Friday, June 8, 2018

Jenn wins the World Series


It was a cold January day; Larry wanted to get out of New York.  He had already told his poker buddy, Samantha, that he would visit her in Fort Myers in either January or February.  Larry went online and checked Kayak.com for which weekend was the cheapest to go to Fort Myers.  He settled on February 1-3.  He texted Samantha to see if she was going to be home that weekend.  It took three or four days but she texted back that it was okay.  He booked the flight and texted his flight information.  A few days later, Samantha called Larry.  She hadn’t gotten back to him about his flight information so Larry was happy to get some sort of confirmation that he would have someone to pick him up at the airport.  They discussed the logistics of what they planned to do in Fort Myers and then caught up.  Samantha had informed him of her desire to play in the World Series of Poker main event that year.  Larry told her that if she made the November 9 or the people who make the final table of the main event, he would fly to Vegas to cheer her on.  Little did he know that this was something he’d have to remember agreeing to.

 

When Larry flew to Fort Myers, he prepared his mind for some poker.  During his trip, they went to a gun range and Larry got to shoot a hand gun for the first time in his life.  They also went to a restaurant where you could see dolphins swimming and visited Samantha’s sister and niece but these activities were just things to do on their off time for the real reason of the trip; poker.  Samantha had scoped out the surrounding casinos in Florida to see where good poker tournament were and they played at a local dog track that had a poker room.  Samantha had always dreamed of getting the high hand so she could have $ 5,000 in her pocket.  Samantha didn’t really like playing poker at the dog track so they agreed to just go for a couple hours and see if one of them got the high hand agreeing to split the money.  They sat down at a 2-4 limit table so they could take more risks on hands that they wouldn’t dream of playing in a no limit game.  Larry was dealt a 6,8 of clubs. He smiled, normally he wouldn’t play this hand but for $2, he needed to see if he would get that straight flush.  He put in his $2 and hoped nobody raised.  Nobody did.  The flop came out 5 of clubs, 9 of clubs and A of hearts.  Larry checked this and hoped he could see a free card.  There were 5 people in the hand, which meant that the minimum bet for the high hand had been reached.  Someone bet the required two dollars and Larry threw in his.  A flush wouldn’t be too bad.  The turn came jack of diamonds.  This time everyone checked, four dollars was too much for anyone to initiate the action.  The river came 7 of clubs.  Larry couldn’t believe his luck.   He bet out four dollars and two people folded, the rest paid the four dollars.  Someone raised him to eight dollars.  Larry was annoyed, there was enough in the pot for the high hand, he just wanted his $ 5,000.00.  He resisted the urge to re-raise just to spite the guy.  Larry figured he picked up a flush and knew he would get called if he re-raised but when he was looking at 5,000 dollars, an additional four or eight dollars didn’t seem to Matter.   The second the dealer said, “Showdown” Larry flipped over his cards and screamed, “High hand!” He knew he’d have to wait a couple hours to make it official but he doubted that anyone that day would beat 5-9 straight flush.   The raiser mucked his hand and the dealer called over the pit boss to document what had just happened.  Larry collected his chips and shoved five dollars to the dealer.  He thought the dealer got money from the casino for dealing the high hand so didn’t feel bad about this. 

 

Samantha heard Larry yell from the other table and came over.  They agreed to stop; winning $ 2,500 in a 2-4 limit game was enough for them.  Besides, Larry didn’t really want to deal with the envious eyes and people gunning for him now that they knew there was a possibility he’d win.  They grabbed some food at the dog track and hung out until the time came to come back to the poker room to see if the high hand held up.  It had, Larry was given his five thousand dollars and he handed Samantha 2,500.  Drinks were definitely in order.

 

Larry’s luck turned out not to have stopped at the dog track.  When they went to other casinos, he won in both blackjack and poker.  He managed to accumulate thirty seven hundred dollars including the high hand he had won when he caught his plane back to New York, where he lived.  Samantha also did well in the casinos and began to think that Larry was a good luck charm.  For a long time she had envisioned winning the high hand but it never happened.  Now she had in a way even if it wasn’t her who actually received the cards. 

 

Throughout the year, Samantha continued to play poker online.  As she was a professional, she always tried to find sponsors for her to play in tournaments.  As it so happened, during an online tournament she had impressed someone at the table and he contacted her.  Samantha was extremely cautious at first but upon doing some research she decided he was legitimate.  He turned out to want to sponsor her to play in the World Series Main event.  She obviously agreed and called Larry to share her joy.  Larry thought it was awesome.  He didn’t remember the last time a woman had made it to the final table of the main event and as far as he was concerned it only happened once since Rounders made the world series popular.  Win or lose, playing in the world series main event was awesome. 

 

As the tournament happened, Larry made sure to keep up with Samantha’s progress.  This was very easy because Samantha would usually call him during breaks but any time he saw the main event on TV, he watched hoping Samantha would be at the feature table or he would spot her.  He was surprised when he did but usually it was a long delay so it was more like watching history and confirming Samantha wasn’t lying about being in the World Series.  It was also very seldom that she was shown.  When Larry received the phone call at the end of day 2 that Samantha was still in it, he began to believe.  Larry had known one person who had played in the main event.  He was the son of a wealthy stock broker and one of his best friend’s brother.   He was also one of the only people he knew that could throw away $10,000 of his parent’s money without his parents minding at all.  It wasn’t that he was a bad poker player; Larry knew he won many tournaments online but winning online tournaments and the main event were two different things.  That kid bragged about making it 13 hours.  Samantha had just made it to day 3.  Larry recapped his year of poker.  In 2012, he had lost pocket Aces seven out of eight times.  The eighth was the only time someone didn’t call his large raise pre-flop so who knows what the cards would have read.  That year, 2013, he had won the high hand in Fort Myers.  He thought of the odds of both things happening and figured it was low.  Maybe, just maybe, Samantha could do it.

 

As the World Series progressed, the delay between televised and real time got less and less.  Now, Samantha had garnered a lot of attention as there weren’t too many women left.  Larry watched religiously and now when Samantha called him, he already knew what happened.  Samantha used this to ask Larry about hands she had played to see what other people had to check her reading skills.  Because of this, Larry started documenting every hand he saw that Samantha was in.  Samantha regularly called Larry about poker games and he was always shocked at how intimately and accurately she remembered a hand.  He could never tell you who folded in what position in hands he played in even the same day let alone recapping what happened a while ago. Unlike most poker players who only remember the losses, Samantha remembered the wins too.  Larry didn’t remember either.  This helped him because he wouldn’t go on tilt since he knew the odds never changed.  The aces bad luck streak was the only exception but even then he still played them the same way.  He just wasn’t as excited as he normally would have been, which may be good since it was harder to read.  This continued until Larry started a conversation as, “Congratulations Samantha, you’re the last woman standing in the World Series”

 

Samantha didn’t know it at the time.  She smiled and said, “Really?!” she had called Larry to give her normal routine of telling him how the day was even though Larry had been watching.  To Samantha, she wasn’t going to change the routine; it was working.  They went through their normal discussion.  Larry made a point now to focus on the players to try to pick up any tells.  He knew this was dangerous because if he told Samantha and he was wrong, it may cost her a lot of money but he figured he’d bring it up.  He never really believed Samantha valued his opinion on poker anyway.  After all, she was the professional. 

 

Larry’s alarm went off at 6:55AM like it always did.  As usual, Larry was lying awake in bed waiting for the alarm to tell him when to actually get up.  He had always been an early riser but this morning was different, he couldn’t sleep because of the anticipation of the end of the day.  He turned off his alarm and walked to the bathroom.  He took off his watch and put it in the sink and turned the water on for his shower.  In the shower he couldn’t help but smile and day dream about the possibilities of what would occur that night.  After about 10 minutes, he turned the water off and grabbed his towel to dry off.  He wrapped it around him and stepped out of the shower in front of his sink.  He dried the pale white spot on his wrist from wearing a watch for longer than he could remember.  He put the watch on and turned the faucet on.  He grabbed his toothbrush and squeezed his Crest 3D whitening toothpaste on it.  He wet the toothpaste and violently drove the toothbrush across his teeth both in front, on top and behind.  After thoroughly brushing his teeth, he took the toothbrush out of his mouth and spit into the sink.  He washed off his toothbrush and repeated the same routine this time with no toothpaste on the brush.  He repeated this step one more time before putting his toothpaste down and cupping his hands to hold water and brought it to his mouth.  He swished the water around his mouth to gather anything his brush may have missed and spit it into the sink.  He then grabbed his bottle of Listerine, poured it into the cap and dumped the contents into his mouth.  He looked at his watch and swished it around his mouth; he grabbed his deodorant, took the cap off, and wiped it under his armpits.  He then grabbed a Q-tip and cleaned out his ears.  He looked at his watch and watched it until it had informed him he had been swishing the Listerine in his mouth for a full minute before spitting it back in the sink and rinsing his mouth out again.  He grabbed his shaving cream and pressed it onto his finger and brought it along his face.  He picked up his razor and shaved both with and against the grain.  Even though he had since learned you weren’t supposed to shave against the grain with a razor, he was way too old to change his routine.  Besides this was only for men who complained about razor burn.  Larry had been shaving with a razor since he was 14 and still really had no idea what people meant by that.  He originally thought the commercial for some brand name of razors made it up but when he voiced this, many men had told him that they got it.  The other men informed him it was because he didn’t have sensitive skin.  Larry had a different theory but he never told them. 

 

When he was done, he washed his face and walked to his room to put on his shirt, tie and pants.  Sweat formulated on his face.  It was summertime in New York, which got as hot as Jamaica.  Despite this, Larry never turned his air conditioner on because he loved the heat.  The sweating never bothered him.  As far as he was concerned, his air conditioner was only for when he hosted guests.  He sat on the couch and turned on the TV.  He accessed the DVR and pressed Sportscenter and hit play.  He had 25 minutes before he had to leave for work.  He watched Sportscenter and fast forwarded through the commercials.  He knew he would only get about halfway through before he had to stop watching.  When the clock read 7:55, he turned the TV off.  He went into his room put his keys in his pocket, unplugged his cell phone from the charger and put it in the same pocket.  He then grabbed his wallet and put it in the other pants pocket and carried something to read on the subway to work.  As he walked all he could think about was the night.  He knew he’d have to pick up some 5-hour energy on the way home.  It would be a very long day at work today.  For the anticipation of tonight would make minutes seem like hours.  It would all he’d be able to talk to his co-workers about.  Today was the day he would find out what he had wondered for over 6 months.  He walked to 96th street and descended the stairs to the 6 train and started his commute to work.

 

Finally the day ended.  He rushed to the subway and reversed his commute home.  He stopped at CVS and bought a 5-hour energy.  He hoped he would need it.  When the time came, he sat in front of his TV.  He wouldn’t be leaving his apartment for a while.  He turned it on and turned it to one of the ESPN channels and heard the announcers announce that today we would discover who the November 9 would be.  Larry had his paper out to take notes of hands.  Today the delays would only be about a half hour from real time.  He always felt this was unfair to the players because people could call them about hands and tells during breaks.  Business was business though and the viewers wanted live action.  Over the years, ESPN had been trying to maintain the balance between the players in the event and the millions who watched.  Obviously the viewers were more important as they were the ones who generated the money for ESPN but they tried to throw a bone to the players.  Larry had no qualms that the players’ problem was exactly what he was going to do for Samantha.  He had no illusions, he knew there were literally millions of people who could probably better pick up patterns than he but he did what he could for Samantha.  It really would come down to talent and a little bit of luck.  Larry watched intently trying to gauge how he would play a hand.  He got nervous when he saw Samantha in a hand but he had confidence in her.  When the pots got large and her stack seemed to dwindle, his leg would start shaking.  It was much harder watching than playing.  Samantha seemed cool under pressure just as he expected.  The other men at her table would make flirtatious comments to her but she had been playing way too long to let that affect her.  

 

Although it was technically morning, since Larry hadn’t slept, it was late night for him.  The clock read a time that most people wake up at to get ready for work.  Larry figured he’d go to his computer and send an e-mail to work saying he wouldn’t be in the next day.  An e-mail he hoped he would have to send and now it looked like he would.  While watching, Larry saw a middle stack person say, “all in.”

 

Although Larry had heard these two words countless times over the past few months, this time it was different.  There were 10 people left, the day started with 18.  One man who had more chips than he did called.  Either the telecast would end on this hand, or we played on with one person having twice his money and the other hurt.  The all in player turned over an AQ off suit.  Larry thought it was weak.  The caller, Kyle, flipped over a pair of 8’s.  Flop came out K, 3, J, everyone held their breath.  It was a good flop for the all in call.  The turn revealed a 5. No help to either player.  It was down to one card.  If the all in gets a 10, he more than doubles his money.  The dealer places one card face down and flips the next card over.  Literally millions of eyes are staring at this card that may determine the final table.  It reads 7.  The all in call’s shoulders drop and he sighs.  He starts shaking the hands of the people sitting around him.  Kyle is seated on the other side of the table so all in walks around and shakes his hand.  He makes his way over to Samantha.  Samantha was dreading this part.  It was customary to shake the hand of the guy who beat you and maybe those in your immediate vicinity but you certainly didn’t have to shake hands with everyone.  A handshake would have been fine but Samantha knew what was expected of her.  She hated being touched.  Even her close male friends she avoided hugging but the game she preferred was to be under the radar and accumulate chips without anyone at the table knowing.  This was harder as more and more women were eliminated but it was working so far.  She knew that if she snubbed him on national television, she may be viewed as a bitch and then the final table would be 8 other men gunning for her because she was a bitch.  It was hard being a woman sometimes.  She had been forced a few times during the tournament to hug a guy who was eliminated.  In the beginning it was easier because people just ignored her but not now.  Every time she hugged a complete stranger she hoped they didn’t take the opportunity to lower their hands and graze her ass or, worse, actually grab it daring her to make a scene in the middle of a crowd with mostly men.  She knew she wouldn’t make a scene but she’d be sure to seek them out privately and take a measure of revenge either verbally or physically.  It hadn’t happened yet, and it didn’t happen with all in.  It was just a quick hug, hands contacted her in the middle of her back and then he let go and walked out.  He’d still be getting a substantial amount of money so there was no reason to be upset.  Samantha smiled and lowered her head, she was doing what very few women have done and hadn’t done in a long time; make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker Main Event.

 

When Larry saw that seven turn over, he screamed in joy and stood up from his couch.  If people in his apartment building weren’t awake before, they certainly were now.  He pumped his fists and started punching the air.  Shortly thereafter, he started jumping, thank God the people downstairs left for work at 5AM and it was much after that.  He hopped over to his cabinet and poured himself a shot of rum, which he already determined he’d take if Samantha made it.  If he had slept that night, he never would have done that because he doesn’t drink before noon, however, it still seemed like nighttime to him despite the sun being high in the sky illuminating New York City.  He raised his glass and even though Samantha was about 3,000 miles away, he toasted her and poured the shot down his throat in one gulp. 

 

He stared at his computer; he had planned to book a flight to Vegas for November for the World Series just like he had promised Samantha months before if this moment happened.  Right now though, he was too tired.  He didn’t want to risk clicking the wrong date or something like that.  Better do it after a long nap.  He plugged in his phone and collapsed onto his bed.  It turned out that although he was exhausted, he couldn’t sleep.  He was so happy for Samantha and he daydreamed about the final table and watching her win it.  He lost track of time but his phone rang.  He had his phone programmed so that every person had a different ringtone.  This one was Samantha’s.  He rolled around and picked up his phone and answered.  Samantha was no longer in poker mode, she was ecstatic.  She was screaming in the phone in ecstasy.  Larry responded groggily.  Samantha calmed down and said, “Did you see it?”

 

Larry said, “Yea, Kyle won with pocket 8’s vs. AQ off suit.”

 

Samantha was a little annoyed Larry wasn’t happy and sharing in her joy.  She assumed he was just jealous but she kept that to herself.  As if he could read her mind, Larry said, “Look Samantha, it’s awesome but I was up all night and day watching you, I’m in bed.  You’re getting back to me a while after it happened.”

 

“I was up all night too”

 

“it’s a little different playing poker and watching poker but whatever, congratulations, that’s awesome.  Looks like I have to book a flight to Vegas in November”

 

“Yes you do” Samantha said with a big smile that could be heard in her voice “What happened with the hand I folded when the guy raised me four times my bet?”

 

Larry chuckled to himself.  He realized he couldn’t go to bed yet.  He got up and walked to his living room where he had the notebook of hands Samantha was in.  He flipped through and found the hand she was referring to, he said, “He had the nuts” meaning the best possible hand.

 

“I knew it” said Samantha who did fold in that hand.  Glad I folded my two pair

 

They talked for a while and then Samantha said she had to go because she was going out to celebrate.  Vegas was the perfect city for a celebration and Samantha took advantage. 

 

Larry immediately went back to sleep and this time quickly fell into a deep sleep.  When he woke up he booked his flight to Vegas in November during the World Series.  He sent an e-mail to work letting them know he would be gone that week.  His co-workers knew what that meant and they congratulated him for Samantha’s success.  The whole day at work, Larry couldn’t stop smiling.  He hated that Samantha couldn’t have seen or talked to him now or shortly after it happened so she would realize how happy he was.  Instead, she contacted him when he’d been in his bed trying to sleep.  Ah well, that’s life.

 

Larry arrived home from work.  Larry’s high school friend Tom called him later that night.  Larry and he had gone to Vegas several times together.  The casinos sent Tom e-mails about deals for him to come due to his frequently visiting Vegas.  Since it was always in his name, Larry was more under the radar so didn’t get these e-mails.  Since he had player’s cards, casinos did e-mail Larry but he always deleted them without opening them thinking they were spam.  He asked Tom if any casinos had deals for that week.  Tom was returning Larry’s phone call to answer that question.  Obviously the answer was no.  Given that it was the week of the World Series, luring people to Vegas that week wasn’t really a problem.  The week after, however, there were plenty of deals.  That made sense, people who were going to go in November picked the week of the final table rather than other weeks, thus there was sure to be a drop off.  As simple economics would tell you, decrease in demand with no change in supply, meant a lower price.  Larry was thinking where he wanted to stay.  He planned on staying at Cesar’s because it was the best and it was on the street the Rio, where the event would take place, would be.  It was also one of the most expensive casinos.  He debated staying at the Golden Nugget, they had a pool and a slide that went through a shark tank.  The tank and pool are separated by clear glass but it still seemed like it would be a little intense if you’re swimming and a shark comes near you.  Larry knew scuba divers who swam in the ocean with sharks…it turned out they didn’t bother you.  It was a very overexaggerated risk.  More people died from vending machine accidents than shark attacks so objectively there really should be no fear of shark attacks but given the 1970s movie, truth and people’s perception would never be the same.  He then remembered that he would be going in November, not exactly pool weather even in Vegas.  He had been in cooler months, nobody was at the pools.  Which also made Cesar’s unattractive.  Cesar’s had the best pool area he had ever see.  The cool thing about it is you didn’t have to be a guest of Cesar’s to use the pool….at least, nobody ever said anything to him when he went in the summer months.  No, Cesar’s didn’t seem to be worth the price.  The Palms and Rio were obviously sold out.  Samantha was staying at the Rio he knew as all the players were.  It made sense, stay at the place you’ll be playing.  Larry wanted to avoid staying on far ends of the strip.  The road to the Rio intersected Las Vegas Blvd in the middle of the strip.  It wasn’t that big of a drive but he was willing to splurge a little for this, most likely, once in a lifetime event.  A little bit of him was telling him that Samantha was now a millionaire not him.  He didn’t think Samantha would spot him any money for the hotel because then she would have to for everyone coming to see her.  Larry thought he might be an exception because he had sponsored her when she first turned pro, but Larry didn’t count on this.  He always would rather be pleasantly surprised rather than disappointed.  He scrolled through the prices of the casinos trying to place them on the strip in his memory.  Since he knew he had no sense of direction and a horrible memory when it came to these kinds of things, he had Tom on the phone to help him out.  The cheapest hotel near Cesar’s was The Paris.  Larry refused to stay there.  He had once for a bachelor party for his friend in 2008 and he liked staying at new places.  Although this was true, and that was the excuse he used, he knew deep down that wasn’t the real reason.  Larry had been to 29 countries and the only one he vowed never to return to was France.  He had been there twice and both times he found the people to be as rude and stuck up as advertized.  Even though “The Paris” is not France but merely a replica of it, he still refused due solely on prejudice against French people.  It was illogical and petty but what prejudice isn’t?  He kept scrolling down and saw the Venetian.  Larry liked the Venetian a lot.  It was the largest casino in Vegas, complete with a river where you could go on a gondola ride and real Italian stores.  Larry had been to Venice and had lived in Florence for four months and he appreciated how authentic the Venetian came to Italy.  Of course, Venice is covered with pigeons the likes he has never seen anywhere else and seagulls are killing fish in the canals and eating them on the streets.  None of this happens in The Venetian but hey you can’t have everything.  The problem with the Venetian, he knew, was that it was designed to confuse people.  This kept people inside the Venetian.  The logic was that people try to leave, get lost, get frustrated trying to find the exit, so they just decide to gamble more.  Larry was pretty sure this had never happened to him and he thought that logic was stupid.  Then again, he didn’t doubt that it happened often enough to make the owner of the casino design it this way.  He reasoned that he gets lost in every casino unless Tom was with him so why not the Venetian where at least he had an excuse.  Yes, that was his hotel. 

 

He booked the room and then wondered if someone would room with him.  He called his friend Janilsa.  Janilsa and Samantha had been best friends in high school and she was really close with Larry.  Janilsa was also one of the only women that shared a room with Larry on vacation and didn’t want to kill him at the end of the trip.  Janilsa told him that although she was going to Vegas, she would be rooming with her girlfriend who was going to keep her company as Janilsa supported Samantha.  Larry knew the girl and got along with her.  He told her he understood and thought who else he could get.  Tom already told him he couldn’t go since he already used his vacation days on a gambling trip Larry and he took earlier in the year.  If Larry would have known Samantha would make the November 9, they would have planned it for that week but even then Larry doubted Tom would come.  Tom was very frugal with money and given the jacked up hotel rates, Larry doubted Tom would have come and even if they did, they’d stay at some off the strip hotel like Palace Station, which may force Larry to rent a car since it was a long walk.  As it stood the strip was a long walk to the Rio.  Larry heard many times of the infamous mirage effect of Vegas where you walk toward a building that seems so close but you just keep walking and walking and it never seems to get closer.  Larry never had this experience because it didn’t seem to exist on the strip, where he spent a majority of his time.  That is he never had the experience until he wanted to play poker at the Rio and tried walking there from the strip.  He and Tom were absolutely exhausted when they got there as they had drastically underestimated how far it was.  Still though, he wanted to be on the strip, he figured he would be gambling in Vegas and avoiding long walks back from a night of drinking and gambling through deserted streets was enough to justify a higher cost.  Even Tom had only stayed at Palace Station once with Larry. 

 

Larry was friends with Samantha’s older sister Natalie.  He contemplated rooming with her but at the end of the day he was afraid of her.  Sure they spent time together, Larry had slept at her apartment and she at his but a hotel room for an extended amount of time, no that worried Larry.  Especially since Natalie was now married.  Larry knew her husband would never take that much time off work to fly to Vegas just to watch Samantha play poker.  Natalie was unemployed so it wasn’t a problem for her.  No, Natalie just wouldn’t do. 

 

Larry sighed.  He really was that much of a dork and/or that difficult to deal with that he couldn’t get one person to room with him.  He’d have to suck up the cost himself.  He didn’t want to room with a random friend of Samantha’s he hardly knew and Janilsa was the only one he knew well.  Oh well, he would have his privacy.  He booked the room for the Venetian.  Larry didn’t believe in Karma or the secret or anything like that but at times like this he hoped he was wrong about that and fortune would bring the money back to him.  The problem was any time it had previously, he never gave it any credit because he just pointed to the times it didn’t.  These thoughts were quickly extinguished.  Money was never something Larry valued very much.  He had watched his entire extended family turn against his immediate family for investing in his dad and brother’s companies that tanked.  To Larry, they chose to give them their money, they knew it was a risk, they can’t be mad if they lost it.  Larry had made bad investments too that he had lost thousands of dollars on but he didn’t hold it against the people he invested in.  Money just was never significant enough for him to lose a friend over.  This trip wouldn’t hurt him.  It’s not like he’d have trouble paying his rent or anything.  He went about his day forgetting all about the price of the Venetian and the flight to Vegas. 

 

At last it was November.  It was time for the World Series.  Samantha had been busy the past couple months with people offering to coach her and sponsors coming out of the wood work now.  She remained loyal to the original sponsor but she kept a charming attitude in case she needed them down the road.  No matter what, she was a millionaire, even if she was the first one out.  She had made it.  The list of people that always supported her being a professional poker player was short, but she would never forget who they were.  She studied tape of the 9 players trying to catch some tells and devising her strategy.  She hardly talked to Larry during these months, there was just no time.  She was happy that her friends and family were coming to support her.  To her, there was no doubt she was going to win the World Series; it was just a Matter of time.  She had dreamt of this moment for so long and it was finally here; the final table.

 

Larry took the flight to Vegas.  He always felt it was funny the way he checked a backpack rather than carry it on.  To him, though, he wanted to have his knives with him and he didn’t want to worry about what the regulation size for Listerine was.  He also hated carrying a bag on a plane; he wanted to walk with nothing.  It was stupid, he knew, he was literally throwing money away.  Was it really worth $ 50 to have a knife on you and not have something attached to your back when you walked?  Honestly, no, but he did it anyway.  He didn’t trust the mail or Fed-Ex.  He tried that once, it didn’t arrive when he wanted it to.  Even though he was still at the hotel when it was delivered, it bothered him.  What if he wasn’t?  What if there was no room in the overhead compartment? Then he has to put it under his seat and decrease his legroom.  What was the point of having a knife for protection if you didn’t have it with you when you needed to protect yourself?   Despite the hype, Larry felt safest in New York than anywhere else.  It had become the safest big city in the US and Larry believed it was even safer than small towns where there were never a lot of witnesses.  In New York, there were always people in the subways and on the street.  Not to say that they would help if something went wrong but it was a deterrent for anyone to try anything. You just never knew what the on lookers were capable of.  Larry wanted his knife more when he was out of New York.  Especially in Vegas where he may take money from someone and have them wait outside the casino for him.  Or if he was overly excited for how much money he made at a blackjack table and someone felt the need to mug him for it.  He had one guy stare him down and make all outward motions he was going to attack.  The man was much bigger than Larry but Larry stood his ground not because of the knife clipped to his waist but the 6 security guards he saw within two steps of he and the guy just waiting for one of them to try something.  Larry knew it wouldn’t be him and after five long contentious minutes the guy walked out of the casino without trying anything and Larry smiled as the security guards retreated. 

 

He landed in McCarran and was herded to the baggage claim where he retrieved his backpack, reached into the pocket with his knives and clipped them to his waist.  Since it was cold in New York, he still had long sleeves and pants on with a winter jacket.  Larry took off his jacket and put it in his backpack. The long sleeves he’d leave on, after all, heat never really bothered him.  He waited around for Samantha’s family.  They had all flown out together saving Larry cab fare both to JFK and to the hotel.  McCarran airport was not near the Vegas strip and it was a decent size cab fare.  Larry checked into the Venetian.  Vegas was cool that day, somewhere in the 60s so he decided not the change.  He also realized he probably should have packed more long sleeves…aside from what he had on; he only had T-shirts and shorts.  Larry wondered how many times he would make the mistake of thinking that just because Vegas was in the desert, doesn’t mean it’s hot year round before he started bringing long sleeves.  Probably never.  He was meeting Samantha’s family for dinner.  They had gotten tickets at the Rio.  Given that it was sold out for Larry, he figured Samantha was able to pull some strings given that she was a player.  It dawned on Larry that he should have asked Samantha but then he realized that he really didn’t want to stay at the Rio.  He told Samantha’s parents that the Voodo lounge on top of the Rio had amazing food.  It was a little pricey but it was worth the cost.  He had gone there with his friend’s father during his bachelor party in 2008 and never forgot it.  Samantha’s mom mentioned the all you can eat buffets in the lobby.  The seafood was supposed to be to die for, Larry had had it twice and both times he felt sick.  The food was just bad.  Common sense really, Vegas is in the middle of the desert, you’re not near water so the seafood has to travel long distances before it gets to Vegas.  When in Vegas, they make it in such abundance in order to justify a 24 hour all you can eat buffet.  When you have this massive quantity of food that isn’t made to order but made and set out waiting for people to grab, freshness and quality lack.  The seafood buffet at the Rio was, in Larry’s mind, just a publicity scam.  People’s mentality was “Well, all the magazines and articles on the internet say it’s the best, so it must be and if I don’t like it then there’s something wrong with me because everyone likes it.” 

 

Larry didn’t have this mentality.  He knew that anyone can be paid to say nice things and casinos didn’t want for money.  He had no problem going against the grain.  He would love to see Natalie at this world famous all you can eat buffet, she’d tear it a new one in about 2.5 seconds.  Larry may be someone that wasn’t afraid to go against society’s rules and commonly held beliefs but he couldn’t hold a candle to Natalie.  That was the main reason he liked hanging out with Natalie despite his fear of her.  He had no idea what social norm she was going to break next.  Unlike non-conformist conformists, or Goth people, Natalie didn’t go by the opposite of what everyone else believed, she didn’t know or care what everyone believed and judged for herself.  The only contradiction to Larry’s logic about this seafood buffet was that the seafood in the voodoo lounge was really good.  But that only explains why the transportation argument didn’t make sense, not the second part.  Larry convinced Samantha’s parents to try the Voodoo lounge.  He knew that later Mrs. Han would go to the seafood buffet but Larry would not be accompanying them there.  The “All World” buffet was also world famous.  Larry had never tried it because lines were normally at least three hours long.  The idea of waiting three hours for a buffet seemed asinine to him.  At first, he thought that maybe since tourists are fewer in November, it may not be that long but then again, it was the World Series.  That tilted the tourist number back up.  They ate at the Voodoo lounge and nobody, not even Natalie, was disappointed.  Natalie didn’t say much at dinner.  This was weird to Larry, when it was just he and her, she talked a lot but you add a third or more people, even if it was Natalie’s sisters, cousins or other family members, she shut up.  Larry mentioned this to her on several occasions but never got a satisfactory answer.  Larry took a cab back to his hotel and tried to sleep, after all tomorrow the final table started.

 

Samantha had tried to make her rounds and greet as many people as possible.  She had a large contingent that came to visit her and she loved it.  In the back of her mind, she knew that a lot of people she would barely call an acquaintance had come just in case she decided to be generous with her now millions of dollars.  It was like the way the number of people’s family members all of a sudden skyrocketed when they won the lottery.  All the cockroaches come looking for a handout when someone that they know no Matter how skimpy the connection make it big.  Samantha knew who loved her before she had her money though.  She wasn’t overly fooled by praise, she knew the score.  She had seen Larry at the Voodoo lounge with her parents as she joined them for dinner.  The dinner went well but she had other obligations and needed to mentally prepare for the World Series.  She was nervous but also very confident.  She didn’t eat much at the lounge and tried smoking marijuana to help her eat.  It had minimal success.  The casino had provided security for her, which she thought was cool.  Surprisingly she slept very well that night; instinctively perhaps she knew she needed it for her long day tomorrow at the final table.

 

Larry showed up a couple hours before the event.  He wanted to get toward the front.  Janilsa and her girlfriend were flying in that day and would miss the start of the tournament.  A little while later, Samantha’s family showed up.  They saw Larry in the front and pushed their way through with Larry waving them through.  Larry had no idea how people let them do that; they had been standing there for a while.  The idea that one person can hold a spot for a group of people was ridiculous to him.  Then again, he had been in many situations where he let someone go in front for the same reason.  Nobody wants to be seen as rude and they sacrificed their rights to do so.  All it took was some inconsiderate person to feel entitled that just because they knew someone up ahead, they had the right to stroll in late.  It wasn’t like Larry would say anything to them.  In the back of his mind, Larry told himself not to condemn them for this.  In the same situation, he would probably do the exact same thing.  No fault, but Larry believed in objective justice and although he would do it, it still made it wrong.  Ah well, nobody to enforce it so who cares?  They started watching the action unfold.  Janilsa came a short while later, and Larry texted her where they were and she also pushed her way to the front.  Whenever Samantha won, they screamed as loud as they possibly could.  After a few hours, Janilsa’s girlfriend left to get some food.  The crowd had dwindled, not many people could watch poker being played for hours upon hours but Larry was one of them.  He wasn’t leaving.  Samantha’s dad had been commenting for pretty much the whole time how it sucked watching it here because you couldn’t see the hole cards even after the play was over.  This was for obvious reasons, you can’t have a delay when it was live and the players at least got this amount of fairness.  When Samantha won a big hand, she would get up and slap five with her group.  Samantha was actually getting the highest amount of cheers but it was noticeably higher pitched than the cheers for the other players.  A lot of women cheered for her simply because she was a woman.  There were also a group of men that supported her simply because she was good looking.  Samantha quickly became a fan favorite which Larry knew she didn’t like.  Hard to be under the radar when you’re the fan favorite.  But that was the professional side of her.  From a personal side, she liked being loved.  Samantha’s mom kept scolding her husband and reminding him that they were here supporting their daughter.  After a while, they decided they would try the seafood buffet.  To Larry’s surprise, Janilsa had been the only one to stay with him the whole time. 

 

The hours progressed and the crowd oscillated its size continually.  Tricia, Janilsa’s girlfriend, was bringing back food for Larry and Janilsa since she had the least stake in this.  She was here to keep Janilsa company while she supported her friend.  It’s not to say Larry paid attention the whole time, he talked with the people he knew and sometimes had no idea what was happening at the table.  He just wasn’t going to leave and he didn’t have to because he was being fed.  He often wondered how he always got away with this.  People just felt the need to feed him and take care of him.  Obviously, he didn’t complain.  People started getting eliminated.  Samantha was not one of them.  During the breaks, Samantha would come and talk with Larry, Janilsa and whoever else was there at the time of the breaks.  Natalie had gone back to the hotel because she was tired.  Samantha’s younger sister, Jackee, was watching on TV in the hotel room with her baby girl.  She was undecided when to come down to see Samantha.  She definitely knew if it came down to two people and Samantha was one, she’d come down but how would she know if Samantha was about to lose?  All ins can happen so fast but she couldn’t keep a baby stationary for hours at a time.  She did go down when there were about four people left and had the least problem pushing her way to the front.  Babies were good for that.  Nobody is going to push back on a mother carrying a baby.  Ally, Samantha’s niece, didn’t really have any problem with being occupied in the crowd.  Everyone wanted to hold her and play with her.    

 

The fourth place person had been established and eliminated.  Everyone had given Samantha a hug when they were eliminated and she was getting numb to it now.  Some sacrifices need to be made for millions of dollars.  Larry had watched the final table before.  He knew that when it was down to three it seemed to take eons before it was heads up.  Once it was heads up it all of a sudden was over real quick.  This was no different.  During the breaks in the latter part of the tournament, Samantha no longer talked with her group.  Instead she talked with the other players behind closed doors.  At first Samantha’s family felt snubbed but Larry let them in on what was going on.  These final tables are rarely, if ever, winner take all.  Gamblers were like anyone else, they hedged their bets.  Deals were being made now.  Almost always the last two people split the winnings.  This happened all the time in the small tournaments that Larry played in Vegas.  The heads up showdown at the end was just for the cameras. By then, win or lose, the amount was pretty much if not exactly equal based on the deal.  That’s why the final two always went so quick, people just threw all in to get it over with.  The money was already decided.  Finally after many hours, the third place person had a name.  He got up and congratulated both Samantha and the other participant.  He looked again at Samantha and smiled.  Now, everyone was in her corner.  They wanted to see history.  Chants rang out for Samantha, which Samantha’s closest friends and families took as a challenge to try to outcheer them despite their vastly lower numbers.  There was a break now but this time it was different than all the other breaks.  This time they were waiting for men with briefcases to bring out the cash that represented the prize for the winner.  Millions of dollars in cold hard cash laid out on a table.  Most heads up main event participants expressed that they would rather this didn’t happen.  Playing with chips made it easier to forget that it represented money.  Having to stare at a mound of cash; much more poignant than colored round shaped objects much bigger than coins.

 

As Larry assumed, it didn’t take long for it to be over, Samantha looked at her hole cards and turned to Larry with a huge smile.  Larry knew exactly what it meant….Samantha was holding pocket 9’s.  Larry believed that Samantha could never lose pocket 9’s because he saw her win so much with them.  Samantha had shown Larry that online her most lost hand was pocket 9’s.  Larry always explained that by telling her it was because he wasn’t there.  Earlier in the year when Samantha called Larry to talk about him visiting Fort Myers Samantha was playing poker online.  She had pocket 9’s and wanted to fold but just played them for Larry.  She lost a lot of money on the hand.  Larry said nothing, he knew she’d win it back and so did Samantha.  It was a tournament game if Larry remembered correctly; you could only expect to win 15% of those anyway.  Samantha told him it was only for him and Larry told her that it was her negative energy that made her lose it.  This was ironic because Larry didn’t believe in negative energy but Samantha did.  Despite her opponent being a good enough poker player to make it heads up in the final table of the World Series of Poker, there was no way he could pick up on this tell.  Samantha and Larry were the only two people on the planet that knew this.  Samantha bet big and was called.  The flop came out 10,10,A. The man was the first to act and he bet out 5 times the minimum.  Samantha showed nothing but she was conflicted inside.  She knew she should fold; one over card, a 10 beats her.  The guy was representing something.  She could feel Larry willing her to call, which he was in his head.  Larry never learned.  You had to adapt to the cards.  A well timed fold was just as important as betting a big hand, if not more.  It took all her strength not to look back at Larry; she knew what he would look like.  Yea he was a poker player and normally didn’t wear his emotion on his sleeve but he wouldn’t be concealing it now.  She failed to keep her composure; she looked from the corner of her eye without moving her head pretending to be replaying the hand, which was barely started.  There he was, Larry’s expectant eyes saying, “Who gives a shit about the cards, call.”  The deal was made for Samantha; this was just for show now.  She decided to just appease Larry, he had come all this way, and was one of the few people not to ask even jokingly for money.  So many of her friends asked her to pay for the hotel and flight to Vegas but Larry never mentioned one word.  Larry had always supported her when she turned pro.  She could throw away this one hand.  She’d still yell at him later, but Larry made a good punching bag, he wasn’t very sensitive.  She called to a loud ovation that made her jump a little.  The crowd had definitely gotten louder for her.  The turn came out a 9.  Samantha’s inside screamed, “Are you fucking kidding me!”  but nothing on her body moved a millimeter.  Two pair was a monster hand heads up but a full house was a monster hand no Matter how many people were in.  Pocket 10’s, pocket aces, Ace 10 beats her.  She didn’t have the nuts.  The guy bet a third of his stack.  Samantha had fewer chips than him but not by much.  Samantha raised all In, she was here to gamble after all.  Pre-flop he didn’t bet like he had pocket Aces but he had something.  The guy hesitated for a while then called.  He flipped over an A, 9.  He had two outs, the other 2 aces.  Samantha thought she should have been more aggressive pre-flop and maybe could have avoided this hand.   The river came out a 5.  The crowd was deafening.  Loud cheers from everywhere.  Samantha had almost all the chips now.  Although she hated touching people, she got up ran to Larry and gave him a big hug.  She would have folded if it wasn’t for him.  She walked back to the table noticing and trying to ignore the whistles.  Little did she know that now everyone would assume she was dating Larry.  Why is it when women showed the slightest form of affection toward a man, people automatically assumed they were dating?  She came back to the table.  She strong armed him into losing a couple blinds before he took a desperation stab.  He won that one but Samantha kept her aggressive play letting the odds play out, she could afford it.  It worked, in a short amount of time, she had all the chips.  A hug and a European kiss to the runner up before she waved her arms in the air in victory to a thunderous ovation and chants from the crowd.  She walked toward her group and her niece ran up to her.  Samantha picked her up and kissed her on the cheek, which garnered some “awwws” from the crowd.  There were a couple things she had to do now like get interviewed by ESPN and take photos with the stash of cash.  The fulfillment of the deal she had made with those at the final table would come later when all the cameras were gone.  She had done it.  The World Series of Poker representatives brought out the gold bracelet.  Samantha had heard how heavy it was but until it was around her wrist, she never realized how right they were.  She smiled and said “Bracelets were meant for women anyway.”

It is unsure whether she realized it or not but there were microphones and the whole world heard this comment.  After a couple days of celebration in Vegas, everyone went back to their respective homes.  Samantha used the money to open a charter school so she could teach kids the right way.  She was very disheartened by the way schools were taught nowadays where the kids were sacrificed for quotas and getting more money from the government.  It was even worse in New York where the sole purpose was for the Regents, a statewide proficiency test.  She had known good teachers that came to help.  She was cold enough not to believe in nepotism, after all, that would just lead to the same problem, a school that isn’t in it for the children.  It was very successful.  She still lived in Fort Myers as the cold New York winters bothered her.  Her life really was never the same.  She didn’t spend much time at the charter school, just came by every now and then to make sure things were still running by her standards.  Now she could walk into any tournament she wanted.  Finding sponsors was not a problem.  Now she could negotiate her cut.  She traveled the world playing poker.  Her and Larry kept in contact.  One interviewer asked her about him AKA “Who’s the guy you hugged?”  The question bothered her but she told the truth that he was just a friend.  Some commentators made jokes about this and put words in Larry’s mouth but he didn’t care.  Larry knew he’d be forgotten in a Matter of days…it might have even been sooner than that.  Samantha and Larry remained friends but they didn’t see much of each other.  Samantha didn’t care about having support from friends or family at poker tournaments anymore.  It wasn’t fair now, she was in so many big tournaments, and she couldn’t expect them to come to all of them.  Larry just asked her to tell him if she was playing in a country that he hadn’t been to.  He wanted to see a new country every year and when Samantha happened to be playing poker in a country he hadn’t been to was reason enough to make that county the new country for that year.  Samantha obliged.  Deep down one of the most gratifying things of winning the World Series Main Event wasn’t the money or a confirmation of her ability.  It was the “fuck you” it signified to all the people that scolded her for quitting her job and becoming a professional poker player.  A fuck you to an ex-fiancee who was a poker dealer and all his friends for never giving her credit for her skills,  An extra fuck you to her parents for always favoring her younger brother who didn’t even have the decency to come to Vegas to support her.  She helped her dad out with his financial problems to put a cherry on top of her getting back at him.  He was a chauvinist; never thought his daughters would amount to anything.  Well now she was wealthier than he could ever dream of.  Yea, the money was nice, but the respect was better.  She defied the odds, she had achieved her goal.  Larry may not believe in the secret but that’s how this whole thing started.  No Matter what happened to her, she’d always be a main event champion.

 

Friday, June 1, 2018

Lesbian Rapists


                Samantha was half Puerto Rican half Polish.  She had grown up in the five towns of Long Island.  While there she became extremely close friends with a Dominican girl named Janilsa .   Unlike Janilsa, Sam didn’t like living in New York. Her parents had a house in Ft Myers, Florida and as soon as she graduated college, she moved down to Florida and rid herself of living in New York.  Throughout her life, she had a great fear of being raped.  This caused her never to be attracted to guys that could physically dominate her but to go for scrawny dirty men that needed her and became dependant.  She had a natural distrust of men and assumed all of them were rapists. 

 

                Janilsa never felt that she had a strong attraction to males.  She had some male friends but unlike most girls, she really did put her female friends way above the male ones.  Of all her friends she had met in college or before, Sam was by far her closest friend.  This is why it really saddened her when Sam moved to Florida because she wouldn’t be able to see her best friend anymore.  Sure she was close with her cousins and others but she really needed a friend.  Janilsa had discovered that she was gay at around 12-years-old.  Sam was accepting of this but she still only confided this information to a select few people.  In college, she had befriended a Pakistani girl by the name of Luna.  They became decently close but when Sam moved to Florida, Janilsa linked onto Luna to fill the void left by her best friend moving to Florida.  As the years progressed, she found out that Luna was bisexual.  Although Janilsa was financially stable and well off, she refused to move out of her parents’ house in Long Island because she had a misplaced guilt of leaving her father.  Since her job required her to work long hours, she didn’t want to stay in Long Island so ended up staying at Luna’s apartment in the city during the week.  She still kept in contact with Sam but as the years progressed she confided in her less and less, Luna had taken over where Sam used to be.

 

                One day, Sam had called Janilsa and they began having a standard conversation.  Sam asked how she was doing and Janilsa told her that nothing exciting was happening in her life.  Sam knew that Janilsa was dating Luna but since Janilsa was her friend she wanted to make sure that she was dating someone worthy of Janilsa.  Sam started complaining about her boyfriend at the time and then Janilsa opened up about her relationship with Luna.  Sam noticed that this was becoming a pattern.  The first 20 minutes of her conversation with Janilsa was spent on meaningless chit chat and it was only when Sam opened up and allowed herself to feel vulnerable did Janilsa do the same.  To Sam it was like a quid pro quo, I need to hurt myself before you hurt yourself. If Sam didn’t show any vulnerability then Janilsa was a steel trap.  This unnerved Sam because she was so used to Janilsa sharing so much with her but now it seems that the distance really had strained their friendship.  It’s not like Sam never came back to New York, about biannually she would come up and they would always organize a poker game at Janilsa’s house.  It is here that Sam met Luna and immediately concluded that she was a user and no good for Janilsa.  Luna was an admitted pathological liar and Sam, who despised liars, couldn’t approve of this girl for her friend.  On one particular poker game, a friend of Janilsa’s named Ranjit came.  Ranjit had dated Luna in the past and even during their relationship, Sam saw the coldness Luna showed toward Ranjit and after.  She wasn’t delusional enough to believe that she wouldn’t do the same thing to Janilsa.  She told Janilsa as much but to Janilsa nobody’s opinion mattered except her brother’s and her brother liked Luna.  Janilsa told Luna about Sam’s fear just to see how she would respond.  Luna wrote it off as nothing, she hardly knew Sam and in her mind, she had already won Janilsa from her.  Deep down though, she was pissed off that Sam was able to see right through her.  To Luna, this fling with Janilsa was just a game to her.  She wanted to see if she could seduce a lesbian and she had but Luna never considered herself one.  She was a devout Muslim and Muslims frowned upon homosexuality.  Secretly she plotted her revenge on Luna.  She knew just how to do it too. 

Janilsa was extremely forgetful.  She very often left her purse, phones, and other items all over the place.  She had learned to adapt without this technology by memorizing the phone numbers of places she’d be staying so she could just borrow other people’s phones, which she did quite frequently.  Luna had found out from Janilsa that Sam was coming to town.  She knew that Sam, like many people, had conversations via text messages rather than calling people.  She had already decided that she was bored of this experiment with Janilsa but before she broke it off cold turkey, she wanted to extract some revenge on Sam for figuring this out.  While Janilsa was asleep, Luna stole her phone and keys and put them in her purse.  Predictably, Janilsa went to work without either.  The cliché “Out of sight, out of mind” really applied to Janilsa.  Luna had taken the day off work.  She knew that Janilsa’s father not only would be working all day but he also never went upstairs in his own house.  This is one reason Janilsa still lived at home, she looked at the upstairs of her house as her own apartment.  Luna took out Janilsa’s phone and texted Sam that she was working from home and asked Sam if she wanted to come over.  Sam, who hated being at her parents house since she despised her father and had little respect for her mother for staying with her father, readily jumped at an opportunity to be out of her house.  She drove to Long Island and pulled into Janilsa’s driveway.  Luna had been dropped off at Janilsa’s by her sister so that nobody would notice another car in the driveway.  Sam rang the doorbell and was surprised when Luna answered the door.  She didn’t think anything of it as Luna was Janilsa’s girlfriend so why wouldn’t she be over?  It was just odd that Janilsa would invite Sam over too given that Janilsa knows how she feels about her.  Luna’s original plan was to lure Sam upstairs but her anger had boiled over and she closed the door behind Sam, turned around and just as Sam had asked “Where’s Janilsa” Luna kicked her in the stomach, grabbed her hair and yanked her to the ground.  Luna and Sam were of similar size but Luna had the element of surprise and she wasn’t about to waste it.  Before Sam could even figure out was going on, Luna kicked at Sam’s side and stomped on her midsection repeatedly.  All the wind was knocked out of Sam and she was absolutely defenseless in a lot of pain.  Luna used her right leg to straighten Sam onto her back and then straddled her.  She pinned Sam’s arms behind her head with her arms and kissed her neck.  Luna whispered in her ear, “So, you told us how scared you are of being raped, let me get it out of your system for you” as she licked her ear.

Sam said in the sternest voice she could muster, “Get the fuck off me.”

“No bitch, you should have never talked shit about me to Janilsa” as she lowered her arms under Sam’s shirt and rubbed her chest.  Sam was extremely petite so didn’t have very big breasts but feeling Luna’s hands on them was revolting.  She squirmed but that only gave Luna the opportunity to pull her shirt over her head and use it to pin her arms down.  Luna slapped Sam across the face and kissed her from her neck down to her waist.  She was surprised at how easily she had dominated Sam.  The power was intoxicating.  She unzipped Sam’s jeans and slipped her fingers into her panties and into Sam’s dry vagina.  Luna purposely used more fingers than fit comfortably because she wanted to hurt Sam.  Sam had slipped her arms out of her shirt sleeves freeing them and clawed at Luna’s arm.  Luna responded by lying her waist on top of her arm driving her fingers further into Sam.  Luna then used her other arm and lifted her shirt up and shoved her upper body forward grabbing the back of Sam’s head and pulling her under her shirt.  She rubbed Sam’s face in between her breasts twisting her upper body as well.  Luna lied flat to smother Sam and calmly said, “This is for trying to convince Jani to dump me.”

Although Sam definitely didn’t want her face in between Luna’s breasts, she was much more focused on the pain from her vagina.  She had had sex before but not very often and she was always wet for it.  Having things inserted when she was completely dry hurt immensely and she felt her resistance getting weaker and more futile.  After a while, Luna got up off of Sam.  Sam was crying from helplessness as she rolled to the side curled in the fetal position.  Luna lowered herself and removed Sam’s shoes.  She realized it was very easy to maneuver Sam now as she was no longer resisting.  She grabbed the waist of Sam’s jeans and panties and pulled them off in one motion.  Luna completed the stripping by removing Sam’s socks leaving her fully naked.  She looked down at her and said, “No wonder you always keep your legs covered up.  If I had chicken legs like those, I would be ashamed too. Luna stripped herself naked and threw her and Sam’s clothes in the closet nearest the front door.   She helped Sam to her feet bent her over her shoulder and lifted her legs up.  Luna slapped her hand onto Sam’s buttocks and squeezed hard.  She carried Sam upstairs and to Janilsa’s room where she had originally planned to do this.  She placed Sam down on Janilsa’s bed and placed Sam’s face against her groin.  Luna had her legs behind Sam and against the inside of her shoulders keeping her sat up.  She said, “Start licking bitch” as she grabbed Sam’s arms and rubbed Luna’s legs with them.  Luna taunted Sam “don’t you wish you had legs that were this sexy?”

Luna sprang forward lying on the bed with her vagina shoving Sam’s face to the bed.  She said eerily calmly, “Sam, either you start licking or you’re going to suffocate like this”

Luna took Sam’s hands and continued to caress her own legs with them and moved them up to her buttocks as well.  Sam was losing breath and acquiesced.  She opened her mouth and started licking Luna’s vagina.  Luna smiled for now she knew that she owned Sam.  After a bit, she slithered her body down  and reached onto Janilsa’s night table and grabbed a harness and dildo.  Luna stood up and put on the harness and strapped the dildo into place.  She crawled onto Sam and thrusted her pelvis driving the dildo into Sam.  She grabbed Sam’s hands and placed them on Luna’s butt pulling them as if Sam was pushing Luna into her.  She wrapped Sam’s legs around her waist and started kissing her neck and sucking her breasts.  She taunted, “Janilsa loves me now, you left her.  I’m her best friend, she likes me more than you, you need to accept that you left her.  I won bitch, don’t you ever talk shit about me to her again”

Luna rolled over so Sam was on top of her.  Luna grabbed Sam’s ass and pulled her toward her.  Blood was oozing onto Stepahnie’s sheets but Luna knew nobody would be coming in here for a while.  She stood up and cradled one of Sam’s legs and drove her against the wall humping her.  She motioned Sam’s hands onto Luna’s butt and squeezed.  She then removed her hands from Sam and reached around and grabbed Sam’s butt again.  She mocked Sam and said, “Now you know what a real ass feels like.  How do you even call yourself a woman?”

Luna pulled herself out of Sam and slapped her across the face and watched as Sam collapsed to the side barely conscious.  Luna in the last bit of humiliation sat Sam up, turned her back to her and jammed Sam’s face into her ass and jeered, ‘That’s right kiss my ass whore”

Luna went into a bag she brought and pulled out a pair of gloves, which she put on.  She reached back in and pulled out a bed sheet.  She lied it on the ground and rolled Sam onto it wrapping her in it and duct taping it together.  Sam had lost consciousness and Luna tried to dead lift her but realized she was unable too.  She went across the hall to Janilsa’s shower and rinsed Sam’s blood off her.  She then walked downstairs and got dressed.  She grabbed Sam’s clothes and put them in her bag along with Janilsa’s soiled sheets.  She lifted Sam’s legs and dragged her toward the stairs and down them.  Luna went through Janilsa’s living room and opened her garage.  She took Sam’s keys from her purse and pulled her car into the garage.  She then went back to Sam and dragged her into the trunk of her car.  Sam drove an SUV so the back opened up.  Luna drove to the hospital and opened the trunk hatch.  She didn’t get out of the car as she was happy to see Sam had tinted windows.  She climbed to the backseat and pushed the trunk open just wide enough for Sam to fit.  Luna then kicked Sam out of the car and on to the street in front of the hospital.  She slammed the trunk and hurried to the front seat and drove off.  She parked Sam’s car by the LIRR station and had her sister pick her up and take her home.  When home, Luna threw everything in the wash and cleaned and dried them before returning to Janilsa’s house and placing her sheets back on her bed.  Luna cleaned the areas she was in and left Janilsa’s house.  Luna’s sister had already gone back to the city after picking up Luna from the train station.  She didn’t know exactly what Luna was up to but she had already agreed to tell anyone that asked that she was in the city with Luna at their apartment all day.  Luna drove her car to the train station and left it there knowing her parents would come pick it up later.  She took the LIRR to the city and waited for Janilsa at her apartment.  She took Janilsa’s phone and deleted all the text messages between her and Sam.  Before she got to her apartment, Luna threw Sam’s phone into the Hudson River.    When Janilsa returned home, Luna acted like nothing happened and spoke to Janilsa normally. 

 

It didn’t take long before someone at the hospital noticed a body shaped sheet lying in the entranceway.  Nobody had paid attention to the car that dropped her off so carelessly and sped off.  Paramedics rushed out with a stretcher and brought Sam in.  They treated her and it didn’t take long for Sam to wake up.  She was a little disoriented and was visibly too shaken to talk.  The doctors had already concluded it was rape and had called the cops who were investigating the sheet.  They wouldn’t find any fingerprints on them as Luna never touched them with her bare hands. The cops didn’t investigate Sam because her medical needs were too great.  One of the nurses had messed up later in the night and bathed Sam fearing an infection from all the blood she had lost.  This killed any physical evidence they may have had.  The next day, Sam had stabilized and was talking.  They called in a psychologist and she was quick to explain that Luna was the one who did this to her.  They let her have a phone and she called her family to say she was okay.  Sam was too infuriated to let her rape bother her just yet.  She wanted revenge.  The next call was to Janilsa at work.  She told her she was in the hospital, and Janilsa immediately left work and went to Long Island to check on Sam.  When there, Sam told her that Luna had raped her.  Janilsa was stunned.  She asked how it happened and the story just seemed too far fetched.  Luna seemed too smart to do this at her house.  Her dad could come home or a neighbor would have seen or a whole host of things.  Besides, how did Luna get into her house in the first place?  She checked her phone and saw no messages to or from Sam from the night before.  She asked Sam where her phone was and Sam blamed Luna.  Janilsa asked if she had told the cops and Sam screamed “YES!” incredulous that that was Janilsa’s reaction.  Janilsa didn’t know what to think.  She felt bad that Sam was in the hospital but Janilsa had known her for years.  Sam was pretty cold hearted and knew that she despised Luna.  She also got involved with very sketchy and grimy men.  Could Sam just be protecting one of them?  No, Sam wouldn’t do that either.  Janilsa was really at a loss.  She stayed with Sam promising she would deal with Luna later but right now she just wanted to be there for her friend.  When visiting hours were over, Janilsa went home and inspected her house.  Her bed was made just as she had left it and she didn’t find any blood.  She remembered that her dad’s cleaning lady came that day so she called her and asked if she saw anything suspicious.  The cleaning lady seemed confused and said she saw nothing.  Janilsa didn’t bother explaining to her what had happened.  She finally managed to call Luna not knowing how she was going to ask her about this.  She got her voicemail and Janilsa just said she’d be staying in Long Island tonight and to call her back when she got the message.

 

Luna got a buzz on her door and knew exactly who it would be.  She hit the intercom and heard, “NYPD, can we come up?”

Luna feigned surprise and buzzed them in.  Luna was a lawyer so she knew her rights.  She said nothing and allowed them to read her her Miranda Rights and take her off.  While in the cop car, she called a co-worker of hers to represent her.  After all, she knew the old saying that “Any lawyer who represents themselves has a fool for a client.”

Luna’s co-worker arrived at the station right around the same time as Luna.  She immediately asked what the issue was.  The cops had already told her when they were arresting her that she was being arrested for rape.  All she did was scoff knowing that that by no means could that be explained in a court of law.  Luna’s lawyer was quick to get the accuser’s name out of the cops and talked with Luna.  Luna chuckled at the name as if she didn’t expect to hear it.  She explained to her co-worker that she had been with her sister at her apartment all day on the date in question and documented how Sam hated her.  Luna’s lawyer didn’t really need anything Luna had told her she went back to the cops and said quickly, “The accuser is someone that is not amicable with my client, do you have any piece of solid physical evidence that would justify holding her or is it merely an accusation from an obviously distressed patient?”

The cops had to admit that they had nothing to hold her so they let her go.  In the car they tried to ask Luna her whereabouts on the night in question but Luna knew she didn’t have to answer any questions. The cops still canvassed the area around Janilsa’s house and Luna’s building but nobody had seen anything.  They did question Luna’s sister, who merely said Luna was with her all day and refused to say more.  She was also a lawyer.  In the end, the cops had to inform Sam that they had no evidence to convict Luna except for her word.  Sam took the news harshly and screamed at the cops and everyone around before she started crying.  She had been in the hospital for a full week now and was just being discharged with no idea how to get Luna back.

 

                Luna had called Janilsa late the day Janilsa had left the message and Luna had spent all day being questioned by the cops.  Luna said, “So, I’ve spent the day being questioned by the cops because of Sam!”

                Janilsa’s said, ‘I know, I don’t really want to talk about this over the phone, I’m coming to the city tomorrow.  We’ll talk then.”

                Luna said okay and hung up.  

 

After many years of dating, Luna had decided to break it off with Janilsa.  She didn’t really care what happened after she attacked Luna.  Making Janilsa believe her was just icing on the cake.  There is no way the testimony from an ex-girlfriend and someone that had a history of dislike toward her would stand up in court in the absence of physical evidence.  As a woman, a jury would be hard pressed to accuse her of rape.   She awaited Janilsa to come the next day and when she did she greeted her platonically and seriously as if she was offended.  Janilsa thought she had energy for this but seeing Luna she knew she wasn’t quite ready for it.  She said, “So, I just got back from the hospital and Sam…well….she’s doing better.” Was all she could muster.

Luna rolled her eyes and said, “Look, I know she’s your friend and all but according to the cops, she’s saying I did this to her.  I mean, you’ve been with me, you know I don’t have a fucking dick to be raping people with.”

“Yea, she said you used a dildo.”

Luna feigned shock and stared at Janilsa incredulously.  She had rehearsed the anger she would express at this moment.  Her advantage was Janilsa rarely lied which means she believed that other people were honest too.  Even though Luna admitted to being a liar, for some reason Janilsa still believed her not to be.  She exclaimed, “What?! Why does that delusional, cold-hearted psycho want to blame this on me?  I knew she hated me but damn, this is just fucking low”  Luna made sure not use the term “Bitch” as that’s what she repeatedly called Sam and may help Janilsa believe Sam. 

Janilsa lowered her head and shook it.  She didn’t know what to think.  She said, “I don’t know why she would either.  I mean Sam isn’t normally a liar.”

Luna started screaming now, “What?  You actually believe her?  She’s obviously emotionally distressed as all rape victims are and she’s embarrassed because she has no idea who did this to her so she came up with my name because she hates me and doesn’t like that we’ve become so close since she moved to Florida.”

Janilsa looked up, “You seem to have this all figured out.”

“Well, I think about shit when I get questioned by the cops.  Conveniently, there’s absolutely no evidence of this.”

“Yea, I didn’t notice anything at my house.”

Luna calmed down, “Why would I do it at your house anyway?”  How did she get to the hospital?”

“The doctors said someone dropped her off.”

“Well there are cameras and shit, didn’t someone see the license plate?”

“Yea, it was Sam’s car.”

“Oh how convenient.”

“Luna, I don’t think Sam set this up.”

“I don’t know her sister is crazy enough to help her do this.  She’s bipolar, smokes pot all day living on disability and has nothing better to do with herself.”

“Now you’re making accusations.”

“Eye for an Eye.”

“So, just tell me did you do it?”

Luna dropped her shoulders and looked hurt just like she had rehearsed.  She said very calmly, “No” knowing that oftentimes people take anything more than the word “no” as an indication of guilt. 

Janilsa just nodded her head; she sat down and exhaled deeply.  She didn’t know who to believe.  She didn’t think Luna was capable of that but she didn’t know Sam to be a liar.  She said more to the table than to Luna, “Then why would she say that?”

Luna sat across from Janilsa and said, “You know there’s really not going to be a good time to do this.  But, I can tell you don’t fully believe me.  I’ve told you before I was just having fun and that I don’t really think I’m bisexual.  This little experiment was fun while it lasted but I just can’t do it anymore.  I need to start getting more serious and thinking about marriage, I’m already 26, so I’m closer to 30 than 20 so I need to start thinking about doing my duty and starting a family.”

Janilsa was speechless.  She’s normally not very emotive but she was devastated.  She held back tears and blurted out, “You do this now?”

“I’ve wanted to for a while, but I kept waiting for the right time but I always convinced myself that it wasn’t now.  Now that you have this doubt in your head, I really can’t live with that.  I have never been violent toward you while we were together and you’re not sure if I’m some sadist.  I’m sorry, but I really need to think for myself here.  I’m really not comfortable with someone that would even entertain that idea.”

“I didn’t accuse you.”

“You don’t fully believe me either.”

Janilsa felt it was fruitless to argue.  Why would you want to convince someone to like you?  It just seemed pointless.  She started feeling guilty for ever bringing it up not realizing that it was actually Luna that pressed the topic.  Even if Janilsa would have remembered that she didn’t blame her.  If she got arrested for something she didn’t commit she wouldn’t be too happy about it.  She didn’t say a word, luckily she kept everything in a bag so she could transport herself easily.  She grabbed the bag and said, “Bye Luna” without looking at her and walked out the door. 

Janilsa had one other friend in the city.  It was late so she couldn’t go back to Long Island.  She called him up and asked if she could come over knowing that he wouldn’t mind late phone calls.  As she expected he actually seemed excited and urged her to come over.  The second Janilsa left Luna’s the tears streamed out.  She cried all the way to her friend’s house then composed herself, wiped the tears away and went up.  She buzzed his buzzer and got buzzed in.  She explained to him that she just broke up with Luna.  He said all the right things but she knew that he hadn’t been in a relationship for as long as she knew him and she had known him for almost 10 years.  She never believed him when he called himself asexual but she had grown to feel safe with him.  He was also friends with Sam and had told Janilsa that he was afraid of Sam even though Sam and he were friends.  Sam hadn’t called him yet about what happened so he heard it from Janilsa for the first time.  Janilsa explained all the events then asked his opinion knowing that he and her never really agreed on things.  Still though, she respected his opinion and he did pride himself on emotionless logic.  Janilsa was too close to Luna to think objectively.  His response was, “Look, I’ve called Sam a sociopath so I’m not going to say that I don’t think she’s capable of something like this but I refuse to believe that she would get herself physically hurt just to get back at someone.  She’s a sadist not a masochist, if she wanted to get back at Luna, she would just con some guy into hurting Luna for her.  You know how she manipulates men, so that seems to be the avenue she would take.  Luna is an admitted liar so her denial is irrelevant to me.  Hell, even an honest person would lie about something this serious.  Breaking up with you, I’m sorry to say, doesn’t prove anything.  I believe she never thought of you guys as seriously as you thought.  Sam wouldn’t protect a rapist either.  You know that I like Luna, she just doesn’t like me so I’m not saying this with any malice toward Luna but logically, I’d believe Sam.”

Janilsa was used to picking apart his arguments but she was in no state to do it now.  She just said “Yea” and internalized her feelings that she believed his comments were based on his indifference for Luna and his friendship with Sam.  If Janilsa were thinking non-emotively, the way she normally did, she would have realized that one of his friend’s biggest criticisms of him was exactly that he sided on the side of the person who was right not who he liked more.  It drove his friends crazy when he sided with perfect strangers to him over his closest and best friends but that was his coldness.  Janilsa’s feelings for Luna would never allow her to admit that she would never believe her capable of what Sam accused her of.  She didn’t say much more on the topic but just went to sleep.  When her friend was in his room sleeping, she let the tears come.  She hated letting men see her cry and her friend wasn’t known to be very empathetic.  Sam went back to Florida and her friendship with Janilsa remained the same, they rarely spoke.  Sam tried several times to bring up what happened to Janilsa but Janilsa just stuck with the facts, there was nothing they could do about it.  Whoever had raped her didn’t leave any physical evidence.  Sam constantly pleaded her case but Janilsa just wanted to forget that it happened, which Sam obviously could never do.  Eventually Sam just stopped bringing it up.  She contemplated revenge but there was little she could do from Florida.  Luna had broken up with Janilsa so Sam couldn’t even focus on breaking them up…though she did try that before and failed.  She would never look at her rape as a way she succeeded.  It hurt her that although Janilsa said the right things, she never got the sense that she fully believed her.  Sam wrote this off as the final straw and accepted that her and Janilsa weren’t nearly as close as they used to be and now never would be.