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“Lazarillo, please you must leave now!” My wife pleads with me. “You must go, otherwise ...” Her voice cracks with grief as she breaks into sob. I know that I have to flee for safety now. Archpriest of St Salvador is already arrested and sentenced to death for the sin of fornication. Soon I will be arrested too and will stand before the ecclesiastic court. Under the law, a man who marries a cleric’s concubine must be punished heavily, “First, with public shame and ten years in the galleys; second offence, a hundred lashes and life in the galleys. “ I ponder on my unhappy lot, when my wife starts speaking, “I have made some arrangements. You will leave today on the board of «Victoria». The ship sails today after the sunset; she is bound for the New World.”
We quickly bid farewell and embrace each other one last time before escape.
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Our voyage began six months ago, but nightmares still tormented me. The experienced sailors told me that I was only seasick, but I knew, it was sadness torturing me. I love her more than I do myself, yet I could not convince my wife to come with me. Every time I close my eyes I see her blubbered face. I beg her to join me, but she refuses. There is fear in her eyes, but her voice sounds steady, “I must pay for the sins that I have committed, but you must not. You have always been so kind to me, Lazarillo. Please, let me return the favor. Perhaps, you will find happiness in the far-away land.“
Her words were the only thing that gave me hope. The other day, I overheard a sea-cook saying that our stores were giving out. We were also running low on water supply, though the captain seemed pleased and encouraged us to stay strong. “Soon all the treasures of the New World will be ours”, he said with a mischievous twinkle in the eye. He was right, the New World was a promised land. We found gold and commodities, but we never reached home. The first day after we had left the New World, te terrible storm came on. I was swept off my feet by a high wave. Though I held grimly, the force of nature overpowered me, I could not resist anymore, I was drowning. My lungs were filling with water, so I gave up…
When I woke up the light blinded me, I heard some voices, but I could not not make out what they were saying; however, it seemed like they were arguing.
I tried to get up on my feet, but my limbs felt numb and I clumsily fell back on the floor.
Suddenly, two pairs of eyes looked at me quizzically.
A young man approached me. He started talking to me, but I did not understand him, not a single word. I was terrified.
Suddenly it dawned on to me. I asked him, “Is this Heaven?” But the man stood silent.
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“It is New York City,” answered a dark-haired man in an annoyed voice.
“We saw your body floating in the water; at first, we thought you had drowned,” another man joined the conversation.
“They must be brothers,” I noted to myself. Both of them were tall, well built, and dark-haired with piercing blue eyes.
I asked them about «Victoria» and if they saw any members of the crew or the captain.
“Victoria?” asked the second man and gave me a puzzled look.
Soon I learned that my ship sank in the second half of the 16th century. “Somewhere between1557 and 1559,” casually mentioned one of the brothers called Adan. According to his story, the waves drove “Victoria” upon the rocks, leaving no survivors and hiding treasures somewhere on the ocean bed. Nonetheless, the most absurd part of the story was “Today is April 16, 2014; we are in the twenty- first century.” However, I was not the only one who seemed unconvinnced. After I had introduced myself to my saviors and told them all about my voyage, the eldest brother named David looked at me in disbelief and finally asked me to prove that I was indeed Lazarillo de Tormes, “son of Tomé González and Antoña Pérez, natives of Tejares, a small village in Salamanca.”
I squeezed the golden pendant with the image of San Nicolás, the patron of seamen, the only possession that had left, ”I have nothing, only this gift from my beloved, who died centuries ago if I am told the truth.” All of the sudden, David bluntly teared the pendant off my neck. I protested, but it seemed like he did not hear me; he showed it to Adan and said something in a foreign language. They addressed me few minutes later, and, by the glint in their eyes, I could tell they were excited, “Are you hungry?” They asked me.
“Starving,” I replied.
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Our lunch consisted of a black liquid named Cola and some bread shaped like a ring. “Bagel Hole is the best bagel place in the whole city, trust me,” said Adan reassuringly when he saw my face expression. I proceeded on eating; nevertheless, I did not find the drink and the bread satisfactory. After the meal, brothers were determined to make the harbor, take a subway. “It is the modern means of transport,” they said. “We will go to the New-York Historical Society. It is in Manhattan,” told David and added, “It is the oldest Museum in New York, but we are headed for the Library as it is the greatest collection of different manuscripts, which contains ancient maps that will help us to find lost treasures.”
Somehow, I managed to survive the underground trip, though I felt nauseous and overwhelmed. Subway was a dark and filthy place, and people were rude. Some stared at me with disapproval, others frowned, but I looked down on them. When I turned to the brothers, I saw them laughing. I raised my brows quizzically.
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