Rendezvous on Lot 39 - Conclusion: We Didn't Start the Fire [Fiction]
It was already burning. We just showed up and tried to fight it. - Billy Joel (paraphrased)
(Complete audio begins after the preview)
We Didn’t Start the Fire
“Have you gone mad? Why didn’t you try to reach me?”
“We did, but you were out of range.”
“I can’t believe you betrayed me like this, Carla. My own sister.”
Viktor was on the phone with his youngest sibling. The only girl and his father’s favorite. Viktor pictured the way she looked the last time he visited her restaurant in Berkeley. Birkenstock shoes. A single French braid down her back. Dangling handmade earrings and not a shred of makeup.
The restaurant she’d opened with her husband served organic soups and vegetables, kefir smoothies, and whole-grain sandwiches with a thick bed of alfalfa sprouts. She practiced tantric yoga and said things like go with the flow and follow your bliss. A real kook, and Daddy’s little girl.
“Oh, stop being such a martyr, Viktor,” she said. “You have no idea what we’ve been through.”
“You think it was fun for me being quarantined on a cruise ship that wasn’t allowed to dock anywhere? You think it was fun being stuck in effing Quito all this time?”
“Why didn’t you pay attention to the warnings
and get out before the borders closed. Every country in the world issued them. I didn’t know if you were alive or dead, Viktor. Or stuck in some third-world hospital on a ventilator. It’s been hell here. Everything closed down. We had no staff, no customers, and no income. The bank was coming after our house and our business. And it took forever for government support to come through. What was I supposed to do? Let my family starve?”
“Why didn’t you try going with the flow until I got back?” he snapped. “Or were you too blissed out after your tantric orgasms?
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