14.6.1982

Querido Papá,

The news has just come in today – the Argentine military has surrendered to the British in the Falklands. The war has been short, only a little over two months. In all honesty, I’m not too surprised. No one in Argentina seemed to have the energy to support a war right now, not when we are worried about our jobs and our families. The newspapers tried to rally us behind our troops, but it is hard to know which of their headlines were true. Were we really winning the war at any point? They kept saying our ships were being blown up, and then a week later the rumor that the ship was still sailing would make its way into people’s ears. You could hear people talking about it at the back of the bus. Just think, six years ago we were too frightened to even look each other in the eyes in public. Now, there is an undercurrent that I think everyone in the city can feel – people are not happy with the government. We are no better off than we were with Isabel Perón, especially not financially.

Even Mamá has spoken about it. I know that she watches the news for what happens in politics and likes to make sure that everyone is aware of what is happening, but she rarely speaks her opinion about how she feels about the situation. But this morning, when we heard the news, she turned to me and Gabriel and said, “Perhaps with this we will soon be finished with this nonsense and return to our happier lives.” I’m not quite sure what she means by that. I guess maybe she has more memories of different times than I do, but I don’t think I can easily remember a time when there was not either fear on the streets or a new person taking over the government.

But hopefully things will start looking up soon. At lunch with Sofía this afternoon, she told me that she and Enrique are trying to have a baby. I know that she will make a wonderful mother – even when she is worrying over something with Enrique, her face is still so radiant and she is always so gentle. Today, she put her hands on her stomach and said to me, “The only things that I wish for in this world are to have a son, for him to make me proud, and to be able to offer him a better life than I have lived.”

And Enrique is so excited to be married. He teases me a lot about when it will be my turn to get married and become a parent. He knows that I have been seeing a man from work. His name is Cristian – he started working just a few weeks after I did, and we bonded because we were the two youngest to work in the office. Some of the older women who are near me think that he is cute. They tell me that he is a good catch, and that I should not let go of a happy thing.

When I told Rosa what the other women said, she gave me a hug and told me that they give good advice because happiness can be so fleeting. Something in her voice made me look hard at her, because this is not the cheery Rosa that I grew up with. She seems especially haggard. It’s been two years since she was married, and although I know she has always wanted to be a mother there has been no sign that her dream will come true soon. When I asked her, she turned away and said that her husband has been so busy at work, between all of the economic crises and the war. She says that even when she does get to see him, he is rarely in a good mood to think about children. It hurts my heart to see her so sad. But all we can do is hope that soon things will change for the better

All my love,

Malena

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