By Lara Konesky
The first time we saw each other, we were in the club. I was only 16, but I didn’t give a fuck. We went to dance, not drink, so it wasn’t a big deal.
He was like 6'4", Palestinian, with long ass hair, and evil eyes.
I was just some suburban girl who liked to do dangerous things.
You can just tell when someone is someone, right? Like the whole world moves for this one person, and they don’t even speak—they just nod yes, nod no. They control time, and the patterns of the world. That was him. I was young and thought it might be me, too. But in hindsight, for sure it was him.
For five years we saw each other at the same club. Didn’t speak. Just watched. He watched me flash around my fake ID. Watched and laughed as I fought girls way bigger than me, watched me dance, watched me think that pleather pants were actually cool.
Watched me watch him watching me watching him. Five years. Not one word. While he continued to control the world and I continued to dance. At the same club. Week after week.
The first time we were alone was in an alley outside of the club. I needed air. I don’t know what he needed.
“Boo.” he said.
“Aren’t you scared?” He asked, one eyebrow raised, because that’s what evil eyes do.
“Nah. You should be though.”
“Yeah? Alright. I’m scared. Whatchu do?”
I told him I was in college, and had a son, and wanted to write.
He said I was “cute.” It wasn’t condescending because he controlled the world. It was romantic.
“What took you so long to talk to me?” I asked him.
“Mama, I was waitin’ for you to grow up.” And the evil eyes turned soft. We fucked right in the alley, and then the world became mine too.
He rented me a condo, gave me a credit card, and took over my payments on everything. Paid for the remainder of my school, because he didn’t want his girl to end up with any nasty loans, and certainly DID NOT want me working while I was in school.
Except he was gone all the time, and usually I only had his money. Also, his guns stored in a storage space in my basement. Also, the inability to ask him any questions about money—unless I wanted it.
BUT I was safe, because he had one of his friends watch my home from early evening to morning, to make sure we were okay.
When others told me it might be a little “strange...” I insisted it was romantic.
When I would try to argue he would kiss me and tell me my mouth was pretty, or let me scream and yell and throw his shit around and dump all the jewelry he ever bought me in the toilet. He would just patiently, patiently, patiently sit. Smile. Soft eyes. Never raised his voice, never raised his hand. Then just hold me. I would tell him I was moving out, moving back in with my family, and NO LONGER WOULD I be his WHORE. And he would wince a little and take me on a mini vacation and I would stay.
I called him “daddy,” and he called me, “mama.” And in two years, when I was done with school, he said he would marry me and he would give me another baby, and he would stay home more.
We controlled the world and certain parts of the universe.
His evil eyes were only evil when they weren't looking at me.
The last fight we got into was big. He hadn’t been to my place in three weeks. Hardly returned my calls. When he walked through the door, I pounded on his chest, and tried to punch him, and called him the nastiest names I could. I saw him cry, and his eyes were not evil, just sad. I told him I was leaving, and my shit was packed. He said that was a good idea. I asked what her name was. He promised it was not a girl. There would never be another girl. I called him a liar, and he cried more. I pretended not to care. I told him the last year and a half had been a waste of time. That if he couldn’t fight for me, we had nothing left to say to each other.
Two days later, my mom asked me if I had heard the news.
I had not. I had been in my old room, covered by a blanket and listening to “The Girl From Ipanema” over and over again, because it was his favorite song. I always called him a pussy for it.
He had been arrested on RICO charges. Was all over the news. I was just relieved it wasn’t another girl.
An acquaintance of his stopped by soon after.
“He wants you to move on. No matter WHAT happens. Because frankly, it probably won’t turn out well. But he wanted me to tell you something.”
“He wanted me to tell you that you were right. You can find romance, even in the gutters.”
Which is true. Just depends on how you look at the shit.
About Lara Konesky