You must understand, in Peru during those years, there was only one phone for each house. And the maids answered it. And when a boy asked to speak to a daughter of the family, the maids had orders from the parents to say “Who? She is not here.” The only way to reach a girl was to go where she was.
However, you could not simply go to her house. No. “What are you doing here?” the parents would ask. “There is no party today. Come back next year.” You had to find out where her friends hung out. And you had to pretend you were there by accident. “Imagine that! Running into you by accident. What a pleasant surprise.”
“You need a girlfriend, Tocayo,” I said, looking back at Charly.
“So you can go places with Angelica and me.”
“What about Anna Maria?”
“Angelica is my real girlfriend. Anna Maria is only a diversion for Playa Sur. Even I am not crazy enough to have two girlfriends on the same beach.”
My friend from America, land of Calvinists, probably believed that my strategy was immoral, and secretly wished I would get caught. In flagrante delicto, as they say. Arms and legs entwined, rolling in the sand. Other girlfriend shows up. Screams “Bastardo!” Points the finger at me and turns on her heel. “Who’s that?” first girlfriend asks, untangling herself from Carlos, the Peruvian Don Juan. “But but but but but,” I beg, not letting go of her half-opened blouse until she slaps my hand away and storms off.
He would be wrong, of course. I would not stutter and beg. I would simply release a heavy sigh and fall back on the sand, slayed by my pain. And in time they would both come back to me.
Excerpt from Part II of Tocayos, which I will publish this Winter, a bit behind schedule. Part I is available from Smashwords.