Unseasonably Warm

Sometimes the truth really does set you free.

10 January 2008

Roxie sat on Graciela’s stoop, wearing a wool peacoat despite the unseasonably warm weather. The latest single from Casa de Leones streamed from an open window in the house next door. The door open and Graciela stepped out, letting the door clap shut behind her.

“Why didn’t you come in?” Graciela asked, taking a seat on the stoop next to Roxie.

“It’s nice out,” Roxie said, not looking at Graciela.

“Are you mad at me?” Graciela asked. She and Roxie rarely fought; Graciela recalled that their last fight occurred when they were roommates in college, over which restaurant to order takeout from.

“I’m not mad, I just…” Roxie trailed off. The truth was, she was mad. But she couldn’t admit she was mad, because that would show she cared about the whole Javier situation. Which she didn’t.

“What? Dime. Por favor, dime.”


“Why did you tell Javier about me and James? It’s not like it was any of his business. I mean, does the whole world have to know about it? It was a stupid one night stand. A mistake. Now all of Queens is going to think I’m cheap.”

Ay, m’ija…nobody thinks that. Don’t say those things about my friend.”

“You didn’t answer my question.”

“Rosita, I told Javier because he called me and wanted to know why you weren’t calling him. He said he didn’t understand why you never called him. He said things had been going well with you two and then suddenly it was like you turned all cold on him. He was about to walk away. I had to tell him.”

“I would rather he walked away than know about James. It’s so humiliating.” Roxie hid her face in her hands.

“Roxie, Javier is a great guy. I didn’t want to see you throw that away.”

“Why are you so bent on getting Javier and me together? Just because you’re getting married doesn’t mean I’m unhappy because I’m not.”

“Hey, I never forced you to go out with him. You were spending a lot of time with him and it seemed like you really liked him. That you got along. That you had a good thing with him.”

Roxie looked away.

“And besides,” Graciela continued. “Javier is my friend too. I don’t want him to get hurt. He’s liked you for a long time—he told me he liked you a long time ago, way before I set you up with him. I didn’t want to see him hurt just because you were being…”

“Being what?”

“Stubborn. Pig-headed. Mulish.”

“I never would have given you that thesaurus if I thought you were going to use it against me.”

“Listen, my point is I don’t want to see either of you get hurt for no good reason.”

“Ok. I get it. So what did he say?”

“He was a little bit upset at first. Mostly he was upset that you didn’t just tell him.”

“He wasn’t weirded out?”

“A little. But he understood. He said he got drunk at a party once and ended up spooning his friend’s pet pig.”

“He said that?”

“Yes. He understands. He’s a good guy. That’s why I wish you would give him a chance.”

“Yeah, ok. Maybe you’re right. I’ll call him tonight.”

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