The Hearts and Souls of Havana

A foreigner explores the city, falls in love, and discovers the limits of hope

I had to leave a few days later. In the early morning the day of my departure, we held each other closely. I knew Carmen could not allow herself to indulge the illusion of a future that included me. To live with such hope only fosters an even greater abhorrence of the bleak Cuban reality, and a profound resentment at being victimized by a game over which few have control -- a game of love, money, and political borders. I wanted her to believe there was a possible future together. I wanted her to have just a measured bit of hope. "I love you," I said. The phrase seemed to float in the darkness in front of me.

Carmen squeezed me closer to her heart."Think of me," she whispered.
The tears were absorbed by the tattered pillows beneath our heads.
The author of this article has used a pseudonym.

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