I’ll never know why he came to Miami that weekend. I never asked, even though I wanted to, even though I wondered so many times if was for me or not, because I knew it didn’t really matter- he would have lied anyway. That’s what he did, it was who he was: a liar. . A package full of pretend promises that I so eagerly ate up. I was dying to be sold something, and that’s what he did best.
Because I hadn’t been in a relationship for more years than I’d like to mention, I hadn’t really had many instances where I felt completely raw with someone. “Raw”– its a pretty rough word, but multidimensional. Raw can mean natural, naked, true, honest, brutal, ugly- it can be all these things. Untouched. Or if it is touched, it’s done delicately, tenderly. In this sense, it means being completely yourself, with no guards up, no games.
I think it was the first time we ever had sex in complete daylight, and I felt so self-conscious. But it was more than the exposure of my bare body that was bothering me; he was looking at me differently, talking to me differently. He usually threw around the same lame question every time we had sex: “How do I feel inside of you baby?” It was clockwork and meaningless. Our sex was predictable & platonic, and I got comfortable with that. But this time, in a $500 night hotel on Ocean Drive, in South Beach, in a hot pink room that we deemed as the “Alice in Wonderland Room” because of its somewhat fantasy-like decor, it was brand new. And I was Alice; I entered a parallel universe in that room with him where the life I knew outside of it did not meet up with this one, in this place.
He had stopped me while I was on top, and looked me, dead in the eyes, and asked, “What are you thinking?”
I was so taken aback I couldn’t even respond right away. I looked into his eyes, back and forth- his left and his right- and for the first time I saw him looking at me in an honest light. The best way to describe him is a player. He had every move down to a science in the method of how to make girls fall for him. Every thing he did, everywhere he took you, was calculated out, knowing what results would yield: “Oh, it’s so nice here, how did you find this place?” Later ending with two half filled wine glasses on his coffee table, her thong on his floor, and him in an ego-satisfying pleasure. He was the master of a cool, calm and collective façade. Nothing I knew about him was authentic, up until this moment, now, on top, inside, eye to eye.
“Uh, I don’t know, I’m not thinking anything.” Lie.
I don’t remember what happened after, how much longer it lasted, but when it was over, and we were laying under the white comforter, both looking up at the white ceiling, he said “I just don’t know if it’s worth it anymore, to give my heart to someone.” He was breathing heavy and his skin felt moist up against mine. I couldn’t tell if this was my cue to try to convince him something like “Yes, it is, give it to me! I’ll take care of it, I’ll cherish it!” It’s what I thought, of course, but I stayed silent. “Whatever, we have our whole lives ahead of us, anyway. We’re good looking, we’re fun, we know all the right people.” I still don’t get what he meant by “knowing the right people”, but I know that I felt offended, as if he was suggesting the person meant for each other wasn’t right there in bed with us. So I said, “I know what I have, I just need to find someone who gets me.” And that’s when I felt the wrath of rawness.
“I think I understand you, Karina- I do understand you. You’re a dreamer. You see the good in people; you’re trustworthy. And you want love. But you also got that little evil side to you; your crazy wild side like last night on the dance floor. You’re the Angel and the Devil, and that’s what scares me about you… You know, I’ve said some things to you in the past when I was mad, but I didn’t mean it. And I’m sorry, cause you didn’t deserve it. There’s so many stupid girls. I meet them and in 5 minutes I can sum up what their lives are about. And it doesn’t matter how hot they are, because you got something none of these girls have, and that’s magic.”
Before this trip to Miami, I was caught in an unhealthy entanglement of unsafe sex, the manipulation of money, green eyes filled with persuasion, and all together a game where my defeat was inevitable. But for that one hour or so, in a room I’ll never return to again, in bed under covers that I will never sleep in again, the rules were broken. A Time-Out in Wonderland. And for the first and last time, I got a glimpse of what I was yearning for. For someone to truly understand me, in my complete contradiction of character: an innocent, naïve dreamer who yearns for raw love, and a wild, crazed she-devil. Someone who sees my weakness and my flaws, someone who sees all of me, in all my naked imperfections, illuminated by clean sheets and ceiling lights, and still sees magic in me.
When it comes down to it, we’re all liars, scumbags, cheaters, and deceivers. We all have a manipulator inside of us, a slut, a dreamer and a fighter. We all want the same thing, and just go about obtaining it differently.
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