Successful Miami Architect born in Cuba learns from his dying father buried family secrets that compel him to return to the land he abandoned to search for the woman he left behind and the son he never knew.
What if you found out your whole life was built on a lie told by your father? What if you realized this lie was instrumental in your achieving so much while others you once loved achieved so little, or worse, destroyed their lives? What if you had the opportunity to do something about it twenty-five years later…but at the risk of your own life? Would you do it? This is the dilemma Cuban-born, award-winning Miami Architect and successful real estate developer Cid Milan suddenly faces when his dying father reveals to him a shocking twenty-five year old family secret. Cid realizes there’s only one thing he can do to unravel the mystery of his own past and right the wrongs committed: return to the land he abandoned. In his quest, Cid rediscovers himself and his roots as he searches frantically throughout Cuba for his teenage flame, Sandra, and the secret she’s been keeping from him all these years: his only son. In the process, Cid learns an invaluable lesson about love, forgiveness and redemption that changes his life forever.
Cid and Manny leaned against the rail on the crammed upper deck of the venerable boat, watching the retreating Cuban coastline. Vessels of all sizes motored out of the harbor, seeking the open sea. The noise was deafening. Passengers screamed and boat captains blew their horns. On deck a group of men drank rum from a bottle and chanted, “Libertad, libertad, libertad . . . ”
“Many weird-looking people on this boat,” Manny commented. “That guy over there looks like a drug lord.”
“Castro emptied out the jails and let out all the scum along with the political prisoners -- murderers, druggies, thieves, prostitutes. The cream of society.”
“Hear, hear. But we’re out of there and on our way to America. A new life, Brother.” Manny flashed a big smile to someone behind Cid’s back and added a wolf whistle. “Think you can be without my charming company a while? A cute girl just gave me the eye. You want to join me and make new friends?”
Cid shook his head.
“You’re still down about Sandra not coming to say good-bye to you?”
Cid nodded. “It’s been a bad week all around.”
“Things will improve now, Brother. Cheer up. You’re depressing me.” He punched Cid on the arm playfully. “In a month you might not even remember Sandra. There are tons of beautiful women in the United States. I’m going to try to get a head start, maybe find me a new girlfriend right here on this boat. Sure you don’t want to come?”
Several moments later his mother leaned on the rail next to him. She wrapped an arm around his waist and hugged him tenderly. “How are you doing, Son?”
Cid looked into her soft brown eyes. “Fine, Mama.”
“I know you. You’re not fine at all. You always try to be so tough, but you’re not. Manny is like your father. They see life one way, like bulls. You’re like me. We feel every little emotion, because we care. So I know you’re not fine. You’re hurt.”
His eyes filled with tears. “She doesn’t love me, Mama. She didn’t come.”
“Maybe she had a reason for not coming, Son.”
“No, Mama. I tried talking to her for days, and she disappeared on me. It was as if she was angry about something. It was her way of breaking up with me.”
“Give her a chance. Call her from Tampa and listen to her explanation. You can always send for her. Maybe even come to get her.”
“I will, Mama. But deep down I know she doesn’t love me anymore.”
“Why do you say that?”
“I remembered something she said to me once. She told me, looking at me with those beautiful hazel eyes of hers, ‘Cid, the day you don’t love me anymore, don’t tell me. I don’t want to be hurt. Just go away and disappear. I’ll understand.’” A tear rolled down Cid’s cheek, and he wiped it away with the back of his hand. “And that’s what Sandra did, Mama, you see? She disappeared.”
They watched the Cuban coast in silence, gold and green and blue. A cool breeze replaced the strong wharf odor with the briny smell of the open sea.
After a while, Cid noticed his mother was crying. “What’s wrong?”
“Don’t mind me. Just an old lady’s tears.” Her gaze was fixed on the receding coastline. “She’s beautiful, isn’t she?”
“I’ll miss her.”