In January of 1982 I graduated high school. Along with my group of friends we traveled to Acapulco for ten days of celebrations.
This was our first trip away without parents and we were overexcited, naive, had high hopes for the condoms we had purchased and I had made some cassettes to listen to on my walkman.
We arrived at the Acapulco Plaza, threw off our winter clothes, pulled up our shorts and ran to jump into the pool.
The first five days there, we drank too much, sat in the sun too much and had become regulars at Babyo’s. Since we bought our popularity with the bouncers and the servers, they treated us as VIPs. Six seventeen year old brats acting as if we owned the world.
It was a lot of fun.
One night we all went to eat dinner at a restaurant called, “Paradiso.” While we ordered tequila shots for our table, we noticed some very pretty girls being seated at the table next to us.
“Please send over shots for this table, on us.” I called out to the waiter.
I heard trays falling around the restaurant, I turned and saw that it was a thing the waiters would do as a playful thing.
I ordered a grilled whole red snapper. It was served as a whole fish. When pulling the skin off it would reveal white fish meat which tasted delicious.
One of the girls from the other table approached us. She looked familiar to me, but they all looked as if they were from our community in Brooklyn.
“Thank you for the shots!” She looked at me, smiled and then. “Is your name Freddy?” That’s when it hit me. That was my friend from the bus stop who moved to Mexico 5 or 6 years ago.
“Sara?” I was kind of awe struck.
We embraced and I asked her where she was staying. She was staying in some condominium her friends grandmother owned.
We each blushed and I know I felt an urgency to talk to her.
She went back to sitting with her friends to finish her meal. After dinner I walked up to her.
“Do you want to go someplace and talk? I would love to hear how these past 6 years have been.”
“We are taking my friend out for her birthday. Come with us with your friends. Have you been to Babyo’s?”
“Sounds familiar.” I smiled. “Yes we will come with you guys.”
We took two cabs to get to Babyo’s and when we walked to the door, the girls were telling us we needed to wait in line.
“Don’t worry about it.” I said.
“Hola senor. These lovely ladies are with us.” He waved us inside.
The girls were impressed.
The music was blasting, the lights were dim and the tequila was flowing like it was water. I was standing and walked to Sarah.
“Can we go for a walk, you and I? We’ll come back for your friends. I just want to catch up with you.”
“Yes, let’s go.” She said eagerly.
We walked out into the hot Acapulco air. We were familiar strangers.
She told me about her high school years.
“It was so much better than Brooklyn. People were nice to me and other than you, I had no friends. I am still friends with all of them, they are like sisters. “
“I’m very happy for you. You’ve really grown up since I last saw you.”
“As have you. You are dressed like Don Johnson.”
I was wearing white linen pants, loafers with no socks, and a tee shirt.
“How is your grandmother and everyone?”
“She is ok. She had heart surgery and everyone was scared. But she is doing great.”
She asked me how I was doing.
“it took me a while to get over you. You disappeared without a trace.”
“You could’ve written me.”
“I didn’t have your address.”
“it wasn’t on the postcards?”
“So you would’ve wrote back?”
“Of course I would’ve written back, you were my best friend for 4 months and all of a sudden you disappear.”
“You only liked me as a friend?”
“I used to walk by your house every day even though someone else was living there and I knew you were not in Brooklyn anymore. When I got my driver’s license, I used to drive by your house just to… Forget it.”
“I am so happy and sad to hear that. I missed you very much too. It took me a long time to stop checking baseball scores about the Mets. They were really bad for a while.”
“Don’t remind me “
There was a group of mariachis walking down the street, they saw us and began to play a slow song for us.
“Bailar juntos joven y mujer.”
“They want us to dance.” She said.
“To be honest I don’t know how to.”
“Put your arms around me and move to the rhythm.” She put her arms around me and together we moved to the rhythm. I loved this slow dancing!
I gave the band a five dollar bill and they were very appreciative. I took her hand and we crossed the street to walk to the Hyatt Regency. We walked in and I brought her straight to the pool area where we sat and talked for the next several hours.
It was around three in the morning when she lay down against my shoulder, closed her eyes and then looked up at me and kissed my lips. It was the sweetest kiss. Soft, moist and the movement of her tongue was very slow and deliberate. We kissed and then we fell asleep in and embrace.
We were awakened by a security officer of the hotel. I brought her back to her condo. We made plans to have lunch by my hotel and I took a cab to my hotel.
I was very nervous the next day about whether she would show up. About whether last night really happened or was I just very drunk. My friends reminded me.
“Where’d you go last night? Did you -“
“We just hung out talking. We had a lot to catch up on. “
“Well we ended up coming back early. Like 3 or so. The club was boring and those girls were not interested in us after they saw friends from Mexico.”
“They ditched us. So we hung out for a while and then left.”
“Where’d you go?”
“We went to the Hyatt and sat by the pool talking. I’m meeting her for lunch at 12 here. “
Lunch was quick, we then went to the beach and sat drinking, “cocoa locos” and talking, talking and then kissing and walking to a desolate area where we each kissed each other and we were filled with a rekindled friendship that had graduated into a different stratosphere we were ill prepared for.