Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Grateful to be hitting 30 (4)

This is a bit late, my birthday has come and gone. I have this one to post and one more I'm working on and it'll be the end of the series.

A warning, this is a LONG blog but vital for the story itself. If you are going to read it, have something to drink first, your smokes (if you got'em) and an empty bladder.
Otherwise, enjoy!

This is one of my greatest loses as far as I know to date.


I had an interesting high school life. I dated a teacher beginning my sophomore year and back then I had no idea just how much power that truly gave me. Were I a different person or had a different mind set, I probably would've used that to my advantage, instead I just ran with it as fun and familiarity. I was grateful to have someone to talk to.

In the middle of my tryst with my teacher I had some people sniffing around. I was always around this teacher, I didn't really hang out with friends after a while, it started looking suspicious. So I got a beard.

You don't know what that is, do you?

A beard is another way of saying a decoy. You have two lives basically. You have your private life which you keep just that, private. Then you have a person that you show off in public. No emotional attachment, just someone that you take to functions or you want to be seen with in public so that you don't arouse suspicion to anything odd going on.

I picked a girl named Sue.

I was a Drama/Yearbook brat for the most part of my high school life for several reasons. The first, it was a creative outlet where they couldn't measure how well you did on paper, it was the involvement that mattered. The second, I had creative license to do many things others wouldn't be given the chance to; I wrote school plays and was the editor of my senior yearbook. The third was that the rooms to my two classes, which I had right after lunch, were literally ten feet from each other. So it was home base for me. It's how I met Sue.

Sue, full name Sujiery, she was one year younger than I, putting her at 14. She was from a full blooded Cuban family and had two younger siblings. She was smart, funny, great artist and bubbly. When we met, we teased each other mercilessly, much like kids do when they like each other and don't know how to express it.

When we became friends I was hanging with my little crew.

My Crew:

Rolando – Wheel man. He had an older Supra but had rebuilt the engine to his specks. The odometer was one of those electronic ones, it went up to 99 and then stopped, the car was almost always stuck at 99 MPH, we went much faster. Tall, lanky and full of hurt. He had a family situation that I didn't envy. He never finished high school as far as I know and the one time that I tried to contact him after school I called his home phone, asked for him by name and got hung up on. I wish him the best.

Martha – She was a strange one. I mean that in the best possible light I can think of. We had many long talks; she was the first sister I adopted. Petite, short hair, brown eyes, thin line lips and wide hips. My clearest memory of her was when she came and told me that she had given her virginity to her boyfriend at the time (They're now married with two children and counting.) It broke my heart, don't ask me why, it shouldn't have. We lost contact long before school ended.

Roberto – Martha's boyfriend. He wasn't part of the original crew, more of an add on because of necessity since Martha wanted him there at all times. He was quiet, kind of into the rap scene (His favorite rapper? Queen Latifa). We kind of saw eye to eye but he was threatened by me and honestly I thought Martha was WAY too good for him.

Hector – Heavy set kid that most people would pick on, except he had money and cars so he got some status off of it. He humor was crude and his jokes were lame, he was just trying to find himself like the rest of us. If we ended up with more than 6 people for an outing, he'd take some of the group in his car.

Moshe – If you've been following the series you already know about him.

Paul – out of all of us, he had to grow up the fastest. He was just a silly guy, great to have around when you wanted a good time. I saw him lose his spark when his sister was shot during a drive by. The only thing that I think is worse than losing someone to a drive by is getting to keep them but having them be different. He dropped out of school and stayed home to reteach his sister the things she would need to survive in life.

So out by the track we had a couple basketball courts, a couple tennis courts and some portable classrooms. The trail that leads to the portables was short but at the start of it had a giant tree. I'd say Elm but I know nothing to trees so I'll stick with my original description, a giant tree.

When the lunch bell rang we all made our way to the tree, and from there we decided what the rest of the day was going to look like. Most days we decided to go to Taco Bell and chill. Of course I should let you know that the Taco Bell we frequented was in Miami Beach which was a good twenty five minutes from school. So that meant that we weren't planning on heading back to school.

Now while I was with Sue, my sister found out about myself and Mick (The teacher) because I'm a sap and had kept all the letters she wrote to me… yes she wrote me letters. I did what I thought was reasonable in that situation, I called the relationship, at least for a bit and told her that I couldn't hang out with her anymore. What that did was that it left a lot of time for me to get to know Sue.

Getting to know her was extremely fun. We talked for tons of time on the phone, we were teenagers after all, we ate lunch together, I walked her from one class to another, she told me about her hopes and dreams.

Then I tried to take that big dirt nap.

Now with Moshe and Mick being there, I could understand that. At that point in time the bonds between the three of us were strong, that was our time together and I knew that they would be there for me. Sue didn't have to be but she was. In my fevered condition as my body fought the toxins that were in my system I remember times when I would look up and had my head on her lap, she was there to dry the sweat off my brow and silenced me back to sleep.

That's when I felt loved for the first time.

Don't get me wrong family love is something completely different. This was one human being looking out for another human being in a way that she didn't have to do but did anyway. She did it with compassion and tenderness and made me feel like I had someone who cared about me. In those three days, she won me over.

The time that we had together was outstanding. We would talk for hours about things in life, watch movies together and eventually we got physical. We couldn't go back to my place since my grandmother was always home and we couldn't go back to her place because of her mother and siblings. We did the next best thing, we cut class and hid in the yearbook office. That same office that had seen my twilight was the burgeoning place of our romance and lust. We could hear the classes going on outside of our door while we kissed and explored each other.

Our love his it's peak there, in more ways than one, one Friday after school had gotten out and we were the only ones left in the room. I was so scared at that moment. I remember looking down on her and asking her several times, "Are you sure?" and when she finally looked at me that certain way I knew and there wasn't any stopping us.

Meet Douglas.
Douglas was an Explorer with Miami P.D. and had a bit of an attitude problem about it. He thought that because he was an Explorer we were beneath him. I tried to like the guy but he was annoying, immature and self centered. The typical teenager and the fact that sometimes he and I were confused for one another in the hallways didn't help. He was into yearbook at the same time and we had to work together but didn't have to like each other. Little did I know he would be the Iago in my life at this time.

It was another Friday night. Mick and Moshe were in the yearbook room listening to Peter Frampton Comes Alive (A record that will always be connected to my teenage years) while Sue and I were in the office getting ready to do our thing.

There was a bang at the door. "Sue, It's your mother, open up."

Her mother was the most disinterested person when it came to her kids. She had told all of them the reason for their conception:

Sue: Oops!
Sister: A wild concert
Brother: The outcome of too much wine one night.

So for her to even be near the school when they lived in Hialeah which was a good twenty five minutes away, something was up.

Longest five minutes of dressing in my life. We weren't fully naked but enough to take time and that whole time we can't say much, the walls may be concrete but the doors are paper thin. I finally managed to get dressed and act like I was in front of one of the computers (Like that's REALLY going to help right?) when Sue opened the door.

"Get your shit, we're leaving."

We didn't say good bye or kiss, the eyes of Darkseid were upon us and we didn't want to piss her off anymore. I gave them a five second head start and then came out of the Yearbook office and stared at Moshe and Mick for an answer.

"Guys, what the fuck?"

Mick: "Dude I swear, she came in through the door and didn't even look at us, she knew where you guys were."

I bolted out the door and looked down the hall; I caught up fast enough to watch her mom hit her upside the head. I knew I'd hear from her later.
Douglas came out of the drama room and asked me what happened and I told him the bare bones story. I mean I was at a loss, I didn't know what to say or think.

"Wow, I didn't know that she'd react like that."

That sealed his fate as my nemesis for the remainder of our high school careers. It took everything in my power not to choke the little shit right where he stood. Moshe overheard the little back and forth between us and he managed to stand in between us at just the right moment.

I'm not sure what Doug thought he was accomplishing by doing that except gain my anger.

That started quiet the odd adventure for me…

The first thing that her parents did was take her out of school.

Then they forbade her to talk to me.

Alas, like most teenagers I think that made us both want to see each other more.
I jumped through the hoops that were put out before me. I excelled at school, at this point living with the teacher so I'm sure that had something to do with it, I wanted to go out with her? Fine, I needed a Chaperone, it usually ended up being her mother. First time I saw Desperado was in the theaters with her and her mom. When they came to the sex scene her mother ran out of the theater like she had never seen a naked man before. (Come to think of it, she might not have.)

It was my Senior year and I was still 'dating' this girl. We would run through hoops, call each other every night and I finally managed to get some clout in High School. I knew enough jocks that the coaches wouldn't bother me if I was late to school. I knew enough preppies that if I needed a car all I had to do was ask. I basically had the faculty in my back pocket because they all knew who my 'guardian' was. Plus, I was head of drama and editor of yearbook.

Doug and I had some run ins after that. Most of the time they consisted of me seeing him, then seeing red, then him running away. He tried to call me a few times to try and 'explain' things but it just never went anywhere. He finally transferred out of schools and from what I hear, because a corrupt cop in Miami. Good luck to my people down there, he's a real winner.

During my senior year I skipped full days of school but not like I used to. I would come into school, meet up with one of the preppies and get the keys to their car. Then I would drive forty minutes to go to the campus where she was currently attending. I wouldn't ask her to cut class, instead I hung around, waited for the bell to ring, walked her to class and had more time to kill. We'd have lunch together, I would hang out some more and then walk her to her bus for her ride home.

I kept doing this, and calling her, occasionally going out with her family and even though I had people knocking on my door, I never once bothered to even try.

One of the solicitors was Vicki. Another Cuban princess she was a transfer from Miami High on her senior year. I was also working for the school newspaper and she ended up picking it as she enjoyed to write. She drove me crazy in all the wrong ways. She was loud, obnoxious, opinionated, brash, and full of herself. If there was one person that I felt that I could unload on, it was her, simply because she was such a bitch.

I remember one day, this was right after the yearbook had come out, I had put so much time and effort into it, it was my good bye to the school as a student and I wanted it perfect. She cornered me in the newspaper room and asked me why there weren't more pictures of her in the book. I went off on her real hard. I mean I was screaming at the top of my lungs about how much of an ungrateful little bitch she was being and blah blah blah and I stormed out of the room. Twenty minutes later Ms. MacElrath sent for me to let me know Vicki had fainted.

As much of a bitch she was and granted I didn't know she had a thing for me at the time, she was always willing to let me borrow her car and on a couple of occasions she invited me over to her house to hang out during school hours when no one was home…. Yea I am that dense.

So the school year goes according to plan. I managed to get good grades, put out an excellent yearbook that many were happy with, published four issues of the newspaper with more than just fluff and had managed to keep my girl.

It was a week before prom. I had gone to the Junior prom stag with Moshe where we managed to get shit faced and almost tossed on our ass. This year, I wanted to go to my Senior year prom and I wanted to take my girlfriend with me. I was already contemplating future. Before Sue I hadn't given a shit about marriage or kids or that whole noise. Then on one day she, for no reason at all, grabbed my hand, looked me in the eyes and said she wanted to have kids with me.

Yea, it doesn't take much to get the wookiee all mushy.

So I cut class and beeline it over to her school so I could try to finalize how in the world we were going to figure this out. At the time her mom had sworn me off again, I was a bad influence so it was about stealth and planning.

I got there, it was sunny, as it almost always is in Florida, the campus was quiet, and the year was ending. We basically had the run of the place and I see her and I'm talking a mile a minute and she says:



"I've been thinking about this prom thing.."

"Yea? Do you not want to go? We don't need to, just thought.."

"It's more than that."

"How so?"

"I've been thinking a lot about us and life, what it would look like. I know what you've gone through but honestly, I don't think that I can pick you over my family. I'm sorry."

And just like that, she was gone. (Okay, there might have been some serious crying.) Sue and I did run into each other one other time before I left Florida but it was a run in I don't think I'll ever feel like sharing because I like to remember the person who taught me some things and not the one that she turned into.

Two weeks later was my graduation. I was highly drunk for my walk across the stage, Vicki and I had stop talking to each other but I could see her from where I was standing, she looked back a couple of times but I thought it was in scorn. None of my family showed up for my graduation. Only Moshe and Mick did.

As an Epilogue, I ran into Vicki one more time after that. It was the end of the summer and I was on the college campus getting my affairs in order for classes. She was taking some classes there too and she asked how things were going with Sue. When I told her the time frame of the break up she got infuriated at me. "You realize that I had a thing for you all year and I kept waiting for a chance to say something? You were so caught up in Sue that I knew I'd lose your friendship if I crossed the line. I would have been there for you if only you had asked."

I didn't and I never did.

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