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Created by Diane Brown, Buena Beach is an online soap opera, giving up all the juicy details of some of the hottest guys and gals of Buena Beach, a small town in Southern California. Check back everyday for a new episode here on HelloBeautiful.com.

Cynthia

Sandy surely was late being born. I purposely showed up for our lunch date fifteen minutes later than we scheduled because of her tendency towards tardiness. But here I still sit, alone at our table for two, waiting for her to arrive. It’s not like I can use the time to review the menu, trying to figure out what I want since we’re lunching at my place of employment, the Buena Beach Café. Although I practically have the menu memorized, I always order my same pineapple and sausage panini day after day. I would’ve chosen the new Vietnamese place that just opened up around the corner, but figure she’s looking for me to offer up my employee discount when the bill comes. That, or she wants to get a look at our new barista, Julio. I mentioned on the phone what a cutie he was. Perhaps she’s ready to experience a little Latin lovin’.

“Do you want some more water? Asks Jen, who I’ve unofficially adopted as my little sister since starting work here. She fills up my glass before I have a chance to say yes and drops in a fresh slice of lime.

“Thanks, Jen,” I say, about to reach for my phone to call Sandy when, in she walks, red in the face and nearly gasping for air.

“Hey, Cyn. Sorry I’m late. Your husband had me tied up.” She sits down with a splat, parts of her clothing damp with perspiration.

I’m about to joke with her that that line might sound suspect if Mario weren’t her boss. But thinking about it a little bit more, I say, “Wait a second. Mario’s not your boss anymore.”

“I know, but I still have to work with him. And he still orders me around like he’s my boss, especially when Danny’s not around. Speaking of which, is his daughter here?”

“Who, Jen? Oh, yah. She’s our waitress, actually.”

“Great. Guess I can’t talk about him.”

Sandy’s crazy. I’m sure there are a whole list of other people she’d be happy to talk about. Of course, I’m only interested in one particular person. “So how’s Mario doing, anyway.”

She shrugs, finishing up a text message on her phone. “I don’t know. I figure you’d know better than I would, right?” I know she’s not trying to be mean about it, but her reaction hurts. Probably because she’s right. Looks like I’m gonna have to come clean with her. But that’s fine; I’ve truly wanted to come clean with someone.

“Well, to be honest, Sandy, Mario and I haven’t really spoken in a week or so.”

“What?” she asks, finally pausing from fiddling around with items in her purse, wiping her face, pulling her hair up into a ponytail, and other random mini-tasks.

“Yah, he’s so pissed with me about that Commission stuff.”

“Well, I do have to admit that I was kind of surprised that you took the seat, after everything that happened between him and the mayor.”

“I know,” I admit. “I was trying to make a point, I guess. Just wanted him to know that I’m not just his little stay-at-home wifey who has nothing better to do but wash and fold his laundry and spend the day preparing 5-course dinners for him. I have a bachelor’s degree in political science from USC, for pete’s sake. I feel like I’m just wasting my life.”

“I see what you mean.”

“Yah, but I’m thinking of stepping down. You know, this is my marriage. Mario’s my family – I can’t choose the mayor over my family, no matter how sweet she is.”

“You ladies ready to order?” Jen asks us, looking the part with a pad and pencil. I still don’t get why she’s got the reputation she has as an unruly, nonconforming teenager.

Once we order, and Jen and Sandy get acquainted a bit, only having met briefly prior to today on the couple of occasions Jen was at the office, I’m anxious to get back to our conversation. I’m so eager for her advice.”

“So, what do you think? Should I give it up?”

She sighs. “I don’t know. I mean, it sounds really interesting. Right up your alley.”

“I know. I know. I mean, I knew he’d be pissed. But I figured he’d get over it by now.”

Sandy shakes her head, grinning. “He’ll get over it. Give him another week or so – he won’t be able to go too much longer without sex.”

“No, we’re still having sex.”

Sandy looks quite confused. “But you just said you guys haven’t spoken to each other in two weeks.”

“Well, yah, but you don’t have to talk to each other to have sex, Sandy.” Duh!

Her soup arrives and she starts slurping while I down another glass of water. Once she finishes, I’m somewhat surprised when she tells me I should stay on the Commission.

“Really?”

“Yah, Cyn. You have to stand up for yourself, you know? I know the mayor did him wrong, but he screwed up, right?

Well, that’s reality for you. It’s not like Sandy to be so direct, but maybe that’s a sign that I should really heed her advice. By the time she’s done with her meal and with me, I’m convinced that staying on the Commission isn’t such a bad idea. And who couldn’t use a connection with the mayor? I’ll at least stay on until the baby comes. Then, I’ll take a short leave of absence, and then make the decision on whether to return or not. Which reminds me… “So, I have news.”

“What, you’re pregnant?” she asks, not looking up from her empty plate.

“Yes.”

She nearly spits out her last sip of soda. “What?” she asks, her eyes nearly popping out of her head.

“I am,” say, excited for myself.

Suddenly Sandy looks concerned. “Well, are you going to keep it?”

Okay, this girl is smoking like Amy Winehouse. “Why the heck wouldn’t I keep it? You act like I’m some 17-year-old who got knocked up by her middle-aged boyfriend.

Her backpedaling starts with a laugh. “No, no, Cyn. I didn’t mean it like that. No. I was just asking with you guys, you know, not talking and all. And as you’ve always told me, Mario isn’t ready to have kids yet.”

“That may be true, but too damn bad now.”

“Oh…well, congratulations,” she says, now with slightly too much exuberance. As she comes over to hug me, I feel like telling her that this is how I would have expected her to respond in the first place. But, who knows. Maybe she’s going through her own crap.

“Just don’t tell Mario yet. I’m trying to wait until I get through the first trimester. Hopefully, things will have improved between us by then.”

“Yah, hopefully.”

I’m waiting for her to ask me how I feel (not too bad, actually) or how far along I am (6 weeks) or if I’ve thought of any baby names (Diego if it’s a boy, Gloria if it’s a girl…or Simplicity; a little different, yes, but I’m stuck on it) or something that let’s me know she’s happy for me. When moments go by without a word between us, I finally just start in. “I have my good days and my bad. I haven’t thrown up today. Yet. But my boobs are getting so freaking big already – look at them.”

“Uh, huh,” she says, only glancing down at my chest for a second. Well, fine. Maybe she’s just bitter because she’s single with no prospects. And bad hair.

Okay, that’s mean. Anyway, her hair is actually really nice. Just today it’s kind of all over the place. But it’s not bad. But why is she acting like this. It’s like she’s mentally checked out of our conversation ever since I told her about the baby. Her reaction is almost as pathetic as my mom’s.

Whatever. I guess I’m just gonna have to share my news with mayor Hanan. I’m sure that at least she’ll be glad to hear my news.

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