CARMEN`S PRAYERS

They were sitting in the large living-room, eating sushi and drinking hot tequila. Carmen was telling Roy of her childhood, how not far from the house where they lived there was a grove where old trees grew amidst many rocks, birds, and snakes. This was her favorite spot for childhood games and adventures.

She said that after graduating from high school, she had once studied business administration at the University of Mexico City because she was too cowardly to apply to the Theater Academy to become an actress. Then she dropped out of the university, left her family, and went to the United States on a visitor visa.

“You don’t tell me anything about your daughter,” Roy noticed.

Carmen was confused for a moment; a shadow ran over her face.

“About my daughter??  Gloria is the apple of my eye. She lives with my parents. I miss her very much.” She took her phone, which lay next on the desk, and zoomed in on the photo on screen.  “Look, what a beauty. She’ll soon turn ten years old.” She showed Roy a photo of a dark-haired girl, and he could vaguely spot her mom’s facial features on her. Then she silently poured herself a full cup of sake and chugged it in one gulp, twisting her face afterwards.

Roy realized that she doesn`t want to talk with him about her daughter, and it was a “sore subject” for her.

Soon all the sake had been drunk, and Roy took out a bottle of wine from the bar. It became clear for him that he would not go to work for the night shift, and he sent the boss a text message, reporting that he was not feeling well and was taking the day off.

They drank wine. Carmen opened up to him and started telling him about “her idol” Salma Hayek, that she watched all her films many times and remembers many episodes in great detail.

“Do you wanna see something?” On her phone, she found a song from the movie “Dusk till Dawn.” Getting up from the table, she came up to the mirror hanging on the wall. Standing before the mirror, Carmen arched her back and pushed her shoulders forward a little. She let her tense arms with clutched fingers fall back.

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