He gives me a soft punch in the shoulder. “It’s only high school, Tullin. Try not to look so scared.”
I swallow. “R-r-right,” I say out loud, just to prove I’m tougher than I look.
I ask her what changes when I turn off the light
and she says, Go ahead.
I ask what else and
she says, According to whom?
The day my dad came back to get his stuff,
he brought a guy I’d never met, some goon
named Dirk who whispered (when my dad was off
yanking shirts from hangers in his old room)
how hard these things can be…
Herve was snoring—a little whir-whir on the rollaway—when Walt turned off the TV and the light. I can hear myself think, Walt thought. Or not think. I can lie here and hear myself not think. The snow outside caught his attention: it fanned out, reconvened, made circles around the neon WELCOME sign.
“Isa, this package came for you.” Mamãe sets a box in front of my cereal bowl.
“It’s from Vó Ziza,” I say. My granny, Ziza, lives in Brazil, far away from our family in Miami.
When Theresa Miller told her mother that she’d almost been kidnapped, the neighborhood went nuts. She told her mom who told the police who told all the moms on our street that a scary man with a spiky purple mohawk, yellow eyes, tattooed arms, piercings, and a gold medallion around his neck had tried to get her into his convertible by offering her candy.