Driving through town Raymundo could already smell the bakery on Calle Dos and his mouth watered in anticipation of the pan dulce waiting for him at home. Light golden mounds of buttery dough, topped with caramelized sugar in a checkerboard pattern, perfectly paired with a strong cup of Cómbate coffee. Consuelo would be stoking the wood stove right at this moment, brewing the coffee so it would be ready as soon as he walked through the door for lunch. Just around the corner now. He glided the Chevy to a stop, hopped out of his seat and walked briskly to the door.
Consuelo turned and smiled sweetly as he walked in and set aside the fresh tortillas she had been making for dinner to place a large plate of half a dozen neatly stacked pan dulce on the table for him. He grinned at her, hung his hat on the back of the chair and sat down while Consuelo poured him his coffee. Raymundo held out his hands to grab the cup.
Suddenly, Chelito walked in and stood at the front door sulking. Consuelo frowned. Her keen eye spotted the mud on Chelito’s dress. Raymundo watched as Consuelo put the coffee down.
“What happened to your dress?”
“Oh darling, leave her. We can buy her a new dress,” Raymundo said soothingly and reached over for his coffee.
“That’s,” Consuelo slid the coffee out of Raymundo’s reach, “three dresses already this month.”
“Why aren’t you in school?” She asked Chelito, a hand on her hip.
Chelito began to cry. “Mrs. Burner yelled at me again for speaking Spanish,” Raymundo’s eyes widened, he shook his head at his daughter, “so I told her Papá said ‘go to hell.’”
Consuelo glared at Raymundo, daring him to reach for his coffee.
He grabbed a pan dulce instead, took a large bite, and sunk in his chair.
The bread was delicious.