Perello in Boston Review

Ibarionex Perello, a very fine writer and good friend, has a wonderful story in the spring issue of the Boston Review, about a young boy witnessing his father’s return to his hometown because of a serious illness in the family.

It was the first time I had heard the name of one of Papi’s sisters, though I knew I had grandparents and two aunts. Papi didn’t speak about them, and, though I was curious, I was never brave enough to ask.

“Pablo is not here,” Mami said. She leaned against the door for support. Her leg had been bothering her more and more. She hadn’t had another stroke since the one she had suffered giving birth to me, but its damage-her weak leg and arm and the frozen side of her face-became more pronounced with each passing year. “I don’t know where he is, but I’ll let him know when he comes home.”

Mami offered the man something to eat. He declined at first but accepted when she insisted. She gave him some pastelitos, which he ate standing at the counter. He ate them quickly.

“What’s wrong with him?” Mami asked

“The old man, he’s dying.” The crumbs from the pastry fell onto his shirt.

“That’s sad news.”

“It’s never good, senora.”

Read it here.