NEWS & VIEWS OF PHILLIPS SINCE 1976
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SEARCHING ”“ a Serial Novelle CHAPTER 14: Darkness and Light

By Patrick Cabello Hansel
Angel and Luz went on talking for what seemed to be for hours, hours of sitting among the dusty puppets and masks, telling their stories as they had never been told. Their bodies kept inching towards each other, a trusting born not only of desire, but of a calling deep within: a calling to heal and be healed. Just as they were at the point, that fulcrum of leaning into the other, a leaning that could mean kissing each other or helping each other to their feet, there was a loud BOOM! from the street corner, and the lights in the building flared and went out. Completely. Total darkness.

“What was that?” Angel asked, his body shaking.

“I think it”'s a blackout”, Luz replied.

“Now what do we do?” Angel asked.

Luz paused in her reply. She knew that a kiss was on her heart and on Angel”'s, but that the time for it to be fulfilled had been changed, by the stealing of the light. A first kiss is not good in the dark. You want to see your beloved being born before your eyes, you want to cherish the sight of delight reflected back to your body, your spirit, your self.

“I think we need to go and see what happened”, she finally said.

So they groped and stumbled their way to a window. Outside the street was dark, with a few shadowy figures moving around. Some looked like cops, some like those the cops might be chasing. Across the street there were a few white people holding up signs condemning the raid, and a few Latinos. One of them carried a large statue of the Virgin of Guadalupe, another seemed to be singing.

“I had almost forgotten that today is Guadalupe”'s day”, Luz said.

“It”'s December 12 already?” Angel replied. He realized that the days he had spent unconscious from the beating and the days of his search had scrambled his sense of time. All he knew now was that he wanted, he needed to stick to Luz. Stick to the girl whose name meant light. He remembered the gifts Mother Light had given him in the backpack.

“Hey, I”'ve got a candle and some matches here”, Angel told Luz. “It will help us get out.”
And so, by the light of one candle they found the stairway, and by the light of that same candle they found the door that lead to the alley. New snow had covered the footprints of the chased and the chasers. It was almost as if the world was new for the two

“Which way should we go?” Angel asked.

“I want to find Uncle Jaime”, Luz said, softly

“But we can”'t go back to the bakery. The Migra might still be there.”

“But where should we go?” Luz asked.

“I think my teacher might be able to help us.”

“Your teacher? I didn”'t know you were studying some where”, Luz said.

Angel realized that what Luz had said was true and not true. He was not enrolled in college or technical school, he was studying anything. But he was learning a lot, about himself and about the neighborhood. Finally, he spoke:

“I”'m trying to learn, Luz. I”'m trying to study where I came from and where I”'m going.”

“And now you have me to help you.”

“Yes”, Angel said. Yes, a simple yes that was stronger than the kiss he had anticipated when they were inside. Yes, Angel thought, yes, now I have a true companion, someone to walk with, someone who would understand.

“Do you believe that owls really speak to humans?” Angel asked.

“I do. I think they speak for us as well.”

“For us? What do you mean by that?”

“Let”'s go. I”'ll tell you as we walk.”

Luz smiled and took Angel”'s hand, and they began to walk.

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