Disclaimer -- Bruno, Fabiola, and La madrastra are property of Televisa. I own nothing but these few hundred words.


They pretend to have forgotten the date, that the third of December holds no special meaning for them. After all, if they have no son, then that day is indistinguishable from the other three-hundred sixty-four; it holds vague connotations of chilly weather and upcoming Christmas cheer, not concrete memories of bloody sheets in the middle of the night and crippling, overwhelming guilt and loss and pain.

So they pretend that December 3 is just another day. They wake up and eat breakfast and comment on the weather and the news, and then depart with a kiss. Bruno goes to work, suit impeccable as always; he reads business reports, makes important phone calls, and meets with the other executives. Fabiola, in her usual stylish attire, meets with the seamstress for a dress fitting and then lunches with Daniela before going home and working on the arrangements for her annual Christmas party. They both furtively watch the clock, silently counting the minutes until midnight.

They continue their charade until it's time for bed. Bruno watches her as she gets ready, washing away her mask of make-up and stripping off fashionable clothes and dazzling jewelry until she's just Fabiola, bare and naked in their bedroom. The scar from her C-section is hidden by her pubic hair, but he knows her body well enough to know exactly where it is anyway, and he reaches out to her, trailing his fingers along the only proof that life, that humanity once bloomed inside of her. He slides his hand up to her trim, flat stomach and presses his palm against her warm flesh, remembering when her body curved and moved beneath his hand.

Fabiola pulls away from him with a strangled cry. She stares back at him with wide, accusing eyes and wraps her arms tight around herself, trying to crush her abdomen, trying to rid herself of this terrible feeling of emptiness. She remembers lazy Sunday mornings spent in bed, her belly full of somersaults while Bruno's moustache tickled her sensitive skin. She remembers the brilliance of his smile, the delight in his eyes. She remembers the promise of salvation.

They lie in bed with their backs to one another. Bruno stares out the window at the night sky, fruitlessly counting the stars like sheep; Fabiola buries her face in her pillow, trying to muffle the sound of sobs that nevertheless cause the mattress beneath them to quiver. From downstairs, they hear the clock chime midnight, and they both breathe ragged sighs of relief.

In the morning, they wake up and eat breakfast and comment on the weather and the news. They wordlessly replace the façades and pretend that last night never happened.