1958—Debts (excerpt)

The phone was pressed to Julián’s ear as he waited for a response from Rodolfo. He lived alone in an old apartment next to a dirt road surrounded by orchards in Sunnyvale, California.

Younger brother Rodolfo didn’t live too far. Rodolfo lived in an old shack with his wife and two children on 19740 Panama Avenue in Cupertino. The two brothers worked at a cannery in Sunnyvale and did farm work during the season. Rodolfo had just arrived from work when the phone had ringed. Now he sat on an old sofa as the words from Julián echoed in his brain summoning avalanches of thought loaded with preoccupation, anxiety, and sadness.

Staring at a family picture on the wall, he said at last, “Where is Alfredo?”

By the look on his face, his wife could already sense that something was wrong. Outside, their two children ran cheerfully around apricot trees, laughing, and chasing each other.

“Nobody knows,” replied Julián…..