“Hemen da!” yelled Kepa over the telenovela blaring from the TV. “Agur ama! I will see you tomorrow!”
“Segura egon!” he heard his ama yell as he dashed out of the door of the baserri. Maite was there, waiting, in her little white Fiat. She smiled at him as he opened the passenger side door and climbed in.
Buber’s Basque Story is a weekly serial. While it is a work of fiction, it has elements from both my own experiences and stories I’ve heard from various people. The characters, while in some cases inspired by real people, aren’t directly modeled on anyone in particular. I expect there will be inconsistencies and factual errors. I don’t know where it is going, and I’ll probably forget where it’s been. Why am I doing this? To give me an excuse and a deadline for some creative writing and because I thought people might enjoy it. Gozatu!
“About time!” he said. “If I miss Koldo’s performance…”
“Lasai, mutil,” she replied as she put the little car into gear and took off down the winding road that led to town. “He isn’t scheduled to get on stage for at least an hour, and you know how these things are always behind schedule. Besides, I just got a text from Itxaso — she said they are running late too. We’ll be the first ones there, I bet.”
Kepa was still steaming, but he started to calm down. There wasn’t much he could do about any of it now anyways. He looked over Maite as she shifted gears. Her dark curls fell across her shoulders. They had been in the same cuadrilla since elementary school and Maite was a sister to him, but he had started wishing that she were something more. He shook his head and sighed.
“Fine,” he replied. “I’m calming down. But, what took you so long anyways?”
Maite flashed that glorious smile at him that made his heart skip a beat as she maneuvered the car onto the main highway. “I had to finish my physics assignment for the uni,” she said. “It is due on Monday, but I figured I wouldn’t be in any condition to work on it this weekend, so I just wanted to get it done.”
“Beautiful and smart,” Kepa thought to himself as he held on to the door handle. Maite was taking the corners just a bit faster than normal. Fortunately, growing up in these mountains, he was used to the curves, but still, he always got a little nervous around some of the blind spots.
“I don’t know how you do it,” he said. “Taking care of your parents, getting a degree in physics, and still with time to hang with us.”
Maite smiled again. “Ah, it’s nothing,” she said. “Especially compared to what ama and aita had to go through. This is a breeze.”