Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Rosa (Short Story)

Yeah, I knew Rosa. I'll try to tell you everything I know. Keep in mind a good chunk of what I say here is, well, hearsay. I myself met Rosa at work. Her desk was next to mine. We never became real close friends, you know? Close enough to lend a dollar when one of us needed some coffee, not close enough to confide when some really bad shit was going on at home, though. She told me she met the guy while waiting for the bus. They struck up a conversation and ended up hitting it off. They went out a few times and things got serious quick. Al was the guy's name, by the way. Anyway, pretty soon she was leaving work for lunch to meet with him pretty much everyday. About a half a year or so and they moved in together. You know, good for her and all. Well, not fucking good at all considering what happened. I'll get to that in a sec. So, you know I'm kind of cynical. I'm not really proud of it, but yeah. Rosa and Al on the other hand, they were both the big dreaming, wishing on stars kind of people. Guess that's why they seemed so compatible at first. Well, Rosa's dream was to go on this big Jack Kerouac road trip across the States. Only without the drinking, drugs and hookers, I assume. And I could see where she was coming from there. I think everyone who reads On the Road gets that idea. I know I did. I'm getting off-track here. This guy she was with had this dream of owning some kind of real fancy and expensive sports car. You know, the kind that every guy is stereotyped as wanting? Seems like a frivolous wish, in my opinion. But what the fuck do I know? I'm that jack off that rides his bike, even when it's colder than a yeti's ball sack. And, hell, it made them seem even more right for each other. You know, buy this fancy-ass car and go on that road trip. Then settle down, have some kids. The American dream and all that shit. But, you know what George Carlin said about that. It's called a dream, because you've got to be asleep to believe it. So she and Al have moved in and they're getting money saved up. You know, tightening their belts, working overtime, all that. She starts getting stressed and had a few big fights with Al. Nothing really big though, seemed like they were still fine. So eventually they get up enough to buy that fancy car. I don't remember what kind. Like I said, I'm a bike guy. The make and model of cars means nothing to me. You could tell me your car is a Pluto Dickcunt5 and I wouldn't know any better. I saw it the day they bought it. Al drove to our office to pick her up in it. Showing it off to her friends. They seemed so happy driving off in it. It was red, that's all I can tell you. Fancy cars are always bright red, aren't they? Well, they park that thing in the garage and they decide they won't touch it again until they've got enough money for the road trip. Yeah, the road trip's going to be even more expensive. Food, gas, hotels plus enough to cushion them until they finish and get settled somewhere. Shit, I figured it would be years until they had enough. I guess they knew that too, because things started getting rough. From what I can tell, after Al got the car he was less concerned with saving up. Rosa was still working overtime and budgeting her meals, but Al wasn't pulling his weight. They started fighting more and more. Rosa was staying at work for lunch more often. I started asking if everything was okay, but she never wanted to talk about it. I was really getting worried, especially when she came in with a big ass bruise on her cheek. So I pushed her on it harder and harder. She stopped sitting with me. I felt pretty bad. There's still that feeling that I could have done more. But she just clammed up. I felt like she didn't want me involved, so I didn't get involved. You know, I felt like I couldn't. That I had no right. Maybe I'm just making excuses for myself here. Gradually, I start seeing her less and less. Eventually, she stopped showing up at work altogether. I was worried as fuck, man. Al could have murdered her for all I knew. Things were really bad between them last time I checked. About two months latter, I'm having lunch with my parents and my dad tells me something that catches my attention. A friend of his who owned an auto shop just got this fancy car in and it's all smashed to shit. I ask him if he can show me it. He drives me down there and sure enough, it's Al and Rosa's car. Well, was. Every fucking window was smashed out, both the mirrors knocked off, the drop top's got a hole it in it, dents in each goddamn door and both the hoods. Well, my dad tells me that apparently, this piece of shit had been beating his girlfriend and she just got fed up and walked in the garage and took a fucking sledgehammer to the car. I couldn't believe it. Rosa never seemed like the violent type, but she really worked that thing over. A week or so latter, I get one of those missing person things in the mail. There's Rosa looking up at me. I do some digging on the internet and find out that she was last seen right outside of town, hitchhiking. Her family kept calling her phone but she wouldn't pick up. Just a few days ago, she finally called them. Apparently, she said she's doing all right. She's still out there, hitchhiking around the country. Her mom told her it was dangerous to be doing that, but Rosa wasn't worried. She just gave this spiel about how she'd already wasted too much time and goddammit, she wasn't wasting anymore. Hold on, I still got the missing person thing with her picture. See? That's her. If you're ever out and you see her on the side of the highway, stop and give her a lift. Oh, and tell her Carlos says hi.

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