Conchita - part 2 (of 2)
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It was just past 3 when a white SUV pulled into the lot of the motel. Three people got out, and went in, and then before long, there they were sitting outside in the sun, drinking beer and laughing. Steve noticed them, but didn't think much about it. Some crazy people sitting there in this little dump of a town, not having anything better to do that watch the cars go by. That must be the life.
Steve lived in the trailer just behind Conchita, and he had always fancied her. “She's a woman and a half that one,” he thought, “and if I had my way, we could have a nice family, her with her kids and me with my dogs.” He had four little yellow mongrel puppies, all from the same litter. Actually one of them he had sold, and the lady was coming to pick it up this afternoon. He has told her she could have her pick, but he really hoped she wouldn't pick Shep – who was his favourite. He had let Conchita's boys name the pups – and they had gone for the most conventional dog names ever. Besides Shep, there was Spot, who didn't have any spots, and Rover and Fido, of all things.
Steve had a secret, and he had asked Miguel if he could meet him outside at 3 sharp, and sure
enough the boy had just come into the yard.
“I need you to help me put something up,” said Steve.
“What is it?”
“A present for Tomas.”
“Why are you buying him a present?”
“Oh, I knew it was his birthday and I know your Moma has it hard, and I thought maybe I could get him something that all you kids could enjoy.”
Steve took a big box out of the back of his truck, and pulled out a big circle of some rubbery material. Then he went back and got another box, with some metal pieces.
“We have to figure how to put these things together in a circle,” he said.
Miguel took the box and read the instructions.
Separate all the pieces in the box (springs, metal legs/bars, jump pad, spring protector). Put all the metal bars together so it will then look like a circle. On the jump pad there are hooks that you hook the springs onto, you must count how many there are and divided it by 4. (96 spring hooks divided by 4 is 24) So now every 24th spring hook you will hook a spring into it, then into the trampoline bar. It should look like a clock (1 spring at the 12:00 position, 1 spring at the 3:00 position, 1 spring at the 6:00 position and 1 spring at the 9:00 position.) Next you can now start just filling in the holes and hooks with the springs. Lay the spring protector over the top of the springs and every 23 inches there is a string that you tie to keep it in place.
“It's a trampoline!” Miguel shouted. “That must have cost a bundle.”
“I got it second hand on Ebay. Do you think the kids will like it?”
“They will love it. I wonder if I'm too big to go on it.” He looked again at the side of the box. “It says for ages 6 to 12, so I guess that rules me out.”
The dogs were happily playing in the fenced in yard and didn't pay much attention when Steve and Miguel took the metal pieces, and slotted them together easily in a shape which was clearly the base part of the trampoline. It stood about 2 feet off the ground. “I think that will do,” said Steve. “Now comes the hard part.”
They had to stretch the springs and insert then into slots in the base which held them firmly in place. It wasn't as hard as they expected and when it was complete, they put it in the shady part of Conchita's lot.
“Look at those goofs over there,” said Miguel. “They seem to be staring at us.”
“Maybe they're wondering what we're doing – and they will soon find out. Are the kids around?”
“They're in the trailer watching TV except for Maria and Juan who have wandered off some place. “
“Is he safe with her?”
“Oh yeah. She thinks he's her kid and he follows her everyplace. He's the only one that can stand her.”
“Tell the boys to come out.” So Miguel did as he was told, and before long three very excited boys came out of their trailer. Tomas, who was wearing a bright yellow shirt and looked like he must be baking hot, got on first. The other boys, both dressed in blue tee-shirts, stood beside the structure.
“Wow, this is really something. Where did it come from?”
“Steve is giving it to you for your birthday.”
“No kidding. Thanks Steve.”
“Can we have a turn?” asked Jose and HoseB.
“It's my present,” said Tomas.
“I think I really meant it for all of you, because I didn't get you other kids anything for your birthdays,” said Steve.
“Except for me, because I am too old and big, said Miguel, “so I'm not supposed to.”
So the three younger boys all got on and were bouncing away, and laughing and having a glorious time.
Just about then a lady came into the yard, and Steve took her through the fence into his yard. She only took a few minutes and then chose Fido, and Steve got her the leash for him, and off they went down the road.
The other dogs didn't seem to even notice him going, and Jose said, “Won't you miss him Steve?”
“One less mouth to feed and much less crap to clean up,” he said with a laugh. “I suppose you kids want a dog too?”
“Moma said no way,” said Hose-B. “She said we couldn't afford it and didn't have any space and it wouldn't be fair, and anyway, we can play with your dogs and pretend that they're ours too, can't we?”
Just about then Conchita drove up in her battered dirty red Mazda. She took a couple of brown paper bags with groceries in from the car.
“Look Moma. Look what Steve gave me for my birthday,” said Tomas.
“You had no right,” Conchita said.
“You're welcome,” he said in reply.
“It makes my little gifts look like I'm a cheap-skate. You know I can't afford anything like that.”
“It was second hand on ebay. I got a good deal.”
“Well I hope you put it up safely. Those kids could get badly hurt if they fall off something like that.”
“It's only 18 inches off the ground, and they won't get hurt. They're just having a good time.”
“Well, I suppose you expect me to say thank you for it.”
“I see you got in some food. Maybe you could invite me over for the birthday supper. What did you get?”
“Pork and black bean tacos. Chili chocolate cookies, ice cream, Tortilla chips and GuacamoleJust ready made stuff. It's too hot to cook today. And I got some pop and beer too.”
Just then Maria and Juan came into the yard, from across a nearby field. They went into the house and came out with a can of pop each. They looked at the trampoline for awhile, and then Maria, said, “Come on, Juan, and took her little brother's hand and pulled him off into the field again.”
The adults and kids filed into the trailer and the vacationers decided it was time to go for a walk. But later when the family were sitting on the steps having their cake, they could see the strangers, sitting outsideagain, watching and waiting, as if they were the actors in a play.
Steve said, “I wonder what those guys are doing. There they are again – sitting outside, watching every move we make. We should do something really rude, like a strip tease, to shock them.”
“They aren't watching us – we're just background to them – the low down trash that live in a trailer park.”
“When are you going to get your roof fixed Conchita? It must let in the rain, the way it is.”
“Oh, you know I haven't got the money for that. The plastic covering will do awhile yet. I already had
the expense of new siding and putting up that panel in the front to protect the window that kept getting broken.”
“Let me do it for you,” said Steve.
“I don't want you doing stuff for me. The kids already think maybe you are their dad.”
“Maybe I could be?”
“No, you couldn't.”
“Maybe I really am.”
“Definitely, you're not.”
“I thought the date when Tomas was born was pretty close to 9 months from the time when we -”
“If you dare say anything like that to him, I'll kill you. The kids think their father is somebody else – who's in the correction center place up the road and that's why he's never here.”
“Do they ask to go and visit him?”
“No, they don't think like that.”
“Do you even know who their fathers are? “
“Pretty much – but their fathers didn't plan to have a child – and I wouldn't expect them to have anything to do with my kids. They're mine. Mine only.”
“I see Pete Shields with his big Cadillac always gives this place a looking over when he goes across the road to Michael Jay's restaurant. You ever sleep with him?”
“Probably. I've slept with most of the men in this town. But who I do and do not sleep with is none of your damn business. Now take your beer and go home.”
“I got things to do.”
Later, Conchita went across to the motel and asked Malcolm if he had any work for her. “Friday I know is your busy day.”
“I've got Akio coming in tonight, with his regulars, and stupid Maisie went and put one of the
an old lady guest in 103, so that's out of circulation. I sure hope you cleaned up after you used it last week. When he comes, I'll let him know you're available, and maybe you could use his vehicle.”
“ Oh damn. I just made the bed quickly. That room is never let out. What will happen if she notices and says something?”
“The shit will hit the fan. When Maisie sees the sheets, she'll know or at least guess, and then we are all in for a very uncomfortable time.”
“We'll just have to keep our fingers crossed that the old dear doesn't notice or complain, or if she does, you can charm her out of it, and maybe give her an upgrade.”
“Akio has the most remarkable car. Have you ever seen inside that? It's so spooky – long white limousine, with all that space and no windows.”
“He keeps his special gear in there, whips and other kinky stuff. Not the sort of thing you want people looking through the window at. But I know that he a bed in there too.”
“He gives me the creeps. “
“He's a good guy, and we both benefit because of him, you know, Conchita. Don't knock it. If he has any customers for you, I'll put a light in the window and will leave a list of times and where to go in an envelope here on the counter.”
“Thanks Malc. I really felt like I needed some extra cash right about now. Steve gave the kids a trampoline for Tomas' birthday. I want to do so much more for them, and I don't want Steve to keep thinking he can own us by doing stuff for us. I just need enough to get the roof mended and few things for the kids. Tell Jap guy Akio that he should keep me in mind for the rest of the summer and I'll keep my Friday nights free.”
“Okay, Conchita. If you don't see the light tonight, stop in tomorrow. I'll have a word with him at breakfast. He has his here before he takes off, and usually nobody else is around.”
Conchita looked out the window at midnight, but there was no light shining in the motel window, so she went to bed, and ended this very long day.
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I was hoping you might find
I was hoping you might find someway she could move forward in her life I guess. The trampoline seemed the only uplift for the family somehow. (which shows your characters 'live'!)
Tomas took the box and read the instructions. I think you meant to write Miguel there.
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I like how your characters
I like how your characters were based around real people and events that could ring true.
A convincing story.
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