Chapter 72

The drizzle lets up a little and some sun is peeking through the clouds, splashing color here and there in an attempt to make rainbows, but obviously running low on paint.

What little water comes down feels good. I must still be parched. It feels strange not to have my umbrella or poncho in the rain. My skin welcomes the moisture.

I walk around the corner of the building and look into the windows of Taco Bell and see Roselyn. She’s watching me. I feel something strange inside me. I stop. I smile and then she smiles too, standing behind the counter, dressed in her dark brown Taco Bell uniform.

Two little old ladies struggle with the front door to get in, huddled underneath their umbrellas. Roselyn comes to the door. I’m going to miss that.

“Allow me ladies.” I grab for the door.

“We can get it, were not helpless,” one of them says. I withdraw my hand quickly.

“I know, I was just being—“

“Come in, welcome,” says Roselyn.

The two old ladies make a bee-line for the border. I step inside and the door shuts behind me. I’m getting the feeling she likes me a little. I wish she would’ve said something. Maybe I should’ve noticed.

Her dark black hair shines in the light streaming through the windows. She stands proud and strong against the backdrop of brightly colored signage and pictures of food. Her deep brown skin is smooth, and the color of cinnamon. Her face is glowing and elegant. A proud, strong chin, thick full lips, and high cheekbones that push up against her oval shaped brown eyes. She has the most elegant eyebrows too, giving her a beauty queen quality. I don’t remember thinking about any girl like this before. I’ve seen pretty women, but none of them were . . . so . . .

“Pancho?”

How does one talk to someone this pretty—this confident. I’ve never had a problem talking to Roselyn before, but now that I don’t work with her, what do I say?  She stands there, looking at me, waiting. I’ve stopped breathing and now feel a hot flash race through my body with the realization that I probably look ridiculous standing two feet away from someone and just staring. Her trademark smile has changed a bit, but the change isn’t in her mouth, although now that I think about it, her mouth . . .  “Pancho? Que te pasa?”

“Oh, sorry, Roselyn, I was just thinking.”

“I see that. It is the ‘not talking’ part I do not understand.” She smiles. I think she understands all right. “I heard the bad news.”

“You heard?”

“Darren just told us. He’s going to be the new assistant manager when they open the new restaurant.”

“Yeah, I figured.”

“So, you have to tell me all about your trouble at the border. I did not believe it when you called.” A couple more raincoat and umbrella people walk in and we move over a bit. “I have to get to work.”

“Yeah, hey listen, Roselyn” Oh crap. What am I going to say? “Now that we don’t work together any more, you think maybe you would like to go to a movie or something?” She freezes, her once hopeful smile seems lost in thought.

“No Pancho, I mean, I really like you and everything . . . “

“No?” I feel so embarrassed. I’ve never asked anyone out before, for fear that this would happen.

“I mean, how am I going to . . . I don’t think my parents would understand.”

“Understand what?”

“Well, now don’t take this the wrong way Pancho but . . . bringing home a white guy—“

“Oh, they’re like that.”  The sudden ache in my arm tells me that was not the correct answer.

“No! That’s not it. I told you not to take it that way.”

“Then how am I supposed to take it?”

“Well let me tell you Pancho. I do not think they would understand me bringing home a white guy named Pancho Villa.” The world hiccuped—then we both laugh. I’ve never heard her make a joke before. She’s getting more interesting every minute.

“That’s okay, really, I‘ve been thinking about changing my name anyway.”

“Really?”

“Yes. If you don’t think your parents would like you bringing home a white guy named Pancho Villa, how do you think they would feel about you bringing home a Mexican guy named John Wayne?”

 

 

The End

Mike J Quinn About Mike J Quinn
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