Chapter Nineteen: Carmita knows exactly.
Hours later light began to fill the streets. The snow was mounting quite high and Andy was fast asleep in his Praeses Locus bed. Meanwhile somewhere in the room a noise like a door bell kept sounding, though Andy too far away in the land of nod didn’t hear it at all.
Carmita on the other hand, who had only settled in for some sleep two hours before heard it clear as day.
“What the?” she questioned. “What is that?!?”
She sprang out of bed trying to track the noise down and came face to face with an intercom. Looking at it as though it were the worst thing ever to be invented she pressed the button.
“What?!” she moaned, clearly wanting whoever it was to just go away.
“Hi Andy, it’s Rick,” came the sound of Rick’s voice.
“Rick sweetie, it’s Carmita. What do you want? I only just got to bed not long ago.”
For a few moments silence filled the intercom, clearly Rick had no idea what to say and then finally he spoke.
“Ah, hi,” he said at last. “You’re the singer right?”
“Twenty points for you,” Carmita said in a bored and pissed off manner. “What do you want, seriously, tell me now or I’m hanging up and I’m-a going back to bed.”
“Sorry to wake you,” Rick said apologetically. “I just wanted to speak to Andy.”
“Hold on,” Carmita replied. “I’ll go see if he’s awake.”
As she strode off to Andy’s room Carmita mumbled some disgruntled words in Spanish. Now was not the time for anyone to be talking to her. Nor the time for her to be talking to others.
As she got to the door, memories of why they were there filled her mind. Though she still hadn’t quite put everything together, she had worked out that something was clearly going on involving Andy and possibly Rick or Jay. She just didn’t have a clue as to what.
“Andy,” Carmita said softly knocking on the door.
After getting no response, she pushed it open and found Andy sprawled out on the bed still asleep. He was clearly so exhausted last night that not only had he not changed, but his shoes were still on.
“Andy, honey.” Carmita again softly called, now shaking him quite gently.
“What?” Andy snapped grumpily. “Let me sleep.”
Carmita almost laughed, he was so cute when he was waking up. But she had a message to deliver and that damned intercom wasn’t going to be quiet until she had.
“Someone wants to see you,” she said nervously.
“Unless it’s Rein or Lauren with coffee…tell them to fuck off!” Andy said rolling over and almost instantly falling back asleep.
Carmita resigned herself that this was as much as she was going to get out of him right now and tip toed out of the room closing the door softly behind her. She walked back over to the intercom.
“Rick, are you there?” she asked, pressing the button.
“Yeah,” Rick replied. “I’m still here.”
“Listen honey two things. One, Andy doesn’t want to be disturbed right now and Two, please just ring once next time. If no one answers then take the hint. Good night Rick.” She finished letting go of the button.
“Sorry,” he replied. “Please just let Andy know when he wakes up that I’ve left. I’m down in the lobby and just wanted to say goodbye.”
Carmita so desperately just wanted to tell him she would and go back to bed, but the good in her was nagging to get down there and talk to the boy. Cursing her good nature she groaned.
“Urgh! Stay there, I’ll be down in a minute,” she said and walking to her room she prepared to dress and get down to talk to the boy.
Back at Andy’s house Jay rolled over and found what he was looking for. Andy’s clock radio, the red numbers glared 9:03am. Despite the fact that Lauren had given him the day off, she had expressly advised that he come back with 2 Caramel Latte’s so that he could work out this issue with Andy. He imagined the 2nd coffee was for her and then he recalled her telling him last night that she viewed him as a son.
Jay smiled at the thought. But it vanished as soon as it had appeared as the memories of last night came flooding back.
“Idiot! Idiot, Idiot, Idiot!” he screamed at himself grabbing the pillow next to him and hitting himself in the face with it.
He got out of bed and noticing Andy’s dressing-gown on the back of the door put it on and walked to the kitchen. The gown smelt of Andy and Jay was so happy to be wearing his boyfriend’s gown. But that was the thing. Was Andy still his boyfriend? Did he still want Jay despite everything that had occurred?
Somehow Jay’s legs had managed to walk him to the kettle and he switched it on preparing to make some coffee for himself. He knew regardless of how today went he’d need at least one jolt to get him through the day, if not more.
Damn Lauren, he thought to himself as he spooned in the coffee and the sugar.
As he turned around waiting for the kettle to boil, he noticed Andy’s answering machine flashing, with what appeared to be 4 new messages. Without thinking Jay pressed the play button and listened.
“You have four new messages” it said “Message one- Ah hi Andy it’s Mel. I have some disturbing news for you. Give me a call back as soon as you get this will you? …beep.”
Disturbing news was never good and Jay wondered what was happening. Hadn’t they just escaped Pittsburg with everything ok? Or at least better than it was?
“Hey booooooooys!” came the sound of Micah, his tone much brighter than that of Mel’s. “I hope you both had a great flight. I just want to thank you Andy for being here, I really appreciate it. I hope everything is going well…and Jay, look out for my son ok? I know he can be a handful at times,” he chuckled. “But he’s worth it as I’m sure you’ve already noticed. There son, have I embarrassed you enough? Call me later to let me know you got home safe.” Beep.
Jay frowned at the machine, how would Micah take the news if things didn’t go so well today?
“Hey guys, it’s Ms Taylor…Jay’s mom,” Jay stared at the machine, how in the world did she wind up with Andy’s phone number?
“Sorry about calling, I got your number from your Aunt Deb Andy I hope you don’t mind. Anywho, good news, I just wanted to let the both of you know that I’m going to be there Friday night so we can all have dinner together! You know…a sort of boyfriend’s and parent’s…thing. Anywho better get going I’ve got a long shift today. Kisses to you both and keep warm son I hear the snow is piling up out there. Bye guys!”
Jay didn’t even know where to begin with that one. His mom at Friday night dinner? What if Friday night dinner didn’t even happen? Or worse…did with Andy and him broken-up? Before he could think anymore the answering machine beeped one last time.
“Jay?!? Where are you???” came Lauren’s voice. “It’s pandemonium down here, Rick was about to leave, but Carmita’s talking him out of it. Seriously kid…Run!”
Jay didn’t need to hear the rest; he bolted into Andy’s room and rang a taxi before getting dressed and racing outside.
Back at the Dètendez-Vouz Carmita could be found sitting with Rick in the dining area. She had advised Rein, who was filling in for Andy at reception, that she was just going to talk to him and so far that was all she had done. Pleasantries out the way, she’d jumped right in and asked him to explain exactly what had happened. Rick was a tad skeptical of telling this woman he had never met before what was going on, but the offer to buy him another coffee persuaded him enough and he spilled every last detail.
“So that’s why he left last night?” she asked.
“Well…yeah,” Rick admitted defeated. “I’m actually surprised he didn’t tell you.”
“No, he didn’t say anything,” Carmita replied. “And now you’re leaving?”
“Well, yeah,” said Rick. “I think it’s for the best.”
“How?” Carmita asked perplexed. “You say you’ve been friends with Andy for a while now, why would you want to leave things this way?”
As the pair talked Lauren walked up to them.
“Ok Rick,” she said. “Everything’s sorted. Thank you for staying with us at the Dètendez-Vouz.”
And without waiting for a response she placed a receipt in front of him and walked back to the desk. Rick just glanced after her as she walked back and then turned back to Carmita.
“Ok, now tell me that leaving is not the best thing for me.”
Carmita thought for a moment. Granted she hadn’t been around to see what had transpired and also that she had only heard Rick’s side, but if her Mamacita had taught her anything it was to never leave a situation unresolved and worse angry.
“Ok,” she finally admitted. “Maybe staying here is not the best idea, but I wouldn’t go home just yet. Actually…” she started an idea suddenly coming to her. “I know exactly where you should stay.”
Back at reception Lauren was continuing to look at the pair, wondering why in the world Rick still hadn’t left the hotel.
“Didn’t anyone tell you it’s not nice to stare?” came a voice from behind her.
It was Rein.
“Didn’t anyone tell him that its customary to leave the hotel once the bill has been settled?”
She crossed her arms. It was unbelievable the way he was just sitting there. He would have to have known by now the trouble he had caused and stiucking around to just, what? Enjoy the show? Wasn’t helping anything.
“Oh mom,” Rein started. “This is not our battle. He’ll leave when he’s ready. Besides Carmita said Andy’s still asleep and Jay’s not even here yet so I’m sure everything will work out.”
Though she had said it confidently she had no idea if it was true and had merely said it to pacify her mother.
“I suppose so,” Lauren replied. “Well, I guess those beds aren’t going to make themselves.”
And with that she stormed off into the direction of the laundry room to get some fresh linens. Rein meanwhile, who was waiting for her boyfriend to show up was getting tired of just hanging around. If there was one thing she couldn’t stand about other people it was tardiness and it seemed Sam had been making a habit out of that lately. Taking out a slip of paper and a pen she wrote:
Gone to help mom with housekeeping. Just take the scan-card from it’s place you know where it is. I hope this works out, but either way I’m still here for you, so if it doesn’t come and find me. If you don’t I’ll assume it has and will want to hear all the details tomorrow. Well, almost all the details.
Once the note was written she folded it up and wrote Jay’s name on the cover and left it on the desk leaving the area in pursuit of her mother. But as she left she spied Rick getting up from his chair and making his way to the exit, Carmita following them.
At least that’s one drama over, she thought to herself as she left the area in pursuit of her mother.
How wrong she would turn out to be.
Jay meanwhile was still waiting for a cab to approach the house.
“What is it with cabs not showing up when you need them and yet showing up early when you’re happy to wait. I’ll never understand their system,” he said outloud to himself as he decided to check the mail for something to do.
With the only thing in the mail box being some advertising pamphlet for washers and dryers, Jay walked back up the driveway and sat on the stone steps of Andy’s house going over and over in his mind what he would say once he finally saw his boyfriend. That was if they were still boyfriends.
Finally, what seemed like hours later the cab pulled up and Jay climbed in.
“Where to,” the gruff driver asked.
“Detende-Vous” Jay replied without even thinking, his mind was way too focused on what was to come.
In a matter of moments the cab had pulled up at the hotel and Jay had wondered to himself for what seemed the millionth time why he hadn’t simply walked the distance.
Racing through through to the lobby he was surprised to not only see Rick and Carmita no longer there, but to infact see no one there other than a nice looking African-American man.
I wonder why no one’s serving him Jay thought and without thinking another moment he strolled right around to the other side of the desk and addressed the man.
“Sorry about the delay there,” he lied covering for Lauren and Rein wherever they were.
He thought back to all those times he’d seen Lauren welcome people and tried his best to do an impression of her.
“Welcome to the Dètendez-Vouz,” he exclaimed in a voice way to chipper to be legit.
He looked around, as though it were a play and expecting Taylor to be right there. Realising he wasn’t he gave up on the impression.
“I’m sorry the bell hop is not here to help you with your bags. Are you checking in?” he asked politely.
The man laughed.
“Man, if I could afford to stay in a place like this, I wouldn’t even be in the state let alone the area,” he chuckled.
“Oh,” Jay replied, caught off-guard momentarily. “Um, can I help you with anything then?”
“Yeah, I’m here to pick up my girl,” the man said.
“Oh, right.” Jay replied, regretting the move to talk to the man. “Well the foyer is open incase you want a coffee or something while you wait.”
“That’s cool,” the man replied. “I’m sure she’ll be down soon.”
Jay just smiled and then upon noticing Rein’s note, opened it and read it. Just as he got to the end of the letter and was about to grab the scan-card the man spoke up.
“Oooooh” he drew out. “So your Jay.”
This gave Jay an ominous feeling. The man was not saying it in a kind or even up-beat way. He was saying it as though they were in a jail-cell and he’d just discovered the jail snitch.
“Um…yeah,” was all he could manage to say as he whirled around looking for the scan card.
Once he had the card Jay made his way to the lift, all the while noticing that the man was watching him.
“Another paying customer?” he asked as Jay pressed the button at the elevator.
Jay spun around so quickly he almost did a pirouette. Thank god he stopped himself just in time.
“I’m sorry, what?” he asked.
“It’s ok dude!” the man replied. “Rein told me all about the ah…service you provide here, as you were.”
He waved dismissively at Jay, however as the elevator doors still hadn’t opened Jay took the moment to enquire further.
“Rein?” he asked.
And then it hit him as one of his fears he realized, were becoming a reality.
“Oh damn,” he said, though more to himself. “You…must be Sam!”
There was no questioning from Jay, nor was it even a question as the man simply nodded.
“Yeah, that’s me.” He replied stiffly. “Now, go on son, time is money.”
He then laughed quite viciously.
Just as Jay was about to respond the thankful ding of the elevator rang out into the lobby. As much as Jay wanted to deal with the situation he had more issues at hand starting with Andy. So he just shook his head as he stepped inside the elevator, scanned the card and pressed the button that would take him to the Praeses Locus.