September 24, 2008
The moment her feet hit the wooden floor she heard the cars rushing past the morning and saw the light filtering in from the street. There are more cars here than at the other house, tucked away in the suburbs.
She drags her sleep-drugged body into the kitchen where he smiles at her over the espresso maker. He murmurs something to her, his dark lips moving over the words softly. Then he repeats it too loudly, unable to hear himself.
“Quieres café?”

She shakes her head and squints through the glare of her glasses. She can feel the birds nest framing her face and shivers on the cold tiles. The smell of cinnamon and vanilla fills the air, she watches as he stirs the abenna on the stove. As she wraps her red sweater around her, he turns, “Are you hungry my girl?”

She nods, and then stepping towards him, he embraces her with one arm. Her glasses prick painfully at her nose as her face presses against his shoulder. His black t- shirt smells of his wondrous food, his black dog, and Narcisso Rodriguez for Men. A calloused hand cups the back of her head and he kisses her temple. She feels the stitches along his index finger snag her hair as he releases her.

She smiles up at the man, there are tight curls of gray and white at his temples and his eyes and mouth are creased where he has smiled too much and laughed too hard. There are freckles hidden behind his dark stubble and they match her own. A small scar interrupts his nose where it was broken years ago. Behind one ear she can see a sliver of yellow.

“Good morning, papa.”

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