by Erin Pineda
Maria is wringing her hands. It has been 37 minutes exactly, to the second, since he called, more than 34 minutes since she hung up, and in less than an hour, he'd be here. The afternoon sun comes in thick and sluggish from the skylight this time of day, throwing a patch onto the green carpet, and bringing attention to the place where the iron fell, where it melted the cheap, synthetic fibers together - looks bad, should really have the rug replaced, such an eyesore, though in the 6 years she's lived here with Armand, he's never noticed it. She hesitates for a minute or two, first turning to the mirror to attend to a misplaced curl, then spinning the ring around her finger (weighing her options, considering the implications) before removing it and slipping it into her pocket. Michael would be here soon. This year would be different.
Erin Pineda is a desert nomad who is learning to sit still, and a country bumpkin in a big city. On good days she musters up the nerve to like it here. On off days, she writes about it. She's the author of Where I Come From.