Last Updated on October 26, 2018, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 621
Norma offers Eddie a soda and sandwiches when he arrives at her place, and the two sit by the pool and kiss. In the midst of their passion, Norma tells Eddie that he is a lot like his dead cousin, Jesus, and adds, “You know that Angel did it, don’t...
(The entire section contains 621 words.)
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Norma offers Eddie a soda and sandwiches when he arrives at her place, and the two sit by the pool and kiss. In the midst of their passion, Norma tells Eddie that he is a lot like his dead cousin, Jesus, and adds, “You know that Angel did it, don’t you?” Eddie is taken aback by this revelation. At first he cannot believe the gangster would be capable of such a thing. Norma insists that the rumor is “all around.” People are saying that Jesus had been angry because Angel sold a car they had stolen together and refused to share the profits; this resulted in an argument that ended with Jesus’s fatal stabbing. Eddie is still not quite convinced that Norma is telling the truth, but he knows Angel is ruthless and is carrying a gun. With a rising sense of paranoia, he imagines that Angel is coming after him; he keeps to the shadows as he returns to his apartment.
The next day, Eddie is sitting on his sofa when a sharply dressed soldier appears at his door. It is Jose Dominguez, “a friend...[he] used to sniff glue with” who has found his way out of the barrio by joining the Marines. Jose is about to be deployed to an unknown destination. He is on leave now, and Eddie cannot believe he would use his liberty to “come back to this hole.” The two friends decide to go to a restaurant to get some breakfast. They receive “first-rate service” because Jose looks so handsome in his uniform. As they sit at the table, a shirtless “black dude” comes in, trying to sell some onions. Jose magnanimously agrees to buy some when they are finished with their meal; the man will wait for them outside.
Jose ends up buying three sacks of onions. When they are loading them in his car, Eddie looks up and spots Mr. Stiles’s Toyota pickup parked across the street. Shocked, he utters a sharp exclamation, and when he explains about the truck to his friend, Jose says, “Let’s go get it.” Eddie is more cautious, however, and decides to go back into the restaurant to call Mr. Stiles on the payphone to tell him where he can find his vehicle. When the old man hears Eddie’s voice, he plaintively cries, “I trusted you, Eddie...why did you do it?” Eddie tries to make Mr. Stiles understand what had happened, then he gives him directions to the restaurant. When the call is finished, he leaves the establishment on tremulous legs.
When Eddie gets back outside, he sees three “brown boys in green Dickies” running away from Jose, who is bent over by the red Toyota. Jose has been stabbed. Eddie eases him down to the sidewalk as blood seeps from his shoulder and his waist. Someone has called the cops, and the sound of a siren wails in the distance.
Eddie goes to the hospital to visit Jose the next morning; his friend is lying “drugged up” in a bed, entangled in a mass of wires and tubes, but he is going to be all right. Jose’s family is there, and Eddie senses that they blame him for what happened. Later, Eddie walks back to the restaurant and finds that Mr. Stiles’s truck is gone. He hopes the old man came to fetch it; Eddie wonders if he looked down and noticed Jose’s blood staining the ground. Eddie stops for a moment to take stock of his life and finds that things are looking pretty grim. He has recovered the truck but his friend has been knifed, and somewhere Angel is looking for him, lying in wait.