memory dream 1

I had a memory dream last night. Basically, that means that I dreamt about something that really happened to me.

I was 15. I was walking out of the cinema with my younger sister, my mom’s baby sister, and her cousin. My sister was 13. Mom’s baby sister was 16. Cousin Mary was 17. We were in San Pedro. It was December. We were on vacation.

We were walking out of the cinema building, having seen some insignificant movie I forgot the moment it ended. It was a double feature, I think. We were laughing and talking and carrying on in a way only teenagers can. We didn’t have any plans for the rest of the night, just to have fun and hang out. Important things when you’re 15.

I remember that we stopped suddenly. We were shocked or stunned or just off balance for a while. I don’t remember who saw it first, just the moment I realized what was going on. There was a fight.

Two guys were arguing, shoving each other, revving up for a fight. Their friends were standing by, watching and yelling and making things worse. There wasn’t a responsible adult in sight. No one was going to come forward and put a stop to the nonsense.

I had seen fights before. Too many to count. I had seen the bruises and cuts and blood that resulted from those exercises in stupidity. I had known friends and friends of friends who had spent the night in jail because they were showing off or trying to prove their machismo or something. I had known too many parents who’d had to bail out their kids come morning.

A fight was nothing new. The new part was that I was friends with one of the guys.

Gabriel was a bad boy. He was always getting into trouble. He was always with a different girl. He was cool. He was cute. He was dark. He was sexy. He was my friend.

He had worked for my father briefly, helping out in the butcher’s shop my dad owned. That’s where I met him. I probably would’ve never been friends with him otherwise. We traveled in different circles. I had too much of a good-girl image to attract him and he had too many rough edges to attract me. But through spending so much time together at my Dad’s shop he found out that I had a wicked sense of humor and an occasional mean streak that amused him. And I found out that there was more to the bad boy than the fights and the endless stream of girls. And we became friends.

I was 14 at that time. And I had a boyfriend, my very first boyfriend, who also happened to be my best friend’s brother. I was very taken, in that 14-year-old sort of way. So I can honestly say that I never thought of Gabriel “that way.” I even thought it was funny, all those girls coming by the shop day after day just to get a look at him. The smug bastard thought it was funny too.

My father closed the shop right before my 15th birthday. Personal reasons. Family stuff. Miserable family stuff. After that I saw Gabriel every once in a while. I didn’t snub him, but I didn’t look for him either. Like I said, we traveled in different groups. We had very little in common.

“Stop him,” Mary told me. She repeated it when I didn’t respond.
“I can’t get in the middle of this,” I responded. I remember that I got a huffy tone of voice, an exasperated what-do-you-think edge that I perfected that year.
“He’ll listen to you,” she insisted.

At that moment my eyes locked with his, though I had been sure he hadn’t even seen me in the crowd. I looked straight into to those liquid brown eyes of his and knew that he was listening to Mary. I knew that he was waiting for my response even though he continued his stance against the other guy.

“Why should he listen to me?” I asked her, looking straight at him, straight into his eyes. “He’s not my boyfriend,” I stated, loud and clear.

And the fight began. And he won. And three days later I was kissing his bruises in a darkened alley at 2 in the morning.

. . . continued in {memory dream 2} . . .

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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