By: Lulu Pettit

What a shame. My nieta, of all people.
The words spun around Alicia’s head as she stared at the bug on the dirty cafe floor. Was it a fly? A spider? Too small to tell. At least it seemed content.
A brightly-shoed foot came crashing down.
Nothing good lasts long.
What a shame.
Again, that painful memory. The ugly, grating words Abuela used when she found the rainbow-flag-covered pamphlet under Alicia’s bed. Her stomach twisted, and she tried to think of better things. Pleasant memories.
She looked around the comfort spot she’d fled to, Our Family Cafe, trying to remember happy times here. She was in the corner booth. Her favorite seat, selected after trying every other chair.
What a shame.
Ten minutes ago, she stormed in and ordered the largest slice of red velvet cake in the display case.  How many times had she brought Abuela here, to try this very cake?
“You’ll love it, I swear,” she would say, laughing, dragging Abuela to move faster, faster.
Alicia was always laughing in her memories.
“You know I don’t eat sugar anymore, nieta.”
What a shame.
Her stomach churned and the slice in front of her now seemed much less appealing than before.
What a shame.
New memory.
Her best friend, Carolina, came here, too, before she left for college. She preferred the table in the middle.
“Our backs are to the windows,” Carolina argued. “Our Abuelas can’t tell if we’re here when we say we’re studying at the library.”
“Maybe if you didn’t lie to your Abuela, you’d understand the superiority of the corner booth,” Alicia responded, laughing.
“Maybe if you didn’t have such a perfect relationship with your Abuela, you’d understand my angle.”
What a shame.
Her world collapsing without her Abuela at her side, tears stung Alicia’s eyes. If only Carolina could see her now.
Nothing good lasts long.

 

Lulu Pettit lives in Philadelphia, PA; she is 15 years old.  Lulu spends her days planning her next NaNoWriMo, watching an absurd amount of rom-coms, and roller skating in her friendly neighborhood graveyard.

 

image: iwonder Vision in Pexels