I have to explain the characters to help you understand first:
Hank-The Vasquezes’ first son
Ana-The Vasquezes’ second daughter
Milo-The little brother
Ready? Let’s begin…
Luz is gone, and the Vasquez children were devastated.
Hank can’t stand to look at his hands, the hands that Luz used to shoot hoops like a basketball star. Ana could barely blink, fearful that she’ll see either the beautiful or painful images Luz painted on the backs of her eyelids. Milo uses headphones to drown out the Roaring Nothing that was left when Luz stopped talking to him.
Have you ever lose something? If so, did you gain it back?
Luz is the kind of creature that can bring you back the things, memories, pain that has been hidden deeply inside your soul. But Luz also makes you forget.
“If something is painful, tear through the blood and wound to make it bleed more. Then you won’t feel the pain anymore.”
What’s lost will be gained back. Whether it’s the pain who got back, or the delight.
At first the Vasquezes LOVED Luz. “’Me and Luz went outside for a walk. Luz loved doing that, just… absorbing the world. He wanted to grow up even more than Milo wants to. Luz showed me things I’d never noticed. Like he’d point out how blacktop sparkles. He’d show me how my arms move when my legs do, and how there’s kind of a symmetry to that. To me.'” (Thomas, page 13) Hank missed Luz, Ana missed Luz, Milo missed Luz, Maggie missed Luz.
Luz was the shimmering figure that appeared in the canyon behind their house after the Vasquez siblings’ father left. He filled the void, he took care of the Vasquezes. But later on, he left, and took something from each of them.
You were everywhere. And then you were gone. Where are you?
Because Luz left, Hank lost the ability to play basketball well (He was in varsity last year but now he’s in JV). Because Luz left, Ana refused to blink and cut her eyes to bleed (Ana used to love makeup. She especially loved her beautiful eyes). Because Luz left, Milo blocked the whole world outside his ears (He used to hear just fine and can speak normally).
At first the Vasquezes did panic: their whole lives became a mess. “‘Yes, Hank and Ana are struggling. Aside from the obvious-the physical side effects in Ana’s eyes and Hank’s hands-both seem incapable of keeping their focus on the present. But attention deficits are par for the course when it comes to posttraumatic stress disorder. Milo’s situation seems more dire.'” (Thomas, page 132) The worst of all, is they can’t control themselves about panicking, missing their father, missing Luz. The Vasquezes had fell in a whirlpool where they lost sense of who they were.
“Who am I?” This voice always appeared in Ana’s ears. Or… Everyone’s ears.
But later on they started to make sense of themselves. Hank made friends with Orson, he wasn’t feeling awkward with Brenden (his ex-boyfriend) anymore. Ana joined a musical and won a huge success. Milo had his first new best friend Penny and he could hear just fine.
The Vasquezes started to feel… They don’t need Luz anymore. They remembered Luz only brought them pain, dragged their live downward.
Which in the end, the Vasquezes pleaded Luz to go. They admitted they kind of loved Luz—which means they also love themselves.
And Luz left, he beaded through Maggie’s pores and evaporated like glittering sweat and let her children catch her.
The only way to forget pain is love yourselves. Memorize the pain that fell on you, and forget it. This is exactly what Luz can do. This is the only thing he can do.
Darkness looked exactly the same through these eyes as it had through any others.
Keulemans, Kira, “Who am I?”, beyourslef, 15 April. 2018, https://byrslf.co/who-am-i-330fa5d522f.
Brenner, Gail, et al. “10 Life-Changing Facts to Heal the Pain of the Past.” Dr. Gail Brenner, 26 Sept. 2014, gailbrenner.com/2012/08/10-life-changing-facts-to-heal-the-pain-of-the-past/.