Summary: Chapter 8

Oscar’s family flew down to the Dominican Republic to claim his body. They had a funeral, but no one outside the immediate family came. A year after his death, Beli’s cancer returned, and she died ten months later. Lola and Yunior buried her next to Oscar.

In the period after Oscar’s death, the family made four attempts to file charges against his killers, but every attempt failed. At the time of Yunior’s writing, Ybón still lives in Santo Domingo and dances at the Riverside. La Inca, however, sold her house there and returned to Baní. Lola swore never again to set foot in the Dominican Republic and condemned all Dominicans: “Ten million Trujillos is all we are.”

Yunior and Lola broke up after Beli died, and not long after, Lola moved to Miami. She started dating another man and became pregnant.

Years have since passed, and Yunior still thinks about Oscar. He has a recurring dream in which he and Oscar are standing in a room full of books. Oscar is wearing a mask, holds a book open, and waves for Yunior to come look. The pages are blank. In some dreams Oscar smiles behind the mask. In others he has no face.

Yunior lives with his wife in Perth Amboy, New Jersey, and teaches composition and creative writing at Middlesex Community College. He claims that he doesn’t sleep around with other women—“Not much, anyway”—and he spends much of his time writing. He also sees Lola from time to time. She and her husband, “Cuban Ruben,” moved back to Paterson with their daughter. Yunior still fantasizes about repairing his relationship with Lola, but he knows that’s impossible. When they meet up now, they only ever talk about Oscar.

Summary: Epilogue

Yunior appends a brief epilogue about Lola’s daughter, Isis. He notes that Isis wears a necklace that contains three azabaches—three black gemstones made from jet. Oscar wore one of the stones when he was a baby, and Lola wore another. The third belonged to Beli, who received it from La Inca when she rescued the nine-year-old girl from slavery in Azua. Now Isis wears all of them: “Three barrier shields against the Eye.”