A Girl Called Jack Cover Photo

A Girl Called Jack Cover Photo

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Chapter 4



Desi shrugged.  “’Cause.” 

Not feeling the love for the flippant answer Jack pushed for more. “’Cause why?  And no joking around.  I’m serious.” 

Desi sighed and looked towards the tent where the two little girls slept.  “’Cause I know you and you ain’t the type to go back on a deal.  ’Cause you got Lena just like I got Concha.  I ain’t got no family I can go to, you ain’t got any family … I mean you don’t do you?” 

“None that can take us in.  They’ve got problems of their own right now.  Aunt Kelly made noise about us coming to her down in Belle Glades but she’s already got a houseful and I don’t get along too well with some of her grandkids.  Aunt Nann is still recovering from her own cancer treatments and her daughters have families and they are all throwing in together at her place that is next to Aunt Kelly’s.  That’s Mom’s side.  Dad’s side made just as much noise but then they started fighting with each other over who we were going to live with and then started fighting over other stuff and where we were going to live kinda got lost in all the noise.  I figure I can leave them messages that I found a good place for Lena and I but that it involves traveling, and when things settle down I’ll let them know where we wind up.  Some of them will worry but life will keep them too busy to come looking more than likely.” 

“Sure, sure.  Same for Concha and me.  We ain’t completely cut off but … Uncle Ray was right when he said I had to make my own way and take care of Concha too.” 

Throwing caution if not commonsense to the wind Jack asked, “What about Don?  I’m not … well I’m not into it if he’s going to be around.  I’m not going to get around Don and that pack he hangs out with.” 

“Uncle Ray gave him two options; straighten up or get left behind.  He chose option number three and ran off with some buddies from the Dominican a week before we were scheduled to get repatriated or whatever you want to call it.  Haven’t seen or heard from him since and don’t plan to.  He made his choice.” 

“Was Don on the construction crew with you that summer?” 

Desi laughed.  “You think he was gonna give up his summer to help the family out when it would interfere with his social calendar so bad?” 

“Uh …” 

“Naw, forget it.  Don ain’t in the picture and don’t have a clue.” 

Jack tried not to let the relief show but it must have.  “Look, I’m sorry Desi but I had to know.” 

“Like I said Chica, Don ain’t gonna be around … and that includes if I have to make him not be around for some reason.  You call his friends a pack … I call ‘em freaks.  They ain’t safe to be around Concha or Lena.” 

I looked at his face to see if I was hearing what I thought I heard.  “Desi?  They didn’t …” 

“Would have.  Eventually.  They were already talking her up, grooming her, making out like she was … was ready for a boyfriend and that kind o’ crap.” 

“Did … did Mr. Raymundo …?” 

“Yeah.  And that’s when he gave Don the ultimatum.” 

“God.” 

“Stop worrying about him.  He’s probably dead anyway.” 

Trying not to let his detached response bother her Jack asked, “And exactly how do you figure that?” 

Desi sighed like an old man.  “Don’s friends hung around him mostly because they saw Uncle Ray as connected and rich or close to it.  Last couple of years Uncle Ray’s been able to stay flush ‘cause he did develop lots of connections of a certain type and wasn’t too particular about the jobs he’d work.  Just pay him and he knew how to keep his mouth shut and look the other way.  Don used to steal money from the business, not much but some, but Uncle Ray never beat on him for it like he should have.  He didn’t trust Don not to talk.  And Don, he would have talked.  Don was a lot of things but he didn’t bluff.  And neither did those he hung out with.  If he stopped delivering the money to keep the good times rolling I have a feeling they would have gotten rid of the dead weight.  So forget about him.  I am.  One way or the other, he made his choice.  Only thing that matters is Concha for me and Lena for you.  Right?” 

Slowly Jack nodded, “Right.”

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