Doña- A Short Story

Lucinda Tavarez- now there’s a name I haven’t thought of in a long time. Back in the day she would tell you she didn’t have it going on but trust me- she did. Lulu, as only some of us got to call her, she was one of those little shorties who was attractive but didn’t know it. Her whole life she would blush at a compliment while waving a hand at the person with some humble line of thanks. It, however, didn’t match her exterior. On the outside Lucinda could make a guy nut in his trousers in five seconds with just a smile. She belonged on telenovelas not stuck in an office.

I sound as if we grew up together. No, Lulu is actually much older than me. C’mon don’t give me that look. I’m not talking about some pedophilia shit here. We were both adults when we met; I was twenty-two and she was thirty-one.

Lulu didn’t like younger guys, said they were nothing but trash talking, limp dicked putos. She’s not wrong either. So to make sure she never smelled the shit I excreted my actions spoke before my mouth did any dancing. The first time came during our unofficial first meeting. We both were riding the Bx4 going towards Westchester Square. I had just gotten out of class and met up with this little shorty I was dating but planned on breaking up with anyway. This irrelevant chick kept yelling in my ear because she thought I wasn’t paying attention. Of course I wasn’t but why should she know that? Whenever she tried to downplay me I just nodded and said “yup, you right” and even when she tried to slander my dick- everyone knows any slander is void if you sleep with the dude, especially if it’s on going- I snickered and said “yea, my bad I’m not hitting your spots right.” This chick was saying shit I normally would have chirped back on but I didn’t care anymore.

So this girl got off under the St. Lawrence train station. About three stops later Lulu gets off only I don’t see her face. Just like when we officially met I didn’t know it was her. In my gut I did because of her hair. Lulu has a very youthful, curvaceous figure so I never would have guessed her age based on that. Besides I’ve seen forty year old’s with bodies better looking than shorties younger than me. Her hair stuck out because she let some grey streaks flourish and they were waving around proudly like a boricua flag in June. And her hair was beautiful with the streaks. It added zest, like you would catch brain freeze trying to think of her age and never get it right.

So how did we meet? She almost spilled her latte on me. I was doing some homework in a Starbucks while waiting for my homie Hector to come by who needed my help with a film school project due in two weeks. Lulu turned in the wrong direction and bumped into this guy passing who then made her spin in the opposite direction which led to Lulu nearly tripping on my laptop bag I hadn’t noticed wasn’t under my chair. Lulu quickly apologized and then left. Something about her eyes locked me in and then when I saw her hair as she was heading out the door- I knew.

Now, I don’t chase after women in the street because that’s a form of harassment and my mother taught me better than that. But as her little bean she also taught me never to be shy about wanting something, and I wanted her badly. By the time I caught up with Lulu her demeanor had done a 180. I mean her resting bitch face was on autopilot I almost regretted the entire thing. But she agreed, somehow, to meet me for coffee the next day at the same Starbucks.

I showed up in regular clothes. I had actually wanted to wear a suit but I knew she would know bullshit and like I said, I let my actions do the talking. After three coffee dates Lulu allowed me to take her on a real date. I borrowed Hector’s car and took her to City Island, back when Tito Puente’s restaurant was still there. Lulu had her moments to be shy and other times when I knew she had way more life experience than me. But Lulu never held that against me because I never made myself inferior to her. Some younger guys have a habit of doing so. But I’ve been around older Hispanic women since childhood so finally all that experience prepared me for the night Lulu brought me back to her place.

Lulu let me be a man but also vocalized everything she wanted. Lulu never made me guess if I were hitting it right- she flat out told me, and I respected her even more. Young chicks love to complicate everything and then throw it back in our faces like the irrelevant chick on the bus that time. We’re not mind readers; how is a guy supposed to know what you like and don’t like? Moods and shit changes. It’s never the same feeling twice.

It’s kind of ironic how I said Lulu belonged on TV because her sister Marcaline was a model for about two seconds. You know how back in the 70’s and 80’s an artist can release a single and live off the royalties from it because it’s a banger all decade? Well, that’s how Marcaline thought her little modeling stint should have been. When I met her it had already been six years since her last photo shoot but since her image was used on several Rainbow ads- you now, the very low end clothing store?- I knew her face was familiar. Soon as I mentioned recognizing her she tried making the entire night about her. On God, I think she was even trying to steal me from Lulu. Not that Lulu and I were a thing. Not really.

It truly boggled my mind. And to top it off she ignored her kid almost all night while trying to hook me. I try to blame it on her being young- we were the same age; Marcaline is actually Lulu’s half sister so it might explain why she tried that trifling shit. If Lulu hadn’t been there, shit, the kid might not have even been fed. She loved being an aunt and from how nurturing she was, you knew Lulu wanted kids of her own. That was Lulu’s “flaw” so to speak. Lulu was infertile and the night she told me we were laying in her bed crying together. Yes, I was crying too. She wanted kids and God said “nope” but let women who didn’t deserve the title of mother have a litter of them. Shame.

Lulu came to my graduation. Not as my date, of course. In fact my mom and brother were wondering who she was to me the whole time. I couldn’t tell them and my brother- forget it. A year younger than me but has the mind of an early teenage boy. Can’t tell him nothing. So he never knew Lulu and I were lovers. Still doesn’t.

Speaking of, I honestly don’t know how things…ended? between us. I guess it was one of those romances that flicker out on their own with no explanation. Just enjoy the ride while you’re on board. Every woman after Lulu was lucky to have me. I wasn’t as big of a dick as I had once thought I was (otherwise Lulu wouldn’t have stuck around so long) but there are things Lulu taught me that you can’t get from a parental figure or female relative. Like the way she showed me how to cook or how to not leave creases in my work slacks after ironing. I mean, okay, this one my mom could have showed me. But Lulu did it with this grace and patience that she made you want to perfect it versus if your mom did it you’d be stuck listening to constant teeth sucking.

Lulu let me be a man which is something a lot of women didn’t understand. I don’t even throw around “daddy issues” anymore. Some shorties are just naturally misguided. Thinking about her now, it’s almost like Lulu never existed. Around her block nobody seemed to remember her. But she had once been the talk of the town. Wherever she is, I hope she’s found the happiness I could tell was missing from her life. She loved playing it off like she was but if you looked in her eyes: the same way they pull you in they make you worried. Perhaps that was their allure. She didn’t need saving but you wanted to know what she saved herself from.

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