He was born Jose Felipe Ramirez, the illigitimate son of one Josephina Ramirez who was only fifteen at the time of the birth. She always maintained that she was raped by a boy in the village, but she refused to name him because, she said, she didn’t want to be forced to marry him. In an era when out-of-wedlock pregnancies were rare and severely punished, this was brave of the young Josephina.
Jose himself took the story with a pinch of salt. Perhaps it was true and perhaps it wasn’t. Either way, he was the eldest of eight children and the father of his siblings became, to all intents and purposes, his dad.
However, like father like son, and by the time Jose was seventeen he had got his girlfriend pregnant but, just to make a change, got married. A daughter was born and she, in turn, had her first child when she was sixteen, making Jose a grandfather at age thirty-three. From that day on he was called the abuelo – the grandfather.
The abuelo was fundamentally an honest man. Never in his life had he wanted any trouble, never had he thought of doing anything dishonest. He’d have by far preferred, especially in old age when he met Janie, to sit quietly under the vines, doing nothing, thinking nothing. But by the time he was forty, after years of poverty, intermittent work, and hardship, he found himself embroiled – really quite accidentally – in some kind of a gang. Guns. Robberies. Dark alley ways. Whisperings. Secrets. Threats.
He tried to extricate himself on more than one occasion but … but … it was good to see some cash in his hands. Not a lot, but more than he usually had. And he was not an intelligent man. He knew that. He was afraid, at first, of what they might do to him. Felt he couldn’t confide his fears in any of them. Learnt to keep quiet. Do the job, take the money.
Whatever happened, however, he did not wish to murder Janie.
“Saying Nothing” by Catherine Broughton.
Catherine Broughton is a novelist, a poet and an artist. Her books are available as e-books (see below) or can be ordered from Amazon/Kindle or any leading book store or library. http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk
Available on Amazon worldwide. This link to Amazon UK:-
as e-books (£1.99/ $3):-
https://payhip.com/b/tEva “A Call from France”
https://payhip.com/b/OTiQ ”French Sand”
https://payhip.com/b/BLkF “The Man with Green Fingers”
https://payhip.com/b/1Ghq “Saying Nothing”
- See more at: http://www.turquoisemoon.co.uk/blog/people-in-my-books-the-abuelo-a-novel-set-in-spain-saying-nothing/#sthash.s5Yd6ul4.dpuf