1 It was once

In a relatively dark room, the tranquility was interrupted by the noise of the door opening slowly.

Little by little, the door opened, and the noise of a few small steps began to be heard; in the darkness of the room, you could only see a little shadow which was walking on tiptoe towards the bed.

The small figure got close enough to the bed to use her hands and climb onto it; after this, she approached the man sleeping in the bed and snuggled into his chest with great fear.

Max, who was sleeping, could only feel that someone was leaning on his chest, so he opened his eyes and could see his little daughter, who was hugging his chest.

With a smile on his face, he hugged her daughter, "Erika, what happened?

Did you have a nightmare again?"

Erika hugged her father, and with some tears, she looked at him. "Daddy, I don't want to travel by plane, I dreamed that there was an explosion and that ..."

Max interrupted his daughter with a kiss on the forehead while wiping her tears. "Don't worry, Erika, it was all a dream; besides, Dad promised Mom that he would take care of you and never put you in danger.

The plane is one of the safest means to travel to others; it is a flight operated by military members, so it will be very safe since there will be no dangerous people.

But if that doesn't convince you, I promise that when we get to Athens, I will take you to see the fantastic ruins of the city. "

Erika caressed her father's hand and nodded as she closed her eyes again so she could sleep as she felt her father's hand hug her.

Max stroked his daughter's black hair and looked at the desk in the room. There was a photo of a woman who had no hair and was holding Erika with a Teotihuacan pyramid in the background.

"Margaret, I wish you could be with us, but wherever you are, I am sure you will watch over both of us."

After this, Max made himself comfortable with his daughter and fell asleep again.

In the morning, the room's radio was turned on, and a song began to play.

"Imagine me and you , I do

I think about you day and night ... "

Erika, listening to the music, opened her little eyes and looked at her father "Dad, it's time to get up, Mom would be angry if she knows you stayed asleep a little longer."

Max yawned and then opened his eyes and looked at his daughter, who was smiling, showing a smile that was missing two teeth, so a small laugh came out of her mouth as she pressed Erika's nose lovingly.

"We are going to bathe and prepare the suitcase that we are going to take, we still have time, but we don't want to be late, or Colonel Ana may get angry."

Erika made a small pout and looked at her father with a doubt, "Dad, why do you always speak well of Colonel Ana?

Are you afraid of her?"

Max smiled in a forced way as he remembered some things. "Someday, you will understand, daughter, but let's start our day because we will be in Greece in the afternoon."

Erika got out of bed and started to leave her father's bedroom but not before seeing her mother's photo and saying good morning to her, Max, for his part, got out of bed and turned off the radio to start with his preparations for the day.

While Erika bathed, Max went down to the kitchen, where she began to cook breakfast, which consisted of a chocolate shake, some scrambled eggs, and flour tortillas. When Erika left her room, she could smell the aroma of breakfast, and her stomach started to make a noise, so she went downstairs so she could have breakfast.

Max served breakfast and put it on the table, "Daughter, I'm going to take a bath, remember to wash your dishes and teeth."

Erika, who was drinking her chocolate smoothie, turned to see her father with a chocolate mustache. "Yes, dad."

After this, Max went upstairs and went to the bathroom, Erika for her part enjoyed her breakfast, and when she finished, she started washing the dishes of the breakfast; When she was about of end, she heard the doorbell, so she stopped what she was doing, and he went to the screen on the wall so she could see who it was.

On the screen, she could see a woman dressed in a blue military uniform, "Colonel Ana, good morning."

Ana looked at the camera and gave her a smile.

Erika pressed the button below the screen, and the front door opened, when Ana looked at Erika and leaned down so she could kiss her on the cheek.

"Always so beautiful, I wish your father could be a bit like you.

But speaking of Max, you know if he's ready, we have to be at the airport in two hours; I also want to ask him some questions "

Erika used her little hands and scratched her head doubtfully. "Daddy is taking a bath, and we still haven't got our bags packed."

Ana held the septum of her nose. "Very good, Erika, I'll help you prepare your suitcase and Max's."

Max, who was getting dressed, heard the noise of heels coming up the stairs, which caused a small drop of sweat to fall down his forehead.

When Ana opened the door to the room, she could only see Max with his military uniform badly on. "It can't be that late, and you're not ready; you know you're lucky that Margaret asked me to take care of you and Erika.

I'll help you with your suitcase while Erika brings me her clothes, "

Max looked at the photo of his wife and adjusted his tie. "Thanks, Ana, I really appreciate your help; since Margaret lost the fight against cancer, I have a hard time staying focused."

Ana sighed as she walked over to where Max was to remove the badly made tie that he had put on and began to fix the knot. "Max, you don't have to thank me, Margaret was a great friend, and I considered her like my family.

I will help to the best of my ability but remember that Erika needs you. "

With a smile, Max allowed Ana to adjust his tie and fix his uniform. "Now that I think about it, why did you come early? I thought we would meet at the airport."

Ana's hands continued to fix Max's uniform. "Last night, I received a video call from General Andrade, who informed me that Sergeant Pérez would not travel to our flight on orders from above.

In his place, a member of INAH named Armando will travel with us. "

Max frowned when he could see the seriousness on Ana's face.

"In the conversation, he told me that the secret service informed him that we would take care of him in Greece since he was a VIP character and had to be protected against any problem.

He also sent me a copy of the information about him, and your name appears on one of the sheets. The general asked me if it was possible to ask you about him. "

Max scratched his chin and walked to a drawer in his bureau where he got a photo album "If he's the Armando I know, I didn't spend a lot of time with him, I met him in the last year of my degree in my professional internship at the library of the University.

A normal and good-natured young man, if I remember correctly, he also had a Japanese girlfriend named Miyuki if my memory serves me well.

I have a photo of him and his girlfriend in this album. "

Ana was able to see a large number of photos of Max, Erika, and Margaret, until in one of the last pages of the album, Max pointed to a picture where he was a little younger standing in front of the entrance of the University and next to him was a couple young.

"He is Armando, and the girl next to him is Miyuki; Margaret accidentally took a photo of me where he was present with his girlfriend.

Of course, it's been years of that, and I don't know if it changed in any way, but personally, it didn't seem like someone with influence or someone they knew powerful. "

Ana looked at the photo for a few seconds, and from her uniform bag, she took out a small tablet and handed it to Max.

"Since you confirmed that you know Armando, you will be in charge of protecting him during our stay in Greece.

Don't worry, I'll take care of Erika; the itinerary comes on the tablet and everything you need to know. "

Max held the tablet and gave Ana a military salute, a smile formed on Ana's face. "You can rest, Max, you don't have to worry about Erika. I'll take care of her."

Erika left her room, carrying a large number of clothes and went to her father's room where he put her on the bed. "Dad, Ana, here are my clothes; I only had enough for a week, although Mr. Bear is also coming with me."

Max approached his daughter and held her in his arms while she had a small teddy bear in her hand. "Don't worry if the clothes are missing. Ana can help us buy more, and Mr. Bear can always come with us."

Ana nodded and began to help Max put the clothes in the suitcase; at the end of the three, they left the house to later load all the luggage in Ana's car.

On the way to the airport, Max began to read the contents of the tablet while Erika, who had her little teddy bear in her hands, looked out the window at the cars passing by. "Hey Erika, tell me what it feels like to be able to travel by plane for the first time. "

Erika stopped seeing the cars on the street and focused her gaze on the sky. "I think it will be an opportunity to be closer to my mother in heaven, although due to the nightmare I had at night, I have some fear of flying. "

Ana looked in the rearview mirror at Erika, who hugged her little teddy bear and smiled at her. "It's normal to be afraid when you discover something new, you know your father can't stand wasps, and for a few weeks, he had nightmares about them.

But you can be sure that the plane is extremely safe; the flight captain is a friend of mine who works in the air force.

He can fly a plane in extreme situations, and if that was not enough, there are our military colleagues; perhaps the only uncomfortable person on the plane is your dad, who touched him in the middle seat. "

Ana could see the more relaxed face of little Erika through the rearview mirror. "Besides, your place is in the plane window so you can see the sky without problems together with Mr. Bear."

Max turned to look at his daughter and stroked her hair. "We are close to the airport, remember not to separate from my hand and Ana's."

Erika caressed her father's hand while nodding; when Ana parked the vehicle, she could see that a young man came out of the car parked in front of her that she could recognize as Armando, who had a cigarette in his mouth.

His clothes were quite messy, and in his eyes, they could see large earmuffs; Max noticed Ana's look, and after turning his face, he realized that that young man he had known years before had changed too much.

With some discomfort but very firm, Max got out of the car and approached Armando. "Hey Armando, good afternoon, do you remember me."

Armando, who was not paying attention, turned to see the person in a military uniform and stared at him for a few seconds. "I think your name was Max if I'm not mistaken, I suppose the world is too small.

You are also going to take a flight, or they are accompanying you, "said Armando as he saw a girl and a woman dressed in military uniform get out of Max's car.

Max smiled. "If they are going to travel with me and in fact, I think we will travel together on the flight to Greece according to the passenger list, do you want to join us?"

Armando watched as the girl who got out of the car ran towards Max; with a melancholic look, he turned to see Max. "Sure, why not."

Erika looked at the person next to her father, and with a smile, she greeted him but was surprised to see that some tears came out of her eyes; Max could feel the look of her daughter who did not know if she had done something wrong, so only shook his head.

"Are you okay, Armando?"

Armando wiped the tears from his eyes and threw away the cigarette he had in his hand. "It's nothing, I just remembered an important person for me who is no longer with me, but we'd better move on. I don't think it's good to delay the flight."

Erika felt a slight pain in her chest as Armando's words reminded her of her mother, but after squeezing the hand of her father and her little teddy bear, she regained peace of mind in her heart.

Ana closed the trunk of the car, and with three suitcases, she checked her watch. "I don't want to be a party pooper, but if we don't move, we will delay the flight."

The three looked at Ana and began to walk towards the airport, the entire registration and boarding process was carried out without problems except for a small incident where Armando had two small canteens full of tequila seized, but after a call from Ana, the police of the airport let it pass without consequences.

Inside the plane, Max, who was holding Erika's hand, advanced to their places which were near the right-wing of the plane, Erika was happy when she looked at her seat window, so she quickly took her place and sat her little bear. Stuffed animal on her legs.

For his part, Max sat next to his daughter and took out his headphones; he thought to listen to the song that his wife liked and that he had as an alarm clock; Armando, who entered the plane a little later, settled in his seat which was the one that he was next to Max.

With just a glance, he could see Max with his eyes closed while listening to music and Erika too excited with her stuffed animal looking out the window, so she decided to just take a seat and sleep as much as possible.

Max listened to his song over and over again until the plane was about to take off, so he opened his eyes and explained to Erika how she should sit; after taking off, Max let her daughter appreciate the beautiful polluted sky of Mexico City while he slowly fell asleep in his seat.

In his dream Max appeared in a hospital corridor, which he could recognize as the hospital where his wife Margaret was for two years; Max was surprised because it was the first time he had such a lucid dream, so he decided to walk to the room where he should be his wife.

The more he walked, the more he was surprised by the reality of the dream, he even became curious to know what was in the other rooms, but in the end, he remained firm with the idea of ​​reaching his wife's room.

After walking for some time, he reached room 43 where his wife was; with sweat on his hand, he touched the doorknob and turned it until a small light dazzled him.

Using his hand, he covered his face for a moment, and when he lowered it, he could see a simple but comfortable white room that had the window open, and even next to the window, he could see his late wife who was enjoying the air that came through the window.

Max, who had tears in his eyes, walked towards her, but before he could reach Margaret, he could hear a little cry of joy coming from the door.

With surprise, Max turned his head and could see his little daughter Erika running towards her mother, who gracefully hugged her, but when Margaret raised her face, a cold sensation ran down Max's back who realized that the woman was hugging his daughter was not his wife.

Max tried to run to the window, but the noise of an explosion woke him up; when he opened his eyes, he could see a hole in the fuselage of the plane where Ana was sitting.

Impotent, he could only see how Ana and other passengers flew out with their seats, but he did not have time to do something because the noise of an explosion echoed near his ear; at the same time, he could feel part of his body being burned by some flames which only lasted for a few seconds before being sucked into an overwhelming force.

This caused Max to lose consciousness for a small moment, but using all his will power, he woke up ignoring the pain in his body and his inability to breathe; with all his strength, he turned to see the place where his daughter sat, but he could only see a large hole in the fuselage as the right-wing of the plane disintegrated in midair.

Max tried to shout his daughter's name, but he could feel how he was thrown out of the plane and began his fall towards the ground; the lack of oxygen made him fall into a passive state, the last thing he could see as he fell was arming on his side and what appeared to be a Greek temple.

A tear fell from Max's face at he could see a large marble pillar.

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