Next, I pick up Lydia's envelope. It's thick, and when I open it, I find a handful of photographs.
The day balls up in my chest. A few deep breaths, and I'm able to look through them, reminders of home--my little house, the store, the harbor, a picture of Lydia and Alex, and one of a puppy. Hmmm…
Lydia's letter fills in some of the details. Alex has moved in with her, and they've gotten a puppy named Loki. Her story starts out so sweetly, and then she becomes Lydia, detailing the whining through the night, and the walking and the housebreaking, and pretty soon it will be chewing, and why did they name him Loki--what were they thinking? It's still sweet, but it's in Lydia's familiar way.
She asks how my mother is doing, and what it's like being home, or sort of home, or used-to-be home.
None of us ever really goes home to visit our families. I suppose it's the money, and the fact that we feel we need this cycle--a kind of desperation not to leave.
We're not a cult, but I guess some days we look like one.
She fills the pages with some more news.
Nilsa is keeping the store for you, although no one comes yet.
This is good. I don't know why I didn't think to ask Nilsa before I left. She helps me sometimes at the height of the season. If only I had enough business to keep her on all the time.
Not to the bakery, either. In the middle of summer, we tire of the tourists, but you know how slow this time of year goes.
I rest my hands in my lap, still holding the letter, and feel so lucky for everything I have.
The sun will sink below the buildings soon. I pick up Sevario's letter.