Monday, February 13, 2012

Short Story: Banquete de Matrimonio.


Mi familia es el diablo. Well, only at large events like these. We could never congregate without madness. This one took the cake. Literally.

There was scattered fried chicken everywhere. After the leftover salad was through being tossed around the room, it was the only other entrĂ©e everyone had left to throw. I wasn’t looking forward to dinner anymore. By this time, all the bridesmaids were chasing the groom and the bride was in some corner weeping. We’d all messed up.

We should’ve told Maria that Alejandro slept with her mother. No one thought it mattered much anymore. It had been so long ago. Eleven years before, Fiona, Maria’s mother, had shown up with a young hombre to the annual summer Rodriguez reunion. Maria was away at summer camp that year. He wore a muscle shirt, faded jeans and skin as tight as a drum. Men clutched their drooling chulas, it was a sight to see.

Soon after the barbeque, Maria’s father was released from prison and the papi chulo she brought that night was long forgotten.

I walked over to Maria, her gown dragging in the spilled fountain residue. When everything was revealed, Uncle Tony knocked it over to get to the groom. Everyone was suddenly enraged by something they’d known for a long time. Idiotas.

The room was crestfallen. Guests collected their things quietly as her weeping filled the now empty space. Paper doves seemed to flutter above her head, the beautiful and silent decorations now a loud and tacky reminder. I kneeled down next to her and spoke, “This tux was almost fifteen hundred dollars. If I’m ruining it for you, I must love you.”

She almost smiled.

Maria opened her mouth to speak when a frazzled Fiona came bursting back into the room. Her blue dress, almost as elegant as the bride's, boasted spirals of cascading torn lace and mascara tears. "Maria! You know I didn’t mean for this to happen this way. I wanted to tell…”

Maria jumped up with a seething fury and pushed her mother to the ground. She pulled at the withering garment, once she’d landed, and planted her butt firm on her mother’s chest, pinning her down. The only guests still lingering, Uncle Pedro and his poker buddies gawked from the back of the room while I tried to use all my manly might to separate them. The tontos de grasa, grinned like Cheshire cats clearly deriving a carnal interest from the sight before them. Asqueroso.

“Why mom? WHY?” Maria was now pummeling her mother’s chest with her feminine fists while Fiona tried to shift from harm beneath her.

A small voice interrupted their commotion, “Mami, Maria why are you fighting?”

Maria’s ten-year-old brother Joseph looked down at his family with tears welling in his eyes. No one noticed he’d come back into the reception room. He had no idea that simply carrying a pillow would result in the food and dish fiasco he’d witnessed later on.

Maria ignored her brother’s pleas, “Tell me the truth! Have you been sleeping with him all along? When were you going to tell me Mami? On the honeymoon? After our first child? When?”

Fiona cringed underneath her daughters strength and shivered at her utterance, “I didn’t….I didn’t…..I didn’t want Joseph Jr. to find out about his father this way.”

-riv-

(photo via)

5 comments:

Christa said...

ooohhh! That was juicy. I dont even know how I would react to that last line. Once again, you have written a piece that captured me!

Christina said...

Whoa...that was a lot to take in. I didn't expect it to end like that and I wanted more. More please! =)

riva. said...

Awesome! I'm glad you guys enjoyed the story! I've been crafting here and there from these amazing prompts they're dishing out at Figment.com. If you're a writer, you should take up the challenge!

-Riv

Janine Simon said...

oh snapo this is some real novella, spanish soap opera, type shit. one critique a writing professor gave me a while ago was that she often looked at soap operas to learn the art of suspense. like soap opera writers really do that well. and that is what i get when i read this.

you got a knack for drama, huh.

riva. said...

@Janine Lol! You know me. I have to have that TWIST at the end.