Blood drained from Maria’s fingers as she seized the chain-link fence separating her from Cristiano and Ángel. Her two youngest boys, caged in the land of the free. Cristiano’s skinny, too-still body was curled around Ángel’s on the cold concrete floor.
Maria gasped a prayer begging God and the border guard to hold them again. The gray-haired guard shook his head, denying her plea, but his Aviators reflected an otherworldly shimmer.
Ghostly arms wrapped around Maria’s legs. Weightless kisses brushed her cheeks.
“Don’t cry, Mommy,” Ángel whispered as Cristiano’s ethereal thumbs wiped her tears away. “We will stay with you—always.”