The phone rang, once, twice … Rocio picked it up and looked at the screen. Jax … She hesitated, still unsure why she had given him her number. In case she got car trouble again sounded like a feeble excuse now, but when he said it, it had been enough to reluctantly make her write her number on the back of a receipt. She stared at his name and number that were flashing impatiently on the screen, and she let it go to voicemail. As soon as the phone stopped ringing, she couldn’t stop herself from feeling disappointed.
Damn it, she should have picked up. But what the hell for? She looked at the shabby walls of her home and the little furniture she owned. It was bad enough that he had seen the downtrodden neighborhood she lived in. If she started dating him, he would eventually also see what the inside of this hovel looked like … No, no way, she wasn’t going to let him in, neither in her house, nor in her life. She had seen the empty beer bottles on the floor in his Toyota, and there had been a few beer cans in the bed of the truck too.
She remembered all too well her life with Gustavo, Luis’s father. God, they had been so young. She was only sixteen when she was pregnant with Gustavo’s child. Back then he was good and sweet, he cared for her well-being, and he wanted to find work. After they returned to Acapulco, Gustavo finished high school, she had her child and got her high school degree by taking evening classes. Then, they traveled back to Los Cabos.
At first, all went well. Gustavo and she found a job at the same local grocery store, she as a cashier and he was busy stacking shelves and driving around carts with products. They rented a room for them and their baby and were saving money for an apartment. Then Gustavo got in with the wrong crowd. She didn’t realize it at first when they went to those parties. Gustavo had a few beers, no big deal, so did she. After a while though, she noticed the continuous presence of beer bottles in their fridge, and Gustavo was often sprawled on the couch with a bottle or a can in his hand.
The drinking increased. She tried to help him, but he refused any assistance and instead he turned to violence. She stayed, hoping he would return to being the sweet man she used to know, but to no avail. That sweet man was long gone, buried under layers of drunken rage and frustration. Things only got worse when he lost his job. Finally, she had no choice but to leave him. She did not want to raise Luis in such an environment.
And now, there were beer bottles and cans in Jax’s car … As soon as she saw it, alarm bells started ringing. She reluctantly admitted to herself that he did buy a lot of beer at the store. This didn’t look good …
The phone buzzed. Jax had sent her a text. “Did you get the car fixed?”
Her mechanic had picked up her car and taken it to his workshop. That was the last she had seen of it. She didn’t have money to pay for the repairs, and she didn’t want to use her savings, because she planned to use them for a better house. The money was for Luis, so he could grow up in a better enviroment. She wasn’t going to touch that. She just needed to save a few more months, and then she would have enough for a down payment on a little house in Cancrejos.
Cangrejos wasn’t great either, but the roads were paved, and it was better than the neighborhood she was currently living in. She knew very well that she would never be able to afford a home in one of those areas where the gringos or the rich Mexican families lived. She often looked at those houses with longing in her eyes, but she was realistic enough to know that that was just an unattainable dream … She was meant for the barrios. What did this New Zealander want with her anyway?
“Si,” she texted back, “Car is fine.”
Jax was fuming. What the hell had he been thinking? He glanced at the passenger in his car from time to time, angry at the gall of his long time friend.
“You shouldn’t be out, you know,” he said.
Smirking mischievously, Marc replied, “I stayed long enough. It was time to get out.”
“I’m not drunk.”
“You can barely stand. How the hell did you get out of that place in that state?”
“I started drinking as soon as I left, idiot.”
“You’re the idiot. I’m taking you back, right now.”
“No, you’re not! And who are you to tell me off? Look at those beer bottles, they’re all over the place!”
“They’re not all mine.”
“Like hell they’re not.”
Jax stared straight ahead, fixing his gaze on the road before he would do something that might get him a prison sentence. His friend was not ready to leave the rehabilitation center. If it had been a professional, governmental institution, he would not have been able to get out, but it was one of those private ones, run by ex-junkies and ex-alcoholics who wanted to help others who didn’t have the means to pay for a professional center. As effective as they could be, residents could just walk in and out at their leisure. There didn’t seem to be much control over that, even if there was a curfew.
“You should go back,” Jax tried one more time, but Marc snorted in disgust and stared out of the window, noticing a short, pretty, Mexican lady who stood outside of a workshop and was talking to a guy. She didn’t look happy, but for a brief moment she glanced sideways … her eyes met Marc’s for a few seconds and then she quickly turned her attention back to her companion … Marc was confused, he knew he looked like hell right now. He must have made a mistake, she had probably just stared at Jax’s ramshakle old vehicle that was in dire need of a painting job.
At that moment Jax also saw Rocio on the sidewalk. She was standing at the entrance of a mechanical workshop, in deep conversation with the owner. It didn’t look like her car was fixed. She appeared to be a little too concerned. Damn, and he had Marc in his car! Now was not the moment to talk to her.
Rocio saw him drive by, and she noticed the passenger in Jax’s car. She recognized the symptoms, a swollen red nose, his arm was swaying out of the window without a care, and his eyes were beady and watery. He was definitely on something, most likely alcohol. It might explain the presence of the beer bottles in the Toyota, and for a brief moment she found herself hoping that they belonged to the passenger and not to Jax. She looked away immediately and watched the mechanic enter his property. She followed him, not eager to find out more about the reparation costs.
She had enough to worry about now, money for the car, finding a way to pick up Luis from school every day, making sure she kept on saving … She shouldn’t have any hope when it came to Jax. He was just another no-good drunk. After her experience with Gustavo, she wanted no more of that. She had learned her lesson.
Then why did she turn around once more to watch him drive away?
Thanks for following up on Rocio and Jax 🙂 Stay tuned for part 3 (and conclusion of this story), coming up very soon!
This is a great story. You are a wonderful storyteller! I’ll be interested to see what happens with Rocio and Jax in Part 3. Your descriptions of the people and events are just right. Great job. I see novels in your future, I hope. You really should publish this story in a sequel to your first book.
Thanks! I will publish a sequel in my upcoming book Tales from Los Cabos, Volume 2. I am working on it 🙂 I am planning the release date for November 2020.
I love your story! Cannot wait to read the next part I want to find out what will happen to Rocio and Jax! This story is scary relatable. I think all of us may have all experience on how alcohol or substances can effect our loved one. Of course now it is the financial problems with the package as well. Anyways, I cannot wait to read the part 3 🙂
Hi again 🙂
True, many can probably relate to or have experienced a relationship with someone who was using subsances. it is indeed scary … I am working on part 3 and I am planning to publish it on Tuesday. 🙂
So good im ready for part 3 i have already book marked. Hopefully it comes out soon got me hanging in the balance! You should definitely publish this as an e -book or hardback! You keep us all wanting more!
truly u have a knack for this! Keep them coming! I wish i had half the talent you do you’re doing great! Would it be possible to post a schedule of release? Like when part 4, 5, 6, and 7 will hit your website?
A schedule for release is a great idea! I will do that asap. Part 3 of Rocio and Jax’s story will be published on Tuesday 🙂
“Reaching for Pearls” Part 1 of the story, I actually started reading out of curiosity. I must say that this story is wonderful. After reading your story, I appreciate your writing, you are a great writer. I went crazy for reading the second part of this story. Now I’m so happy after reading the”Reaching for Pearls” Part 2 and believe me, now I can’t wait to read the third part. What’s going to happen with “Rocia and Jax” in the third episode, Thank you so much for bringing us such a beautiful story. I will share this story with various social media so that they can read more about such a beautiful story and I also shared “Reaching for Pearls” Part 1 story through various social media and with my friends they appreciated your writing.
Thank you very much for sharing part 1 and 2 of my story on social media. Sharing is caring, as they say 😉
Part 3 will be published on Tuesday 🙂 I hope to see you here?
Thank you for liking my short story! 🙂
A story of human struggle. Good storytelling. Charles Dickens created epic teles in installments. How long will your tale go on, do you think?
With too many people, I suppose, alcohol is like a fire; it never says “Enough!” I suppose this story says a lot about how selfish people can get. Poor people can be just as selfish as the rich.
At first, I didn’t get who Luis was, but it’s her son, right? Is Luis waiting to be picked up, probably not I am thinking, but he/she (I have no idea which) is being looked after by somebody else? Am I right? I’d be interested to read the next installment.
Luis is Rocio’s son, and she had to pick him up from school. I planned to end this tale in part 3 (which I will publish on Tuesday), but I think that there may be a part 4 as well 🙂
Thank you for your great comment!
I actually started reading part one of the story reaching for pearls out of curiosity and after Reading I began to long for more…now I have read part 2 and my taste has grown even more,I can wait to read the third part as I don’t know what would be happening to my two favourite characters ROCIO and JAX.I must say you are one of the best writers that I have seen as you have really passed on a very beautiful story, can’t wait for part 3😍
Thanks again for a great comment! i’m glad you like Rocio and Jax’s story. Part 3and part 4 are also published on my website. Feel free to check them out 🙂
This is a great story and very relatable. It reminds me a little of an ex who struggled with alcohol abuse. It is a horrible experience, especially when they can’t see the damage it causes to those that love and care about them. You have a lovely writing style and I can’t wait to read the rest 😊
I also have an ex like that, and it was a bad experience. They do not see how much they hurt their loved ones … I think it happens to so many people, so I thought to include it in my story. I’m happy you enjoyed Rocio and Jax’s tale 🙂
Hey, I enjoy a lot while reading you story on reaching for pearls and find it very beautiful for everyone like me. With too many people , I suppose alcohol is like a fire , It never says Enough. I suppose this story say a lot about how selfish people can get. Poor people are as selfish as rich. Thanks for writing a beautiful story.
For some people it can indeed never be enough. There is a lot of drinking in my hometown, maybe because it is a tourist place and a party town, it probably has a lot to do with that. I also agree that poor people can be just as selfish as rich people.
Thank you for your comment!
That is a very nice read, I can easily identify with the people described there. Right now I feel a bit sorry for Rocio, but can understand her hesitance and bias, knowing where she came from. She was courageous enough to walk away from the other guy, even when he is the father of her child. If not for herself in the first place, then for her the boy who comes first. I hope and trust that she will also find the courage and give herself the chance to better learn to know Jax. One good conversation can clear away possible misunderstandings very quickly!
Very true, one good conversation can clear away possible misunderstanding quickly. Too bad that most people don’t get to such a conversation, although it could be so easy, right? People sometimes tend to complicate things 😉