Based on the vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark, by Sandra Cisneros

        Your primo Camilo had an accident, Mama says one afternoon in the studio. Se murio, and then just like that, even though trying to look strong begins to cry, my brave Mama cries. I am not used to seeing Mama cry, so I just hug her and hope it will make her feel better.

        I know we will have to honor his death, that there will be a special ceremony just for him, all of my aunts and uncles will be there, all carrying flowers to arrange over his grave because this is how they show appreciation and respect to the dead in this country.

       Because I am the middle child, my mother has told me second, but now it is my responsibility to explain my sister. I will have to explain why Mama is so sad and somber. I will have to tell her to be quiet the rest of the day.

       My Mama, her long hair and long jeans, who begins to cook dinner in the afternoon, who holds her hair with giant clips, drinks her aguapanela, and calls us to eat dinner, today is standing besides me, hugging me.

       And I think if my own cousin died how would I feel. I hug my Mama in my arms. I hug and hug and hug her.

Original vignette: Papa Who Wakes Up Tired in the Dark



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