7 Days in May by Peter Barns - HTML preview

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=15:22 hrs=

Dawn sighed contentedly. She loved sitting on the Malecón sea wall looking out over the bay. Havana was such a lovely city.

In the eighteen months that they’d been here, her life had changed so much. She could speak Spanish like a local, helped out in the little tourist shop Sheena ran in the old city and was doing well at school.

She sat on her hands looking up and down the Malecón. It was quiet today, not too many people about, unlike the height of the season when it was heaving with tourists. She looked out to sea again, just about making out the small white dot that was the new Dawn.

Dawn smiled at the name her dad had given the old tug. Spruced up now, he used it to take tourists out on fishing trips in the summer, his baggy cut-offs and sleeveless vest, along with the deep tan he’d got, fooling people into thinking he was a local - an assumption quickly dispelled when they tried to talk to him in Spanish, because he couldn’t utter the simplest phrase. In the winter months he found odd jobs to do and helped out in the shop.

Sheena and her dad had grown close, which Dawn found hard to cope with at first. She smiled, wondering not for the first time, when the wedding was going to be. Sheena would never replace her mother, but she seemed to make her dad happy and that was good enough for the time being.

Dawn was surprised at how resourceful Sheena had turned out to be. Not just with the shop - starting a new business as foreigners in Cuba hadn’t been easy - but with the way she’d handled the release of her research to the media, drip feeding it to WikiLeaks a bit at a time.

Shortly after they’d settled in Cuba, Sheena explained that she was worried about what Gonzalez’s employers might do with her research should they manage to recover the files from the hard drive he’d stolen from her laptop. She told Alex that she’d copied her documents to an on-line website called StoreMeBox before destroying the computers at Area 7 and she could access them whenever she liked.

Sheena wanted to release her findings to the world so that no one company had the formula to themselves, making it useless to them.

Alex expressed his doubts, calling Sheena naive, that it wouldn’t make the slightest difference and might even lead to them being discovered. It was their first argument and both of them were a bit shocked.

After a long night of arguments, Sheena finally wore Alex down and he agreed to her proposal. The next day Sheena began what would eventually become a world-wide media frenzy.

Dawn smiled to herself at how easily Sheena had got her dad’s agreement. Maybe she should take a leaf or two out of Sheena’s book when it came to having arguments with her dad.

An old Lada drove passed and Dawn coughed at the thick smoke belching from its exhaust. She stood up, wondering what her friend Carolyn was doing right then and whether she’d ever see her again. Casting a last look out over the bay, she headed back to the shop and the homework she needed to catch up on.

Down on the beach four cats ran towards a small fishing boat that had just beached, their hungry cries drowned out by the crashing of the waves.