Story — From the March 2013 issue

Deeper Winter

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On Monday Luis took Eduardo to watch the Dodgers lose twice to the Padres, and afterward, when they were both a little drunk and wandering around the massive stadium parking lot trying to find the car, Luis said, “I got to kick you out, hijo.

Luis put his arm around his nephew’s neck and kissed him on the side of the head.

“Vicky?” Eduardo asked.

“Vicky,” Luis said and then nothing else until they found the car.

They sat together on the warm red hood with their feet on the bumper and their elbows on their knees. Luis preferred to wait for the parking lot to drain out.

“It’s the way it’s got to be, hijo. I’ve been putting it off a week. She’s moving in and she wants the whole thing.”

Eduardo nodded. “Don’t worry about it.”

He wasn’t angry. It had been time for months.

“I have a friend up north,” Luis said, watching the cars inch past. “Her son’s got work for you. There’s a place to stay. Vicky will make you enough food for a week, but it won’t take more than a day or two to get up there, depending.”

“Depending on what?”

Luis shrugged. “Whatever.”

Eduardo nodded. “North where?”

“The mountains north. Idaho.”

Eduardo shook his head. “Fuck.”

Luis laughed and rose up so he could pull his wallet out from under his ass. “Here,” he said, and, keeping his eyes on the sky, he handed Eduardo two bills.

Eduardo took the money.

“Two hundred, hijo. And a bus ticket. And a job. And a place to stay. And enough food for a week.”

“Thanks,” Eduardo said. He slipped the money into his back pocket. “Don’t worry. I’m good, it’s good, we’re fine, okay? Okay, Lulu?”

“Don’t start with that shit.”

Out toward the ocean the sky had turned the color of a new scar. The cars weren’t going anywhere.

“She’d kill me for this, you know.” Luis turned his head and looked at his nephew. “She’d fucking kill me.”

Eduardo squeezed his uncle’s shoulder and pulled him tight. “She’d understand. She’d understand, Lulu my man.”

Drivers began to turn on their headlights. “You’ll need a jacket,” Luis said. “Cold as hell up there.”

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