Today I was decided, I was going to write to you,  something special for you…you are so far from me, yet I feel you so close. Words are jostling in my heart…every emotion wants to be the star, and be the first to pass on my keyboard… distance, loneliness, tenderness,  memories…and love.  But, suddenly, a hurricane of torments that my mind could no longer hold back fell on them…and my poor feelings had withdrawn intimidated and embarrassed.


How could I speak to you about love when Salsabil, do you remember her? the little girl from above neighbors, with soft and tender eyes, who often used to come to play with my little sister, do you remember her ? she was abused, killed and thrown in a garbage bag. How could I speak to you of tenderness, when I’m still hearing her mother’ cries, bruised and strangled by her own sobs. How could I speak to you of loneliness, when I imagine her fear and her helplessness in her last moment. You know… now all the kids in the neighbourhood don’t go out anymore, they are frightened, shocked…Salsabil’ s murderer is a neighbour too, a young man of eighteen years old …


I wish I could write to you about our memories but do you remember the boxer, my father’ friend? The one who has helped you fix your car last year? He died from a rare and ancient disease: cholera. My father told me that his suffering was terrible, he was emptied and dried by awful pains. My neighbourhood, other times, full of jasmines are now quarantined. We hear about new cases every day.  What is sure now, that’s we aren’t afraid that something bad happens to the kids as they don’t go out anymore.


  My love, me and you, we are like Fermina and Florentino- the heroes of love in times of cholera. Yet, their love had survived fifty years of separation… you know what, so do we. We can make it through, we should apply love where it hurts to heal. I will write to all the mothers in my neighborhood, I will ask them to fill their children with love. A loved child, supported, adored, would never be a criminal, he would rather be an honest and dignified human being. I would tell them, that everything is not so black, that soon cholera will disappear. That with good will, respect and love, jasmines will blossom again in my neighbourhood. As for you, my love, tomorrow I will write to you. (to be continued)