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ST:END210 | "New Me, New You Part 6"

Updated: Apr 21, 2023

Gabriella walked along the sloping streets away from Bolivar Square, mixed in with the throngs of tourists and history enthusiasts gathering around the square and the Capitolio Nacional. The Colombian sun was hot, and the thin air around the mountains the city was built around caused her to breath slightly more heavily, as she was not used to it. She wanted to walk, however, to help her grow accustomed to the change quicker. Her walk took her through the familiar paths around the city, and as she passed the tourist trap that was the square and the surrounding area, she knew she was close. Turning onto a side street, the bustle of people subsided. A dog wandered onto the streets, panting, following her a few steps before plopping itself down on the sidewalk and sunbathing. A lady was airing her clothes out on a rooftop. An old man sat at the front of a shop, smoking. He gave her a small nod as she passed.

Halfway down the path, Gabriella took another turn to a narrow street, that was similarly empty. A small embankment ran down one length, opening to a small dusty field. In the background, Monserrate loomed, providing a picturesque landscape. She looked at the mountain, before turning to the houses that run down the other side of the street. Approaching her a grated wire door, she pushed it and climbed the few steps to a stone floor, and turned to the door on the right-hand side, which opened at the touch of her hand.

Gabriella's house was small and modest. A platform ran the length of the top half, with a view of the open reception room below, which served as the kitchen, living room, and dining room. Under the platform, and adjacent to the reception room were three bedrooms and a bathroom. Sofia Álvarez stood in the corner kitchen, her back to the door. A stew was bubbling on the hob, and the smell wafted around the house. Gabriella watched as her mother chopped up some potatoes before sliding the entire lot into the pan.

"Hola, Mami," Brie said, her voice shaking to almost a whisper. Sofia heard it with clarity, and she turned, looking at Brie for a split second before breaking into a huge grin.

"¡Gabriella!" she exclaimed and bustled over to the stairs, wiping her hands on her apron. The woman was tall and thin, her greying hair tied back in a bun. Her eyes were bright amber, just like Gabriella's, as was her gentle bronzed completion, the only flaw in the shape of three diagonal scars on her neck. Gabriella met her halfway, dropping her bags at the door, and embraced her in a tight hug. "Oh, mija," Sofia cooed. "¿Cómo estás?"

Gabriella's response came in the form of a sob, uncontrollable tears running down the length of her face, buried in her mother's shoulder.

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