The First pt. 1

     She’d never really had a crush before she met him.  Growing up she’d always been a hardcore tomboy.  At the age of five she was convinced that she could be a boy any time that she wanted to as long as she wasn’t wearing her shirt, which was often.  As she grew older she realized that it was a silly notion, still she refused to cut her hair or do anything with it that wasn’t a ponytail.  She refused to wear dresses, skirts, or jewelry, and would take the heads off of her barbies to scare her friends.  She preferred to play sports outside with the neighborhood boys: Street hockey, skateboarding, soccer…it didn’t matter.

     Then she met Lexi.  He was beautiful: tan skin, dark wavy hair, tall, but it was his dark worried eyes that she was most drawn to.  She was only eleven, and he was fifteen, but their age difference never even crossed her mind.

     “Ok Nina, let’s go for a walk, I wanna go see my boyfriend,” her friend Maya announced one day as she arrived at the girl’s house.  Maya never ceased to amaze her.  The girl’s parents both worked three jobs and were never home, so they were always doing things that they weren’t supposed to be.  Sometimes they would tan by the pool naked, sometimes they would drink, and most times they would hang out with Maya’s boyfriend of the week.  

     “Don’t worry, he has a friend for you.  Just do me a favor and come rescue me if I’m in his bedroom for more than ten minutes.  Making out is so boring.  I fell asleep last time we did it for too long.”

     “Maya, I don’t LIKE boys,” she sighed, “I hope his friend doesn’t think I’m gonna kiss him. Ew. No thanks.”

     Maya rolled her eyes and grabbed her by the hand, dragging her out the front door.  They walked the trail through the park to the next street of houses and Maya marched up to a small run down house with a broken screen door.  This house was so different from Maya’s, it was more like something that you’d find in her own neighborhood.  Maya knocked out a code on the door and there was a moment of silence followed by the sound of several locks unlatching.  

     She sucked in her breath when she saw him in the doorway, and as Maya lept onto him she felt her heart drop.  She instantly wanted to run back to Maya’s house and sit on the doorstep until it was time for her parents to come get her, but her friend turned to her and dragged her into the house.  

     “Alexi, this is Nina. Nina we’ll be back in a minute.  Sit with Santos,” she instructed pointing to the boy sitting on the livingroom couch.  Before she left she turned to Nina and mouthed ten minutes.  

     Santos was taller and darker than Lexi.  He was heavier as well, with a big nose and long sideburns.  Hesitantly, Nina sat on the end of the couch, as far away from the boy as possible.

    “You two are young,” he stated in a cold and factual tone.

     “E-e-eleven” she responded softly.

     “Good job Lexi,” she heard him say under his breath before scooting a bit closer.  She tried to scoot away, but was already pressed against the arm of the couch, “you’re pretty you know that? Not like your friend. she’s pretty because she has curves and wears makeup and small clothes. You’re actually pretty,”  He scooted a bit closer and her throat began to close.  She wanted to run, but she knew she couldn’t.  For one thing she had to rescue Maya soon, and for another Santos was terrifying.  He had a cold look in his eyes.  She’d never seen a murderer before besides on the news, but he reminded her of one.  Suddenly, he brushed her hair back behind her ear.  She flinched and looked away.

      “Um. Thanks” she muttered.  He scooted right up next to her and grabbed her forcefully by the chin.  She stared into his deadly eyes in horror.  Every nerve in her body was tensed to run.  Then he kissed her.  She squeaked, shoving his chest and leaping off of the couch in an ungraceful movement that sent her tumbling onto the floor, “sorry. I have to pee,” she practically screamed, getting up and power walking down the hallway toward where she thought the bathroom would be.

     Once she found it, she locked herself in and sunk to the floor.  She wanted to cry and scream at Maya at the same time.  Why would she ever think that it was ok to leave her with scary Santos?  Deep breaths. She told herself as she sat, shivering on the cold bathroom floor.

     After what she thought was ten minutes she opened the bathroom door.  She could tell which room was Alexi’s because she heard Maya giggling wildly from within.  She knocked softly on the door, and after a few minutes Alexi opened the door.  She stared at him with her mouth slightly agape.  If it was possible, he looked even more handsome than she remembered.  His hair was mussed and his worried look was replaced with a softer look of something she didn’t recognize.  He was staring at her, and she couldn’t remember what she was supposed to say.

     “Maya I don’t like him, he scares me,” she blurted instead, bursting into tears.  Maya groaned aloud in frustration, but Alexi reprimanded her quickly and yanked Nina into the room, swiftly closing the door with one hand and pulling her into a hug with the other.  He rubbed her back and made shushing noises as she cried into his white wifebeater.

     “I’m sorry Nina,” he whispered into her hair, “I know Santos is a bit rough.  Maya should’ve known better than to think that you would be a good girl for him.”

     Slowly, she stopped crying and breathed in his scent.  He smelt like axe body spray and something earthy that she couldn’t quite place.  She pulled away quickly when she heard Maya whinily mention that Aexi had errands to run.  As she walked over to his bed and sat next to her friend, he stripped off his tear soaked wife beater and replaced it with a bright red tee shirt.  She’d seen tons of boys without shirts before and never really cared, but with him it was different.  The sight of his chest made her throat close, her mouth salivate, and her stomach hurt.

     After he changed, he nodded for Maya to get up and he opened the door signaling the girls to follow him.  As they entered the living room, she felt her body tensing to run again.  Santos was calmly watching TV with the same cold look in his eyes.  Without even turning to look at any of them he said, “I don’t think your friend is a fan, Maya,” his voice was absolutely void of emotion and it chilled Nina to the core.

     “Aw Santino give the girl a break. She goes to Catholic school with me,” Maya joked in the flirty way that Nina secretly envied about her.  Santino laughed, but it was more of a sort than a laugh.

     “Right. Catholic school girl. Like you?”

     “Santino watch what you say to my girl and her friends,” Alexi warned in a tone as cold as his friend’s eyes, “Nina’s a good girl and you have no place in forcing her to be anything else,” he continued. She watched in horror as Santino twitched, then went rigid.

     After what seemed like an eternity, he relaxed and got up off the couch, “Let’s go, we gotta finish these deliveries” he said, the familiar lack of emotion returning to his voice.  Alexi relaxed his body and followed after him, she hadn’t even noticed him tense up because she’d been so afraid herself.  With a raised eyebrow, Maya motioned for them to follow the boys.

     They walked along the trail that went through the adjoining neighborhoods, girls in front of boys.  Every so often a random person would high five Alexi. It was one of those double high fives.  One up top and one underneath.  Once she turned back to watch, and noticed that on the bottom high five Alexi would suddenly have money in his palm, which he would quickly pocket.  It gave her an uneasy feeling even though she had no idea what in the world was going on. She tried to mention it to Maya, but got shrugged off.

     “Let the boys do what they haveta do. Don’t ask questions, Nina, it’ll get you in trouble.”

     As they finished the loop and started heading back toward Alexi’s house, Nina and Maya were holding hands and skipping.  Alexi ran up on them and slapped them both on the butt.  Hard.  Both girls groaned in pain and rubbed their butts.  She felt something in her back pocket, but something told her to wait until she was home to see what it was.  At Alexi’s house, he and Maya kissed goodbye.  Santino nodded a goodbye to both girls, and Alexi smiled at her.

     “See ya Nina” he said, the worried look from earlier in the day returning to his face.  The boys went into the house, and Maya grabbed her hand once again.

     “Let’s go, Nina. Your parents will be at my house soon to pick you up.”

     Back at her house, she finally got the courage to see what was in her back pocket.  It was a dollar, but on the dollar written in sharpie was:

     I just had to tell you. You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen.  You should run far away from me and never look back. –Lexi

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Bacon Nigga

     Wyd?

     The text came in at 2 am.  She had finished the Four Loco that was chilling in her fridge since Thanksgiving.  She was a little thrown off at first.  She had been trying to kick it with him earlier and it didn’t seem like he was having it.  It was also the first time he had texted her.

     Chillin at my house. U?

     Shit bored. Drinking, listening to music, watching Netflix, playing Tony Hawk and chillin lol

     Lol. I’m doin the same minus the tony hawk

     Slide this way

     She’d known this was coming.  She bit her lip and stared at her phone, knowing that she shoudn’t go over there.  He was toxic, but then again she loved toxic people.  If it was bad for her or she knew she shouldn’t do it then it was probably the first thing she was going to do.  She sighed and texted back.

     k.

     They talked, drank, and smoked cigarettes like always, but when did he start smoking menthols? He’d smoked Winstons just a couple of days ago.  She pushed it out of her mind and they fucked.  Like always.

     The next morning she was woken up by him snuggling up close to her.  What the fuck was he doing? He knew she didn’t cuddle.  Cupcake shit as she called it.  To her it signified emotional attachment, which was something she couldn’t handle any more.  She got up and went into the bathroom, a part of her wanted to leave before he woke up, but a stronger part of her wanted some dick before she left.  She sighed and splashed some water on her face then let herself back into his bedroom.  

     “Wake up,” she commanded, shaking him.

     “No. Not this morning. I’m tired. I don’t have the energy.”

     If there was something she hated the most, it was being told no.  She silently pouted and resolved to wait until he woke up more.

     After a couple of hours, he got up and left the room.  He came back with a cup of coffee and handed it to her.  She was confused again.  She had mentioned before that dick and coffee were the only things that woke her up in the morning.  Why was he bringing her coffee?  Was he trying to get her to leave or was he being weirdly nice to her?

     “What the fuck is this? No cream or sugar?” She asked bitchily.  Instead of firing back at her like she expected, he grabbed the cup out of her hand and went to put milk and sugar in it.  She sipped the coffee and looked at him skeptically.  He was ignoring her and playing Tony Hawk.  What was up with him today?  Normally she could count on him to give her what she wanted so that she could get dressed and leave.

     “You needta stop playing that game and give me some dick,” She said after finishing her coffee.

     “Well I was gonna, but since you’re tryna tell me what to do then now I’m not giving you shit”

     “Uh yes you are,” she shot back.  He ignored her and continued to play.  Frustrated, she got up and turned off his TV.  He turned it back on, and in response, she took his controller.  She was determined to get what she wanted whether he was being a brat or not.  

     Finally after multiple times of wrestling the controller out of his hands, she straddled him, being sure to block his view of the TV.

     “You’re ruining my score,” he complained, but she could see in his eyes that he didn’t really care, “if I fuck you you’re just gonna brag and talk shit.”

     “I promise I won’t say a word,” she assured him, knowing full well that she was about to get what she wanted and loving every minute of it.  

      They fucked, and after a couple of minutes of recovering she sat up and began to pull her clothes on.  He was talking to her about how he’d made a pound of bacon the day before.

     As she reached the front door and pulled it open to leave he called after her.

     “Wait, I’ll make you bacon.”

     She walked out.  Something was up with him and she thought she knew exactly what it was.  He was getting attached.  It was time to drop him, and it was a damn shame.

Kicking Sandcastles

She hated optimists.  Maybe because she was a realist, but probably because she was utterly jealous of them.  She tried to be optimistic, bit it never worked.  The stress would hit her, then the anxiety, finally the depression.

Jordan was an eternal optimist.  IT was a quality that rewarded him handsomely.  He even got her for a brief amount of time.  That was until his optimism started to infuriate her, and her realism started to deflate him.

She’d been dating a basketball player at their community college.  He was her usual type of guy: not too bright but hot, tall, athletic, and of course a complete asshole.  He’d been cheating on her, and she knew it.  To save face she pretended that she didn’t, but no one believed her.  Once he gave her another girl’s lip gloss, thinking that it was hers.  He’d even fucked her best friend…twice…and she was embarrassed to admit how she’d found out about that one.

She pretended not to know, and then he dumped her.

She had been talking about it to one of her classmates in Speech Com when Jordan hopped the desk and plopped himself right next to her.  He asked her if she wanted to go with him to get his tattoo worked on that weekend.  She looked him up and down.  He was good looking, but not her type at all.  He was wearing ripped converse, jeans, and a Warped Tour t-shirt.  All of the guys she’d ever dated wore basketball shorts and Nike flip flops with socks.

Fuck it.

She shrugged and agreed, mentioning that she’d been wanting to get a tattoo she’d drawn done on her foot.  Maybe if his artist did well, she’d hire him.

*****

     After the tattoo appointment, he looked over at her and grinned.  They were in his truck because she had a D.U.I. and couldn’t drive.

     “Hungry?” he asked.

     “Starving! Wait…if I go out to eat with you, does that mean I got tricked into going on a date with you?”

     He grinned from ear to ear, “I wouldn’t use the word, tricked.  I just kinda throw things out there and hope for the best.  Like when I asked you to come with me today.”

     And for the most part, that’s really how he did everything.  He just tried and hoped for the best.  Sometimes it drove her crazy.  Couldn’t he see that life didn’t work that way?  You had to plan, and prepare for the worst.  Half of the time, he didn’t even have a plan, he just knew what he wanted and assumed he was going to get it.

*****

     “I miss my El Co,” she sighed one day while laying on his chest as he played with her hair, “it was bad ass. 383 stroker engine, true dual exhaust, masterflow, holly double pumper carb, that baby even had a NOS setup.”

     “You’ll get a new one some day,” he assured her.  She laughed at him rudely.

     “Um no. I won’t, Jordan.  Do you even realize how expensive that thin was? Not just the car itself, not even the money I put in working on it, but just the gas alone was ridiculous.  It’s an impractical car to have and I was young ad stupid for owning it.”

     “Sorry.  Just trying to be positive.”

     “Please don’t,” she mumbled, thoroughly irritated.

     “Maybe I’ll buy you one with the money I make in the S.E.A.L.S,” he offered.  She let out a groan.

     “Jordan. How many times have I told you that I’m not going to wait on you while you go off on a ship for five years? That’s absolutely insane! Second, I already said I was never going to own another one because they’re impractical cars.  Finally, you will never become a S.E.A.L. because you’re color blind.”

     “I’m gonna study for the color test,” he insisted, sounding like a pouting child.  She sat up to roll her eyes at him, but caught herself when she saw his hurt expression. Still, she couldn’t let it go.

     “What do you see here?” she asked, pulling up a test.

     “It’s a circle made up of a bunch of other circles.  This is stupid.  I’ll pass.”

     “You just failed, though. There’s the number two in that circle.  You can’t study for a color blindness test,” she threw her phone down in exasperation, but he just shrugged and let her fume.

*****

     Looking back, she shouldn’t have fought him on the subject.  She felt like the kid who came and kicked over his sandcastle.  He never did join the Navy, but he did find a girl just as optimistic as he.  She was bubbly and blonde, and she was nothing like Nina.

The High School Sweeheart

She sat in his truck.  Silently taking the verbal abuse. She was drunk, and so was he.  Not that it mattered.  He acted like this regardless, but she loved him so she took it.  She knew that he would apologize after, stroking her bruises and telling her he loved her.

“You’re so lucky you’re a girl,” he screamed at her, punching everything in the truck that was near her. She almost flinched as a fist landed on the seat next to her head.  He was mad at her for smoking a cigarette when she’d promised him she’d quit.  That’s how he always was: controlling.  She hadn’t seen her family in weeks because, as he said, “you don’t need them. You have me.”

She also had no friends because he hated all of her friends, and she wasn’t allowed to hang out with his friends unless he was there.

“I just wanna punch you in the face.  No.  I wanna open this truck door and push you down this cliff.  I wanna go home, let’s go.”

He started the truck.

“Cody. You can’t drive. You’re drunk. Maybe Tina can drive us,” she begged. She knew that Tina didn’t have a license, but Cody had multiple charges: possession with intent to distribute, violation of parole…

Tina couldn’t get the truck to drive. It was too old. She was stuck in hell for the rest of the night.

“Ima beat the shit out of you bitch. Tonight,” he said as her sister left the truck.

She braced herself for yet another assault, already thinking of explinations for why she was bruised.

A note from the author: Abuse is never to be tolerated. If you or someone you love is being physically, verbally, or otherwise abused. Please report it. Only you can break the cycle. 

Bulliet and BDSM

He came to her broken.  She was broken too, but he was more broken than her.  She answered the door naked as he’d demanded.  He was still in his work uniform, all black, and holding a bottle of Bulliet.  He followed her to her room, and grabbed the shot glasses from her TV tray that had been there since Halloween.

Shot after shot, and suddenly he snapped.  He shoved her onto the bed.

Hard

Then he started choking her until she could barely breathe.  She didn’t care.  She loved it.  This was the shit that she lived for.  It took the pain away.  But this time it was different than she was used to.  He was being rougher than usual, and she could tell that this was one of the times that required rest and recovery afterwards.

“I need a little break,” she gasped after an hour.  She could already feel the bruises forming.

He snapped again.

He jumped off the bed and yanked on his clothes. He was wasted.  Utterly trashed.  He nearly fell onto his face trying t step into his boxers.

Once he managed to get dressed, he stormed out the front door.  It was then that she realized what was going on.  He was leaving.  Not that she really cared, but he was wasted and she lived in downtown.  The last thing he needed was a D.U.I.  so she chased after him.  His car was already running and he was trying to drive away.  She got into the passenger seat and turned to face him.

“What the fuck is your problem?!? All I said is that I needed a break”

“I don’t give a fuck, Bitch. I don’t need you.  I got court tomorrow, I just got dumped over this shit. I don’t need these problems. I. Don’t. Need. You.”

“Michael, you are drunk as fuck,and I live in downtown. Just turn off your car and sleep here for the night.  You really don’t need a DUI after everything you’re already facing” she pleaded with him.

He screamed in her face.  It was a frustrated, wordless scream and it terrified her, but she held her ground and kept her face void of emotion.  Then he got out of the car, leaving it running, and walked toward her house.  She tried to turn off his car. Fucking piece of shit BMWs.  She could never figure out how to work them, but the truth of the matter was she was shaking too much to even attempt to free his keys.

“Michael,” she screamed at him as she got out of the car and chased after him for the second time that night, “Your car is still running.”

He shoved her to the side, and proceeded to turn off his car.  Then he walked into her house and passed out on her bed.

Chameleon

About 85% of the time she got what she wanted.  Sure, it probably had a little to do with the fact that she was attractive and had a nice body.  It was also because she was stubborn, but mostly it was because she understood people.  Be it a man or a woman, she could usually figure out what it was that they wanted, twist herself to fit that, and then give it to them so that they would give her what she wanted.

The other 15% of the time.  The times that she didn’t get what she wanted.  It was usually a person who was so out of left field that she couldn’t even begin to understand them.

And, unfortunately for her, she found people like that absolutely irresistible.

Spiraling

“All of these things that you are telling me lead me to believe that you’ve been misdiagnosed,” Leila said as she leaned back against her chair.  Nina rolled her eyes and let out a sigh.

“The OCPD, the anxiety and depression, or the borderline personality disorder?” She asked in a tone dripping with sarcasm. Leila laughed, she knew that the sarcasm was aimed at the girl’s previous therapists rather than at herself.

“Well, all of them really, but it makes perfect sense that you’ve been misdiagnosed so many times.  What you really have is Bipolar II disorder.  It’s a tough one to diagnose because it is a less severe form of the disorder.  Your manic episodes are subtle, but your depressive episodes are severe which explains the previous diagnosis of anxiety and depression.  And your substance abuse was making the bipolar worse, which explains the borderline personality disorder diagnosis.  The OCPD is your subconscious attempt to control the mood swings.  I recommend that you start a combination of antidepressant and mood stabilizer.”

As Leila was explaining all of this it hit her.  This constant battle of spiraling out of control then fighting to regain it was permanent.  It would never end.