Don't send me excerpts of your novels, pendejo.
I thought you'd like this. This is really good.
“Don’t be stupid foo’. Don’t be a pendejo.”
He looked at his homie's grip on his jacket. Most of his boys called him “Playboy” because all the ladies loved him, but those that had known him since he was a kid called him his real name.
He took another hit off his joint. He’d given up smoking over a year ago, had to, but on this day he was more nervous that he had ever been in his life. Thunder rumbled and rain poured, making it impossible to see. Thunder scared Playboy, always had. He fought to keep from shaking. He couldn’t breathe, couldn’t swallow. He tried to hide his fear. His mind was set. He had to do it. He yanked his arm away from his homie, and pushed the door open.
“Just keep the car runnin’, ese.”
The homie was a big guy, tattoos up and down his arm and a glass eye. He normally would have just kept Playboy from leaving at all, but he knew nothing could stop him. Nothing at all. He jumped out the car. It was a ‘57 Chevy, slick red, with a chili-pepper-hot Mexican heina painted across the hood. He had painted that picture himself. Complete with chrome wheels.
He slammed the door shut and looked up at the Cathedral in front of him. Lightning illuminated its majestic towers, windows with an eerie stained glass. He’d spent many a night imagining this would be where he’d marry her. They’d have a huge wedding with members of their families flying in from all over the world just to watch this event; this marriage he thought was so destined to be. He’d put his everything into this dream, his one and only dream, and now as he yanked the heavy Oak doors open, his heart pounded like a subwoofer.
He dried his soaked clothes with his hand and scratched his shoes on the mat so as not to squeak across the old wood floor. The church was jam-packed, mostly with Mexicans and Puerto Ricans, but some blacks.
Probably his familia, he thought. How could she even think about marrying some pinche negro?
The grand organ music permeated the building while a choir of children sang, their voices echoing throughout the church. It smelled musty in the air, a mix of wood stain and must as if they never really cleaned the place, just painted over it.
He tried not to be too suspicious, slipping past every one. Funny, he was dressed probably better than he’d ever been. Black suit, his wavy black hair slicked back, starched white shirt, polished black shoes.
He had grown into a very nice looking young man. Maybe even could have been a model, had he played his cards right. Maybe if he hadn’t grown up in the slums of Northeast Vegas, he could have been one of those Latin heartthrobs that were in those magazines. Instead, most of the time he looked like the thug most people assumed he was just by looking at him.
But on this day, this very weird day, he was even wearing a tie. She would have been so proud of him if she could see him. Funny, he’d probably be the last thing she’d see.
He checked his jacket pocket to make sure it was still there. Yep, it felt like a brick pressed against his chest. But he was so numb, or more like so focused, that he was oblivious to it. All he knew was that he had to find her, and he would use any means necessary.
Wham! He bumped hard into a glass table. His thigh throbbed in pain as bullets dropped from his pocket and bounced off the tile floor. The sound echoed all over the lobby. People looked around for the source of the sound, but he managed to scoop them up before anyone could see.
He got up and noticed the beautiful ice sculpture on the table--melting, dripping like an ice cream cone in August. Melting just like his heart.
He saw his priest, the one he’d grown up with. It was as if the whole world had turned against him. They’d sided with her, when this was supposed to be their wedding. It was as if she’d slapped him across the face, as if nothing they’d been through together even mattered. The whole thing was surreal.
She loved him. She’d said that over and over to him since they were little kids. She’d taken care of him and believed in him and dreamed with him and held him when nobody else could give a care.
“Estoy aquí para ti. No matter what -- Siempre,” they’d promised each other. And a promise was a promise.
"Don’t be stupid, Foo’. Don’t be a pendejo.” His brother’s scolding remarks kept playing in his head. He warned Playboy to just let it go. It wasn’t worth it. Normally his homie waiting back in the car would have been all for it, but this time around he said to “olvídalo…let it go.” It was as if he sensed something was going to go wrong and, no matter how high he had been, his gut was always right.