It rarely rained in this city. But when it does, it pours.
And I hate it.
I woke up early for today’s training, dammit. And all I got was a free dirty carwash and a shower on the field. Because of the strong winds and very hard rain, Real had to cancel practice before it even began.
But you know what I really dreaded? Was the fact that they didn’t postpone the training before anyone of us left our homes. It took me freaking two hours to get to the Bernabeu! I lived twenty minutes from it for poop’s sake. Fucking heavy rain caused ridiculously heavy traffic and there were detours all over the city because of fallen trees and a few flooded areas. As if it weren’t enough that it’d been raining since about four this morning, the thunders woke my wife up and she wasn’t no longer able to go back to sleep. Charlotte was cranky the whole time until I left. I didn’t even get a fucking goodbye kiss.
Good thing the news said it was no thunderstorm. Just, really heavy rain. And they better be right. I mean Spain is supposed to be sunny. Too sunny we wear aviators in early evenings. And it’s one of the things I loved about this place, you know. So this? This whole wet, icky weather? No me gusta.
But thunderstorm or not, my morning still didn’t improve, even after Real announced the training was being cancelled.
You know, if Sergio wasn’t my wife’s cousin’s husband, I wouldn’t even do this fucking favor for him. I was supposed to be on my way home after I showered to take all the mud off my sexy body after running off the field, but instead, I still had driving duties to do for The Ramos.
See, he asked us if we could go with him to this doctor’s office, the man who owned the Prius he hit the other day. Well, initially, I said no. But then he said he needed moral support.
Moral fucking support.
I went like, “What the fuck do you need support for? What is this, the Oscars? You need people to clap for you? You survived us all after dropping the fucking Copa we all worked so hard for. You’ll survive this doctor.”
But then he said it wasn’t just any doctor he was going to speak with. It was the man that was possibly the dad of this girl he met a week ago. Said her name was Elena, and for what I deemed as an obvious reason, he wanted to impress her father. Or something.
So much for trying to do that, I thought. You hit his brand new car, after doing more than just hitting on his daughter. He already hates you.
You see, Sergio had no idea I knew. And he had no idea Esteban also knew. The only ones who didn’t was Charlotte and Andy, and I bet they were only days from finding out, too. Benzema, this loose-mouthed asshole friend of ours whose life was deathly boring it wasn’t even worth talking about, was to blame. He told us everything about Elena.
Or Prius Woman.
Or Girl Number Four.
Or whatever you want to call her.
And fine, I’d admit. It was a bit of a shocker for me when I first heard about it. I didn’t believe it that easily. I didn’t think it was possible for Sergio to begin liking another woman, not after he just went all loner for a year. For a year, everyone was ugly. For a year, everything hurt. So I said, no. It couldn’t be. It would take another twenty years before Sergio started liking anybody again.
Until Karim said this Elena girl was different. That she was like a Lisa from another mother. That they looked eerily alike, sounded alike, smelled alike, and acted alike. And that she also drove a Prius.
But then again, that was daddy’s car, so it didn’t count.
And then, I realized that I should have noticed the slight changes in Sergio these past few days. He was talking to us again, he was kind of hanging out with us again, still a bit cold, but the point was, he was treating us like the friends we were quite more than he did this past year. So I said, yeah, okay.
Maybe he really liked this Elena girl. Maybe this stranger was the miracle we were waiting for. Maybe she was the breath of fresh air Ramos needed. Maybe she was the window that opened after Lisa’s door closed.
Oh yeah. Karim didn’t leave anything out, did he? He told us everything. From the night he drove the two home all drunk and horny from the club a week ago, to the part where Ramos practically begged him to help him track this girl down, and the reasons why. Then he told us about the Prius-on-Land Rover incident that got him a calling card, and a sure shot way he could reach her.
Well, her dad. But good enough. Better than nothing, right?
And so all that, was what brought me to reluctantly say yes to this shitnut’s request for “moral fucking support”. We did try to convince him to make use of the number on the card, though, since it was raining so hard and all, but he said it would be better if they saw each other face to face so Dr. Daddy would know he was a “decent man” or something, opposite to what the news had been saying about him. He asked like a little child. He begged. He pleaded. He didn’t stop until I said yes.
And despite the heavy rains, we were pushing through to that trip to the doctor’s office.
He better turn back to the old fucking Sergio after this shit, I thought. Because really, if this just didn’t mean a shot at us having the normal Ramos back, I wouldn’t even do this.
Emotional Gonzalo is emotional. Yeah, yeah, okay. I’m going to be honest here and say that I —- we, his friends—-we kinda miss him. And because whether I liked it or not, Sergio was technically family to me now. So fine, I’ll do this.
Just this once, though. Just this once. So it better fucking work out with Dr. Daddy.
Because if my wife ever found out I was giving consent to him replacing Lisa with some girl who was just “eerily reminiscent” of her, and puta, in this manner? Charlotte would kill me. That woman loved her cousin. She loved her so much she took care of Sergio’s twins whenever he couldn’t. And she doesn’t even want babies of our own, do you know?
"Ssssshh! He’s coming, he’s coming!" Esteban rushed to warn us. "Change the topic!"
Granero and his panic attacks, I thought. One day his anxiety will kill him.
"You guys ready?" Freshly showered and smelling like a freaking cologne tester, Ramos emerged into the door.
"Wow, smell you!" I looked at him from head to toe. He wore a crisp white buttoned down shirt and a pair of maroon jeans, or whatever fucking color that was. On his feet were brown Gucci monogram leathers, and the D&G belt with that enormous buckle he wore in the Apascovi Charity Event last year. In short, Sergio was, once again, over-dressed. "Where is this Elena girl from, anyway? Heaven?"
"Shut up." He rolled his eyes at us. Karim and Esteban tried not to laugh, but they snorted like piglets, so the pretension was kinda useless. "Gonzo, keys. I’ll wait for your slow moving asses in the car. Don’t take long. I don’t like waiting."
I threw him my Q7’s keys and he caught it precisely, before disappearing into the hallway leading to the tunnel on the way to the stadium’s reserved parking area.
As soon as he was gone, I turned to Esteban. “Did you fucking see that? Who could wea—-“
"The jeans?" he chuckled. "I know. Hideous. I told him never to dress up with the lights off, but he never listens. The effort he exerts to amuse us, huh?"
"I actually think he looked pretty good." Karim took his training bag and stood up.
"Are you kidding me?" Esteban raised his eyebrows. "I survived the green pants incident. But this? Maroon? Or whatever the fuck shade of red that was? Oh hell, no. Daddy Doctor will judge and he will not be impressed."
"I agree." I said. "With Benz."
Esteban shot us both the look of disbelief. Then he blinked a couple of times, as though he was in a daze for a moment back there and was trying to regain consciousness. “I should stop hanging out with you people. You are weird.”
"Hey, I may be Spanish by citizenship…" Karim looked at him sharply, "But I’m still French by blood. Paris, Granero, fashion capital of the world. Ya get?"
"Whatever." he mumbled, losing another word war with Benz. Esteban always lost debates with us. I didn’t know if he was just too nice, or we were just too harsh.
Anyhow, we all grabbed our stuff and headed out the locker room. Sergio sent us a text message asking what the fuck was taking us so long, so we double timed on our way. Ramos and the things he made us do, huh? Maybe I should go all fragile and loner, too, then I can get my friends to do stuff for me they wouldn’t do if I weren’t miserable.
Okay, obviously that was a joke.
"I hate the fucking rain." I muttered as I pulled on the handbreak and gave the gear a rest. We were stuck in traffic.
"I love the rain."
I heard opposites attract, I thought. But right now, all I’m attracted to was to kill you for putting me through this road hell.
"You’re gonna pay for my fucking gas, we clear?" I told him.
Sergio turned on my car stereo and set the volume on background music. “I always do.”
And so the fourth song on the Weekly Top Ten played from beginning to the end. And then the DJ moved on to play the third song on the list.
And then the number two song.
And then the week’s top one.
And we were still on the same fucking spot we were, four songs ago.
I looked at the rear view mirror and saw Granero had drifted off to sleep in the backseat, with his mouth open. Karim was busy listening to his kind of music from his tablet whilst looking out the window pretending he was in an MTV.
So, it was quiet inside the Audi Q7. The only sound we could hear were the raindrops falling on the sunroof, while Sergio sat silently on his seat, probably imagining things.
"It wasn’t an accident, was it?" I voiced out. We had a lot of time, so I figured I’d use it to play. "You rammed her car on purpose didn’t you?"
He turned to me, as if to check whether I was serious or kidding. “Why would I do that?”
"I don’t know." I shrugged. "You tell me."
Sergio sighed and hit his head on the headrest. “Karim, you motherfucker. What did you tell them?”
No answer from Benzema. He was still busy looking out the window pretending he was in a music video.
"Karim!" he glanced over his shoulder to look at him. Benzema immediately pulled his headset out of his ears and gave Sergio the wide-eyed innocent look. "What shit have you been telling these two?"
Sergio sighed as if impatient. “Stop shitting around, Benzema. What have you been blabbing to these two about me?”
I couldn’t help snorting a laugh. He was clearly guilty. But then I already knew that.
"Nothing!" Karim lied through his teeth. "He’s just mindfucking you. Gonzo, tell him you’re just mindfucking him."
"I’m just mindfucking you." I lazily uttered.
"Good." he folded his arms and sank into the passenger seat. "Cause I most certainly did not. ram her car. on purpose."
"It’s okay, though." I replied, making shapes out of the raindrops on my window. "I heard she was a looker. What man wouldn’t be distracted by such beauty, right? So I don’t blame you."
Quoting Benzema was fun. And watching Sergio’s facial expression when he heard me say those, priceless.
"It’s okay if you did, you know." I continued before he could say another word. "I mean, you finding people attractive again without alcohol in your system, it’s a good thing. It’s a good sign. You’re getting better."
"Look, can we not talk about this?" he turned the stereo’s small volume knob to the right, bringing the music a few notches louder. "Cristiano’s new tan. That’s an entertaining topic, no? Or Coentrao. Let’s talk about Coentrao."
"Coentrao has weird hair. Done. Moving on to the next topic. So this Elena girl—-"
"Your all-boys night out tonight, let’s talk about that. You guys still pushing through?"
"Come on, Sergio, don’t change the subject. I want to talk about this one." I seriously said. "Your mystery woman is more interesting than my drama."
Besides, the night out planned for that evening was just a routine procedure for bad days. We did it all the time whenever we needed to get our mind off things. In my case, issues with Charlotte and all that jazz.
"Mystery woman? There’s no mystery woman." He took off his seatbelt momentarily and straightened out the crinkled on his white dress shirt. "But since you mentioned you have drama in your life, why don’t we talk about that?"
Sergio groaned. “Come on! You already mentioned the other day about needing a good time’s cure. You and Charlotte are okay?”
I sighed, took my aviators from the sunglass compartment atop the rearview mirror and put it on, while my other free hand held the steering wheel. So what if it was raining? I do what I want. And I wanted my aviators on. ”If you join us tonight, I’ll tell you everything.”
I’m such a smart ass for thinking of it. Using my marital problems to get him to go? Genius, right?
But much to my dismay, he shook his head as he rested it back on the headrest. “I already told you. I can’t go. I’m busy. So tell me now.”
"Busy? Ramos, the heaven is raining the fuck out over the entire city of Madrid. What the hell would you be so busy with on a day like this?" I laughed as though I’d busted him.
"See, exactly." he rebutted. "Will you look at this weather? And this traffic? And you guys still plan on hitting the club?"
"Oh yeah." I said, nodding profusely. "My issues with Charlotte is way too big no thunderstorm could stop me from getting out for a bit of distraction.
"Oh you’re good." he chuckled. "You’re sensationalizing it so I’d be curious."
Sensationalizing? That was an understatement. Clearly, Ramos had no idea about my problems.
"Suit yourself." I said. "Be the clueless friend."
Following that was a silent moment. I thought he’d actually “suited” himself. I thought he could take being the only one who didn’t know about my issues with my wife. But then a few seconds later, he came down with a deal.
"You tell me what’s going on with you, and I’ll tell you all about Elena."
Obviously, I had to laugh. What people would do for gossip, yeah? I glanced at the rear view mirror to look at Karim, but then he was again looking out the window whilst listening to his music. ”Sorry, dude. You ain’t closing a deal with me on that. I already know all about her. You have anything else to offer? In exchange for information about the scoop on my precious issues?”
"Okay, tell me and I’ll tell you why I insist on seeing Dr. Nathaniel Fuentes face to face. How bout that?"
I let out another roaring laughter. “Isn’t it still obvious? You’re trying to impress the dad.”
"Yeah but besides that, there’s something else." he quickly said.
But I absolutely believed it was bull.
"Look who’s sensationalizing! Sergio, let it go. Seriously." I uttered, grabbing victory. "Cat’s out of the bag, my friend. You have nothing to hide no more."
And Sergio sighed as though to admit defeat. “Fine. Then tell me because I’m your friend.”
Oh he’s good, I thought. He’s really good. Using the friendship card now, huh? I underestimated the Ramos, it seems. Anyway, he’s gonna know sooner or later. And right now, we got time.
Thus, I decided to share.
"I think my wife’s cheating on me."
And just as I expected, I experienced the longest silent moment I ever had to share with anyone in a vehicle in traffic. There were no more words that escaped his mouth after that. With his mouth slightly opened, he stared at me in shock.
"What?" I uttered. Finally, the vehicle in front of me slowly moved. But only a few feet.
"Charlotte? Cheating on you?" he voiced out with much disbelief. "With who???"
"I don’t know." the cars began to run in a cruising speed of 20 kilometers per hour, God bless them traffic police. "I said I think. I think she’s cheating. I didn’t say I know or I’m sure."
"Well what makes you think that?" his voice grew concerned.
"She doesn’t want babies." I slowed down as we reached another intersection again. "She doesn’t want to try, she refuses to get off the pill, and still makes we wear rubber."
And once more, there was dead air inside the vehicle for a moment. Seconds later, he chuckled lightly as if he didn’t —- couldn’t believe me.
"You’re kidding, right?" he uttered. "You’re shitting me."
"No I am not shitting you." I shot him a glance from the side of my eyes. "What, you think I’d be proud to tell you I still wear condoms when I fuck my wife? And even when I do, I don’t get a yes all the time. The last time I tried, you know what she said to me?"
"Sorry, the fuck machine is temporarily not available. You’re gonna have to jack it off, sweetheart."
Sergio’s mouth dropped open at my revelation. “What the—-“
"I know." the green light said go and I stepped on the pedal. "And did I mention I was already wearing the damn rubber over my dick? I mean, C has never really been the sweet, soothing, caring kind that baked cookies on weekends and wore ruffled nightgowns, and I know that. I married a badass. A sexy, foxy lady with a hotter-than- the-Earth’s-core-attitude and I’m not complaining. And sometimes I think she may just be busy with her job and the stress from the courtroom is taken to the bed, but then again, when you get refused like that, it’s hard not to think that she might be getting it from someone else, you know what I mean?"
Obviously, he did. Sergio once was in that phase in his life, too. When he psycho-analyzed everything and he was jealous as fuck.
"Gonzo, man, I’m so sorry." he said, his voice suddenly serious. "I had no idea you were —-"
"Okay, shut it." I stopped him by raising my hand up to his face. "I don’t need no pity. I give enough of that to myself. What I need right now is the company of fun people. So, now that you know why I need that cure of a good time, you gonna go?"
"No, next year." I rolled my eyes. "Yes, tonight, stupid."
I turned to him and he nodded. “I am now.”
"Good." I gave him a high-five, before stepping on the gas pedal again as the traffic light went green. "This is gon be fun."
"Are you sure this is it?" I checked out the building from my window as I pulled over. After two hours, we finally reached our destination. It was a tall edifice made of glass, and it looked expensive.
"That’s what it says here." Sergio double checked the address written on the card. "Yes, this is it. See? Same number, same street."
And so I pulled on the handbreak and killed the engine. Sergio took the blazer jacket that he hung behind the passenger seat and wore it over his white dress shirt. He double checked his appearance on the vanity mirror attached to the visor in front of him, before fixing his collar.
"Are you not going to ask me how you look?" I uttered as I watched him.
"Fine. How do I look?"
"Stupid." I chuckled. "Now go. Get out. Impress Doctor Daddy and tell him you’re paying for whatever damages you’ve cost him. Then tell him you’re rich, famous, and your name is Sergio Ramos. That should create instant prestige."
He just laughed at my side comments. Then he folded the visor back before glancing behind him, “Karim, let’s go man.”
Benzema groaned. “Dude, I can’t. My legs hurt. I slipped while running in the mud on my way off the pitch back at the stadium.” he complained.
But between you and me, I think he was lying. Lazy Karim was just lazy.
Thus, Sergio sighed and turned to Esteban, but Granero was busy snoring his way to dreamland. Frustrated, he turned to me.
"I’m sorry, I forgot the part where I even had anything to do with this." I uttered, before he could say a word. "I already drove two fucking hours to get you here, I am not getting off this car to give you moral support."
"See this?" I pointed to my face. "This is me looking for a fuck to give."
"Fine!" he threw his hands in the air and got off the vehicle. The security guard waiting outside the passenger door held an umbrella for him, and escorted him to the building.
NATHANIEL FUENTES, M.D
Plain silver fonts against black granite tiles. Each letter of the name was about the size of a box of pizza and it glimmered under yellow halogen lights.
Nice office, he thought. Daddy’s a big shot doctor.
The glass doors allowed him to see inside. There was a spacious lobby, where a beautiful woman was sitting behind the reception bar. He let himself in.
"Hi." he gave her the signature Ramos smolder. "Es el medico?"
"Si Señor." the lady smiled back. "Is this your first visit?"
"Okay…" she bent down a bit to take out a piece of paper from underneath her very clean desk. "Kindly fill this out and—-"
"Oh no, no…" he smiled while he shook his head. "I’m here to see Dr. Fuentes. About his car."
The receptionist didn’t seem to know what he was talking about, and Sergio expected this. He was, after all, supposed to just call.
"Um…is he expecting you?"
Sergio pressed his lips together. “Not really. But if he’s in, you can tell him Sergio Ramos is here. Tell him it’s about the Prius.”
The lady obviously knew who he was. Who wouldn’t? However, she was still reluctant at first. Soon, though, she finally nodded. “Okay. Please take a seat and I’ll check if he can come out.”
Sergio walked over to the receiving area and sat himself on one of the overstuffed couches. Leather. Couches. And the smell told him it was authentic.
He crossed his legs and looked around the hotel-like lobby. Relaxed as he looked, though, he was beginning to get nervous. This doctor seemed to be someone with high caliber. He may not be that easy to please, he told himself.
The lady was taking a bit longer than he expected, so he decided to get a magazine beneath the glass center table before him. Most were beauty magazines, and a few Men’s Health issues.
A few minutes later, a tall guy emerged from behind the reception area. He seemed to be headed towards him.
A nurse assistant? Damn, he thought. Daddy really IS something now, isn’t he?
But apart from the navy blue scrubs the man wore, and the defined cuts on the triceps and the biceps that seemed to challenge those of his, something else caught Sergio’s attention.
And Sergio’s attention was limited to reacting to females.
Unless…he sensed competition.
See, Sergio was never the insecure one, physically. He was comfortable with how he looked and he never felt like he ever needed to change anything.
Well, except for the nose job. But then again he broke it. Twice. So that didn’t count.
This nurse, however, had Sergio looking at him. With a bit of envy. And who was to blame? When one looked like Matthew Goode like that, even a Sergio Ramos felt bothered.
And Sergio never felt bothered. Not by another male’s physical appearance, that was.
Unless…he was insecure.
Round, deep set eyes, ridiculously smooth, matte, and clear skin, an almost perfectly squared hairline, a good nose, and deep set eyes.
He’s probably all fixed up, he told himself. Nobody’s ever flawless like that. And I doubted that he worked-out his way to get buffed. Weigh protein and steroids, probably.
"Morning." the guy greeted as he extended his hand. Sergio stood up and gave him a firm handshake.
"Buenos Dias. I’m here for Dr. Fuentes. He’s available?"
The guy nodded. “He is.”
"Oh good, well I was hoping I could talk to him…"
The guy let out a modest smile. “You already are.”
To be continued…