Chapter 9:

Hope´s father

Magnum Opus

As we leave High grounds, I look around trying to guess where are we going.

I try to speak to her, but I get the feeling that this is not the time, we can be track down by the guards, so I should be looking at the surroundings in case something suspicious happens.

After a while we get to a big house. It looks like someone wealthy lives here. White house, garage, front garden, an eight to nine feet iron fence, two floors and surrounded by trees. We are probably at the furthest part of the city where there are only trees before getting to the wall that works as a boundary to the exterior world.

“Come.” She says bringing me back to reality. And so, I follow her.

“Who lives here?”

“The principal.”

What? This change of events made me forget about what just happened at the High grounds.

She takes out some keys and opens the door.

An elegant interior, very sophisticated yet, it looks kind of lonely as if the person living here never really make use of his belongings. Almost everything seems new, a façade.

“Did he really lived here?”

“Yes, partially. He used to spend most of his time at school.”

“Why do you have his keys?”

“He gave me everything before he died.”

“How´s that even possible?”

“…I guess I can tell you this.” She says after catching up her breath.

“The principal, died of extreme exhaustion. Not only did he work for the mafia but also for the school. He was an intelligent yet coward man and couldn´t stand up for his own not even for his family. When I came here two years ago, I looked for him in all places until I found him at school. He recognized me immediately, he even hugged me but to me that had no meaning. Ahhh” she sighs.

“He told me about everything, why did he abandon us and why he couldn’t see my mother and I. The school is run by the mafia from where we used to live. The previous principal was the mafia´s boss brother, the director and principal, who was his wife, were good citizens but they died in the accident where the theater burnt. Since then, my father was asked to work at school as the principal. Although, there is no director, my father managed to run the school legally by his own.”

I can´t believe the mafia´s brother was the principal and that he married the director. But what surprises me the most is that they died in that horrible place. My heart starts to beat fast, I need to calm down. I can´t say that I was there as well nor that my brother planned everything, after all, according to the news the confirmed weren´t in that place although they really were in the theater.

I need to know how close her relation with his father before telling her about that.

She proceeds with her story. “The idea was to use the school to infiltrate mafia workers to the richer side of the city and little by little take control over the city. Why my father? ´cause he had studies in pedagogy and administration. However, the principal did not have enough time, he was getting exhausted, he had fainted a couple of times…” What she says it´s true, when I started studying, there were rumors that the principal had an illness and that he usually was absent because of that.

“He knew that eventually he would die and when I showed up and told him about mom, he arranged everything to get me enroll to the school. Soon after, he passed away in his sleep.”


“How was he?” I ask to break the silence.

“What?” she replies as if not understanding my question.

“I mean, how was he as a father?”

“I don´t know. I don´t have memories of him, all I knew about him was his face because of my mother´s photos.”

“Did you care for him?”



“He may be my “father”, but to me, a few weeks with him doesn´t give him the right to be called father. He was more a stranger who helped me more than a father.”

“Then why, did you come to the city? Didn´t you say you came to see him?”

“I needed answers…” She says looking at the floor. “I am part of the mafia you know… after my mother died I worked with them for a while… after knowing where my father was I came here. That´s all.” She says as if it was really hard to say. Though, I have the feeling she´s hiding something.

“And what will you do now? I mean, both your parents are dead, what is your purpose now? Why did you stay?” I ask.

She looks surprised. “I.. don´t… I´m not… sure.” She hesitates to speak. This is new to me, a new reaction from her, I´m going to see how much can I take from this situation, maybe I can understand why she helps me.

“I will protect you.” She says going back to normal.

“What?!” I can´t hide my surprise.

“I will protect you, that is it.”

“Why? Why did you say that? You made everything more confusing now, there is no real connection between you and I besides going to the same school.” I yell at her. Although, I know we do have a connection… the theater. Did she perhaps know about that?

“I told you before that I am not prepare to give you the details, so don´t ask me again and wait.” She says firmly.

“Now rest, we will stay here for a while, I am going to take a shower.” After saying that she leaves me alone in the living room.

I have to think, she´s the daughter of the principal, she wants to protect me, she saved me three times already and she works for the mafia. If she wanted to kidnap me and blackmail my family she could easily do it now, she doesn´t want to kill me nor has shown any sign of doing that, apart from what she said, there is no connection between her and I. Unless, she knows about the theater incident and wants to take revenge against my family or the confirmed… no, that´s not possible, if she didn´t care about her family why would she care for any other relative.

I sit on the nearest couch.

And above all, my father and brother would start to look for me.

As she said, waiting here may be the best option for now until they find me or something else happens, I guess this place is safer than her house,

for now.