She knows she should call 911. If it were happening to one of her clients, her cell would be out the moment she saw the gang turn into the driveway. But the people next door mean nothing to her. She doesn't even know their names.

She goes back to cleaning windows and thinks about how that white boy looked at her, how it felt like they were connecting on some deep level, if only for a moment. Then she thinks of Luz. She wonders what her relationship is to the gang. Specifically, to that handsome red-haired boy.


Once upon a time they were best friends.

One night when they're fourteen, Luz comes tapping at the shutter of Maria's window. It's late, late. Past midnight, closer to dawn than not. Maria has been asleep for hours. Luz grins at her, bouncing on her toes like she's been chugging Redbulls all night.

Maria throws back the covers, then raises the window and leans out into the cool night.

"What are you doing out there?" she whispers.

"Stuff. Do you still have those silver and turquoise earrings we got at the thrift shop?"

Maria nods.

"Come on out," Luz says, "and bring them with you."

Previous Page Next Page Page 3 of 107