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They say you were beautiful, and that all the boys liked you very much.  I've seen you and I can see why the fellows would think so.  We've got those kinds of genes: the good kind.  The kind boys and the other girls pine for.  Mamá doesn't like to think about it because her place in time has shifted slightly, but she's so beautiful.  Her eyes are deep like an inverse moon and I see those eyes when I see you.

It's the grainy photograph and that three-quarter view.  The one where you're wearing the fanciful laced blouse that covers all right up to the neck?  That one.  Your dark hair is neatly brushed back and done up.  Your hands rest on your lap where the photo gets cut off along the bottom.  It's a regal pose, that of someone who has descended from nobility.  We don't pose for photos like that anymore.  I'd say we don't care enough, but I really think we just care too much.

The night before, it wasn’t special.  Of course it was special, but you didn't know.  You and Abuelita and Mamá and Tia Sofi and Tio Chon and Tio Rodolfo and Tia Magi and Tio Carlos and Tio Miguel and Tia Belen were all just watching the television.  Not Abuelito because he passed away in that accident on the side of the highway.  You might have just thought about him, like I do about Papá.  The light spring rain tinkling on tin roof shingles right above was probably annoying, but I don’t think you would have turned up the volume.  Tio Chon, maybe, since he never listens anyway.  You saw things in black and white when the world was so colorful as you sat there with the burnt adobe wall looming behind you.  Did you wonder why, I wonder.  Why things had to be so black, white, and flat.  As you sat on the cushions and didn’t talk you probably didn’t know.  Why would anyone know?  I have a feeling, given enough time, you would have.  It would become clear that the world, this world, mine and yours, is more than what they tell us.  More, I hope, than what they told you.

What did you think of a breeze?  It's cool most certain, but a good cool or a bad cool?  Personally I think the prudes would consider it a bad cool, and you don't seem like you were a prude.  Just young, barely no longer a kid and almost (so close) a woman.  You might've liked being a woman.  I'm finding it okay but it can be tough, especially when sitting alone on a balcony in the middle of the night.  It's really tough, then.  But you sat on that balcony as well, didn't you?  Was it the same then?  Was it endless?

I never met the husband or children you might have had. We might have gotten along, I think. He would be a big man, driving trucks. If you were kind enough maybe he would have a moustache. I can see the farm he would work on far away from you and them. I can see the dirt beneath his fingernails as he would finally hold your waist again and kiss you, because he would love you so much, and he would be proud. I can see it, really. They, the little ones, so many! My cousins, my friends, we would have such great adventures. I must admit, and I am sorry for this, but we would get in trouble, frequently and with great vigor. I can even see the scars we would have.  There would be one right here on my pinky as a matter of fact.  I would have cried then.

Was it dreams for you that night?  Was it nightmares?  I could say that I know, but I wouldn’t dare. I have seen that room you might have dreamt in and the kinds of dreams in there seem too plain for you. Dreams of things like a cabinet, and dust, and many beads and crosses.  I hope not, but maybe even a Bloody Jesus. I don’t know but can only hope that the night was pleasant, hopeful, and sprinkled with a light and cheerful rain.  I dream of these things, that I do know, so you might have too.

You were three miles from where you disappeared, after Mamá and Tia Sofi first noticed you were gone.  It was the river, that winding snake of a river.  Green and alluring, I would have jumped in too.  Maybe the others were too scared but not you.  It’s only water, it’s only the roar of water.  What could it do?  Nothing, not a thing, not a damn thing!  To hell with water and to hell with holding back.  Nothing would keep you from it, you were so brave, you were so grand.  Belle of the ball!  Queen of the sky!  No, water, no.  You were Pachita, my Tia Pachita!  You were the always there.

You walked out of the house that morning.  Maybe you felt the breeze, like I do.

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