The new story of Marcelo Birmajer: A call to director

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That March morning, Andrés Edan entered high school not knowing if it would be the last time. Among the innumerable subjects he had taken over the summer, Mathematics still dangled from his freedom. If he passed, he shouldn’t be returning to the compound. If he failed, he repeated the year.

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The prospect of being the “repeater” irritated him less than spending another year in college. She bored him, exasperated him, made no sense to him. He had never been a rebel, nor could he think of a better way to pass the time. But By itself, I haven’t found much meaning in life, much less in school.. He was only interested in drawing.

Strictly speaking, his one calling had thrown him into two truly troubling problems.

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During the fourth year, partly as a protest against Danizaro, the class bully, and partly as a technique to get close to Jacinta, the prettiest one, Andrés Edán had made a cartoon in which Danizaro was portrayed as a coward, and the director of l’establishment as his accomplice.

Andrés had only one ally in the distribution of the clandestine material: Benifati, his partner in the bank, who had dropped out of school at the end of the fourth year.

Leaving a letter to his parents, Benifati I had decided to travel the country working whatever it was and not finish high school. The premature departure had sown concern throughout the course. But Benifati was a rather reserved student, whose only frequent contact was Andrés, which had cushioned the impact of his escape.

In any case, Andrés not only didn’t think about fleeing, but he couldn’t even imagine how he would survive a postponement that day. He had spent January and February studying with no luck. He had no idea what the exam would lead to.

I was sweating. For a few moments he forgot even the most basic knowledge. Towards the last months of the fifth year, both Danizaro and the director had discovered that they were the authors of the parody comic. Danizaro had threatened to go look for him at the corner of his house, accompanied by a loyal following, so as not to hit him all together: only for Danizaro to hit him and the others to watch.

The director, for his part, had defined himself as a menacing silence. But nothing good could come of all this. Not solving the equations of that exam in March would have sealed negatively his slim chances of survival.

He sat next to the other unfortunates. At any moment Professor Sacarunda would call him to the firing squad. Instead, he approached the guardian Robles, and in a police tone indicated:

– Take me to the address.

Andrés, livid, gave him a desperate look.

Wouldn’t they even let him surrender? Had the director already opted for a devastating disciplinary action? Was Danizaro himself waiting for him in the direction? They had never called him to talk. The tutor seemed as calm as Andrés himself; albeit paradoxically, with a certain shade of fear. “If the guardian himself is afraid…”, reflected Andrés. The conclusions could not be encouraging.

But when he entered the address, that secluded, majestic and mysterious pen, where he had never been before, the scene caught him off guard. The director was sitting in his chair, with a worried and inscrutable expression; seconded by two martial men, one on each side, in clothes that were a mixture of uniform and coveralls. And an unknown third, in a classic suit and tie: an interpreter, Andrés discovered.

“We don’t have time for prolegomena,” the director began. The two gentlemen here are from NASA, a North American space agency. You must forget all that you have considered up to this moment. The information we will share with you dies here. Otherwise, I can’t guarantee your own life. Every precaution is useless…

Within a couple of hours, our planet could be overrun by an alien race with the ability to wipe out half the population and capture the survivors. The invaders have information provided by a spy: Benifati, his partner in the bank. Not only is he not a student, nor is he friends with him: he is the son of the alien monarch. For some reason, he likes his drawings, really…

It wasn’t part of the ambush. According to the experts here, if you draw the reason given, Benifati, whatever his real name is, will contact you. That communication is our only chance to fight back. The human race, our planet, depends on you.

“What do I have to do though?” Andres gulped and murmured: “…once Benifati has contacted me”.

“Experts will detail,” concluded the director.

The director pressed an intercom and ended the meeting. The interpreter and the two experts told Andrés to follow them. But the student stopped for a moment on the threshold of the address:

-In case you succeed in my message -Andrés searched for the words-,When would I take Maths??

We note the director’s effort to avoid an intemperate response and to obey the pact that had evidently been imposed on him:

-If there’s a tomorrow, your Mathematics exam is approved.

The manager closed a folder, but Andrés realized it was just a gesture, useless, so as not to have to sign that agreement with a glance.

At the end of the first half of March, the intergalactic invasion had been screened thanks to a false information drawing that Andrés had transmitted to Benifati.

Andrés Edán, now freed from his student status, observed the clear blue sky with mixed feelings. I had betrayed a friendship and saved a planet whose inhabitants, at least in those first seventeen years of life, had not shown him greater hospitality.

Neither the girls, nor the rest of the course, nor the director, nor the experts, nor the interpreter had rewarded him, besides allowing him to finish high school by passing the Mathematics exam. His mother had framed the title. Not even a magazine had guaranteed him to start publishing his drawings. But he was free. Freedom was no consolation. maybe it was a way.

Source: Clarin

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