As you might have surmised reading EMR, Carlise and Rafa dated briefly in high school. Although there was mutual respect, and love, it was the turning point for each of them. “Are we each other’s beards?” They remained close and although Rafa would not admit this aloud: Carlise is his best friend. She is the only one who can reach Rafa when he is almost unreachable (example) and one of the only people (besides his sisters) who isn’t afraid of Rafa’s anger, bad moods, and violence. They remain close, confrontational, fighting, arguing friends for the rest of their lives. Elan turns to her many times to understand his mercurial boyfriend.
Carlise goes to Design School but switches her concentration from fashion to interior design. Her road to success is long, as she has to intern for free and work for a short while after graduation. And her love life was an upheaval – she breaks up with Cinnamon (who Rafa never liked) and has a series of bad affairs. She also comes from a broken home, so she had no examples of a good relationship besides the one she had with Rafa (which was not very romantic) and Carlos does his best to be a father figure to her (as he does with everyone). She opens up her own little interior design studio with Pandora Evans. Of course, you know it, she rocks her suits and learns the business side of design with the help of Pandora and Scott. She eventually finds true love with a sweet and stable client.
On to the update…
Didn’t quite finish my Carlise write-up,
so you’ll have to just go straight to the update.
Scott M. Rodríguez, as you probably predicted, was awarded an MBA from the prestigious University of Chicago Booth School of Business. He receives many job offers but returns to run the financial departments at Elan’s philanthropic organizations. He always suspected who his scholarship benefactor was and thus was determined to “pay it back.”
There was never any doubt he would do well with his brilliant mind. The question was, what took him so long?
Scott is the only son to his mom, who was 15 years old when she gave birth to him. He did not know who his dad was, nor did his mother ever mention him. At an early age, some might say birth, Scott felt he had to be “the man” of his small family to counter his mom’s flighty nature. He never succumbed to gangs, drugs, excessive drinking, and had to start working full time at an early age to help support his mother and cousin (who was so much older he called her Tía though she was the daughter of his “chased out of town” uncle. His uncle is rumored to have fathered 18 illegitimate children, to which his mom always added: “that we know of.”) Scott did well in class when he could attend. But he never could participate in school full-time until he received a large enough scholarship to support him, his mom, and aunt/cousin.
Some years later, he finds a love letter from his father to his mother. In the dated note, his father acknowledges Scott was his son but says he was under pressure from his family to cut off all contact and deny the relationship. Scott’s mother was the daughter of his father’s maid and an unacceptable match. Furious that his father let his mother live in abject poverty, Scott confronts his father who is now a well-known math professor at the state university – a Professor Scott McLaughlin. The professor begs for forgiveness, citing the mores of the time and the disparity in class, and wants to start a relationship, but Scott uncharacteristically spits near his father’s shoes and leaves him forever.
Like Elan and Rafa, he has a hated father figure.
I drew the portrait at the wrong resolution for a book. So here it is, good enough for the web. *cries in my cheetos*.
Yes, will start on the books in a few months. Gotta bribe some people.