By: Basilia Vega
The summer before high school was exciting and the best summer I could ever wish for. Having to pick up basketball as my second love, and crossing over the slow and the delayed minded. Shooting a three to push my team ten points ahead, having twenty points by half time when I would constantly sprain my ankle, and not to mention the chicks. Oh, how I love women.
They’re strange mysterious creatures. I convinced my mother to throw me a quinceañera—it’s part of my Mexican culture anyway, when a girl becomes a woman. I figured I knew how they worked so it wouldn’t hurt to be one. My mother and I handled the planning process.
“We’re going to have the church.”
“What? You’re not serious. Dad tell her!”
“Audelia, Cheese doesn’t want the church.”
“Hell na, Mom. What the fuck? I’m not going.”
“Basilia, you’re going to church. Basilio, that means you too.”
My dad caved in eventually, like always. “Fine, but I’ll wait outside.”
“I’m going to wait with him. What if someone tries to steal the limo or something?”
“Basilia, you’re not going to be able to fight a car jacker in your dress. Basilio, your ass is going in church.”
The argument went until the day my ass was sitting on plastered wooden benches and stepping on red cushion kneelers. I was just patiently waiting for the party to start because I made sure there was an open bar.
That night was incredible. I didn’t care who saw me at the bar; a woman can drink if she wanted to. And I did. “Bartender, Malibu on the rocks, oh, with Coke please.” She gave me a puzzled look.
“Nice try, birthday girl. Go dance.”
“But I have no one to dance with.” I got a slight headache screaming over the Mariachi Band.
“What do you mean, you have men lining up to dance with you.”
“Exactly, it’s creeping me out. Women are better dancers than men anyway.” “Well, birthday girl, I don’t dance.” She perked her lips as though it was a small tease.
“I don’t ever remember asking you to dance.” I laughed without taking my eyes off of her. I teased back.
“Ms. Birthday, I’m too old for you.”
“That’s interesting to know.” Her college girl giggle gave me goose bumps. As everyone at the party was too drunk to even notice I wasn’t on the dance floor, I decided to hear her giggle once more. “So how horrible do you dance?”
“It will be worse dancing to Mexican music.”
“Which white girl isn’t?” The bartender started to close for her hour and a half break. The smell of tequila and limes filled a bucket of bleach and hot water.
“I’m closing in an hour and a half, Ms. Birthday.”
“I won’t take that long.” We both shared a stare that agreed that life is too short.
“Excuse me, are you inviting me somewhere?”
“I shouldn’t be, it’s my birthday.”
I remember being in the bathroom a lot during my party, but I couldn’t remember with which girls. I wasn’t mad. My dad only remembered how happy I was, so he wasn’t mad.
My mom didn’t find me anywhere in the house the next morning, and she was pissed. I woke up in a spacious yet fashionable studio viewing Lake Michigan. I look on the floor and I see a small bow tie and a women’s short sleeve button up with a useless pocket on the left tit. I check the closest clock and it read “5:45 p.m.” I was confused. I find my way to a bathroom and saw no one around. “I wonder how much this condo cost. Lake Shore drive looks busy as fuck.” As I find myself touring the house I get a stronger smell of tequila and limes. “Damn, my bottom lip reaks, yo. Let me take a quick shower.”
I walk out the bathroom refreshed and thirsty, almost emptying the showerhead’s water. As I open the door a breeze of cool wind hits my naked body. I get a small tap from behind my left shoulder and I hear the sexiest voice I could ever imagine. Smooth yet deep and sensual. “Remy on the rocks? With coke.”
I stood still with anxiety and confusion. My cell phone ringing loudly and vibrating its way off the side table interrupts my shock, “Shit, it’s my Dad. I have to go, like now.”
“But you just woke up, let’s get dinner.”
“No, no thank you. I can’t, my Dad, oh my god my Dad.” I rushed out of there as soon I possibly could.
I felt impatience from my dad already as I was on the hour and a half ride back home on the train. At Howard, I transfer to the Purple Line. At each stop my stomach would get tighter in a knot. Not worrying what would my Mother say, but how disappointed my Dad would be. Each step I take as I get off the train and walk towards my parents’ house the more I want to take back the night before. A block away and the line of police cars draw me in more and more as I get closer to my intersection. I get to the front of my house and saw the police line was for me. I ran to a bush at my neighbor’s house and threw up everything I had within the last week. I’m going in.
I heard the sound of walkie-talkies from the moment I head up my driveway. An officer opened the door for me, and I saw my mother crying on dining room table. My father was in the living room reading the captions from the new episode of cops. I dragged to him and he offered to share from his bowl of cherries.
“Basilia! Where were you? I have been calling your phone all night and this whole morning!”
“Mom, I lost my phone. I slept over at a friend’s house.” My Dad rises from the recliner and looks me dead in the eyes. The tall police men and the sensitive female officer created a hulk tension in the room. I couldn’t move my arms or even my eyelashes to dash my way out of this one. “Basilia, honey, you are going to tell me the truth and nothing, but the truth.”
“Dad, I’m sorr—”
“Stop! The next thing I want to hear from your mouth is a ‘yes’ or a ‘no,’ you understand?”
“Yes.” I have never seen such worried eyes from my Dad like that before. Just like an eagle focused on his prey, but concerned if the rat is even worth digging for through a herd of cougars. “Where you drunk last night?”
“I-I- I don’t”
“Yes or no, Basilia?” I looked at the female officer, Ms. Torres, to try and grab some sympathy points. She walked next to me and her long arms reached around my body and started to rub my shoulders. I couldn’t help but blush. “Yes, Dad, I was drunk. I went home with a friend because I was scared that you will be mad at me.”
“Okay honey, how did you get home?”
“I took the train. She let me borrow some clothes. I accidently left my dress at her house.”
“You want me to drive you to go get it? Your mom found your poofy dress in the bathroom.”
“No, we can leave the black one. She wanted to borrow it anyway.” Those sympathy points came in handy.
My Dad took the bowl that he was hugging around his beer belly and dug in for a cherry. “Go take another shower, I don’t think you scrubbed really good you still smell like tequila.”
I was speed walking my way to the stairs when my mother jumped up out of her seat and slammed her palm on top of the table. “Basilio, that’s it? Basilia get over here now! I’m going to kick your ass!” Somehow my mother squirmed her way through the officers, but not my Dad.
“Audelia, stop! Let her take in her day and the night; she didn’t hear you bitching all night!”
“It’s not me that smells like tequila, by the way. It’s the button up!”
Proudly, I went up stairs to fill the tub with hot water, placed my hair in a bun and relaxed in a hot bath. I heard the walkie-talkies slowly fade out one at a time. I charged my phone in the bathroom, and I put it on vibrate so my Mother won’t find it. I received calls and text messages from friends and family on how fun my party was. But out of fifty calls and several text messages, there was one I wish I had gotten. Even though it was a sketchy night, I wish I were remembered.
“Cheese! I don’t want to rush you, but there are some breaks that need to be changed. Let me know if you want to help.” Then I heard his footsteps slowly fade away.