Sheriff Mickey has arrived and crawls up via the cave entrance to the top found the night Alberto and Miguel provide Despina with firewood by dropping it through the smoke hole.
Finding her in tears, he hugs her, kissing her hair -- which has fallen out of her topknot style ponytail.
"Did I come in second best?"
"Never. It was a 'feeding frenzy' kind of a mistake. I was trying to 'save' him. It didn't work."
"Ah, like trying to diet while eating in the school cafeteria with all around you participating in a 'feeding frenzy'?"
"I wasn't strong enough. I got swept up in the romance of it all. Reality is here, now."
"You can always have it annulled. It was never consummated, was it? I don't think you had time."
"No, it wasn't. It also was never officially recorded anywhere but in the eyes and minds of the tribe and us 'live-in' White Eyes."
"Not quite, Pina. Gannon introduced you world-wide as his 'Indian bride' or some such wording."
"Oh, I didn't think of that."
"Will you marry me?"
"In a heartbeat. How do you feel about interracial marriages?"
"Did you forget to tell me something about your past?"
"Probably, but that's not what I'm talking about. I seem to have acquired two children. I seem to have been adopted." Looking down shyly, she adds, "On top of that, I have to leave. School starts Monday, and I am still under contract."
"The tribe will never let you remove Cu's children from the reservation."
"Who will care for them here?" Especially now that people know that John Quantico and NOT Chief José Ignacio Quantico is his real father..."
"You will honor your contract?"
"I have to live with myself."
"I can't get free that fast."
"Won't two children..."
"Oh, yes, ever so many problems and complications. That's life. I shall enroll them and just simply say that I am their legal guardian. The community will probably die of apoplexy, but the details are really none of their business."
"And if we should have children?"
"I’d hope they’d get along a lot the way you and Cu did. Children have to be taught prejudice."
"Don’t you live with your family in Iowa?"
"Yes, my older sister Leanna is not married. We share the family farm, but not the old house, which is in pretty deplorable condition."
"How will your family react to ‘married with children’?"
"I have some cousins who are 5/8 Indian, as it turns out, but when we were growing up, we all thought they were 75%. They LOOK 100%, and their father was very big on keeping tribal customs while he was around. I can only remember one incident that my mother tells. When she was with the oldest of the children, they went to the Biloxi beach. Back then, it was divided into "White" and "Colored" sections. Boonie had a nice tan on top of her natural coloring, and was quite dark. A little picayune came up and tugged on her swimsuit, 'Honey chil', honey chil', you don' belong here. This here's the WHITE PERSON'S BEACH.' She herself was several shades darker than Boonie, but only about 3-4 years old, so presumably she could 'pass'."
Last updated 11/27/04. (Chief José Ignacio Quantico, deepened the justification for the marriage proposal.)
Word Count: 590
Reading Level: 4.9