I'm not taking an asesino into this family

Adela 5
“You can’t just baby them.”
“That’s for when they’re feeling sick.”
Adela heard the paramaternal commandos as she walked slowly out of the park holding Noel’s hand. The girls bounded ahead of them. They jumped over the mounds and cracks burst into the sidewalk by the fat roots of the squat trees whose heavy branches hung low over the sidewalk. Mothers sat huddled on the benches along the park fence holding their never ending mothering joint chiefs meeting. She would be one of them soon. Maybe they were talking about how she and Noel were playing with Lydia and Tina on the swings, both of them in that moment completely for the girls and not even for each other.
“When I was a little boy we lived in a separate world form the adults. The gulf was unbridgeable. In the campo, in El Bajio, my aunts would send me off to tell my grandfather to get them a “tentealla” . I wondered what a “tentealla” was but was satisfied to guess it was an object from their separate universe. It didn’t trouble me that I never got it from my Abuelo to take back to my aunts. When I finally deconstructed the words and figured it out I was maybe 13 and already living in the City. I was lying on my bed in my room smelling the mouse sex, staring at the cancerous roses of my Tia Olga’s linoleum and the words just floated away from each other. Tente alla. Keep you there. Keep him away from us. I felt like I’d been hit. “
“Betrayed by them.”
“It still hurts when I remember it. A burning up from my chest to my shoulders and neck.”
“Terrible shame.” Adela stopped him and hugged him to her chest. “We won’t do those things to Pulgarcito.”
The girls stopped and pointed and squirmed. “Uuy besos. Uuy besos.”
“Now they know more than the adults about almost everything. “ Noel led Adela forward by the hand not wanting to lose sight of the girls. “I don’t much like the look of that dark blue car.” Adela hadn’t noticed the car with tinted windows driving slowly down the street. Had she seen it at the park? She never wanted to get used to being followed.
“The children know too much and the adults don’t want to grow up.” Noel put his arm around Adela’s shoulder. Adela wound hers around his waist. When they turned the corner the two girls were already racing into their gate. Three houses away they could already hear Tio Nestor’s bellows. She saw the blue car turned the corner with them.
“I don’t want her to marry Domingo.” Nestor’s screams carried.
Zuleika’s cigarette rasped voice covered his. “Who in hell else is going to marry your used goods daughter?”
Adela raised her eyebrows at Noel. Often Lydia got her stories wrong, conflated the truth with her fairy tales. Neither of them had believed her when she told them she’d heard her Mother and Domingo planning to elope. Lydia wanted a Papi very much and it wasn’t the first time she’d invented herself a Papi out of one of her Mami’s novios. Her Papi dreams with this novio were especially unlikely because Domingo, people said, had killed a man. The stories had it this happened in La Morada, many years ago . Some said he’d killed the man who dishonored his sister. Some said he’d killed a traitor in a scheme to smuggle aguardiente into La Morada, and from there into Ciudad Vieja, from a still on the Vedado , the virtually inaccessible east slope of El Pico. Others said he’d killed an informant who was about to rat out a conspiracy against the violent administration of Governor Rodrigo Travieso, whose tortures and political homicides were legendary. One afternoon Lydia sat on Domingo’s lap on the porch swing. She turned around to face him and asked, “Who did you kill?” Domingo threw his head back and laughed . He never answered.
The girls had not gone into the house but sat huddled on the porch swing, whispering.” Noel and Adela sat on the rockers closest to them.
“I’m not taking a convicted felon, an asesino, into this family.”
The girls shuddered at Nestor’s scream.
They sat up to listen to Matilde’s voice, which she never raised. “He has paid his debt to society.” The girls nodded.
Tio Nestor spoke but he was no longer screaming. “This is your idea. All you viejas love Domingo.” Matilde didn’t often go against her husband but when she did the fight went out of him. Maybe she picked her battles well, or maybe he was a lot of bluster. Adela looked at Noel with this meaning in her gaze. He nodded and then he shrugged.
Later Matilde, Zuleika and Adela spoke softly by the sink as they cleaned up after their silent evening meal. Tio Nestor had left the table after a few mouthfuls to watch television alone in his air conditioned room on his kingsized bed. “Domingo has paid his debt to society, There’s nothing more to be said.” Matilde set down the beans caldero she’d been scrubbing. “You can’t punish a man forever.”
“All the viejas love Domingo., Papi’s right. “ Zuleika had stopped drying and sat perched on the edge of the kitchen table sucking hard on a cigarette. “It’s those guayaberas and the good straw hat and the good manners del campo. ”
Matilde laughed. “And don’t forget the free encyclopedia he gave Lydia.“
“It was just his sample set. He had to get rid of it when he got the new one. ” Zuleika crushed the cigarette against the red tiles of the table, tossed the butt into the sink, and wiped the stain off with her rag. Matilde finished cleaning the rice caldero. “It was a gesture. A generous gesture. He could have given it to anybody but he gave it to us. He reminds me of the old caballeros.”
Adela put away the last of the dried dishes on the cabinet above the sink. She turned to face Zuleika. “Why do you like him?”
Zuleika threw her head back and laughed and cupped both hands around the air in front of her crotch. “He knows how to handle his yuca. It’s not huge but he knows how to use it well.”
Adela turned away just in time to catch Matilde doubling over from laughter at her daughter’s ocurrencia. How was it that Zuleika got away with saying and doing what would cause another woman to be branded as puta? Adela set down her dishrag and walked out of the kitchen by the back door. She’d done enough housework by now to earn her keep. She was damned if she was going to laugh at Domingo’s not too huge yuca and his prowess wielding it.
Lydia and Tina were spinning in the middle of the yard, hands clasped, moving on the balls of their feet, very fast. They were dancing to the electronic drumbeat spilling out of Tina’s brother Tomas’ window. Adela could smell the sweet burnt scent of marijuana seeping from the tight metal shutters of his room.
She walked toward Noel who leaned against the frame of his studio door gazing straight ahead at the brilliant orange sky. She followed his gaze, but didn’t let herself look at the blue car still parked across from their gate. She nestled into him. “I love sunsets.” She let his body take her weight and closed her eyes.