Excerpt from an original work of fiction by M. Garcés

I reached over his naked body to retrieve the pack of Lucky Strikes. The fact that he didn’t move only calmed me. It would just have to take some more time for me to get used to this… this style of living. The fan creaked above us every spin it made, the chains that dangled from it constantly slapped against one another. His book collection was boyish, full of detective dime novels and things that were obviously for school, with the occasional bragging piece thrown in for good measure. Morning light was creeping in and the more I saw the more I wanted to throw up. The night before came scintillating to memory. Me getting obliterated, so many men, so many gorgeous men… and then I decided to go home with the only one that didn’t buy me a drink. I chuckled, thinking of what a tease I must’ve seemed to the others.

He awoke. “Hola.”

“Buenas dias,” I told him automatically, finally lighting my cigarette.

“Buenos días,” he replied, taking a cigarette too. He looked up at me and moved forward, lighting his cigarette off of mine. “Are you feeling ill?” he asked me, with a surprising amount of sincerity. 

“No, it takes Satan himself to give me a hangover,” I laughed. 

He furrowed his eyebrows and then chuckled. “You say funny things.”

I wanted to tell him that he didn’t even know me. That we had met through a dinner with a group of friends, that I had been the belle of the ball, and that he had won me as a prize. Instead I said, “I guess they don’t teach you about Southerners.” He shook his head. “Well… we can be the trashiest or the classiest people in the US you’ll ever meet.” He laughed, wrapping his arm around my waist. It made me feel cold. “I’ve never done this before… gone home with someone I don’t know,” I admitted, unable to look at him. All I could do was take another drag. 

There was a brief silence before he spoke. By then I had already started getting dressed. All I had to go on were the movies. And I definitely didn’t want to be the chick lying in bed while the guy contemplated how to kick her out. Not that I wanted to stay, the place was a shit hole. “I feel like a jerk now,” he winced.

I shrugged. It was done. There was nothing more to say. He reached for my hand and squeezed it. I looked over at him. He moved forward and kissed me, gently. The kiss didn’t last long but it was nice. It didn’t take him long to dress afterward, he must’ve felt awkward with his balls out while I was in my fabulous boho silk dress. We walked in silence out of the bedroom. I cringed, looking at his dining room, if you could call it that, a room covered with pizza boxes and Chinese takeout cartons. There were definitely roaches. I lifted my dress, not wanting it to touch the disgusting turd colored rug. Once we were outside he hailed a cab for me. We kissed longer this time; I broke away and got in the cab, not daring to look back. “Charcas y Alvarez por favor.”

Caroline was in bed eating alfajores when I crept in. “Hey,” I said, throwing my purse on the couch. 


Stunned, I yanked my sandals off, still waiting for her to comment on my just getting in. I jumped on the bed, getting under the covers with her. “Do I get one?” I asked, holding out my hand. 

She handed me one. Just as I started unwrapping it, she said, “So the one night I don’t get laid you do… Nice. Who was the lucky guy? I was voting for the hunky Brazilian, he was the one getting you all liquored up… What the hell were those anyway? Tasty!”

“Cachacas. Nope. The local teacher,” I replied.

“Boo. Ok we aren’t counting him,” she laughed.

I burst out laughing, thinking of the possible rodents in his apartment. “Agreed. He is not being counted.”

“Such a cheap smart ass,” Caroline giggled, “getting some other dude to buy your drinks for you!”

“He didn’t even pay for my cab fare home!” I gasped, kicking my feet.