On Saturday morning, the police drove me to the station, and hours later, it dawned on me that the tone was wrong. People exchanged words with each other, not knowing that I understood them. When I asked if I could return to the hotel since I had not had anything to eat, they told me that they were waiting for the American Embassy.
I called Marianna who came with her nephew, and once he introduced himself to the interrogators, they gave him a detailed explanation. Later, Sergio told me that the police were suspicious of everybody and everything, including me and Steve.
“Technically, they detain you until your embassy clarifies your situation. I took the liberty to explain that you are not a flight risk, and I’d vouch for you. That’s the reason they excused you tonight.”
"What? A flight risk? What are they talking about?"
"There might a crime involved, or espionage or anything. They are not showing all their suspicions, but they are suspicious."
Marianna’s nephew assured me that he would stay on top of any development.
“Well, it’s settled,” Marianna added, “you are having Easter with us. I’ll pick you up in the morning. Besides, they won't be able to hide anything from me!"
Marianna had been a reporter and this nephew of hers had been her source of information on many cases. She didn’t explain how, but assured me that I was in good hands.
Back at the hotel, I looked at the package she had given me.
The letters spanned the first few years Tina and I spent in Montana. I counted them and marvelled at how much of Tina’s life was in those pages.
I studied the handwriting, the length of each one, trying to guess what she was revealing about those days. I spread them on the floor, from one end to the other, my fifth year to my tenth year in front of me.
The letters stopped for a while, and resumed again from Florida.
I wanted to start there, at the time in Florida when my mother and I parted for good.
When and why did she stop talking to Marianna?