by Starsky Hutch 76, adapted from Pulp Fiction, screenplay by Quentin Tarantino and Roger Avary
Carlos Ramirez entered the hotel room and turned on the light. Lying curled up on the bed, fully dressed with her back to him, was Carlos’ girlfriend, Fabian.
“Keep the light off,” she said in a thick French accent.
Carlos flicked the switch back, making the room dark again. “Is that better?”
“Oui. Hard day at the office?” she asked him.
“Pretty hard,” Carlos said. “I got into a fight.”
“Poor baby,” Fabian said. “Can we make spoons?”
Carlos climbed into bed, spooning Fabian from behind. “Did you get everything, baby?”
“Yes, I did,” she answered.
“Good job,” he said, putting an arm around her waist.
“Did everything go as planned?” she asked eagerly.
“You didn’t listen to the radio?” Carlos laughed.
“I never listen to your fights,” Fabian said. “Were you the winner?”
“Oh, I won, all right,” Carlos said with a sour laugh.
“Are you still retiring?” she asked.
“What about the man you fought?” she asked.
“He’s retired, too,” Carlos said.
“Really?” she said, smiling. “He won’t be fighting anymore?”
“Not no more.”
“So it all worked out in the finish?” she asked.
“We ain’t at the finish, baby,” Carlos reminded her.
Fabian rolled over, and Carlos got on top of her. They kissed, and then she looked up at him and said, “We’re in a lot of danger, aren’t we?”
Carlos nodded his head yes.
“If they find us, they’ll kill us, won’t they?” she asked.
Carlos nodded his head yes again.
“But they won’t find us, will they?” she said, smiling mischievously.
Carlos shook his head no.
“Do you still want me to go with you?”
Carlos nodded his head his head yes.
“I don’t want to be a burden or a nuisance…”
Carlos leaned in to kiss her, and she held up her hand to stop him. “Say it!”
“Fabian, I want you to be with me,” he laughed.
“And ever,” Carlos said. Fabian moved her hand, and he leaned in and kissed her.
“Do you love me?” she asked.
Rather than answer her question, Carlos leaned in and kissed her. It turned out that was all the answer she needed.
Later, Fabian stood in front of the large bathroom mirror in a white terrycloth robe that seemed to swallow up her small form. She was drying her head with a towel. Carlos was in the shower washing up, his outline visible through the smoky glass of the shower door as steam filled the bathroom. Carlos turned the shower off and opened the door, popping his head out. “I think I cracked a rib. Can I have a towel, please, miss beautiful tulip?”
She finished drying her hair and wrapped the towel like a turban on her head before giving him a towel.
“Yes, lemon pie?”
“Where are we going to go?”
“I’m not sure yet,” Carlos answered. “Wherever you want. We’re going to get a lot of money from this. But it ain’t going to be so much we can live like kings and queens forever. I was thinking we could go somewhere in the South Pacific. The kind of money we’ll have’ll carry us a long way down there.”
“So if we wanted, we could live in Bora Bora?” she asked.
“You betcha. And if after a while you don’t dig Bora Bora, then we can move over to Tahiti or Mexico,” he told her.
“But I do not speak Spanish,” she said.
“You don’t speak Bora Boran, either,” Carlos said. “Besides, Mexican is easy: Donde esta el zapataria?”
“What does that mean?”
“Where’s the shoe store?”
“Donde esta el zapataria?” she repeated.
“Excellent pronunciation,” Carlos laughed. “You’ll be my little mamacita in no time.”
Carlos exited the bathroom as she brushed her teeth. “Que hora es?” he called out from the other room.
“Que hora es?” she repeated, spitting out a mouth full of toothpaste foam into the sink.
“What time is it?” he translated.
“What time is it?”
“Time for bed. Sweet dream, jellybean.”
Fabian brushed her teeth for a few seconds, then stopped as if remembering something. “Carlos?” She walked out of the bathroom to ask him a question, only to find him sound asleep in bed.
The next morning, Carlos awoke from his sleep, as if a scary monster was chasing him. His start startled Fabian. “Merde! You startled me. Did you have a bad dream?” Fabian asked.
Carlos squinted down the front of the bed at her, trying to focus, still trying to chase the cobwebs away, seeing the Crimson Avenger and Wing on TV creating havoc as they tore through an enemy hideout.
“Are you watchin’ that?”
Fabian entered the room. “In a way. Why? Would you like for me to switch it off?”
“Would you, please?”
She reached over and turned off the TV.
“It’s a little too early in the morning for all that biff, bam, pow stuff.”
“What was it about?” she asked.
“How should I know? You were the one watchin’ it.”
Fabian laughed. “No, imbecile, what was your dream about?”
“Oh, I… don’t remember,” Carlos said. “It’s really rare I remember a dream.”
“You just woke up from it.”
“Fabian, I’m not lying to you. I don’t remember.”
“Well, let’s look at the grumpy man in the morning. I didn’t say you were lying. It’s just odd you don’t remember your dreams. I always remember mine. Did you know you talk in your sleep?”
“I don’t talk in my sleep,” Carlos grumbled. “Do I talk in my sleep?”
“You did last night.”
“What did I say?”
Fabian joined him in the bed, lying on top of him. “I don’t know. I couldn’t understand you.” She leaned her head down and kissed him. “Why don’t you get up, and we’ll get some breakfast at that breakfast place with the pancakes.”
“One more kiss and I’ll get up.”
Fabian gave Carlos a sweet, long kiss. “Satisfied?”
“Then get up, lazy bones.”
Carlos climbed out of bed and started pulling clothes out of the suitcase that Fabian brought. “What time is it?”
“Almost nine in the morning. What time does our train arrive?”
“I’m going to order a big plate of blueberry pancakes with maple syrup, eggs over easy, and five sausages.”
Carlos turned in surprise at her potential appetite. “Anything to drink with that?” he said as he finished dressing. As he went through the suitcase, he suddenly said, “Where’s my watch?”
“No, it’s not. It’s not here,” he said in alarm.
“Have you looked?”
By now, Carlos was frantically rummaging through the suitcase. “Yes, I’ve #^@%ing looked!” he said, throwing clothes. “What the #^@% do you think I’m doing?! Are you sure you got it?”
Fabian could hardly speak. She’d never seen Carlos this way. “Yes. Beside the bedside table.”
“On the little kangaroo,” Carlos finished.
“Yes, it was on your little kangaroo,” Fabian said nervously.
“Well, it’s not here!”
“Well, it should be!” Fabian said, on the verge of tears.
“Oh, it most definitely should be here, but it’s not. So where is it?”
Fabian was crying and scared, so Carlos lowered his voice, which only served to make him more menacing. “Fabian, that was my father’s watch. You know what my father went through to get me that watch? I don’t want to get into it right now… but he went through a lot. Now all this other $#!^, you could set on fire, but I specifically reminded you not to forget my father’s watch. Now think — did you get it?”
“I believe so…”
“You believe so? You either did, or you didn’t. Now, which one is it?” Carlos said with controlled rage.
“Then I did.”
“Are you sure?”
“No,” she said, shaking.
“#$%^@# it!” Carlos screamed, punching the air. Fabian screamed and backed into a corner, as Carlos picked up the motel TV and threw it against the wall.
Carlos looked toward her, suddenly calm. “No! It’s not your fault,” he said, approaching her. “You left it at the apartment.” He bent down in front of the woman who had sunk to the floor. He touched her hand, and she flinched. “If you did leave it at the apartment, it’s not your fault. I had you bring a bunch of stuff. I reminded you about it, but I didn’t illustrate how personal the watch was to me. If all I gave a damn about was my watch, I should’ve told you. You ain’t a mind-reader.” He kissed her hand, then rose.
Fabian was still sniffling as Carlos went to the closet. “I’m sorry.”
Carlos put on his jacket, which looked like a varsity jacket, but with the embroidered letters Grant’s Gym. “Don’t be,” he said. “It just means I won’t be able to eat breakfast with you.”
“Why does it mean that?” Fabian asked with concern.
“Because I’m going back to my apartment to get my watch!” Carlos said.
“Won’t the gangsters be looking for you there?” Fabian said anxiously.
“That’s what I’m going to find out,” Carlos said. “If they are, and I don’t think I can handle it, I’ll split.”
Fabian rose from the floor. “My darling, I don’t want you to be murdered over a silly watch.”
Carlos’ jaw set in grim determination. “One, it’s not a silly watch. Two, I’m not gonna be murdered. And three, don’t be scared. I won’t let anything get in the way of us living a happy life together.”
Carlos pulled her close and put his hands on her face. “Don’t feel bad, sugar-pop. Nothing you could ever do would make me permanently angry with you… I love you, remember?”
He dug into his pocket for some money. “Now here’s some money; order those pancakes, and have a great breakfast.”
“Don’t go,” she pleaded.
“I’ll be back before you can say blueberry pie,” he reassured.
“Well, maybe not that fast, but fast. OK? OK?”
“OK,” she sniffed.
He kissed her once more and headed for the door. “Bye-bye, sugar-pop.”
“I’m going to take your Honda,” Carlos told her.
“OK,” Fabian agreed, looking at the money he had given her. And with that, he was out the door.