The girls and I play soccer for a bit until the sky gets dark with storm clouds and I say that I don't want to walk home in a wet skirt. We get back to my house and Luis and Williams are acting strange. They shut themselves in my bedroom, I enter and ask, "What's up?" They don't say anything. I leave, teach the girls how to play dominoes, Williams and Luis come out of my room, slam the door and run into the kitchen. Brayan asks me, "What's wrong with them?" "How am I supposed to know?", I say.
I enter my bedroom, lie on the bed in the dark. I tap the wall which connects to the kitchen and Luis taps back (we used to do that a lot when I lived with his family). Williams and Luis enter my room and lie down next to me. "You're bad", they both say. "Why?" "You know why." I wasn't in the mood for the games of 14 year olds. "I don't know what you're talking about, why don't you just tell me?"
"What's going on?", I yell.
They both storm out of my room and my house.
I don't want to fight with them. I can't afford to lose them. I start crying. By that time everyone except Brayan has left my house. Brayan comes in, "What happened? What did they say to you?"
"I don't know.", in a crying mess.
Brayan brushes the hair out of my face. "Don't cry Cati, please don't cry." Can 11 year olds be this caring? "Let's play Super Mario to get your mind off them." (ahh, there's the 11 year old)
"Are you mad at us?", Williams asks as he and Luis stand at my doorway.
"No, I just want to know why you're mad at me, why you stormed out of my house and why I'm bad."
"Were you crying?" "Yes."
Williams says, "We were upset with you because you left to play with the girls without telling us. It was rude and not like you at all. We thought you were different. You love them more than us. You're going to forget about us." He starts crying. "You're our best friend here."
And that's it. Even my cynical self can't fight that. I say, "It was a misunderstanding. I didn't mean to leave you, I just thought that you didn't want to play soccer."
"But do you love them more?"
"Do you know that you guys are my world? That if it weren't for you, I wouldn't be here? I have so many problems with my work at the colegio, at the school but my days are always wonderful because of you. I would go home to the states if I didn't have you guys come by to make my days better. Nothing will change that, not Oscar, not the girls, nothing."
Williams and Luis throw their arms around me and start crying harder. I start crying again. "We can't lose you. We still want to be able to visit you everyday."
"And you can still do that."
And just like that, my heart is wide open.