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Chapter 4 excerpts

Displaced

September 11, 1973

 

bombed Moneda palace

"Irene didn’t know what woke her at first.  The room was still dark, though she could see threads of light through the slats in the venetian blinds.  Turning on her side she saw the numbers glowing on the clock.  A few minutes after eleven.  Oh, yes.  Tuesday.  She and Gabriela had stayed in the lab until close to three in the morning.  Turning onto her back, she stretched slightly.  This was definitely the nicest morning of the week, when they were able to drink coffee in bed, get up when they wanted, and relax over a late lunch.

She turned in the other direction and found Gabriela’s back, the skin so soft.  Irene allowed her hand to linger, tracing the tight curve along the side, over the small mole parallel with the ribs, down to the waist.  She nuzzled Gabriela’s shoulder, taking in the musky fragrance of sandalwood and tobacco.  It was still so new to her, this deep connection, this predictable familiarity. Every morning reaching out, just in case.  And every morning thinking, good.  She’s still here.

But there was something different.  Silence.  Eleven o’clock in the morning, their apartment overlooking the main avenue downtown.  Even though they were on a fifth floor, by this point on a weekday morning there was at least the muffled sound of traffic on the street below.  Was it the silence that had awakened her?

And then she heard it, the sibilant scream of jet engines.  So close to downtown?  She jumped up and, pulling on her bathrobe, went running out to the living room balcony in time to see the next Hawker buzzing by, so close she could almost touch it.  Immediately a loud boom, and a cloud of smoke rose a few blocks away.  And she knew.

After all the waiting, the denial that it could happen in Chile, the pressure from right-wing parties, the military was overthrowing Allende.  They were bombing the Moneda."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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