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Julian stood in front of the stained brass plated door.

    He could see on the door's reflection the multitude of brave souls making their way through the street shops. He will simply walk out when he is done and disappear into the crowd without anyone noticing. It shouldn't be hard to do in a crime-infested barrio. People often just want to make it home safe and not be witnessed by what happens around them. He flipped the business card one more time to confirm the address-Manzana 20 Lote 10 Genaro Lopez, Col. San Miguel Teotongo, Iztapalapa Ciudad de Mexico-El Portón de Oro-. He proceeded to turn the doorknob; it was a bit stuck, but it wasn't locked. Perfect, he thought, he wouldn't have to pick the lock. He looked to his right and left, then gently pushed open the door. He stepped into an empty narrow room lit by a bare bulb hanging from the ceiling. He could smell fresh paint. As he slowly closed the door, he pressed the locking pin, but he couldn't prevent the sound of the spring lock echoing across the empty room when it latched shut. He was startled when he heard the sound of steps coming from around the hall but decided to make his way further inside the room anyway; he had a job to do. He took every step in pace with the old wall clock's ticking clock; it was 5:50 pm. Slowly he made his way forward. A man's silhouette suddenly appeared, turning the corner and walking towards him through the afternoon sun's dusty rays that pierced the windows and lit the dark hallway.

     "Buenas tardes ¿como lo puedo ayudar?" the man asked in Spanish and a wary tone.  

    "Me dijieron que aqui puedo encontrar ¿un doctor?" Julián responded, after a few seconds of silence, that he was there looking for a doctor. 

    "Ah si, si, si! pasa por aqui por favor." the man replied, trying to make out who was hiding in the shadow.

   The man became inviting and smiled as he gestured with his hand to approach and pointed to his left. Julian then followed the man cautiously and gripped the pistol from behind his back as he slowly followed him inside a room. The man grabbed a squeaky olive green vinyl chair with apparent signs of abuse and rolled it over towards Julian.

    "Siéntate, por favor." The man ordered Julian to sit with a commanding but respectful tone. 

    Julian took a moment to look around the room to glimpse his surroundings before taking a seat. The walls are freshly painted white; they are bare with only a few books stacked on top of a gray metal desk with a dent on the front. On the opposite end of the room, a couple of folded metal chairs are resting next to a small plaid sofa with different color pillows strewn across and a transparent plastic tarp covering them. In the corner of the room a side table and on it an ashtray with crumpled cigarette butts. An old lamp with a small tear in the shade lit up the corner.

   "¿Está todo bien?" asked the man, wanting to know if everything was fine. 

 

Frontera Alternative Independent Media Studio