Clinging to the stone wall she attentively watched the small waves forming in the ocean, she followed each one with her huge eyes as she imagined how those tiny waves would grow and die upon reaching Corneria Bay.
Alba de la Rosa was also a wave that grew full of dreams and longings, but each and every one of them perished in the same place. Perhaps that was the reason for her liking to see them.
For the first time, after years, a smile peeked between her heartbroken lips. Magdalena, the young girl behind her, watched her closely, marveling, amazed at the different emotions she showed that day.
A small Alba assaulted her thoughts accompanied by memories.
They met when they were nine years old, at the entrance of Paso Grande. She stood next to her mother in a white dress that covered her feet and her black hair was tied in a bun; her eyes were fixed to the ground, reluctant to meet the faces of those who would take care of her, she also wrung her small hands until they left red marks and moved her feet restlessly. In Magdalena's eyes she was strange and frightening, she tried to keep her distance, however, her mother was pushing her to do household chores together with her. Surprisingly she knew how to sweep, wash dishes and cook, in fact, she was even better at it than she was.
Every time Magdalena got up, Alba was already preparing breakfast for her father, who had to go to work. She didn't speak, which created a bit of a conflict for him, he wanted to get to know her, but her silence made her look like one of his dolls. The dresses her mother sewed for her were long and without cleavage. Like those a prude would wear.
-Why are they like that? -She pointed to the pile of dresses her mother had piled up on the edge of the bed, "They're too ugly for a young girl like her.
-Alba prefers them like that.
-How do you know, she doesn't even speak.
Her mother didn't bother to answer any further.
One night, while trying to fall asleep, she heard strange noises coming from Alba's bed. She crept closer. Alba had her legs hugged, her curly hair spread out on the pillow like a fan, the sheet covered only her feet and her head was pressed to her knees. It was an eccentric scenario. Despite this, what left her bewildered were the tears that slid down her eyes. Unaware of her movements, Magdalena bent down and tried to wipe her drenched face, however, Alba sensed the closeness. She pushed Magdalena away and then got up and ran to the corner of the room.
The terror in Alba's eyes frightened her.
She saw distressed, sad, upset, frightened and happy faces; in a fishing village it was common to go from one mood to another in a short time. However, this was the first time he was faced with a mixture of negative emotions. His eyes were riddled with suspicion, fear and, above all, repulsion.
Unable to bear the burden of the gaze, Magdalena lowered her head; she looked at the hand with which she had just tried to touch Alba and a subtle feeling of guilt came over her. She thought that maybe something happened to her face and that's why she didn't want anyone to touch her, but at the same time she questioned the overreaction she had; in the end, she reprimanded herself for trying to blame her.
They both stayed there for a long time, Alba gradually calmed down; and Magdalena waited for her to lie down first before blowing out the candles. Neither said anything. Letting silence accompany them until they fell asleep.
The little tugs on her dress brought Magdalena back to the present. Alba stood in front of her, holding the flounce of one of her sleeves with one hand; and with the other, she pointed to a ship. It was enormous, three times the size of the ships that were used daily; but the most grandiose thing was the legend neatly written on the side of the ship: The soul in war leave.
Their arrival on the island meant only one thing: forced enlistment.