Wednesday September 22nd, 2010. Early Morning.
Sunoco Gas Station and Car Drive:
“What time is it Kol?” Randy asked. He was growing tired of this job that was going nowhere. Leaning against the counter, he waited for Kolleen to answer him. She had her phone out, looking hard at the screen. “It’s hitting seven thirty A.M. Just thirty more minutes to go and we have tonight off… Thank God.” She ended. Randy groaned loudly, rubbing his aching eyes, trying to rid himself of the fatigue that racked his body. Kolleen watched as he continued to stare at the ceiling, and placed her elbows back on the counter. As she did before, she rested her chin upon her hands, gazing at him. Randy saw her looking at him through his peripheral vision, and forced himself to not get bashful.
Slowly he noticed one of her hands inching its way across the counter top, towards his arm. He began to feel heat rushing through his veins now, waiting for her skin to touch his. Don’t panic Randy, she’s the girl of your dreams and she likes you too. Don’t screw this up! Finally, the moment he had been waiting for, the palm of her hand rested on his forearm, sending even more heat through him. Chills, that’s all he felt now was chills up and down his spine. He shuddered a bit. Kolleen’s eyes glistened at this so she decided to work her hand up the back of his arm to his back. “You’ve got quite a knot back here Randy. Would you like me to work that out for you?”
Randy just made a weird noise, and then stared at his feet with embarrassment. “I’ll take that as a yes. Let me try and work on those back muscles. What with working out and doing a twelve hour shift, you’ve got to be in terrible pain.” It wasn’t just her hands, pushing his muscles around that made him feel good. Her voice just made him feel so nervous; lightheaded even. It was as if he were high, her voice was the drug and her soul; the addiction. She had a way with her fingers, something Randy had no idea about. While she was busy working out his muscles he decided he should try and converse with her some more. “How did you learn to be so good at massaging?”
“It’s one of the things you can learn in my college. We have a club for my field of study. The club taught me how to massage, and how to work out each muscle in the body. What I want to be tied into it so naturally, I joined.” Randy clenched his fingers tight on the edge of the counter, while Kolleen kept pushing in and out on his back. “You’re amazing, Kol! I’m not even kidding, this feeling that I have is just purely awesome.” Randy told her. They were both so into each other at that moment, that they did not realize the door opening. The boss was staring at them with such intensity. The only reason Randy knew that she was there, was due to Kolleen releasing her touch.
He opened his eyes, jumping nearly out of his skin as he made visual contact with Mrs. Jones. “JESUS!” Randy yelled, nearly leaping over the counter. “I’m sorry to disturb you Randy, I really am. I just figured you’d know I was coming in. It’s almost eight A.M. and your shift is nearly over…” She stopped mid-sentence when she noticed the red in his and Kolleen’s eyes. “Oh, you poor kids look absolutely exhausted.” She turned her gaze back and forth, placing her hands on her hips. That day she was wearing a pure green shirt, with blue pants, and black sandals. The look on her face wasn’t anger, it was actually sadness. “What’s wrong Mrs. Jones?” Randy asked her.
“Look, I know what you two do outside this job. I know Kolleen is going to college and you… Well, you’re wrestling in the amateurs right now, and still come to work the twelve hour shift with dignity. And I know the day will come that you two will quit this place for good and I don’t want to be remembered as a crappy boss. I praise you both and for your commitment and I’m going to give you an advance in your paychecks. Since you don’t work until Thursday night, here’s your week’s pay. I’m adding a dollar fifty, so you each now make nine dollars and twenty five cents per hour. There is also a fifty dollar bonus in your checks this week for being here a month. Go, enjoy yourselves, relax and be ready for work Thursday night.”
“Thank you Mrs. Jones.” Randy and Kolleen chimed in. “Just make sure to clock out before you leave. “We always do!” Kolleen replied. “That you do, child.” Mrs. Jones allowed Kolleen to go around the counter, and then walked in, replacing her. “Your checks are right on the counter. Grab them before you leave.” Randy nodded at her, reaching a hand out from in front of the counter. Kolleen inched her own towards it, blushing hard when their palms touched. They grabbed their checks and waited at the entrance door, where the clock out machine was. Just as it hit three of eight, Randy punched his employee number in and pressed enter. He waited for Kolleen to put her number in and when she did, he pushed the front door open, letting her walk through.
“Why thank you, young man!” Kolleen said to him. She whipped her hair to the left, hitting him across the face. “It is n-no problem at all, ma’am.” He replied. He couldn’t stop himself from smiling; his heart was beating so hard that he felt it in his throat. The morning wasn’t that chilly, not compared to the other states. This factor was more than enough to make Randy want to stay there. Also, his grandparents had lived in California their entire lives. His grandfather’s house was built out in an urban area of the city. He always loved going to his house, since it was so elaborate.
“Are we gonna go Randy? It’s very late and I wanna get some sleep.” Kolleen yelled over to him from his truck. He looked over at her, with her arms folding over her chest. “You’re really cute when you’re cold!” Randy yelled back. The morning was more active than during the graveyard shift; one of the reasons Randy took that shift. The only problem that he had with it was his sleeping schedule. He had to go to the wrestling school every Thursday evening to do his show and that required him to leave work, sure, it gave him time to sleep. But that’s all he ever did, work, sleep and then go to the school, come home; rinse and repeat. The sun was beginning to break through the thick fog, casting an eerie light upon the streets.
Randy welcomed the warmth and finally got to his truck. When he got into the cab and shut his door, Kolleen immediately placed her hand on his arm. “Your hands are cold. Why is it that they’re always cold?” Randy asked. Kolleen sensed the hint of sarcasm in his voice, and then withdrew her hand. “No, no… Don’t remove your hand Kol, I love the feeling they give me.” “Alright then, I’ll put it somewhere warmer. She moved her hand down the side of Randy’s arm, running it across his right leg. It rested just between his hip and knee, making blood rush to all the areas below his waist.
“Don’t you have school tomorrow?” Randy asked her. He was trying to distract her from her actions. “Of course, Randy!” She began to move her hand further in, resting on his inner thigh now. Randy started up the truck, clearing his throat and began pulling at the collar of his shirt. “What’s the problem Randy? Are you scared?” She asked, laughing afterwards. Randy grabbed his seatbelt, pulling it across his chest, and bumping her hand away so he could click it in. He used this as an excuse to divert her from her promiscuous intentions. “Don’t you like me?” She asked. He looked over at her, seeing her big eyes filling with pain. “Y-yes, I do Kol, b-but you and I don’t really know each other. We don’t know each other that well anyway, and I would like to wait for these gestures until we get on a better understanding of each other.”
For a while, Randy thought he had blown it sky high. At first Kolleen looked very upset, but then she sniffed, and wiped her eyes. “I understand, Randy. She then reached over and grabbed his hand, which he allowed her to do. He let her pull his over towards the middle of the cab. She rested them in the very center, on the seat. “Now, that is acceptable.” Randy told her. She laughed in return, sliding her free fingers across the top of his hand, making his skin tingle again. He saw that she wasn’t wearing her seatbelt, so he cleared his throat again. “OH! Sorry about that Randy.” She quickly belted herself in. “There we are.” Randy replied.
He revved the engine up, and backed up just enough so he could pull out into the road. When he entered the street, Randy took a right and waited for a car to exit the back road that he took the previous day. Once the car passed, Randy nodded at the driver, who nodded back and then pulled into the back street. It seemed a lot more crowded than usual, a few people were talking rapidly to each other in an accent that Randy heard a lot. It was a Spanish accent; and it always flowed around this area of California. One of the people, he recognized was a wrestler from the school. It was Marcos Gonzales, and he was one of Randy’s closest friends.
Randy stuck his arm out the window and waved at him, which he returned back. Marcos was short, only standing at 5’5’’ tall and weighed 170 pounds, all muscle. His cheekbones were huge and his chin was tiny. He had a thin brown mustache and semi-long scraggly brown hair. His eyes were brown and skin was a dark tan color. On his left arm, just underneath the shoulder was a tattoo of Jesus on the cross, and Randy knew across his chest was a chain link tattoo of his last name. “What’s up amigo?” Marcos asked, walking up to his window. “Nothing much homes, how about you?” Marcos shook his head, smiling all the while.
There was one thing significant about him that stood out against all the other Spanish families. Even though Randy had a thick, Mexican bloodline, he never carried the accent. Marcos always spoke with this accent, and it wasn’t for show either. “So, where are you heading?” he asked, looking in through Randy’s window. Kolleen was watching him as well, not shying away like she normally did. Randy noticed this and smiled at her, which she returned. “I’m heading back to my house, and I’m escorting Miss Sparks here, to her house as well. What about you?” Randy replied. Marcos laughed, and gave Kolleen a polite nod. “It’s nice to meet you.” He said. “The feeling is mutual.”
“I’m just hanging with the boys, doing what we normally do every once in a while.” Randy knew what that was. He verified his beliefs when he noticed another guy in the group at the end of the street. He was passing something to a random person walking by, who in turn, handed him some money. “So, is business good these days?” Marcos nodded at Randy. “That’s good to hear my friend. I guess whatever you have to do to get through the school is your decision to make.” “Si, it is. That’s why I like you so much amigo. You don’t get into my business and I don’t get into yours. We’re mutual friends and blood brothers. I see you two are tired so I’ll let ya go. Have a good rest and I’ll see you tonight. Have a good one, miss.” He said, nodding towards Kolleen again.
Randy pulled away from him, watching as he was dealing to another customer in his rearview mirror. They passed the guy at the end who was extremely built for his size. He was wearing a blue bandana around his bald head, giving a courteous nod towards them as well. Randy took a left, and began driving back past the two expressway entrances, stopping at the red light. Kolleen was focusing so hard outside her window, which Randy picked up on. “What’s on your mind, Kol?” He asked her. She turned her gaze back towards him, smiling briefly. “I’m just confused.” She replied. A dozen cars passed them, some splitting off to the left, while others took the right. Across from them, sat another long row of cars, which Randy prayed would not get the green light first.
Coincidentally, they did; Randy cursed under his breath and turned his attention back to Kolleen. “Well, we’re gonna be here for a while, do you want to talk?” he asked her. Placing his elbow on the bottom of the steering wheel, Randy rested the side of his head on his fist. Kolleen was still holding his hand, moving her thumb around. “Yes, I do. What did that Marcos guy mean by, you were blood brothers?” She started. Randy saw the confusion in her eyes, as she said those last two words, and moved his head around a bit. Then with as much sincerity as he could muster, he replied.
“Marcos is a Gonzales, Kolleen. He is of Mexican descent. I am a Rodriguez and therefore, I am of Mexican descent as well. He was referring to our heritage, how both of our families came from the same country. On top of all that, his family is known for wrestling as well. His uncle, Carlos Gonzales was a famous DWL K.O Champion. He held the title for five years!”
“What does that mean though? Why does that matter?” She replied. Her head was resting in her free hand now, with her eyes locked onto Randy’s. “He and I hit it off on our first night at the wrestling school and even before that. I got a little sum of money from my father…” Randy trailed off, feeling his chest ache a bit. Kolleen moved her hand, resting it back on his leg. He placed his on top of hers, accepting her sympathy. “Anyway, my father was a DWL Heavyweight Champion, as was my grandpa. That’s why Marcos and I hit it off so easily. It wasn’t just that, both he and I lost a loved one in the war. He had no father or mother; his uncle raised him. Anyway, we should get going. It’s getting kind of late.”
The light was green already and people were behind him honking their horns. Some were cursing at him out of their windows, while others flipped him off. “I’m moving all, GOD!” Randy said under his breath. He signaled left and turned onto the road that leads back to their driveways. The rest of the drive was relatively silent, while Randy continued to think hard to himself. He saw the road which led to their houses, then took the right and began climbing the hill. “Are you feeling okay?” Kolleen asked. “Sure, I’m just fine.” He replied. The road up on the hill stretched on for a while, passing multiple houses, all of which looked fancy. Randy’s and Kolleen’s were near the very end.
They finally got to Kolleen’s driveway, so Randy pulled into it. For a little while they sat in silence again. Both forgot that their hands were still holding each other. It wasn’t until Kolleen went to take her seatbelt off that they noticed. Each of them blushed; Kolleen followed suit with her giggle. “I’ll see you later then?” Randy asked, as she was climbing out of her seat. She looked over at him, pulled her hair band out and waved her head around. When she was finished, she nodded at him, blowing him a kiss. Randy grinned back and watched her walk towards her front door. Her hips waved so magically back and forth, taking Randy’s breath away.
She closed her door, giving him the will to pull out of her driveway and into his own. He quickly got out and walked slowly up to his house. His mother opened the door as he stepped up onto the small entrance stairs. She was in a pink bathrobe, folding her arms and leaning against the doorframe. “How was work?” She asked. Despite the fact that Randy tried to hide the burning in his cheeks, his mother just shook her head. “I’m glad you’ve found someone that you like Randy, I really am. Get up to bed now! I’ll have something cooked up and waiting for you when you wake up.” Randy hugged her and ran inside the house, leaving her on the front steps.
Diana stared off over at Kolleen’s house. Oh how I remember when your father and I first got together Randy. He was so handsome and just as shy as you are. I’ve seen how you and Kolleen act together; I know what you’re feeling. Diana started, looking up at the brightening sky. The sun was already burning away the remainder of the clouds, casting a bright, warm light across the hillside. Diana welcomed it with happiness, allowing her body to heat up to a normal temperature. God, if you can hear me down here, I have something to ask of you. Watch over him and myself. Diana reentered her house, closing the door behind her. No one heard the tiny coughing fit that she was having, other than herself and God. Her lungs were aching, and when she removed her hand, Diana nearly feinted. Resting on her skin were tiny specks of blood.