exact pitch as her father’s, and she had to go. Early on Richard had offered to accompanyher or even go in her place. He had grown up in Stanton as well and knew all about Miguel,but Cintia told him, no, Miguel was her brother and it was as simple as that. At first he buriedthe rejection under flippant remarks about Miguel’s prediciments; now he didn’t even open hiseyes when she got out of bed, his role cast in something stronger than words."Dope ain't a door to door business, you know,” Miguel said."But to get caught because you were pissing in the bushes? That’s kind of stupid,don’t you think?”"Shit, Sis. I had to go."She turned in a tight circle, pacing in front of her car like a dog trying to getcomfortable before bedding down. "You're on probation, Miguel. You need to be morecareful."He laughed, a quick explosion of air that dismissed everything she had said. "It's waytoo late for that, Sis."Miguel was handsome, his skin the color of juice from a pot of beans, and charming ina straightforward, brazen way. That’s also what got him into so much trouble. He thought hehad the right to say anything, anytime, to anyone, and that the world was his for the samplingand that no one should begrudge him that right. His behavior may have seemed reckless buthe calculated risk before acting and if caught was willing to take the punishment withoutcomplaint. It was because of Miguel that Cintia had stopped believing in bad luck or accidents or coincidences.She dropped him off at their mother’s house. No matter what time of night, Miguelinsisted on immediately telling her about his troubles. Juanita reaction was always the same:“
Quien se mande
,” she’d say-who sent you to do what you did?- and go to the kitchen tomake him a bowl of menudo.