My mama told me once there used to be a section of land that extended out over the bay where she and Papi would park. It’s hard to imagine them like that, based on the people I know now, but when she told me about it I could see her face glowing with the embers of nostalgia and joy. I wonder what happened to that piece of land, and I think that even if the water swallowed it, there is still happiness that soaked into its dirt and even if my mama or I can’t stand on it now or touch it, it’s still somewhere. Sometimes I think that’s true: that every emotion gets caught in the fabric of the earth and even if it moves away from you and you can’t find it anymore, it will always exist.

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“They were pretending before. I know you said you didn’t see it coming, but they did that on purpose, you know? Like to spare your feelings. When my parents got divorced they tried really hard to keep it a secret. They were normal to each other for a long time even though they weren’t normal underneath. They just didn’t want me and Davey to see it, you know?”

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I would suffer for months and know for the first time the feeling of my heart breaking. I would know what my mother had been feeling for weeks. And I would discover how much of life is defined by what you want to keep and what you are forced to lose.

Come together, fall apart – Christina Henriquez

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