[LAM Session 1] Berto 5

So how long did you spend driving after you dropped Abby off? Do anything to celebrate your new car? A drag race? Some drifting in a parking lot? Maybe even high-speed cornering out in the hills? Seems a waste to have a powerhouse of a car like that and not use it, you know?

Anyway, by the time you get home, the sun is hanging low on the horizon, and your mother's car is sitting in the parking spot next to yours. Seems like she's home between shifts. What does your mother do for a living, Berto?


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    No drag racing, not yet. Parking lot drifting, for sure. I take a few corners, no lie. I love this car. So much

    Mom has a few jobs. She's a maid at part of a service, She also keeps the books for a dry cleaner service, too. She doesn't have an accounting degree, "but one day I will" she tells me. They hardly pay shit. Her third job changes alot. Right now, she's doing some work-from-home typing service. Seems like a scam.

    I head inside, making sure she sees my backpack full of books. I'm going to "do my homework" while eating whatever she cooked for supper. I'll tell her about Abby. Then later, I want to work out in my room.
  • What's your place look like anyway? You already mentioned you live in an apartment, but what's the layout like?

    What she made you was a chicken con carne, on a bed of long-grain rice. A simple family recipe that she's scarfing down in the kitchen when you walk in the door. "Where's my kiss, Berto?" She asks as you enter, getting yourself a plate. She's not asking for much, just a peck on the cheek. Once you're situated, she joins you at the table, still in her maid uniform. She asks you how your day went, half listening until you come up to Abby. If you thought you could dodge out to work out before she put her piece in, you're evidently out to lunch...

    "Oh Berto... You're too young to be having girls over like that! You should be focusing on your studies, so you can go to college! Girls come later, when you got a nice, high-paying job! Like a doctor, or a lawyer!"
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    Mom gets her kiss, as usual. I tell her my day was fine, nothing big. I munch on the meal, enjoying it. My mom's a good cook. I appreciate what all she does. I mean, I hate that we moved, but I'm making friends now, I've got Officer Ramos, it's better than it was. Okay, it's hella good right now, especially today.

    Then she freaks out. "Mom, we're not dating, she's just a friend! She's been over her plenty of times, you know Abby, ok? I'll sleep on the couch, whatever. It's just for a couple days, she's having some trouble at home."
  • Her eyes narrow, and she throws her head back inquisitively at the mention of home troubles. "Enough to up and leave her loving parents? Berto, if she's got troubles, she should talk to her parents. You don't wanna be dragged into that mess, do you?" She looks at you a little closer, then points to your lip — where Freddie punched you, "what happened there? Are you OK? Tell me you weren't fighting, Berto!"
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    Shit, I forgot about that. "I stood up for one of my friends, mom. I didn't get in trouble, okay? And Abby's having trouble with her parents. C'mon, just a couple days. I promise. Mom. Please?"

    If she says no, I'll drop it. Officer Ramos can front me some money for a hotel or something.
  • She may be a little paranoid about her youngest, most promising son getting in a fight — seeing as her eldest son did his fair share of that throughout school. "Berto, please... I know you're growing up, and Chase and his family look like a good family — but if Abby can't see that, then I don't want her in this house. She has it good with them. If she can't talk to her parents, then who can she talk to? Tell her to talk it out with her parents, Berto. I don't want her staying here in this apartment, si?"
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    I shake my head, frustrated. "I can't believe you won't help her out. She's a foster kid, mom. She's got nobody else to turn to. I don't want her to do something stupid, like run away. This isn't right!" But I'm letting it go. Officer Ramos will help me. Plus, a hotel will be nicer, probably.
  • edited February 2015
    Your mother gives you a few more choice words about Abby needing to learn to respect the people who provide for her, namely Chase's parents, but you're not thinking about that, are you? You're thinking about how good Abby would look naked in a Hotel room. Once you've finished your Grapes of Wrath reading for the night, you head back into your room to work out. You can hear your mother cleaning up when you get a text from Officer Ramos:

    Don't forget buddy, keep an eye on Abby for me. Gas money ain't cheap in a guzzler like that!
    You've asked for some pretty harmless things from Officer Ramos, Berto, but a few things are starting to worry me... What won't you ask Officer Ramos for, no matter what? And moreover, what did you ask him for that he couldn't give you?
  • edited February 2015
    Of course I'm thinking about Abby naked on my hotel bed. Who wouldn't, right? I got a good workout tonight, doing upper body. I want to get more out of my delts. I check my phone after wiping off some sweat. Glad Officer Ramos nudged me.

    I type back
    To: Officer Ramos Hey, I think she's on our side. But I need to get her out of that house. She's afraid of getting sent back, but she can find some friends to live with if I help her out for a few days. Need to get her in a hotel for like a week. Can you help me out? - Berto

    I'd never ask Officer Ramos for anything for mom. She hates handouts. Plus, I don't want him to expect anything out of her, she works so hard. For some reason, he couldn't get my Dad out of jail. Makes no sense to me. None. He's a cop, they're all in it together.
  • edited February 2015
    The text eventually comes back,
    To Humberto: She better be. I can't do anything for her unless she asks for it, you know? I can't be doing people favors with my resources. This shit is expensive. That said, I do know someone who owes me a favor. Are you asking me to pull some strings for you? I could get her up for a while... I'd need a favor though. You down for a little leg-work?
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    I think about it, and about Abs and the car.
    To: Officer Ramos Yes, I can help you out with that. - Berto
  • edited February 2015
    To: Humberto That's the spirit, pal! You know a guy named Todd in your class? He's looking to have a classmate of his hook up with him. Problem is, his folks are connected with the wrong people for me to be making him an offer. Can you get him to ditch his parents this Sunday morning and meet me at the School?
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    I think about it, and about Abs and the car.
    To: Officer Ramos Got it. No problem. - Berto

  • There's a knock at your door. "Berto! Did you see that Mustang outside in the parking lot!? I wonder whose that is!"
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    I come to the door and answer it, "Officer Ramos is letting me borrow it. It's really great, isn't it?"
  • There's some conflict in your mother's eyes, and her expression fails to hide it. "Oh... Did he?" She bites her lip, and nods. "Berto... Don't you think Officer Ramos is being a little too generous with you?" She's not saying something, but you can tell she's worried about you.
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    Yeah, she would worry about me. "Mom, it's alright. I'm not stupid. I'm not going to let him hurt me or whatever. It's just, you know, he's looking out for me."
  • Your mother crosses her arms, and leans against the door frame, like a sudden chill came over her. She's seen men like Officer Ramos tempt her children before. Maybe not with cars, and magic, but she's seen it none the less. "Berto, I've got to go to work. You know that you can come to me if you need something, right? Mami works hard to give you what you need. Is there something you need, Berto? Something you're not telling me?"
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    I need to find a place for Abs to crash, like I asked you.

    I shake my head no, "No, Mami. It's all good. You take care of me, I know." I move over to kiss her forehead, try to chill her out. "I'm sure it's just for a week or something, the car. Don't worry. I'm still your boy." I stopped saying "your little boy" a couple years ago. I'm not little.
  • She looks frustrated, but she's not going to press the matter. Maybe she's too tired to fight right now. She nods, and steps away from the door. "Alright, baby... I'll be back around midnight. Don't wait up." She kisses you back, and heads out.

    There's something to be said about all that though... What you want, which is a place for Abby to crash, and what you need. Like with a capital N. You've been asking for a lot of small things, Berto. Has it ever crossed your mind to ask Officer Ramos for something more than just a couple handouts? Maybe a taste of his power? Does that even tempt you?
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    Well, yeah, sure. Of course. I'm just. I'm not stupid, right? It's just, I don't even know what power he's got, you know? He does things, and maybe it's magic? Maybe he's just messing with my head.

    I need to check in with Todd. I could send him a text, but I think I'm gonna drive over.
  • == END SCENE ==
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