Others Words for Love
Carnie had gotten used to the Mexican workers that worked in the fields beside her house. She had learned that the fence separating her world and theirs was much larger than just a few wooden posts nailed into the ground. It was fine that way. She had her place just as they had theirs. But suddenly someone jumps over the fence and doesn't just land in her backyard. He lands in her heart, too.
"No thanks!" I yell. I'd rather just spend the night inside watching reality television.
"Okay! Lock the door behind us!"
I hear the door close, and the whole thing about locking it escapes me. I flip the channel. Boring. Flip the next one. More boring. I check my phone. No texts. Boring. I turn off the lights and go to the bathroom to take a shower.
Before I can turn the shower on, I hear a crash. Did my cat knock over a lamp or something?
"Tu eres un intruso muy mal, amigo!" (You're a really bad intruder, dude!)
I hear someone shout. Oh no. What am I supposed to do? My heart starts beating quickly. I reach over and instinctively lock the bathroom door. At least I'm keeping myself safe, since I was too ditzy to remember to lock the whole house up.
"Hay alguien aqui!" (There's someone here!)
"Ahi! Ver la luz?" (Here! See the light?)
"Lo que se supone que debemos hacer?" (What are we supposed to do?)
"Salir de aqui!" (Get out of here!)
They walk down the stairs. I have my knees around my chest and my eyes shut. My heart is pounding.
Seconds seem to go slower and slower. I'm barely breathing. Finally I hear the front door open and close. I relax a bit, but wait for a few more minutes before turning off the light, unlocking the door and opening it.
I look both ways down the hall. There's no one in sight. Sighing in relief, I silently pad down the stairs and check to see the damage. The crash I heard must have been from books dropping, since it looks like the intruders were really interested in our book shelf. Some of Dad's sci-fi books are on the ground.
What kind of intruder steals books? I put the books back on the shelf, lock the front door and decide not to tell my parents about the event. They won't be happy, even if nothing was taken or damaged.
At this point, I'm frustrated, tired and angry. I decide to skip the shower altogether and just go to bed.
I turn the corner and find myself face to face with a guy I've never seen before. I open my mouth to scream, but he covers it. I bite his hand.
"Ouch!" He pulls away. "You've got some nasty sharp teeth!"
"Yeah, and you've got no right to be in my house!" I yell.
"Sorry," he says, and I wonder why he's still here. He could have left earlier without talking to me. I look him over. He's obviously Mexican or of some other Latin descent, due to his dark brown hair, tan skin, and the fact I heard him speaking Spanish.
"Where's your friend?" I glare at him.
"Carlos? He left. He wanted me to come, but I wanted to talk to you."
I raise my eyebrows and wait for him to continue.
"I'm sorry that we came into your house without your consent and then proceeded to try and take something. I'm sure we scared the heck out of you, but I really need you not to tell anyone. I have a clean record, and I want to keep it that way. We didn't actually take anything, and it isn't exactly breaking and entering since the door was unlocked."
I am about to tell him that I wasn't planning on telling anyone anyway when I have an idea.
"Fine. But you have to help me with something."
"I talked to this one man a long time ago. Like, almost eleven years ago. He worked in the fields out there. I'm sure you know him, or at least know someone who knows him, since I assume you work out there too."
"What's his name?"
"I don't know his last name. But his first name was Miguel. Anyway, he said something about knowing my mom, but I've never heard of him. Do you think you could ask him what he meant?"
The guy stares at me for awhile, as if deciding to tell me something or not. Finally he says, "I'll ask around. I know a few Miguels."
"Thanks. What were you going to take anyway?"
He shrugs. "Money, probably. Something like that. Anyway, I should get going. Sorry about this. We didn't think there was anybody home."
"Whatever," I say.
"So I'll see you around?" he asks.
"I guess so." I'm still a little confused. First he breaks into my house and now he's trying to be friends?
He nods and stuffs his hands into his jeans pockets, apparently just now realizing the awkwardness of the situation.
"I'm just going to go now," he slowly backs up toward the door,
He puts his hand on the door, but since I locked it, it won't budge. I use my key and unlock it for him.
Going out the door, he looks over his shoulder at me. "By the way, nice house. It's really big."
"Bye." He closes the door and leaves me to think about the crazy experience I just had when I realize I forgot to ask him why he thought money would be in the bookshelf.