Maite awoke with a bit more of a resaca than she had hoped for.
“When we were kids,” she thought to herself, “a gau pasa wouldn’t affect us at all.” She groaned as she sat up in bed. “But now…”
“I will never understand the human desire to flood their delicate circuitry with chemicals that disrupt their connections,” Garuna said in the back of her head.
“Great,” Maite thought. “Now I have critical commentary in my head.”
She shook it off and went to the bathroom. She could hear some puttering in the kitchen and looked forward to seeing her parents. While for them it had only been a couple of weeks, for her it seemed like an eternity.
Sure enough, she found her aita in the kitchen, ready with a cup of coffee which he handed to her.
“Egun on!” he said cheerfully.
“Egun on,” groaned Maite, giving her aita a kiss on the cheek. She glanced around, scanning the living room. “Where is ama?”
“She went out to buy groceries. She should be back any moment.”
Almost as if on cue, Maite heard the front door click open. A moment later, her ama appeared in the living room, clutching a few bags in each hand.
“Egun on!” Rosario always had a cheerful disposition and, as opposed to her daughter, never looked like she had just gotten up. She always seemed put together and freshly awake. Her aita had a similar demeanor. Sometimes, Maite wondered if she must have been adopted, or swapped at birth.
“Egun on, ama,” replied Maite, giving her ama her own kiss on the cheek before sitting at the small table in the kitchen.
“So?” asked Rosario as she handed a bag to Fulgencio and they started unpacking. “How did the interview go?”
Maite stared down at her coffee. “Fine, I guess.”
“Zer?” asked Fulgencio. “Did you not get the position?”
Maite looked up. She could see the expectation in both of her parents’ faces. She was sure if they were excited for her or terrified by the prospect of her leaving. She imagined both.
“I mean, the interview went well. I think I did well. Baina…”
Fulgencio and Rosario paused putting away the groceries and sat next to Maite at the small table. “What is it?” asked Rosario.
“I don’t think I want to go,” replied Maite, almost in a whisper.
“I know it is a big change…” began Fulgencio.
Maite shook her head, interrupting him. “It isn’t that. I know I will do well. And it is a great opportunity. I’m not worried about there.” She looked first at her aita and then her ama. A tear fell down her cheek. “I don’t want to leave you.”
Rosario reached over and pulled her daughter close. “Oh Maite,” she said, giving Maite a hug. “And we don’t want you to go.”
Fulgencio nodded before adding. “But, this is an amazing opportunity. Are you sure? What will you do instead?”
“There is an amazing group in Donostia,” replied Maite. “Maybe not with the reputation of Berkeley, but still world class. I can do my work there.”
“Will it be the same kind of work?” asked Rosario.
Maite shrugged. “Close enough. And the people there are excellent. Most importantly, it isn’t so far from you.”
She could see the tears welling in her normally stoic aita’s eyes. “It will be good to have you close,” he said.
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