CHAPTER EIGHT Twilight
Back in Georgia, my mom stifled a yawn. It was six thirty in themorning, promising to be a bright spring day, and her twelve-hourshift at the Shaw carpet plant would be over in a few hours. Her job—replacing bobbins of yarn in the carpet-binding machine—wasrepetitive, calming, meditative. At a neighboring machine, hercoworkers Nora and Jesus bantered and laughed. Mom laughed, too,but inside she was thinking about me, wondering how I was, heronly son, on the other side of the world in a war zone.Whenever the phone rang in the office, it reverberatedthrough the entire plant. This time when it rang, my mother didn’thear it. She happened to raise her head and spotted her boss, Raul,heading toward her. He was smiling, but she thought his smile didn’tlook right.
Please don’t let him be coming to me,
she prayed. But hewas.“Hey, Maria, let’s go to my office,” he said. She felt herheart jump in her chest.