Saturday consisted of naps and homework. My mom looked after Tomàs so I was able to get my homework done. I couldn’t stop thinking about Cade and how guilty I was feeling. I just wanted to be his friend. I actually cared and it made it so much harder to do the job.
I didn’t go into this wanting to care about him. I’d thought he’d be some rich asshole who deserved it but boy was I wrong. The whole time he was asleep I kept trying to convince my self to go find his father’s office. But I couldn’t make myself go in the end.
Around lunch, on Saturday I got a phone call from an unknown number. I picked up after a few rings, “hello?”
“Hello Lola, it’s Xavier. Do you have some time to chat?”
“Oh sure,” I tell him a bit surprised he called me.
“So, Leo tells me you been to Cade’s house twice now. And that you will be going there weekly. I have to say I’m very impressed. I tried to get one of my men invited into their home last year. He couldn’t get Cade to say two words to him. Your reputation was correct.”
“I’m going over there tomorrow to hang out with him. He’s taken a liking to my little brother. Leo said he’s working on getting their house blueprints, so I won’t have to sneak around looking for the office.”
“Well, I’m glad things are going well. I’m expecting some info soon. I’ve been trying to get something on Jeffery Jameson for years now. He keeps all his businesses clean. Mike couldn’t remotely hack any of his computers either. I’m glad I finally have someone in that house. I know he’s keeping info there. It’s locked down tight. Anyway, have you met him yet?”
“No. I tried to get Cade to introduce me. I told him I had a friend who wanted to buy a classic car. He told me that his father was a bad man, and he didn’t want me to ever meet him.”
“He’s right you have to be careful around him. Sounds like Cade’s starting to care about you. I trust you still have your end goal in mind?”
“Yes, I do.”
“Good, now getting into his office will be hard. I think you should wait till you’ve been over there quite a few times, so you know when to look and not get caught. If you are able to meet Jeffery, try to get his personal cell.”
“Okay got it.”
“That should be all. Just remember who’s paying you, Lola.”
And with that Xavier hangs up. Well, at least he didn’t expect info right away.
After supper, on Saturday I decided to try on my bathing suits. I hadn’t swam in a while and I wanted to make sure they still fit. Good thing I tried them on. Out of the 3 I owned none fit right anymore. I guess my hips got bigger in the last couple of months.
My mom, Tomás, and I went to Walmart to find me a swimsuit that fit. Shopping with my mom was always an event. She made me model each suit for her. Some of the other shoppers passed by and were able to see me in an ill-fitting swimsuit with my underwear sticking out.
In the end, I picked an orange bikini. It was simple, suited my skin tone, and most importantly fit right.
“I told you when you hit 18, you’ll get that Latina body. That’s what I was like. A stick and then all of a sudden, I had curves. All though yours aren’t as dramatic as mine but, they may still grow.” My mom says on the way home.
“So, I’ll be at my friends with Tomàs tomorrow, are you sure you’ll be alright alone?” I ask as I drive into our neighborhood.
“Yes, Lola I’ll be fine. And who is this friend? That boy who was over the other day.”
“Ya, his name is Cade,” I reply.
“Well if he still wants to hang around with you after what he saw I’d say make sure you keep him around. It’s not often that you get a guy who cares about kids and sticks around.”
“He and Tomás get along really well. Sometimes I think he only puts up with me to hang out with Tomàs.”
“Don’t sell yourself short I’m sure he’s more into you than you realize. You’ve never been good at telling when someone had a crush on you.” She says teasingly.
When we get home, I put Tomás to bed. Which is extremely hard since he is so excited about swimming at Cade’s tomorrow.
I’m not sure why I asked to change the day. I think I wanted to know if he’d hang out with me if he didn’t have to. I also wanted to make sure that he won’t avoid me because of what happened. I was a bit supersized he agreed but was happy.
Like Tomás I had a hard time falling asleep, but it was due to all the guilt I was feeling. I tried to convince myself that Cade would want his dad to be taken down. He knew he was a bad man. But I didn’t quite believe myself.
On Sunday morning I was woken up by Tomás jumping on my bed. I grabbed him and gave him a big hug which made him laugh. We went out to the kitchen where my mom was cooking bacon and eggs.
We ate breakfast and talked about our days. My mom was going shopping with a friend for some baby stuff. It was mornings like these that gave me hope that my mom would get better.
A bit before lunch I packed up my things and Tomás and I went to Cade’s. He had texted me what time to come so I knew he was still okay with us coming. As I drove, I got nervous. Did I invite myself over? At the time it felt right but now I was second-guessing myself.
When I arrived at Cade’s house Tomás ran in ahead of me. When I reached the door, Cade was standing there in swim trunks and a loose tank top. He had a black eye and some cuts on his face.
“Swim! Swim!” Tomás chants.
“Let’s order the pizza then we can swim,” Cade tells him. “What kinds should we get?”
“Tomás likes cheese and I’ll have anything.”
“Okay, my brothers will be having some too. I’ll go order it you guys can use my room to change.”
When I’ve got Tomás changed I take my top layer off and wrap my towel around myself. Then we walk to the living room where Cade is sitting.
“We can head out. Kyles’s girlfriend is coming over and he said he’d get the door for the pizza.” Cade tells us.
We go out to the pool and Tomás jumps in the deep end. Before I can jump in Cade has gone in after him. Thank god. Tomás thinks he can swim a lot better than he actually can. After I set my things down, I go in using the steps.
“That’s a nasty bruise on your leg,” Cade says as he helps Tomás swim around.
“Yeah, that girl got me good on the back of my knee. How are you feeling?”
“Pretty bad but I’ll be alright.” As he says this, I look at his chest. It’s full of bruises and cuts. I’m surprised he is able to swim.
We play with Tomàs in the water for a while. As I’m grabbing a toy for Tomás I see an African American girl and Kyle come outside with pizzas. Kyle is wearing swimming trunks while the girl is in a loose summer dress.
“Pitza! Pitza!” Tomás says while he swims to the steps and races out.
“Slow down you’ll hurt yourself,” I say as I go towards him.
“Hi, I’m Laura, Kyle’s girlfriend.” The girl says as I walk towards the pizza.
“I’m Lola, Cade’s friend. And that’s my brother Tomás.” I say as I pick up a couple of towels.
As I’m helping Tomás dry off Laura continues, “I love your hair.”
“Oh, thanks my mom did it. She’s a hairdresser.” I say. My mom had put my hair in two Dutch braids before I left. They stayed in well for swimming.
“That’s so cool, I wish my mom was better at hair. She’s white and has no idea how to look after my hair. It wasn’t until I was 10 when I finally found a stylist who knew how to do black hair.” She tells me.
When Tomás is mostly dry Cade helps him get his food and we all sit down at an outdoor table. Noah walks out and joins us after grabbing some pizza.
As we are eating, I get to know a bit more about Laura. She and Kyle met in college. They were in the same lab group in their intro to biology class. She grew up in Flagstaff Arizona but moved to Phoenix for school 3 years ago. She wanted to be a Physician’s assistant and was in her 3rd year of getting a health science degree. She and Kyle had a lot of classes together since he was getting a kinesiology degree. She lived in an apartment with 2 of her friends. She and Kyle were thinking of moving in together after they had both graduated.
“So, Lola any idea what you want to do after high school?” Kyle asks me.
“Honestly not at all. I don’t know if I’ll be able to go to college. I think that I’d like to be a lawyer but that might not be in the cards for me.” I say telling the truth.
“Well, I think you’d make an awesome lawyer. It only takes 5 years if you get in after 2 years of an undergrad degree. And if you don’t get in after your first 2 years you still have 2 more tries before you finish a degree.” Kyle says.
“Yeah, I have to meet with the career counselor to look into my options.”
“Well, I get where you are coming from. My family doesn’t have much money and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to afford college. But I got a student loan and was able to go.” Laura says.
“Yeah, that’s something to look at,” I say.
“And the college has a daycare that is not too expensive. You could maybe take Tomás there.” Laura says.
“Hmm.” I say. This girl really wants me to go to college, I guess.
“Guys maybe leave her alone about college.” Cade pipes up sensing my discomfort.
Just then the patio door opens again and out walks a man in his 50s. He walks over to us. I see Laura tense and look down. The man scans the table and his eyes land on me. He looks over my body, which makes me realize that I’m only in my bikini. He looks at my face and I hold eye contact with him.
“Hello there, I’m Jeffery, Cade’s father. You must be his new friend I’ve been hearing so much about.” He says to me while holding out his hand.
“That’s right. I’m Lola.” I tell him as we shake hands. I get a bad gut feeling about this guy.
I see Cade and Laura make eye contact. Laura looks scared and Cade looks sorry. Cade then says, “Dad I thought you were coming home tomorrow.”
“Well, I thought I’d cut the trip short. I wanted to spend some time with my family. And I wanted to get to know this new friend of yours.” Jeffery Jameson says as he looks at me. The way he looks at me makes me think that he knows who I am and who I’m working for.
I also get a feeling that he did something to Laura that only Cade knows about. Kyle looks like he has no idea.
“Dad, can I talk to you inside?” Cade says. And with that, the two go inside.