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After mass, Carlos’s suit pressed, his son’s hair disheveled, the two returned home for lunch. Carlos heated the tamales he had made for the two of them the night before and served his son and himself the leftovers. They sat at the table, eating silently.

In the middle, a single candle.

Carlos watched his son barely eat, his eyes red and puffy, his hair far too long, his beard far too thick, his face far too thin.

Carlos looked back down at his food. “Tamales, after all, were always her favorite.”

“They’re delicious, Pa.”


Carlos slowly picked at the food, more childish than his son. Tamales, on the second night, were never the same.

“Did you remember what day it was yesterday?”

“I do, I know... I’m sorry.”


“I don’t understand how you can continually fail to respect us--me--like this. I didn’t know where you were. You’re all I have now, mijo, don’t you forget that. We only have each other now...”

Comforting silence once more.

Still, the tamales, they were warm, they were good. Sunday without her was different, yet what more could they do but pretend it was the same?

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