Gerardo could not come to the last class, but he stopped by after to shake my hand and say goodbye. He brought his little brother, and the three of us sat for a little while in the cool almost darkness. I told him that I had left a gift for him inside and reminded him that English class begins again on January 7.
He wanted to know when I intend to return. I told him May or June. He asked, “How will I know which one, May or June?” I gave him my card and told him to email me. He was delighted to have a business card in his hands and asked what the numbers were. My cell number? My office number? He could call?
I pulled out my phone to take a picture of them; they wanted to take a picture of me. I made a funny face; Gerardo mimicked it. I growled and pretended to attack; he growled right back.
We shook hands again. I scrambled for the bus; he headed to his parents’ food stand. Both of us knew no amount of funny faces could fix how far away May, or June, feels.