Marco’s Last Stand
Marco Rubio knew that he couldn’t stay here in Havana. He knew he had to escape and find the freedom that had eluded him all his life so far. But every time he looked at the tobacco field in front of him, he felt tears forming at the ends of his eyes, seeing all the hard work of his entire life, his father’s entire life, and his father’s entire life. They worked hard for this success, and leaving it would be like leaving a beautiful wife.
Jeanette told Marco tonight at dinner that she wanted to leave him and move to Florida without him. He couldn’t figure out why he couldn’t say anything, but his tears were aplenty. They rolled down his cheeks like a small stream flowing down towards his crops.
“I have to leave, Castro,” he told his great leader and President. But the response he received was a hearty bellow of rejection. Castro would not agree to this, not ever. Marco knew this going in, but he had a small hope within his heart that Castro would change his mind. Someday.
Marco tilled the tobacco field, preparing for a new season. He wanted to say this was his land that he tilled, that his father and his father’s father tilled, but it wasn’t. He was an employee working for the state.
The only boat Marco had was too small to make it all the way to Miami. A few test runs going on “fishing trips” didn’t bode well. Marco dried off his hair with a towel, and looked back at his crops, dry and brown.
Jeanette was gone. She drowned during the trip, along with a dozen others. Marco couldn’t tell if the water on his face was from the ocean or his eyes, but it was probably both.
He had to leave, that was his only chance. His boat couldn’t make it but he had to try. He raced back towards his boat and pulled the engine’s key out of his pocket.
Castro looked at Marco, in chains, and Marco could only think that the man in front of him was so, so old. He looked sicklier by the day, like some sort of bloated bureaucracy crumbling before the eyes of the people.
Marco looked out from his cell and saw the fireworks shooting up. He knew that it was New Year’s Day, but Cuba never changed weather enough for him to find that out without outside context. And there, up in the sky, was the context. January First, 2000.
It was time for a New American Century.
There was much gunfire at Marco as he held Castro in his arms. It was like they didn’t care about hitting the only leader they ever knew. And it was as if they thought Marco still cared whether he lived or died in this wretched Cuba.
The boat won’t crash this time. This boat is Castro’s boat.
“I’ve done it, Castro,” Marco said. The old man looked at Miami with envy, realizing he would never be able to set foot on the real country that would give freedom to all its people. Marco smiled, knowing that.
Marco filed his FEC papers, and tipped his hat to Castro, who steered his boat back towards Cuba on a long, lonely trip. Marco shook his head and turned back to the clerk, giving her a kind gaze. “Just remember, vote for me in March, alright?”
“Welcome home, Jeb!”