Ofelia Ch. 03 Pt. 04byCervanServidor©
An hour later they were dressed and clean and on the road. Daniel's friend was named Mitch and he lived in a condo on the nicer end of town. It was about a twenty minute drive, and during the entire time Daniel was playing more of that 'se plin' music he had played for her the day before when he was showing her his silly machines. She didn't care for 'se plin' music, and much preferred tejano, salsa, banda. She wished he would turn it down. Or at the very least, that he would just play some rock music, some sort of compromise between her tastes and his.
Mitch and his wife Betty were pleasant people and they took an instant liking to Ofelia. Ofelia warmed to them also, and to just about all the others who came to eat clams and drink beer. Rock music was playing from a big P.A. system, and even though she didn't like it very much, it was still a far sight better than 'se plin'. Ofelia marveled at the pool, which was lit up with an impressive array of Chinese lanterns. She gave Daniel a firm elbow in the ribs for not telling her to bring a swimsuit. Daniel was even more upset at that oversight than Ofelia was.
One of the couples there were Latino: a good looking young man named Carlos and his equally good-looking girlfriend, Inez. Ofelia learned that Carlos and Mitch were co-owners of a landscaping business, and it turned out that they both knew a few of Ofelia's uncles and cousins who worked in that field. There was another married couple, Philip and Francine, and two young men who had come by themselves, Curtis and Kenneth. Kenneth was Japanese and Ofelia found him striking. He was one of the best looking men she had ever seen. He was not even as tall as Daniel but he was slender and fit, and he had a very young face despite the fact that he was in his mid-thirties. Ofelia would have guessed him to be around twenty or so. She tried not to look at Kenneth too much but it was impossible.
When Ofelia and the other ladies had a short moment alone Inez made a comment about him which made Ofelia blush. She was standing right next to Ofelia and smoking a long skinny cigarette. Ofelia was irritated by the acrid smoke riffling through her hair, hovering on her skin. "It's obvious he's preoccupied with you, though. I guess I can't fault him for that. You're even prettier than he is."
"Oh, thank you. I'm not all that." Ofelia said, and at that point the men came and whisked them off towards the patio where the barrels were set up. Ofelia relished the clams, but she had to keep reminding Daniel that she didn't drink any kind of alcohol. Finally, however, after enough badgering, he talked her into taking a sip. She made a face and everyone laughed.
"Jesus, where did you find this girl." Inez remarked, "She's like a saint. Doesn't drink, doesn't smoke. What does she do, Danny-boy?"
Ofelia could tell that Inez was already drunk. Carlos shook his head, "Hey, let's keep this shindig G rated, kay?" his eyes were daggers as he looked at Inez. Kenneth and Curtis stood off to the side, off the patio, and talked quietly. Kenneth was drinking Seven-up. He was dressed better than anyone else, and he had a gentlemanly style about him which Ofelia found extremely appealing. He wore white slacks from Calvin Klein and a beige long-sleeved golf shirt from Ashworth. One thing Ofelia knew was clothes.
That reminded her of where she worked, and she hoped the conversation wouldn't come around to careers, though she felt that inevitably it would. Then she remembered that Daniel had introduced Ofelia as a member of his department at the mill. She relaxed and let herself take a few more swallows of beer. It began to taste better and better. Soon she was feeling light-headed and hung on Daniel's arm, looking at him with her eyelashes batting up and down. Her admiration was obvious.
Kenneth and Curtis were colleagues of Mitch's wife Betty, who worked with the cable company. They installed cable for TV and Internet, modems, routers, home-entertainment and computer systems. They were also techies and troubleshooters. Ofelia managed to get one of Kenneth's business cards while Daniel, Mitch, and Curtis were arguing over some techno-babble in Mitch's heavily-wired living room.
Carlos, Inez, Philip, and Francine had drifted off toward the pool, leaving Betty, Ofelia, and Kenneth alone on the patio. It seemed to Ofelia that Betty was trying to sell Kenneth to her. She continually mentioned the fact that Kenneth was a bachelor and that he planned on having his own business in a few years. Maybe she didn't realize that she was preaching to the choir as far as that went. Ofelia could see for herself what a draw Kenneth was. He had a soft voice with a barely discernible accent, as he had moved to the states from Osaka as a young teen. By this time Ofelia had consumed almost two entire cans of beer and was animated, nearly euphoric.
Out of the blue, Kenneth asked her, "Are you and Daniel serious?"
Ofelia snapped her jaw shut for a moment, then answered, "Well, yeah, I mean, it ain't like we're getting married or anything, but."
"I see." Kenneth answered, smiling at her, watching her fidget with her fingers, as if she had gloves on. He could tell he was making her nervous. "He's very lucky."
"Oh, no, no." Ofelia answered, and she was blushing. She waved her hand, pushing the compliment away from her. She was letting the old Ofelia re-surface. That bubbly queen of denial.
"You're from Mexico, right?" Kenneth asked.
Ofelia nodded. "Umhm."
"Sounds beautiful." Kenneth said, enjoying the way the syllables rolled off Ofelia's tongue. Suddenly Ofelia realized that Betty had wandered off. She worried that Daniel would see her alone with this Adonis and become upset.
"Maybe we should go inside?" Kenneth said, seeing her uneasiness. He turned without waiting for her to acquiesce, and she followed him through the sliding glass doors, into the house. She and Kenneth joined the general hubbub around the entertainment system. Mitch was bragging about his speakers, which were blaring some awful noise. Kenneth leaned towards Ofelia and said loudly so she could hear him over the din, "You have my card."
He smiled, and nodded to her, and she nodded back. She raised her hand and there it was, tucked away against her palm.
Daniel took Ofelia home just shortly after midnight. He wanted her to come back to his apartment but she explained that it was difficult for her to keep doing that. Her mother was still the head of the house, she explained, even though Ofelia and Manuel were adults. She had to respect Dominga's wishes and expectations, which, though they weren't exactly written in stone, had been made crystal clear to Ofelia only that morning.
Ofelia was intoxicated. She had consumed three whole cans of beer, all by herself. She gave Daniel an enthusiastic kiss goodnight which lasted several minutes. Finally Daniel told her in his own beer-laden voice, "Either go now or you're coming back with me."
"Buenas noches, mi amor." Ofelia whispered, and gave him one last kiss. She sang to herself as she ascended the stairs to her apartment. It was the chorus of one of those crazy songs she had heard at the clam-bake: "She's got lehh-ehhggs, she knows how to use them...." What kind of silly words were those, anyway? Those gueros were crazy.
For a moment she thought of knocking on Leonard's door. His apartment was dark, as he had been in bed for at least an hour already. He was a creature of habit, and he always retired at eleven-thirty. He would be angry if she woke him up. He would be doubly angry if he smelled the booze on her breath. But would he be angry if she went down on her knees and gave him what every man desired more than anything else?
She had trouble getting the key in the lock, and used an expression she had heard many times over the past several hours, "Oh, smack my -- ass -- and call me Sally!" She laughed and her muddled brain was full of Kenneth's face. She felt a tickle from some remote place in her stomach and checked to make sure she still had his card in her bag. It was there, permanently curved now from being held tightly in her hand for over an hour.
She finally got inside and then had trouble locating the light switch. That was sure nice of her Mom and Manuel, leaving the place pitch black. She found the switch after much fumbling along the drywall and headed off for her room. She wanted to give that boy a piece of her mind. He didn't even leave the hall-light on like always. She was smiling when she went into her room, prepared to give her brother a playful tongue-lashing. He wasn't there. He must have gone to Jose's again. Her vision was fuzzy, and she felt her stomach twist unpleasantly as she sat on the bed. Manuel had left a long-stemmed red rose for her. Under it he had written a note in his blocky, all-caps. The note was in Spanish. It read:
"As it is now, it will be always. Anyone hurts you, my Queen, my Love, they die. Yours forever, Papi."
Ofelia felt too ill to be as touched as she would have been otherwise. She lay back on the bed, but that was a big mistake. The room began to spin. She saw the dry-wall, the sparkles, the ceiling fan, all swimming by like images of bananas and lucky sevens in a slot machine, faster and faster. "Mama..." she moaned, as she crawled to the bathroom. She leaned over the toilet and spent the next half-hour vomiting and drifting in and out of a shallow sleep which was more like delirium. Her heart pounded in her little rib-cage. Her stomach hurt and her throat was sore from the bile she kept bringing up. The smell of half-digested beer and clams made her even sicker yet, and she quailed, "Mammmaaaaa!" again.
"Que paso?" She heard Dominga barking, her slippered feet pit-patting hurriedly through the bedroom. "Hola!" she said cheerfully, when she saw Ofelia hunkered over the toilet. "You had a wonderful time, I see!"
"Mammmmaaaaaaaaaaa!" Ofelia cried, like a little girl, spewing yellow belly-gruel into the toilet, her hand frenetic on the flusher.
"You have to wait for the water to fill back up!" Dominga told her. "Dios mio. What happened to you?" The older woman shook her head. She didn't trust that Daniel and now she trusted him even less. Dominga softened and went to kneel beside her daughter. She pulled Ofelia's hair back and braided it for her, to keep it from getting soiled. Dominga looked at the tiny shorts Ofelia was wearing, her long, smooth legs. The girl was live bait for all that was rotten in the world. A 'shit-magnet', as her sister Delia would say.
Dominga cleaned Ofelia up and undressed her. She put her in bed and noticed the rose there, and the note. Dominga read the note, recognized the bold characters even before she came to the signature. The note only told her what she already knew. She put the flower and the note on Ofelia's dresser and quietly returned to bed.
Ofelia had a restless sleep, full of disturbing dreams. She woke every hour or so and it seemed as if the night was taking forever. She was grateful for the fact that she wouldn't have to rise early for work. She thought constantly of her Aunt Delia and their usual church-going Sunday morning. She would have to ask Dominga to tell her she couldn't go. There was no way she would be able to go. She never felt so ill before. Even if she wasn't able to ask her mother to do her this favor, she was sure Dominga would do it anyway.
Manuel never came home. Ofelia so wished he would, so she could feel his supportive presence. Even if he decided to act contemptuous of her, and even if he really was contemptuous of her to some degree, she would sense that bedrock of unconditional love underneath and gain a foothold upon it. Dominga loved her, but she also wanted Ofelia to get the most out of her punishment. Dominga wanted Ofelia to marry Leonard, for her daughter's sake, not her own. She hoped this experience would color Ofelia's worshipful feelings towards Daniel.
Ofelia finally drifted off into a deep sleep shortly before sunrise. She woke again and felt a sudden sense of alarm when she saw the lights on her bedside clock read 12:16. She had a pain in her head and when she sat up it felt as if the pain had taken the shape of little pebbles that rattled around inside her skull when she moved. She wasn't sick to her stomach anymore, probably, she thought, because there was nothing left in her stomach to bother her. She was spared the exhausting torture of dry-heaves, which, very luckily for her, she knew nothing about.
She heard her brother and Dominga in the kitchen, because her bedroom door was wide open. How many times must that brother of hers have come in to check on her? Manuel was telling his mother that he had talked to Jose and was hoping to get a job with his older cousin in construction. Manuel had tried a series of jobs and found none of them to his liking. Despite feeling the pain in her head, Ofelia smirked when she tried to imagine Manuel working as a laborer for a construction crew. There he was one minute, pushing a wheel-barrow full of rocks uphill, sweating in the hot sun; and there he was the next, parking the wheel-barrow and taking out his pocket volume of Lorca's poems, or William Carlos Williams'. Ofelia smiled.
The more she lay there the more she became aware of something unexpected. Something silly and ironic. Her heart was beating stronger than usual, probably, she thought, because her body was working hard trying to purge itself of the poison which had been so foolishly invited into it; but also because of the thoughts racing through her mind, all of which were absolutely filthy.
She imagined herself lying back on the sofa and letting Manuel mount her right there in front of Dominga. She pictured herself bending over the sink in the kitchen with her bottom sticking out and her panties at her ankles, inviting her knight in shining denim to take his pleasure. Her lips pursed, because the idea of that was just.... hot. She giggled, imagining herself down by the pool with her top off, going from Manuel to Diablo to Whomever to Kenneth to Mr. X to Daniel, taking them all in her mouth, one after another.
The thought of Kenneth made her heart take a little jump. She felt a knot of anxiety, and tried to recall if she had done anything untoward with him. She didn't think so. She remembered his card, which was in her bag. She felt a wave of guilt suddenly. Two days as Daniel's girl and already she was thinking about another man. But it wasn't as if she was really thinking about doing anything with Kenneth. She wasn't going to call him. She just took his card to be polite.
She went back to her fantasies, and felt herself getting moist down below. She reached her hand down there and touched herself through her panties, just a little. She remembered Dominga then, taking care of her, putting her to bed. She wanted to get up but at the same time she wanted to stay in bed, not to sleep longer, but in the knowledge that Manuel would be coming in soon. He wouldn't be able to keep from checking in on her for very long. His heart was too good.
Ofelia decided to do something completely crazy. She lifted her tiny butt and pulled her panties down. She quietly shimmied them down and off her feet. Then she took off her bra. It was exciting to lay there naked with the door wide open and her Mom and Manuel talking a short distance away. Damn, I want it! she thought. In fact, she didn't recall ever feeling quite so randy before.
The problem was, whenever her fantasies built up a head of steam and got her heart beating, her head would pound with pain. The only way to make the searing pain go away was to think of something else. Then she would try again. She touched the top of her sex with her fingers, closed her eyes and imagined Daniel on top of her. Then she imagined him behind her, and she liked that even better, especially since when she had him behind her she had Kenneth in front of her, and his penis was even bigger than Manuel's, and perfect and beautiful, and she could taste it and enjoy it all she wanted while her lover ravished her from the rear....
Then the searing pain. She had to knock it off. She didn't like Kenneth that way. It wasn't like that. He was just a friend. Sheeez! I don't even like pretty men!
Ofelia turned onto her side. The old Ofelia wrestled with the new. She shook her feet to keep from hearing her heart pound in her ears, to keep from feeling it literally rock her petite body on the mattress. She rolled again onto her back, her eyebrows knitted together. She folded her arms and grimaced, and was very close to calling Manuel's name out loud. She was the very picture of impatience. When he came into the room he was going to have her again whether he wanted to or not. Let Dominga hear them, she didn't care. Or they could go onto the floor. Or do it over the dresser.
Finally she heard him coming. Good boy. She knew he would have to march back to her soon enough to cast his worrisome eyes into the room. Ofelia thought about faking sleep, but didn't want to risk losing her chance. When he popped is head into the doorway she hissed, "Hey!"
"Hey, Pooper." he said, and it seemed to Ofelia that he hadn't called her that in such a long time.
"Get over here, Esse." Ofelia said, tugging the blanket up to her chin and sitting up against the headboard. It was like deja vu for Manuel, who immediately stopped halfway on his way over to her.
"I guess you're okay now." he said. "Well, I'll be going then..."
"Don't you dare! Stop! Don't move. Get back here." Ofelia barked in a hoarse whisper. Good boy, she thought, seeing him freeze in place and slowly turn around. She smiled at him, waving her finger, "Cierra la puerta!"
"Why? What? No way, Mama's out there. Are you crazy?"
They were both yelling at eachother in whispers. It was so comical they both had to stifle their laughter even as they argued. Ofelia was going to win, which they both knew, and it was a wonder to both of them that Manuel even bothered trying to stand his ground.
"Yes, I'm crazy. Now, close the....wait! Go and tell her I...wait! Shit!"
Manuel was aghast. First drinking, then swearing. Surely, his beautiful sister was possessed. She took her hands, made silly little fists with the thumbs sticking out, and pounded her knees. She reached out and grabbed his hand and yanked him to her. He sat on a little space of mattress beside her and looked at her wide-eyed. Looking at the doorway, Ofelia took his hand and guided it under the blanket, to the wetness between her legs. "I need you, Papi. See? You gonna help me or what?"
"Dios mio. Let me. Wait. What can I tell her? Why the hell would we need to close the door? Forget it, mi amor, you're on your own." He tried to get up and leave. He could smell her.
Ofelia was making a weird face. She took his hand and turned it palm upwards, and said, "Put your fingers in me...this way."
"Aiy aiy aiy..."
"All the way, and reach up. Up, up. Ariba, ariba!" She changed her voice comically, imitating Speedy Gonzales. Manuel's eyes got even wider. But she was not messing around. She squeezed his wrist hard.
Ofelia closed her eyes as Manuel slipped the two fingers that she was holding inside her. She was so wet it was not difficult at all to get both of them into that little opening. Her strong smell was driving Manuel crazy, but he focused his mind on her and tried to forget himself in her. Her mouth hung open and she slid her little bottom down a ways, giving him a better angle. He smelled her breath and for the first time it didn't smell like a breeze from Heaven. It smelled like puke.
"Oh...Oh....Oh...." she was whispering, holding his wrist, moving her hips around. The blanket fell away from her breasts. Manuel kept looking at the doorway, since Ofelia was now past the point of being mindful of anything but what was going on inside her body. She felt that throbbing pain in her head but she ignored it, pushed it aside. He reached up and up, like she told him, and pushed his fingers in as far as he could. He felt his fingers touch a smoothness that yielded and pushed back, and his sweet beloved moaned. She opened her eyes and looked at him, and he knew that he had found what she wanted him to find. She bit her lip and gasped, getting wetter and wetter.