So. Summer classes. Still not lovin’ it, in fact I’d rather try catching goldfish from the little pond at the winery. (Hint: There are no goldfish there. The frogs ate ’em all.)
Especially since one of the guys in my class, Martin Lopez thinks he’s the local casanova. He led off with: “Hey pretty lady, did you fall from heaven? Cuz you must be an angel.”
At least I got to duck inside quickly. Definitely wishing I could just go fishing more every day, but at least most of our classes are at different times.
But we got a surprise today- a field trip to the theater to watch a local performance troupe’s rendition of Hamilton, a musical based on- wait for it- Alexander Hamilton. As in the founding father Alexander Hamilton. And it’s a hip-hop musical.
On the bus, Consuela & Heather sat together like they always do. They’ve been best friends since they were toddlers, and they’re always sitting together and giggling over something or other. Sometimes I miss that feeling- having a good friend.
Rachael Burr was driving us to the theater for the performance.
“What are you guys seeing today?” She asked, a small smile on her face. She was quiet but always friendly to us. I realized I didn’t know anything at all about her except her name and that she drove on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
“Hamilton,” Consuela answered.
A real smile graced Rachael’s face. “You’ll have to tell me what you think of it afterwards.”
The Legado Theater is one of the historic buildings on the island- decades ago, when movies were young, it was part of what put Isla Legado on the map, as celebrities and starlets flocked here both to attend and perform shows. For a while, Isla Legado was the place to be if you were anybody who was anybody, and the classic style of the building was interesting at least.
I started for the theater entrance, and after a few steps Heather appeared on my left and Consuela on my right, casting a wary glance at her brother Martin just behind us.
“Ignore Martin,” she advised. “He’ll follow you everywhere if you acknowledge him.”
“Yeah,” Heather agreed from my other side. “Thinks he’s a bit of a casanova.”
“I noticed that- he… uh, said hello earlier.”
“Oh god, did he use that angel line again? I’m so sorry,” Consuela muttered.
Heather rolled her eyes. “He’s fairly harmless just-”
“Don’t acknowledge him?” I put in with a smile.
“Exactly. So. You’re new here right?”
I’d already braced myself for the comments, but Heather just seemed curious, so I relaxed a little.
“Yeah. Just since the beginning of Summer.”
“Welcome to Isla Legado then!” Consuela answered. “Have you heard of this musical before?”
“I’ve heard the name but that’s it- musicals aren’t really my thing,” I answered.
“You’ll like this one,” Heather promised knowingly, as we took our seats inside the theater.
She was right, and I picked up a copy of the original recording from the counter on the way out.
Our school day was over after that, and we made some vague plans to meet up over the weekend, and parted ways. It was nice to do something normal though. And who knows, maybe we really will meet up this weekend.
The day went downhill from there though.
I stopped by the consignment store to sell some things I’d found, but the clerk running the store, a disagreeable jerk named Vaughn decided it was a good day to mock me.
“Aww, what’d the widdle girl bring to the stowe? Where’s your parents little girl? We don’t need your useless crap here!” He waved his fingers mockingly and continued a litany of insults of everything from my parentage to my hairstyle.
I dropped the stack of items on the counter. “Unless you’ve changed your policies, this is a consignment store. These are items I’d like to consign. And my parents are none of your business- you’re half the person either of them is.”
He grumbled and kept going, this time moving on to my morals or perceived lack thereof. “Well dressed like that I’m surprised your parents let you in the house- you look like a-”
I saw red when he brought up momma and daddy. As if he had the right.
“You know what? I’ve had it!” I cut him off. “I came to your store to sell stuff and instead I’ve suffered a personal attack on my character, that of my parents, and my morals, and I’m done.”
Fist clenched, I was just about ready to deck him, when my mother’s words floated through my mind. Ugh, that was getting annoying. But she was right.
“I’m done.” I repeated, taking a deep breath and letting it out. Punching somebody had never sounded so good. But what good would fighting him do? I’d probably lose and he was just the sort of jerk to wind somebody up and then press charges when they lost it. “I’ll be lodging a formal complaint, if this is how you treat your patrons.”
And I walked away, fists still clenched and trying not to feel like I’d wimped out.
Hands still shaking, I went by the lot to mail off another payment on the bank loan for the land and left just as quickly. As I left, I took a deep breath and tried to release some of the tension.
Near the campsite I found a cute little snake that I named Clancy. I can’t keep him right now but I left him with a herpetologist who’s going to care for him until I have the space.
I talked to Dirk by phone for a while, relaying the whole story about the consignment shop.
“I feel like I should’ve done something,” I sighed defeatedly, having finished the tale.
“Well point me in his direction and I will,” Dirk answered, and I could hear the cocky smirk in his voice. I’d be lying if I said the confidence wasn’t attractive, but he was seeing a girl named Lillith and both of us respected that line.
“Yeah, cuz that’s the last thing you need- getting in trouble on my account. Your folks would kill you.” Hopefully he could hear the massive eye roll that just happened. “And besides that, I’m no damsel in distress.”
“Well.. I mean they’d be pissed but-” He trailed off the way he sometimes did, awkwardly, when he was worried if I was actually alright. “Yeah, I know. You can take care of yourself, superwoman and all that.”
“It’s okay, jerks aside today was actually almost good,” I reminded him. “We saw an awesome musical.”
“Ugh, pass,” he muttered. “Last thing I need is watching folks dancing around with umbrellas and vegetables.”
“No- you’d like this one, I promise. I even got the recording.” I answered, staring at the digital download card I’d purchased.
“You sure you don’t wanna come over and crash?”
“I’m good, I promise. ‘Sides, what’d your parents say? Or your girl for that matter. You know I like Lil.”
There was a beat of silence. “I’m not trying to- Look, I just worry- you really wanna spend the rest of your life camping?”
“What else can I do? You’re the only one who knows and I’m counting on you to keep it that way. I can’t go into the system D, I just can’t.” I hated the pleading note in my voice, but it was the truth. I couldn’t do that.
“I know, I know. Secret’s always safe with me El.”
“Thanks. See you tomorrow.”