The margarita wasn't working for Tiffany. Sure it was cold, but not nearly cold enough. Again she asked herself just what the hell she thought she was doing in the one of the hottest places in the world during the hottest time of the year. But in the end, it all came back to him though, didn't it? Wasn't it worth getting away from it all, just for her own sake?
Even her back was sweating now, beads trickling down and driving her insane until she finally leaned forward, attempting to peel her thin blouse away from her back and waft in some fresh air without attracting too much attention. Not that she didn't already stick out here. She couldn't deny it. She was never very good at blending in anywhere. She hoped she didn't smell as bad as she felt.
She tried to focus on the music. What there was of music, anyway. The ancient radio played mostly static, and the clunky speakers scattered around echoed mostly feedback, but there was a band playing. They were the usual fair: the trumpets, guitars, light percussion and a trio of singers all in tune. It was a happy song and even though she couldn't understand a word they were saying, it comforted her. Or maybe the margarita was kicking in now?
Her cellphone vibrated and she dug it out of her purse, her heart pounding. Was it him already? She didn't dare delete his name until she was sure he would stop calling her. Thankfully the name on the screen flashed "Maria" and she answered.
"Shame on you, Miss Tiffy! Why did I have to hear from your sister that you were in town, hmm?"
Penny. That figured. Her older sister did have a big mouth. She had to let someone know she would be out of the country for a while though.
"Okay, the silent treatment. Well, I'm coming to pick you up no matter what you say anyway, so let's skip the drama and tell me where you are." Tiffany had forgotten how nice it was to hear her musical voice.
"I'm sorry, I just wanted to be alone."
"Nonsense. Don't make me Google you." They laughed.
After a little more nonsense, Tiffany finally caved and told her everything. Maria arrived half an hour later and stormed into the bar.
There wasn't much more to say, but they shared another margarita together, sometimes laughing, other times crying, but always ending back at the same point.
"You shouldn't stay indoors like this. It's a nice day."
"Says you! It's hot!"
Maria rolled her eyes, "Oh please, you have no concept of hot little miss Massachusetts!" They both laughed. "Besides it's not even Noon yet. Speaking of which, I'm starving. C'mon, I'm buying."
Lunch wasn't what Tiffany had expected at all. The truck looked more like it should be selling ice cream to kids, especially since the side of it was covered in painted cartoon characters, all of the most popular ones from the States and some foreign ones she didn't recognize at all. There were a lot of kids gathered around, but there were adults too and the line wrapped around the delapidated playground. Tiffany was fanning herself but it was even hotter now, even with her wide-brimmed hat shading herself. Maria seemed energized by the heat, even more so than usual.
Tiffany didn't complain so much about the heat. She was too busy chatting up Maria and describing the smells that were wafting out from the truck and the hungry people lunching.
"Promise it's not too spicy?"
"I'll tell them to just give you the tortilla," she said and they laughed again.
"What's so special about this taco truck anyway?"
"You'll see," Maria said, grinning like a little girl with a secret to tell.
Tiffany found out too late what she meant when she was staring into the face of a young man her age who had a smile that was even wider than Maria's.
"And what can I get for you, Senorita?"
Tiffany wasn't surprised that he spoke English. Almost everyone spoke a little, enough to deal with tourists like her, but she was surprised that he had an accent similiar to Maria's - which meant he had probably spent some time States-side like she had, probably for college.
She wanted to give Maria a dirty look or kick her with her heels or something, but found herself for the first time in a long while with nothing to say. She was even hotter than she had been all day, even under the truck's awning with the young man's fan blowing a cool breeze against her face.
"Emile, this is my friend, Tiffany - you know, from Brown?"
"Oh yeah?" He offered a hand. "Nice to meet you."
Tiffany shook it, squeezing, his grip was good but not crushing.
"How bout dos especiales?" Emile pointed to the menu. There were no pictures so Tiffany had no idea what was in it. Tiffany was boiling in the heat, her vision clouding.
"Perfecto!" Maria paid him, but his eyes were watching Tiffany, still smiling.
There were a few complaints from the line behind them. Emile shouted something back to them. Then he turned back to Tiffany. "I'm off soon, want to hang out later?"
"Yes." Tiffany's face turned bright red, but it wasn't from sunburn.