"Happy New Year!" Dalia said, standing there in a lavender
ball gown. It wasn't technically New Year's anymore, but they
were still celebrating.
Lourdes, in a baby tee, blazer and jeans, walked into Dalia's
home, immediately overwhelmed. A quiet New Year's get together,
had obviously turned into a full on party. "Wow, you didn't say
that there would be so many people here." She said, as Dalia gave
her a hug. "And you didn't say we were dressing
"Don't pay attention to me. The dressing up came later, after
a couple of cocktails, but you look pretty."
Lourdes curtsied for her. She surveyed the crowd. This might
not be so bad. She was feeling a little wreakless
"We weren't expecting so many people." Dalia said, turning
and smiling at guest walking by. "But every week, family night is
an open invitation to all, and tonight it seems everyone
Lourdes smiled, handing her a bottle of Patron Silver. Lolita
came bouncing up with nerdy glasses on her face. They were
ridiculous, but somehow, even Lita made those look sexy. Just the
person Lourdes wanted to see. She had no clue, as to why she'd
been feeling so out of control lately. She needed a breather from
the boys. Lita was her ticket.
"Hey stranger, long time no see." Lita wrapped her arms
around Lourdes neck. She smelled great. "Happy new year! Give me
a kiss. How was Christmas?"
"Busy, busy." Lourdes said pulling back from their embrace,
as Dalia watched the two of them. "And still on
"Oh poor baby," Lita said taking her arm and leading her
inside, "I guess the holidays can be a nightmare for the life of
a chef. How many did you cook for?"
"Everyone and their mama's." Lourdes said sarcastically. "I'm
not cooking for a month. How was New York?" She asked changing
the subject. They went and sat down.
"Fairly brutal," Lita said, "but we got through it
swimmingly." Lita played with a lock of Lourdes' hair. "You were
missed." She said smiling.
Lourdes smiled backed too. She was very intrigued. And dying
to know about Pullo. "So what was it like? Meeting Jasper's and
Pullo's family?" She asked.
"Strangely fascinating." Lita said. "But you know me. I was
always on guard. Work is work."
"How do you do that?" Lourdes asked. "I mean, be mechanical
like that, when you're so close with Pullo?"
"It's no different than any other day silly." Lita smiled,
waving at some girls across the room. "Except I get double time
"Oh you're evil." Lourdes said shaking her
"So what about you?" Lita asked, pushing the fake, nerdy
glasses up on her face. "I imagine, in your little world, after
you put in family time, that things must have heated
"You don't know the half of it." Lourdes said. "Leading up to
the holidays, was pretty intense, but during, was completely
easy. Everybody was out of town, it was just that
"Including your boys?" Lita asked.
"Especially the boys." Lourdes said. "And god only knows,
what they were doing in Europe without my
"I'm sure they could say the same thing about you here." Lita
replied as Lourdes smirked and nodded her head. She looked up and
smiled as Dalia came up with two margarita's and two tequila
"Ready to meet people?" Dalia asked.
"Not yet." Lita spoke up fast. "Give the girl a
"Lolita, you already know Lourdes, don't monopolize her the
whole night." Dalia protested.
Lita smiled at Dalia sweetly. "We just want to play catch up
Dalia nodded her head. "Well drink up." She said to Lourdes.
"Because you're in the hot seat tonight."
Lourdes smiled. "Great." She mumbled. Dalia turned and walked
over to a group of girls.
"What's up with you?" Lita studied Lourdes. "Somethings
Lourdes shook her head. "I'm good." She said. Drinking her
shot and taking a sip of the margarita to chase
"No there's something," Lita paused, "I can
Lourdes shook her head in protest.
"You wanna go somewhere more quiet?" Lita
"Is that even possible?" Lourdes said looking around the
place, though she was immediately
"Yeah, we can find a quiet spot." Lita offered. "Let's go
somewhere and talk." She took Lourdes by the hand and led her
through Dalia's place. They found a quiet
"I met Pullo's daughters." Lita offered. "Even an ex or
"No shit?" Lourdes asked. "How was it?"
"Strange!" Lita confessed giggling. "I thought of you many
times. It was mildly entertaining."
"I'm glad you were amused." Lourdes spoke quickly. "Did you
interact with any of them?"
"All of them." Lita smiled.
"So what are you holding out for?" Lourdes asked. "Tell me
all about it."
"You first." Lita said.
"What?" Lourdes asked, shaking her head confused. "There's
nothing to tell."
"Mm." Lita studied her again, she would have to go back to
whatever it was that Lourdes wasn't confessing. She leaned in
close and spoke softly. "I have a present for
"You do?" Lourdes smiled sweetly. She was looking to start
the year off with a bang.
"I do." Lita leaned in even closer. "And you can collect
anytime you want."
Lourdes paused. "Is this an actual gift that I can see and
"In a way." Lita smiled, playing with her hair
"Smell and taste?"
"You're on the right track."
"Are you going to give it to me?" Lourdes raised an eyebrow
"I very much hope so." Lita laughed.
"Why do I feel like I'm being set up here?" Lourdes
"Not at all." Lita said. "In fact, I'm willing to explain in
more detail exactly what it is that's
"And all I have to do is what?" Lourdes
Lita smiled devilishly. "I'll tell you
"Hey you two." Dalia came walking up.
Lita uncurled her fingers from Lourdes' hair and frowned at
"This isn't the time to be anti-social." Dalia took Lourdes
hand. "Come meet our friends Nicki and
Lourdes let herself be led away by Dalia, and Lita didn't
follow. Instead, she watched from across the room as Dalia
introduced Lourdes to countless people, who's names she would
Lourdes smiled and was polite to everyone
she met. She tried to answer their invasive questions and put on
a good front, so as not to offend anybody. Lita never came over.
She kept her distance and mingled with everybody else. She looked
pretty sexy in her simple, black, terry dress, that hugged her
body like a glove. It bothered Lourdes that she didn't come and
mingle with her. She
wasn't in the mood for playing games
When Lourdes was done making the rounds, she took a breather
"Those things are bad for you." Lita said walking
"No shit." Lourdes mumbled, taking one last drag off her cigi
and putting it out.
"Having a good time?" Lita asked.
"I'm having a blast."
"Yes, I can tell, that's why you're out here
"So tell me about Pullo's daughters?"
"No." Lita said softly.
"No?" Lourdes asked.
"You don't really want to hear about all that tonight." She
"Tonight is about you. And Pullo is still out of town for a
couple of days, so there's plenty of time to play catch
"Tonight's not about me, we're all just celebrating the new
"Yeah, speaking of that," Lita said, "any new year's
"Sure." Lourdes said looking up at the nighttime sky. "You
really wanna know, or are you just making
"I really want to know."
"Well," Lourdes paused, "I vow to start living, instead of
"Weren't you already?" Lita asked.
"No." Lourdes said shaking her head. "Not even close. This
resolution may have been in the works for a couple of months now,
but I wasn't really living, until I started doing all of these
horrible things." There was silence between the two of them for a
moment. Lourdes couldn't believe she actually said that out
"Wow." Lita said.
"What?" Lourdes asked.
"Nothing. It's just, that was very
Lourdes nodded her head.
"You know, this is the first time that I've actually heard
you express guilt over the life you've been
Lourdes shrugged her shoulders. "I'm only
"So what will you do about your entanglements?" Lita
Lourdes shrugged her shoulders again. "Nothing." She said
quietly. She smiled bitterly. "Obviously I don't feel guilty
enough to stop."
Lita frowned up at her. "Huh." She said looking
"What about you?" Lourdes asked. "Any new year's
Lita nodded her head, running her fingers through her hair.
"Yes," she said, "I vow to tell the people who's most important
to me, what's really on my mind. Instead of just saying what I
think they want to hear."
"I think we're all programmed to do that." Lourdes said. "In
one way or another."
"Mm-hm." Lita nodded her head.
Lourdes studied her. A realization came over her. "Are you
going to start telling people what you really do for a
"No of course not!" Lita said. "What gave you that
Lourdes shook her head. "Then I get the feeling that you have
something you want to say to me?" She asked. "Instead of just
telling me what I want to hear?"
"I do." Lita said avoiding eye contact. "I wonder how it is
that you can do the things you do without it making you fall to
"You mean the betrayal?" Lourdes asked.
"Yes." Lita nodded her head.
"I could ask you the same thing." Lourdes
"Don't get defensive." Lita said. "I'm not judging you. I
legitimately, am interested in your answer to that
"Okay." Lourdes said. She thought about it for a moment, then
answered. "You see, what's so awful about all these horrible
things that I've been doing, is the catch-22. I could blame my
actions, on my freak out about turning thirty soon. And I could
say I'm acting, out of fear, but the truth is, every temptation
that I've given into, no matter how despicable, at this point,
it's also been the most fantastic thing that I ever done."
Lourdes felt that it might be a good idea to stop talking. She
let Lita chew on her words.
"Do you feel bad about what you're doing?" Lita
"Sure Lita, all the time."
Lita smiled. "See, that right there. How easily you say that.
Your ambivalence. The thing is, I don't think you do." She
"So you were serious, when you said you were going to speak
about whatever is on your mind?" Lourdes asked
"You're what's on my mind lately." Lita said right back.
"Mostly. All the time."
Lourdes gave a half smile. She wasn't sure where this was
"And when I read about these things that you have been
doing...if it was me," Lita continued, "I'd be having the time of
Lourdes said nothing.
"The gay husband, The British writer, the Swedish actor, the
all American G.I. Joe? All of them are compatible to you in some
way. They're all are fucking crazy about you. And each one
satisfies a special need in you."
"All colors of the rainbow." Lourdes
"Yeah!" Lita laughed. "But really, come on," she said, "admit
it. You love it. All the attention, everybody talking about you.
You're so mysterious. They all want to figure you out. How can
you not like it? It's like being famous."
Lourdes scoffed in the other direction. What did she want her
to say? "Alright, I admit it," she said, "it doesn't
Lita laughed. "You're unbelievable."
"So I've been told." Lourdes said looking around. "You're not
going to spend the night riding me about this, are you?" She
asked. "Because I thought we were just chillin'
"No no." Lita said. "I have a point that I'm trying to get
to." She smiled nervously. "Just bear with me." Lourdes was
surprised. Not much made Lita nervous. "Back to my new year's
resolution." She went on.
"Speaking your mind." Lourdes offered.
"Yes." Lita smiled, red lips catching the light. "In my line
of work, you immediately, try to discover what the client needs
and you tell them what they want to hear and you try and be the
person that they want you to be, so that you can satisfy them
"Okay." Lourdes said cautiously.
"And sometimes I find myself spending so much time acting
that way with everybody, inside and outside of work, that I
sometimes get the lines blurred between fact and
"Tell me about it." Lourdes smirked.
"But I don't want to do that with you." Lita said
Lourdes paused. They might be on the same page tonight. But
she should proceed carefully. "So don't." She
"I won't." Lita said. "I haven't. And I want it to stay that
"Great." Lourdes said. "So talk to me."
Lita smiled again nervously.
"Whoa, Miss Lolita!" Lourdes exclaimed. "Is it really that
bad? Because you're making a girl sweat
Lita laughed. "I'm a little sweaty myself!" She shook her
hands out and took a deep breath. "Okay," she said, "here
Lourdes stood back, waiting for whatever she had to throw at
"I think you have a lot on your plate." Lita said taking off
the glasses. "But still, this question prompts me more and more
lately, and...I wonder if you're willing to add one more egg to
Lourdes was silent. But she was starting to get
"I know it's crazy," Lita said, "but do you think you could
"At the risk of sounding like a ditz," Lourdes paused, "I'm
just curious if you're asking me what I think you're
Lita exhaled slowly. "You and I have been playing this sordid
game for months now. The flirtations, the intrigues. But it's not
"And...you're saying that you want it to?" Lourdes
"Yes!" Lita said. "No! I mean, I don't know." Her long black
hair was swinging all over the place.
"Well you're speaking your mind," Lourdes said, "I guess you
never promised it would be articulate."
"Oh shut up!" Lita begged. "Don't make a joke
"Listen," Lourdes said, "we both have a lot on our plates,
we're both playing dangerous games-"
"Kindred spirits." Lita smiled.
"I was gonna say, it's probably best we don't pile on the
shit." Lourdes said.
"Is that what you want?"
"Lita!" Lourdes exclaimed. "I have no idea what's going on.
What exactly are we talking about here?"
"This gift that I have for you." Lita
"It's me." She smiled. "I'm the present. If you want
Lourdes raised her eyebrows and stood there with her mouth
slightly open. "Lita," she started, "you don't want me. I mean,
deep down, not really." She didn't know why she was saying
Lita smiled in disbelief and turned slightly away from her.
"Do you play this game with your guys? I mean
"Really bad road to go down." Lourdes said with a raised
"Something is up with you! I know it, you know it, I could
tell as soon as you walked in the door. Why are you so afraid to
let me see this other side of you? Do you think I can't handle
Lourdes looked in the other direction and
"So what you're really saying, is that you
don't want me?" Lita
"I just think that we've become close in so fast a time,
because I'm the first girl that you confessed this major thing to
"Oh, no no no no no!" Lita said holding up her hand. "Just
please spare me! If you don't want to be with me fine, but don't
think that you're going to analyze this situation, because you
don't know what you're talking about. Not everything is so black
"Do you even know what it is that you want?" Lourdes asked.
"Because I'm not so sure that you do."
Lita turned back towards her. "In this short time that you've
known me, have I once struck you as being unsure of
Lourdes was silent. She couldn't think of one
"I know what I want." Lita said. "So instead of you telling
me how I feel, why don't you tell me how you
"I feel like we would be making the worst possible decision
that we could ever make." Lourdes said plainly. "Just look at my
life. I'm a mess. Why would you ever want to get caught up in my
"You're not a mess." Lita said. "You're free, you're
fabulous. And I think you know exactly what you're
Lourdes looked away. Lita had more insight to her, then she
gave her credit for.
"And you don't have to make up reasons to explain away your
behavior. I would never judge you like that. How could
"So you're saying you want to be with me, knowing full well
that I come with baggage and then some?" Lourdes
"Who doesn't?" Lita said.
"Well mines, definitely out weigh more than
"I can handle a little heat." Lita said.
"It's more like a boiler room." Lourdes smirked. She was
starting to get that reckless feeling again.
Lita laughed, taking a step towards her. "Nothing has to
change." She said.
"Hmph! Famous last words." Lourdes said rolling her
"I don't expect you to compromise anybody because of me. I
just want to get to know you, better." Lita tapped two fingers
against Lourdes' flesh, right below her
"You do know me Lita." Lourdes whispered. "As much as anybody
"That doesn't give me any comfort." She said wrapping her
arms around Lourdes' waist.
"And if you wanna know the truth, you're less likely going to
get into my head through the bedroom. It'll damage our
"I'm willing to take that risk." Lita spoke
"Well I don't know if I am." Lourdes said, wrapping her arms
around Lita too. "I like you. Friendships are more important to
me than random sex."
"It wouldn't be random!" Lita said pressing her body up
against Lourdes. "At Least not for me. I'm standing here telling
you that I'm willing to take a chance. Are
"Take a chance on what?" Lourdes asked brushing back Lita's
hair. "You wanna be girlfriends?"
"We don't have to define it right now." Lita said. "Why don't
we see just see what happens?"
Lourdes shook her head.
"Don't shake your head at me Lourdes." Lita said. "Why are
you making me work so hard at this?" She brought her face close
to hers."I thought this is what you wanted."
"What would ever give you that idea?" Lourdes asked
innocently. But she knew she was at fault. And Lita had her
"What?" Lita asked. "What's the problem? Is it
Lourdes said nothing.
"Shit!" Lita said pulling away from her. "That's it, you're
not attracted to me?"
"I know I didn't misread the signals, there's something here
"Lita stop!" Lourdes said. "It's not about any of that.
You're going down the wrong path."
"Then stop letting me stand here, making a fool of myself!"
"Fine!" Lourdes said. "What exactly is it that you want me to
"Nothing." Lita said. "Don't say anything. This is not how I
saw this going. I didn't think you would panic like
"I'm sorry." Lourdes said looking down.
"Don't be sorry." Lita said. "I just wanted you to know how I
"I'm still not quite sure what that is." Lourdes said
Lita put her hands on her hip and turned away from Lourdes,
tossing her long black hair about. She sighed loudly, then began
talking again. "Day in and day out, I'm surrounded by a large sum
of people who make me want to hurl myself off of a building.
They've all settled for easy street, they've all turned into
their parents and none of us can even remember why we became
friends in the first place. It's fucking depressing. But you,"
she said, "you haven't. I've watched you from the very moment
that you came into my life, and no matter how hard things get for
you, you've never once settled for the path of least resistance.
I love that about you. I take stock in that. You do it so
gracefully. You still see the world the way you want it to be.
You haven't given up. And it works for you. And so many people
love you because of it. And I desperately want to be apart of
"You are part of it." Lourdes said. "Everyday, you're always
in my thoughts."
"That's not good enough," Lita said, "I don't want to be in
your thoughts, I want to be between your
"And I want to be in your heart." She added
"Lita." Lourdes said taking her hand. "You
Lita bit down on her lower lip, hesitant. She didn't believe
her. "You are." Lourdes said again reassuring her, still
recovering from her previous comment. "But what are we talking
about here? Me being a role model or something else to
you...because I can't be both, not with what you say you want."
Lita pulled her hand away and went into the
Lourdes barely had time to breathe, when Dalia came rushing
out. "Have you been out here this whole
"Will you get your ass in here girlie." Dalia said waving her
into the house. "Let's get you drunk."
"You read my mind." Lourdes said, motioning for Dalia to lead
After a few drinks. Lourdes found herself back outside,
sitting down. Lita had avoided her for the last hour, and she was
about ready to give up and go home.