Standing before a woman, tall, blonde, extravagant in her own profound way, I found myself looking hope in its eye. For so long I struggled through poverty and disease. My life filled with disappointments piled atop brutal injustice determined to stomp my very being beneath the ground I walked. But this woman, this blonde, confidant woman with her mischievous smirk felt like hope to me.
“Would you like to be our family’s translator on our vacation to Paris this weekend?”
Amongst the cardboard boxes and filth I felt a glow surround me. Hope. Such a strange feeling after all this time coated in the mud and the muck. I felt puzzled just as much as I felt joy. Why me? Why a homeless woman you just met on the street? I gazed up at this woman, my legs visibly weak. My eyes wavered hesitantly, her daring gaze staring me down. She was daring me to answer. But why? Did she really want an answer at all? I continued to stare at her questioningly until she casually signaled two men that helped me to my feet.
I didn’t say a word the entire drive to their home.
Soon, I found myself in Paris. The family graciously cleaned me up with a hair cut, makeup, clothes, and shoes of a wide range of styles. I followed them throughout Paris translating between them and shop keepers, hotel staff, waiters, and the like accompanied by their family assistant in charge of gathering supplies to take home with them and souvenirs as well as maintaining the schedule and such. A glorified servant. He was a slight Indian man, small in all ways. But he had quite a large family he provided for and I sympathized with him. My father was a hard working man once, too.
The trip to Paris seemed to pass too quickly. On the final night the family decided to eat out at an extra expensive restaurant and feed me as well as long as I took their order and translated it to the cook. I agreed, of course.
After the orders were sufficiently translated, the wife and mother of the family stood up beside me looking around. After spending such time with the family I didn’t bat an eye at the gesture.
“I wonder where Zamir placed himself.”
My eyes lifted off the pad I was writing on and looked around cautiously refusing to meet her gaze. Why would she ask where he was? She never inquires to his presence or lack thereof. Before I could think much further she grabbed my wrist mildly and tugged me along behind her.
We wove our way through narrow corridors until we came to a rustic back alleyway where various dealings were occurring. Zamir seemed to be in the midst of an argument with a vegetable salesman. He peaked up at the woman meekly.
“These are good vegetables, madam.”
Without hesitating she turned to me with my hands in her hands.
“How would you like to be our new Family Assistant?”
My mouth gaped in genuine surprise as I looked from Zamir to her and back. His face grew pained and white as if the Black Death had taken him in its grasp. I looked back at the woman my lips closed tautly without saying a word. A practice, I seem quite grand at performing. The woman nodded approvingly and walked away releasing my hands from her grasp. I looked back at Zamir sorrowfully before rushing after my employer.
I found my way back to the restaurant without too much trouble and stood before those demanding eyes and long blonde curls once again. I too turned meek and submissive before them. Before any words could be exchanged, Zamir burst through the door filling the atmosphere with anger and a hunger for justice. I turned to stand beside my mistress and looked upon this under appreciated man with a mild annoyance but respect.
“How dare you fire me! I have given this family my all!”
Zamir rushed towards us with a fire in his eyes the Devil himself couldn’t conjure. For a brief moment I felt fear fill my body before I caught madam’s eyes. I suddenly knew just what to do. The knife in his hand would hold no meaning. My employer and I held hands and stared down the quickly approaching aggressor with a defiance befitting gods. Our stomachs ruptured revealing bottomless black holes that sucked Zamir inside to never return.
Where he falls forever while we dine in Hell.