Luiza is afraid of exactly 83 things, they’ve counted. Her and Leo, her brother.
Luiza is afraid of snakes, spiders, dogs (big ones), the noise the refrigerator makes at night.
Luiza was not afraid of her parents splitting up, but still it happened.
Luiza is still not afraid of her family being broken, because she doesn’t know.
Luiza is afraid of getting fat, of the world ending, of hidden murderers on the backyard.
Leo is afraid of Luiza hearing the fights, so he puts on music, he reads her stories.
Luiza is afraid of taking bad pictures, of eating alone, of failing math.
Leo is afraid of Luiza growing up before her time, so he turns her around and takes her out.
And they walk, until they are tired, until she, with her head on his shoulder says: “Let’s go home”
He knows they are still fighting; he says one more lap, you see… i’m afraid of this road, let’s take the long one.
She wraps her skinny arms around him and says “I’ll protect you”
Not knowing that the armor around her is actually made of his skin.
Luiza is afraid of 83 things.
Leo is afraid of one.