by Marina J. Lostetter
Elsa slipped a glossy travel brochure over the top of Amir's cornflakes' bowl. He chewed
slowly, scanning the white letters that splayed across a background of vines and palms. Visit
Costa Rica, Pura Vida!
"This is where I want to go for our anniversary," she said, brushing aside her unkempt curls. "I
especially want to visit Caño Island. See the Spheres."
"The Spheres," Amir whispered to himself, splashing cold water over his face, washing the
memory -- along with his shaving cream -- down the drain.
He patted his face dry, then examined his teeth in the mirror, smiling a caricature of a smile. His
fingers ran through his freshly cut hair, trying to get it to lie down like it was supposed to.
This would be the first time he'd visited the cemetery since she'd been moved. It had been a
while; she wouldn't recognize the scruffy, unwashed, sweat-pants wearing lay-about he was on
most days. He wanted to clean himself up, look like he used to when they lived in California, so
she would remember him.
He didn't want her to know he'd lost his job at Berkeley. Or that he'd had to sell their old house.
Or that he'd barely been able to hold down a minimum wage position these last few years.
Bypassing the crookedly hung family photos in the hall, he left the apartment without breakfast.
When he started the truck, his hands shook. He could barely control the tremors well enough to
back out of the drive.
I don't want to. I don't want to see her.
But he had to. He'd put it off for too long. He'd planned this morning for months, promising
himself he'd go.
It's just a walk in the park, he told himself. A nice walk on a spring day.