The waitress laid down two giant bowls of pozole on the table.
"Algo mas señores," She asked.
"Mas cafe ¿Si?." Julian requested.
"You look like shit," Raul remarked while squeezing some lime juice into the broth.
"I feel like shit," Julian replied with his eyes shut.
"You still can't get rid of your nightmares, huh?"
"No, and I don't want to keep trying to drink them away either, but it's the only way I can get some sleep, forget why I am doing this, and have some peace, even if it's for a couple of hours, but even that is no longer working"
A moment of silence between them went by.
"Did I ever tell you how I met Elizabeth?"
Raul pulled away from his plate and leaned back on the bench and crossed his arms.
"No, creo que no. It's not like you ever want to talk about anything anyways, I am surprised you..."
Julian interrupted before Raul could finish the sentence.
"I met Elizabeth at an eye clinic."
Julian stirred the spicy pozole a few more times and then placed the spoon down.
Raul focused on Julian with interest. He uncrossed his arms, placed his elbows on the table, clasped his hands, and listened attentively to what Julian had to say.
"I was born with amblyopia on the left eye. I didn't have the usual symptoms growing up; until diagnosed when I had his first eye exam when I was seven or eight years old. By then, it was too late to have it treated. You know, I always dreamed of being a pilot, but that dream was pretty much grounded." Julian paused for Raul's reaction.
Raul didn't find the punt to be funny.
"It seems that they want you to have perfect vision to fly a 20 million dollar airplane,"
Raul smiled, approving the sarcasm.
"When I was older, I thought maybe there might be some new treatments. Who knows, perhaps even a fucking robotic eye, whatever. Anyhow, I made an appointment with an Ophthalmologist, and there she was. The bad news couldn't have been more soothing coming from someone other than her. That day I dared myself to ask her out, and a year later, we were married."
Julian momentarily gazed at the traffic on the avenida just a few feet away from the pozoleria. He got lost in the thought.
"I was determined to learn to fly. A few months into our marriage, Elizabeth certified me with monocular vision so that I could start my flying lessons. I promised her that when I got my pilot license, we would fly away to our honeymoon. A year went by, and I was certified. A few months after that, Elizabeth received an invitation to the humanitarian glaucoma surgery mission. She thought it would be a great idea to make it a honeymoon trip too. After all, Grupo Alarcon was picking up the tab. She convinced la señorita Alarcon to hire me to transport the medical supplies from San Diego to Acapulco. I, of course, accepted, after all, I promised Elizabeth we would fly to our honeymoon, right?"
Raul nodded his head in agreement, muttering the word "pos si" with a mouth full of bread.
Last night's dream was about that final day of the honeymoon. That day, as if it was nature's final wedding gift to them, was simply perfect.
"You should have seen her Raul; she looked so beautiful that evening."