Ocean’s Crest Segment 1
Another morning has come; the air is salty, the sun is shining and the gulls are squawking away. Sunlight illuminates the room as it shines through the cream colored curtains. A loud ringing comes from a phone on a nightstand.
Nikki sits up immediately as she rubs her eyes letting them adjust gradually to the light and pushes a few stray strands of light brown hair off her face.
She rises to her feet and stretches before heading to the window.
“What a perfect way to start off my summer,” she says sarcastically.
She picks up a ponytail holder off her dresser and puts her hair up in a messy bun. Reaching down to where her oversized t shirt ended on her thighs and stripped it off. When her body was nude she slipped on a robe and headed to the bathroom.
Downstairs in the kitchen pancakes were being cooked over one a griddle while eggs were being fried on a pan. An older woman in her 50s is in a housekeeping uniform with her sandy brown hair tied up. Her tan skin had some wrinkles and obvious signs of years of hard work with bags under her eyes.
Paola Ramirez, a Cuban immigrant , hard worker, and mother; woke up early every morning to cook and get ready for her day at work where she was a housekeeper at one of the most successful resorts in Ocean’s Crest.
“Giselle, call your sister to come downstairs,” she instructs her eldest daughter who is standing by the kitchen table feeding her three year old.
“Can’t you do it, mama? You’re louder than I am anyway. I’ll finish cooking, my kids need their breakfast anyway,” Giselle says weaving past her to the stove.
“Nicolaaasa!” she yells in her accented voice that makes the name just roll off her tongue.
“I’m right here, mama. The whole neighborhood doesn’t have to hear you calling me,” Nikki says as she walks down the stairs in a short sleeved and belted purple blouse with black dress pants.
Nikki sits down at the table as Giselle puts a plate in front of her. She picks up her fork and pushes her eggs around the plate.
“Did you remember to thank God this morning for gifting you with a job?” Paola asks. “We’re so fortunate you have this department store job.”
“Yeah we’re so fortunate we have to take the bus every morning to get to our jobs,” Nikki snaps while rolling her eyes.
“I have money saved up so we can get a car, we just need a little more,” Giselle says sitting down next to her sister.
Though full sisters they couldn’t be any more opposite if they tried. Visually there was only a slight resemblance.
Giselle had more of a golden tan tint to her skin while Nikki was more of a honey beige tone. Nikki’s hair was her natural color a chestnut brown while Giselle dyed hers so much it was a sandy almost blonde shade now. Nikki had a heart shaped face while Giselle’s was more oval. Giselle had her mother’s brown eyes while Nikki had her father’s dark eyes.
Personality wise they were even less alike. In high school Giselle had been smart and popular with a lot of friends and every guy lusting after her. It was the same way when she went to college. She did well in college and was pretty popular among the athletes.
Too bad she wasn’t smart enough to make good decisions. Immediately after college graduation she got pregnant by her boyfriend at the time. He left her when he found out and her family had to pick up the pieces.
Ever since then her 10 years younger sister had been held to a different standard and sheltered by their mother. Giselle was the pretty wallflower who had to forgo college to help pay for her sister’s mistakes.
“Why do we have to work so hard?” I’m 21 and while most of my friends are graduating from college after this fall, I’ll just be starting. Why can’t Giselle go out and get a job?” Nikki complains.
“You know your sister can’t get childcare right now,” Paola argues.
“I’m sorry,” she sighs. “It’s not my fault she has two kids with neither father in the picture!”
“You don’t even know all the details!” Giselle looks down at her.
“I know enough,” Nikki jumps out her chair. “I know that one was an abuser but you stayed with him when you should’ve been gone after the first slap! Instead you stuck around and let him beat you so bad you were in the hospital for days.”
Nikki has vivid memories of her sister in the hospital and black and blue, her face swollen and her spirit crushed.
“Nicolasa! Do not talk to your sister like that. Respetamos su hermana!” Paola yells sternly.
“Respect, Respect? I don’t respect the fact that you continue to condone her terrible choices. Then again, like mother like daughter. Where’s papa again?”
The sound of Paola’s palm connecting with her daughter’s face fills the kitchen.
Giselle’s oldest daughter tried not to look in their direction which is hard for a 9 year old.
Holding the side of her face,
“You know it’s true!” Giselle yells. “That’s why you’re angry because you know that I’m right.”
Nikki grabs her purse and head out the door slamming it shut behind her.
“We need to go after her,” Paola says worried.
Giselle stops her by grabbing her arm.
“Dejala paz! Let her be. She’s probably headed to the bus stop where she’ll catch the early bus to work,” Giselle says.
“I can’t believe she spoke to us that way,” Paola shakes her head.
“She has a lot of growing up to do,” Giselle said frustrated.