Nina Caliente is a retired musician, living alone with her youngest son Brandon Caliente. She has two daughters, the oldest Rosie lives in Bridgeport while Latrica had just moved out. Nina bough her a house and plans for her to have a music career just like she did but recently Latricia had taken her future in her own hands doing something her mother did not expect…
“Latricia is engaged.” Nina Caliente said watching one of her older sister’s perfectly trimmed eyebrows shoot upwards. The two of them were seated at the bistro downtown on of their weekly lunches. It was a tradition for them ever since they both retired and settled down a bit from their previous busy schedules.
“Engaged to whom?” Her sister asked.
“That Kerry boy, the one she had been dating in school.” Nina answered taking a sip of wine.
“Oh? He works for Sarah you know.” Her sister said in reply and Nina just nodded. The truth was both Dina’s oldest daughter and Nina’s daughter’s fiancee worked for the SVPD. They were both public servants but she didn’t want to make that distinction at the moment. She knew her sister wouldn’t appreciate being reminded of the fact. When she said nothing more her sister asked: “And how do you feel about it?”
Before replying Nina took another sip of wine, a more generous one this time. Truth was she didn’t approve. And not because the boy was a policeman or anything like that. Nina didn’t approve of marriage in general, and her daughter was so young… What did she really know about life? Nina planned for her to have a music career, she was talented and pretty. Marriage and kids could ruin all that… Nina herself had never been married and she had a great life. She came close once, with her oldest daughter’s father Dave, they even lived together for a time, big mistake. Yet back then she was young and stupid too… And she could not share any of this with her older sister who had just tied the knot, for the second time with a young waitress or whatever it was Justine did….
“I wish her all the best.” She said once she had lowered her glass. Dina smiled in amusement. Her older sister could always read people well, you learn that in politics Nina guessed.
“Engagements don’t have to mean anything….” She said dismissively. “You were engaged yourself once…. And my Sara and that boy of hers haven’t gotten married yet and you know how long it had been since he proposed….”
“I guess marriage is not for everyone.” Nina said hoping to switch the ball in her sister’s court. “How is your lovely bride doing?” Dina smiled a bright smile people usually do when they talk about the ones they love, or at the very least enjoy sharing a bed with. Nina herself wasn’t sure if she even believed in what people passed on as love….
“Justine is fine. I bought her a bar to keep her busy once we got from honeymoon… She had been very grateful. What about you sister, are you seeing anyone?”
“Just two guys.” Nina replied. “Abdul is young, he used to be my maid before I sacked him for not doing any cleaning on account of spending all day in my bed. Aegon is close to sealing the deal with wife number two so it is just a fling between us… I call him up whenever I am feeling bored or in want of a deeper conversation…”
“That doesn’t get boring? Even in your life stage?” Dina asked couriously.
“Why would it?” Nina asked defensivily. “They are both fun, easy on the eyes, and the sex is good.”
“Well surely you want something more, at times at least?” Nina snorted.
“What more is there? Life is too short to chase after imagined things… ” She didn’t want to say it. She didn’t want to offend her recently married, love-sick sister… Yet she couldn’t help it. “You would sooner see a unicorn then find ‘true love’.” When her sister said nothing Nina just went on. “You just married for the second time. Your first marriage fell apart because you slept with someone else. Please don’t tell me you believe in ‘the one’…” Her sister just looked away and when she turned back there was something in her eyes, something Nina didn’t see there ever before, a kind of sorrow and vulnerability so disconnected from how she perceived her older sister.
“I am not sure what I believe in. ” She said quietly. “Feeling are tricky I guess… And as we grow old our memories play tricks on us… ” She sighed looking out in the distance again. Once she turned back her face had resumed its usual coldness.
“Enough on that, there is something I wanted to ask you. How is money? If you are having any troubles surely you know you can always ask for a loan…”
“A loan? Where is that coming from?” Nina asked surprised.
“I hear rumors that you are in debt… You are working on something with the school and I also saw your nudes in a magazine….” At this Nina actually laughed.
“Come on sister, you actually believe in rumors in this city? I am working with the school, I am helping the Simlish teacher with a musical, she wrote a story adaptation and I am helping with the music, it is called giving back to the community… As for the nudes anyone could get a hold of those, they don’t even have to try very hard. Once I stop stripping it would mean my body had gone too saggy, now that would be a disaster.”
“Well I needed to check.” Dina replied in defense. “What kind of a sister would I be if I didn’t?”
“Not a fine older sister I suppose.” Nina said gladly accenting the ‘older’. “The royalty check still keep coming, I did spend a lot on Latricia’s new house but I’ll have it covered in less than a year.”
“Fine then, I guess you wouldn’t mind taking the check?” Dina said pushing it towards her sister. Their eyes met and they both smiled.