Short story. Last Page by Jaime Martinez Tolentino

Short story. Last Page by Jaime Martinez Tolentino

Short Story. Today, enjoy the last episode of The Island Across the River by the author Jaime Martinez Tolentino. Have a nice Monday, Yareah Magazine readers!


Photo by Junior Libby

Episode 1  Episode 2   Episode 3   Episode 4  Episode 5 Episode 6  Episode 7
I was being discharged that day. I would not be returning to the Hospital for Special Surgery. My father came to get me alone, because my mother needed to stay at home with my little brother Dionny.

We gathered my clothes, my one book, and the paperwork that the hospital had given me, and we placed it all in the suitcase that Papi had brought. I made sure that I didn’t leave behind a sealed white envelope that was on my night table. I said my goodbyes to the hospital staff, and my father and I took the elevator down to the lobby.

Before Papi could go outside to hail a cab, I asked him for a special favor. He seemed surprised at my request, but when I explained it, and when he saw how serious I was, he complied.

He wheeled me over to a window overlooking the river, and he exited the building. I watched him climb the pedestrian bridge that crosses Franklin Delano Roosevelt Drive. He descended the stairs on the other side, and he walked over to the railing overlooking the river. Then, he pulled the white envelope that I had given him out of his shirt pocket, and as I had requested, he opened it, he took out the single printed page, and he let it drift down to the surface of the river where the current carried it away. He came back across the pedestrian bridge, and he wheeled me outside to hail a cab.

And we went back home with a poetry book in my suitcase missing its last page.

Congratulations, Jaime, for this amazing end!!!

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is a Puerto Rican writer. At the age of four, Martinez Tolentino contracted polio, which left him crippled. In 1951, he and his family emigrated to New York City where he lived until 1966. He attended New York University where he majored in French and French literature, while also studying Spanish literature and German. As an undergraduate he participated actively in the theater. After earning a B.A. and an M.A in French literature, he returned, briefly, to his native Puerto Rico where he was named French professor at The University of Puerto Rico. Then he left for Europe to pursue further studies. In France, he studied French at the Sorbonne, and then he relocated to Spain, where he studied both French and Hispanic Literature. He received a Ph.D. in French Literature from the University of Madrid, and then he returned to Puerto Rico. Between 1970 and 1984, Martinez Tolentino taught French at the Mayaguez Campus of the University of Puerto Rico, and he also published three books on French. Also during this period, he published a full-length play, and in 1984, he directed its staged version. One of his short stories was adapted for the stage in Puerto Rico in 1979. In 1980, he published his play La imagen del otro, and three years later, an original collection of short stories of the fantastic. As he continued publishing in Spanish, his interest in Hispanic literature grew. He began taking graduate courses in Spanish and Puerto Rican literature, and then taught Spanish literature at the Inter-American University of Puerto Rico, while still also teaching French at the UPR. In 1984, Martinez Tolentino resigned from his position as a French professor. In 1990, he became a Spanish professor at the State University of New York’s College of Buffalo, where he continued writing and producing plays. He retired from teaching in 2002, but not from writing and publishing. For a full history, you can find Jaime on Wikipedia or on his website.

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