Everyone in Santa Rosalia said to stay away from you. “That girl is a hard one,” they said, “and a round heels too,” which in those days meant a girl who went down easy for a boy.

That’s just what I wanted to learn from you, how to be hard and easy at once.

I didn’t know there was anything else to know.

Then on that stifling Saturday I let you tell your Mama you were staying the night at my house.

“Where should I tell my Mama I’m staying?” I asked you.

You looked beyond me. “Wherever you want.”

I shut my eyes and saw my Papa’s face collapse and Mama’s tears run down her cheeks if they found us out.

Still, I went with you.

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