(Previous post: The police station)
Being robbed and then running into her ex-boyfriend all at the same day took its toll on Latricia. She spend more time in her home gym (yes her big new house even had its own gym) blowing off steam trying to put it all behind her only to find she couldn’t.
And it wasn’t the robbery that plagued her the most. Sure it gave her a few sleepless nights but she believed in her cousin, lieutenant Sara Caliente and the SVPD. They would catch that bad guy and end the terror of crime that had plagued their small town. It was only a matter of time.
Her brother called every night to check up on her. He was a scrawny teenager who worked part time at the grocery store but his voice was that of a man and he worried about his big sister. Every night he would ask if she needed him to come over. Latrica find it extremely sweet, even though Bran couldn’t fight of a burglar any more then she could, the two of them were always close like that. He would have done anything for her.
With all that it was easy to feel safe again. But the worry that nagged at her the most was of a different variety. It was a question everyone faces at least once in their lives: “Had I made the wrong choice?”. The choice Latricia’s thoughts referred to was the one she made the day Mikha’il Kerrie asked her to marry him. At that point Latrica was sure she didn’t want to marry. She wanted to finish her studies, travel, search for the meaning of life, inspiration for her music… For something bigger then herself.
But now here she was. Back at home, pushed by her mother into a career that was different from what she envisioned, all alone and vulnerable. And Mika was so close, still handsome and somehow both the same and so different from when they were dating. He grew up Latricia figured. And deep down she knew she had never stopped loving him…
She didn’t expect for him to break up with her when she rejected his proposal, she hoped he would wait… He didn’t. But now that she had seen him again all she wanted was to call him and meet up, to say some words of apology that might bring them back together… Yet she couldn’t find those words. She doubted they existed.
But when words deserted Latricia she turned to music. It was the one thing that never failed her. While Latricia’s usual performances were just her singing with her guitar in her spare time she liked to compose piano pieces. As a house warming present her mother bought her a Schnadahupfl. It was the most expensive instrument there was and everyone who knew anything about music, including Hazel Brown, Latricia’s manager would stare at it in envy every time they came to Latricia’s home. And they had every right to be envious, it was not only beautiful but its keys were so light, producing such a lovely sound when ever they were pressed. It was such a joy to play it, to compose on it…
The robbers had taken her TV but if they were just a little smarter and more prepared they could have scored a jackpot with the Schnadahupfl, and that would have really broken Latricia’s heart…
On one Sunday morning Latrica had finally finished a piece that had spoken from her, a piece she put all the pain and sorrow she had been feeling for the past weeks, a piece that in her head was titled “Sorry Mika” but if she ever played it anywhere she would have simply called it “Regret” since she believed that to be the driving emotion for it.
She was just thinking how sadly Mika would probably never hear it and how she would given all she had, even the Schnadahupfl for him to hear it and feel the strength of the feelings she still had for him when her phone rang. He heart jumped. Mika. She thought, her heart filling with hope she jumped upwards and picked it up without even checking, she was so sure it was him….
“Hello Latricia.” Her mother said sinking all of her hopes with one word.
“Hi mum.” Latrica said trying to hide her disappointment and failing.
“You sound unwell.”
“I am fine mum.”
“Good.” Her mother said sharply. “There is a Llama game today.” She added. Latrica’s eyes widened at that. She had completely forgotten. It had never happened to her before. She was a rabid fan of the local sports team, ever since she was a kid and she used to drag her former best friend Vanessa to the stadium with her. No one in her family shared her love for sports. They all loved music of course but apart from that her big sister Rosie had her computer games, Bran had his books and mum had her parties and men. It was a surprise her mother even knew about the game since it was an away game and would not be played here in Sunset Valley.
“I completely forgot.” She said honestly.
“Well since you have yet to buy a new TV I thought we could go to a sports bar and watch it together. I don’t think our TV here at home even has those channels…”
“Sure mum.” Latricia said checking her watch. “Meet you there at three?”
She rushed to get ready still wondering what the hell all that was about. Her mother had never showed any interest in watching sports with her. She sighed and protested every time she would find herself in the same room with Latricia when she watched it on TV back when they all lived in the same house. Still Latricia rarely said no to her mother. And who else was left to go with? Her friend Walter might be interested but he was a fireman and he was almost always busy these days. There were a lot of new trainees that signed up after the meteor hit and Walter was one of the older guys assigned as their mentors.
She wondered how her mother would dress for this occasion. Nina Caliente loved to be the center of attention. And even in her golden years she never failed at that mission. Her clothes were all expensive designer stuff, her skirts were always a bit too short to be completely decent and her graying hair she dyed a bright orange, close to her natural color neither Latrica or her sister had inherited.
She had been late of course. Another way to get all eyes to turn on her, Latrica knew that but it annoyed her when she did it when she was supposed to meet her, not some man, and in a sports bar, not a party. She had surprised her when she saw she was wearing, what seemed to be a plain sweatshirt and sweatpants in a matching light teal color. She did however have a pair of large sunglasses on, even when she stepped inside. They were expensive looking, and probably cost more than an average person makes in a month. Her long orange hair was braided and colored a shade lighter then usual.
“I don’t think I have ever visited this establishment before.” She told Latrica when she joined her at the bar. “I hope they make decent cocktails. I am not sure I can watch that whole thing sober.”
Latricia had ordered them a plate of nachos and two “Bad Cheerleaders”, her mother liked the sound of that name. The game was just about to begin, and the two of them were seated on a comfy couch just in front of the TV when her mother spoke:
“I am donating a big check to the school, the one you and Bran went to.” Latricia nodded politely. There wasn’t any other school in town. “They are up for renovation and are collecting funds. That Hoves girl contacted me herself. She is up for mayor you know. She talked with principal Borders and they came up with the budget plan. Your aunt Dina says it’s a good one.” Latricia nodded again. The game would start any moment. And right now it was pretty clear her mother didn’t come here to watch it with her. Latricia was usually a patient person but she wished her mother would get to her point just a bit faster… “Well anyway, like I said it is a big check and they are throwing a party in my honor or something like this… Well it is not a party actually it is one of those things for the children, a recital or something… I asked them if you could perform there.” She turned her head to Latricia and while she could not see her eyes behind the sunglasses she knew she was daring her to say no. Latricia surprised her by agreeing almost instantly. Her mother smiled.
“Excellent news! I am sure this would be great for your record sales… Those kids like more pop-y stuff but I am sure your music could get trough to them… We’ll have a session, the two of us and Hazel, figure out what songs you’ll play… If we have time maybe do some new stuff… Something kids love…” Her mother went on but Latricia already knew what song she wanted to play. And who she wanted to invite to listen as he did.