Joe gave Rhea a taste of the Yellowtail straight out of the pan – man that made her smile. For a sixteen year old SoCal girl, she had eclectic taste in food. Sure she liked Taco Town tacquitos and the potato wedges at the Arco am pm mini-mart but she could also taste the distinct edge of sweetness in the lime Joe used and was curious where it came from.
Impressed, he told her it came from a tree in his mother’s backyard. She lived by the sea and the salty air brought out the lime’s sugars. She had goats, too and their milk was tangy and sweet. He’d thought of trying to use it in some desserts.
“Maybe I’ll try and make a cake for your sister the next time you come down–” he told Rhea.
“You hear that, Aggie?” Rhea turned to her sister. The table by the door was empty. The door was open. Aggie was gone.
Rhea dropped her fork and ran.
Outside there was an urgent flow of people shopping, but no little white girls. Rhea stopped dead and looked in every direction. Then she saw her Dad, walking toward Joe’s with a big box full of Jesus night lights. She ran to him. He saw the panic in her eyes.