It sits on the whitish nightstand, a gentle reminder on a hectic day of bustling and forced dialogue to relax and reminisce. Wrapped in its faded wooden cerulean frame, the snapshot transports me to another place. While the actual photograph is slightly sun-bleached, the memory stands clear and vibrant in my mind. My Abuelitos and I are sitting in a row on the shore. Our chairs are bright cherry red. I’m wearing my favorite aquamarine Little Mermaid two-piece, the one with the sparkly flounder on the side. My strong, hardworking Abuelo sports his usual slicked back hairstyle and striped collared shirt that always seemed to complement his olive toned skin. My Abuelita garbs a crisp linen shirt and a radiant smile. There, the warm summer sun bakes my skin like bread, browning in the UV rays. The inviting ocean breeze whips my hair around my face. The sizzling sand roasts my feet to its liking, a medium rare. The tiny shells pierce and poke at my skin like sharp knives poised to kill. The fiery ball beams down, sweltering with heat. Families have chosen to spare their loved ones from burying them in the perilous sand. The thought of their heads sticking out, gasping for air while one last shovel of sand rain clings to the sweaty contours of their faces makes me thankful for their wise choices. A child desperately tries to prevent his ice cream from a sand encrusted death as it plummets to the floor. Meticulously evaluating whether his vanilla, chocolate, and now sandy flavored ice cream is salvageable. The mariachi music from the near by hole-in-the-wall echoes along the shoreline making me forget about the lava for just an instant. But instantly I remember again, and with every stride comes an inch more of pain, making me yearn for the cool water to heal my burnt steaks. Seagulls scout for food, hurtling towards the magma if only for a taste of someone’s forgotten potato chip. My primas have already beaten me to the...
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