Saturday, August 26, 2017

Rivaling Roommates

                Mrs. Stillman woke up rather perplexed.  During the night, she had a strange dream.  The dream she had was that a former friend and roommate of her daughter Gia was standing in the dorm room with two sets of keys.  Mrs. Stillman awaited the arrival of her daughter to get home from school so she could tell her of her odd dream.

                Gia used to live in the dorms until she moved out due to conflicts with her roommate Gweneviere.  Since she did not live too far from her college, commuting was not a big deal.  Gia and Gweneviere seldom talked to each other due to their animosity.  It would be unfair to say that Gia hated Gweneviere, it was just Gia feared what the unscrupulous Gweneviere would do to her had they continued on since their friendship deteriorated.  Gia was going to her dorm for maybe the second time in the two months since the second semester started.  To Gia’s surprise, someone informed her that Gweneviere packed up her things and was moving out of the dorm with only a month and half of school remaining.  Posted on the door was a self-portrait of Gweneviere labeling the different parts of her body.  The interesting thing about this picture was that all the comments were negative.  An example of this is a line coming from her armpits with the caption “Where my bad BO comes from”; “BO” referring to body odor.  The picture shocked Gia but she got it out of her mind quickly, for she was more concerned with her moving out.  Even though it had been months since they talked, Gweneviere had previously done actions she deemed as revenge months after a conflict had happened.  Given this, Gia’s sensitive mind rushed to an elaborate plan she had.  The conclusion that Gia came up with was that Gweneviere copied the key to the room then handed the key in and moved her stuff out.  Later, she would come back to the dorm and, using the key she had copied, open her room and trash it.  Due to her moving out, Gia would be forced to pay for all her damages since Gia never officially moved out.  Although Gweneviere had performed such actions before, Gia’s friends assured her she was being paranoid; but Gia wasn’t convinced. 

                After a long day of classes and hanging out, Gia returned home.  Her mother told her of the dream she had last night, which furthered Gia’s suspicions.  The next day, Gia went to her friends for some guidance at their weekly café they hung out at between classes.  Once again, her friends told her she shouldn’t worry but these friends didn’t know Gweneviere like Gia did.  The one friend that did was non-committal in her response but the general aura was that even she didn’t think Gweneviere would do it.  Because conspiracies don’t enjoy dying, Gia remained skeptical but didn’t work herself up over it.

                A couple days later, it was Gia’s birthday, so her friends took her out for lunch after her classes.  As she received her gifts and socialized with those close to her, Gweneviere was up to something else.  Having moved out with no responsibility on what happens in the room.  She entered her dorm and unlocked the door with the key she had copied.  Her evil thoughts of Gia ran through her mind as she smiled in how she was going to get one up on her former friend Gia.  In one hand she bore spray paint; and in the other; a sledgehammer, she was in the mood to destroy.  She used the sledgehammer to pound the walls screaming off negative things toward Gia.  Every time she winded her arm to swing the sledgehammer, an image of Gia would appear and she would yell as she swung the sledgehammer into the wall.  She was jealous because Gia was able to rebound after losing Gweneviere as a friend. Even after Gweneviere stole Gia’s best friend, Gia still developed a circle of friends that she currently was celebrating her birthday with.  She hated Gia simply because Gia was stronger than her and that no matter how much she badmouthed her to new people, Gia’s affable nature and outgoingness quickly negated anything that Gweneviere had to say.  For people believe words to a certain extent but actions always speak many decibels louder.  Jealousy and envy caused her to destroy the room in hopes to hurt Gia some more.  Gweneviere dropped the sledgehammer, as she was satisfied with the carnage she wreaked on the room.  She then picked up the spray paint and wrote out obscenities that were anti-NYU such as “Fuck this school.”  She devilishly laughed as she performed each letter screaming to herself such phrases as, “Take that bitch.”  Suddenly while she was painting, the door swung open and there stood a security officer.  Dumbfounded Gweneviere stood there not knowing what to say.  The security officer commanded her, “Drop the sledgehammer and put your hands on your head.”

                Gweneviere was too shocked to move, how could they have found out?  Finally after repeated demands, she snapped back into reality and dropped her tools of destruction and placed her guilty hands on her head.  The security guard approached her and handcuffed her arms behind her back and led her out.  Girls in the hall’s eyes pierced her as she walked through.  All she could say was, “How did you know what I was doing?”

                The security guard answered, “People on your floor mentioned they heard screaming and loud bangs coming from your room, you were just too loud.”  Gweneviere had a meeting with the disciplinary board, but she already knew she’d have to pay for all the damages.  Her plan backfired and she had to humble herself to tell her parents who scolded her.  Gweneviere wasn’t listening to what her parents were saying.  All she could think about was how Gia enjoyed her birthday and Gweneviere spent the day being questioned by security personnel and threatened by NYU to press charges if she didn’t fully cooperate.  This unnecessarily diabolical act of jealousy could end up in expulsion from NYU (Gia and Gweneviere’s school), making it difficult to transfer and forcing her to face her parents. Even if she could transfer the deadlines for almost all schools is March 15.  She committed the acts of vandalism on March 13 and wasted the day with questionings from security guards and her parents.  There was just no time to fill out applications before the deadlines.  The meeting would take place after March 22 since spring break started after classes on March 14 (Most students, like Gia and Gweneviere, don’t have classes on Friday, which March 14 is, thus they started spring break March 13).  In this moment of distress and defeat, Gweneviere refused to blame herself; she blamed Gia.

                Gia was going to Miami March 15.  In the two days from her birthday to her flight, she had not heard what happened to her dorm since she had no school Friday thus didn’t come to campus nor talked to those living in her dorm.  The school didn’t call her since they were punishing the culprit already and they didn’t want to have to deal with replacing Gia unless there was a complaint.  They hoped that Gia would already have gone somewhere for spring break.  Unbeknownst to them, Gia hadn’t lived there for quite some time so a complaint wouldn’t be coming since they were unaware.   Gia enjoyed herself in Florida with her friends but her parents stayed home.  Her parents received a letter a couple days before Gia had to go back stating that Gia’s dorm room was vandalized and they wanted to discuss where to relocate her.  Gia’s mom called the school and informed them that Gia would stay with them until the room was fixed, which would have been the case regardless of the state of the room.  This relieved NYU and now they just had to focus on Gweneviere. 

                School had started but Gweneviere wouldn’t have the meeting until the following week.  In this time, Gweneviere found Gia while she was alone on E 14th street on her way home.  Gweneviere approached her and said, “You fucking bitch.”

                Gia looked at her surprised, but curious to what Gweneviere was going to accuse her of doing (Since they stopped being friends, Gweneviere would blame Gia for rumors spread about her).  She responded, “Excuse me?”

                “You always have to win, you always got to be better than me, you just don’t know how to fucking lose do you?!”

                “Gweneviere, what are you talking about?  What did I win?”

                “I come up with a plan to fuck you over by fucking up the room and making you pay for it.  But no, those bitches on the floor have to rat on me.  Everyone loves you, they look out for you and fuck me over because people like you.”

                By this time, Gia was informed on what happened but wanted out of the situation so she said, “Gweneviere, you know I didn’t have anything to do with you getting in trouble, I know you don’t like me but there’s nothing I can do, I wasn’t there.”

                “No you fucking weren’t there, you were out with your stupid friend for your fucking birthday……me I can’t get any friends, I took Vanessa (Gia’s former best friend) and you keep that silly smile on your face and get some more friends, where are my new friends?  Where are the people that look out for me when someone is trying to fuck me over?  Why can’t I have what you have?”

                “Gweneviere, they weren’t looking out for me, they were scared”

                “Shut the fuck up! This is my point, I scare people but why?  What the fuck do I do?  You’re a little fucking angel, I try telling people about how you lost your innocence and they just look past it.  You’re not judged by it, I can’t destroy you because you just keep bouncing back.  Nothing I do works, I talk shit, people judge you for themselves. I’m sick of your fucking shit.  I’m sick of hearing that you’re so fucking nice, and Gia this and Gia that, it fucking sucks.  You don’t know what it’s like to be miserable.  I sit here, I’m not attractive, I can’t get guys unless I’m a fucking slut.  You got that cute face and that constant smile, everybody loves you, could get a guy whenever you want and still keep your dignity, what the fuck do you know about being me?”

                A certain urge deep inside of Gia wanted to snap back on how Gweneviere was full of shit and couldn’t blame her being in trouble on Gia but fear suppressed this urge.  Gia realized just what caused this whole rivalry; jealousy.  She was speechless, which only made Gweneviere more furious.  Gweneviere rolled up her sleeves and said, “That gives me an idea” as a smile came on her face, “I can’t hurt you with words, so I’ll fuck up that cute innocent face of yours.  I’ll fuck you up so bad, that you wouldn’t dare to smile.  Yea that’s it, I’m already getting kicked out of this fucking place so why not?”

                Gia wanted to run but fear kept her standing.  Her only hope was to reason, but how do you reason with a psychotically jealous person.  She knew she couldn’t fight Gweneviere because, even though Gia had never been in a fight, she knew nobody should fight an ugly person since ugly people have nothing to lose.  She said, “Gweneviere, I’ve never talked bad about you, I’ve given you your privacy and tried not to interfere with your life.  I’ve done nothing intentionally to hurt you, please, I know you can beat me, you’ll always have that over me.  Yea you’re not going to this school but you hate it here, I’m stuck in this shit hole; you’re free.” 

                “Don’t try to sweet talk me bitch.” Gweneviere said before slapping Gia across the face.  After the contact, Gia instinctively slapped back.  Gweneviere held a hand to her face as Gia contemplated running, but Gweneviere grabbed a fistful of Gia’s hair before she could turn.  Out of desperation, Gia kicked Gweneviere in her shin and then smacked her across the face with her bag containing her books.  Gweneviere wobbled dazed from the blow but remained on her feet.  She ran forward and tackled Gia to the ground and flailed her arms at Gia’s face.  Gia lifted her arms around her face as they absorbed the blows stopping Gweneviere’s hand from connecting on their target, only frustrating Gweneviere further.  Gweneviere calmed enough to realize that her slaps weren’t hitting Gia’s face so she sat up with her legs on either side of Gia pinning her to the ground.  Gia wondered why nobody bothered to help her, and then she realized that this was New York.  Instead of helping, people gathered to watch a cat fight.  Gia was smart enough not to lower her arms, instead she swung her right hand across Gweneviere’s face and shoved her off and got to her feet.  Gia ran but Gweneviere grabbed her and forced her to face the wall.  She felt Gweneviere’s arm grip on her hair as Gweneviere whispered, “Your face is going to meet the nice brick.”

                Gia swung her elbow back and connected with Gweneviere’s nose bloodying it.  Gia turned around and faced Gweneviere with a new confidence.  By using her instinct alone, Gia was winning this fight since Gweneviere kept hesitating when she gained an upper hand.  Gweneviere touched her nose with her hand and pulled it away to confirm there was blood.  She looked up at Gia with even more fury in her eyes.  Gweneviere had taken Gia lightly but not anymore, she shoved Gia against the wall and tried to jab Gia in the face but Gia moved her head to the side and Gweneviere hit nothing but brick bloodying her knuckles now.  Gia didn’t know when this was going to end, but she wanted it to.  Gweneviere grabbed Gia’s hair and pulled it back.  Gia reached and pulled Gweneviere’s hair as well.  Suddenly a call from the crowd called in a Brooklyn accent, “Bitch, you better get your filthy hands off my girl.”

                Both girls turned to see one of Gia’s friends Stephanie.  Stephanie lived in the East New York part of Brooklyn, New York for most of her life and now lived in the NYU dorm on 14th street, explaining how she knew about the fight.  The girls let go of each other’s hair and Stephanie stepped between them facing Gweneviere, “Bitch, stop trippin and go home, your rich ass is bleedin,”

                Whether it was the accent or the blood, Gweneviere realized she had lost the fight and she was not in the mood to take up another one.  She turned to Gia and said, “You win again, and now I’m forced to clean myself up, enjoy your life, but one day, you’ll fall.  Don’t expect to ever hear from me and under no circumstances come to me when your in trouble.”

                Stephanie started, “Bitch…” but Gia grabbed her bicep and Stephanie decided not to say anything.  Gia simply said, “Okay Gweneviere, bye”

                Gweneviere hailed a cab and went home.  Stephanie turned to Gia and said, “Shit yo, you whooped that cat”

                Gia laughed and her and Stephanie hung out a little before Gia returned home.  Gweneviere met with the board and they expelled her and made her pay for the damages.  She was forced to take a semester off school and stay home and work but she never bothered Gia again.  Gia continued at NYU and never lost her circle of friends.  Even though she didn’t need Stephanie’s help, she appreciated the fact that her friend was there for her and willing to fight for her.  Ironically the Gweneviere situations made Gia further realize something.  That these friends that make up her circle would never be influenced by others’ opinions of her, and would always stand by her through thick and thin.  It also gave her relief to know that her friends knew the actions were reciprocated.  Sure they joked and teased each other like all friends, but if the shit hits the fan, Gia knew she never had to face it alone.  With the reciprocal camaraderie she encountered with her peers, how could she not smile?  Ironically, what she originally feared with Gweneviere’s ulterior motive, happened, but it worked for the best since she no longer had to worry about Gweneviere anymore. 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Defense of the unwillingly defended

                On a cold day in New York on February 6, 2003, Larry, a purebred Greek boy, decided to go to LaGuardia High School to see his cousin Kera.  He knew that Kera would not want his presence there, but he didn’t really care, he was bored and when bored he enjoyed traveling around New York.  When he arrived there he saw the large number of high school students filling the streets.  LaGuardia wasn’t the only school in the area, so this was perfectly natural for the time of day.  Larry spotted Kera in the crowd; he kept a distance so as to observe her life.  He felt a bit foolish for going up there and not saying a word to Kera but it was better than sitting in his dorm. 

                Larry and Kera used to be very close friends when Larry lived in Ohio and she lived in New York.  This distance prompted their friendship to be limited to just knowing about each other’s lives, not being a part of it.  Now that Larry lived in New York and his being a part of her life was possible, it caused Kera to push Larry away.  Kera liked her circle of friends and made many sacrifices in order to obtain these friends.  She didn’t need someone to try to convince her to be herself and not experiment with trying to be someone else just for popularity.  Nowadays, Kera seldom talked to Larry and any conversation that occurred, Kera would try to back out of as soon as possible.  As Larry watched her, he pondered why this change took place, after all, when he was giving advice from 450 miles away, it didn’t get her angry.  The reason it hurt Larry was because he looked at his cousin not just as a good friend but also with the love a brother shows a sister.  He had to accept the changing circumstances and not force conversations anymore.

                Larry watched as a young man approached Kera.  Like older brothers with their sisters, this caused him to pay even closer attention to any subtle hints that this guy was up to no good.  Larry noticed them arguing but stood his ground.  He knew interfering would get Kera mad at him, but at this point he didn’t care.  He had already accepted that as long as he lived in New York, a friendship was impossible.  Larry gazed as the boy moved in to kiss Kera.  To Larry’s delight, Kera pulled her head back and pushed him back gently with her arm causing the boy to retreat with a disgusted look on his face.  More arguing occurred, and then the boy backhanded Kera across the face.  Larry wondered that with all the cops around, why nobody interfered.  Then he realized that he was in New York and unlike most places, New York cops don’t get involved in these trivial matters.  Larry walked toward Kera as soon as he saw the hand come across Kera’s face.  His face was stern and his eyes were focused in rage.  Kera saw him coming and stared with surprise and fear.  Larry grabbed the kid from behind and turned him around and asked, “How old are you?”

                Although Larry was furious, he knew that since he was over 18, if he hit a minor before the minor had hit him five times then he could be arrested.  The boy responded, “Who the fuck are you?”

                “Answer the fucking question”

                “I’m 17”

                “Why did you hit my cousin?”

                Kera said, “Larry, I’m okay”

                Larry ignored her comment, and the boy replied, “See she’s not even mad.”

                “That doesn’t matter, I still have a problem with you hitting my cousin.”

                The boy was slightly bigger than Larry so he was not intimidated, “Look, you can go play hero some other time, there’s no problem.”

                “Wrong, there is a problem, you hit my cousin, so there’s a problem between me and you.”

                “And what are you going to do about it.”

                “Since I’m pissed off right now and it would be unfair to fight you now, I will give you five hits, before I retaliate.”

                A cop heard what was going on and didn’t interfere.  He was at a close enough distance where he could hear what they were saying and saw no problem that one member was still trying to follow the law before hurting someone.  The boy retaliated, “What if I don’t hit you?”

                “Then I’ll just kick your ass, but you can rest assured, I’m not going to let you continue to harass my cousin.  I mean any pussy can hit a girl, try hitting someone close to your size, like me.  Or are you too scared for that?”

                “Yo alright, fuck you” he said as he punched Larry across the face.

                Larry turned his head to the side from the blow.  At this point he was too enraged to react to pain.  He said “one”

                The kid struck him across the face again shocked that Larry showed little reaction.  Larry said, “Two, come on man, Kera hits harder than that”

                Another thump came across Larry’s face, and he said, “Oh you’re in trouble if that’s the best you got, two more tries”

                The boy hooked his arm under and punched him in the stomach and this time Larry never lost eye contact.  “One more, make it count jackass”

                The kid grabbed Larry by the shoulders and pulled him close with his knee up attempting to hit him in the testicles.  Larry instinctively lifted his leg in the way so the boy’s knee hit his thigh instead.  Larry then said, “Five pussy” and punched the boy squarely in the nose.  The kid took a couple steps back and Larry ran forward jumped and drove his knee into his solar plexus.  The kid bent over as he exhaled the wind from his body.  Larry then grabbed the hair on the back of the boy’s head with his left hand and drove the kid’s face into his right knee repeatedly.  Blood emulated on the boy’s face and consequently got on Larry’s jeans but Larry didn’t care.  Kera tried to pull Larry off but her efforts were inconsequential.  The police officer realized that the action caught the attention of the school and teachers and principals were bound to find out and if they realized that the police stood and watched they could get in trouble so he grabbed Larry and tried to pull him away.  Larry just wrapped his arm around the guy’s head and dragged him with him still drilling his knee into his face.  Finally the cop wrapped his arms around Larry’s waist, hoisted him up and jerked him around.  Larry maintained his grip on the boy for a little bit but during the swing he let go as the boy swung to the ground long since unconscious and bloodied.  Larry calmed down and gave a quick glance at Kera and turned away from LaGuardia and walked toward the subway.  As far as the police were concerned, there was no longer a problem, Larry had fought with the extent of the law, and even though it was to excess, since he calmly walked away after being separated, they no longer had a problem with him.  Kera ran up to Larry and turned him around and said, “What the fuck was that?”

                Larry opted to talk in Greek so that nobody around could understand, “I know you don’t want to talk to me, so why are you?”

                “What do you mean?” she responded following the Greek

                “I know that you think there was no problem with what he was doing but there is”

                “I didn’t ask for your help”

                “Of course not, guys can do whatever they want to you that you don’t know when there’s a problem.”

                “Are you calling me a slut?”

                “Yea, I know that since you haven’t fucked anybody, you don’t think you are but since you hook up with one guy and hook up with him for a month, and then the next month with a different guy, I would say you are.”

                “Fuck you”

                “You’re the one that talked to me, I didn’t want to say one word to you, but what I’m saying is true, and you say that since all the girls here do it more than you and even have sex, it makes it right but you’re wrong.”        

                Kera was on the verge of crying now and just asked, “Why are you saying this?”

                “Because I’ve accepted that you don’t want to be my friend anymore, you only want me to know about your life, not actually be in it.  So why do I have to be shy about what I say to you?  I can say the truth, it won’t change anything, I’m just some relative now.”

                With Larry’s accusations, Kera was glad they were speaking Greek and responded, “Larry, you are my friend”

                “Shut up, say I’m not, I know it’s true”

                “Why because I don’t’ hang out with you?”

                “No, the way you talk to me”

                There was a long pause and then Larry continued, “I know you don’t want to believe me, but you know it’s true.  You would do anything to be popular, and now you forgot who you really are”

                “You don’t know me now”

                “Yes I do, because I can see through this new face, it’s you who has forgotten”

                “So you’re blaming my friends again?” (Close to four years ago, Larry wrote a paper insulting Kera’s friend that caused her to be mad at him for 17 months)

                “Nope, you wanted to do this, I can’t blame other people for your mistakes.  You’re not as strong as I thought you were.”

“Is this because of the smoking?”

“No, but you have the biggest reason why not to smoke weed and you do anyway” (Kera is a singer and takes it more seriously than anything and knows that marijuana ruins your voice yet she does it anyway)

“It calms me down”

“And how calm will you be when you can’t sing?”

Kera didn’t say anything, she knew deep down that what Larry was saying was true but she refused to accept it, she held back tears but the longer the conversation progressed the worse she felt.  She said, “So that’s it, I’m a slut that smokes weed.”

“And someone that yells at anybody that knows the real you and tries to get you back to who you are.”

“And you think you know?”

“Nope, I know I do”

“That’s a little arrogant”

“Let’s see, you do hook up with a guy for a month then move to a different guy.  You will do anything to be popular including something that may kill the one thing you like most.  Sounds to me, that I’m only saying the truth.”

Kera then slapped him across the face.  Hearing the summary of his speech was too much.  She immediately froze when Larry turned his head back revealing the same anger in his eyes that he saw before.  Larry grabbed Kera’s arms and stepped closer so his face was barely two inches from her face.  Kera put her head down, but Larry used one finger to lift it so she looked at him in the eyes.  Somewhere Kera knew that Larry wouldn’t hit her, but it didn’t stop her fear.  Larry stared at her and said, “I rest my case” As he threw back her arms and turned away.  Kera, now knowing she was safe, said, “Yea just walk away” and continued in a softer tone, “see what I care.”

Larry kept walking, Larry’s words were finally settling in on Kera, she couldn’t hold it back but she didn’t want to cry in front of her friends so she ran up to Larry and turned him around and hugged him crying on his shoulder.  Larry knew what was going on, so he wrapped one arm around and rested it on her back and the other on the back of her head.  He tried to maintain his coldness but it was hard with Kera crying on his shoulder.  Kera stopped crying after a little bit and maintained her composure.  She pulled back but kept facing Larry.  Larry said, “Bye Kera” and turned around.

Kera was surprised that Larry didn’t soften up even after she cried on his shoulder.  She just called out, “Where are you going?”

Larry turned around and walked toward her maintaining the Greek, “I’m not your friend, but I will always love you and now I must yell” as he paused to take a break and then yelled in English as loud as he could, “If anyone were to hurt you, I’d want to kill them” he then finished in Greek, “and it wouldn’t’ matter what you say.”

Kera turned and faced the crowd of kids that were watching intently on the conversation despite not knowing what was being said.  They all heard Larry’s sentence in English and now all the guys looked at her differently.  During the conversation, the boy was taken to the hospital.  Kera looked over the horrified faces of the guys and said in English, “Hey Larry”

Larry was about to cross the street when he turned around.  The sign was flashing, “don’t walk.”  Kera continued, “How good are you at kicking your own ass?”

Larry decided to follow with the English “Are you implying I hurt you?”

Kera just nodded, a little happier thinking she got one over Larry and hurt him.  The sign had moved to solid “don’t’ walk” as the light was about to change.  Larry said, “watch”

When the light hit green and the cars started accelerating forward Larry hurried in front of a car jumping so that the impact would be more distributed.  The car slammed the brakes and Larry lied on the hood and rolled off to the side.  Kera watched in horror at this.  She sprinted toward Larry and kneeled beside him.  Larry was stirring in obvious pain.  By the time he managed to get to his feet assisted by the cops and a crowd of students, the driver was out yelling, “what the fuck are you doing?”

“Relax I’m not going to press charges” he snapped back and then turned to Kera and said in English so all those around could understand, “I am a man of my word, I said I would want to kill anyone that hurt you, of course I wouldn’t really kill them but put it this way, this is what I do to myself, imagine what I would do to others.”

Larry finished crossing the street with obvious pain.  Kera ran after him again and put her arm around him and said, “I’m coming with you, we’re going to the hospital.”

“Don’t you want to be with your friends?”

“You need a hospital; I’m going to make sure you go.”

“Larry didn’t argue, he knew that the only thing keeping him up was his own adrenaline.  Larry and Kera went to the hospital as Larry put his arm around her so as to put less weight on his legs.  While waiting in the waiting room, Kera said, “God, how am I going to go to school now?”

“I don’t want to have this conversation; you can leave whenever you want.”

“No, I’m going to stay.  You know that guys will be intimidated by me now though”

“I hope you realize that was done purposely, now there’s less of a chance you’ll be used”

“Now I’m the girl with the psycho cousin”

“I told you I don’t want to talk about this; the door is over there, leave if you can’t handle it.  Don’t expect remorse from me, I hated that guys would fool around with you and then a month later they’re forgotten.  You weren’t doing anything about it so I did all I can do.  No more on this.”


Larry just had cuts, when he jumped, he twisted his body so that the car hit the back of his legs and his back hit the hood spreading the impact throughout his whole body.  There is no better way to fall.  The fall on the pavement is what caused the cuts.  After a couple hours in the hospital, Larry and Kera went their separate ways.  Kera had disregarded everything Larry said and was now set on trying to convince LaGuardia that Larry was not a threat.  She didn’t change her ways and still did whatever it took to be considered popular excluding sex.  Larry and Kera’s friendship was not renewed.  Larry knew he couldn’t stalk LaGuardia; all he could hope for was that that day would give Kera a reputation as a girl not to play around with.  It did work to some extent, but by the end of the school year, as was true for high school kids, events from three months ago were old news and the guys were no longer intimidated.  For those few months, Kera did have less hook ups because of that one day, which caused her to hate Larry. 


Monday, August 14, 2017

Painful Assumptions

                Vonnie had been going out with a Persian boy named Ben for seven months.  Upon entering college, their relationship became tough even though Vonnie commuted to school.  Ben dumped Vonnie but she was unable to handle it and after some talking it over they got back together.  In late December, it officially ended, devastating Vonnie.  Somewhere in the relationship Vonnie became terrified of Ben.  If she were hanging out with a couple of her female friends, she would still have to lie to Ben and say she was with family to avoid incident with him.  Even though they were broken up, Vonnie still wanted to be with him yet denied it to everyone.  Although she would never admit it, Vonnie couldn’t let go of Ben for one of the following reasons, if not, both.  Either she needed the security of having a boyfriend or since her relationship with Ben was the first time she went against her parents’ wishes, it gave her strength to be with him.  Either way, Vonnie was not as independent as she thought she was. 

On New Year’s Day 2003, Vonnie was planning to hang out with her two friends Morgan and Larry.  She had known Morgan for quite some time since they lived in the same town in New Jersey.  Larry was a friend from NYU that lived in Cleveland but had just returned. Larry took the subway and then a bus over the George Washington Bridge to get to Fort Lee, NJ.  Vonnie picked him up from the bus station and they drove to her apartment so she could fully get ready for the day.  Larry was kind of interested in the events of that day since he would see Fort Lee, meet Morgan’s ex-boyfriend Tom, whom Larry heard a lot about, and meet Ben.  Larry saw everything that was wrong with Ben just in the reaction by Vonnie.  When Larry first met Vonnie he had a crush on her, but at this time, Larry was already seeing a girl so Vonnie’s break up with Ben didn’t mean as much as it would have earlier.  While at Vonnie’s house, Vonnie received a phone call from Ben on what was going on that day.  Vonnie explained the situation and Ben got extremely upset that Larry was at her house without her parents being home.  Ben then demanded that he come over.  Since Vonnie had no say in the matter, Ben was coming.  After Vonnie got ready, they walked downstairs and she began smoking a cigarette, Larry didn’t smoke and since it was pouring rain and very windy, Larry did not want to wait outside so Vonnie gave him the keys to go into the car to warm it up. 

Not too long after Larry got in the car, Ben and his friends approached Vonnie to talk.  Ben continued his verbal assault on Vonnie for having Larry in her apartment with nobody else around. Vonnie had had enough of Ben’s words so she walked away.  Ben then screamed out, “Get back here”

Vonnie obeyed then Ben said, “See what happens if you walk away from me again”

“Why, what are you going to do?”

“Just see what happens”

“See this is my point, now I won’t walk away because I’m afraid of you.”

Ben backed off a little from this and finally let Vonnie go to her car.  When she got there she immediately started venting to Larry about what had just occurred.  At first Larry wished that he had stayed there but then he realized that Ben would just have asked for a minute alone with Vonnie and Larry would have granted it so he would have been a non-factor.  Vonnie and Larry met up with Morgan and the three of them played pool and hung out for a little until Ben called back to invite them to a café.  The three of them went to the café to meet up with Ben and his four friends.  When they got there, Ben waited outside and immediately asked for five minutes alone with Vonnie, which Morgan and Larry granted.  Inside, Larry and Morgan met five of Ben’s friends.  One named Harrington refused to shake Larry’s hand when he offered it as a sign of greeting.  Another named Arthur made a conscious effort to include them in the conversation so they wouldn’t feel too out of place.  A little while later, Ben came back with Vonnie.  Ben and his friends didn’t stay much longer and when they left, Ben made out with Vonnie to say good bye and European kissed Morgan and shook Larry’s hand in farewell.  Ben had managed to stay civil in Larry’s presence but Larry didn’t ignore the impact he had caused on his new friend Vonnie.

After they left, Vonnie was telling Larry and Morgan that she was missing Ben again.  Larry wondered how Vonnie could put up with so much shit from him.  His biggest question was how she can claim she loves him when she openly admits she is terrified of him.  After her second conversation with Ben, Vonnie put up a wall on any comments about Ben and repeatedly stated that it was nobody’s business except Ben and Vonnie’s.  What Vonnie failed to realize was that her relationship with Ben affected all her friends since Vonnie had to lie to hang out with them and they saw how much pain he was causing her.  The night ended and Vonnie took Larry over the bridge so he could catch the subway back to his dorm. 

A couple days afterward, Larry received a phone call from a New Jersey number he didn’t recognize.  He answered the phone and a voice said, “You better stop messing with my girl bitch?”

“Which girl?”


“Oh, this is Ben then, her and I are just friends man calm down”

“I don’t believe that shit for a second, come to Fort Lee and we’ll discuss this mono e mono”

“Are you saying you want to fight me?”

“Of course, you’re messing with my girl”

“If you wanna fight me that’s cool but I know how you Arabs like to be pussies and fight in packs, so why don’t you be man enough to fight me one on one?”

“You just get your ass to the shopping center where you played pool with Morgan and Vonnie.”


Larry took the subway and the bus back to Fort Lee and then another bus to the shopping center.  He figured that Ben would bring friends to contribute in his ass kicking, but Larry didn’t mind, he wanted to prove a point.  Ben came and said, “Alright, we can do this two ways, either you promise to stay away from Vonnie and do so, or we fight for her.”

“We won’t fight for anyone, she’s my friend, I got a girl that I’m seeing and it ain’t Vonnie, even if it was, you dumped her, she can do whatever she wants.  You’re just too much of a fucking idiot to realize that girls and guys can just be friends.”

“How many times have you fucked her since she’s been on the rebound”

“Dude, I don’t even think I’ve seen her legs let alone her naked, you know about that shit, I’ve gotten as far with her, as you have with Morgan”

“You saying I cheated on her with Morgan”

“No, I’m saying that aside from that greeting cheek to cheek kiss, I’ve done nothing with Vonnie that I wouldn’t have done with any of my other friends, guy or girl.”

“Stop fucking lying to get out of it, you obviously want to fight so let’s go”

Larry found it humorous that he was going to fight over something he didn’t do but he never liked turning down a fight.  Ben pushed Larry, Larry came back with a punch to his face.  Ben ran at him and tackled Larry to the ground.  Ben then punched down at Larry’s face until Larry moved his head and Ben struck the pavement bloodying his knuckles.  Larry then shoved Ben off him and rose to his feet.  Ben again came at him and drove his knee into Larry’s solar plexus.  He then placed Larry’s head in between his legs, lifted him up so that Larry’s leg were on his shoulders and then thrusted him off his shoulders so that Larry’s neck and back of the head nailed the sidewalk.  Ben repeatedly stomped away at Larry’s midsection until Larry rolled out of harms way.  Larry warily rose to his feet only to be hoisted into the air by Ben and driven back into the brick wall.  Ben punched at Larry’s face and watched it bounce off the wall.  Ben then hooked his arm underneath and jabbed Larry in the stomach so that he bent over.  He then grabbed Larry’s hair and pulled it back so the back of Larry’s head collided with the wall.  Ben threw another punch at Larry’s face but Larry dodged it and heard as Ben nailed nothing but brick.  Larry grabbed Ben by the shirt and turned him around so that Ben was now against the wall.  Now Larry punched at Ben’s face repeatedly.  Ben grabbed Larry’s shirt but Larry reacted quickly and gripped Ben’s arms and pulled him towards him while turning his head to the side and crashed the side of his head into Ben’s face.  He then threw Ben to the ground and walked off some of the pain he had endured.

Both participants had broken noses and the back of Larry’s head was cut open as well.  Ben made his way to his feet and saw that Larry was in some pain but so was he.  Larry turned around and saw that Ben had gotten up.  They walked toward each other and interlocked arms; this was a careless move by Larry for he knew that Ben was the stronger of the two.  Ben turned his body so that he was facing the wall and then threw Larry back into the wall and ran at him looking to drill his shoulder into Larry but Larry sidestepped him and the side of Ben’s head and shoulder smashed against the brick.  Larry kicked Ben’s legs to kneel him down.  He then took a couple steps back ran forward and kneed Ben in the side of the face.  Ben rose to all fours and Larry took two quick steps forward and jumped knees first on Ben’s back flattening him.  Larry got up and jumped to land knees first on Ben’s back again but Ben rolled out of pain rather than self-aware of his imminent danger.  Larry missed his target and his knees nailed the asphalt.  As Larry bent his upper half down, Ben kicked him in the face.  Ben rose to his feet first and Larry was still in a kneeled position.  Ben sprinted and dove forward connecting with Ben’s chest and crashing Larry’s upper body back to the ground.  Ben got up and taunted Larry to get up, Larry crawled around so that he faced Ben and was near him.  He then took one step up so he was down on one knee and fell forward wrapping his arms around Ben’s legs and then standing up so that Ben was over his shoulder and thrusted his upper body forward so that Ben’s upper half snapped back to the sidewalk.  Now the back of Ben’s head had blood on it.  Larry then stomped his foot into Ben’s solar plexus knocking the wind out of him.  Larry walked away; he was getting tired of the fight.  Ben was far from over; he made his way to his feet and then ran at Larry.  Larry turned so that he was perpendicular to Ben and bent to the side.  Ben tripped over Larry and Larry gripped Ben’s head in one hand and his other hand went between Ben’s legs and gripped the leg on top and rose.  Ben was now spread across Larry’s shoulders.  Larry saw a large window two feet ahead.  He took a step forward so that he was beside it, twisted his body away from the window and then snapped it back the other way, letting go of Ben causing him to twirl toward the glass.  Ben’s shoes hit first cracking the glass and then when the rest of his body hit he collapsed through the glass.  Larry fell afterward since he put every last bit of strength into the throw.  He knew he had knocked Ben unconscious so he rolled to his back and breathed heavily smiling in his victory.  It didn’t take long for Larry to get up and start walking through the parking lot. 

                Harrington saw Larry throw Ben through the window from his car and waited for Larry to get up.  Once Larry rose and stepped on the pavement he turned on the headlights and hit the gas heading straight for Larry.  He said, “This ought to scare the bitch”

                Larry turned and saw headlights and a car but he was in mood to run, he was still tired from the fight.  As Harrington approached, Arthur said from the back, “Hey he’s not moving”

                Harrington responded, “He’ll move”

                “Shit man, seriously stop now”

                As the car came Larry jumped so that the impact would be more separated.  The car hit Larry’s legs swinging the rest of his body to the windshield and then rolled off it.  Harrington showed no remorse but Arthur and the other kid were shocked.  They all got out of the car and rose above Larry.  Harrington said, “You want to mess with our boy, look at you now, on the ground”

                Larry threw his fist up and struck Harrington in the nose.  He tried getting up but the other kid stomped at his chest repeatedly.  They stood him up, Arthur stayed out but he wasn’t doing anything to stop his two friends.  The kid held Larry’s arms behind his back opening Larry up to Harrington.  Harrington came forward but Larry kicked him in the stomach and leaned back so he could swing both his knees up and snap Harrington’s face back.  The kid let go of Larry causing Larry to fall on the ground.  He rolled away and to his feet.  The kid ran at Larry and Larry ducked down and as the kid approached wrapped his arms around his legs and lifted up simultaneously catapulting him over his head and onto the ground.  He then ran and tackled Harrington and repeatedly punched him in the face.  The other kid quickly got up and ran and brought his knee into the side of Larry’s head knocking him off Harrington and to the ground.  Harrington got up with blood on his face.  Both of them stood on either side and stomped at Larry’s midsection repeatedly.  Larry curled up into a ball and withstood the kicks from all sides.  Finally Arthur yelled at them to stop.  Harrington and the kid both calmed and walked away, Harrington said, “Now get up prick”

                Larry stirred and using every bit of adrenaline he had left rose and hunched over but still managed to make eye contact with Harrington.  Arthur said, “Chill Harrington let’s check on Ben, Larry’s gotten his ass kicked enough.”

                The three boys walked away from Larry and to check on Ben while Larry collapsed back to the ground since he didn’t have the strength to remain standing.  When they got there, Ben was still unconscious with cuts on his body from the glass.  They made sure to help him up without grabbing at any glass thus pushing it further into his body.  Ben had most of them on one side and his back.  Since his body went through at the same time and was parallel to the ground, he got minimal glass in him.  The three people helped Ben to the car and sat him in the car making sure he didn’t lean forward since there was glass in his back.  Ben regained a little consciousness and said, “Get Larry too, that son of a bitch put up a great fight.”

                Arthur and the other boy went out of the car to help Larry, as Harrington made sure that Ben didn’t lean back.  When Larry got into the car, Ben turned to him and said weakly, “Now I know that you can fight and will defend Vonnie, if you want her, you can have her.”

                Larry responded just as fatigued, “I told you already, we’re just friends”

                “Don’t’ bullshit with me, it’s okay now”

                “Unlike Vonnie, I’m not afraid of you, I’m telling you, we’re friends nothing more.”

                “You have no reason to lie, you fought me and beat me fair in square.”

                “That’s why I’m telling the truth, I have never hooked up with Vonnie nor do I want to now”

                “Can I ask why?”

                “Well, to be honest, I lost respect for her when she didn’t end it with you but openly admitted she was afraid of you.”

                “You have both said that, is it really that true?”

                “If she was hanging out with girls, she was still afraid to tell you to see how you’d react”

                “I’ll take that as a yes, so that’s why you’re friends?”
                “That and I already like a girl”

                “Who, do I know her?”

                “You’ve met her, her name is Katie, she’s redheaded”

                “I remember her, she’s cute, good luck with that man”

                “Thanks, so now do you know I’m not trying to hook up with Vonnie?”

                “Yea, you have no reason to lie, you already beat me”

                “Alright then”

                Harrington dropped Ben off at the hospital; luckily the cuts weren’t in serious places and missed every major artery.  Ben gave instructions for Larry to be taken to Vonnie’s house since he didn’t need professional treatment.  Harrington did so grudgingly; when they called Vonnie to tell her she was horrified but met them downstairs.  Arthur told her the entire story, including what they did after Larry had won the fight.  Vonnie nursed Larry’s wounds and let him sleep at her apartment.  The next day she told him, “I didn’t want you to fight him”

                “That’s because you didn’t think I could beat him and you still think you love him”

                “Larry, I know I do”

                “Alright Vonnie, I’m not going to argue, thanks for giving me a place to stay”

                “Don’t mention it, I’ll tell you one thing though, after hearing what happened, you’re a tough son of a bitch.”

                Larry smiled, “Thanks, that’s how I usually win fights, I look small so they take me lightly, but I can take a lot of punishment and I just keep coming”

                “You were hit by a car and then you started punching people”

                “I know”

                “Why didn’t you use your knives?”

                Larry carried around pocketknives that were clipped to his pants whenever he left his dorm.  Vonnie had noticed them when she was tending to him.  Larry responded, “They didn’t have weapons, so I shouldn’t use them”

                “There were three of them attacking you at once”

                “Actually only two, Arthur just watched.”

                “2-1 after a brutal fight is still a disadvantage”

                “But neither had a weapon”

                “You’re crazy”

                “I know, but I only use them to counteract another weapon”

                “Alright then”

                Vonnie smiled, they talked as friends and then Vonnie drove him over the bridge so he could catch the subway.  Ben was released from the hospital the same day.  He immediately called Vonnie and discussed with her what happened and how there would be no future problems.  Vonnie asked, “Why did you do it?  Why couldn’t you just trust me that nothing was going on?”

“I don’t know I’m sorry”

“And if you had all this respect for Larry after the fight, why did you let Harrington hit him with the car?”

This was the first time Ben had heard about the events following the fight.  He responded “What?”

Vonnie explained what had happened while Ben was unconscious and he swore that he didn’t tell them to do that.  Vonnie believed him and Ben left.  He then talked to Harrington about it, and Harrington was emotionless for his actions.  Harrington maintained that Larry was stupid for not moving.  Larry and Ben had no future problems since they gained a respect for each other after the fight.  Vonnie never did go back out with Ben, and eventually her fear diminished and they stayed strictly friends and he no longer became overprotective with other guys hitting on her.