I was still taking my siesta when I heard Greg using the phone next to my bed. The guy was getting fanatical about our search for Nancy Jimenez. And I couldn’t blame him. How cool would it be for him to actually find Diego’s cousin, who he hadn’t seen in 50 years, and deliver the letter that Diego had passed on to him as well as about a 10 year supply of vitamins?
I quickly rousted myself, splashed some water on my face, and grabbed my video camera. By the time I got back into the room, Greg had already been on the phone for several minutes. While he was waiting for whoever he was talking with to come back on the line, he filled me in on what I’d missed. This Nancy Jimenez was 54 (a little younger than Diego figured, but it was still within the range), and had a cousin nicknamed Chuey who lived somewhere in L.A. She said she had not heard from her cousin in over ten years.
“I’m pretty sure this is her,” Greg whispered, his hand over the phone.
When the woman came back on he asked her a few more questions. Had she gone to university here in Havana? Yes. Had she taught there? No. Had she taught anywhere in Havana. No, she said, she was not a teacher or a professor. When Greg heard this, I could see all the air go out of him. He wanted so bad for this to be the Nancy Jimenez that he pressured her for a few more minutes, looking for ways to explain why Diego may have thought she was a professor if she wasn’t, but the longer he talked to the woman, the clearer it became that she was not the Nancy Jimenez we were looking for.
We’d come to the end of the line.
Tomorrow morning at 4:30 we would be on the bus headed for Jucaro. We’d be on the boat fishing for the next week. When we came back to Havana a week later, we’d have little time to explore other avenues for finding Nancy Jimenez. Still, Greg would not give up.
“There’s got to be a way to find her,” he said.
I didn’t know what it was and he didn’t either. But we were both going to think about it some more. Maybe a solution would become apparent once we were away from Havana. The search was over for the time being. But not for good. One way or the other we were going to solve the mystery of what happened to Nancy Jimenez.