The Good Book by David Estrada by David Estrada - Read Online

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The Good Book - David Estrada

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Family

Part One

Norma knelt in a church praying the rosary like she did every Wednesday. The church was quiet on this Wednesday morning before mass began. This church and the rosary were refuges from the brutal reality of her work and the brutality of the world at large. Hail Mary full of grace, the prayer went on as the birds outside chirped. The clouds parted, and the women continued to pray. The lord is with you. Blessed art thou and blessed is the fruit of thy womb Jesus. Holy Mary mother of God pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death, amen…

Norma prayed for herself and her family every morning that she wasn’t off cleaning crime scenes. The Rosary takes about twenty minutes to pray so Norma was baffled by how few Catholics prayed the Rosary. Wannabe gangsters wore the Rosary around their necks never knowing what they were really for. She walked out of the church with the Star-Spangled Banner in her eyes. Flag pole was in front of the police station. In some small way Norma felt she was cleaning up the streets of this city too. One blood stain at a time, the crew at Norma’s cleaning service was doing the people of this city the greatest service of all. Norma drove away from the church in La Habra, California in her luxury car. Business was booming. Or should I say business is bombing. How would I know? Well I am Norma’s son and partner, Hector. I do the heavy lifting and the maintenance of the equipment. At first there were only five of us, Norma, my cousin Laura, and two of the maids from the hotel where my mom used to clean, May and Adriana. That was the crew of Norma’s cleaning service. After our first suicide call I had an idea…not only to clean up homes but also the neighborhood. Hector continued to explain. My mom has a little American flag sticker on her car along with a sign for our cleaning service. All the girls have the same sign on their cars for advertising. I am a bit tech savvy, so I designed a website and got us on a directory for housekeepers. It’s the little things I do that make the biggest difference. And it was a little thing that seemed huge to my mom to get her to start her own cleaning service. A failed promotion was my mom’s inspiration for branching out on her own.

I’m sorry Norma. We just don’t think you are cut out to be head of the housekeeping department.

And that was it…that’s what they told my mom after twenty years of breaking her back cleaning everything from semen to bloodstains to the occasional shit stained wall from a couple who were on their first family vacation with a baby who had diarrhea. Couples often argued about who would change the baby at two in the morning and seldom times the argument would end in a dirty diaper sailing across the hotel room. After that she didn’t let it bother her much until one day she got the idea to clean homes in the more affluent parts of southern California.

My Dad, my Dad you ask? He walked out on my family when my youngest brother was two. Since then it was just me and my mom…I have other siblings and they contribute to the household it’s just when I turned eighteen I went to work in the hotel. Which hotel? Is it the Hilton? Or is it a Hyatt in Orange County…near the beach. Discretion prevents me from being any less vague. Perhaps discretion is the mother of creativity…but I don’t want to wander down a road with you on a journey that will only take us halfway. Leaving you at the side of that road in a ditch is where I want to go but again discretion prevents. And so Norma quit, she took some people with her to start her cleaning crew. Like I said I was recruited to do the heavy lifting.

Hector… What are you doing?

Mom, I am writing.

I don’t even want to know anymore. Norma Flores said as she lays down on the couch. As she said this she fell asleep.

And so now I must tell you a secret I can’t tell my mom. I’m the reason business is so good. Let me elaborate…

When my mom first started she got a call from her former boss. His brother had been troubled all his life; David was the name of the brother. One day while living with her former boss, John, came home to David’s brain splattered by a shotgun across the bathroom wall.

John couldn’t