One day I came home from school and found the front door to our house flung open. The lights inside were off, and Mom wasn’t in the kitchen, where she usually was. The familiar sound of novelas blasting on the TV was also absent, then I realized the TV itself was gone. My stomach dropped. For the front door to be open, showing all the world our whole business, was strange enough, but I couldn’t remember the last time the house had been this quiet.
“¿Mamá?” I whispered, tip-toeing down the narrow hallway to her bedroom.
She didn’t answer, so I cracked open her door. The room was a mess, piles of papers and emptied out boxes on the bed, but there was no one in there. Right as I was about to close it again, I heard something shuffling.
“¿Mamá?” I repeated.
This time, she yelled back, “I’m in here!”
I followed her voice to the little half-bathroom connected to her bedroom. There, she was hunched over, wearing her leopard-print house dress and sweeping up glass from the floor. The broken window above her head let in sunlight, crowning her long, copper hair with a halo.
“What happened?” I asked.