But it could have been worse. I know that in my life, the worst possible thing was always lurking in the background, ready to strike.
I turned my attention to the bar. I was ready to be distracted, and a man was usually pretty good for that. Unfortunately there weren’t a lot of men here to do a good enough job. I wasn’t even that picky, I just wanted someone that made my head turn, my heart skip a few beats, my thighs squeeze together. That didn’t mean I never settled for less – I often did, and usually with the wrong man (don’t get me started on the pilots I’d had affairs with, always a mistake) – but I still hoped for someone a bit extraordinary.
You would think that with my past and family I would want the safe and mundane, and I guess I craved that in most aspects of my life, but when it came to love, I wanted to be blown off my feet. Hell, I think I just wanted to feel what love was, period.
It looked like I wasn’t going to find it here.
“Are you doing okay?” Luz asked, giving me that concerned look again. “Should we take you back?”
“I’m fine,” I said before I knocked back the rest of the beer. With the painkillers coursing through my system, it was all hitting me a little fast, but I didn’t care.
When they both just stared at me, I rolled my eyes. “I said I’m fine. Really. Hit and run aside, I’m fine.”
Luz raised a brow but didn’t say anything. I took out a few pesos from my wallet and plunked them down on the table. “I’d go up and buy the next round myself, but I don’t exactly feel like crawling on my hands and knees in this place. Do you mind getting me a refill?”
She got up but left my money on the table. It was true, every time we went out I was usually the one paying for their drinks and food and little gifts. It’s not that I made more money than them, both Luz and I were paid the same, I just liked to do nice things for them. Who else would I spend my money on?
“Are you really okay?” Dominga asked quietly after a moment.
I gave her a look. “Is this just about the accident or is there something else?”
She rubbed her lips together in thought before saying, “I’m worried about you. About … who did this.”
“The police said it was a random event … shit like this happens.”
“First of all,” she said, “the police can’t be trusted. Second, shit like this does happen, but it rarely ends up with the driver being shot in the head. Don’t you think that’s weird? It has to be connected.”
Of course I thought it was weird, but I’d spent the last week in the hospital thinking about it, and I wanted to put it to rest.
“Even if it is connected, the guy who hit me is dead. Don’t you think that means someone is looking out for me? If anything.” I caught her eye and quickly added, “It’s not Javier. Believe me.”
Luz and Dominga knew all about my brother. I mean, everyone in Mexico knew about him, but only they knew that we were related. I didn’t talk about him much, mainly because I didn’t have much to say – Javier kept his life very separate from mine and for good reason. They weren’t exactly happy that I was connected to someone so notorious and regarded him with constant suspicion and disdain, even though they had never met him. Though, for all his charm, I think they’d be even more scornful if they had met him.
“So then who?” Dominga went on. “It just can’t be an accident. And if it is, why would this other person shoot him? It makes no sense and you are being way too cavalier about all of this.”
“I’m not being cavalier,” I told her. Suddenly I felt very tired. “I’m worried, very worried. But for tonight, I don’t want to be worried.”