Sold To Mr. Milano - Daniella Wright
Looking out over the sprawling plains and mountains of our country, I was filled with an overwhelming sense of both warmth and dread. I loved Argentina, and I loved fighting for the best interest of our people. And it’s not that I didn’t feel gratified from accompanying my father on his work...Quite the opposite actually. It gave me a sense of purpose and made me feel like I was truly following in his footsteps. Together, maybe we could really change things.
But sometimes the troubles seemed too big. For every small victory, there was a mountain of new obstacles waiting behind it. I was starting to wonder if we could ever make a dent in all the injustices my father had shown me through his work.
“Don’t look so glum, mi dulce hija,” he smiled over at me from the driver’s seat. “Aren’t you excited for the opportunity to help me call Alberto Milano out on his dirty dealings?”
“Of course,” I answered sincerely, feeling a renewed hatred for Mr. Milano welling up inside.
My father - Don Martino, also known as “The Great Detective”, was a legend. Alberto Milano was one of his biggest nemesis. He broke a myriad of laws that sent my father chasing after him, usually with me by his side when it wasn’t too dangerous for him to allow.
Before I could even begin to express the heaviness in my heart to my father, we arrived at Albert Milano’s newest purchase of land. If anyone could understand the feelings of defeat and hopelessness that set in from time to time when you are a public servant, it was Don Martino - my beloved papa. But we had more pressing matters in front of us.
My father had come to investigate Alberto’s land, which he suspected was acquired by force. With the ever-growing population of homeless people in Argentina, the government has placed restrictions on how land can be purchased. Rich landowners and gangsters like Alberto Milano had taken to using violence and threats to intimidate poor, hardworking Argentinians out of their lands, some of which had been in their families for generations. They would throw them insultingly small amounts of money as an empty gesture of pity. But those people were not paid for their land. They were forced to leave for fear of their lives.
The prohibitions were put into effect as those acts of violence became more commonplace, and it was one of my father’s many jobs to go and investigate the purchases, looking for any clues that something illegal might have taken place. Having been a long time enemy of Alberto’s, he was especially excited to follow up on any of his new land acquisitions. Although usually, these visits proved to be in vain. Alberto was very skilled at his kind of business and knew how to cover his tracks well. It was nearly impossible to pin him for anything.
I followed behind my father as he approached the ranch door. Sometimes following him around was scary, but I was used to it by now. My mother died giving birth to me in America. As a single father, Don Martino knew he had to bring me back to his country to raise me. He was well-known and respected here and wanted me to know the roots of my culture. I had been following him around on the job most of my life, and now, at age eighteen, I could finally delve deeper into the work I was raised to believe in. I wanted to be just like my father - helping people and bringing justice to them.
“Wait here,” Papa told me as we got closer to the small house.
“What? No!” I fumed. “What am I here for if not to confront Alberto with you?”
He suddenly grew very stern in a way that I didn’t often see, but when I did - I knew he meant business.
“You don’t know Alberto Milano the way I do,” he barked through clenched teeth. “I let you come along, but I didn’t say you could go banging on his door with me. There are other sides to an investigation, Alicia. You should know that by now. Go look around the property...in an innocent-seeming way. See what you can find.”
I nodded, feeling a little bad that I had questioned him. He wasn’t one to be too overprotective. If he was keeping me back from something, there was a good reason. I let him march on to the door without me before turning to survey the scene. I