This is it. The final chapter. I started this story a little less than a year ago and now we are finally at an end. Thanks so much for supporting me. Thanks for reading this story and leaving all of your lovely comments. I deeply appreciate them.
And now we get on with the ending. I hope that it satisfies you.
Miguel scurried towards Mamá Coco's room, a guitar slung across his back and the morning sun already warming him up. Fragments of a new song tumbled around his head. He'd been working on an idea. A few snippets of a tune and clever phrases, but nothing close to complete. The more Miguel worked on it, the more impressed he was with Papá Héctor's songs. But he couldn't wait to show Mamá Coco what he had so far.
He knocked on her door, but didn't wait for an answer. Mamá Coco was always happy to see him. No matter the time of day, even if she'd spent more and more time the last few weeks napping, she would smile and welcome him in. And since Abuelita would be coming in to check on her again soon anyway, he wouldn't even be waking her up. Not really.
Mamá Coco was in her wheelchair by the window. For a moment, Miguel was strongly reminded of the morning after Día de Muertos. She was in the exact same position and everything. Her eyes were closed and she didn't even move her head when he came in. She probably dozed off. Dante lay at her feet silently, though he wagged his tail slowly when he spotted Miguel.
"Buenos días, Mamá Coco," he called gently. "I've got something to show you."
She didn't stir, so he walked closer. But when he reached for her hand, Miguel stiffened and his stomach seemed to drop. She felt too cold. And she was too quiet.
He knew. Miguel tried to deny it, but he knew. He was too smart for his own good.
His breathing hitched as his throat tried to tighten. Sniffling a little as he wiped his eyes, Miguel pulled his hand back. It didn't feel real. He didn't feel real. It was like his body was being controlled by a series of strings like a marionette.
He knew that he shouldn't be upset. He knew that the Land of the Dead was a nice place and that Mamá Coco would be happy there. But that didn't stop the ache in his chest or the lump forming in his throat. He already missed her.
She was dead. Mamá Coco was…
Miguel desperately wanted to run from the room. To run and throw himself into his parents' arms. To let them hold him close and tell him that everything would be all right. But mostly he wanted this to be a dream so he could wake up.
But, taking a shaking breath, he forced himself to stay. He needed to do something first.
While he knew that people could take things with them when they died, like Papá Héctor's foto, Miguel didn't know if it was stuff they were holding when they died or when they were buried. He'd discussed the idea with Mamá Coco and they'd agreed to cover their bases. But he couldn't let the rest of their family in the meantime. The would ask a lot of complicated questions. He could slip it into the coffin later. But for now, he needed to hide it.
Tucked under her shawl out of sight, Miguel pulled out a thick envelope. Across the front in his neatest handwriting, it read "Only open on Día de Muertos or at the Marigold Grand Central Station." He'd added and altered the contents almost a dozen times, but he always returned it to Mamá Coco in the end. She'd kept it close ever since Miguel came up with the idea.
But until the funeral, he would hold onto the thick packet.
Miguel crept back, unable to look at her any longer. As he sniffled again, his eyes drifted towards the quietly waiting dog at her feet.
"Dante," he said, his voice cracking. Wiping away the tears on his face, Miguel said, "I need you to do something for me."
Raising his head, Dante stared at him. He almost looked serious. The tongue dangling out of his mouth ruined the effect though.
"Take care of Mamá Coco," he said unsteadily. "Make sure she gets to Papá Héctor all right."
His tail wagged once as he climbed to his feet. Maybe he was agreeing to Miguel's request. Maybe he was just happy to hear Miguel talking to him. Either way, Dante trotted past him and out the door.
It would be okay. He knew that Dante wouldn't let him down.
Miguel silently slipped the thick envelope under his shirt and turned around. But as he stepped out of the room, he nearly ran straight into a startled Abuelita.
That one word, spoken with such love and concern, broke the last of his self-control. Miguel wrapped his arms around her and buried his face, crying into her apron.
Coco woke up in darkness. She couldn't see anything, but she knew she wasn't in her familiar bedroom. Even as she slowly stirred and sat up, she could sense that she was in a large and empty space. Peering through the strange darkness as much as possible and growing more curious by the moment, Coco climbed to her feet.
Then she remembered that it had been a long time since she could stand on her own.
She looked down. And even without any light in the strange and dark place, Coco could see herself perfectly well. Her dress, her shawl, and even her slippers were all familiar. But her wrinkled and sagging skin was gone. Clean, smooth, white bones met her eyes instead. She flexed her hands, watching the small white shapes move. It looked strange, but familiar.
She was a skeleton. Just like Miguel described.
Which meant that she was dead.
That realization should have bothered her more, but Coco had been expecting this for a long time. She'd been tired for too long for it to be a surprise. There was a distant feeling of melancholy and loss at the realization that she left her family behind, that her Elena and the various grandchildren and great-grandchildren would be left alone, but mostly she felt calm and accepting.
She was dead. Nothing that she could do would change it. But her family would manage without her. The chaos surrounding the Ernesto de la Cruz issue had settled down enough that any outrage was pointed in directions other than the Rivera family. Music filled the household. She'd done all that she could to help them in the last few months. She'd done what she could for her family and now it was over. Coco accepted her death quietly and easily.
But she didn't particularly want to remain in the dark emptiness for long.
Loud and familiar barking was all the warning that she received before a colorful and glowing creature appeared, bouncing in circles around her. It took Coco a few moments to calm him down, but eventually the bright creature settled enough for her to recognize the creature as a dog. One with chaotic patterns of color, no fur, and undersized wings, but certainly a dog. And she recognized both the dog and the description of his more unusual traits.
"Hola, Dante," she said. "I suppose Miguel asked you to keep an eye on me." She smiled gently. "You're an alebrije, right? Then as a spirit guide, perhaps you can guide me to where I'm supposed to go?"
His ears perked up and he tried to start running, tripping over his own feet several times in the process. Eventually he seemed to give up his traditional method of locomotion and started flapping his tiny wings. His legs kept moving even as he clumsily flew through the air ahead of her.
Coco followed him, enjoying the simple sensation of walking. No stiffness. No pain. No weakness. It had been a long time since she experienced this level of independence. Elena would have been stunned to see her mamá up and about like this. She even managed to take a few small and fast steps, almost like the start of a dance. It wasn't like there was anything to hold her back now.
As they moved forward, Coco began to notice others in the darkness. Other skeletons. Some scared. Almost all of them confused. And they were being led or herded by colorful alebrijes of differing shapes and sizes. They were also headed in the same direction that Dante was flying.
After a while, Coco came to the bottom of a stone staircase. An ancient one, the steps worn smooth by the centuries and millions of people climbing them. Looking up, she could make out the faintest hint of light. Something more than the glow of the alebrijes. With no other options, Coco started climbing them alongside the dozen other confused skeletons.
"Installing some handrails would have been a nice gesture," she said quietly. "Or one of those elevator things."
Not that she truly minded. The novelty of being able to move on her own hadn't worn off yet.
As she moved further and further up, the darkness began to give way to something brighter. It started out blurry, but it gradually came into focus. Parts looked like ancient pyramids, but other elements reminded her of a train station. In the distance, she could make out glimpses of the bright and tall towers that Miguel described, a city built vertically as each new generation added on.
And at the top of the stairs was a skeleton in a tidy uniform. Bright and colorful shapes decorated his face, reminding her of a sugar skull with eyes. And with a reassuring and professional smile, she saw that he was carefully directing the new arrivals ahead of her.
Curious, Coco looked back the way that she came. Dark water lapped at the stone stairs. From this angle, it looked as if she'd walked out of the endless sea without a single drop touching her. As she watched, another nervous skeleton seemed to slowly fade into view, going from wispy and fog-like to something solid as he reached the top step.
Clearly, going back wasn't an option.
The alebrijes brought the confused and nervous arrivals to the top of the stairs. Some immediately turned around and vanished down the steps again, fading out of sight like fog. They probably intended to guide more souls out of the darkness. Without a specific person, they seemed content to help anyone who needed it. Others remained with their new skeletons. Like how Dante landed beside her, tail wagging.
"Hola," greeted the well-dressed skeleton for what sounded like the dozenth time. "Welcome to the Land of the Dead. Please keep moving forward in a calm and orderly fashion. An Arrivals agent will meet you inside to help with your transition."
Coco gave him a short nod of greetings as she and Dante continued. They followed the disorganized line of people forward until they entered a building properly. Further uniformed skeletons directed the new arrivals until they reached a large room.
Along one side of the room was a long counter divided into sections by black wrought iron, rather like what might be found at a bank. Though no one, bank teller or otherwise, was actually behind the counter today. Instead they were working their way down the line of people down the center of the room, carrying clipboards and occasionally leading one of the newcomers either towards a hallway or one of the desks. There were about a dozen small desks with clunky cube machines that resembled gray televisions combined with a typewriters. Computers, Coco remembered belatedly. The side of the room opposite of the long counter were doors with frosted glass windows and neat black letters labeling them.
And almost everywhere she looked, she saw skull patterns in the architecture, the furniture, and the general decorations. Miguel didn't exaggerate that particular feature.
Thankfully, the line was short and there were numerous people with clipboards. Coco waited patiently at the end, carefully studying her surroundings and the various skeletons in the building. She might as well start getting used to these various new things. Eventually, a pretty young woman with markings that reminded her of the sun in both shapes and color approached Coco.
"Hola," greeted the younger skeletal woman. "My name is Helena López and I'll be handling your initial paperwork. I know that all of this can be stressful and confusing, but we're going to help you through this. Once we get your basic information down, we'll send you to one of the waiting rooms while we contact any deceased family members that you might have. If you don't know anyone in particular that we can contact, we can also look up to see if anyone has listed you as a relative in the past." She gestured towards the desks as other skeletons typed away and spoke with anxious newcomers. "We can also provide someone to talk to if you need help coming to terms with what's happened. We've seen people react in a variety of ways to death."
"Gracias." Coco chuckled softly to herself. "I think I am coming to terms with my death quite fine. It wasn't much of a surprise at my age."
Helena smiled politely before asking, "May I have your name then?"
"Socorro Rivera. Most people call me 'Coco.'"
The skeleton stiffened briefly before writing it down on her form.
"Former place of residence?"
"I spent my entire life in Santa Cecilia."
"Date of birth?" asked Helena slowly, eyeing her carefully.
"December 8, 1917."
And the Arrivals agent didn't write the answer down. She stared at Coco with an expression that she couldn't decipher.
"Daughter of… Imelda Rivera? Related to a living boy named Miguel Rivera?"
Nodding, Coco said, "I suppose my great-grandson mad quite the impression around here last Día de Muertos. I apologize for any trouble that he might have caused."
Helena stared at her, one hand moving up to cover her mouth. Bare skulls were more difficult to judge currently than normal faces, but her expression looked completely shocked. Then a grin spread, the woman glancing around briefly as if ensuring that her coworkers weren't listening.
"Could you come with me, Señora Rivera?" Helena took her hand and pulled her out of line. A little quieter, she added, "I'm afraid that if anyone else who works here figures out who you are, they'll swarm you. They'll be too excited about you showing up. And with something like this, the gossip spreads fast. I don't think you want a lot of people crowding around first thing."
Coco opened her mouth, but none of the dozen questions swirling around her skull came out. Helena pulled her along too quickly to think, leading her down a different hallway towards another door. Dante trailed loyally behind them.
Inside was a crowded office. The desk was covered with stacks of files, another computer, and a black telephone vaguely shaped like a skull. One the other side of the room was a long bench with colorful embroidery on the cushions. Coco suspected that if she looked closely, she would she skull and bone shapes stitched into the fabric. But she didn't take the chance to inspect it further because Helena directed her to sit down.
"Normally we would have you wait in one of the larger rooms set aside for the purpose," said Helena. "But if you will indulge me a little, that would be nice."
Smiling at the younger woman, Coco gave a nod while scratching at Dante's ears. Helena started typing at the computer as the alebrije curled up under the bench. After a few moments, Helena apparently found what she was looking for and moved to the telephone.
After dialing and then waiting for someone to pick up the line, Helena smiled and said, "Hola. Is this the Rivera residence? …Ah, Señora Imelda Rivera. So nice to speak to you again. I don't know if you remember me, but it's Helena López from the Marigold Grand Central Station. I visited your home after… Sí. That's right. Listen, I found something of his down here and I thought… That would be perfect. I'll see you both down here to pick it up shortly then."
Coco didn't know if it was physically possible to raise an eyebrow as a skeleton, but she certainly tried it as Helena hung up the telephone. The young woman looked excited and pleased with herself.
"Planning to turn me into a surprise?" asked Coco.
Helena shrugged slightly, causing Coco to chuckle slightly. There was nothing wrong with surprising her mamá with her arrival. The little bit of mischief would be fun. Tío Oscar and Tío Felipe would certainly approve.
And maybe she could manage to kiss her Julio before he could get over the shock. She liked flustering him like that. Could skeletons still blush? She would have to find out.
Ay, she'd missed him.
"It isn't just for my own entertainment. It will also keep the entire family from showing up here. I can't fit all of them in this smaller room. Not to mention the last time all of your dead relatives were here, we had to replace a computer. Granted, Señora Rivera did come in later to apologize and pay for it, but Maria wasn't happy about it." Stepping away from the desk, Helena said, "Do you need anything else while you wait?"
"No. I'm fine," said Coco. "Other than being dead, but even that isn't too upsetting."
Helena smiled gently at her before pulling the door closed. Coco was left alone in the room with Dante resting comfortably under the bench. She could make out distant and muffled voices through the walls, but it was mostly quiet in that corner of the building. And peaceful. She could almost imagine dozing off while waiting.
But she's slept long enough in recent days.
Coco reached under her shawl and pulled out a familiar envelop. She smiled to herself, pleased that it managed to come with her. She knew that Miguel did a lot of adjustments to the package, adding to and changing the contents over time. But she never actually took a look for herself.
Well, the envelope did say to open at the Marigold Grand Central Station.
Making sure that she didn't damage the overstuffed envelop, Coco opened it and pulled out the thick pile of paper. The first page made her smile wistfully, running a boney finger along the signature at the bottom. Only getting to see Miguel and the others once a year would be difficult. She already missed them. She could only imagine what her death was doing to her little Elena. But seeing Miguel's letter reminded her of how sweet he was and that she would see them again soon.
She worked her way through the stack of material slowly. Every piece made her smile more. Miguel packed in so much in such a small package. And there was no telling what he would pick out for the ofrenda.
Coco found herself so engrossed in looking over the envelope's contents that she was mildly startled when she heard approaching voices. Familiar voices that caused her to set aside the entire stack of material.
"So what exactly did mi idiota leave here?" asked Mamá, the words filled with so much affection.
"They did confiscate a lot of things from me over the decades." The male voice, tinged with a slight joking edge, nearly stole Coco's breath away as it summoned up distant memories of childhood. Memories far clearer and more solid than they'd been in a long time. "Who knows what they've got stored away from my past plans. Is it the mini-fridge? Or the lasso?"
"Nothing like that," said Helena.
As the door knob started to turn, Coco heard the male voice say, "Well, I doubt it's the van. That wasn't in the best condition afterwards…"
"What happened with the van?" asked Mamá.
The door opened to reveal Helena and two new skeletons, the pair chatting casually and staring at each other with clear affection. Or even love. Even without the familiar features of life, Coco would have recognized her mamá instantly. Still beautiful, strong, regal, and amazing as she remembered. And the second skeleton…
Then they caught sight of Coco on the bench as Helena smiled and slipped out, closing the door to give them some privacy in the room. Eyes widened and shock overtook their faces. And while Mamá covered her mouth with one hand, the other…
It was Papá. Exactly like Miguel described.
He was standing there, stiff as a statue and staring at her with an overwhelmed expression. He looked so young. Her papá was always so grown up and mature in her memories, but he was barely physically older than Abel.
Part of her could scarcely believe it. He was really in front of her after so long. He was both too young and yet somehow incredibly old. She could see it in his eyes. Coco felt the same strange feeling of duality as she stared at her parents. She was both a mature great-grandmother and a little girl who'd missed her mamá and papá.
Then she noticed Mamá glancing at Papá worriedly. As if in desperate need to reassure herself that he hadn't disappeared. And that's when Coco truly paid attention to his expression. Not just the combination of youth and the weight of age. She could certainly see love and hope, that he wanted to see her just as Miguel had promised repeatedly. Miguel was right about how much her papá missed her. But she could also see fear and anxiety.
He looked so young and uncertain.
And Coco's vast experience at raising children over the years let her figure out exactly what was going through his head. He wasn't certain that she remembered or recognized him. He wasn't certain that she forgave him for not coming home. He wasn't certain how she would react or if she even wanted anything to do with him. He didn't know what to do or say, even though she suspected that he'd thought about this moment since he died.
Poor Papá. He was just as nervous about this reunion as she was. All the doubts and fears that she'd wondered about over the decades were reflected in his eyes at that moment.
He might be her papá, but he was so young. She couldn't just treat him like her parent, but also as someone younger than her.
Thankfully, she had experience handling the uncertainty and worry of young people.
Coco stood up slowly while he stared at her with wide eyes. He might be a skeleton, but he was clearly a bundle of nerves. He was even trembling slightly, causing Mamá to place a gentle hand on his back for support and comfort. And when Coco raised and outstretched her arms abruptly, he stiffened further. She half-expected his bones to snap like twigs from the tension.
"You know," said Coco, causing him to flinch in surprise, "Miguel told me that you promised me a hug when you saw me." As his stunned expression shifted to something more hopeful, she continued gently, "Don't make him a liar, Papá."
That seemed to do it. The worry and uncertainty holding him back vanished. As did the distance between them as Papá flung himself at her and her outstretched arms, hugging her tightly. He was still shaking, but it felt more like barely-restrained sobs. Happy, relieved sobs. And she could hear desperate and frantic apologies whispered into her shoulder. Coco found herself instinctively rubbing his back soothingly.
"It's all right," she said. "It's all right, Papá. You're here now."
A slight creak of the floorboards made her look up. Mamá was there, smiling gently. Coco reached out and took her hand, but didn't loosen her grip on her papá. She'd missed her mamá over the years. But she knew that Mamá had come home every Día de Muertos. Mamá saw her every year even when Coco couldn't see her in return. But according to Miguel, her papá had been denied even that much. Coco wanted to hug her mamá too, but Papá needed her right now. It had been a very long time.
"I love you both," she whispered. "I love and missed you both so much."
Papá pulled back just enough to start peppering her face with kisses, causing her to laugh slightly. She remembered him doing the same thing during her childhood. His eyes normally didn't look quite as watery during the past however. Apparently skeletons could cry, though he was resisting for the moment.
"I'm so sorry that I almost forgot you, Papá. I didn't mean to."
Instantly cupping her face with both hands, he said, "No, míja. Don't you dare blame yourself. Not for a second. You remembered me. Far longer than anyone would have expected." He kissed the top of her head. "I missed so much. I missed your entire life. And I'm so sorry about that."
"I know. Miguel told me everything," she said.
"Everything?" asked Papá, looking a little nervous.
Chuckling slightly, Coco said, "Don't worry. I don't think anyone could have kept him completely out of trouble. He was always a handful."
"And too stubborn for his own good," said Mamá.
Glancing at her with a slightly mischievous grin, Papá asked, "And where do you think that he got it from, mi alma?"
As Coco tugged them towards the bench and silently urged them to sit down, she couldn't help smiling. Seeing them both again, together and happy, was like a dream come true. She'd wished for it. For more years than she could count. And now she was sitting between Mamá and Papá, holding onto their hands and enjoying their presence once more.
"What's this?" asked Papá, picking up the stack of paper from the envelope.
"A surprise from Miguel," she said. "He's been busy since you last saw him."
He blinked in surprise. Then he grinned before reading the letter on top. Coco watched him carefully, already knowing what it said.
- Mamá Coco
I guess if you're reading this, then you're in the Land of the Dead. Otherwise I would have put in a different letter and just put the envelop on the ofrenda for everyone else instead.
I'll miss you. I can't even imagine not having you around. We talk about everything. But I know everyone will be happy to see you. And you can visit us on Día de Muertos.
Make sure that you tell everyone that I really liked meeting them. And that I'm sorry that I made Mamá Imelda and everyone chase me all over the Land of the Dead. I'll try to put something on the ofrenda for her to make up for it.
As for everything else in the envelope, you can decide how much to show them. But at least tell them that the music ban is gone. They deserve to know.
I love you, Mamá Coco. We all do. And tell everyone that I wish I could give them a hug. Maybe you can give them all a hug from me.
The small smile on his face brought similar ones to Coco and Mamá. Papá seemed so happy to hear from Miguel, even if it was just a short note to Coco. Eventually he closed his eyes and leaned back.
"He's a smart boy," said Coco. "And almost as wonderful a musician as you. He's been practicing. I think you'd be proud."
"I am. And I'm very proud of you too, míja."
He pressed a small kiss to her temple, an action mirrored by Mamá. And then he picked up another piece of paper from the stack. Coco tried to hide her excitement as he looked over the innocent-seeming note.
- Papá Héctor
This is for you. I'm sorry that I lost the one that you gave me. And don't worry. We have plenty of copies.
Taking pity when she saw his confused frown, Coco said, "Turn it over."
When he followed Coco's advice, both he and Mamá gasped in surprise. Printed on the sheet of paper was a familiar image. The repaired family foto with Papá's smiling face back where it belonged.
"I thought… It was gone," whispered Mamá, reaching out to brush the formerly-missing corner. Her voice sounded strained, choked by guilt and regrets. "I tore him out and threw it away."
"I saved the piece and hid it to keep it safe." Coco glanced at both of her parents. "I didn't want to lose Papá completely. And Miguel managed to make several copies. More than he probably told me that he did. There's that one for Papá, but two more so that Mamá and I can have copies of our own. And there are even more back home. Plenty for Miguel to make sure that at least one of them ends up on the ofrenda this year."
Still staring at the foto clutched in his hands, Papá asked quietly, "Miguel… did that? I… can go home?"
His hands were shaking slightly, causing Mamá to reach across and gently squeeze his arm. He took a deep breath and forced himself to calm down a little. He still looked rather overwhelmed by everything that was happening.
"I told you," said Coco gently. "He's been busy. Miguel reminded me about Papá, brought music back to our family, and made several copies of the foto. But he's done more than that. Ernesto's lies are being exposed. They know that he lied, that he didn't write the songs and that he used to have a songwriting partner before you 'mysteriously disappeared without a trace.' Maybe he'll find a way to prove more later. He's certainly raised plenty of doubts about Ernesto. But for now, Miguel has worked hard to make sure the world knows the truth about you, Papá. And more importantly, our family knows."
Coco quietly started showing them more of what Miguel sent. Clipped newspaper articles. A copy of a magazine with her interview printed, every word that she spoke as she talked about her family, her life with them, and especially her memories from before her Papá disappeared. Pages of Miguel's research. Fotos of the family, casual ones of everyone that Miguel managed to take with camera that he borrowed and carefully labeled on the back to identify the different family members. Anything that Miguel thought that his dead relatives might like to have had been stuffed into the envelope, often with comments from him in the margins or on the back.
To be honest, all three of them ended up growing a little emotional during the process. Papá couldn't bother to hold back grateful tears, but even Mamá was blinking rapidly as the sheer scale of what the boy had done began to dawn on them. And when Coco showed the picture that Miguel took of Socorro sleeping, none of their eyes were dry.
When they finally set the stack of paper aside, Mamá coughed slightly and said, "Perhaps we should consider leaving soon. It is growing late and I'm sure the rest of the family would love to see you, Coco. Especially Julio and Victoria."
Something in her chest swelled at the idea of seeing her husband and her daughter again. Her baby girl, taken away far too soon. And her dear Julio. She missed him so much. Coco desperately wanted to be in his arms again.
"At least Rosita is already making a special dinner," said Papá. "Carlos will certainly be in for a more eventful evening than he planned."
Tilting her head slightly, Coco asked, "Carlos?"
"He's the man who is currently courting Victoria," said Mamá. "Mostly by the two of them exchanging books and discussing them, though I think I saw him trying to show her how to hold a violin properly last week."
"My little Victoria? In love?"
Coco covered her mouth with one hand, but it didn't seem to cover the smile on her face. And it certainly did nothing to hide her overjoyed tears. Her serious and practical girl never showed any interest in the men in Santa Cecilia. And Victoria seemed perfectly happy and content on her own. But if she found someone in this place to love…
"You'll like him, míja. He's a good man and he makes her happy," assured Papá.
Standing up and reaching a hand down to her daughter, Mamá asked, "Would you like to meet him? And see the rest of our family?"
Coco took her hand and Mamá pulled her gently to her feet. Coco then mirrored the gesture, taking her papá's hand and pulling him upright. She didn't let go of either of them.
"Let's go home then," said Papá.
The "coda" translates literally to mean "tail," but it is essentially a closing section appended to a movement. It is usually by itself at the bottom of the sheet of music, detached from everything else.
And so we bring this story to a close. I want to thank all of you for sticking with me for so long. I appreciate all the support that you've given me from the beginning. I hope that you've enjoyed it. I certainly have.
While I do not have any plans for a sequel or anything like that, I am not finished with the "Coco" fandom just yet. I'm currently working on another story called "Harmonic Progression." You can find out more information on it in the author notes at the start of that story, but to give you the basic idea… It is a Modern Single Parents AU, with Héctor currently having to raise Miguel after a tragedy and Imelda as a recent divorcee who is raising Coco. Needless to say, building their relationship from the ground up is a different experience than rebuilding it in this story, but it should be interesting. So if you're sad to see "Like a Gentle Refrain" come to an end, maybe you'll enjoy my other story.
Once again, thanks again for all the support, comments, and so on. I have deeply appreciated having such a loyal fanbase.