El Sol de Jayuya The bright, blazing sun shines on the busy Isla de Encanto. The sound of the Isla is different in every landscape. The beaches are a mix of the waves and the beat of the drums. The mountains echo the sounds of the forest, the rain, and the guitars. The plains sound only of the beautiful voice of the wind. The ancient landmarks whisper about the past. The Isla is alive today, as it is every day, but it will soon grow quiet. The last sound the Isla will hear is the Coqui silencing its lullaby and the breath of a young man. The day begins with the rush of the early morning. The music of the Isla is soft, but it is building up. The loudest region is in its city where the music will stop later today. The city of old and new is lovely and lively. The people are wide awake and living their lives with no worries. The adults are all busy at work, and their children are studying hard at school. There is one exception, though. ³Dayo!´ the voice of an angry father calls. ³Wake up! You¶re late for school again.´ The young man shows no sign of life. He hides in the darkness of his room. The thick curtains blocking out the sun allows the young man to enjoy his slumber longer. The father climbs the stairs to awaken the young man. He plows open the door; the room was what a mother would call a pigsty. The father struggles to make his way to the window. He pulls them open upon arrival. ³I¶m going to start calling you Nighto, if you don¶t get up,´ the father jokes. The light engulfs the room, exterminating the darkness. The young man still shows no sign of life. He lays


in bed, hiding under the covers. Childish. The father rips the covers away, revealing the young man to the light. ³Papa! What gives?!´ The young man squirms around, searching for a place to hide from the light of day. ³Dayo, you¶re late for school again. Why do you continue to oversleep?´ The father sits on the edge of the bed, concerned. He thinks of the reasons that could cause this. Drugs and alcohol come to mind, as well as crimes. ³It¶s the move. I¶m dealing with jet-lag,´ he answers. His voice isn¶t so convincing. ³It¶s been three months. How can you still have jet-lag?´ The father would normally laugh at his son¶s joking answer, but he is not in the mood. ³I don¶t know.´ There is a slight pause before anyone speaks again. ³Can you give me a minute? I need to get ready for school.´ The father complies and leaves. Dayo, searches his closet for something to wear, and lays it on his bed. His father, Israel, reheats the breakfast prepared for his son. They both do these actions while thinking of other things. Dayo wonders if he will be able to go to the beach this coming weekend. Israel ponders if his son is still hurting over the loss of his mother and the move after the events in the City of Winds. As a daily routine, Dayo goes to the bathroom to take care of all the morning hygienics. He starts the shower, strips off his shorts and boxers, and steps into the shower. The cool water is refreshing and awakens him. He runs his hands over the large, round scar on his chest. Visions of


how he obtained the scar pass through his mind. He still remembers the echoed screams and the piercing pop sounds. He stops the shower, gets out, dries himself, and gets dressed. He wears blue and white swimming shorts, in case he goes to the beach, a grey sleeveless shirt, and a pair of brown flip-flops. He leaves his hair a mess the way his mother liked it, and quickly brushes his teeth. Dayo is finally ready to depart, but something is missing. He studies himself in the mirror, searching for what is missing. He figures out what it is and curses himself for forgetting. He rummages through the clutter on his nightstand and finally finds what he is searching for: The necklace his mother gave him before she passed away; the tiny, silver chained necklace that holds a proportional-sized, silver crucifix. It¶s a small necklace that many have, but it has more meaning to him than anyone else¶s. He is finally satisfied with his appearance and flies down the stairs. Israel finishes reheating the breakfast and patiently waits at the table. Dayo takes one look at the burned bacon and eggs, and decides to skip breakfast. ³I¶ll get something on the way,´ Dayo tells his dad. ³You can either eat this, or eat nothing at all. You¶re not stopping anywhere. You¶re already late!´ Israel commands. He has a hard time laying down the law and being the bad guy. It doesn¶t suit him. ³Okay, whatever.´ Dayo looks at the time and smiles. ³If I hurry, I can make it in time for my lunch period,´ he announces and runs out the door. ³Dayo!´ Israel calls after him. ³Come straight home after school.´


Dayo takes a quick glance behind him and slows into a jog. He hears his father, but decides to pretend that he didn¶t hear him. His plan for after school consists of three things: beach, ocean, and surfboard. Dayo arrives at school an hour before lunch. He has to go to his least favorite class: history. The subject itself isn¶t so bad, but the one who teaches it is²Señora Gomez. She despises Dayo, and he enjoys giving her a hard time. Dayo enters the class a minute late. The Dean has had a little chat with Dayo, and made him late. Dayo casually strolls to his seat, unafraid of the scolding he will get from Señora Gomez. He reaches his seat at the back of the room, next to his new best friends, Andrés and Roberta. They both instantly turn to Dayo the minute he sits down. ³Where were you?´ they both ask simultaneously. Señora Gomez takes her time at the board, giving Dayo¶s friends time to question him before she does. ³You guys practice that? It¶s really good, but I think you said it a little faster, Roberta,´ Dayo jokes. ³You overslept again, right?´ Andrés asks, already knowing the answer. It will be no surprise to him if he is right. It¶s usually the overslept excuse. ³Why do you ask questions you already know the answers to?´ Dayo jokes some more. It is a normal day if Dayo is calm and happy, but it¶s a great day if he¶s joking a lot. ³Dayo, you¶re going to get kicked out if you keep this up,´ Roberta informs him. She is concerned for Dayo. ³Yeah, I know,´ Dayo says, unconcerned.


Roberta and Andrés turn away, deciding to deal with him at lunch. ³Señor Figueroa!´ Señora Gomez calls. ³Why are you late?´ she asks, demanding an answer. ³I overslept,´ Dayo says truthfully. He knows Señora Gomez will either believe him and give him a detention, or not believe him, make up a fake story, and give him several detentions. ³I don¶t believe you, Señor Figueroa.´ Here come the detentions. ³It is a beautiful day outside, and I think you decided to go to the beach.´ ³Then why am I here now?´ Dayo questions, ³If I was at the beach, why would I come to school?´ ³Obviously you were caught. Now, because you lied to me, and you were late to school and class, you¶re getting two weeks of detention.´ Señora Gomez really doesn¶t like Dayo. She walks over to her desk, fills out a pink slip, and hands it to Dayo. Dayo takes it and puts it in his pocket. He smiles when Señora Gomez turns her back to him. He has no plans on serving the detentions. After the little talk, class resumes, and Señora Gomez reviews chapter three with the class. Dayo doodles on his desk, not paying attention. He is called on a few times to answer a few history questions. He answers all of them correctly. The class ends, and Dayo rushes to lunch. The lines get long quickly, so Dayo has no choice but to run. His hunger is getting the best of him. He orders his usual meal: pizza, French fries, and fruit punch. He devours it all and decides to wait for the line to die down before going for seconds.


³Dayo,´ Roberta calls to bring him out of his daydream: Daydreams which usually have to do with surfing, but sometimes the City of Winds. ³You need to start taking things seriously. What will you do if you get kicked out of school?´ she asks, worried. ³Well that¶s easy²´ Dayo begins, but is cut off. ³Don¶t say surfing,´ Andrés informs, ³You can¶t just surf all day.´ ³Then that¶s not easy,´ Dayo says, defeated. ³I don¶t know. Maybe work for my dad.´ ³Is that what you want to do for the rest of your life? Do you want to run the store with your dad?´ Andrés asks. ³No way²I¶ll drink all the soda and energy drinks,´ Dayo jokes. Roberta and Andrés are not amused. ³Don¶t worry, guys. I¶ll start getting to school on time from now on; I promise.´ ³You¶d better,´ Roberta threatens. ³Now let¶s get down to some important business.´ Dayo changes the subject. ³This weekend, who¶s driving, who¶s buying, and who¶s supplying?´ Dayo asks. ³I¶m going to be driving,´ Andrés replies. ³Roberta, are you still taking care of the food and drinks?´ Andrés turns and asks her. ³Yeah, I got it all taken care of. I got the cooler, the ice, and the food all ready. Dayo, you wanted a Cyclone energy drink, right?´ she asks. ³Of course, what else would I drink?´ he asks rhetorically. ³That leaves me with the supplies. I got the blankets and the surfboards all ready to go,´ he informs them.


³Everything is set, then,´ Andrés says. ³We¶re leaving at 2 o¶clock, right?´ ³Yeah, that¶s perfect. We¶ll get to my secret beach in time for some nice swells,´ Dayo agrees. ³That¶s so early, though,´ Roberta complains. Dayo is about to say something, but he sees a man dressed in black walk by the outside of the cafeteria. Black isn¶t the best color to wear around here, so something isn¶t right. ³Andrés, talk some sense into her, will ya?´ Dayo asks. He gets up taking with him his empty tray to the dishwasher. He takes a small detour outside of the cafeteria to see what¶s going on. The man in black is looking at the people in the cafeteria through the glass wall. Dayo stands just outside the cafeteria doorway. ³Hey, Vato,´ Dayo calls, ³You looking for someone?´ Dayo feels uneasy, talking to the man. He isn¶t sure who he is, and is beginning to think he should¶ve told a teacher about him. The man turns to Dayo. He looks at him for a few seconds, and then reaches behind him. Dayo has no time to react, no time to feel, no time to do anything. The man pulls out a gun and quickly shoots Dayo repeatedly. The sound, from the gun, echoes through the building and across the Isla. The sound of chaos and madness replace the music of the Isla. The event that no one has ever thought will happen has happened. The people all wait patiently, worried for the news to come. The last sounds of the Isla that night are the silencing lullaby of the Coqui, and the breath of Dayo as he whispers, ³Nanichi´