World So Cold

Love is never simple. Love is never easy. There is more grey than there is black and white. Zayn Malik Fan Fiction

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7. Adjusting

Paco

Siobhan shows me to the room that will be mine. It is big, and there is something unfamiliar….space. The walls are a deep forest green color and there are abstract curtains on the window. On one wall is a mirror, it is a full length one with a black frame around it. The bed is big, and comfortable, it isn’t the twin sized futon im used to. There is a black dresser on the wall near the closet, and when she opens the closet doors, my stomach turns. The closet alone is bigger than the room I used to share with Carlos. This much space of my own will definitely take some time getting used to.

“This is really nice” I tell her as I start to put my clothes away. And it is too nice. I don’t even have enough clothes to fill the dresser, and only two pairs of sneakers for the closet. I’d rather keep the closet closed. I look at her when I’m done putting away my things, she has her arms folded across her chest. “Sorry for being a puto I sit on the edge of the bed, she just nods her head. “Well, now that you’re accustomed, my mom is making tacos tonight and we are going to watch some movies. Freshen up and I’ll see you downstairs” she leaves me in the room that seems so large it is sinful. Dios mio, what am I going to do with all this room? How long will it last? How long will it be till these gringos think they cant house a mexicano like me, and I am on a plane to Mexico before I can say I fucked up.

Downstairs, her father is setting up the DVD player. He is a tall man, lean and his hair is to his shoulders but is always in a ponytail. He has more tattoos running up his arm than I do my whole body. I wonder if he has scars, porque I got lots of em. Each with their own special story. Her mother is a woman in her late forties, blonde hair and spunk. She is a writer, that’s why they got the dough, but when you Google her, there is more publicity over the things she says than the books she writes. I wonder if she would have the nerve to say the things she says to everyone, or does she keep her mouth closed to certain people. Siobhan is setting up the drink glasses and pouring soda into each one, her mother serves the plates. “I got this recipe off line” Miss Kline tells me.

Smells great” I tell her. “Thank you Miss Kline”

She looks over her shoulder at me, and makes a tsk tsk noise. “Call me Loretta”, she hands me a plate of three soft shell tacos. I wonder if she is aware these are more of a burrito than a taco, but I don’t say anything. When everyone has a plate, we sit in the living room and her father plays The Hulk. The movie is cool, but I doubt they realize I’ve lived with the Hulk my entire like. When mi mama gets mad, forget it. The movie runs a little over two hours, and when it is over, the clock has just struck ten. “I’m drained, I have a meeting with my publisher tomorrow morning to discuss a new book.” Loretta stands and yawns. “And the woman is so strict, God forbid I’m late”

Just go to bed love” Orson, Siobhan’s father responds. “I’ll join you”, as he says this, there is a noise coming from outside. Pranksters in this side of town? But I am wrong, Loretta opens the door and when I peer out the window, I see two women in their sixties standing there looking guilty. Old pranksters?

“That’s Miss Edna and Miss Kelso” Orson tells me as Siobhan brings the dirty dishes to the kitchen. “They are the nosiest people you will ever meet”

“Loretta, we heard you are housing a…a…” the woman’s voice is the one that says ‘look at me I croak because I have smoked too many cigarettes’. The second woman, the one who wears a sweater with a fox on it, wiggles her brows, as if to say ‘you know what we are talking about’.

Housing a what? And why the hell are you two on my property at ten o’ clock?” Loretta puts her hands on her hips.

“We hear your housing a delinquent….” the lady with the fox sweater says. “A gang banger”

I would pay to see Loretta’s face over again. “You two oldies serious?”

Orson shakes his head and heads upstairs. “Loretta is it true? Are you housing a delinquent” the croaky voice lady says.

“Don’t be alarmed” Loretta puts her hands up, but by the tone in her voice you can tell she means business. That’s when I step onto the porch, hey, why not meet my new neighbors. One look at me and both their bottom lips drop. Beneath all their wrinkles I can see their disgust. “See he’s harmless” Loretta smiles at me. Most of the tattoos on my arm are covered with my sleeves, and the Latino Blood tattoo has been covered with the shoulder wrap from the bullet. “Paco, this is Miss Edna and Miss Kelso, the live on this street”

Hola” I smile, and I must admit I am getting enjoyment from their faces, their disgust fuels me in some weird way. They think I am scum.

“See, now Paco go inside” and I do but before I do I hear Loretta say. “See oldies, not to be alarmed, he’s just Mexican.”

I don’t listen for the rest of the conversation, instead I go inside and upstairs content. In some weird way, Loretta just defended me. Mi mama never did.

Sleeping proved impossible, so I made my way to the living room, and Siobhan sits there sipping tea from a coral colored mug. She is on her laptop, typing a message to someone, her little fingers hitting each letter pad swiftly and onto the next. “Sorry, I couldn’t sleep” she looks at me after I say this, and nods some, then all of her focus goes back to the laptop. The glare from its screen is the only light we have and it reminds of how her face illuminated with the flames at the bonfire. There are things on my mind I need to ask her, like earlier, was it crazy for me to say we had perfect chemistry? When I sit beside her, she closes her laptop quickly, we are in the dark. “So this is what it’s like to be Amish” I joke, in the darkness I hear her chuckle. It is angelic sounding, and genuine. “Can I ask you something?”

“Anything” she responds, we sit so close to each other that we are thigh to thigh. The velour fabric of her pj pants strong against my flimsy boxers.

“When I told you we had perfect chemistry,” I began, suddenly wishing the lights were on. I’d love to speak to her face to face, the funny thing about the dark was that it acted as a wall between us. It felt so disconnected. “What did you think?”

There is a silence, and then she sighs. “I think I failed chemistry”

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