Maddie intercedes with Claire and the church ladies, telling her what different foods are. She speaks in Spanish with the ladies, surprising Clayton and her other friends, who had no idea she spoke Spanish.
After dinner was done and cleared away, the teenagers were allowed to do what they liked until bedtime. Some of the local youth group members came by and they sat around talking, drinking sodas in the back of pickup trucks in the parking lot.
“You don’t want to go outside the church grounds,” Jose cautioned. “This isn’t like back home. The area not far from here is dangerous. There are drug dealers and all kinds of bad people around.”
“You’re just trying to scare us so we’ll stay put,” Jane said, nose in the air.
“I’m telling you because I don’t want you hurt or killed,” Jose said. “These people don’t care where you’re from or who you are. They see you in their territory, you’ll be a victim. Simple as that.”
“You heard the man,” Craig said. “No one goes off church grounds. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir,” they agreed.
Maddie noticed that Claire didn’t agree. She pointedly ignored the warning. She was far more interested in a couple of the local boys. Gabriel was a swarthy blend of Indian and Mexican. His black hair was straight and thick, hanging to his waist. He was average height and had a lean, muscular build. He was very handsome and his eyes were so brown, they looked black in the dim lights of the parking lot.
Gabriel’s friend was Luis. He hardly looked half Mexican, having red hair and hazel eyes. He was tanned, but he also had a thick scattering of freckles. He was a little taller than Gabriel and just as well built. He wasn’t quite as good looking, but he was funny and charming.
Claire set her sights on Gabriel right away. He was by far the best looking guy in the bunch. He was smart and had a good sense of humor. He also moved with confidence and carried himself like a man, not a boy.
Luis was a little goofier than his friend, but still very charming. Jane was decidedly interested in him. Beverly tried to get cozy with Clayton, but he pointedly got up and walked away from her. He moved to sit by Maddie on the other side of the truck.
“So, Madison, my mom says you speak Spanish,” Gabriel said. “Do any of your friends speak?” he asked in Spanish.
“Patti does pretty well, I don’t know about anyone else,” she replied.
“Good.” He grinned, toasting her with his root beer. “Could you get this puta away from me?” He spoke with a smile, laughing.
Luis chuckled, ducking his head. He scooted a little further from Jane, but she followed him. Maddie had the impression he felt the same way. Clayton choked on his Coke, spewing a liberal amount on the bed of the pickup.
“I think your buddy hablas,” Luis said, saluting Clayton with his soda bottle.
“Yeah! Geesh, warn a guy, huh?” He flung liquid from his hands, making the others protest loudly. “Good luck with that,” he added in Spanish. “I’ve been trying to get rid of the brunette for a month. I know I’m good, but not that good.”
© 2015 Dellani Oakes