“I think that was the plan,” Dominga said, brushing her curly hair out of her face. “Get Alana out of the hospital.”
“Get Alana a drink,” I said quickly. “Did you think I got all dressed up to stand in the parking lot?”
“Are you sure with your medication?” Dominga asked as she eyed me suspiciously.
I waved her away. “I’m fine. Just get me to a bar, get a beer in my belly, get some fucking hot men with big dicks, and I’m happy as can be.”
Luz and Dominga exchanged a look above my head. Finally Luz said, “There’s a bar down the road, but you know it’s going to be filled with hospital workers that may just haul your ass back here, not your usual hot men with big dicks.”
“I’ll take my chances,” I told her, nodding to the road. “Now let’s go before someone pulls me back in.”
We got in Luz’s car and drove a couple of blocks until we saw a bar with a pink and green neon palm tree outside. Lolita’s. It looked a bit rough around the edges, but the people standing outside smoking seemed like your average Mexican twenty somethings in Puerto Vallarta.
“We can do better,” Luz said with a discerning gleam to her eyes. “I’ll keep driving.”
“I don’t think I should go too far from the hospital,” I said quietly. “Just in case.” Even though I was feeling fine, I was still afraid that a rogue concussion could spring up out of nowhere. I was also afraid that Salma would discover that I had escaped. Lately she hadn’t been checking on me until just about one o’clock in the morning, but I felt bad about possibly disappointing her.
Still, freedom felt divine.
“All right,” Luz said, and pulled her Toyota into the lot behind the bar.
If there were any nurses celebrating the end of their shift, I didn’t see them. As Dominga and Luz helped me into the bar, we were met with smiling, drunk faces and spilled drinks. The music was loud and booming, bass thumping into my bones, and I couldn’t help but grin back at the rowdy patrons. I had needed this, badly.
While Luz went to the bar to get us beer, Dominga and I managed to score a booth in the corner. We pushed away the stacks of empty drinks that were left behind and settled in to do some hottie watching. Well, I was the one who was always looking for someone to catch my eye. Dominga took her marriage very seriously and wouldn’t even admit whether a guy was hot or not.
“I’ll get the next round,” I said to Luz as she came back with the beers.
She waved her hand at me dismissively. “You are always buying us drinks, Alana. It’s time for us to treat you for a change.”
I raised my beer in the middle of the table. “Well, I think I owe you something for your excellent escape plan.” I clinked their bottles. “So cheers to that. And thank you.”
“And thank you for not dying,” Luz said, her features growing stern. “When I saw it on the news …” She trailed off and took a quick sip of her beer. I wasn’t used to her acting emotional and it was throwing me off. “I’m just so glad you’re okay.”
I gave her a look. “I’m not exactly okay. I am a bit banged up.”
“But you’re here now with us,” Dominga said. “And that’s something.”
I nodded. It was true. I really had no right to complain about the fact that I would be off work for at least another month. I was going on disability, but even with the airline funding it, that didn’t equal the full amount of pay I would normally receive. I was going to be on a budget for the next month as my bones healed. And because I wouldn’t be able to do my yoga or pilates or go for my daily runs, I was going to be bored out of my mind.