It has been around 3: 30 a.m. when we return to the apartment. Gerardo wants to stay with me until a cab driver arrives, but I know he will have a business meeting at the early morning. Besides, I do not want to have a dramatic leave-taking scene; I want it to be as brief as possible. For that reason, I say briefly, “Gerardo, you should go to the bed, for you have to go to Santa Fe by 7:30 in the morning. You can have only two hours to sleep. And also you need a rest, my friend. Don’t you worry about me, I’ll be okay. I’ll just take a shower and decamp, so….”
“I want to say good-bye to you, man,” he murmurs.
I give him an amicable hug and come out with, “Thanks, my friend. But you’ve already helped me too much. I can’t expect more. I’ll never forget what you’ve done for me.”
“Shogo, I want to tell you one last thing. Don’t worry about anything. You’ll be okay. You’ll stay in Japan only for a couple of months, so don’t be depressed. I really think that you can go to Vancouver very soon and believe that it will be sooner than you think. God always watches you over your shoulders, so just do what you must do, my friend.”
With that, he gives me a handshake and warm hug – vanishes into his room.
“I’m going to miss him awfully,” I think to myself with tears in my eyes. He is going to turn to be twenty-seven years old in several months, but for me, he is still seventeen-years old. Gerardo Veloz has kicked me in the ass to walk on my private destiny – he has just changed my life.
After I take a shower, I decide to wait for a cab outside. I grab my suitcase and backpack and leave the apartment keys on the table. And then I walk out the apartment with a heart overflowing with gratitude.