She did have one once. She had once been the only child of a single mother. She had been one quarter of a famously inseparable foursome. She had been a standout math student, a fashionista, a good dancer, a control freak, and a slob. A resident of 4F. Now these things were gone, or--for the time, at least--undetectable. She had come up with nothing to replace them.
Ideally, you grew up in a house with a family and then you went to colleege. You left your home and family there, kind of waiting for you. You left a hole roughly the size and shape of you. You got to come home and fill it every once in a while. Maybe this was only an illusion.
Nothing stayed the same. You couldn't expect your family to sit there in suspended animation until you got back. That required a babyish narcissism that not even Carmen could muster. But so what if it was an illusion? Illusions could be really helpful sometimes.
The important thing was that home stayed where it was and you got to move. You could always plot your location in the world by your relationship to it.
As Carmen's mother liked to point out, teenagers and toddlers were very much the same. They both liked to leave their mother, so long as their mother did not move.
Well, Carmen's mother did move. She was a moving target. Home was a time and no longer a place. Carmen couldn't return to it."