The Concierge – Chapter Fifty Three
“Come in Jeremiah,” says Celia as she walks past Allegra who is standing in shock at the door, still shocked to see the guest they have just received. She walks the guest in to the living room and offers him a seat, all the while Allegra is dumbfounded. But her questions are answered when Jeremiah, offers Celia a plastic bag with some herbs and spices. Delighted Celia smiles and beams with happiness, “ now I can finally try to make that Indian dish I have been meaning to all week. You really need to stop working at the bodega and open your very own shop, you seem to be able to find and provide more ingredients than that place ever could .I knew when I came to your place this morning that I wouldn’t be disappointed”. She gives him a hug and Allegra realizes that he is just a kind young man helping a middle aged woman with her creativity in the kitchen. Satisfied with this explanation “Well mom, I’m gonna go do some homework”, says Allegra, “nice to meet you Jeremiah, she says and smiles before she disappears into her room”.
Once the door is shut, Celia turns to Jeremiah and she smiles, as once again she gives him a hug and thanks him for the herbs, lately smoking weed is the only thing that has been keeping me from taking those pills,” she smiles at him as she places a hand on his face. She hugs him tightly and he kisses her on her forehead, i should get going, i seen da way ya daughter was looking at me when she opened da door.
I’ll see ya tomorrow, to teach you how to ‘use’ those herbs in a new dish, he does the quote unquote sign with his hands. She blows him a kiss as he walks out of the apartment, walking to her bedroom, she takes out on of her boxes and puts in the new bag of weed in it. As she sits on her bed, she thinks back to this early morning when Juan dashed into the house, straight to the showers and hopped into bed ,without even saying a word. Celia had thought that it maybe due to some rough time at work, but there was glow to his face, a happiness to his movement that could not possibly have been there if he had gone through a bad day at work. She stops and thinks for a moment and wonders “Could he be smoking weed too ?”
Maria walks into Ashley’s room with a tray with some tea , Ashley and Heidi suddenly grow silent. Maria is not happy that her best friend has chosen to side with a materialistic girl who clearly didn’t care for her.The girls sit quietly for a few minutes before Heidi excuses herself to get up and leave.
As soon as she is out of the door, Maria walks back into Ashley’s room and she tells Ashley that she had over heard everything. Ashamed Ashley puts her head down in shame and begins to cry. Trying to console, her Maria says something that Ashley does not like and Ashley reacts in a way that Maria never expected.
“I can’t do that, opening a case, pressing charges, testifying, giving statements, i don’t want to go through all that,” screams Ashley.
“If you don’t then this will happen to another girl and another.” says Maria, hoping her friend would understand why she should press charges against these disgusting men.
“It’s my fault , i should never have gone to see him alone, i was greedy” answers Ashley.
Maria can not believe her ears, how can Ashley blame herself for being assaulted. She stares at her friend with tears in her eyes but Ashley can not even look back into Maria’s eyes not because she was ashamed of her lack of courage to press charges against Walter but because she was ashamed of the fact that she believe that these designer bags and jewellery were worth this type of humiliation.
Sonya comes home for her lunch break and is happy to find both her mother and Allegra are at home, lately she hardly gets to see any one, everyone always seems to be busy doing something. Her mother is in an unexpectedly good mood, singing and dancing while cleaning the dishes, Allegra was on the couch with what seemed to be a very expensive new mobile phone. Sonya puts her bag on the coffee table and sits beside Allegra, who looks up and smiles at her.”Thats quite a phone there, where did you get it from?” she asks her younger sister. Having thought of everything, Allegra answers that lately she had been doing hair and make up for people at events and she has been being paid quite well.”I have got so many nice stuff , at yard sales, even though they are used they still look new, shoes, dresses, phones, “she lifts up her mobile and points it out as she lies to her sister. Not one to doubt any one, Sonya smiles and squeezes her sister’s hand,”I’m so proud of you, such an entrepreneur! Tu sera la proximal J.Lo in no time”, she says and they both laugh.
“I guess its only us girls,” says Celia as she puts the pot of chicken soup on the table. The three women take their seat , close their eyes and are just about to say grace, when suddenly they start hearing a humming sound. It grows intense and louder, Sonya opens one eye and it is met by both of Allegra’s eyes wide with shock. Strange enough, Alegra was not looking at Sonya, she was looking straight ahead at her mother, looking at her mother Sonya was surprised to find her holding the spoon like a micro phone in one hand and humming to the bowl of soup in front of her.
Pablo spends the whole afternoon listening to Juan talk about his new lady love, how she feels, how he feels, how she makes him feel, how he wants to feel, how he needs to feel. He sits down on a stool as he starts to feel dizzy with ‘feelings’. But Juan is so happy, he smiles as he listens absently to his friend, it has been so long since he has seen his friend so care free about money and the struggle.” You know a bunch of us guys are going to a new bar that’s just opened up here in Brooklyn, you should come?” he invites his friend.”No no señor,i missed my shift at the concierge last night, i need to work back to back shifts, i want to save up and get something nice for Anna.” Pablo could not believe what he was hearing, is it possible that Juan was smoking weed?
Ahmet and Miguel are busy in the kitchen, preparing some round type of bread, which Ahmet calls chapati, he tells it is a common indian bread.They also boil potatoes, grind them with fish, dip in in egg yolks then in breadcrumbs and fry them, this is called katlessi, a swahili dish common on the island of zanzibar. After they are done with their cooking, they eat together while watching some tv. Miguel asks Ahmet if he can take a shower before he goes home as he smells of fried fish ,eggs and flour. Ahmet proceeds to show him the toilet and he hands him a towel. He goes back to the living room and the Tv but somehow he can not concentrate, he slowly stands up, listening to the shower water running, he proceeds to go towards the master bathroom where Miguel is showering.