Okay so this scene didn’t make it into Hector because I decided to go a different way with the story and add Walter instead. But I always keep anything I cut out in a folder JUST in case I end up changing my mind and just keeping it. Which thank God I do because I can’t tell you how many times I have changed my mind! Anyhow I believe this was one of the opening scenes. #HappyReading!
The moment Hector’s brother, Abel walked into the principal’s office; Hector literally felt the frustration in Abel’s eyes. It dug deeper than his brother would ever know. Disappointing Abel was one of the things Hector hated doing more than anything.
Unlike most of his friends who would’ve gladly chosen to have their older sibling come in instead of a parent when they got into trouble, Hector had actually requested that his mom be called in instead, but as usual his mom couldn’t get out of work. So they called the only other person listed as an emergency contact.
Abel’s vacant stare said it all. He wasn’t mad, he wasn’t upset. Those two things Hector could deal with. It was what he was fearing most that had his stomach in knots.
Hector squirmed in his seat as the principal explained to Abel about the fire alarm Hector and his friends had set off. How the entire student body and faculty had been interrupted for almost an hour while they all had to evacuate. He also explained that this would be Hectors final warning and suspension. The next time he got in any kind of trouble, he’d be expelled.
“And you will not get the opportunity to make up any assignments you miss while on suspension.” Principal Nunez peered down her glasses at Hector.
Her mouth pulled to one side as she returned her glare to Abel. “I want you know I went easy on him. We could’ve pressed charges for vandalism. I hope you realize your brother is walking on a very thin line here. If he does get expelled he’ll be looking at being bussed to Crenshaw high.” She brought her scowl back to Hector. “Might actually be good for you. Let’s see how well your tough guy act would fare at a school like Crenshaw.”
After sitting through about another half hour of Principal Nunez’s lectures Hector and Abel made their way through the school hallway.
“It wasn’t even close to an hour. More like a half hour and—”
“I don’t wanna hear it.” Abel wouldn’t even look at him.
They walked out the front door and walked silently toward the parking lot where Abel had parked. Hector had his own car but that was taken away from him the last time he’d gotten in trouble just a week ago.
“It wasn’t even me. Shorty was just messing around—”
Abel grabbed him by the shirt and slammed him against his car hard. “You think I have time for this shit? You think mom does?”
His nostrils flared and he spoke right in Hector’s face. Hector had only seen him this mad a handful of times in his life.
“I’m telling you, Abel—”
“Shut up! You listen to me okay? You need to stop hanging around those low life-fucking friends of yours. They’ve got nothing going for them and they’re going to end up in jail. Is that where you wanna end up? Huh? Because that’s where you’re headed, you dumb shit.” Abel let go of him just as brusquely as he had grabbed him. “Get in the car.”
Abel stalked around the car as Hector opened passenger side door and got in. Abel got in and started up the engine. “Jack wouldn’t have wanted a troublemaker working at his gym. You know how he was about that kind of shit. The rest of the guys know this and I’m sure they all intend on honoring his wishes if this keeps up.”
“Well, they don’t have to know.”
“Like hell they don’t. They already know I had to leave to come pick up your dumb ass.”
Hector let his head fall back. “Can you not tell them why?”
“Nope. I’m done covering for your ass. You wanna be stupid well this is what happens to stupid. You lose privileges. Besides mom’s not gonna be happy about this. I’m sure you’ll be on a lock down for a while.” Abel shook his head. “I don’t know why you’ve gotten so stupid lately. It’s so damn easy, Hector. You do well in school, you stay out of trouble and mom’ll let you do just about anything you want. Is that so fucking hard?”
“I didn’t do shit, Abel. I was just there—”
“With those low life friends I told you lose a long time ago and why? Because this is exactly what I said would happen. They’re dragging you down with them and you’re too damn stubborn to see it. I just…” He shook his head again lifted his elbow onto the window ledge and leaned his head against his fist. “I don’t get it. Is it because I’ve been so busy lately?”
“I’m trying, Hector but I have this fight coming up and then I have two more lined up. Maybe I’ll tell the guys I can’t do them all.”
“No, don’t do that.”
Abel turned to look at Hector, his angered expression now replaced with what appeared to be guilt. “I know moms never around so I should be. This is probably just as much my fault as it is yours.”
“Not it isn’t.” Fuck this is the last thing he wanted. For Abel to blame himself. “This isn’t your fault, man. It was just a stupid gag that went wrong. The alarm wasn’t supposed to go off.”
“And what about the water balloons and the food fight or the near riot you and your stupid friends nearly caused at the football game? I mean shit, Hector is this what the psychologists mean by teens crying out for help or attention? Is this you crying out?”
Hector stared out his window. The way Abel put it, it did make him feel like a dumbass.
“I’ll quit boxing if that’s what it’s gonna take, dude. I’ll be damned if my little brother ends up in jail.”
That got Hector’s attention real fast. “No you can’t do that.”
“No! Look you’re right okay? It’s who I’ve been hanging out with. I’ll stop hanging with them. I promise. But you can’t quit.”
They reached their house and Abel pulled over but didn’t turn the truck off. “I’d get in there and do some serious cleaning, then get to your homework. Mom’s gonna be pretty pissed off tonight.”
Hector nodded closing the truck door but stood at the window. “Don’t quit boxing, Abel, please. I promise I’ll do better. This is not your fault at all. This is all me just being dumb. I’ll prove it to you okay?”
Abel held his stare for a moment before looking away. “You really disappointed me today, little brother.”
And there it was. The worst thing Abel could say to him. Very little had ever choked Hector up and now he actually had to swallow back the ache in his throat. “I know. I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.”
“I hope so.” Abel gave him a very weak smile. “Get inside. I’ll see you tonight.” With that, Abel drove away.
His big brother—his hero—the only person he’d ever truly looked up to and he’d managed to disappoint him yet again.
Want more bonus scenes? I found a boatload from ALL my books in a OLD file I forgot I had and I’ll be posting them little by little EXCLUSIVELY for team members and newsletter subscribers! So be sure to join the team by clicking on the photo below and/or subscribe to my letter!