And to Think That Only Yesterday

By James Tipton


thinkthatolyIt was common, in recent years, for Enedina de los Angeles to doze off sitting up. But today, when Enedina woke, she was sitting on a long bench, her bag at her feet, just outside the ruins of a large adobe house. She was covered with dust as if she had been on a long journey.

Night was beginning to fall, and the sky was very close, but Enedina felt she could hold it back a few more minutes by reaching up and pressing her palms against it.

“Where are you?” she called out, hoping Rafael, her husband, would come running to her.

She should, she thought, be more worried than she was. She shook the dust off her faded bag and reached in. The tamales were still warm. She would have a good story to tell when she got back to town.

But while she was eating, she forgot about the night and by now it had dropped down to her shoulders. It took all of her strength to lift the sky back up, but she needed to do this so that she could think clearly about what had happened.

Then she began to hear the distant bell. The sound got closer and closer. That house in ruins reminded Enedina of the chapel she had loved when she was a child.

Enedina got up. She realized the sky had now fallen around her knees. She waded through the cool sky to the door. She could hear familiar voices. Her father and mother. Talking about their little girl.

She would surprise them all right. They had never seen her so grown up.

And to think that only yesterday the doctors in the government hospital in Hermosillo told Enedina de los Angeles that she was dying.

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