She knew I was handicapped and it was the reason why she'd pulled me out in the middle of a game and had me stand as a loafer while she got her nails done.

"Si, Paula. Yes, I know. The media is messing up these days," she said to the phone and looked down at her toes. "I have to tell you this. I'm not happy you didn't make it. Had so much in store for you." Pause. "Oh, please, two years is such a long time."

My very audible sigh affected Madre in no way. She carried on with her conversation as though I wasn't here. Battling with impatience, I leaned against the wall—my hands in my pockets—and stared straight off.

"If you say so. Alright, then. Ciao." She clicked the phone off and sighed with longing in her eyes. "Funny woman."

I expected her to tell me the reason for the summoning, but she still didn't acknowledge me. Instead, she stared down at her toes, telling the pedicurist what she needed.

"You called me," I spoke up.

She shot up a finger. This time around, I couldn'
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