Song 21 ♪ I Just Wanna Leave

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By the time the weekend approached I'd had enough of this crazy place. I filled in the weekend leave request form and submitted it to Sister Louisa, who finally didn't seem mad at me any longer.

Somehow the streaking incident hadn't made it to the teachers' ears and I was counting my blessings. Miracles existed, and I knew it.

Ma picked me up early Saturday morning and I promised to myself I wasn't even going to be mad if she made me clean houses all weekend long. But instead she drove me all the way home. She was wearing her maid uniform, which meant she had to go to a job, but I didn't dare to ask her if she wanted me to help and shoot myself in the foot that way.

But she read my mind.

"All my girls are reporting to work today," she said, unprompted. "So, don't worry. I'll just drop you off at home. You can do your homework and babysit Victor for me."

That caught my attention. "Babysit him? Why?"

"Your dad is going to be out until tomorrow."

I hated it when she referred to the gringo as my dad. He wasn't, by a long shot. He hadn't even given me his last name. And I didn't think dads were supposed to creep you out.

I refused to ask why, but she felt the need to fill me in on more details. "He's got a job outside of town this weekend."

We got off a main road and into a narrow street that led into our barrio. The houses turned more and more shabby as we drove deeper into the street. The gringo was a professional welder and he worked on and off for a contractor company that did a lot of different jobs. Anywhere from buildings construction, to oil pipes, big and small equipment manufacture.

I could tell this weekend was going to be bomb because he wasn't going to be around for most of it.

My grin was wide and bright as I waved my ma goodbye. I wheeled my suitcase into the living room and wasn't even fazed by the chaos that my little shit of a brother had amassed in the living room. He gave out the loudest fart a little five year old body could create and I thought that was a fitting welcome coming from him.

"Dios Santo," I gagged. "Did you just crap your pants?"

He giggled and I picked him up. It did smell like he'd soiled himself so I hauled him into the bath. A few moments later he was splashing in the bathtub. I sat next to him to keep watch and called Leti to let her know the news, but I guessed she was still asleep because she didn't pick up.

I nearly gave myself a heart attack when the bathroom door opened and the gringo looked down at us. He rubbed his nose and sniffed before he pointed at me.

"Get out, I need to piss."

The man that charmed my ma, ladies and gentlemen.

I didn't protest at all, though. I got up and waited outside until he was done and came out. Without a word, I slipped back into the bathroom and sat next to my brother again. Because having a conversation with a hyper and incoherent five year old was a lot better than a second in the gringo's presence. I breathed a sigh of relief when I heard the front door close and his truck start. As he drove away I felt my mood lift higher.

Leti called me then. When I picked up she greeted me with a, "What's up, perra? I thought you'd forgot about me."

I laughed. "How could I possibly. Guess what?"


"I'm right across the street."

She hung up and a couple of minutes later she was barging in. We squealed once we saw each other and met each other halfway, wrapping our arms around each other.

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