Friday, February 22, 2008
Anna Taylor scraped another plate before stacking it neatly in the plastic tub. An overwhelming feeling of disgust washed over her. She continued to glare at the backs of the family walking from table nine. They were speaking Spanish and laughing frequently, no doubt they found it amusing that a pretty white girl had to clean up after them. How could anyone be expected to tidy-up behind these pitifully ignorant foreigners and their anchor-baby offspring? She assumed that once she left her home in Texas and arrived here in Spokane at her uncles she would be rid of them.
Although daddy held fast to his claim that this work experience would serve as a prerequisite for his footing the bill for modeling school, Anna felt it was only a deceitful and cruel plan designed to demean. He would likely pay for modeling school regardless of whether she worked or not, but explained the income would cover the difference to send her to a prestigious modeling school in Paris, one truly worthy of someone as glamorous as she. Soon the entire world would be abuzz regarding her unprecedented emergence on the runway. Quickly the sweet words ‘Anna Elizabeth Taylor’ would caress the lips of every young aspiring model.
This measly paycheck only supplied a difficult means to a deserved end. Anna made no pretenses; she didn’t believe for a second the meager pay sufficiently covered the lowly work she performed, and certainly wasn’t sufficient to require her to socialize with the other kitchen staff. All the gold in Fort Knox couldn’t compensate the daughter of an oil company executive for such a drastic lowering of social standards, especially when it came to scum such as Carlos Mendoza.
Anna didn’t know the specifics about how the immigrant dishwasher had entered this country, but she had a general idea. Carlos, under the cover of a starless night, likely scampered across the border shouldering a bag of stolen goods, naively fortunate to have remained one step ahead of border patrol. Carlos claimed to have simply left his homeland of Mexico in pursuit of freedom, and on this particular day his exuberance for his new-found liberty took literal form.
As Anna passed by he extended an open palm and helped himself to a handful of her perfect pear-shaped butt. Her initial reaction of shock soon gave way to instinct as she whirled around and struck the perpetrator on the end of his jaw with an unexpected and powerful right. Carlos staggered one step to his right then two unwieldy steps to the left before crashing into a tall stack of dishes. Heckling voices of other male workers echoed from the kitchen and the female employees cheered wildly. Apparently Carlos didn’t qualify as a first time offender and the ladies of the kitchen approved of Anna’s swift justice.
She made her way back to the dining room, pausing in front of a mirror to attend to her slightly rumpled hair. Truly—what had that heathen Mexican been thinking, she mused? Carlos Mendoza certainly wasn’t the first to touch her, but all those who had that privilege knew the price of admission. Typically bribes of expensive jewelry or meals at fine restaurants gained them access to such opulent rewards, yet this little man had nothing of value to offer. Perhaps he did have one thing she desired—his freedom. An anonymous call to I.N.S. on Monday morning would correct the situation. Without a green card, which she doubted he possessed, they would haul him back to Mexico to work in the fields, precisely where a ‘dog’ like him belonged!
Thoughts of sweet revenge softened as she imagined her father shaking his head in disgust. Tom Taylor had always attempted to fill his daughter with confidence. From a very young age, even strangers began to comment on Anna’s unusual and striking beauty. Tom reluctantly accepted this as fact, but quickly urged his daughter against depending upon her outward appearance to attain what she desired in life.
She carefully tucked a wisp of blonde hair behind her ear and admired her sultry pose. Anna winked at the reflection and blew a kiss towards the glass, “What fool would deprive the runway or movie screen of such mesmerizing beauty and a smoking-hot body? Not I”, she giggled.
After clearing several more tables, a quick glance at the clock revealed her disastrous first week of work had finally come to an end. Quickly she escaped the diner, but just as abruptly as she exited, she returned to the warmth for a moment while allowing her car to warm up. Stomping the snow from her boots, she cursed her uncle for being too cheap to have sprung for heated seats. Carlos slipped on his jacket and prepared to leave, but before he escaped Anna would give him a piece of her mind.
“Not only have I performed unspeakable labor today, this fine ass of mine has been forever tainted by filthy illegal hands and then subjected to a frozen car seat! Carlos Mendoza, undoubtedly you understand nothing about foreign justice, but very, very, soon you will feel the undesirable, yet inescapable, consequences of your indiscretions!”
The look of bewilderment on Carlo’s face indicated either he understood little of what Anna had just said or he simply didn’t care to return fire. Carlos lowered his head and carefully slipped past her, ensuring he didn’t make incidental contact. “Si, foreign justice Mizz Taylor.”
Anna returned to a slightly warmer seat. Glancing into the rear-view mirror, she pursed her lips and gave the back of her hair a toss, “Hey good-lookin’; where have you been all my life?”
The stressful day had taken its toll on Anna, she inhaled deeply then laid her head back on the headrest for a moment, closing her eyes.
“I’ve been right here waitin’ for you!”
Horrified to hear a response to the question she’d asked, Anna panicked. Little doubt lingered as to whom the voice belonged to. Her mind shifted into overdrive as she realized the danger of the situation and the sudden coldness that settled upon her cheek. She carefully moved her eyes to the rear-view mirror, where she observed the stark contrast of a shiny steel blade against her flawless skin.
“Carlos, please, please don’t cut my face…I’ll do anything you want—I swear!”
After several seconds of silence, she began to sob. “My purse—there’s probably a hundred bucks in there, it’s yours!
“It ain’t yer money I want, senorita.”
Anna knew her desperation would be evident in her words, but she must attempt to preserve her valuable asset at all costs. “Is it sex you want Carlos? If so, I’m all yours; however you want it!”
He chuckled, “Filthy illegal, huh? Tell me Mizz Taylor, when you look in the mirror, do you see the filthy bitch I see?”
Carlos began carefully tracing her high cheek-bone with the blade, lightly at first, then increasing the pressure as he descended past the corner of her mouth. He observed the skin separate and the blood slowly rise to the surface. His deviant actions stirred no emotion within him. The uncontrollable smile resulted from the irony of Anna looking into the mirror, her horrified expression as she helplessly watched her own beauty fade, slice by slice.
“Si, Mizz Taylor, foreign justice!”