Eva and Rita took their plates of curry and found a table to sit. Eva dug in, and didn’t realize the fault in her enthusiasm until she was four heaping mouthfuls in.
Eva: “Jesus fucking christ that’s hot! Oh god. I need some water or something…it’s freakin’ burning my esophagus! I think I’m gunna be sick.”
Rita didn’t seem to be paying attention. While walking to the table, sopping paper plate in hand, it occurred to her that perhaps Francisca and Josie would come to the Spice Festival anyway, even if she didn’t bother to respond to her grandmother’s text. Since they obviously knew she was in the Spice Market, they’d probably use the excuse to scope out the area, maybe ask around about her. They’d have pictures. Oh god. If Josie was here tonight, she’d have little difficulty tracking Rita down.
Rita became increasingly anxious. She saw her mother’s face in every woman that stood just in the corner of her eye. She mistook the glow of lights for the ghostly glow she was all too familiar with. She heard familiar voices amongst the crowd. Then she thought that perhaps she ought to keep an eye for Kamden, and Jimmy too. Maybe they’d all come to chase her out of the little crevice that she carved out for herself. Her hands began to shake, her heart pounded in her chest, her breathing became erratic and dysfunctional.
Then she saw her. In the distance, a red, unmistakeable glow cut out in the shape of abuela. She was here, and Rita needed to disappear.