BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN, VT — Linda and Howie Mendez had perfect lives. They live in a close-knit, quiet suburban town with friendly neighbors. There’s Main Street with clothing stores whose names that make you wonder what they sell, vegan ice cream parlors with two flavors, and a rock-climbing wall with a store that sells custom engraved carabiners at the top.
Best of all, Linda and Howie Mendez have a daughter, 19 who is perfect in every way. She’s a great student with perfect grades who spends time helping around the house and volunteering in her community. When she’s not spending time with her dad in his woodshop, or her mom in her vegetable garden she’s spending time with Cueball, her sweaty biker boyfriend.
At least, up until recently.
“We were both shocked when we found out that Samantha had left Cueball. We’d been so accustomed to hearing his chopper revving outside our house in the late evenings. It’s the little stuff you miss,” Mrs. Mendez told us recently.
“It took me by surprise too,” Mr. Mendez continued. “I was left with a lot of questions. Where was I going to find another connection for my uppers? Would I still be able to middle-man the gang’s black-market guns? Would that betray my daughter’s trust?”
Little did Samantha Mendez’s parents know; things were going to get a lot worse.
“We hadn’t even found our footing when Samantha revealed she broke up with Cueball because she’d started seeing someone else. We couldn’t believe what we heard come out of our daughter’s mouth. A control player! Filth! A vile, despicable imitation of a human being. Yes, we were angry. Yes, we did everything in our power to reason with her. Kids just don’t listen to their parents, even when we know what’s best,” Mrs. Mendez said, sobbing.
“I just … I thought we raised her better. I thought she had more of a moral compass. All you do is think back to where you went wrong. I couldn’t believe it when she told me he brought counterspells into our home. Where we sleep. Do you know how many board wipes he had on in the first time we met? I should have known when we met. Do you have any idea how long it took him to decide to shake my hand? And when he finally did, he nodded and said ‘Sure, that’s fine.'”
“It’s just the wrong path for her,” Mrs. Mendez told us before ending the interview.