The Wall — A Perspective in Three Stories

by Jeaninne Escallier Kato

This is part two. Read the suite from the beginning.

Ana Lopez

Ana notices an armed guard on her final rounds in the Las Palmas Care Home. She addresses her colleague assigned to the nurse’s station.

Oye, Manny, que tal?”

Hola Ana, what’s up?”

“Who’s in 21? I didn’t receive any intake papers.”

Manny rubs the soul patch under his bottom lip before he answers, “When I saw the armed guard, I figured the patient was processed at the county jail.”

Muchas gracias, hermano. I’ll check now and do an informal assessment.”

Manny clicks his teeth. “Chica, don’t stay too late. Boundaries are healthy, mi reina.”

Ana sticks out her hip in a sultry pose, points to her shapely behind and says, “Kiss this boundary, guey.”

Manny whistles. “I wish.”

Ana smiles at the guard before she enters the room. A young man with close-cropped hair  is sleeping soundly. She raises his restrained wrist and feels a strong pulse. His forehead feels cool. The chart reads: Gunshot wound to the lower back.

When she turns to exit, she hears groaning.

“I’m Ana, David, don’t speak.” She touches his arm.

David grabs her arm with his free hand.

He whispers, “Help me. I can’t feel my legs.”

Ana sits next to him. “You may have temporary paralysis from a gunshot wound in your lower spine.”

David’s intense stare searches her face. Ana looks back and sees the soul of a wounded animal asking to be relieved of its misery.

“Do you know who I am?”

“No, I avoid the news. Is there anything you need before I leave?”

“Will you be back tomorrow?”

“Yes, but I won’t be involved with your physical therapy. I’ll check in on you often. Try to sleep.”

David motions her over to him. He squeezes her hand and says, “Thank you.”


Gracias a Dios,” says Ana. “One centimeter either way from where that bullet lodged and you could have spent the rest of your life in a wheelchair.”

Two correctional officers arrive. Ana helps David into his wheelchair and then retrieves his medications.

“You belong to the authorities now. Keep up your exercises from these grueling weeks in rehab. I suspect you’ll have plenty of time to make peace with your maker.”

David’s voice cracks as he’s being wheeled out of the room, “Ana, I shot at a Mexican couple for crossing the border. The police stopped me.” “I know,” says Ana Lopez.

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