In first period, Paul learns that Luis is dead. Henry D. tells him that Luis’ father found him in one of the orange groves, dead. Henry D’s brother, Wayne, answered the emergency call. When Wayne reached him, he had been dead for hours. Henry D. says that people are guessing that it was from an aneurysm, possibly after a knock on the head, perhaps from a falling tree branch during the freeze.
Paul goes to the office, calls Mom, and waits for her in the nurse’s office.
As they drive home, Paul tells Mom the story of Luis Cruz in capsule form. He doesn’t mention Arthur Bauer or Erik. Paul wonders how she would react if he were to tell her everything ,but he does not say more.
When they reach home, Paul does some research on the internet. He verifies that what he suspects is true. Arthur Bauer killed Luis with that blackjack.
Paul stays home from school again today. Theresa calls Paul and tells him not to go to the funeral because she has heard Tino and Victor and their friends voicing some bad opinions. Paul agrees not to go. As he is hanging up the phone, he is shocked by the information hidden in what Theresa said, the information that they know about what happened that terrible Tuesday night.
Paul goes for a walk, wondering if he shares Erik’s guilt in people’s minds. He goes to the community entrance where the koi pond is. While he is there, his mind full of questions, a boy, about kindergarten age, approaches him. The boy relates a story that his parents told him about a gator in the pond that ate a boy. Paul tells the kid that his parents lied to him. He doesn’t believe Paul. Paul proceeds to give examples of other scary stories that parents tell children. Paul implies that these stories also are not true. The last story that Paul gives him is about a boy who stared at an eclipse. At this time, the boy pedals away and Paul is left talking to himself, saying that the little boy has met the boy who it is claimed stared at an eclipse.
Today, the house is empty. At noon, Paul puts on a suit without a shirt or shoes, and goes into the back yard, stopping at the wall at the back of the property. He pulls the sod toward him and exposes sugar sand. Removing the sand, he exposes the soil that was once part of the orchard that the builders destroyed in order to put in the housing development. Paul thinks about Luis Cruz and starts to cry. After the tears stop, Paul puts the sand back, then the sod. Afterward, he throws his suit into the garbage.
Paul feels like Luis is now a part of him. He feels like a different person.
Johnson, Jane. "TheBestNotes on Tangerine".
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