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The Art of White Roses by Prado-Núňez Viviana

The Art of White Roses by Prado-Núňez Viviana

Author:Prado-Núňez, Viviana [Prado-Núňez, Viviana]
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Papillote Press
Published: 2018-05-30T16:00:00+00:00


19.

When the Rain Pours

It was Saturday and it was about to rain. The sky was white the way it was before a thunderstorm. It was fine because Pingüino was grounded and I didn’t feel like walking over to Miguel’s house anyway. I thought about telling Pingüino what had happened with Luis the night before, but that felt like something I wanted to keep to myself. At one point, Mami told us she was going to the grocery store, but other than that, the day had been uneventful. Now we were in our room staring at the ceiling.

“Adela?” Pingüino said, splayed out on his bed.

“What?” I said, splayed out on mine.

“I’m hungry.”

“Then go get something to eat.”

Pingüino rolled over onto his face. “No,” he said into the pillow.

“Then why are you complaining?”

He rolled back over into a more regular position. “Because I’m hungry.”

“I’m not going to get you something to eat.”

“Why not?”

“You have legs, don’t you?”

“You’d let your little brother starve?”

“In a heartbeat.”

“You’re horrible.”

A long pause.

“Adela?”

“What?”

“Do you think Mami and Papi are going to break up?”

I wasn’t sure how to reply. “I don’t know,” I said.

He sighed.

“Goddamn it,” I said, getting up.

“What?”

“What do you want to eat?”

“ Ropa vieja, ” Pingüino said.

“Try again, comemierda .”

“Fine. Ham-and-cheese sandwich.”

“Better.”

I walked into the living room and Papi was pacing. There was a woman on the couch and I realized with a start the woman wasn’t Mami. It was Celia. She wore lipstick and a skimpy red dress. “Oh, it’s Adela,” Celia said in a mild voice. “ Hola , Adela.”

Papi stopped pacing. He closed his eyes. “ Mierda ,” he whispered. He rubbed his face. “Adela. I thought you were in your room with Pingüino. Abuelo’s still asleep, isn’t he?”

“What is she doing here?”

“Go back to your room.”

“You can’t tell her what to do,” Celia said.

“Sure, I can. She’s my daughter.”

“She’s a person,” she said to Papi. “You’re a person,” she told me as if I didn’t already know, “You do what you want to do.”

I regarded her skimpy red dress and her makeup, which was the same as the last time I had seen her at the shoe shop. “She’s a whore, isn’t she?” I asked Papi.

“You don’t have to be so rude about it,” Celia said, checking her nails.

“What?” Papi said.

“She’s a whore. Just like the girl you screamed at.”

“What girl?” Papi said.

“You don’t remember? You were laughing with Pingüino about something and there was a prostitute standing at the curb and you called her a puta through the window.”

“What does that have to do with anything?”

“Everything!” Celia said, standing up. “It’s a lack of love is what it is.”

“ Shhh ,” Papi said, “Do you want the whole house to hear?”

“Is she crazy or something?” I said.

“Why can’t you tell me?” Celia said.

“Why do you need to know?” Papi said.

“Because it’s not enough.”

Papi glanced at me. “Not here.”

“For God’s sake, Sebastián. Your kids saw me at the shoe shop and now I’m in your house. I know that Adela, for one, isn’t stupid.



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