Summary: Interlude

The January after his disastrous visit to Santo Domingo, Oscar visited Yunior in Washington Heights. Yunior’s relationship with Lola was disintegrating at the time because he continued to cheat on her. They now lived in separate apartments.

Oscar seemed distracted, and his face still bore the marks of his attack. He had also lost a lot of weight. He told Yunior he’d spent much of his recovery time writing, but he planned to return to work at Don Bosco soon. He also hoped to move out of Paterson. He had a line on an apartment in Brooklyn, but he needed money for a security deposit. Yunior agreed to give him the money.

Oscar stayed a while and spoke with Yunior about Lola. Oscar insisted that Lola loved Yunior, but he wanted to know why Yunior kept cheating on her. “If I knew that, it wouldn’t be a problem,” Yunior responded. Oscar suggested that Yunior try to find out.

Summary: Chapter 7

Oscar didn’t use the money Yunior gave him for an apartment. Instead, he bought a flight back to Santo Domingo. When he arrived, he called Clives to pick him up at the airport and take him to Ybón’s house. He waited for seven hours before Ybón came home. Surprised at his sudden appearance, she told Oscar that he needed to leave immediately. Oscar explained how much he loved her and that all he wanted was to spend a week alone with her somewhere. Ybón, who was now married to the Capitán, lived in fear of the man and begged Oscar to leave the island. He refused and then went and let himself into his grandmother’s house. La Inca found him there when she returned from work at the bakery.

Oscar divided his time between writing his novels, researching his family’s history, and pursuing Ybón. He went to the Riverside, a club where she danced. She ignored him and wrote him notes begging him to leave before he got hurt. Oscar’s family tried to convince him to leave as well. La Inca exerted all her powers of persuasion but to no avail. Beli, Lola, and Yunior flew down to demand that he return home, but he refused them too. They all felt that Oscar had changed: “He had gotten some power of his own.”