Eliza sat on the ground in front of the tombstone. "A lot of this tombstone is below the surface, but I can get part of it."
"What's so cool about some old guy who croaked centuries ago?"
"Have some respect for the dead, Jade." Eliza slid the pencil back and forth making a scratching sound. She turned the paper over and stared at it. "Hey, this is really cool." She smiled, her teeth shining in the distant street lights.
"Okay, I'll bite." I figured the sooner I asked her, the sooner we'd be out of this place.
"Tell me, Eliza. What have you found?"
"This guy's name is Alonzo Valdivia and he was born in Madrid, Spain." I had to admit that was a little cool, but I'd rather be eating crab in one of those nice restaurants down by the water. "You ready to go yet?"
"No. It's totally cool. There's Spanish writing here." She ran her pencil over the paper again.
"Yep, that makes sense, Eliza, the guy was born in Spain." Why did she care about somebody she wasn't related to and somebody who died so many years ago?
"I can't read the Spanish stuff." She eyed me. I spoke Spanish pretty well since I majored in foreign language and art.
"I'll read it when I have some light." Otherwise she'd have me going blind right here in this graveyard. It was getting cool and I hated the idea of being around all these dead people.
"It says he was born in 1717 and died in 1757."
"Wow, only forty years old," I said.
"Yeah, just your age."
Eliza was five years younger than me and she brought it up at the oddest times.
"Ready to go now?" I asked.
"I thought this would get your mind off that song'n dance man."
"Chuck only played in a band for a little while."
"I think he only does anything for a little while. What's the longest time he had a job?"
"You're not going to get me riled up. We are broken up for good this time." I hadn't mentioned to Eliza he'd found somebody else.
"That is very good news," Eliza said as she walked out of the graveyard and across the cobblestone street.
"Finally I'm going to get some good Maryland crab and a beer."
"Tell me how to say this guy's name." She pointed to the name in big letters across her sheet of paper. In the streetlight I could see it clearly.
"Alejandro Valdivia," I pronounced in Spanish giving the Vs soft B sounds, and stressing the second syllable of the last name.
"That's a cool name when you say it. Say it again." Eliza said.
"Alejandro Valdivia," I repeated. It was a nice name.
"Oye," said a man's voice.
I turned around. No one was there. I stood silently wondering what I could have heard. Around us were brick buildings, narrow sidewalks, and cobblestones that shone in the distant light of Annapolis.
Eliza's footsteps hurried toward me. "What happened? I was walking and talking to you and you weren't there."
"I heard something." The hairs on my scalp bristled.
Eliza glanced around. "Who knows? It was probably something echoing off these old buildings."
"No, I heard someone say something in Spanish."
"Maybe it was some more of those kids playing pranks."
"Yeah. You must be right. Clearly no one else is around here."
We both turned around and walked toward Annapolis. My stomach was growling now. That seafood would taste so good. Hopefully in a heated place my damp clothes would dry off.
"Yo soy Alejandro Valdivia."
"Shit." I whirled around and faced the blackness behind us. "I know I heard something this time."