Cecilia took the cake from the oven. Chocolate was his favorite. Cecilia was disappointed that he would miss his twentieth birthday party, but she understood. Death has its way of taking people away, and of bringing them back. Once the cake was frosted, all preparations were ready. She set the chairs around the table: one for her grandmother, one for each of her parents. There would be no presents; she hoped Carlos wouldn’t be disappointed.
After she was seated, Kate came in, unannounced. Confused, she noted cake served at three empty chairs. Balloons decorating the table. “Mother, what’s going on?”