Lourdes wakes early and heads out to a rally in support of Ariel and his Miami family—it is being held just two blocks away, in front of a house owned by Ariel’s U.S. relatives. Lizet spends the morning playing with Dante—she remembers how Leidy got pregnant in high school by intentionally skipping her birth control pills in an attempt to get her high school sweetheart, Roly, to propose to her. Roly was less than pleased by the pregnancy, though, and has had little to do with Leidy or the baby.
As the neighborhood comes together in support of Ariel and his family, Lizet reflects on her own fractured family. As the narrative unfolds, the overwhelming support for Ariel will be repeatedly contrasted against the lack of support Lizet and other members of her family receive from those around them to highlight questions of familial duty and betrayal.
Dante’s birth coincided with Lizet learning that she had been accepted to Rawlings—in shock, Lizet sent off her deposit waiver to confirm her place right away without telling anyone, not even her boyfriend, Omar. Lizet didn’t tell anyone she’d been accepted for weeks. Though Leidy didn’t much care, Lizet’s parents saw her choice to go to college as a “betrayal.” Lizet’s father took Lizet’s “impending fall exit” to do the same—soon after Lizet told everyone she was going to college, he left their family.
As Lizet reflects on how her own family has fallen apart over the course of the last year, it becomes clear that she sees herself as being at the epicenter—and possibly the main cause—of the ruptures that have plagued her parents and her sister.