Note from Ray: This was sort of a long story, so I broke it up into three parts. You can read the second part here and the third part here.
"I made a decision," I tell her. "It's going to sound crazy, but it isn't."
"You made a decision? Just now?"
"While eating those Life Savers?"
"Yeah. They're cherry."
"I can see that."
"Well, the thing is, I don't like cherry Lifesavers. And I realized just now, there's no reason for me to continue eating them."
"Barry, where are you going with this?"
"Well, here's the thing. In a second, I'm going to stand up. I'm going to drop some cash on the table, just like they do in movies, and then I'm going to walk out of this restaurant. I'm not going to turn around, because—and this is the really important part—I never want to see you again. I can honestly say, without hesitation or hyperbole, that I would rather die than ever lay eyes on you again."
She smiles. It's a beautiful smile, and I know there are hundreds of guys out there who would gladly kill or die to be the recipient of that smile. She is incredibly beautiful. Her eyes are the color of emeralds and her hair is the color of sunrise. Her body is soft in all the right spots and hard in all the right spots, and when you see it uncovered, it's enough to speed your heart and disconnect your mind.
But you know that saying, or that joke, or whatever it is. Someone somewhere is tired of her shit. I think that's how it goes, but I'm not really very good with sayings or jokes.
Also, I'm not very good with putting up with people's shit.
"You aren't serious."
"I'm incredibly serious."
"Well, then you're an idiot."
"I'm not really going to argue that point. I'm not going to argue any point, actually. I'm going to do exactly what I told you I was going to do."
I finish off my coffee, and it seems to taste better than it did a moment ago, before I had made my decision.
"You decided this while you ate your cherry Life Saver?"
"Yep. Although I'm pretty sure it's been building up for a while."
Her smile is still there—it hasn't faltered once. At first, I assume it's because that she doesn't think I'm serious. Then I realize that it's because she doesn't care one way or another.
"Barry, let me explain something to you: people don't leave me. People don't break up with me. I'm the one who decides when something is finished, I'm the one who uses people and throws them away. If you have a problem with something in our relationship, we can try to fix you, but it doesn't just end. Not until I say so."
"Interesting," I say, and stand up. I drop some money on the table, just like they do in movies.
"Do you have any idea who my father is?"
"Nope," I tell her, and walk out of the restaurant.
Do you have any idea who my father is?
What a question.
I'm still not one hundred percent sure what the answer is, but I feel like it's something I should have thoroughly investigated before hooking up with her. But who does that? You meet some chick at a party, you chat her up, and if you're smooth enough, you take her back to your place. At no point in the evening do you think to yourself, "Hey, I really need to find out who this bitch's dad is."
Things go well between the sheets (or on the bathroom sink or on the kitchen floor or on the fire escape—you get the point), and the two of you decide that you'd like to give each other a chance to prove yourselves as people instead of just sex toys. Or hell, maybe you're still just at the use-each-other-for-sex stage—that's fine. You meet once or twice a week, have some dinner, catch a movie, and back to the pad for some lubed up lust.
Things keep going well, she leaves a few things over at your place—extra pair of panties, a toothbrush, whatever. It's getting serious. But still, there's no need for you to wonder about who her dad is, right?
Just some guy.
If he was something important, something special, she would've mentioned him. You'd know him. You'd recognize his name.
That's how it'd go, right?
Do you have any idea who my father is?
Nope. But I've formed some pretty outrageous conclusions since that day at the restaurant.
How long has it been? I look down at my watch and notice that it's broken. Too bad really—it was a nice watch. I take it off and drop it onto the ground. I see a newspaper stand across the street, but I'm not sure I'm brave enough to risk leaving the shadows. Probably doesn't matter how long it's been, anyway.
Then again, what the hell else to I have to do? And realistically, they can find me in the alley just as easily as they can find me at the newsstand. I try to look natural as I walk across the street, but it's hard to look normal when any one of the people crossing with you might suddenly grab you around the throat and toss your ass into a car.
That's what happened the first time.
continue to part 2