The Ex-Girlfriend’s situation has changed and she will not now be staying for two or three months but possibly for a much longer period. This is because of things that have both happened or are currently happening far from here that are connected with things that I have already written about.
One of the things that has happened is that The Ex-Girlfriend’s boyfriend is dead. Really he has been dead for some time, since the moment he was shot two weeks ago, and the only thing that has changed is that The Ex-Girlfriend’s sister has confirmed that he is dead. I am terribly sorry, of course, both for The Ex-Girlfriend, who deserves further unhappiness in her life less than any other person that I know, and for her boyfriend, who from all accounts was someone who cared for her a great deal at a time when a lesser man would have run a mile. The Ex-Girlfriend herself is either in a period of psychological denial or has overcome her loss remarkably quickly. There have been no tears, no impenetrable silences. This may be because she has herself known for some time that the boyfriend is dead, perhaps since the moment she saw the bike pull up in front of his house and heard the shots ring out and she ran for her life, perhaps since the boyfriend’s mother told her the next day he was dead (The Ex-Girlfriend said she did not believe the mother, that the mother hated her and simply wanted her away from her son). Maybe in this way she has been dealing with the boyfriend’s death for the last two weeks. This would explain the way she has been rhapsodising about him, her eyes shining and cheeks glowing, since she has been here. It may be that she loved him very much, but I know The Ex-Girlfriend well, and while she is someone with an enormous capacity for love, such gushing is not usually the way she shows her feelings. So I believe that when she was telling me how she missed him, how she loved him, how she felt complete with him, really she was telling me such things in the knowledge that he was dead and she would never see him again and because of the aching glow of sadness brought by this knowledge.
The second thing that has happened, or changed (except not changed – only the information has changed) is that The Ex-Girlfriend has told me that the person who killed the boyfriend was not a trigger-happy adolescent traficante but a traficante of more senior stripes. We can call this person PC though PC is not his real name. PC is now looking for The Ex-Girlfriend because he wants to kill her. He wants to kill her not because he saw her with the boyfriend and thinks therefore she too is a minor rival dealer (the boyfriend was, she isn’t) but because she was a witness to the shooting and can identify PC and put him in prison for a very long time. Men on motor bikes have been making regular visits to The Ex-Girlfriend’s house and asking of her whereabouts. The Ex-Girlfriend’s mother has fled to Rio De Janeiro and The Ex-Girlfriend’s sister has moved to another part of the city. Their house is now empty and abandoned. What made everyone leave is that PC has a relative in the Policia Militar and about a week ago (The Ex-Girlfriend was already here) the police visited The Ex-Girlfriend’s house at eleven o’clock on three consecutive nights. In matters of routine enquiry the police do not normally pay house visits at eleven o’clock at night. Rather, it seems, the police were visiting The Ex-Girlfriend’s house in order to kill The Ex-Girlfriend.
What all of this means is that The Ex-Girlfriend will not be going home for a long time, and may in fact begin a new life here. This is a strange thing to think about, in a way that thinking about The Ex-Girlfriend being here for a few months was easy to think about. Now, in an apartment that was previously orderly and neat, there are cigarette butts in the plant pots, items of intimate clothing on the sofa, Tampax in the plastic bag that passes for a bathroom bin. I do not mind any of it, of course, given the alternatives.
Both of us, of course, have decided not to think about what access a corrupt member of the Policia Militar might have to information such as airline passenger lists, medical registrations, addresses. Both of us have decided not to think about just how badly PC might want to find The Ex-Girlfriend. Thinking about such things, generally, would not be good for one’s ability to look positively upon the world at a time when it is very important to look positively upon the world.