Carmella tells me she’s here as an ‘overseas worker’. She sends money home to her family. Her tita is letting her stay, rent free. The money she makes from the supermarket is enough to help put her brother through college and to pay off some of her dad’s debts. But now her dad is sick and she needs to go home again. She’s not sure if she’ll be able to come back. Sorting out a working visa in the first place was very difficult.
By the time she’s finished speaking, our cigarettes have burnt out.
There is a long pause.
It feels almost like she’s already left.
Everything around us is quiet and dark and sad.
You’re leaving, I say.
Yep, she says. You should write to me.
But I don’t even know you, I say.
You can get to know me by writing to me, she says.
Alright, I say. I will.