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Laura smiled uncomfortably, trying to be kind, but privately hoping to end yet another conversation with someone well-meaning. What did they want from her? The truth? Did they want to know that she still sat on Mollie’s bed every day, looking at the books messily shelved, the walls gas meter reading covered with photos? Did they want to know that she still hadn’t removed Mollie’s death certificate from her car, because where would she even put such a thing?

She’d wanted to welcome all immigrants who needed help. So when Scott soon came to Laura with an unusual request – could they take Ulises in? – she asked what had happened. The nation, it seemed, was directing its anger about Mollie’s death toward Yarrabee Farms, where her alleged killer had worked, deluging it with vitriolic messages. The immigrant families who worked there were fleeing.

She closed the door, an emptiness rising inside her. Everywhere in the house, there was Mollie – here holding a microphone in a hallway picture, there jogging in a newspaper clipping on the fridge – but in her mind, she couldn’t see her. What did Mollie wear for Halloween? Could she already be slipping away? Laura pulled down one photo album, and then another, and then she was crying, but no matter how gas near me now hard she tried, she couldn’t remember.

Three miles away, down a straight gravel road, where city gives way to fields, there is a line of four single-wide trailers outside a dairy farm, one of which had once been the only home Ulises had ever known. The beige carpeting where his young relatives played. The wood-paneled walls where his mother hung paintings of fruit. The small kitchen where, on Thanksgiving in 2015, the man who would take it all away once posed for a photograph, wearing a red button-down.

Knowing what that meant, Ulises’s parents, who are from Durango, Mexico, watched after him as best they could. Ulises’s mother tried to be a maternal presence, preparing food for him and inviting him over. His father helped him become a good farmhand. Eventually, Bahena Rivera got into gas house pike frederick md a relationship with Ulises’s cousin Iris Monarrez and they had a daughter together before separating.

So on Aug. 20, when dozens of investigators swept through the farm, interviewed workers and then took Bahena Rivera in for further questioning, few suspected him of anything. It couldn’t have been him. Not Bahena Rivera, who was always joking around and had trained Ulises when he worked on the farm. Not the guy who had called Ulises’s cousin mi princesa hermosa – my beautiful princess – on Facebook. Not the employee who’d acted perfectly ordinary during those dramatic weeks, as Brooklyn tore itself apart looking for Mollie, and Ulises put up missing-person posters, and authorities investigated about 4,000 leads.

As he looked at them, a sense of shame rose in him, as though he was complicit somehow. If only he’d been more curious, asked more questions. Maybe he could have picked up on something, even stopped mp electricity bill payment it all. Mollie would still be here. And he wouldn’t be going back to the farm, where his family waited in their trailer, and telling them news that none of them had expected.

Not long after the news conference, the news trucks pulled up to the farm. Then came the racist telephone calls, some of which were routed to Ulises’s trailer, whose number was listed. Next the hate mail. And finally a robo-call went out from a white supremacist group using a Brooklyn number. We don’t have to kill them all, it said. But we do have to deport them all.

But then it was a little later, and the house was silent and she felt restless. She took out her computer. She had to know. She had to look at his face, if only just once. A recorded live stream of the arraignment came up. Ignoring the comments scrolling past – Another American killed by an illegal; Illegal aliens must be stopped! – she stared at the screen, confused. This hadn’t been what she expected. He looked so thin, so young.

The night was cold and quiet. She electricity receiver lit a cigarette, breathed in. Was what Ulises said true? But how could it be? She never wanted to think – or anyone else to think – that Bahena Rivera was somehow decent. She wanted to picture him only as that federal agent did: without conscience. Deport him? Execute him? Too easy. He needed to spend the rest of his life in prison, deprived of seeing his daughter, just as she’d been deprived of seeing hers. Justice to her would be waking up every day knowing that he was in pain. And now to hear something redeeming about him? It made her feel uncomfortable and unmoored.

She called Sophia Bucheli, her friend from Oakland, Calif., where Laura once lived, before leaving the father of her three children. The women had spoken almost every day since Mollie was found, when Sophia, whose parents are Ecuadoran immigrants, told her, Something horrific has just happened to you, and I do not blame you if your ideals completely change.

But when Laura responded that they hadn’t and that, in fact, she was gastronomia y cia going to invite Ulises from the dairy farm to live with her, Sophia kept it a secret. She worried that Laura would get hurt. Or used. Or become a target for the anti-immigration hard-liners, who she feared were prevalent in Iowa, a state she saw for the first time the next day on a trip to visit Laura.

They drove to Iowa City, where Mollie had attended the University of Iowa, and tried to ignore it all for the day – drinking coffee, talking about nothing, walking among the campus buildings – until they were heading back to Brooklyn, speaking in low voices. Sophia had so many questions, questions she’d never dared ask, but now, in the quiet of the car, she thought she might.

Laura picked up the phone again, something maternal kicking in, worrying now not only about his ankle, but also about his disappointment. Basketball – a sport he talked about constantly and loved above all others – had been part of the reason he’d stayed in Brooklyn, and now his chance of playing was coming apart. She typed out a message. What did he need? Why hadn’t he told her when it happened?

She came back to a house full of people – her sister and both her sons were there – but did little in the way of greeting them. Instead, she hustled to the counter and opened the oven. She put Ulises’s dinner inside to warm it up, waving off Sophia’s offer to help. Minutes later, she took out the meal, put it on a plate and electric utility companies in california carried it to Ulises’s room. The door was closed. Can I come in? she asked.