news, and at three in the morning we were a few who talked in the light of the crescent moon room to comfort the heart. One of the neighbors confesses to me that when he heard the telephone ring he gave an immediate pull of the bed, a call at high hours almost always entails the fear of picking up and that they announce the departure of a loved one or some irremediable report.
-I thought something bad had happened or someone in my family had died. – So it was, someone in the family has died, I said, and nodded, glazed eyes. I also phoned my classmates in the university, it was the first time in four years of study that bothered any of them in such premature hours; however I did not think for a second, I wanted to know how they were.
I woke up the father of one of my companions to inform him of the event; of course he also thought it was a family calamity.
When I said: –Fidel died– he answered me with a classic question: – What Fidel? -Fidel Castro, I told him. In a desperate reaction, the most notorious word of popular semantics emanated in Cuba, it went through its mouth towards my ears, and from the beginning the most sincere and beautiful expression sounded to me. -Manda,…! – I will always remember the astonishment, the little resignation of that Cuban and that bad word echoing in my senses.
Then I took two other colleagues who live together out of bed, he let me know in a sleepy and polite tone that they already knew the event, and she, frightened by others, left my nerves aside to attend to my dissatisfied grief and tell me in a tone of support for: – We are just like you.
There we were all, in front of the screen waiting for Telesur transmissions. A cup of coffee and a cigarette accompanied me along with the cold and night weather; they also defended me from discouragement and anxiety. I looked at the sky provided with stars and remembered my history teacher, I thought about how the news would have received such a consecrated man, I also thought about my ethics teacher, surely I was already standing on the ground giving him the best of the tributes, that of the heart.
I was thinking about my friend Dayán, fulfilling his duty in the Federation of University Students in the province of Havana because I know the true essence of his spirit. I was thinking about the face of my teacher Mirtha, whom I have seen crying inconsolably on more than one occasion: when I spoke of the apostle, when the Five arrived in Cuba, when a Cuban becomes freer and more sovereign in his walk and perfects himself same. I thought about Carilda and her excessive love, my mother, my classmates, I thought about life.
I went through my little brother’s room and watched him asleep for a moment. What a great joy it is to be a happy child, who, although he does not like to study, attends school for free, that although he does not like to inject himself, he has the best of medical care, that which also has the bad and the good, the White, black or mestizo. Now, I thought of Fidel.
Despite the endearing pain, a detached goodbye comforts me. I am proud of the idea of recognizing that the only force he could against his life was the natural force of time, he remembers that «with Fidel, there is no one who can.»
My greatest strength is to know it also somewhere in this world, reuniting with Chávez, El Che and Camilo, I imagine that his sense of affability would be enough to reach heaven and be happy to embrace Almeida, Vilma and Celia again. How many new things to tell Céspedes or Maceo, how many times I think, will tell these magnanimous of the continuity of their ideas?
I see him rejoicing in a hand shake with Bolivar and Sucre, I almost perceive him arriving at the sky and asking García Márquez what is new to read, but above all things I dream of sitting in a cloud with his olive suit looking down, from that great balcony in the heights, take care of the Cubans and the ideals of justice and humanity”.