The nights Roser stayed in town, she and her friends would smoke Marlboro Lights by a dumpster next to the town’s wine cooperative. On the other, Blancafort’s steeple hovering above the ancient houses with names. I put on my khaki Bermuda shorts, brushed my teeth, sprayed on some extra deodorant, and rode my bike up the hill to the dumpster. I waited in the dark, listening to the sounds of crickets and the distant roar of motorcycles. “She says to go meet her down by Cal Canela in ten minutes.” That was all the way on the edge of town. We kissed a few more times until the church bells announced midnight and I had to go. My cousin Anthar and I would ride our bikes by the girls and wave awkwardly through the sweet smell of fermented fruit and cigarette smoke. ” I didn’t know what to say, but Anthar managed to say something charming. I like ripping people’s hairs out.” All I could think at the time was that it made sense for a girl that beautiful to want to devote her life to the pursuit of beauty. I couldn’t sleep, and not just because the mattresses in Cal Silo, my family’s house, felt as if they were made of straw, but because all I could think about was when I would see Roser again and all the wonderful things we would talk about. ” I sped off as fast as I could down my grandfather’s ramp, turned left, and left the town. I circled the town once before rushing into Cal Silo, where I sat in the living room and waited for Anthar to return with the news. I only saw her once more before going back to Mexico, and I don’t really remember what happened in those long ago days of being 13.
She and her friends would strut by wearing miniskirts and lots of makeup, half lit by the glare of street lamps. Not much later, the automated bells in the church—which still has a bomb lodged in its steeple from the Spanish Civil War—would strike midnight, and I would go back to my house. ” “She said there’s no time for her to be your girlfriend because you’re leaving in two weeks, but that maybe you could have a .” “What’s that? It was a navy blue polo shirt with two horizontal turquoise stripes across the middle. My whole body was shaking and even my legs were turning red. Roser gracefully broke the silence by asking me which house was from, and before I knew it, we got into the habit of talking every night. I didn’t know what mine were yet, but she had a very clear plan. Le nouveau Shy’m s’intitule donc «Mayday» et c’est la première fois que la belle l’entendait à la radio.Nevertheless, with one foot on the muddy pedal, I decided it didn’t matter that she was two years older than me. Roser turned her almond eyes slowly towards me, smiled her perfect smile, and said, “I live in one of the new houses by the pool.” Now what? I was so proud of myself for coming up with that first question, but I hadn’t really thought about what I would say next.