In the book Lost Luggage by Jordi Punti, protagonist (or maybe even antagonist?), Gabriel Delacruz Expósito, a seemingly average man, was born on a dim October morning in the Spanish cod market of 1941. However, he isn’t so average if you take a closer look into his life throughout events and flashbacks in the book.
For 17 years, Gabriel grew and flourished in The House of Charity orphanage; having said that, it is later revealed that he had a secret resentment towards the place. One fateful day, he and his best friend Bundo were called to the office of Sister Elvira, where both boys were told that they must leave the orphanage before the end of the month. “Their faces began to light up but they quickly masked it. So leaving, getting away, getting the h*** away from the home – at last, at last!” (75, 76 Punti). The narrative describes the joy and relief they felt. However, the feeling is elaborated further by including a strong word, h***, which shows the fear or hatred of their home and the desperation to leave. What could’ve possibly led Gabriel to loathe his home? This sudden display of feelings show that Gabriel can hide his feelings quite well. As well as hiding his feelings, Gabriel hides a much bigger part of his life. Like Bundo, Gabriel is a ladies’ man who is always on the move; consequently, this led to him fathering to 4 known sons. This buried truth of Gabriel’s was uncovered when 25 years later, his own son Cristòfol discovered “another folder… [which] held a pile of documents… names, addresses, birth certificates, photos, drawings. It wasn’t long before the other three names appeared… Cristof, Christophe, Christopher” (35, 36). Cristófol, already suspicious of his father, discovered that he has 3 step-brothers. To find out that after your father left, he did the same to 3 other families must be harsh. Gabriel, a simple Spanish driver, lived a quadruple life. But that’s not all… a fifth brother exists! A few weeks into the search for their father, Christof finds another brother named “’Christoffini. He was born in Italy…’” (136). After discovering another step-brother, who knows how many heartbroken children and families Gabriel left? Keeping all of his descendants from knowing each other shows that Gabriel is a crafty man and he cannot be trusted.
To put it very bluntly, I am in no way similar to Gabriel Delacruz. The way he selfishly and cold-heartedly left his families completely contrasts my friendly nature. For instance, ever since I joined my friend group, Grounders Squad, I have never turned my back on them. I’ve gone out of my way to go to concerts, last minute birthdays, and weekend hangouts with the squad at school, and more. Even with all my faults, I consider myself as a WAY better person than Gabriel.
Events and stories unfold one after another. Mysteries are found and solved. All of these things connect and disconnect, constantly shaping the character we know as Gabriel Delacruz Expósito. We might think of him as the cruel antagonist, but people can change… you never know.
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