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This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, companies and incidents either are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of either the author or the publisher.
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"WHAT HAPPENED IN CANCUN?"
It was all Camila had been asked since she and Javier returned from the city, only now it came from her mother. The answer, though, still hadn't gotten any easier.
What happened indeed? Camila thought. She had tried, for the hundredth time, to explain. Again, her mind failed her.
"We keep hearing about something crazy -- the snakes..."
What took place on that day could not be explained simply. Words eluded her. Even a week after they got back -- or fled Cancun, depending on one's perspective -- Camila could not bring herself to describe what had happened when they were there.
The day had begun innocently enough. She and Javier got into the Jeep and drove the forty miles to the city. Javier apologized, she accepted; and by the time they arrived in Cancun, the icy silence had melted into lukewarm awkwardness.
Things still weren't quite back to how they had been but it had been just a matter of time.
At first, things had gone well. Camila bought the things her mother and father had put on the list, ordered what she had to from the suppliers and bought mangoes with chili and salt for herself and Javier to snack on while they went to the beach. In all the time Javier had lived with the Fuenteses, he had never tried to go swimming and he didn't think he knew how to swim. Still, under Camila's gentle prodding, he agreed to let her buy him a cheap swimsuit -- a scandalously scanty and electric-blue Speedo knock-off -- so he could try to at least float on the water. Camila changed into her bikini and they entered the blue waters, giggling nervously and holding hands like any other teenage couple.