January 9

Dear Diary,
Ay mio! The last few days have made me very unhappy. Almost none of the street children have come by, but no one will say where the rest are; they all look dirtier and sadder than usual. Lucero has not appeared, either.

On El día de Reyes, we ate our pastry and drank our chocolate—Gabriella got the piece with baby Jesus in it, so she will be godparent on El día de la Candelaria in February, when we put the Nativity away. I could hardly swallow mine, I was so upset; our nice Roscas may as well have been raw flour.

Now, every time I pass Lucero’s new shoes, my throat aches.

Even Papa is worried, though he pats my head and tells me to pray and have patience. He says Lucero is a little bird with a broken wing; she will take time to fix. But I know she was beginning to trust me—us—and that she would not break her promise to stay unless something was very wrong. It is hard to pay attention in school for wondering where she is.

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