“Daddy,” Tia said. “Daddy, can you hear me?”

Juan stirred. “Tia,” he said in a flat voice. “Hello, angelita.”

“Dr. Crowe tells me that you haven’t been eating very much, Daddy. He says that you hit an orderly when they tried to feed you.”

“I’m waiting for your mother, Tia. Laura promised me that she would return if I did as she asked, and now I’m waiting for her. Won’t you stay with me until she comes? Laura misses you so, Tia.”

His daughter shook her head, eyes wet. “She’s not coming, Daddy. She’s dead. She died while you were away, years ago. Don’t you remember?”

“Of course, angelita,” Juan said, “But she promised to come back once I set things right. I did just as she asked, and now I’m going to wait here. She never lied.”