epilogue

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10 years later — 2030

MY FAMILY

I roll over to find my wife missing from my bed. Stretching my body, I reach over to check my phone. It was too early in the morning for her to be going to work. Plus, we had family coming over, it was more than likely that she didn't even have work. Knowing her, she wasn't going to want to be awake in the first place, we had a lot to do to prepare. The sky was still a dark lipid color and I realized that it was only six in the morning. Where was she?

Getting dressed, quickly, I go throughout the house and realize that it's completely empty. I wasn't one to panic right away but I was pretty sure the house had been full when I went to bed last night. I go to the kitchen and the back door is propped open as if who ever left it there was afraid it was going to shut and lock them out. I exit out of the house and can't help but smile as I see what's happening.

They had a sleepover without me.

Alana and the kids slept peacefully on their makeshift hammocks as the sun began to rise. Our youngest, Essence, sat loosely in her Mother's arms reaching out to the sky. God, she hated sleeping, but she was relatively quiet and calm. I lean over and shimmy her out of Alana's embrace.

I can't help but snort out a laugh as Alana continues sleeping on. Essence giggles softly before laying her head on my shoulder. My little two year old bundle of joy was definitely a lot sneakier than she acted. "Mama..."

"Shhh, you'll wake up Mommy." I whisper before rocking her against me. "You should be asleep, little one."

"No," she argues and I raise my eyebrows at her. Essence just giggles before burying her face into the side of my neck.

"Mama?" Alexandria questions sleepily.

"Hi, mi corazon, did we wake you?"

"No it was a mosko." She murmurs before reaching out for me to pick her up.

I gasp, "A mosquito bit my baby? No ma'am."

I tickle her and she giggles and tries to escape but the hammock makes it impossible. "Stoooop it!"

I do before sitting in the grass next to her hammock. She leans over to get a better view of her little sister and I. "Where'd it bite you?"

"On my head." She points to a random spot on her forehead.

"Ooo do you want besitos or besotes to make it all better?" I question her and she ponders over the question.

"Besitos, por favor, mama."

"Of course, my little one," I give my first born three small kisses on the forehead and she forgets all about the little mosko. Essence pulls at my shirt but I focus on Alexandria for a moment longer before her eyes wander to the sky as it begins to turn a lovely shade of pink.

I snuzzle kisses and nose rubs on my youngest before a soft rustling sound alerts me that Elijah is waking up. Possibly from our noise and another from the fact that it was extremely hot outside even so early in the morning. Puerto Rican summers were never to be messed with and we had all learned that.

"I want kisses," Elijah whines.

"We demand kisses, now?" I ask and he rubs his eyes as before blinking at me as if I'm not making any sense. "We say, please or por favor or even per favore, right?"

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