I’ve been dreaming of Papá Luchito a bunch recently. Every time, we hug and he gives me the biggest hug; like he never wants to let go or like he remembers how little I used to be and squeeze all of me so I can soak his presence in. The last two times this has happened, I’ve been unable to hold the tears back… I just kept hugging him like I wish I could stay in the dream and talk to him just a little while longer.

This time I was driving a blue car down a barely paved road, looking for something cheap to eat. Veronica was there, maybe Alex too. Chewy for sure. Lui also. Chewy was wearing her yellow-ish shirt and green bike shorts as if we were just going to work out. We stop at this little stand where they sell tortillas por seiscientos soles and we have just enough between all of us to get two of them. At that moment, Lui points out the window and I see Tía Judy coming our way. She’s young and happy; and walks up to me to give me a huge hug with that squeezing power that tells me I’ve been gone a long time. That’s when Papito comes walking towards me, very slowly, not recognizing me at first. He’s not strong and stocky the way I remember him, but instead a frail figure that I recognize familiar features in every movement. Even his voice is different at first. I see him, he sees me, and we just hug. He tells me hola hijito, and squeezes me even harder. That’s when I break and hold him just as strongly as he’s holding me, letting it all flow out of my gripping eyes like I never want to wake up.

In the middle of the dream, I start thinking that it’d be a good idea to talk about Mamá Hildita to him, that it’d be good to remember the good years. I do. We start talking about her and he’s smiling and I remember thinking I could listen to him talk about her forever before my tears at hearing his voice dissolve the dream into the light I left on last night.

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