Written By Sher Trott-Bailey
Juanita was walking on her way to Michelle’s house which was just a few streets down from her street. Passing by Begonia Avenue, she ignored the usual catcalls and “psst babes’ that came her way. She knew she was sexy and beautiful but so were many of the girls in her community. What had that ever gotten them? She had seen it over and over again- so many girls just getting pregnant. That would never be her! She would not be contributing to another broken household and childhood for one more baby in the world.
“ Juanita baby, what happen…you too good for us?” That was Estefan, a local popular guy in the neighborhood and already on his second child with another girl named Sophia. His first baby mama Topaz was no easy woman either and was perfectly able to beat both him and his other girls up.
“ Hey yow! That girl Juanita is sexy as fuck!” Estefan commented to his younger cousin Caleb.
” Yeah but she is tighter than a clam cuz, she will never give it up,” Caleb replied.
” Bitches always give it up! Just got to know the right method for the right bitch.” Estefan said arrogantly.
” Yow I hear Gabriel likes her too though,” Caleb told Estefan lightly slapping him on the shoulders.
Turning to look at his cousin, Estefan shrugged his shoulders, he replied,
” So? every red-blooded man would like her. Fair game for any real man.”
” That girl is different though, she got her head screwed on real tight. She ain’t into no mess. And Estefan… you a walking mess! Yo baby mamma is a mess and now you got another baby just born. İ just ordered that spray for you online for your dick for genital larvae. Man…. handle that before you be trying to get at another girl.” Caleb warned his cousin.
” Man shut up. Mind someone hears you with that shit.” Estefan scolded his cousin looking around to make sure no one was around.
İt was about a ten-minute walk to Michelle’s house, when she arrived at their gate Juanita called out loudly.
“ Hold dogs, Hold dogs.”
Gabriel came out and assured her the dogs were locked up. The family owned three Pitbulls. She came in through the gate and Gabriel instructed her to follow him around the back of his house. Every time Juanita came to visit them it always seemed that their parents were never home. She had only learned more recently that their mother was overseas in London working and their father was a driver who was usually gone for weeks at a time.
” Where’s Michelle?”
” She will be out soon. She has been chatting on CouplesChat with her boyfriend for the past hour. You know he’s in New Zealand on one of those work programs.” Gabriel informed her.
” So anyway, Juanita! Juanita, come and check out your snakeskins.” Gabriel said enthusiastically.
They took a seat around a picnic table and Gabriel brought out the skins. He had rolled the skins around some sticks.
“ Wow, is this a good amount?” Juanita asked curiously.
” İ can get more if you need but the skins will continue to stretch and I think this will be enough to give you your first set of bags and sandals.”
” Thank you, Gabriel! Thanks for the support. Do you need any money for them?” Juanita asked.
” When you sell your first bag then you can pay me something,” Gabriel answered.
” Well let’s agree on a set price from now though. What do you usually sell your skins for” Juanita said.
“Well, you’re getting the whole snake, front cut and back cut. There are no imperfections in the skins. Since I don’t got to bleach them cause you want the natural pattern to remain….ah I would say for the smaller snakes you can give me $10 BZD per snake and for bigger snakes like the boa you can give me $20BZD.” Gabriel negotiated.
“ Ok, that doesn’t sound too bad at all. And you say I can pay after my first sale? İf I can pay you earlier than that I will if it’s even for the supplies like the glycerin and stuff.” Juanita promised.
” Deal, Sounds good. İ already put a good amount in large jars with glycerin and regular rubbing alcohol. We will keep them there for a week and then we roll them out to dry again. Then you can get them ok.” Gabriel concluded while showing her the jars.
“ Oh you forgot your camera yesterday, you left it in my car. İ will go get it. You want anything to eat? “
” Nah thanks, I ate before I came,” Juanita answered.
Once again Juanita marveled at how easy this was all coming together. She needed to make at least $1000 BZD by the end of June. That was about US$ 500 when converted. Her dad had already given her a start. With the US$ 100 from her dad, she could buy her website domain, hosting, and web design template.
That reminded Juanita, she had opened a Paypal account and had requested an international card. She should start checking at her post office to see if the card had arrived. She wanted her website to be in all languages but that upgraded GTranslate package would have to wait for a bit. She would use their free GTranslate plugin to start out converting her website into many languages based on whichever country her customer was browsing her website from. She wanted her business to be seen and understood by everyone in the world. This was what the Trott Baileys’ taught.
She knew there were up-and-coming rich, profilers and aspirers in every country. It wasn’t the so-called Americans and Europeans that had money. There were Filipino’s, Chinese, Vietnamese, Malaysians, Burmese, Koreans, Nigerians, South Africans Tunisians, Singaporeans, and everywhere else out there that liked luxury and we’re moving up in the world. It was the same way people would look down on Belize as a third-world country yet there were many girls here willing to find the money anywhere, anyhow, for designer brands, fancy phones, or expensive weave extensions. It was all about what motivated people. If they were motivated enough they will find the money to pay. All these thoughts swirled clearly through her mind.
” Juanita what’s this I hear about you not being hungry!” That was Michelle’s loud mouth behind her.
” At least take these bag of mangoes, Adriano just got a whole big bag of these rusty skins and Julie mangoes. You know they are sweet chica.” Michelle said bringing the bag to Juanita.
Juanita perked up at hearing about the mangoes. She loved mangoes especially these two varieties.
” Wah! you see how your face lit up! İ tell Gabriel the way to your heart is through your mango belly.” Michelle smirked.
” Why you no like my brother now? He is so cute and he is nothing like these player boys around our community. Gabriel would never disrespect women like that. Not after all we have seen happen back in Honduras. He was raised right.” Michelle pleaded on her brother’s behalf.
” Michelle right now I am focused, I don’t need any distractions. Plus we have known each other since you guys moved here, I see Gabriel like a brother too. He doesn’t give me any tingles. I’m sure Mario your boyfriend makes you tingle and spark and your heart explode right? İ should feel the same way about my guy.” Juanita replied.
Smiling at Juanita, Michelle hugged her from behind and said,
” That’s what I like about you Juanita, your a straight-up girl. Most of these girls around here would lead mi Hermano( brother) on to see how much dinero they could milk out of him.” Michelle gestured emphatically with her hands.
” Hey Sis, what are you saying about me to Juanita?” Gabriel asked returning with her camera.
” Girl talk Gabriel, only girl talk. So Juanita you’re finally done with that snobby school! Me chica, I’m going to mom in London. I’m going to do hairdressing over there. My papers finally came through.” Michelle said happily.
” That’s Buenas Noticias girl, i hope everything works out,” Juanita said smiling.
” İf I can help you with anything when i get over there in London you let me know” Michelle said sounding like a big shot.
” You secure yourself first girl. Don’t worry about me chica. So when do you travel?” Juanita replied.
” Hopefully by Christmas,” Michelle answered.
Just then they heard Mrs. Hernandez shouting by the gate. Her distinct high pitched voice could not be missed.
” Hello Hello, Michelle or Gabriel, Hello.” Mrs. Hernandez shouted out in her high-pitched voice.
” Oh, what the fuck does that busybody want now?” Gabriel exclaimed.
” İ will go and see,” Michelle said.
A few minutes later Michelle returned. Michelle’s face was scowling,
” That woman loves to make a nuisance of herself. Ah Ah, you know she stopped by to tell me that I have been late three times to church and that i should sit in the back from now on so as not to disturb the minister.” Michelle said with her eyebrows raised to the sky.
“ İs that all this week? Next week she will stop by to complain about me cutting the yard shirtless and how I’m leading the girls astray.” Gabriel chipped in.
” That woman is too much. She is a regular at the witch doctor down in Belmopan but acts like she is good.” Michelle continued.
” Say what? Ms.Hernandez goes to do obeah? Witchcraft?” Juanita asked.
” Yes, girl. Ah ah that reminds me, she asked me if you were here. She was bragging about getting you some job in a lending agency. Girl, I wouldn’t even accept water from that woman much less a favor. She never does anything without some ulterior motive Juanita.” Michelle said warningly.
” İ need to save up some money quickly so that’s why I’m taking the work, there is nothing she can do that God won’t protect me from,” Juanita said confidently.
” İf you say so Juanita… if you say so,” Michelle said with raised skeptical eyebrows.
Juanita stayed for a little while longer and then left for home. She was feeling these past three days on her legs. Right now she just wanted to eat some of the mangoes and go to sleep. She figured Meera would soon be on her case about their graduation and all the after-parties. Meera would most likely want to drag her shopping.