NOTHING TO DO
Translation by Martin Ward
“Hello?” she answered.
“Hello. Carolina?” she heard a female voice say.
“Yes, this is she.”
“Hey, it’s Gina, Sandra’s friend…we met last night at her get together. Do you remember?”
Carolina thought for a moment. Her memory came back from last night and she recalled meeting her. Sandra had introduced them at her birthday party and they spent most of the evening chatting and drinking together.
“Oh yeah! Gina!” Carolina finally said.
“I remember now. How are you?”
“Doing fine. What are you up to?”
“Nothing, just watching some TV.”
“Listen, what do you think about us going to the beach?”
“How about I swing by and pick you up in twenty minutes? Sound good?”
“Okay. Do you have my address?”
“Yeah, Sandra gave it to me.”
“Is she going?”
“No. She said she has to study because she has an exam tomorrow.”
Carolina hung up the phone and hesitated. She remembered bits and pieces of the night before, Gina and her talking, having a drink—they had gotten on well. She opened her closet and looked for a bathing suit. She found one and put it on. And what do I wear on top of this? She pulled out a polo shirt and a sarong. The polo shirt was long and hung down to her thighs. She tied it up so it wouldn’t fall down again, leaving it just above her belly button. She hung the sarong around her hips. She went to the bathroom and finished getting ready. Finally. Magnificent.
She waited for ten minutes. There was no one home with her. A car horn sounded outside. She leaned out to see who it was. She recognized Gina. She was in an old red BMW. She greeted her as she got in the car. The inside smelled of Hawaiian Tropic. Gina put the car in first gear and started it up.
“Where are we headed?”
“South. That okay?”
“Yeah, cool. Which beach?”
“First we’re going to Punta Hermosa, we’ll eat something there and then head on further south.” I know a beach where few people go,” Gina said as she cranked up the radio.
They got to Punta Hermosa and the beach was crowded: there were surfers with long hair and sunburned skin and lots of beautiful tanned girls. On the white sand beach there were only older gentlemen and a bunch of posh people. On the black sand side, it was noticeably different. There was more of a mixture of people. They sat down at a restaurant and ordered ceviche, mussels, and some beers.
“This beach is always full, so I only come here to eat.” Gina said.
“I hardly come here. I stop at Santa María.”
They ordered another beer putting them at four big ones. When they finished having lunch, they took a stroll around the pier. Street vendors sold bracelets and other pieces of jewelry constructed with small colorful beads of various designs. It was one o’clock and the sun’s heat was intense.
“Let’s get in the water,” Carolina said, suffocating from the heat.
“No, wait. We’re going to the beach I told you about. There are a lot of people here.”
They got back in the car and headed out on the narrow streets of Punta Hermosa towards the highway. They put the radio on at full blast. On the highway, Gina put the pedal to the metal. Cans of beer are essential for the trip.
“Listen, Carolina, you’re a great person,” Gina said suddenly. She was happy. The beer had loosened her up a bit. “You’re fucking awesome.”
They sat in silence. The radio played Mr. Jones by the Counting Crows. Gina hummed along while Carolina lit a cigarette.
“You got a boyfriend?” Gina asked suddenly.
“No. I had one, but I broke up with him like two months ago,” she said. “And you?”
“It’s been a year since I’ve had a boyfriend,” Gina said with a bit of disgust. “Men are idiots.”
“So are you a virgin?” Gina asked abruptly keeping her hands on the wheel and not turning to look at her.
Carolina opened her eyes surprised. She turned and looked at her.
“If you don’t want to answer me, you don’t have to. I’m just curious.”
“No, its fine. I’m not embarrassed.”
The car was speeding along easily doing one and hundred fifty kilometers an hour.
“Well, I know it’s difficult to believe, but yes, I’m still a virgin.”
“You’re not missing anything special. It’s nothing out of this world. It wasn’t what I thought it was the first time I did it. I don’t know why. Maybe it was him. They say that’s a big part of it. I don’t know.”
“This is the place,” Gina said. She turned the wheel to the right and pulled into a small spot between two hills. There was a flyer on the ground and she had no clue what it said. The unevenness of the terrain made the car shake a little. Gina was paying attention to the steering wheel. To the right and left were hills. In front of them a path that seemed to go on forever. When they came up to a curve, Gina took it with care and precision. She knew it well. They passed it and there it was, the never ending sea and the sand heated up by the sun. Carolina, in awe of the view, smiled. Gina pulled the car as close to the beach as possible. The sand was very fine and clean. When they parked the car, they realized no one was around. They had the beach to themselves.
“What’s up?” Gina asked looking at her smiling.
They got out of the car. Gina let her hair down. They both sat on the hood of the car with a beer. The radio was at half volume, but they had quit listening to it. There was nothing—just the sea, the sand, and a few seagulls.
“Let’s get in,” Gina said.
“Wait, let me finish this.”
They finished their beers and put the empty cans in a bag. They grabbed their towels and sunscreen from the car and headed to the beach. They laid out their towels. “I can’t take this heat any longer,” Gina said and jumped in the water. Carolina followed her.
“Wow, it is.”
After a while Carolina got out and wrapped herself in a towel. Gina continued swimming a while longer before getting out. Carolina was sitting up on her elbows when she realized Gina had no top on. Her gaze moved downwards and she saw she had nothing there either. Gina was holding her bikini in her hand. “What are you doing? Are you crazy?” Gina looked at her and smiled. Carolina could see her small pink nipples and her clean-shaven vagina.
“Come on, Carolina. There’s no one here.”
“Don’t be such a prude. Take it off!”
“Come on. Listen, you don’t know what you’re missing. Swimming like this is the best thing in the world.”
Gina went back in the water as she was, naked. Carolina sat for a while. “Come on, do it, don’t be an idiot, if no one’s around. Fuck it!” she thought. She stripped off her bikini and headed to the water. Gina was swimming as if she did this often. She showed no surprise when she realized Carolina had returned to swim naked. She paid more attention to her. Her breasts were bigger and her nipples erect. Her figure was flawless.
“Do you see how nice it is to swim like this, without clothes?”
“Yes. It’s unbelievable.”
“You’ve never done this before?”
“Swim naked? No.”
“Every time I come here I do this.”
“Let’s race,” Gina said.
“What?” Carolina said a bit taken aback.
“Come on. Let’s see who can make it back to the towels first. On your mark, get set…go…”
They both took off. Gina had a slight advantage, but they arrived at the same time. Laughing, they both sat down. In that moment there was a perpetual silence. They both stared at the horizon and admired the way the water captured the brilliant light of the sun. Their faces and their bodies were a bit burned by the sun. The redness made them more beautiful.
“You’ve got some big boobs,” Gina said breaking the awkwardly long silence.
“Yeah, but yours are big also.”
“Wait a second. You’re telling me mine are big when you’ve got those. You’re ridiculous, but I do like them.”
When she said that they both looked at each other. Carolina turned red from embarrassment. There was nothing else to do but laugh.
“Can I touch them?”
“Excuse me?” Carolina said a bit naively.
“Look I just want to see what they feel like. They must be soft.”
Carolina let her touch them. She felt a tingling sensation in her body that made her throw herself on the towel. Gina got on top of her still touching her.
“Wait a second,” Carolina said.
“I don’t know. It’s just…”
“If you don’t want to, we can stop right now.”
And they locked lips.
Carolina tried to intervene.
“Shh!” Gina whispered.
The towel was crumpled up with half her body on it and the other half in the sand. Carolina’s feet lifted and fell, forming a small ditch in the sand. Gina’s blonde hair falling in her face bothered her a bit. She tried putting it behind her ears, yet it was pointless.
The sun was trying to reach her face, but Gina blocked it. A small breeze ruffled her hair. Gina began to kiss her, first on her forehead, then her mouth, then making her way down to her big breasts and her large pink nipples. When Gina got to her sex, she saw it, clean and pure like a virgin. She stuck out her tongue and penetrated it. Carolina’s whole body trembled and vibrated. She kept her eyes closed and her face revealed pure satisfaction. The sound of the sea mixed together with her light groans. Carolina sat up with her back to the sea. Their tongues joined together as she pulled Gina close. Their breasts became one as if they’d been welded together. With one hand, they touched each other down below and embraced tighter with the other. They couldn’t feel the sand burning their skin. They rubbed each other, legs intertwined and fingers inside each other. They moved back and forth, the groans rising and getting lost in the sounds of the sea. They were soaked with sweat and their vulvas dripping. They laid there exhausted when they had finished. The sun was setting as they slept in the sand. Gina woke up first. After checking the time, she went back in for a swim. She came back out and changed. She approached Carolina and woke her up. Carolina opened her eyes and saw Gina’s face. Confused, she asked what time it was.
“Wow, it’s late,” she said stretching.
“Come on, rinse off before we go.”
When she finished swimming, she headed to the car. Gina was already sitting behind the wheel.
“I’m a little dizzy,” Carolina said.
“Me too. It’s probably because we drank and slept.”
Gina opened up the glove box, pulled out a small envelope, and opened it. She pulled out a credit card and emptied a bit of the contents of the envelope.
“What is that?”
“Coke,” Gina responded as she took her first line.
Gina passed the credit card to Carolina and she snorted a line too. After a couple more, they left the beach, listening to the radio as they drove.
“Listen, you aren’t going to say anything about this to anyone, are you? This is just between us.”
“No, don’t worry,” Carolina said wiping her nose.
She didn’t feel anything the whole ride back. It was getting dark and there were few cars on the highway between the beach and Punta Hermosa. It was there that the traffic picked up a bit. They got to Carolina’s house and parked the car a few metres from the entrance. Gina pulled out the blow again.
“Help me finish this off,” she said.
“Quickly, so no one sees us.”
They each snorted three lines to finish it off.
“See you later,” Carolina said as she collected her things.
“Clean your nose off. You’ve got some white shit on it.” They laughed.
“Ciao, Gina. Thanks for everything.” And she kissed her.
“Ciao, Carolina. I’ll look you up next Sunday. Or you can call me before then.”
Carolina got out of the car. She pressed down on the lock, gently shutting the door, so gently, that it didn’t close all the way. Gina opened the door again to fully shut it. Walking quickly, Carolina headed to her door. She pulled her keys out of her pocket, but they fell to the ground. She tried to bend over and pick them up, but it was difficult. She saw what time it was: 9:00 at night. She went inside and quickly headed to her room. Her mother was in the living room watching TV.
“Hey sweetie. How was it?” she said as she continued watching Michael Douglas’ incessant pursuit of Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct. “Good,” she answered heading to her room without giving her a kiss.
When she got to her room, she laid down in her bed on her back. Her eyes seemed wider than normal and she felt strange and stiff. She stood up and began walking around. She went to the bathroom and looked at herself in the mirror for half an hour without saying a word. She returned to her room and threw herself back in the bed wanting to sleep, but unable to. She decided to take some pills to help her fall asleep. She remembered that her mother had some in the bedroom as she takes them regularly to calm her nerves. Her mother didn’t notice her sneak in and grab two pills. She returned to the bathroom and took them with some tap water. She headed back to bed and got in hoping the pills would hit her quickly. Her heart felt as if it was going to jump out of her chest, but she didn’t let herself get worked up and tried as hard as she could to sleep.
The next day she woke up late. No one was home. Everyone always left before she did. She looked at the clock and it read 1:00 p.m. She had missed her 10:00 a.m. class and was probably going to miss the rest of them. Her nose bothered her a bit. She decided a cold bath would help her shake off the hangover. Her skin burned and she noticed she had lots of red blotches. As she got out of the shower, she recalled the previous day’s events. More came back to her as she dried off. It was impossible to believe what had happened and it made her feel strange and confused. She finished drying off and, completely naked, caught a glimpse her body in the dresser mirror. She saw her beautiful figure and her large breasts. Upon returning to her room, she jumped in bed and stared at the poster of Christian Slater as she began to masturbate.
Translation of “Nothing To Do” Copyright Carlos Dávalos. Translation copyright 2015 by Martin Ward. All rights reserved.
Carlos Dávalos was born in Lima. He is the author of the short story collection ‘Nadie sabe adónde ir’. His works have appeared in numerous publications including Soho (Peru), Sub-Urbano (USA) and El Asombrario (Spain). He has also published articles with El País, Esquire, GQ, Rolling Stone, Interviú, El Periódico (Catalonia), La Tercera (Chile), Emeequis (Mexico), Paula (Uruguay), The Clinic, Viajes de National Geographic, and many more. Dávalos also teaches Spanish and English as a Second Language.