Categories > Original > Drama > Chicana0 Reviews
Could this day get any worse? First, I find out Ricky just wants sex then I see my stepmom making out with some random dude.
Could this day get any worse? First, I find out Ricky just wants sex then I see my stepmom making out with some random dude. Now that I think about it, it’s the guy from the carwash my dad goes to every Sunday to get his car washed and vacuumed.
Her eyes go wide and she pushes him off. “Hey, honey,” she smiles and she hops off the counter. I furrow my brow and purse my lips in disgust. This little gold digging whore! I knew she was bad, but never did I think she’d cheat on my dad.
She whispers something to the car washer and he starts putting his work uniform back on. Sydney started walking towards me. I every step she took, I stepped back. “Where are you going, honey?” She asked.
“What’s it to you, cheater?” I spat venom. With that her face twisted and she lunged at me. I turned around and booked it to the door. I opened the door when she tripped and fell. She caught my ankle and I went down hitting my elbow on the rocky patio my dad had put in last spring.
I struggled to get my foot free. I looked back where I caught a glimce of the car washer racing towards us, I’m assuming to assist Sydney. I panicked and kicked Sydney in the face which freed my ankle and helped me escape other confrontation from Sydney’s lover. I heard her scream obscenities at me but I didn’t care. I just wanted to get away. I booked it passed my car and to my school where I found Smiley sitting on a bench in the front. “What are you doing here?” I breathed and sat down next to him.
“What the hell were you doing?” He asked staring at me. I looked at him then realized I was breathing extra hard. I smiled and laughed. He just stayed silent waiting for me to reply. So I slowed down my breathing and told him everything. “Damn,” He stared at the ground. “Well, I coulda warned you about Ricky, but I didn’t want to be a snitch. And to snitch on my, basically, brother would ruin my rep among the gang he rolls with, and that could cost me my life. And I love my life.” He said.
“No, I get it. And you didn’t really know me that much to jeopardize your life or your friendship.” I nodded. And I did understand. I’d probably be the same way.
After a few moments of silence Smiley asked, “So, what are you gonna do?”
I sighed and said, “I don’t know.”
“Well, if you don’t wanna go back to your house you could crash with me for a while.” He offered.
“No, I don’t want to get you in trouble.”
“Nah, my mom would understand.” He smiled.
“Are you sure?” I asked.
“Yeah,” He said and we started walking to his house. It wasn’t a long walk, but by the time we got there it was twilight and the sky was beautifully colored with oranges and pinks.
I had never seen this part of town before. I didn’t even know it existed. I looked around and there were rundown houses everywhere. Graffiti, people sleeping on the sidewalks, broken beer bottles and litter everywhere. We came to a dirty apartment complex. Half the street lights were on and the other half broken. How could somebody live in such a place? Finally, we came to a black door. Smiley knocked lightly then entered.
Inside it smelt like fresh tortillas and beans. It smelled great. To my right, in the dim light, I could see a long wooden table and mismatched chairs around it, small bar looking into the small kitchen. And to my left there was a red loveseat and a green recliner, a TV on a tall entertainment center and a small coffee table in the middle of, what I assumed was, the living room. And coming from the dark hallway I could hear laughter. “I’m home!” Smiley yelled. Then I heard, “Smiley!!!” I counted five little children come out from the hall and hug Smiley. He laughed and bent down to kiss every one of them on the head. Once they got their hug and kiss they all turned to look at me. “Guys, this is Raquel.” Smiley introduced me.
“She’s pretty!” I heard the only little girl squeal. I blushed.
“Well, thank you.” I smiled at her.
“That’s Andrea.” Smiley said. Then, from left to right he named all of the boys. “These guys are Emelio, Eliseo, Cesar and Rafael.” I smiled and waved at each of them. They all waved back.
“Marcelino, is that you?” I heard a female voice come from hall.
“Yeah,” Smiley replied.
“And who’s this?” He accent was pretty moderate. I’ve heard worse.
“Uh, Ama, this is Raquel. Una amiga de escuela.” He explained. She nodded.
“Hola, como estas, Raquel?” She asked and extended her hand.
“Bien, gracias.” I smiled and shook her hand firmly.
“Can she stay with us for a while?” Smiley asked his mom, they exchanged glances and without a word she understood what he was asking. I was in trouble and needed a place to stay for a while.
“Yes, she can stay.” She smiled. “Are you hungry? I made some fresh tortillas today, and some fresh beans too. I’m about to make some huevos, too.” I nodded. “Sit down and I’ll get you some.” So, I sat on the loveseat. I heard Smiley whisper something to the kids and they all ran back to the room laughing. Then, he came to sit next to me.
“Wanna watch some TV?” He asked. I nodded and he flipped through the channels till he stumbled on a novela with some cheezy music playing. “Do you watch this novela?”
“No, I don’t watch novelas.” I said.
“Why? Don’t understand them?” He laughed.
“No. It’s just unrealistic. Everything that happens to these characters can’t happen to people in real life. Not all of it at least.”
“Oh? Like what?”
“I saw one where some chick got kidnapped. The next episode she was shot. The next she was pregnant! Who makes up shit like that!? That would never happen to somebody in real life!” I said.
“Well, maybe that’s the whole point. To escape the real world and enter a new one where true love and all that is real and that in the end everything will be okay in the end.” Smiley said. I just stayed silent. He had a point. I never thought Smiley, of all people, was capable of such comprehension.
After a while of nothing but commercials from the TV set could be heard I felt Smiley’s warm hand on my elbow. “Where’d you get this from?” I didn’t feel the throbbing in my elbow, or feel the blood flowing from it. I lifted my elbow up and saw a big red gash.
“I don’t know.” I tried to remember where I’d hit myself recently. Then I remembered. “Damn, I must have hit that patio hard.” I giggled.
“Here, come to the bathroom. I can clean it up for you.” I nodded and followed him down the dark hall where there were pictures hung all along the walls. All the doors were closed but had the names of those who inhabited the space. Finally we got half-way down the hall. I sat down on the closed toilet and watched Smiley get out some peroxide, gauze and medical tape.
First, he gently cleaned out the gash with a warm rag then slowly poured some peroxide on it. It stung a little, but his tender hands were all I could focus on. He wasn’t as bad as I thought he was. He was kind, gentle and caring. Did I like him? His green eyes dazzled and sparkled when he smiled or laughed. His smile was perfect and maybe a little goofy. He had some swag to him. He wasn’t bad at all. I smiled as he wrapped my elbow. I looked at him. “What?” He smiled.
“Nothing,” I shook my head with a smile stretched across my face. “I just didn’t expect you to be so normal.” I immediately regretted my condescending diction. “I mean!” I said. “I-I..” He just laughed.
“I get what you mean.” He just laughed and I followed him out to the table where his mom had set the table with already served plates of eggs mixed with beans and a container of warm, fresh tortillas.
“Huele bien rico!” I smiled and Smiley pulled out a chair for me. I sat. “What a gentleman!” I giggled.
“Gracias, mija.” Smiley’s mom said and sat down at the end of the table. “Ya esta la cena!” She called. I heard running footsteps and all the little kids came and sat. They all reached for a tortilla and dug in. I took a tortilla, ripped off a chunk and scooped up some of the mixture. It was delicious! I never knew beans and eggs could make something so wonderful when cooked together! “Mmmm,” I hummed. Smiley glanced at me from beside me and giggled with his mouth full. “Sorry,” I mumbled.
“Nah, it’s cool. I just thought you would have eaten something like this before.” Smiley said as he scooped up another mouthful of food into his mouth.
“Why would you think that?” I asked. I had forgotten I hadn’t told him about my mom. But I would expect Ricky to have spilled the beans already.
“’Cause your family is Mexican, are they not?” He asked.
“Well, yeah. But it’s just my dad, stepmom and I.” I said.
“Why? Did your mom dip out on you?” He asked. His mom smacked him on the arm. “Oww, Ama!”
“That shit is private! Don’t be rude, Marcelino! Oh, te chingo, carbron!” The children giggled behind their tortillas.
“No! Esta bien. It’s a fair question.” I put down my tortilla and look down at my half full plate. “My mom was hit by a car when I was little.” I said somberly. Everybody went silent.
“Damn, Raquel, I’m sorry.” Smiley apologized.
“It’s okay. You didn’t know.” I smiled reassuringly. We all ate in silence. Then everybody cleared the table, Andrea loaded the dish washer and Cesar wiped down the table. They all did it without being told to do it. What a perfect little family. But where’s the dad in all this?
Marcelino led me to his room where he gave me some athletic shorts and a big t-shirt to sleep in. “You can take my bed. I’ll pull up some rug.” He said as he started pulling out a big purple comforter and an extra pillow from the closet across the hall from his room.
“Are you sure? It’s not like I’ve never slept on the floor before. And I don’t want you to feel like I’m taking over your room or anything.” I said as I tucked some loose strands of hair behind my ear.
“Nah. I’d rather sleep on the floor. The couch is too small for me.” He said.
“Well, it’s not really a couch. It’s a love seat. That’s why it’s so small.” I said. Why do I have to be such a know-it-all?
“Hmm,” Marcelino hummed in understanding.
He fixed himself a little bed on the floor next to his bed. I went to the bathroom to change real quick. When I came back out his mom said, “Let me wash your clothes so you have something fresh to wear tomorrow.” She took my clothes and headed down the hall. I just headed back to Smiley’s room.
“I put on some fresh sheets. It’s not the most comfortable mattress,” he rubbed the back of his neck. Like he was ashamed to live like this.
“I think I’ll manage.” I smiled. I started to pull up the sheet when I feel someone staring at me. I look over my shoulder and I catch Smiley looking me up and down. But before he can catch me looking I turn back around and smile. I get into the bed and sit up. “Do you think you’re mom’ll have a small hair tie?” I asked.
“Yeah,” Smiley left and came back with one.
“Thanks.” I start to braid my long, dark brown hair and tied it. I laid down and Smiley took off his pants and his shirt. His boxer briefs hugged his lower body. “Oh, my!” I covered my eyes.
“Shit. I forgot you were in here. You’re so quiet.” He scurried to his closet and pulled on a pair of basketball shorts. I just giggled and stared up at the white ceiling. He got under his covers and closed his eyes folding his arms underneath his head.
“Can I ask you something?” I asked slowly.
“Where’s your dad?” I asked cautiously.
“I guess that’s a fair question given what I asked during dinner.” He said, and then sighed. “He left us. I was five. Him and my mom had another fight and he just left and never came back.” I was quiet for a moment.
“Do you ever think about him? Wondering where he is or if he’s thinking about you?”
“Nope.” I heard him roll over. I just sighed and closed my eyes.
The next morning I woke up to the smell of pancakes and bacon and children’s laughter. I open my eyes and see many little faces looking down at me. “Good morning?” I said. They all just giggled. “Andale! Go eat!” Smiley shooshed them away. “Good morning,” He smiled. I sat up. “Here are your clothes. You can shower and I’ll save you some breakfast for when you get out.” I nodded and headed to the bathroom once again. I took a hot shower and washed everything from yesterday down the drain. I was starting fresh.
I took a towel from the towel rack and dried myself off. My clean clothes smelled of a tropical breeze. Again, I braided my hair and headed out to each breakfast. There was a big plate of two fluffy pancakes, two strips of bacon, orange slices and strawberries with a glass of milk waiting for me. My stomach growled and my mouth watered. I sat down and starting cutting my pancakes into small pieces. When I was about to take a bite was when I noticed all Smiley’s little siblings were watching me eat. I just looked at them.
“You guys! Leave her alone! Go clean your rooms like Mom said.” Smiley said and they scattered back down the hall. “Sorry.” He apologized and came to sit across from me.
“How come they never talk?” I asked. They always seemed to laugh at me but never really say anything.
“You’re lucky. Usually they never should up.” Smiley laughed.
“No, seriously. They laughed, but never talk.”
“They just don’t know you.” He said. I nodded in understanding.
“Where’s your mom?” I asked another dumb question.
“At work.” Duh! Why am I so stupid?
I finished my breakfast and washed my plate. “So, are you headed back home?” He asked.
“Yeah, I need to get my car and other stuff. And I can’t stay here forever.” I said. I didn’t want to go, but I needed to. I needed to talk to my dad before Sydney got to him.
Before I left Smiley bandaged me up again. “That should do it.” He said, and he followed me to the door. But before I opened it to leave and turned around and hugged him. At first, he was taken by surprise and tensed up against my body. But he finally melted down and wrapped his muscular arms around my waist. His cologne was intoxicating. “Thank you for letting me stay.” I mumbled into his shirt.
“No problem.” He said. I finally let go. “Bye.”
“Bye,” I bit my lip and walked down back to my house. My dad’s car was in the driveway. I started getting a sick feeling in my stomach. Not knowing what was going to happen makes me want to puke.
I made my way up the driveway and opened the door as quietly as possible. If I snuck in them my dad wouldn’t get as mad at me. He hates when I pretend like nothing happened. He always wants to hash things out after every fight or incident. Which has not been many.
I close the door behind me. I can see my dad sitting on the couch with the home phone in his hand. He’s staring at the fireplace. “Where the hell have you been?” He asked without even looking at me.
“I went to a friend’s house.” I stood there playing with my hands. Whenever I’m nervous I start to play with my hands or tug on my earlobes.
“Are you gonna tell me what happened between you and Sydney?” He asked another question without seeing me standing there debating to tell him the truth or not. I really wanted to. I don’t like lying to anyone. Especially my dad. But I didn’t want to hurt him. But whether I choose to tell him the truth or not, every decision has its consequences. And here goes nothing.
“I came home early and found Sydney making out with the guy from the carwash.” I had to be succinct in my words. I felt it was right not to beat around the bush about the situation. And I’m sure Sydney has fed him some big ol’ lie about how she was the victim, as she always is in every story.
My dad was silent so quite a while. I assume he was processing the information I just told him. I decided to go kneel down next to him. I waited for him to reply. Finally, he said, “That’s not what she told me.” His eyes were bloodshot and he hadn’t shaved in a while. He smelled of dirty socks and sweat. Like he always smells after a good workout. But I wasn’t focused on that. After what I’ve told him he still is on Sydney’s side! Anger boiled in my heart.
“Why do you always take her side!?” I abruptly got up and went to stand in front of him.
“I’m not taking her side.” His voice was small. He sounded like he’d been robbed of everything he had inside his soul. His eyes were as hollow as I’d ever seen them before. Besides when my mom had died.
“Then what are you doing, Dad? Because these past years you’ve believed every fucking word she’s said. So why should this situation be any different?” I asked. I waited for him to answer.
“Yes, you’re right.” He finally looked at me. But he didn’t see me. He was just looking at me. “I know I haven’t been a good father, but for the past month I’ve had my suspicions about Sydney’s fidelity. I had noticed him and her had been too friendly at the carwash. I noticed they were flirting. I even asked her about it, but she denied any accusation.” I could see the anger and stupidity he felt by believing Sydney.
“Dad, I’m sorry.” I said and went to sit down next to him.
“It’s okay. I’m sorry. I was being stupid. I was so afraid about losing another lover that I forgot the one thing I still had left.” He finally saw me for me. He wasn’t just looking at me. He was seeing me as if for the first time.
I furrowed my brows in confusion. I really had no idea what he was talking about, but I should have known ‘cause my dad is mushy like that. “You. I have always had you.” I smiled and hugged my dad.
“You smell like crap.” I laughed. He chuckled. “Seriously, though. You need to shower.”
Sydney is gone and my dad and I are closer than ever. We no longer have fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And he seems to be happy about it. Although, he still sneaks in his favorite Baja Fresh chicken burritos and the occasional meatball sub from Subway.
Monday morning, I get up and do my usual routine. But this morning my dad actually came in and said goodbye to me before he left for work. “See ya later, Dad.” I smiled as he left and I heard his car start.
The sun was shining and the first flowers of spring were coming in our front garden. So I decided to wear a shirt and a loose blouse, and some cute pumps I recently bought.
I went to school feeling courageous and confident. Even some classmates noticed. I got lots of compliments on my new pumps, and a lot of looks from the senior boys. I finally made it to cartooning to find Smiley sitting there. When I started toward our table he looked up in surprise. “What the hell are you wearing?” He asked in shock.
“Do you like it?” I smiled.
“I liked your old clothes.” He swallowed, but I noticed he couldn’t take his eyes off me.
“Well, I still have my old clothes, but I also have new clothes.” I smiled and took my seat next to him.
“So, what’s new?” He asked. “And, no, it’s not a rhetorical question.”
“Sydney, my bitch stepmother, is gone. I broke up with a total loser and I lost three pounds.” I grinned.
“Well, all that are things to be happy about, but not to change yourself over.”
“I changed for the better. But I can always change my clothes back. Bring back some tight jeans and sneakers. I just thought I’d tried something new. But don’t you like the new me?” I asked.
“Only if the new you goes to find another best guy friend.” He joked. I laughed and we went to work on our knew project for cartooning.
It was after school. I was headed out to my car to go get changed and get to work in time when I saw a black Cadillac in the parking lot, with Ricky leaning on the hood waiting for me.