On a stone pavement. Nobody looks at me. Only eight years. Straight home, my first home, from my walk to the moment I sigh and close my eyes to sleep. People seem not move, I'm changing, but the changes are the most important moments I remember. Stop, look, sigh, a step, I slide my hand, turn, and clearly it’s heard I'm coming in.
"Audrey ... is that you?" My mom in the distance.
I visualize before opening the door how I will find her, sitting in her recliner, feet up, perhaps a tissue and a rosary on the armrest.
"Yes, maa, I am," I replied while I’m pushing the door to get me into the living room.
She knows it's me. It was a matter of time to get here, the exact time of day. She just opens her eyes to see me and closed them again, I wave in greeting, and go ahead to the kitchen, and there he is, my dad, who for a year has become the cook, (I used to see him in the morning to go to school, and sometimes only on weekends, Now he’s dad at home). As is common like my mother, I know what will happen.
"Hey, you are here, how was school?" He asks me, taking his eyes off me and focusing on the pans on the fire.
As always I slow my respond, no because I don’t know what to say, but I have to wait my mom come to the kitchen with a zombie walk, slumping in a chair without energy, then comes my simple answer, a "I’m good" is enough, along with review of my homework, and my half-smile, the rest of the dinner is covered with the sound of the dishes, in company with the radio.
When we finally finished, begins the war of words between them, is no big deal, I've become get used of that situation, while, among brothers, we make jokes about the absurd discussions between our parents, I sneaked between their married game. I take my backpack, I head upstairs, as expected did not even notice me, even on the second floor I still heard they are argue. My Dad, "You should do something productive, all day lying in that chair and sucks, you look like a vegetable," he says. My Mom replay, "Enough Santiago! I know what I do, I'm not a child", she lost some bread, a repressed cry, my mom continued. "After I took care of you, sorry, but now I deserve a rest," my dad softens his voice. "All of this, It is not well, you are not well Carmen, you need help, this is not life", my thoughts turn, remembering my last years, I lie in my bed blocking all sound, ready for a nap.