“I’m safe, Sammy. Don’t worry.” As she disconnected, I thought I heard Mom cough.
Then one day Dad’s phone rang. He turned pale and ran outside. The conversation was a sorrowful murmur. Through thin walls I overheard him mention “virus.”
“Sammy, Mom won’t be home soon,” he said, sobbing. He held me tighter than usual. He never explained why.
We ate in silence on fiesta day. There was no hamonado this year.