Friday, October 13, 2017

Perpetual Triangles

                Gia Stillman is a student at New York University (NYU).  The main area of classes for NYU is on West 4th street and University Place in Greenwich Village.  She lives with her parents in their apartment on 59th and Sutton Place.  Like many others, she commutes to school each day.  Gia was slightly promiscuous her first semester at NYU, hooking up with approximately eight guys.  Despite all this, she was never happy at NYU until she met Blake second semester. 

                Blake was a 5’9” broad shouldered boy.  They were in the same grade but Gia was a couple months older.  Despite their liking each other as couples, Blake despised commitment because his parents would look unfavorably on his being with a girl while in school.  This hurt Gia but she learned to deal with it and gave up on her wishes for a typical couple relationship.  As happy as Blake made her, the void of not having an official boyfriend forced her to seek other men. She did, however, always tell Blake of any acts of indiscretion.  Blake admitted one act of indiscretion on his part, to which Gia was vehemently opposed.  Gia couldn’t say much as soon as Blake mentioned that he had not shown any anger with the variety of guys she had hooked up with since their relationship started.  Despite the freedom they gave each other, neither party took full advantage.  Even at times of faithfulness, Gia always had a romantic interest in a past boyfriend named Mike that currently went to Rochester.  Nobody, not even Blake, could ever measure up to Mike.  Given this, throughout the relationship, there always was a triangle with romantically involved counterparts of Gia. 

                Beginning of Sophomore year, Gia and Mike didn’t speak as often as they had before, thus breaking the triangle and leaving another void left to be filled for Gia.  The void would be filled in September when Gia was moving her brother into Tulane in New Orleans.  At this time, her and Blake had been seeing each other for six months.  As Gia and her family escorted Doug, Gia’s brother, to Tulane, the student resident helper was someone Gia knew.  It was an individual named Benji that she had hooked up with a couple years ago.  Gia was shocked with the coincidence and ended up spending a lot of time with Benji during her stay in New Orleans.  Things did progress between them and Gia ended up having intercourse with him.  Upon returning to NYU, she did not tell Blake of her activities in New Orleans.  Benji called Gia every morning and when Gia visited Doug for parents weekend, they fornicated again.  On one occasion, Benji flew to New York to take Gia, who was in avid tennis player, to the US open.  During his stay, Gia stayed with him at his hotel and had sex with him.  Given all this, the void was filled and Gia’s triangle was complete.

                Even with couples, however, long distance relationships prove difficult.  Benji and Gia spoke less and less and by mid-October, the triangle was broken.  Luckily for Gia, it happened around the same time that Mike started up conversations with her.  Although Mike did complete the triangle, physical activity wasn’t going on.  To Gia, Mike was more than a superficial physical relationship, he had her heart and any guy she would have relations with was just practice for Mike.  Now the triangle is complete, so everything should be okay.  But there are more than two sides to a triangle.

                Blake worked at the NYU gym and found himself busy with work or fraternity activities, thus every waking hour could not be spent with Gia. Gia prepared for this by scheduling her classes to be the same as one of her close friend’s, Larry.  Larry and Gia briefly had relations before Gia was with Blake but Gia felt he was too overbearing and cut it off before it escalated into anything official.  Larry was also a sophomore and in the same program and major as Gia, thus needed to take the same classes.  Since Larry planned on double majoring, one class was without Gia.  Larry, like Gia, didn’t have a job and so Gia spent any moment not with Blake or at home with Larry.  Since Gia rarely found herself at home, her time was almost exclusively taken up by one of the two.  Gia commented multiple times that although on the surface Larry and Blake were different, the core personalities were similar.  The personality traits that Blake lacked, Larry filled in.  One similarity was that both were generally very amicable people but talked about a darker violent side that emerges when they become extremely mad.  Although it appears Gia is filling a void with Larry, Larry couldn’t be considered a third link of the broad romantic interest triangle.  After all, there was no romantic interest toward Larry.  Gia, however, does not only possess one triangle.  Neither Mike nor Benji go to NYU, thus there needs to be an NYU triangle that fills the void she had first semester of her Freshman year.  This wasn’t an equal triangle, for one link was romantic, the other was friendship. 

Although Larry usually maintains friendly terms with members of the opposite sex, he is a heterosexual and sometimes feelings arise toward his female friends.  He mistook the vast amounts of time with Gia and the way she would tell him about what kind of guy’s she hooks up with (to which, Larry fit the descriptions) and the excuses to spend the night over his dorm for Gia liking him more than a friend.  After consulting almost all his friends on what to do, and getting near unanimous advice to make a move or tell her how he felt, he decided he’d tell her.  Every time he got close to making a move, however, he made an excuse why it was not the right time.  The day Larry decided to tell her, he found himself at a movie with two of his friends (one was also friends with Gia named Stephanie).  After the movie Stephanie left leaving Larry with his friend Julio, whom Gia knew but was not friends with, and Gia.  Larry tried thinking how to ask Julio if he could go to dinner alone with Gia in Spanish (Julio was Salvadorian) but said aloud, “I don’t know how to say it in Spanish”

Gia heard this and realized that Larry wanted to tell Julio something without her knowing.  This bothered Gia because she was an extremely nosy person.  Julio pulled Larry aside but Gia walked right around. As they walked toward the restaurant Larry told Julio that he wanted to have dinner alone with Gia.  Julio, who is also sensitive and has to know everything, inquired why.  Larry informed Julio that he wanted to tell her how he felt about her.  Julio wanted Larry to proofread one of his papers but understood why Larry wanted privacy.  Despite that, he pulled Larry aside behind Gia and tried talking to him.  Gia immediately turned around and said, “Why do you keep doing this? I don’t want to eat with you guys if you’re going to be like this”

Julio responded, “No, this time I want to tell him something”

“Fine, you know what if you’re going to be like this, I’m just going to leave” as she stormed off

Larry went to chase after but Julio pulled him back and asked him “What should I do while you’re at dinner?”

Larry was a little taken aback by the question since he felt Julio should understand that he has to run after her now so quickly said, “I don’t know walk around or something”

“But when are you going to grade my paper?  And what am I supposed to do be bored for a while?”

“Go to Washington Heights (where Julio lived) I’ll meet you up there after I’m done

“You’re coming to Washington Heights?”

“Yes” he said as he took off in the direction Gia stormed off.

He caught up with her and asked her to talk.  Gia said, “I don’t feel like speaking with you right now”

“Look, all I wanted to ask him was if I could have dinner alone with you”


“Why do you think he’s not here?”

“Because you told him I got mad and you had to take care of it or something”

Although this made sense, it wasn’t the truth so Larry said, “Can we just go to dinner and talk, I want to tell you something”

“Why can’t Julio know?”

“He already knows”

“He knows but I don’t?”


Gia calmed and they walked toward the restaurant then Gia, who was supposed to be at a sorority meeting soon, said, “I don’t have time to eat, I have to get my car, and get to the meeting”

“Can you come over after the sorority meeting and we can talk then?”

“Why don’t we talk on the way to my car?”

If there was a worst time to have the conversation he was about to have with Gia, it was now but he had to.  While walking on the sidewalk toward Gia’s car, Larry said, “Look, I’ve realized lately that I like you more than a friend and I was just wondering if the feelings are reciprocated at all?”

“You know my answer to this”


“Yea, I know I cheat on him but my feelings are still toward him”


After a long pause Gia asked, “So who knows?”

“Pretty much everyone”

“So they’re all going to hate me now?”

“No, why would they hate you?”

“I dunno”

They started talking about school but the topic came up again when Gia said, “So is there going to be awkwardness now?”

“Not on my part how about yours?”

“No but I just feel like you hate me now”

“Why would I hate you? I asked you a question you answered it, it’s that simple, your friendship is way too important to me to let this end it”

“I agree”

“Okay then”

They got to the parking garage Gia parks at and got her car.  Gia entered the car and Larry started toward the entrance, Gia rolled down the passenger window and said, “Aren’t you going to get in?”

“You’re giving me a ride?”

“Well yea”

“I live two blocks away I can walk”

“Just get in”

“Alright thanks”

Gia drove Larry to his dorm, they European kissed (cheek to cheek and kiss the air) good-bye and Gia went to her meeting.  There was no awkwardness between them since their friendship was very strong.

                Since Larry and Blake were two of the most important males in Gia’s life, if something was bothering Gia, she often took it out on them.  Blake always got the worst of it as Gia often called him a piece of shit, and accused him of never doing anything for her.  Upon these accusations Blake would just ask, “Are you okay?”  He seldom defended himself but every now and then he did mention his doing things for Gia, like installing her wireless Internet in her apartment.  The things that Gia was referring to, though hardly spoke of them, was that Blake didn’t do the little things for instance, walking her places. 

                Things were going well for Gia, both triangles were complete and each link knew their role.  Triangles, however, are imperfect figures.  Blake had finally had enough of Gia’s spontaneous verbal assaults.  He knew about Larry, and he was paranoid that when Larry walked Gia everywhere and spent any time Blake wasn’t with her with her that he was trying to show him up.  The anger built up inside until it flowed through his veins. He called Gia and invited her to his dorm.  Gia always complied with this invitation, only this time; Gia was about to discover what Blake meant when he had talked about what happens when he becomes extremely angry. 

                Blake met Gia in the lobby of his dorm and signed her in like he had multiple times before.  For some reason, this time was different though because Blake had a stern look on his face.  Gia asked while waiting for the elevator “What’s wrong?”


                “I know you, something’s wrong”

                “We’ll talk when we get in my room”

                Gia and Blake arrived at his dorm and entered to find his roommate Mark with a sad but accepting look on his face.  Gia felt awkward but wasn’t sure if she was imagining things.  Blake grabbed her forcibly by the arm and pushed her on the bed.  Gia got up and faced Blake standing a few inches from him and yelled, “What the fuck is wrong with you? Why the fuck did you throw me?”

                Blake firmly grabbed her biceps and stared into her eyes.  As Gia stared back at his cold green eyes a shiver slid down her spine; for the first time, she was afraid of Blake.  Blake spoke slowly but firmly and said, “I know we’re not going out, but you’ve always been honest with me when you hooked up with someone else, so I’m going to ask you this once, are you fucking Larry?”

                Gia relaxed a bit since she felt the question was ridiculous and snapped back, “No! Absolutely not”

                Blake released his grip and looked away and said,  “You really leave me no choice, you stand there in my room, look me in the eyes, and lie. So my response is fuck you bitch!” as he slapped her across the face. 

                Gia tumbled to the ground her face stinging but the mental hurt was far worse.  She looked at Mark in desperation but he just shook his head.  Blake taunted, “Did you honestly think Mark would be on your side?”

                Gia looked from Blake to Mark shocked and scared.  She was helpless so she could only lower her head and cry.  Blake grabbed her by the shoulders, hoisted her up and slammed her against the wall.  He said, “Call Larry, and I’ll show you what I do when I’m mad.”

                “Blake, stop it!”

                Gia’s response came as a punch in the stomach as the wind flew out of her body and she collapsed to her knees. She panted, and Blake held out a phone and unscrupulously suggested, “You can’t take more of this Gia, call him, save yourself, be selfish for once, call for the execution of your secret love.”

                Gia panted but managed through tears, “He’s only a friend…He did come on to me… but I turned him down… for you.”  Looking up at Blake during the last two words.

                Gia felt Blake’s fist jam into the back of her neck smashing her face against the ground.  Blood matriculated from her nose and flowed to her lips.  The taste of her own blood caused her to cry more.  She didn’t want to call Larry.  She thought Larry would never be able to beat someone the size of Blake.  She took out her cell phone hating every minute and wishing there was someone to help her.  Blake walked behind her and crouched down next to her ear and whispered, “Don’t do anything stupid, just call Larry.”

                “What should I tell him?”

                “To come over for some drinks”

                Gia slowly dialed the number holding back tears desperately trying to compose herself.  She couldn’t isolate her thoughts from the fact that she was calling for a close friend to be brutally beaten.  Gia had never experienced a fight, she hadn’t the skin for it, but there was no option.  She finished the number and pressed, “send.”  Blake massaged her shoulders in the hope she wouldn’t sound hurt so that Larry wouldn’t suspect anything.  Larry answered, “Hey”

                “Hi” she said hurt

                “What’s wrong?”

                “Nothing, Blake’s inviting you over for drinks”

                Larry was suspicious; he had only had very superficial and brief conversations with Blake.  They had never been out drinking nor ever hung out together.  He knew something was up but he had no fear.  Larry grew up having temper tantrums and becoming violent.  He also had a brother that was five years his elder and he and his friends would beat on Larry when Larry would attack them.  As he grew older, he developed a high tolerance for pain and knowledge how to fight people bigger than he.  He said to Gia, “Tell Blake I’ll be there in no more than five minutes”

                Larry walked the five blocks to Blake’s dorm with a purpose.  He was ready to fight but when he saw Blake he held it in to be signed in.   When Larry saw Blake he shook his hand and said hi but after that there was no conversation all the way to his dorm room.  Blake figured Larry knew that it wasn’t a friendly visit and wondered why he came in the first place. As he walked in Mark grabbed Larry from behind and put him in a half nelson.  Larry didn’t fight he just looked at Gia’s hurt eyes with tear stains on her cheeks and blood emulating from her nose over her lips.  Mark was broad and had very defined cut muscles.  Blake’s shoulders were half his height and had bulky biceps and upper region along with his legs.  Larry was scrawny, it seemed he had no chance of escaping the hold or winning the fight.

                Blake said, “You idiot, you think I’d invite you over for drinks when you’re fucking my girl?”

                “She’s not your girl Blake, you’re too much of a fucking pussy to ask her out”

                Blake’s eyes widened in surprise at Larry’s complete lack of fear.  He blurted out “Excuse me?”

                “You’re a pussy Blake, a little bitch that can’t stand up to his parents,” he started in a high pitched mocking tone “Oh mommy and daddy says I shouldn’t date and focus on work,” continuing normally, “Please, you’re such a fucking momma’s boy it disgusts me.”

                Blake punched him across the face with his right hand in frustration and anger and cockily looked at Larry.  Larry turned his head to face Blake and smiled to Blake’s shock and said, “I hope you can hit harder than that”

                Blake punched him again, this time with his left hand.  Larry nodded his head afterward and said, “Maybe you should let Gia try”

                Gia looked up unsure if that was said in spite toward her or to further anger Blake.  She was confused on many levels.  The main reason being Larry was not only conscious but also smiling.  Blake struck Larry with another right. Larry looked and said, “Mark, you better not let go because if that’s the best he can punch, I’d kill him if I had my arms” Blake shook his head in confusion he contemplated to hit him but wasn’t sure.  Larry taunted further, “Come on kid, you told Gia you could take a guy out with one punch (one of the many things Gia had told Larry about him), you’ve had three and you haven’t even hurt me”

                Blake thumped him again with his left hand opening it and closing it after contact.  Larry saw this and had the biggest smile while saying, “Okay Blake, you’re a rational person.  To you, four punches I shouldn’t be standing, but maybe I’m using Mark to support my weight and that’s the only reason I haven’t fallen.  Tell Mark to let go, see if I fall to the floor, in which case you can use your legs.  Not to mention you already have a head start in the fight.  Even in gladiator, Cesar was going to fight Maximus after he stabbed him.  Besides I see you flexing your hand, these shots are hurting you.”

                Blake screamed “FUCK YOU!” and took his largest swing with his right hand; Larry turned his head so that the fist would hit the back of his head.  Blake screamed out in pain, for the back of the head is the hardest part and when a fist strikes it, the aggressor can easily break his knuckles.  He grabbed his right hand and walked toward Larry angry.  Larry kicked him in the solar plexus and Blake bent a little bit.  He was down long enough for Larry to lean against Mark and throw his legs on top of Blake’s back.  As Blake shot his upper body up he torpedoed Larry around over Mark’s head so that his arms wrapped around Mark’s waist while Mark’s upper body was bent back with his face in Larry’s chest.  Larry hoisted Mark so that his waist balanced on Larry’s shoulder and Mark’s body was parallel to the floor.  Larry then ran forward and Mark looked up just as Larry slammed his face into the wall knocking Mark unconscious and falling face down on the floor.  Larry turned to Blake no longer smiling. He did say, “I did nothing the first time you made Gia cry.  This time, I’m doing something about it”  (there was one occasion Gia came to Larry’s dorm crying because of Blake but Blake didn’t know about it).

                Blake looked at Gia confused.  Larry ran at him and drove his shoulder into Blake’s solar plexus chopping at the back of his knees tackling him to the ground.  Larry drove his fists into Blake’s face repeatedly.  Blake grabbed Larry’s arms and threw him off him.  He got up hurt and faced Larry.  Blake grabbed him and lifted him up but Larry squirmed as he was being hoisted up, put both his feet on Blake’s shoulders and pushed off landing on his back and sending Blake flying back to the ground.  Blake ran at Larry but he sidestepped him and put one foot in front of Blake’s leg and kicked the back of his shin of the same leg tripping Blake onto his face.  Larry and Blake shot up simultaneously and faced each other.  Blake had blood on his face but so did Larry.  Blake swung his arm but Larry ducked under it and got four shots in on Blake’s kidneys before Blake threw his arm back around, but again Larry ducked it and uppercutted Blake on the way back up.  Blake took two steps back and Larry jabbed him in the nose.  Blake backed up more and Larry sprinted forward and jumped to the side driving his knee into Blake’s stomach causing Blake to bend over and Larry put him in a headlock and forced Blake’s face into his knee.  Blake lifted his upper body up taking Larry with him.  Larry used the arm not around Blake’s head to punch him in the face while keeping his legs behind Blake to add weight pushing him back.  It worked as Blake toppled backward to the ground.  Larry got up and stomped at Blake’s midsection and kicked him in the face each time he lifted it.  Blood came from Blake’s face and mouth from spitting up blood.  Larry then jumped in the air and landed knees first on Blake’s solar plexus knocking the wind out of him.  Larry drove his fist into Blake’s face for each syllable of, “You think you’re tough for hitting a girl a third of your size, now try a guy half your size.”  Blake’s eyes had long since glazed over in unconsciousness.  Larry took off his shirt and placed one foot on Blake’s chest and brought his arms angling down pointing at his waist and flexed his arms, abs and chest and said, “Look, I’m not even that big”

                Mark had awoken at this time and charged at Larry, Larry ducked down wrapped his arms around Mark’s legs as he approached and thrusted his upper body up catapulting Mark over his head and bouncing off the wall to the ground on the back of his head and neck with his legs snapping over him.  Larry walked over to Mark, who was barely conscious and said, “By the way, tell Blake that I wasn’t even hooking up with Gia.”

Larry took one glance at Gia and stormed out putting his shirt on as he walked briskly.  Gia chased after him but Larry quickened the pace.  Gia yelled after him thinking that Larry was storming off because he was mad at her.  Larry didn’t bother waiting for the elevator and ran down the stairs hoping Gia wouldn’t follow since she hated stairs.  It didn’t work; Gia ran after him and chased him all the way to his dorm.  Larry stopped in the lobby before the locked door that the security guard had to buzz to let him in.  Larry went to the guard and began signing Gia in. Gia saw him huddled over the clipboard and was confused that he was signing her in when she thought he was mad at her.  Gia gave the security guard her license and both her and Larry got buzzed in with the elevator open and waiting.  Larry walked in and Gia followed as he took it to the eleventh floor where he lived.  On the way up Gia started, “Larry, look…”

                “Don’t talk”

                “I know…”

                “You don’t know shit”

                “Can you just…”

                “Shut up”

                The elevator arrived at the eleventh floor.  Gia found herself mad at Larry but couldn’t really say anything.  Larry walked down the hall to his room and opened the door and proceeded straight for his bed where he collapsed.  Gia followed but froze when she saw how forcefully Larry hit the bed.  He was panting now and, for the first time, looked hurt.  Gia looked down at him and all her anger dissipated and she showed compassion.  Larry said between breaths, “Damn that kid hits hard”

                Gia was shocked with this and after a couple seconds to recover she yelled, “What?”

                Larry smiled, he said, “Gia, when I fight my adrenaline is pumping too fast to feel pain, I feel it when I’m done.  I didn’t want Mark and Blake to see me hurt so I ran out of there, I snapped at you in the elevator because I needed to keep it going so I didn’t collapse then.  I held it all in for when I got back to my room.”

                Gia didn’t fully understand but didn’t push any further.  She just asked, “Are you okay?”

                “Next time run”


                “I was fighting two people bigger than me, one had me in a half nelson, you shouldn’t have stayed you should have gotten the fuck out of there.”

                “It was my fault you were there”

                “Blake was kicking your ass, you should have called me.”

                “So you’re not mad”

                “I’m upset because you didn’t run.  You worried me back there, what if I lost, then you’re at their mercy again”

                “I felt bad just leaving you”

                “Felt bad?  Gia listen, Blake wanted you to watch as he beat the living shit out of me.  What do you think would have happened if you ran?  Mark would be forced to let go of me and then I could have fought Blake without him having free shots on me.  And every time Mark would try to help, you could keep trying to get away. If you did get away, I accomplished what I wanted…to help you.  It doesn’t matter if I get my ass kicked.  I’ve gotten my ass kicked before; I wanted to make sure you got away to safety.  So you should have ran for all these reasons”  Larry’s voice was very weak and he panted at the end groaning for having said so much.  Gia just looked dumbfounded.  Larry noticed this and said, “Don’t’ worry you know for next time.”

                “So, you’re not mad at me for calling you.”

                “Fuck no”

                “Oh, well here let me take care of you.” As she got a paper towel and started dabbing his cuts on his face, which she just really noticed now.  Gia and Larry slept in the same bed but they remained plutonic.  Even if Larry wanted to, he didn’t have the energy to hook up with her.  Gia fell asleep cuddled in Larry’s arms. 

                The next day Blake tried apologizing but Gia wasn’t hearing it.  She snapped at him and Blake accepted losing Gia.  Gia and Larry remained friends for there was no point in going out since Larry was leaving for Florence in a couple months.  That night, Gia saw the two links of the NYU triangle both show her the side they’ve claimed existed but she never saw.  It turned out that Larry’s side was much darker.  Now, the only question is, who would be next to complete the romantic link of the NYU triangle? 


Friday, October 6, 2017

No Man is an Island

                How long? How many times have I said, “I don’t need friends”?  I don’t need anyone?  I like being alone.  How many times have I lied to myself? How life/God has a way of fucking with me and proving me wrong.  There have been four people I have called best friends, all four have moved on.  I have only cried for those that have left.  Namely Drew.  I betrayed him.  I forgot how to be a friend, I forgot everything.  I have turned into the person I hated.  The asshole that treats people like shit.  The person that doesn’t stand up for what he believe in.  The asshole that doesn’t defend a friend!  Drew, Kera, RYAN and Vonnie.  All best friends, all gone!  Drew died but he never shared much of what he was feeling.  He never let me return the favor and help him through his problems.  How insignificant I am to think my problems could hold a candle to his.  How much I say it helped him to help others.  It’s true for me too.  But I have turned to that which I hate!  The opposite of what I stand for.  I’m a fucking hypocrite. How did this happen?  I started caring what other people think.
                Kera, I don’t know where I went wrong.  I don’t know why talking to her makes me pissed.  I love her as a sister.  Why does that have to be so hard?!  Why can’t we be close, why do I care yet don’t at the same time?!
                RYAN, I got too involved.  I pushed the envelope too far.  It was inevitable.  What kind of ingratius son of a bitch I am to involve myself in other’s affairs.  I used to give Kera and RYAN advice about how to deal with life, but now I can’t.  They don’t trust me.  I’ve become what they were coming to me for.  I am no longer the solution but the problem.  I sit there and listen to Viktor and Mike make fun of Damon but why?  They’re the people I grew up hating.  They’re the people I disliked for I am Damon.  I am a lightweight For the first time in my life, I feel jealousy! 
Vonnie, my best friend.  The lone survivor gone!  SHE used to come to me for help, she used to look to me but not now.  Now I have forgotten who I am.  I have forgotten my morals.  I have become the enemy.  I lost Vonnie and I can’t blame her.  I’m jealous that she turned to Adam and Damon for someone to talk to.  I hate that I’m not that for her like I was.  I hate that I forced her to look to others.  Me the understanding one.  Me, the one that always knew how she felt.  Me, one of her best friends turn into the enemy.  Forcing her to seek other people.  Force myself to not be the man I was.  The only Larry I like, the only Larry I don’t’ want to kill.  All four of those I called my best friends GONE!  I don’t blame Vonnie, I can’t even tell this to Vonnie for it was me that never got mad that she didn’t call me back.  Hell neither did Drew.  It was me that never misunderstood and today, I’m the asshole to her.  I’m the jealous one.  I’m the one she used to come to me for advice for.  Being someone else cost me a price, a price I, nor my well-off family, want to pay.  The price of four best friends!  The only ones that like me for me.  I don’t’ even know who this asshole inside of me is!!! But, he needs to get the fuck out!!!!

Friday, September 29, 2017

Money and Lust

Joel and his sister Janilsa live in Long Island, an island just outside of New York City.  Janilsa is in her first year at New York University and Joel is still in high school.  Both of them have a history with the illegal drug of marijuana.  Due to Joel’s desire to be in a gang, he is willing to experiment with other illegal drugs.  They both grew up in the East New York section of Brooklyn, which is arguably the most dangerous part of Brooklyn.  Their being Dominican helped their chances since whites are normally singled out for harassment in such places as East New York.  It is this atmosphere that had given Joel the desire to be in a gang. 

                One day, while Joel was helping out at his mom’s store (still located in East New York), a Hispanic male in his late teens to early 20s walked in wearing a variety of chains, baggy phat farm jeans and a bandanna.  Joel didn’t think anything of it and approached him hoping the customer would buy something.  The boy said, “I’m looking for Joel Elderado”

                “That’s me”

                “I got a proposition for you”

                “What’s that?”

                “I b with da crips (one of the many gangs in Brooklyn), I b needing an outside cat to sell some shit, pigs have been watching me.  You do this for me, you’ll b in with us.  You in?”

                “What kind of shit you sellin?”

                “Coke, trees (marijuana) mostly”

                “Yea, I’m game, why me”

                “Nobody really knows you, and you b crashin in Long Island, so you got yuppies that’ll buy da shit and you got thugs in Brooklyn

                “What about green”

                “I’m goin to be given you 20 kilos, 10 of trees 10 of coke, you got nine months (it was August so he had until May) to sell ‘em, you’re taking mad risk, I offer you to run with my boys, so we’re making an exchange, I’ll say that if you sell them normal price, I take half of what normal price is”

                “20 kilos is a shitload of shit”

                “You’re looking at a shitload of money boy”

                “I’ll do it”

                “Where should I give you da stuff?”

                “1AM tonight at this address but what if I can’t sell all of it” he said as he wrote down the address to his cousin’s house in Brooklyn, who wouldn’t mind a lot of drugs being stored at his house.

                “Show me how much candy (drugs) you have, I’ll take half of what you don’t have”

                The gangster left and Joel let out the excitement he had held in.  He was looking at being part of a gang and making a lot of money.  He knew that he’d be able to get people to overpay for the drugs so he was actually looking at over 50% of the cash even if he used a lot of the drugs for himself, which he planned on doing.  All he had to do was sell it.

                Larry was also a first-year student at NYU.  He had met Janilsa through mutual friends of theirs close to midterms.  They had actually met at a study group since they all had similar classes together.  Although Larry was 13 inches taller than Janilsa, he did think she was attractive.  He had not had much luck with girls but he figured he’d go for it when the time was right.  After midterms, there was a party at a classmate’s dorm.  Larry, Janilsa, and five of their friends all attended.  The alcohol at the party consisted of champagne and various liquors bought by Larry and a girl Katie since they had fake ID’s.  Not too long afterward, everyone was intoxicated in celebration that finals were over and they had a month break before classes resumed.  Larry was sitting next to Janilsa on a bed talking.  Janilsa started laughing hysterically and lied back on the bed.  Larry lied back as well and rolled on top of her lowering his right hand to her waist.  Janilsa figured out Larry was hitting on her so she immediately put her arm out pushing Larry away.  Larry did not fight her and immediately rose to his feet and Janilsa shot up.  She didn’t mind Larry’s advancement since he didn’t push it after she indicated she was not interested and they remained civil. 

                It was February and Joel had been distributing the drugs to his friends for free and doing them himself with them socially.  He had sold a little bit but his generosity to his friends was proving costly.  He was invited to a Valentines Day party at Janilsa’s friend Kate’s apartment in New Jersey.  Joel agreed he would go with Janilsa.  Larry and a few other NYU students and some people Kate knew from her town also attended the party.  Again, everyone became drunk at the party.  Larry had to go to the bathroom (there was only one bathroom in the apartment) and while he was inside, Janilsa waited for him to get out since she also had to go.  Larry exited and watched Janilsa go in and decided to wait for her.  At this point, Janilsa and Larry had become kind of close friends but when alcohol was added, the sexual tension between them got too much for Larry.  When Janilsa exited the bathroom, Larry went in to kiss her.  Janilsa did not kiss back but Larry had hit her lips.  She then pushed him away again and told him she only thought of him as a friend.  Once again Larry backed off realizing he was turned down again but he was determined to get the girl. 

                It was now April and Joel had some money but it was going to be difficult to meet the 50% quota given to him.  He began to regret all the months he had given out free drugs to his friends.  He hadn’t told anybody about the offer because he didn’t want his sister to know what he was getting into since she wouldn’t approve.  Janilsa did drugs but he didn’t want Joel to be in any danger, she would rather have him buy from drug dealers, not hang out with them or become a major one.  Since Janilsa lived in a dorm at NYU, it made it easy for Joel to keep this information from his sister.  There was another party at a mutual friend of Larry’s and Janilsa’s apartment that they went to.  The party was a lot larger than the previous ones as some of the kids in attendance worked as bar tenders so spent time making mixed drinks for everyone.  Later in the night when Larry and Janilsa were both under the influence of alcohol, Janilsa was leaning against Larry completely relaxed with her eyes closed.  Larry leaned over and tried kissing her again.  Janilsa said no, and Larry stopped and let her continue to lean. Looked as if Larry’s determination may never pay off. 

                May hit and Joel was under a lot of stress since he didn’t have much of the 20 kilos left and was extremely short on the money.  He had some money in the stock market but not enough to pay his enormous debt.  He still didn’t want to ask Janilsa for help, he would have to go at it alone.  The drug dealer that had given him the money threw a huge party at a fairly large house in Brooklyn Heights.  He told Joel that’s where he wanted the money.  Joel didn’t know this at the time but his sister would be at the party as well. 

                Kera was a sophomore in high school in Manhattan.  Although she went to school in Manhattan she lived in Brooklyn and enjoyed smoking marijuana.  When she heard about the party in Brooklyn Heights she desperately wanted to go but her friends all had other plans.  She didn’t want to go alone in case something happened so she decided to call her cousin at NYU. 

                Larry received a phone call from his cousin Kera while in his dorm.  Larry was not into drugs but he had been really close to Kera for about four years and was willing to help her out if she needed it.  He agreed to go to the party knowing that he would be bored since it was going to have an obscene amount of drugs at it in which Larry did not participate. 

                A large amount of people showed up to the party and by the time Larry and Kera arrived the atmosphere was no longer oxygen and Nitrogen but smoke filled it as well.  The only people Larry knew at the party were Joel, Janilsa and Kera.  He knew they would all be high shortly but he felt he could get through the night. 

                Joel had been smoking marijuana more than usual to try to relieve the stress he had about meeting the gangster and not having the money.  He only had half of what he expected from the few drugs he did sell and his stock money and the other half he had no idea how he was going to account for it.  The gangster sought Joel out at the party and pulled him into a room that nobody was in.  He asked him, “So you got my money?”

“Some of it”

“Some?  Did you sell all the stuff?”

“Not all of it”

“How much you got left”

“A couple kilos of coke and less of trees”

“You show me it tomorrow so I be sure you ain’t jippin me, for now, give me the green you owe”

“I’m a little short?”

“This disappoints me Joel, how short?”


The gangster smiled, “Alright, I’ll take what you got now”

Joel gave him the money a little surprised at why the gangster was not mad at him.  The gangster put his arm around Joel and said, “I be knowin it be hard to resist all dat shit, especially for a Long Island boy like you, so just let me know when you got my green”

The gangster shoved him against the wall after he said what he said and handcuffed Joel’s hands behind his back.  He then punched at his kidneys and turned him around drilling him in the face with more punches.  Joel fell and the gangster kicked at his ribs taunting him that he shouldn’t have been stupid with his drugs.  He stood him up and duct taped him to a pole and said, “Joel, I’m about to show you who you fucked with” he said and then left the room. 

Kera was holding her own talking with people and being social.  Larry kept his eye on her instinctively knowing that if she talked to any guys, although Larry would be nervous and want to break it up, he wouldn’t because Kera would probably never speak to him again.  Kera did start talking to a guy and Larry turned his head to avoid any exaggerations he may make about slight flirtation with his little cousin.  He noticed Janilsa being brought rather forcibly into a room and thought to investigate.

The gangster walked out the door and a friend whispered something to him.  He came and put his arm around Janilsa and pushed her toward the door.  Janilsa tried to resist but he grabbed her bicep and lifted her slightly off the ground while Janilsa thrashed.  The kid told her that Joel wanted to talk to her but Janilsa knew he was lying.  She tried yelling for help but then the guy covered her mouth and with the music blaring, nobody heard a thing.  He dragged her into the room and she saw Joel tied up and the gangster.  She was horrified but felt she had to help her brother.  The gangster told the kid to leave; he did.  The gangster walked to the door and locked it while Janilsa gripped the pepper spray she always carried with her.  The gangster noticed what was happening so he bent his head and charged at Janilsa tackling her just as she brought out the pepper spray.  She maintained her grip but the thug immediately pinned her arms behind her and slammed the hand that held the pepper spray against the ground.  Janilsa couldn’t hold on anymore and released her grip as the thug pushed the can away.  He moved Janilsa’s arm over her head so that they interlocked and held them with one hand as he brought the other arm down and jammed it into Janilsa’s solar plexus knocking the wind out of her.  Janilsa screamed but with the door closed and the music she didn’t think anybody would hear.  Joel yelled out, “Leave her the fuck alone, this is between you and me”

“Fuck you, you should have thought about that before stiffing me on my money” the gangster said

Janilsa snapped, “Joel what fuck are you into, what the fuck is this cat talking about”

“I’ll explain later”

“Yea later after I rape this bitch so you know not to fuck me again,” the gangster snapped

Janilsa squirmed and broke loose she started toward the door but the gangster gripped her by the waist and tossed her away from the door across the floor.  He was trying not to bloody her because he intended on forcing himself on her.  He walked to her and stomped once on her stomach and straightened her out.  He bent down and unzipped and unbuttoned her pants while she was recovering from the blow.  Janilsa kicked again but the gangster grabbed her leg and pounded his fist into her thigh.  Janilsa relaxed her body due to pain, and the gangster pulled her pants off.

Joel looked on in horror as he was about to witness his sister get raped because of something he did.  He thrashed and fought his restraints but couldn’t break them. 

Larry walked up to the door hesitant to go in.  He saw the two kids leave so figured Janilsa wanted to be in there.  While pacing around waiting to go in, he heard Janilsa scream.  He immediately tried to open the door but it was locked.  He looked at the door and realized it was one of the push in button locks that were very easy to pick.  He took out a swiss army knife he carried with him and took out the tweezers.  He pressed the tweezers into the hole and popped out the lock.  He walked in and shut the door and saw Janilsa in her bra and panties and the gangster leaning over her.  He yelled out, “What the fuck are you doing?”

The gangster had turned around when the door opened and he said, “I’m fuckin my girlfriend what the fuck are you doing here cracker”

Larry smiled, he thought it amusing that he was called a cracker but he ignored it.  “Girlfriends don’t scream when you’re stripping them”

The gangster was walking toward Larry but Larry looked back determined not to move.  The gangster was eye to eye with him and Larry stared into his bloodshot eyes.  He said, “I’m going to give you one chance to get out of her before I fuck you up”

“Go fuck yourself, that’s my friend you’re trying to rape”

The gangster punched Larry while Janilsa scurried to her brother to free him.  Larry didn’t go down and came back with a punch of his own directly in the nose backing up the gangster.  The gangster drove his shoulders into Larry and shoved him toward the wall.  Larry waited until they were close to the wall and then he shifted his hips around while wrapping his arm around the gangster turning him around just in time to sandwich him against the wall.  Larry drove his knee into the gangster’s stomach.  The gangster grabbed his stomach and fell taking out a cell phone that doubled as a walkie talkie.  He pressed a button and yelled, “Get your asses in here”

Larry stepped on his arm so he dropped the phone but the gangster pulled his arm free and wrapped it around Larry’s legs tackling him to the ground.  He pinned his waist down with his legs and punched down at Larry’s face.  Larry was bloodied from this but managed to move his head to the side so the gangster punched the ground and rolled off him.  The door opened again and another thug came into the room.  Janilsa was fidgeting with the handcuffs trying to get them off Joel.  When Joel saw the other gangster come in, he shook Janilsa off him and ran to Larry’s aid with his hands still cuffed behind his back.  Joel drove his knee into the gangster’s crony’s stomach and kicked him in the side of the head to the ground. 

Larry got up at the same time as the gangster and they circled each other.  Janilsa picked up the pepper spray and ran to help Joel.  The gangster brought his arm down and punched Larry in the stomach.  Larry bent over but the gangster pulled him up and grabbed him by the throat and pushed him against the wall.  He said, “You don’t understand what that shithead did, get out of my business”

“When you’re raping my friend, that’s my business” Larry said through short breaths since he was being choked.

The gangster punched Larry in the side of the face knocking him down. 

The crony got up and faced Joel.  Janilsa knew that Joel wouldn’t fare to well without the use of his hands.  She saw the can of pepper spray and ran for it and charged at the crony.  The crony toyed with Joel as he slapped him in the face.  Joel kicked but missed and the crony punched him in the face.  The crony heard Janilsa coming so he grabbed Joel before she got there and swung him around ducking his head behind Joel’s shoulder.  Janilsa yelled to get the crony to turn around and then held down the spray button and accidentally sprayed Joel in the face.  Joel collapsed rolling on the ground screaming in pain.  Janilsa froze in shock and before she could recover the crony slapped her across the face causing her to drop the can.  The crony then stalked her.

                The gangster took advantage of Larry lying face down on the ground and stomped at his back.  After being stomped on a couple times, Larry rolled out of the way and to his feet in obvious pain.  Larry was getting frustrated with all the time he wasted retreating and that the gangster had no blood on him.  He spit in the gangster’s face trying to get him to charge.  The gangster darted toward Larry, Larry sidestepped him and gripped him by the back of the head and shoved him into the wall.  Larry once again punched at the gangster’s kidneys but this time when the gangster swung his arm around, Larry ducked under it and uppercutted the gangster.  The gangster backed up surprised that he found himself no longer in control.  Larry put him in a headlock and drilled the gangster’s head into his knee repeatedly.  The gangster used what energy he had left to wrap his arm around Larry’s waist and fall back slamming the back of Larry’s neck and head onto to the ground. 

                Meanwhile, the crony crept closer to Janilsa as she backed up contemplating her next move.  The crony tried grabbing her but Janilsa ducked under it and ran toward the door exiting it.  The crony followed and Joel still shook his head trying to regain his eyesight. 

                Both Larry and the gangster stirred trying to get to their feet.  Larry glanced at Joel and saw his hands still cuffed.  This gave Larry some more adrenaline as he pounced on the gangster, who was pushing up, flattening him to the ground.  Larry reached into that gangster’s pocket and pulled out his keys and darted toward Joel.  The gangster, however, reached out and grabbed Larry’s foot tripping him and the keys went flying forward toward Joel.  Larry kicked his foot free but the gangster got up leaving Larry no choice but to face him. The gangster’s face was also bloody now and his face revealed his anger.  He grabbed Larry by the shoulder but Larry stuck his arm straight out gripping his throat and shoving him at arms length.  Larry was taller than the gangster so the gangster lost his grip.  Larry let go of his throat and slapped him across the face and backed away.  The gangster sprinted toward Larry, Larry bent down wrapped his arms around his legs and lifted up causing the gangster to flip over his back.  He turned to look at the gangster and pumped his arms with an open hand signaling for the gangster to get up. 

                Joel grabbed the keys with his mouth and ran out the door that the crony didn’t shut all the way.  The gangster pulled out a knife and said, “It’s time to cheat”

                Larry reached to his waist and pulled out a pocketknife of his own that was clipped there.  The two men circled around each other knives drawn. 

                Meanwhile, Janilsa had lost the crony among the sea of humanity but saw Joel when he exited the door.  She hurried to him and took the keys from his mouth and undid his cuffs.  The crony spotted Janilsa and Joel and ran at them.  Joel ran at him jumped to the side and stuck out his knee as it connected on the charging crony’s solar plexus.  Joel gripped the hair on the crony’s head and slammed the crony’s face into his knee repeatedly.  He then threw him down, put a leg on either side of him, bent down and punched at his face.  Janilsa held the crony’s head in between her legs so he couldn’t move out of the way of Joel’s punches.  After a little bit she went inside to get the pepper spray and saw Larry and the gangster circling each other with knives drawn.                

                At this point people had gathered around to watch.  The rest of the gang was too high or with girls in separate rooms to help out.  The gangster looked at Janilsa and smiled.  All Larry needed was that split second of the gangster turning his head; he swung his knife, which the gangster blocked with his own.  The gangster reached and hooked Janilsa trying to bring her in front of him to hold her hostage but Larry slit his throat before he could.  The gangster dropped the knife and grabbed his throat.  Larry walked away and saw Joel continuing his onslaught of the crony.  The crony’s face was crimson with blood and he was unconscious.  Larry clipped his knife back on his waist and grabbed Joel’s shoulders, Joel got up and shoved Larry back but then calmed when he realized whom it was.  He looked in the room and saw Janilsa with the pepper spray in hand spraying the gangster and kicking him to get him to drop his arms before continuing spraying.  Larry looked at Joel and asked, “So do you wanna stop her, or should I”

                “I’ve already been hit once by it, she’s all yours”

                Larry instead went to a sink and washed the blood off his face.  Kera saw him and asked what happened.  Larry shrugged her off and went back to the room Janilsa and the gangster were in.  When he got there the gangster was motionless and Janilsa was standing over him.  Larry walked over and bent down and checked for a pulse; he found none.  Kera had followed Larry and froze with the sight.  Janilsa said, “Let’s get the fuck out of here”

                Janilsa got dressed and went with Larry, Kera and Joel to the subway toward NYU.  It was there that Joel told Janilsa why the gangster was after him.  Janilsa spared him the scolding; she figured that after what happened, it wasn’t necessary.  Ambulance’s came but the cops didn’t bother to try to find the killer.  The gangster had no family and nobody wanting to press charges.  The eyewitnesses told them it was a knife fight, so the cops took that as self-defense.  Before they got there, most of the people had left the party because they didn’t want to get busted for the drugs.  Brooklyn cops were used to drugs and gang wars so they just confiscated the drugs that were there and sent the body to the morgue and shut the case.

                Kera separated from the other three when they got to the subway because she was going further into Brooklyn whereas the others were headed toward Manhattan.  Joel separated at Penn Station to catch the Long Island Railroad home leaving Janilsa and Larry by themselves.  Janilsa said, “Yo, thanks for helping me today”

                “No problem, what are friends for?”

                “Yea I know but those are dangerous cats.”

                “I’ve told you before Janilsa, I don’t get intimidated in fights”

                “I know but still you helped me and my brother out, I appreciate that”

                “It was my pleasure”

                Larry walked Janilsa to her dorm, which was only five blocks from his so he could easily walk the rest of the way.  There was a brief awkward moment as Larry contemplated whether or not to kiss her.  He decided to go for it, but Janilsa put her arm out and Larry backed off smiling.  Janilsa said, “I’m sorry, it’s just that you’re my friend, I don’t want to do anything plus I’m stressed because I almost got raped, my brother got into some shit, I just can’t”

                “Don’t worry about it,” he said as they hugged and European kissed (cheek to cheek and kiss the air) and Larry headed back to their dorm. 

                A gang member did show up at the store in Brooklyn to visit Joel.  He said, “Look, I know you whacked one of our boys, but we got more, and we ain’t  leavin you alone till we get paid”

                “Give me till tomorrow, I’ll give you the shit I got left and the cash I owe”

                “When and where bro?”

                Joel gave a meeting spot and time then called Janilsa and told her about what the thug said.  Janilsa helped Joel out with the money and they had enough to pay them off.  The next day, the gang met up with Joel and he handed over the drugs and the rest of the money.  They said, “Hey man, you still wanna run with us?”

Joel smiled, “Nah man, this gang shit sucks”

“Aight man”

Joel left relieved that it was all over.  He promised Janilsa he would pay all the money back, and in time he did.  Janilsa and Larry remained plutonic friends throughout college.