There was a knock on the cubby door. The boys’ father lingered outside, stooping and looking in through the the crack of the door.
“Let him in, Nate.”
Nate unlatched the door and their father, grunting, squeezed his body sideways into the cubby.
“Much obliged, boys,” he said, spilling his beer.
“Dad!” yelled Hector. He quickly cleared away their cards. Their father laboured into a huddle against the wall, then sipped his beer awkwardly.
“Is Mom still crying?” said Nate.
“Yes boys, I’m afraid she is.”
She was not able to forget what gravity, what treasure was her mother’s jewellery collection. She of all the siblings was entrusted with it, and now it was gone, draped around someone’s neck as a bling item, being rubbed and inspected at a pawnshop, being offered by some unscrupulous man to some undeserving woman. Gone.
“It’s just gold and silver,” said Nate, chewing on the cord of his hoody.
“It is and it isn’t.”
“It’s special,” Hector added bluntly. “You’re not old enough to understand.”
From the house came a sudden wicked, tortured scream, full of anger and hopelessness, and Nate’s eyes met Hec’s, and Hec’s met their father’s, and their father whistled quietly the tune to a fishing show he had grown particularly fond of.