What Paradise Feels Like

N. Sun By N. Sun, 31st Oct 2010 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

A Cuban man struggles to find the place of his dreams: The United States of America.

Havana, The Republic of Cuba, May 14, 1999

Macahoto Gopanee looked longingly at the ocean. All he could see was water. But if someone sailed far enough, they would get to America, the land where dreams came true, where food is everywhere, where water comes whenever you want it to come. Macahoto wanted to go to America. It was possible. He was single, 40 years old. If he could gather enough supplies, a boat, and row quickly, quietly into international waters... It was possible, yes, but is it likely? Macahoto though. If only he could escape this land! The unsanitary, poor conditions are not fit for anyone. If he could get a good, fast start, maybe he could reach America before his food and water ran out. Maybe the Cuban Armed Forces would not catch him.

Macahoto decided to try to go to America. There would probably be another war in Cuba, and he didn't want to stay in it anyway. The island was too poor. There was really never much food or water where he lived. The rich had more, but the poor had horrible living conditions. Maybe he could ask his friends to help me to escape. But what if the authorities found out he was gone? His friends would probably spill the beans. So, no friends shall know about my plan, thought Macahoto. His brown eyes scanned the water. A fishing boat sailed in the sea. That reminded him. What about the boat? How will I get a boat? Boats are rarely used except by fishermen, and he didn't fish. No, Macahoto was a servant. A servant to the Katdids, he did things such as washing the dishes, doing laundry, stuff like that. They would be the first people to know that he was gone when he escaped. Well, I'll just quit my job, he thought. That won't be too difficult. Then, he could buy a boat with his life's savings, pretend to fish for a while, and sail away. He would start tomorrow.

The following day, Macahoto went to Mr. Katdid and promptly announced his resignation.

"Why would you not want to work for us for this steady pay and food?" Mr. Katdid said angrily.

Macahoto said, "I'm tired of working for 20 pesos a day. It's too little. I will find a job as a fisherman."

"You don't even know how to fish!" said Mr. Katdid.

"My friend, Doemeso, will teach me. You can get another servant for all I care."

"Go. I don't want you around me anymore."

Macahoto skipped out of the Katdid house, happy that it was so easy to quit work. He would seek Doemeso to help him learn how to fish after he bought a boat. Doemeso would be at the beach. And so would a boat.

Macahoto went to the beach and found a fisherman.

He said, "I'll buy your boat for 5000 pesos."

"Why, I'll accept that deal any day. You must be rich to want to buy a boat for that much."

"You have no idea..."

Both men left each other feeling richer than before. Macahoto had spent all his money to buy a boat.

Next, Macahoto found Doemeso at the dock, ready to sail out. He asked him if he could teach him how to fish.

Doemeso said, "Find. But why would you want to fish? I thought you were a servant."

Macahoto replied, "I quit. The pay is too little."

"Okay. I'll show you."

After a few weeks, Macahoto got the hang of fishing. He started to sell his catches at the local market. After doing this for a month, Macahoto decided that it was time to attempt the escape. He gathered all his food and water, and waited until midnight to go to the dock. Silently he put his supplies into his boat, and pushed off the shore. He rowed as Havana disappeared under the darkness. Macahoto rowed hard toward the darkness. He did not sleep. He was worried about the clouds gathering to his west. "There might be a big storm," he thought to himself. Sure enough, after a day, the rain started. Macahoto didn't have an umbrella, and he was soaking. The rain continued. It was spinning the boat around. Macahoto was lost. His food was ruined. The water had fallen off the boat. He waited until, finally, the rain stopped. Suddenly, he saw a boat coming towards him.

"Oh, no, it's the police coming to arrest me!" Macahoto said to himself. The boat came over to him even while Macahoto was trying furiously to paddle away.

Someone on the boat yelled, "Stop! We are picking you up."

Macahoto reluctantly went over to the boat and held on to a rope the sailors had dropped. They lifted him up and one asked, "Who are you?"

"I'm Macahoto Gupanee," Macahoto whispered.

"Okay, well what were you doing on that boat so far from land? Wait, are you even from the US?" said the same person.

"No, I'm from Cuba, and I'm running away to America," replied Macahoto.

"Well, I have good news for you. We will bring you to America. This is the Coast Guard cutter Natridal, and we are Americans."

"Ah, thank you. I have been dreaming about this moment my entire life."

Atlanta, United States of America, September 8, 2009

"Mr. Gopanee, you are now an American citizen. Congratulations."

Macahoto had just taken the US citizenship test, which he was just told he passed. He had been allowed to live in the US after living there. It wasn't as amazing as he had been told, but it was still a very nice place. He had gotten a job as a fisherman. "And now I am a citizen of this country," he thought to himself proudly. "After such a horrible experience in Cuba, this is a paradise."


America, Cuba, Escape, Fisherman, Fishing, International Waters, Job, Money, Pesos, Poor, Servant, United States, Unsanitary, War

Meet the author

author avatar N. Sun
Hi! I enjoy online writing, and like the concept of meeting new friends. I write also mostly on Triond. I am new, so feel free to comment on my content. Friend me, and I will friend you!

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author avatar Mark Gordon Brown
31st Oct 2010 (#)

happily ever after, I hope so. Too many Americans are angry at immigration, yet most of us had relatives that immigrated at some time or another.

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