the next morning, breakfast was delivered to the bungalow. i sat at the breakfast nook in my oversized t-shirt and fuzzy socks with arabella as we shoveled bacon and scrambled eggs into our mouths.
we were laughing about shawn getting pushed off the merry-go-round the day before by a six-year-old, when the front door opened and slammed behind us.
"hey," a man's voice said.
we both swung around. it was charlie.
"what's up?" arabella asked. he was dressed in dress pants, a tie, and bright blue dress shirt. "where are you going?"
charlie shrugged his shoulders and bit his lip. "kara had a meltdown over wedding plans. she's just been really emotional lately, so i'm heading back today. where's deej and shawn?"
arabella snorted. "still asleep."
he was acting weird, swinging his arms from side-to-side. "tell 'em i said bye."
i patted arabella on the leg. "can ya give us a minute?"
"yeah," arabella smirked, "i think i'll go give shawn a little wake-up surprise."
we both watched as she skipped out of the room, and then i turned harshly to charlie. "what's really wrong?" i asked.
he walked toward me, pushing himself between my knees. "i don't want to go," he said quietly.
"then don't," i said, nonchalantly.
charlie huffed. "i have to. d.j. abdicated, arabella doesn't have her shit together enough for the senate, getting married is the only way for my family to keep the crown."
i tucked his wavy brown hair behind his ear and rested my forehead on his shoulder. "i wish you didn't have to do this."
he lifted my head. "if i had my choice," he whispered, "it would be you."
i scoffed and pushed him away. "i bet you say that to all of the girls back home."
he rolled his eyes. "whatever."
* * *
charlie took off while the rest of us loaded up into our fifteen-passenger vans. miguel had offered to take us on a tour of the city, to see work that other missionaries had been doing since we last visited baja. the press was busy covering a story of a thwarted terrorist attack in a town a few hours away, so we had the time to sneak off.
i sat in the middle row with arabella and shawn. he was busy typing away on his phone, before he finally groaned and threw his head back.
"what's wrong?" d.j. asked, turning around in his seat.
shawn tossed his phone to d.j. "somebody," he said raising his eyebrows, "is causing me to have an ass-ton of paperwork for their senate run and abdication and most of it needs to be done by the end of the week." he sighed and leaned over to dominick and isabel in the front row. "uh, i may have to head back later today. do you think that would be okay?"
isabel and dominick looked at one another. "i don't see why not," dominick said, still looking at his wife.
"yeah," isabel smiled, "i mean, if you have an ass-ton of paperwork to do."
they both started belting out laughing while everyone else just stared at them, and each other. "you guys are weird," d.j. said.
we continued to drive through the villages, looking at new homes that were replacing shacks that were falling apart. as we began to head back into the industrial part of town, we drove through a beautiful residential area.
"ahh," miguel, who was driving, called out, "there is the home of ambrose." he pointed to a beautiful stone house. there were two bikes lying in the front yard and a gold mini-van in the driveway.
"uhhh," d.j. spoke up as a dark-haired woman stepped out the front door with a baby on her hip, "does he live with his sister?"
miguel looked at us from the rear-view mirror. "no, your highness, that is his wife and his new baby boy. he has two others that are both a few years older, as well."
arabella and d.j.'s eyes flew to me. i began seeing red. my throat choked up and i leaned my head on the back of the seat in front of me.
* * *
as soon as we got back to the mission, i went on a mission of my own.
"where's ambrose?" i asked his secretary, pointedly.
she looked up at me surprised. she said something in spanish, but i didn't understand. "señorita," miguel said from his office, "he is on de beach. he does a clean-up every wednesday."
i bounded out the back door, down the path passed the garden, and down to the beach. there he was, shirtless again. it didn't distract me one bit from how furious i was.
"ambrose!" i barked from thirty yards away.
he looked up and smiled widely, "carmina!" he exclaimed.
"are you married?" i spat out as i reached him.
his smiled quickly faded. "disculpe?" he asked.
i scoffed. "answer me, you asshole. you know what i asked. are. you. married?" i repeated.
he swallowed hard and began speaking in spanish.
"answer me in english!" i screamed.
his head fell. "i meant to tell you."
"what the actual fuck, ambrose?!" i yelled. "it's not like i was the one that initiated all this. you were the one that asked me out, took me back to what i thought was your place, and when i tried to stop our... whatever that borderline sex thing, but you pushed it further!"
"i-" he began to speak.
"no!" i screeched. "you're a cheater and a lousy piece of shit! your poor wife doesn't deserve to be stuck with a pathetic ass wipe like you!" i spun around and took off running, slinging sand on ambrose as i took off.
* * *
i was bawling my eyes out as i threw my clothes into my suitcases. the original plan was to spend a week working on service projects in the villages of baja and then another week relaxing at one of the resorts.
"what's going on?" d.j. asked as i chucked shoes into my bag.
i wiped at my eyes. "i'm going home."
d.j.'s mouth fell open. "oh shit, so he's really married?"
i gave him a dirty look. "i have to go if i'm going to catch that plane back with shawn."
i pushed passed him and ran out the front door. as i hopped into my cab, i heard him yell, "call me when you get home."
* * *
the taxi pulled up to the helipad that was going to take shawn to the airport so he could fly home. i yanked my bags out of the trunk, tossed cash into the window at the driver, and rushed out toward the helicopter that had just started up.
"what are you doing?" shawn exclaimed over the propellors.
"can i ride home with you?" i screamed. "he's married!"
shawn waved me on and helped me up into the seat across from him. "i'm sorry," he said into my ear as the helicopter lifted off.
YOU ARE READING
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