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Xabier Etxaniz Rojo > Extracts

Narrative (short story and novel)

Square metre | Berria

Ramon smiled when the vendor quoted the price. He was fully aware that it depended on market trends, but he knew that over six thousand euros for a square metre was outrageous. He could not make up his mind, during the days leading up to that moment, whether to buy it or not, but by then he was almost fully convinced. All he needed was a final push to say 'yes'.

After being a tenant all his life, it was about time Ramon became the owner of a little place. That was his most convincing argument. It wasn't one to write home about, but the truth is, it is very tiring going from one house to another. And for years Ramon had been moving from house to house and from one bed to another -empty beds, I mean. Now that he was retired all he needed was just a bit of peace during his twilight years. Peace and security. And the vendor, being a skilled professional, did not forget two details when he praised the features of the property. It was not only right in the centre, it faced the sea. It "faces south" and the flowers will always be lovely. It is a safe investment. It's for ever.

Ramon had a look at his two neighbours. On his left, Teresa Gomez-Agirregomezkorta (1969-1999). On his right, Maria Etxeberri Azpilikueta (1937-2002).

Even though a square metre was prohibitively expensive, Ramon finally said yes. The area could not in fact have been more peaceful.

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