|Apparently me, in a past life, when my yellow dress was a tiny bit smaller.|
This was the last night. The definite, real, honest-to-goodness last evening in Cayo Coco!
The good news is that we didn't really have to pack our bags completely. The bad news is that my chest still looked like plate of potatoes au gratin. I tried to moisturize but that made it even worse as the peeling skin began to clump and as it detached from me, I was left with bizarre spots of yellow, bright pink and light beige. I contemplated wearing something that would hide my cheesy boobies but I had packed only things that were meant for summery weather. There were no turtlenecks in sight.
This yellow dress sure had been seen a lot in the past week but it hadn't been seen by him. I would wear it despite my persistent deformities. I'd either be the mutant with a safe outfit that could be easily forgotten or the hot mamacita with a few imperfections leaving behind a trail of hot, fiery passion!
I decided not to wear a necklace as the lumps of flesh kept getting tangled in it.
My plan was: to knock Alejandro off of his feet and leave a positive last impression (before my return), and to fill up Shelby with as many Margaritas as it took to pacify her.
I kept playing the scene of him searching for me on that bus, over and over. This was good, right? He was interested, right? Then why, oh why, hadn't he flirted with me at all? Not one single compliment, not one single request to see me outside the resort?
Evening was approaching and I waited for Shelby to finish up her plate of spaghetti in the buffet room. As we headed out towards the lobby, a Canadian couple in their sixties stopped me.
"Oh my, my! You look just like one of those vintage pin-up girls from pre-revolution Cuba! Like a real Cubanita!" said the woman, almost reaching out to touch me. I forced a smile.
More after the jump...
"Al! Doesn't she look like a real Cubanita?" she nudged her slightly buzzed and tired husband.
What the heck is a real Cubanita? I'm pretty sure that all the female Cuban workers at the hotel are a lot more genuine than me...
"Can I take your picture? I need to take your picture!",
and before I could say anything, she was digging out her digital camera as if I were a theme park mascot. Maybe it was the flower in my hair? Maybe I had outdone myself? I always had a penchant for all things retro but, I mean, she did know that I was just a Canadian girl, right?
"Oh well, I am...I really..." was all I could muster but as she was about to click, I suddenly placed my hand on my hip and gave her my sultriest look.
What can I say? I'm a ham. Ironic when you consider that's all I would pretty much eat for the next year but we're not at that part of the story yet!
So, somewhere in Canada, there is a photo album in someone's home or computer with my picture and the caption "Real Cubanita" underneath. I'm just hoping that my breasts au fromage are not too obvious.
Look, I know I've been really dwelling on topics like flatulence, deformations, decomposing flesh, and grotesque aromas, but this is reality. It's not a Harlequin romance.
"Well, it's not every day that someone make that type of request, huh?" I smiled at Shelby.
"Yeah." she rolled her eyes.
"So, how about some Margaritas?" I suggested.
I told Shelby to sit down and that I would go get the drinks at the bar by myself. It was really busy and the service would probably be slow if we waited at the tables and...he was behind the bar making a series of cocktails...
I stood across from him but he hadn't noticed me yet. He was standing next to an older gentleman who noticed me right away and flashed me a toothy grin.
Please don't serve me, please don't serve me, please don't...
"Hello lovely mademoiselle! What can I get you?" the older man asked. Alejandro was still busy concentrating on his drinks.
"I...don't know. I...have to...um, one strawberry Daiquiri and a Margarita, please."
"A Margarita? But we are not in Mexico!" he laughed.
"Yeah, I know, it's not for...", but he was already busy preparing the drinks and whispering things to Alejandro. I did my best to block out the noise of everyone around me to eavesdrop. You know, with my limited Spanish skills, of course...
Okay, I understood that.
Yellow! I was wearing yellow!
Oh my goodness, I understood Spanish! Older man was telling Alejandro to look up at me but he was busy and didn't want to be bothered it seemed. I guess this wasn't the first time this man had told him to check out someone.
Finally, he looked up and his eyes met mine. He was definitely surprised. Of course, he had no idea that I'd been listening.
"Hey! You! How are you?" he smiled.
"I understood what that man said!" spilled from my lips, as well as a strange giggle.
For all the times that I had been the one turning various shades of red (and yellow, brown, beige, pink), it was now his turn to blush bright red. His eyes seemed perplexed and then...they focused on my wounded chest.
"Yeah, I got pretty burnt." was my automatic, self-defense response.
He looked back into my eyes and paused for a bit and said with a serious gaze,
"You are always beautiful. Always.", and off he went with his cocktails as I stood there motionless, a daiquiri in one hand, a margarita in the other, and a yellow patchy chest brimming with cartoon hearts, fluttering in the wind.
For the remainder of the evening, Alejandro came and went and we talked in bits and pieces. He managed to tell me about his family, his studies, his siblings, and I told him some things about my life. All I could think about was those four words over and over and how incredibly shy it suddenly made me. He hadn't mentioned it again. He was back to making casual chit-chat. Meanwhile, I memorized every, single thing that he said and placed it carefully in my brain folders.
He was telling us about how he hadn't been working at the hotel very long and how it hadn't been easy at first because he was expected to basically jump in and figure things out on his own. This is when he said, "...and also, I am very shy so that's not easy either..." and his eyes immediately locked with mine.
I understood. My heart was violent now. It wasn't pounding. There was a machine gun in there shooting endless rounds.
As the night ended, I asked him if he'd be there tomorrow since I was really leaving this time. He told me he was working the day shift.