Ernesto stepped off the water taxi onto the crowded cement dock. He shifted his bag onto both shoulders and set off across the beach – through the park, with the steady tread of a soldier going on a ten mile march.
As he walked he took in every face, every movement, he wondered if that would be classified as PTSD. He saw looks of disapproval, dislike or disdain in every tourist’s face. Not in his people though – they went about their own business and didn’t have time to mind others… well – except for the old ladies looking down from their balconies. He didn’t stop though, not until he reached the lagoon and took the familiar turn onto the dirt road.
He stopped a few feet away from his home though, and slowly raised his eyebrow as he took in the bright pink and orange paint that now covered the outside walls – none of his five brothers or three sisters had mentioned that.
It was amazing how quickly the entire family could be gathered, the house was packed and yet more people kept coming – including uncles and aunts he couldn’t even remember having. The more questions they asked the quieter and sterner he became until instinctively people melted away from him, leaving room around the doorpost he leaned against. He had slipped into the room where the younger generation were playing video games – he had watched for a while – thought he could almost laugh at how much he had enjoyed playing these games at how unrealistic it was – but then had left and gone onto the balcony for some fresh air.