I Wonder.

I’ve never understood why luck has always been so bad to me. I’m a good person, I pay my taxes. I treat people with respect, even when I know they don’t deserve it. It’s as if luck has it out for me just because the big man J.C. decided to gift me with the looks that would make up for almost any mishap in my life. But you know what they say, with more power comes more bad luck.

Or do they?

Here I was, stuck in some shitty garage with cars half lifted in the air and nasty grease-covered tools littering the floor. The place looked like less of a mechanic’s shop and more like a big shack one of these guys decided to put some cars into and call it his business. These people probably weren’t even mechanics either, just decided to cover themselves in motor oil and pretend they knew what they were doing. Likely just a bunch of rapists. I would never have made this my first choice, but I needed quick and cheap, or else I had Julie to deal with.

Julie. Such a pretty girl. Not as beautiful as I am, but close enough that when I saw her for the first time I wanted nothing else but to have her. When we first started dating it was strange how she would make me feel. It was so exciting, like I would lose all control. Maybe our relationship had a bad start considering I stole her away, but to my defense I had never realized I had been competing with another guy until I won. 

Naturally.

I saw the guy working on my car put down his tools. His forearms were big and veiny. He could probably have strangled me to death. I sat up on my seat, I had to look strong. I’m too handsome to be raped. I looked him in the eyes as he began making his way over to me only to realize his gaze might as well have been made of steel. It was as if he was burning a hole straight through me. I couldn’t take it anymore, I looked down at my phone and pretended to be texting.

“Sir?”

“Yes?” I shoved my phone in my pocket and looked up.

“Your car is ready.”

About time, it had been here a week already. I’m surprised Julie believed a simple inspection took this long. Or maybe inspections do take that long? “Great. So who do I pay?”

He walked over to the desk close to where I had been sitting and pulled out a piece of paper. I stood there as he scribbled on it with his nasty, greasy fingers. The veins in his forearms bulged as he kept moving his fingers around. He stopped and looked up at me.

“It’s gonna be twenty-two hundred.” I stared at him for a moment and then let out a laugh. This guy was funny. Or was he? He was showing no sign of joking. I slowly stopped my laugh. We had agreed on six hundred, hadn’t we?

“Is it possible you may have the wrong paper?”

“No sir. Blue Accord. You wanted the front dent taken out and repainted and the car ready to travel. Here is the list of all the parts and labor we did to it.” I looked down at the paper. I hadn’t told him to do all that. Jesus, I was fucked. Julie was going to murder me.

“Is there a way I could pay you in installments?”

“No. Cash or credit, no checks. If you can’t pay now we can keep the car until you can.” I needed the car. Julie was waiting for me so we could leave to meet her parents. She was going to kill me. I wanted to kill him.

“Can I pay six in cash and the rest credit?”

“Sure, but there’s a six percent service charge on credit.”

How the hell is it legal to charge someone to pay? He’s lucky I didn’t get a good night’s sleep and that Julie was waiting for me or otherwise I would have ripped his eyes out and eaten them in front of his face so he could watch as my perfect teeth dug through his nasty little eyeballs. Then I would have kicked all of his other mechanic’s asses and taken off with my car without paying a cent. 

Of course, since I wasn’t rested, I paid. The 96 dollars service charge too. The closest bank was way too far and I was late already, so just like that, the money for our honeymoon was gone. At least the car drove decent now.

I wondered what her parents would think of me.

I had no clue how I was going to tell her. I was already afraid of losing her. Reason I had asked her to marry me was because I thought she was going to leave me. 

I hated her.

I hated that she had all the control. I hated that I would do anything she would tell me to do even when she treated me like shit. My whole life women would flock to me and offer themselves up in any way I wanted them. Not her. It was all about her. She couldn’t even tell me she loved me back. She would just stare at me with her big spiteful green eyes and then her magnificent lips would part just enough to reveal the most beautiful smile. I loved her. I still wanted her, just as bad as the first day I met her. In those moments I wanted nothing more than to hear her say it back, but all I would get is her saying “That’s sweet,” and I was left yearning and full of sorrow, like a child who’s found out his pet dog has run away and won’t ever be coming back. 

Oh Maxine.

As I tried to reverse the car into our parking space, the car jerked back violently the moment it was put into gear and almost hit the wood pole separating the two stalls. That was new. The guy had said that he needed more time to take care of all the problems but twenty-three hundred dollars should have taken care of that. Oh man, his shop would get it good when I got back from this trip. I would be tearing that shack to the ground and I would be sure to be well rested this time. For now, Julie was waiting and she would not be finding out anything had happened with the car. It looked just how it had before I hit the truck, and that’s all that mattered.

I got out and walked up to the apartment. I knocked and cautiously opened the door. She hated when I burst in just in case she was walking around in underwear. I hoped for it every time, but unfortunately she wasn’t today. She was kneeling in the middle of the living room while she zipped up my bag. I smiled warmly at her as she lifted her head towards me.

She looked back down at the bag. “That took long enough.”

I got the overwhelming feeling she knew. She could see straight through me. But how? Had that veiny fuck called? No, he didn’t have our house number. There was no way she could know. She had not, and was not, finding out yet. I would tell her about it before we got to her parent’s house so that way she would be forced to be nice while we were there. It was okay.

“Sorry, they lost paperwork and had me wait for the other guy to get back and get it all together. It was a mess.” I should have just ignored the comment. I just made it harder for myself.

She stood up and stared at me. A smile slowly appeared on her face. “I told you to just have it checked out where we bought it. Would have taken less time.” I smiled back and walked over to her.

“I know baby.” I leaned over and kissed her. She started rushing me towards the bathroom.

“Hurry up, we’re late. The bags are all ready so I want you to take them down.” She closed the bathroom door and I stood there, staring at the toilet. I didn’t have to go. I unbuttoned my pants and forced myself to pee. She was right, it might save us a stop. I flushed and washed my hands but as I looked up I noticed something in the mirror.

It was like the perfect line that ended into the flawless curve. The jawline of jawlines, and it was all mine. I leaned forward to get a closer look and saw it wasn’t just that. It was everything around it too. I was absolutely stunning. My jaw was manly, my eyes like a hawk, my nose like the rounded button you would pay thousands in surgery for. 

Poster child for sexy. 

I slightly squinted my eyes, clenched my jaw, and puffed my lips. No female specimen could ever resist me when I shot them with my raptor gaze. Not even I could resist it, which meant Julie was no exception. I was like a Greek go-

Julie burst through the door and I jumped. I turned the faucet on and pretended like I was going to splash myself with water. She unbuttoned her pants as she got ready to sit. “It’s not that fucking hard to just wipe the seat after.”

I patted my face dry. “Sorry, I forgot.” She wiped it herself.

“I told you to just sit down so you don’t sprinkle everywhere.” I looked down at the floor and walked out.

“I’ll get the stuff.” Ha! Me sit down to take a piss? Like if.

Driving had always been a great experience for me. Long trips I mean. I loved how your mind just went loose and would leave you dwelling over your own thoughts for hours on end. Music was great for a little while but the silence was what I really enjoyed. Julie didn’t like road trips so she tried to sleep through the whole thing. I thanked J.C. for that, she would have just ruined my silence.

It didn’t take me long to propose. She had this way of making my desire and desperation flow. I had always asked why she had never introduced me to her parents considering the circumstances but she would just tell me it wasn’t important. It made me curious to know if anyone had ever met them before.

I looked over at her in the passenger seat. She looked so peaceful. Curled up with her pillow covering a part of her face. She was beautiful. Amazing how well it hid the evil monster who would tear you limb from limb and eat your heart just so she could bask in the suffering she had caused you in the process. I wished I could slap her as hard as I possibly could and tell her to get the fuck out of the car and never see her again.

“Bitch.”

She shifted in her seat and I swung my head forward just in case she looked up at me. I couldn’t believe that had slipped out. I hoped she hadn’t heard it. I glanced down at her again. She was out. I looked back up to the road and started laughing softly to myself.

I wondered what she would think of that.

Later on during the drive Julie woke up. She wanted to listen to music, so we did. It was a good thing we had similar taste, otherwise I think I would have gone nuts. She was very…particular…about what was played.

When Julie got into her talking moods, she would talk for hours. Sometimes it was real deep and intellectual conversations. Those would usually go straight over my head. I usually just listened to her as best I could and asked questions that would egg her on. When she would ask my opinion I would just tell her I didn’t know and would rather hear her talk over myself. She would usually get a little frustrated about that but keep talking. By then I was so lost I would just stare at her bare skin and wonder about all the ways I had yet to have her. 

She had a great ass.

Other times she just wanted to talk shit. This was something I always contributed to. I may not be very smart, but I was a social butterfly and it made her very happy to know I was on her side. Whoever was at the center did not matter. Julie would provide the shit, I the fan, and the rest was a blast.

Sometimes while she talked badly about someone she would throw out comments that made me wonder who she was really talking about. I felt like they might be directed at me, but since I couldn’t prove it and didn’t want to provoke her, I just kept fanning. Those moments made me wonder why she had ever started a relationship with me, if she even cared about me, or why she had ever agreed to marry me. Every time I questioned why I had asked her, I would just have to look at her and that feeling would creep up to remind me. 

Confusion.

She asked me how we were doing on gas and I knew she wanted to use the restroom. I took the next exit and pulled into the closest station. I began pumping gas and she went off to the bathroom. I couldn’t help but notice how wonderful the reflection of my muscles looked in the car window. All my working out really pays off. I turned as subtle as I could to get a different angle of my arm holding the pump. Damn. These pups could choke any bitch out. You don’t fuck with the man with guns.

I always wondered why people thought I had it easy. They would always tell me I never had to work for anything. That things always came my way. Bullshit! Pretty people have to work real hard. I’ve always had to work out non-stop to maintain this amazing body and definition in this perfect facial structure. What do people think? Women just flock to me for no reason? I’ve had to learn to be irresistible…and that takes work.

I wondered what her sister would think of me.

Julie sprang up behind me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. “Oooooo, sexy man.” She said as she pinched my butt.

“You scared me. I thought it was that fat lady coming to take me away.”

“She’ll have to go through me first.”

I smiled at her and put the pump away. “You want anything from inside?” 

She shook her head.

As I walked through the store I started thinking about how much I loved when she got into this mood. She was so flirty and playful. This is what I looked forward to, these moments of happiness with her. I never felt happier with anyone than when I had her like this. I also had never had anyone treat me worse than the way she did either, but that didn’t matter now. All was well.

I grabbed some drinks and on my way to the register I saw a pillow that read ‘I love you too’. Next to it was it’s partner ‘I love you’. I decided to take the first with me. Julie might smile and maybe, just maybe, say it for once. A big grin covered my face as I came up to the cashier. She returned a cold look.

“That it?” She asked.

“Yes ma’am.” She was intimidating but I continued to try and break the ice with my perfect smile. Instead she rung up my items and hit me with a price that was clearly too high. I asked her why.

“Two drinks and the pillow set.”

“But it’s not a set, it’s just one?” I said.

“It’s a set. You can’t have one without the other.” 

But that just messes it all up!

“Fine…Could I use your restroom?” I was going to show that bitch. Piss all over the floor and all over the sink. Let’s see you wipe it all up with my money.

“No.”

“Excuse me?”

“It’s out of service.” I had just seen someone walk out of it. She was lying. I was going to scream in her face and show her who the man with guns was.

“Oh, okay. Thanks anyway.” I smiled and walked out, promising myself I would come back and show her then.

As I got into the car, I looked over at Julie and gave her the pillow. She looked at the lettering ‘I love you too’ and smiled. Nothing else. Just smiled.

Who the fuck did she think she was? I hated her. I should have choked her the moment we met. I couldn’t believe how little she cared about me. She couldn’t give two shits about my feelings. And how could she fall asleep so quickly when she knew how she had just made me feel? 

Selfish bitch. She didn’t deserve me. 

If it wasn’t for her eyes, and lips, and amazing figure…oh my god those legs. Even in the dark she still stood out. I should have thrown the pillow in her face and told her to screw herself. But no. I just drove…and waited. I’d have my time.

I could wait until we got to her parents and seduce her sister. How would she feel then? Or maybe her mom. She could never resist me. Or even better…both. Who would just stare and smile then? Make her regret ever waiting so long to let me meet her parents. Spoiled bitch.

I glared down at her. Sleeping. I couldn’t take my eyes off the ring on her finger. My ring. I could think of nothing else but taking it off and swallowing it so I could shit it back out on her plate and force her to eat it. That would show her what I thought of our marriage. What I thought about her.

I slowly reached out with my hand and started nudging the ring up. It was not as simple as I expected. That scrawny jeweler had actually gotten the right size. I kept trying to wedge it off without waking her but watching the road and trying to pry it off with one hand was making it impossible. I had to get it, she did not deserve it!

She moved her hand and her palm landed face up. I thanked the big man J.C. He had just made this so much easier for me. It had to be a sign. I was going to do it. I made my next attempt, and then her fingers closed in. She was holding my hand. She tucked her knees in and up into a ball, with our hands in between it all. Uncomfortable as it was, it didn’t matter. 

In that moment, I knew I loved her.

We kept driving for a while longer. Since everything had been dark for a while now I began dozing off. We stopped at one of those simple looking hotels on the side of the highway. Like the one in the movie where the people get killed in the shower. Or was it the bed? May not sound like the greatest place to stop now, but at the time I figured it would save us some money. Now that I think of it, we probably could have saved more if we slept at a truck stop.

I’m glad we didn’t, though, because the hotel was amazing. For a time. I don’t know if it was her sleeping all day or just being excited for the trip but Julie got wild with me, like the good old days when we first got together. She decided to jump my pants and make love to me the entire night. It was like when my old dog Maxine was in heat and all the dogs from the neighborhood took turns mounting her for hours on end. Except, I was the only one mounting. Well, her too.

Waking up the next morning wasn’t that easy. Poor Maxine. Julie’s mood died down from the night before. She started rushing me to get ready and so I got into the bathroom and started up the shower. While I waited for the water to warm I unclothed myself and privileged the mirror with the glory that is me. How many people wish they were that mirror? Countless….

The shower never warmed up. Made me feel like one of those scrawny African kids with those big bellies taking a body wash with the cold ass water they had collected from some leaves or something. I mean, who the hell doesn’t have hot water around here? This is America! I shouldn’t have to shrivel up that bad unless I’ve just had a hard workout or I’m dead. If they had a website I would have left a very negative review.

I tried to kiss Julie to see if we could maybe have another round in the loading but she wasn’t having it. I should have taken care of it in the shower. My morning was ruined. I was tired, horny, and worried. I had a few more hours left driving and still had to tell her we had no money for after the wedding.

I hopped in the car and smiled at her. She smiled back. Thank J.C. at least she was in a good mood. I turned the key and the car cranked, and cranked, and cranked. I looked back over at Julie. Her smile was gone.

I turned the key again and pumped the gas pedal. I didn’t know if it would do anything but in movies it seemed to help.

“Why isn’t it turning on?” asked Julie.

“I don’t know.” I tried again. I was freaking out.

“Well does it have gas?”

“Yeah, it says we have over a quarter tank.” I started turning it more and more and flooring the pedal.

“Stop doing that! You’re going to drain the battery.”

“Sorry.” Fuck the battery. You’re going to drain me! I needed to do something. I got out and opened the hood. There was a big block with wires and plastic containers with lids over them. What the hell is this? I had paid my honeymoon so I wouldn’t have to deal with this! I pulled out my phone and dialed the shop’s number. Oh these fucks were going to get it. His little home shop was done for sure now. When I got back, a bat would be meeting that veiny bastard’s skull. I would mash it into mush and feed it to his children!

“Hi, yes. I’m calling about the blue Honda Accord I picked up yesterday morning…yes I’ll hold.” Julie got out of the car and checked under the hood. She always seemed to know her way around anything. “Yes I’m still here…No, I picked it up yesterday…Yes sir, the blue one…Well I’m sorry to bother you but, it seems the car doesn’t want to start.” Julie moved something under the hood and went to the driver seat. “It sounds like it wants to start but it just doesn’t…Yes sir, a little over a quarter tank.” She walked over to me after failing to turn it on herself and snatched the phone.

“Are you the guy that inspected my car?…Then why is it not turning on?” I tried to grab the phone back but she could stiff arm better than my days as a running back. “How do you not know? You spent an entire week inspecting my car to make sure this kind of thing didn’t happen and you still don’t know?” I was done. “Paint? No! It’s the blue Accord that went in for inspection.” Done and dead. She looked over at me. Her eyes were beautiful almonds filled with hate. “I see. And how much did this cost?…Ah. It must have slipped his mind to inform me about that.” 

She walked off towards the car and apologized to the veiny forearms. She politely asked if he could help her get the car on. I tried to touch her shoulder but she slapped my hand away and gave me a look that felt as if she had ripped my heart out and was ready to squish it with her shoe. I wasn’t ready for this. I was fucked. I tried to offer my help but she ignored me. I tried to apologize but she ignored that too.

She kept talking to veiny forearms who seemed to be guiding her through what to do. I didn’t pay him twenty-three hundred dollars for over-the-phone repair service. I paid him to fix my fucking car. It was all his fault! Julie handed a small hammer she got from the trunk and pointed towards the ground under the car.

“What do you want me to do?” I didn’t want to get dirty but I had to if I was going to make it up to her. I felt so guilty, so weak.

“Get under the car and shut the fuck up.” And there was the squish. Pain shot straight through my heart and my stomach turned. I loved her. How could she talk to me like this? I loved her.

“I’m sorry.” I mumbled. She may not have heard me, or may have chose to ignore it. Either way, I went under and dirtied myself. 

She hissed commands at me and I tried to listen as best I could. I loved her. Everything looked the same under here. Greasy dirty metal with more metal around it. I didn’t want anyone or anything else, just her. She told me to hit some metal thing, but it was all metal. I decided to hit everything. I wedged back out. She was already in the car ready to turn it on.

I don’t know how, but whatever we did worked.

She smiled and thanked the bastard on the phone, so I smiled too, hoping. She shut the door and threw my phone at me through the open window. So much for that. She told me to get my stuff from the trunk but I refused.

“Please, just let me explain.”

“Explain it to someone else.” It couldn’t end like this. We had so much happiness left together. It wasn’t right. How would I get back home?

I tried to plead with her more but she wasn’t having it. Then I got an idea. I went to the back of the car and closed the trunk. “I’m not moving until you come out and talk to me.”

“Last chance, get your shit or I’m driving off with it.” She popped the trunk again. Without thought I slammed it down. She needed to understand, this wasn’t right.

“I messed up, I should have been more careful. I know.” I could see her struggling with something inside. “Please baby. I didn’t want you to get-” 

I heard a loud grinding noise and, before I knew it, the car had jerked back and hit me with a full force. My body was thrown back as if I weighed nothing. I felt my head smash against the concrete but felt nothing, and so I waited for the pain to creep up on me. The pounding was bad, but it wasn’t my head that drew my attention. My left leg felt on fire.

Julie came rushing towards me. She kept repeating something over and over but I couldn’t make it out. I sure felt dizzy. I got a feeling in my stomach like I wanted to throw up but a quick swallow took care of that. My spit tasted different. I couldn’t tell what she was saying.

I started concentrating on her mouth. I. Okay, that was a start. I’m. She needed to slow down, I couldn’t make it out. Sorry? I’m so sorry! Oooooo I was getting good at it. My head started clearing up a bit but it was still pounding. Tears were rolling down her cheeks and she dug her head into my neck. 

My leg hurt.

“I don’t know what happened,” Well I did, she hit me with a fucking car! “I’m so sorry baby. The car just…” 

It was real easy to understand her now. I wanted to tell her it was okay but my head hurt too much. I just smiled. She must not have liked that because she teared up even more and dug her face in again. Oh god, were my teeth chipped? 

“I don’t know what I was thinking,” she continued. It’s okay, not like I was dying. I could always get them fixed later, I could just smile without showing teeth. Although I sure hoped I didn’t have to.

She kissed my lips gently and kept apologizing over and over again. “Talk to me baby, please. Say something.” 

I stared at her with a blank expression. 

“Can you take me to the hospital?”

“Oh my god, yes! I’m sorry!” She tried to help me up but pain shot up through my leg and forced a squeal out of me. 

I laughed. “I think my leg is broken.”

She told me to bend my other leg and pulled me up by my arms. She got me in the car and looked up the nearest hospital on her phone. I kept moving my tongue around in my mouth. I couldn’t tell if they were shattered.

When we hit the road she kept apologizing and telling me she didn’t care about the money or the car. I didn’t care either, I just wanted to know if my teeth were okay.

“Are my teeth broken?”

She looked at me, confused. “What?”

“My teeth, are they chipped?”

“N…no…no baby. They’re fine!” She let out a sigh and started laughing as she wiped her tears. I smiled too. Thank the big man J.C! My teeth were still perfect. She reached out and took my hand in hers. She gave it a warm squeeze. “I love you.” She looked at me with a warm smile for what felt like ages. 

And then, I coughed.

Good thing my hand was close or else the blood in my mouth would have gone everywhere. Maybe it still did. Neither of us was expecting it and so we both laughed. It kind of hurt to do so, but it helped. At least I knew now why she had freaked out when I smiled earlier.

When we arrived at the hospital I told her to just find a parking spot. No need for the E.R. She told me she would be right back with a wheelchair and I thanked her. I sat in the car waiting, air conditioner blowing in my face. It felt like my fingers were frozen and so I pumped my hands to get the blood flowing. At least, I think it does that? 

At that moment I realized, I was okay to drive. My hands were good, so I could steer. My right leg was good, so I could use the pedals. Good thing it wasn’t a stick shift. My head was clear, although I still had a bit of a headache. But I could drive! I could deal with my other leg later.

I could just hop into the driver’s seat and drive. Drive all the way back home. I could call someone to help me get all my stuff from the apartment and leave before anyone had the chance to realize what had happened. Hell, I probably had enough time to mark my territory right in the middle of the apartment floor. That would send a message. The best part, I wouldn’t even have to see her face or hear anyone else’s opinion on the matter. 

I wonder what they all thought about that?

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