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, and forget why I am doing this, and have some peace, even if it's for a couple of hours."
A moment of silence between them went by.
"Did I ever tell you how I met Elizabeth?" Julian asked Raul.
Raul pulled away from his plate and leaned back on the bench, and crossed his arms.
"No, creo que no. You never want to talk about anything. I am surprised you..."
Julian interrupted before Raul could finish the sentence.
"I met Elizabeth at an eye clinic."
Julian began to stir 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 I was diagnosed on my first eye exam at seven or eight years old. By then, it was too late to have it treated. I always dreamed of being a pilot, but you can say it grounded my dream."
Raul didn't find the punt to be funny, as Julian looked for an expression.
"It seems that they want you to have perfect vision to fly a 20 million dollar airplane," Julian sarcastically said.
"But now that I was older, I thought maybe there might be some new treatments. Perhaps a fucking robotic eye, or something. Anyhow, I made an appointment, 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 turned, gazed at the busy street a few feet away, and got lost in the thought.
"Anyhow, I was determined to learn to fly. A few months into our marriage, Elizabeth certified me with monocular vision to begin my flying lessons. I promised her that when I got my pilot license, we would fly away on our honeymoon. A year went by, and I received my license. A few months after that, Elizabeth received an invitation to the humanitarian 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 El Paso, Texas 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 words "pos si" with a mouth full of bread.
"Everything seemed to be falling right into place. Now I am stuck here sitting with you."