“Miss Chica, I do not know if Joaquin mentioned anything to you, but the Wild West is big business in the East, and beyond. In Europe, the people cannot get enough of it. And, well, ma’am, I will cut to the chase, I would be honored if you would be part of our show.”
Chica smiled, she had moved close to Arvel, sitting across from the twins who had been taking turns running their fingers through his hair. She pressed her fingers into his arm. “That is a very interesting, how do we say, que es asunto?” She looked at Joaquin.
Joaquin leaned forward, “Proposition.”
“Sí, Proposition. That is a very interesting proposition, Señor Yakovlevich. What would I do in your show?”
“You would be Chica.”
“I don’ think anyone would pay money for this, Señor.”
Yakovlevich laughed and held up his hand. “Miss, Chica, you are wrong. You are…”
“Magnificent!” Vladimir blurted out without thinking; the moment, the wine and the allure of Chica too much for him to contain. He looked down at his hands, trying to hide in the shadows of the dancing fire.
“Bravo, Vladimir, bravo!”
He bowed to Chica. “You see, Miss Chica, just as the others around the fire have a special gift, given them by the Almighty, you have a gift, too. You are Chica. There is nothing more to be said.“
She leaned next to Arvel. She pressed her cheek against his. “What do you think, Pendejo, should I get a house in Bayonne, New Jersey?”
Early next morning, Chica woke Arvel. “Pendejo, I have to go.”
“Why?” He looked for his watch.
“I gotta go, Pendejo. But, you see, I did tell you. Are you not happy?”
“Yes, Chica.” He wanted to tell her not to go, but something kept him from committing to it. He looked at her and thought about how much he loved her now. “Where are you going? When am I to expect you back?”
“I gotta go, I gotta get these things to my Indios babies, Pendejo.” She waited for a moment, put on the last of her bangles and fixed her hair. She waited a little longer, shrugged.
She was gone. The Mule Tamer