A loud knock at the door interrupts us.
“Abre la puerta, soy Elena.”
“Let me in!” Elena commands.
Alex unlocks the door. A vision in white ruffles with dozens of dollar bills safety-pinned to the back of her dress squeezes her way into the bathroom, then shuts the door behind her.
“Okay, what’s goin’ on?” She, too, sniffs a bunch of times. “Was Paco in here?”
Alex and I nod.
“What the fuck does that guy eat that it comes out his other end smelling so rotten? Dammit,” she says, wadding up tissue and putting it over her nose.
“It was a beautiful ceremony,” I say through my own tissue. This is the most awkward and surreal situation I’ve ever been in.
Elena grabs my hand. “Come outside and enjoy the party. My aunt can be confrontational, but she doesn’t mean any harm. Besides, I think deep down she likes you.”
“I’m taking her home,” Alex says, playing the role of my hero. I wonder when he’ll get sick of it.
“No, you’re not takin’ her home or I’ll lock both of you in this stinkin’ smelly room so you’ll stay.”
Elena means every word.
Another knock at the door. “Vete vete.”
I don’t know what Elena said, but she sure said it with gusto.
I shrug and look to Alex for an explanation.
“It’s the groom,” he says, clueing me in.
Jorge slips in. He isn’t as crude as the rest of us because he ignores the fact that the room smells like something died. But he sniffs loudly a few times and his eyes start to water.
“Come on, Elena,” Jorge says, trying to cover his nose inconspicuously but doing a poor job of it. “Your guests are wondering where you are.”
“Can’t you see I’m talkin’ to my cousin and his date?”
Elena holds up a hand to silence him while holding the tissue over her nose with the other. “I said, I’m talkin’ to my cousin and his date,” she declares with attitude. “And I’m not finished yet.”
“You,” Elena says, pointing directly at me. “Come with me. Alex, I want you and your brothers to sing.”
Alex shakes his head. “Elena, I don’t think--”
Elena holds up a hand in front of Alex, silencing even him. “I didn’t ask you to think. I asked you to join your brothers in singin’ to me and my new husband.”
Elena opens the door and yanks me through the house, stopping only when we reach the backyard. She lets me go only to grab the microphone from the lead singer.
“Paco!” she announces loudly. “Yeah, I’m talkin’ to you,” Elena says, pointing to Paco talking to a bunch of girls. “Next time you want to take a dump, do it in someone else’s house.