Somewhere stuck between asleep and awake, Maria Postigo laid in bed staring up at her ceiling fan. If she focused hard enough, she could pierce through the darkness of the room, catch sight of one of the fan’s blades, and follow its rotation. But if she lost concentration, even for a second, she would have to begin the process all over again. Not that anything interesting occurred during her lapse of focus. Though one could never know for sure if it was the same blade when they returned. Maria was the type to get caught up in such uncertainties.
She remembered a moment from earlier that day. Nothing remarkably different from the rest of her day, but a moment that she felt drawn back to. It was in the cafeteria at work. She was telling Lauren about how her brother, Anthony, was not going to be coming to Christmas dinner this year. Something about a fight over the phone between their mother and Anthony’s wife; one with screaming and fluctuations between talking in Spanish into English back into Spanish. Hardly an anomaly in their family.
It was hard to say whether Lauren or Maria held any real interest in the conversation at hand. Maria did not care much about the possible absence of her own brother at the dinner table but thought the gossip might interest Lauren. Lauren did not care much about Maria’s family problems but thought Maria needed someone to comfort her. Regardless, their talking brought each other happiness and did a fantastic job of keep silence at bay. Silence, the kind which filled Maria’s long nights looking up at the fan, that could drive her insane.