(NaNoWriMo) Chapter 3 [incomplete]

09 Nov

Argentina, 2008


[Veronica flies to Argentina to attend her father’s memorial service only to learn that her father is very much alive and is in hiding due to discovering lost pirate treasure that he claims truly belongs to their family as evidenced by the full provenance of the treasure being traced back through the family’s lineage.

 Intrigue conjured by American and Spanish governments, a powerful family attempting to recover a
priceless painting once stolen from their family by the Nazis and Wikileaks bringing attention to the whole sordid mess to the press and therefore the people.

Veronica meets her father in an exclusive restaurant in Argentina after more than 6 years of silence induced by both of them followed by him faking his death and leaving her in grave danger upon the reading of his original will. As for the will he wrote prior to faking his death that would have protected Veronica, his attorney actually did die, and that new will has gone missing.]


Thomas Cervantes takes a slow sip of rum and sets down
his icy glass, turning it slowly in his hands, hearing the ice cubes clink
together. He leans into Veronica, saying in a heavy Spanish accent, “I am a
liar, Veronica. You know that about me. I am also a loyalist. You know that,
too. My loyalty and love for you is immeasurable and permanent. Therefore,
logic dictates that I am far more likely to lie for you than to lie to you.” He
pauses, examining her, then continues, “Doing anything that would harm you, such
as lying to you pains me,” he says, clutching his neatly pressed, blue and
white striped shirt. “Of course I have lied to you many, many times. Remember,
I am a liar. But, lying to you, it hurt me while lying to others, this is very easy.
And for you to have any type of relationship with me, you are forced to accept this
about me.”


Thomas pauses again, studying her face. He is feeling
uneasy, much like wearing someone else’s clothes. He’s staring right at her,
but he’s still unsure of how Veronica is accepting his words. He prides himself
on reading people well and instantly, but she has always been his greatest
enigma. An enigma that draws him in—a complex puzzle he so desperately wishes
to solve. He steadies his gaze upon her as her eyes cast downward. He continues,
“Your head is down. You are disappointed or worse by my words? Call me weak of
character or any other insults as you choose. However, what you will eventually
come to realize—maybe over the course of a long life—is that I am no weaker than
any other. I am just more self-aware of my motivations and operate by a set of
simple rules that benefit me and tend to benefit those I love. I know every lie
and every deception I’ve cast, and I am responsible for each. Most others
operate blind to their true character and motivations and therefore excuse
themselves from responsibility. Their logic is fuzzy and fueled by arbitrary emotions
ebbing with moods, fears, experiences and desires.”


A waiter appears and silently serves their meals, which
go untouched. Thomas pushes his plate aside and says, “You know, Veronica, they
lie too, all those self-riteous fools who look down on others. The difference
is that they all wrap their lies around convenient rationalizations to avoid
self-blame, to avoid having to look at themselves clearly in the mirror and
seeing something ugly. They say their lies are merely contradictions or a
change in direction—still lies. And in some dark part of themselves, they know
it, and they hide from it. I’ll tell you something, Veronica, something they do
not even know: they are not ugly. If they were to face their shame and
transgressions openly to themselves, they would see that. They just haven’t
become accustomed to seeing their real face—a face that knows their character is
made up of truths along with their lies and deceptions, because they are human.
And all humans lie. What they don’t realize is that their most crippling lie is
to themselves, in believing they are purely honorable. Until they let go of
that lie, that one lie, their actions will remain ugly to them. You see, a face
of self-acceptance is always beautiful. And a strong character bears the full burden
and responsibility of all the good created with all the harm, and in doing this
there is beauty, and there is no room for a lie to self in beauty. And there is
nothing ugly in self-awareness.”


He ended. There was nothing more he could think of to say
to her. At first she was motionless and silent. The only sounds were the usual
gentle clamoring of restaurant china and glass with the muted whispers of surrounding
private conversations. Then, “Bullshit,” Veronica whispered calmly, lifting her
head, eyes dry and emotionless. She winks her eye in her father’s direction and
begins snickering, which rolls into a slow belly-laugh. “Wait, come on. You
really believe this? You think you’re absolved from causing harm because you
are aware you caused harm, intentionally, and openly accept responsibility for
it? And that makes you superior, wait, no, beautiful. Right? That’s what you
said?” Veronica chuckled with an unflattering snort as she pushed playfully
against his arm. “Bullshit,” she repeated.


Thomas smiled uncomfortably, the sophisticated lines
drawn on his face formed deep crevices around his eyes, and he glanced at her saying,
“You are too smart for me. I’m very proud of you, Veronica. Your talent, grace
and soul are mesmerizing. With all of my bullshit, I hope your brilliance has
some way of detecting when I’m being truthful through my bullshit.”


“Yes, Dad. I know the difference. And thank you. It means
a lot to hear, especially after all of these years.”


[Veronica has learned that someone attempted to assassinate her father over the treasure he found. Though it’s of significant monetary value—the assassination appeared to be about much more than mere thievery. To protect himself and Veronica, her father, Thomas, faked his own death and changed his will—donating the entire lot of the treasure to an Argentinean museum and none of it to Veronica. In an earlier draft of Thomas’s
will, Veronica was the sole heir of all of it. But Thomas realized that this would only shift the assassination order from him to his beloved daughter. Thomas hired an Argentinean attorney to change his will. If all of the loot
were bequeathed to the museum, there would be no reason to harm Veronica, Thomas thought. There was a horrible problem, just after Thomas faked his death, his attorney died of a heart attack, and the new will is missing, leaving the old will very active, ensuring that Veronica will soon be in grave danger. Veronica attends the reading of her father’s will in Argentina, and indeed, she is his sole heir. With nothing more to be gained in Argentina, for now, Veronica returns to the U.S. in terror.

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Posted by on November 9, 2011 in FICTION: Novel (NaNoWriMo)


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