Alicia watched. Papa did not go to the dock but toward the cave. He and Ernesto were not seen again for hours.
“I think I’ll go check on Papa. It’s almost time for the noon meal.” Alicia could not control her curiosity. She slipped out, unnoticed by the other ladies.
Leaving the house, she could see Roberto all alone on the dock, so she went straight toward the cave that once guarded the family secrets. Then she saw her Papa, sitting on his jacket on the sand, watching Ernesto, who was halfway down the beach.
“Papa, what is he doing?” Alicia asked. “Should he be here with us and the baby?”
“He is family, Alicia. This is where we saved him from the sea. It’s the place he remembers hearing the cries of his shipmates. I believe he is thinking of them now.”
A large stone stood around 10 feet away from Papa. It had a white cross smeared on its surface. A line of stones trailed along the beach toward Ernesto, who knelt beside a bucket of whitewash with a stick in his hand. Beyond him an old shell mound, revered by Nina’s people, rose from the sand. Something moved beside it.
“Is there someone beside Ernesto out there, Papa?” Alicia strained to see the shadowy figure. A faint puff of smoke hung in the air and shaded the figure.
“It may be Nina’s grandma. I saw her here last week.” Papa had never mentioned her before. Alicia was surprised that he knew anything about her.
“Grandma Masagawa? What’s she doing?” Alicia started to walk toward her.
“No, wait. Wait until Ernesto is finished.” Papa reached out to hold Alicia by the hand. “They are doing the same thing, remembering.”
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