We say hello. Her English is rudimentary at the best, and my Spanish is yet non-existent.  When Francisco runs away to greet new arrivals, we are left alone standing in the middle of the hall – trying to communicate best as we can.  She is more exotic than she can be called  pretty. Her oily dark brown skin is darker than mine. Her jet black hair and big penetrating dark eyes and the complexion makes her stand apart from most of the light skinned women swirling  around. Up close, I notice that cut out at the top of her tight fitting jumpsuit is a heart shaped slit,  revealing the firm round breasts through her cleavage.

We try to talk for a while and then excusing herself she disappears in to the crowd and is gone for hours. Soon she fades from my awareness as I engage in conversation with other guests.  It must have been closer to one in the morning.  I guess I must have been having good time to still be around. Francisco is long gone and the crowd is now thinning out. And I see her again. Now looking a bit weary, she is sitting on one of the two facing love seats. The another one is occupied by an elderly couple.  Intuitively, I walk up to her. She gestures me to sit down next to her.

‘Meet my parents, Luis and Rosario.’

‘Mucho gusto,’ I say.

And we talk. Rosario has lived in Los Angeles for a while, and she speaks good English.  Mainly it is her and I talk while Luis sits there looking tired and bored.  Rosario engages me and Patricia in pleasant talks.  Asking me about myself, my job, even my family back in India. I could tell, the mother likes me. A definite kiss of death!  Or maybe not.

Soon after, Rosario gets up with; ‘I better bring my husband home before he falls asleep’ Patricia too makes a move to depart.

‘Stay for a while, please!’  I plead. ‘I will bring you home in a cab.’

‘She doesn’t have to go with us. She has her own car,’ says her mother.

Patricia sticks around for an hour or longer. We somehow manage to communicate,  mostly in mimes augmented by a few words in-between. Actually she ends up taking me back to my hotel in her little Volkswagen Bug. I manage to make a date with her for the weekend.

‘I am sorry but my younger sister Tere will have to come with me!’

I agree. I guess that’s how things are done in Mexico.

I shouldn’t have worried about the third wheel. She indeed shows up with her sister for the poolside buffet at Camino Real. Soon as we finish eating and have moved to the grassy patch to lounge around, Tere promptly excuses herself and is gone. She is spending the afternoon with her boyfriend!

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