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Only this wasn't a game, it was a revolution, and choosing the wrong door meant that my father was shot and killed.
He died because of a choice he made, I see that, but it was all a mistake.
After my epiphany, I made myself stop asking about Papi, out of spite.
And then she'll step a little closer, so I can smell the ronpopo on her breath, and whisper, "Your parents were like movie stars to us when we were all young; so beautiful, so tragic." She'll touch my face, and say something maudlin and semi-unintelligible: "Your father, he was so ...," she'll start, but she'll never finish her sentence. And ever since I can remember, if I ask about him, Madre fusses with her scarf or studies her nail beds as if looking for clues before changing the subject. When I was little, I stopped because I wanted to please her.Between Maria and Ninexin lies a chasm created by the death of Maria's father, which left Maria to be raised by her grandmother Isabela while Ninexin worked to build the new Nicaragua.As Ninexin tries to reach her daughter and Maria wrestles with her turbulent relationship with an older man, Isabela becomes lost in the memories of boarding school in 1950's New Orleans, where she loved and lost almost sixty years ago.That it hurts her to tell me about his death because I haven't properly honored his life.Because while she's carried on his work in his memory all these years, I've done nothing but resent her for the absence her efforts required. So when I'm visiting Managua at Christmas and a (festively, never inappropriately) drunk woman caresses my face and intimates that she knew my father, knew him well enough to tell me something real about him, I can't help but stare.