I keep thinking back to when I left, and how everyone kept congratulating me on my exciting opportunity and adventure in New York. But I always knew I was running away. It seemed like I would never actually make it, like if I could possibly make it to the day I leave, I would never actually make it onto the plane, or if I made it onto the plane, I would never actually make it here because who gets to run away like that? I was almost waiting for the universe to stop me because I knew what I was doing was so cowardly but I couldn’t stop myself. And the relief I finally felt when I landed, like coming up for water.
Clara phoned today. All she said was that he let them all go, they had been pardoned, this call was costing a fortune, and that she loved me very much. The phone clicked before I could respond. She must have not been able to wait for us to read it in the Times the next day. I hope it’s not because she though we wouldn’t. And she never asks about Daniel; it’s so weird. It’s as if she resents that fact that I came to New York only to marry another Argentine, or thinks that I wasn’t trying to leave Argentina just my own family. It hurts me that I know she doesn’t believe me when I say I miss her.
I imagine watching the world cup at the restaurant again, seeing Videla on screen, and Clara and Nico sitting next to each other surrounded by family. And it’s weird to think that that may have been a happy moment for all of us. Now, even though those atrocities are over… I don’t even know. What a terrible privilege that things seem so much worse now.
As Menem decides to pardon everyone, that memory will be of seeing footage of our military leader at the World Cup, not the war criminal he was. Menem thinks pardoning will help everyone move on, enter a new chapter in the country and in each persons life. A fitting day to find out I’m pregnant, no?