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Yesterday I was walking across campus, because my mom said I should check out the location of all my classes before school starts, and because I had some free time while my pediculture dried, and well, because some guys were playing Frisbee on the lawn I had to walk across. All of a sudden, carabinas! there was music coming from a street behind some houses. At first it sounded charmingly, but then it became noisier. I was going to dash into a building but I had on my high pink sandals to show off my toes that were now silver crackle over hot pink and if I ran in them my heels would just sink and I’d be airing the lawn. Anyway, just then the funniest thing I’ve seen since I came to America turned the corner.

It was a white box on wheels painted with a gigantuous pink panda eating an ice-cream treat. A large orange popsicle was turning around and around on top. The truck had pink and orange dots painted everywhere else. I was flabbergassed.

So I looked toward one of the Frisbee throwing guys that had stopped to smile, and got hit in the shoulder with the Frisbee, and I was going to ask if he was hurt, but instead I asked what this contraption was and why the terrible music that sounded like it was played on a child’s toy piano? He tipped his head and got a funny look in his eyes. “You’ve never seen an ice-cream truck before?”

I shook my head. I like to shake my head, it makes my dark curls bounce. I flashed him a smile with a shrug and sure enough he got that blank look guys get when they quit thinking.

“What’s it for?” I asked. I had to nearly shout because the truck had come omnibusly closer.

“What’s it for?” he repeated. “Guys! Come here!” The guys were already coming over and they stood around. I smiled at all of them and they all liked my name but I didn’t remember any of there’s. I wish I would have later. Then I would have known which ones were who.

Anyway, the next thing I knew half the guys are running to the truck to prevent it from getting away and the other half are dragging me over, they nearly carried me, and I almost let them because then they’d be sure to see my toes, but I just walked. They ask me what my favorite ice-cream is and I didn’t know. So they began to argue over what to get and who would pay and some just talked to me and asked if I had a paper in my purse they could write my number on.

Of course. That it is a silly question.

They got me a cone with nuts and fudge ribbles on top that was muy exquisito. And it had fudge in the very bottom of the cone! Then I received three phone calls that night from the guys and now I have three dates. I hope one of them is the blond with strong arms and the great smile.

So later, I was thinking how nice it was for all of them to stop their game just to make me happy. That is when I had this brilliant moment when I wondered whether I stop often enough and just spend time giving someone else all my attention and trying to make them happy.

And I don’t mean just cute guys either.

So I went back to my dorm and wrote my mom a pretty letter.

Which reminds me, I was supposed to introduce myself. I’m Chelo. That’s short for Consuela. My last name now is Rivera. It’s not my real name. I lived in Mexico all my life in a hacienda on a hill. My father had many business dealings. Every summer my mother brought me to visit her brother in California and this time she said we would not be going home. I could only pack one bag!

Then we moved to this small city in Idaho where my uncle knew somebody. This new family pretends they are our family and that I am their niece. We get along great, but I miss my dog and some of the people I knew all my life. My mom doesn’t like to talk about our old life, and now she works at a lodge near Yellowrock or someplace like that, which must be very hard for her because she never worked before and always had a cook and maids at home.

I go to the university now. And eat ice-cream from pink and orange noisome trucks and smile at guys and well, I try to make people happy.

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