Fiction | Short Story

Hotel La Plantación

They like flirting with local women. When they’re satisfied with the season, they catch a plane and go back to gringolandia.

I had been mostly working the graveyard shift at the front desk of the hotel in San Juan for about three months, more or less. It was 2004, summer, and I was twenty-one. I needed the money to finish my hospitality degree and the experience to find a better job later. With nothing to do during one parching overnight shift but check-in a few odd folks who arrived late, I wandered about the hotel, over to the parking lot, the restaurant, the bar, looking for Cristina, the clean freak—a buddy of mine. She was eight years older than me and worked as a housekeeper. Some people called Cristina a yal, de la calle, del caserío—from the ghetto. She cursed too much, listened to Daddy Yankee too loud and dropped out of school too young. I had gone to private schools and college, and lived in a gated community. Our paths would never have crossed outside of the hotel, but there we were, both inside La Plantación.