Short Stories

Maria’s Greatest Fear

I love Joshua, but he drives me crazy sometimes. I don’t know why I have to journal my thoughts when I can talk to my husband. I think Garcia put him up to this to give us busy work to occupy our time. I guess this is better than our other busywork. The CIA believes evacuation drills and shooting guns will help avoid boredom, but it only makes me angry.

I spent my life as a child running from the cartel with my family and then hiding from the U.S. government. I finally become a legal citizen, and now the government has me running and hiding from this evil man Chuck. He isn’t even after me; he’s after Garcia. Why should my husband and I have to give up our freedom?

Joshua swears Chuck would use us to flush out Garcia. I suppose I believe some of what they say because the cartels used to do the same thing. I always thought the U.S. was a powerful government, but even they seem to cower away from these types of men just like Mexico. Instead of taking the fight to Chuck, they make us shoot guns at targets at the edge of the island where all sorts of wild things live.

Harold and Garcia are spending a lot of time with my husband when they don’t have all of us at target practice. He returns from their meetings withdrawn. Joshua tells me there is nothing to worry about, but I recognize the far-off look in his eye. He had it after Harold’s father killed himself. I pulled Darla aside, but she repeats Joshua’s words. If there is nothing to worry about, why won’t they tell me what is going on?

I’m afraid Darla and Garcia will turn my husband and Harold into one of them and pull them into their world of lies and death. They trust nobody. Well, Darla says she depends on Harold, but I’m not sure I trust any of them, except Harold. He would never betray me. I asked him to look out for Joshua. He told me I had nothing to worry about but then promised he would honor my request.

What has happened to our family? I pray we’ll all survive.

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