They sat across the table from one another, each carving up his own chicken breast. Not a word had been spoken since Marie last exited the room in tears.
“Let me get this straight,” Mr. Huerto finally said. “You come to my house, shake my hand one time, and now you’re expecting to leave with my wife?”
“Not just leave,” said Joe. “I want to be with her.”
Mr. Huerto shook his head. He wiped the sauce from his lips with his white napkin. “You think I’m some kind of joke? You think you can just waltz in here, have yourself a fine meal, then spend the night fucking my wife?”
“Mr. Huerto, you know that’s not what I came for! I’m in love with her. We’re in love together.”
“You think she loves you?”
“I know it.”
Mr. Huerto scoffed. “You’re really something, you know. Haven’t been laid in a while, is that it?”
“No!” Joe shouted.
Marie could be heard weeping in the other room.
“What did you do, anyway?”
Joe didn’t answer.
“C’mon, if you really think I’m gonna hand over my wife to you, you better give me some answers.”
Joe had a drink of water. “I’m done wasting my time here.” He got up to leave.
“Joe, sit down,” said Mr. Huerto. “I’ll let you have her without a fight, but only if I approve.”
“I don’t need your approval,” said Joe.
“But Marie sure does, unless you want her life to be filled with doubt. She’s come to love me, you know. Despite what you may think.”
After a lengthy exhale, Joe began his story.
PART 2, COMING SOON!
– Thomas M. Watt