The Day Before

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Israel A. Bonilla

The Day Before



She is sitting in the corner of the living room, head against her knees, shoulders going up and down erratically. This is the second time in his life that he sees his mother crying. He does not know whether to go over to his room to leave his backpack. He stands still, waiting for her to raise her head, wipe out the tears, and pretend everything is fine. Her shoulders stop moving. Seeing this, he noisily adjusts his backpack so as to make her aware of his arrival. There is no reaction. Should he go over to console her? Should he head to the kitchen and wait? He is feeling distressed by her ambiguous silence. She looks like a torn sheet that has been crumpled up and thrown into a corner. The shoulders resume their movement. He decides it is best to leave her be.
  He takes an excruciating amount of time closing the door behind him, somehow expecting an absolution from having entered.
  The sky is overcast. There is no change in the everyday scorching clime. House after house he sees the usual people hanging outside with barely any clothes, sweaty and . . .
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