She let go of the door. Javier watched her climb the stairs. When she reappeared, there was a small parcel in her hands.
‘A couple of pastries for him,’ she explained, handing him the parcel.
‘But there is big. Maybe I won’t see him,’ Javier said, the parcel in his right hand.
‘It was the same person in grey that took him away. You’ll see my brother Pedro’.
Hesintantly, clasping the ring, Javier took his left hand from his pocket. ‘This is for you,’ he said, as he opened his fist. ‘It is my mother’s wedding ring’.

Teresa looked at the ring. For a moment she didn’t respond. Then, abruptely, she thanked him, took the ring, kissed him on the cheek, and closed the door in his face. Javier stood glued to the spot. This was not the farewell he had imagined. He knocked on the door again. No one opened it this time. He went to the village square. His lowered eyes no longer looked skyward. Behind him Mount Meire sat upon the horizon, between two rows of houses. As if it was holding back everything that belonged to it, so that nothing would follow him. Enfolding his world in its arms. He was leaving it behind with everything he cherished.