When Cameron started work at the store, she wasn’t counting on anything or anyone coming into her life. “My life is ok like it is,” she thinks to herself. Well, come to think of it there is one thing not ok in her life, a boyfriend who isn’t making her happy; this is affecting her life. That is about to change soon.
Cameron becomes good friends with her boss. Doing the usual things that women do in their late twenties she has settled into the same old routine day in and day out but is ok with her life in that aspect.
Then He walks into the store one morning. Cameron wonders if he had been in before and she hadn’t noticed, but as good looking as he is he couldn’t have without her noticing. The first time Cameron saw him it took her breath away. Mateo is the most handsome man Cameron had ever seen in her life.
He has the most beautiful chocolate brown eyes seemed to look into hers seeing straight to her heart, piercing it with a look that would make any woman’s legs turn to Jell-O.
His body is like a fine-tuned instrument. The curves in his bulging arms perfect, not too big and yet not too small, his work shirt boasting his shapely masculine chest. Cameron notices this as he turns to the candy aisle in front of the register to retrieve a pack of gum.
He has shiny black hair looks like a shimmering lake at night in the moonlight. His skin is an olive complexion and you can tell Mateo is an outdoors kind of man. Either the type that’s always outside worked outdoors, or both. Mateo looks of Hispanic descent. Cameron imagines him as an Aztec warrior. She giggles to herself.
Mateo is health conscious she guesses from the fruit he buys instead of the usual junk food like most guys on the run. He buys energy drinks instead of buying soft drinks. This leads Cameron to think he may work outside seeing it is spring and getting warm during the day now.
Cameron smiles at him as he stands in line waiting for his turn to check out. She wonders if he speaks English, regretting not paying more attention in Spanish class.
She remembers basics asking if he likes bananas since he has a couple in his hand.
“Si,” he says smiling back with a Cheshire cat grin.
“Gracias,” Cameron tells Mateo hoping to make a good impression on him.
“Hasta luego,” he says as he’s going out the door. Mateo nearly runs someone over almost knocking them down, not paying attention to where he is going since he’s still turned Cameron’s way smiling at her.
Cameron works the graveyard shift, sometimes in the store till 8 am.
Her boss Sara has to come in to do paperwork and count the money so Cameron stays as long as Sara needs.
Cameron and Sara have become inseparable, Sara being a single mom of three. Cameron is a single mom of two. There’s a lot of age difference between them but they get along so well you would think they have known each other all their lives instead of a couple months. Both confide in each other about everything. Cameron couldn’t wait to tell Sara about the encounter with an Aztec warrior.
Coming up front to take over and relieve Cameron for the day Sara makes way through the customers saying hi to all the regulars or bidding a good day to the new ones.
Cameron is so flustered from the encounter with the man of her dreams she thought Sara would never make it to the front. She feels like she will burst from anticipation wanting to tell Sara. After about twenty minutes of talking with customers and straightening things up out of place as Sara walks up the three isles, Sara makes it to the front. There, waiting like a kid at the door of a candy store waiting for it to open was Cameron.
“Oh my, did you see the guy that came through the line about six o’clock?” Cameron asked Sara.
Sara looking at Cameron as though she is crazy tells her laughing ”there are so many coming in the morning how am I going to know which one he was?”
“Well, if you saw what I did, you wouldn’t have to ask which one. I think he is the most handsome man I have ever seen in my life.” Cameron tells Sara about how well built Mateo is then concluded that she would marry him tomorrow if he asked. Cameron also tells Sara how she’s sure he will remember her because she had spoken Spanish to him.
“Well, be careful you know the problems and heartache I went through when I married Jose,” Sara tells Cameron. “A lot of them are here to support their families back home. They’ll be married in their country never telling you a thing. Leading you on to believe they are so in love with you, making you think you are the only one.” Sara told Cameron knowing this having been burnt from the experience.
Sara had once married a guy from El Salvador named Jose. They had been in what Sara thought was pure love, marital bliss. They had been together eight years, five of it married. But nothing anymore it seems is forever. Jose left as soon as he became legal, to go home to see his family. Jose hadn’t been home in over ten years. He was eager to see his parents and siblings.
Jose called Sara almost every other day, telling her of things that had changed since he had left, how he didn’t recognize his youngest siblings when he arrived.
His little sisters and baby brother had all been barely out of diapers when he had left. Now his oldest of the younger sisters is having her Quinceanera. That’s like what we do for a girl’s sixteenth birthday except they are fifteen and they go all out. It’s almost as if the girl is getting married. She has a white flowing gown, and she’s brought in on a platform carried by boys her age. She’s presented to the community like a coming out Fiesta. Fathers of these girls are known to spend a fortune on the festivities. Fathers spend as much as they would have on a real wedding.
As time was winding down, and it was about time for Jose to come back from El Salvador he calls Sara to tell her he’s not coming back as soon as expected.
Sara asks Jose why is he so homesick that he needs to stay a while longer. But he tells her it’s not that. Jose tells Sara he has met someone there. He wants to marry her.
Sara asks him if all he married her for was to become legal. He tells her yes at first but in the end, he loved her. But now he goes back, and he realizes that he needs someone from his world, from his culture. Sara knows now he had just used her he will do the same to that poor woman as well. She kind of feels sorry for her because she didn’t know what she was getting into. This was a man who would manipulate anyone to get what he wanted, and Sara knew she was better off without him.
Cameron had been through her share of heartaches too, but she wasn’t the type that was once bitten twice shy. She believed in true love that there is someone out there for everyone. Cameron knew she would find her soul-mate someday.
Cameron couldn’t wait till he came back in. That morning going home Cameron fixes everything for the evening for when the girls get home from school, she was in a daze. Things were done that she hadn’t realized that she had already done. He is all Cameron could think about; he is her every thought. When she finally lay down to sleep, she couldn’t. Being dead tired sleep would not come.
Cameron can not get him out of her mind. She had to see him again. Would he come back? Or even worse is he married? As fine as he is, surely he has a girlfriend if he did then what?
Cameron isn’t the type to go around stealing other women’s men. She had to know.
Cameron is about to go off the deep end. It had been nearly a week since her Aztec warrior had been in. If he didn’t show today she would surely die.
She had her mind made up she will talk to Mateo one way or another. A girl working in the deli section knew how to speak Spanish and if she had to Cameron would use her to translate.
It was about ten after six that morning and he hadn’t shown up yet. She had decided that he is a no show again.
It devastates her. She had a feeling Mateo would be in today. Things were busy as usual at this time of morning. People bustling in to grab a bite to eat or grab a cup of Joe on their way to work. Cameron is swamped with customers and she hadn’t realized He is in line until he is next. She fumbles with the change she has in her hand for the customer dropping it all over the counter. Laughing with embarrassment she picks up the money handing it to the customer thanking him then apologizing.
When he walks up to the counter his eyes are on her. She feels like dying but instead asks him what the guys ahead of him said.
The guys in front of the line were Hispanic also and flirted with her regularly, so much so she didn’t pay them any attention anymore. All he says is loco meaning that his friends were crazy.
Cameron knew then he didn’t speak English. So she asked him to give her a minute in what little of Spanish she knows. He seems to understand.
He waits by the door as she gets Sara to take over. Then she motions for her friend in the deli to come over to where they are standing.
When her friend gets over to them he asks her, ” When can I see you?”
Cameron tells her friend to tell him tomorrow morning she has to work but they can meet here an hour before she works, and one more thing, what was his name?
“Mateo,” he replies, “Which means Mathew in English.
So now she knows his name, and he has an interest in her.
Then Mateo asks Cameron, “what time do you leave work today and can you come to see me on my break when you do?”
“Of course, what time do you take your break?” All was being translated by the girl from the deli.
Cameron knew it was only two hours till she would see Mateo but it feels like a lifetime. She finishes her shift staying around because Mateo works about a half a mile from the store at a local sawmill. The clock isn’t moving as if time is standing still.
Finally, it is time to go meet her Aztec warrior.
She knows she will have to quit thinking of Mateo like this. A smile comes across her face. Cameron giggles as she thinks of him standing on a mountaintop holding a spear in one hand and a shield in the other with just a loincloth wrapped around his waist showing his perfect body.
Driving up to the sawmill Cameron sees the other guys first that always ask her out all the time. They look at her with curiosity trying to figure out what she was doing there that made her laugh. Eat your heart out Cameron thinks to herself. I’m here for Mateo not for a bunch of jokers full of themselves. Cameron sees Mateo walking from the shed type extension of the building where he works. She pulls up to where he’s standing. Mateo jumps in her truck.
After a minute of confusion, Cameron figures out Mateo is telling her to drive around back to a spot in the shade.
Pulling up under a giant oak tree Mateo motions for them to get out. Both get out, opening the back dropping the tailgate. They sit beside each other hanging their legs off the edge Cameron swinging hers back and forth, both hesitant to say the first word Cameron not knowing what to say and Mateo not knowing if he says something if Cameron understands or not.
Cameron turns to look at him and at that same moment, Mateo turns to look at her, reaches over brushing the side of Cameron’s face pulling her to him to kiss. Never having been kissed like that before, she is startled.
Mateo then bit on her lips like he was starving for this all his life. The kiss went on; it seemed like an eternity then again it was like it was only a second in time. Like the first time, you kissed a boy when you thought you were madly in love. There was nothing you two wouldn’t do for each other, and everything around you seems to vanish, like you and him are the only ones in a whole new universe.
The kiss takes her breath away. Cameron composes herself from being slightly dizzy.
They talk even though Cameron only knows a little Spanish. It is clear Mateo doesn’t know English so they will have to talk in Spanish for the time being.
Before Cameron knew where time had gone it was time to go, Mateo’s break was over, and Cameron needed to go on home. As bad as Cameron hated to admit it she knew there was someone she needed to break things off with. Cameron couldn’t go on like this with Mateo till she broke it off with her boyfriend. Cameron found out while all three talked, Mateo did not have a girlfriend or wife, at least not here in this country.
To Be Cont’d……