He loved her, he hated her, he loved her, when he saw her he was going to kill her but certainly fuck her first. As hard as he could. He couldn’t let Papa see him cry, he would think he was weak, crying over a girl like that. She wasn’t even Russian.

“Grigor, Grigor let Mama in. She nothing that girl. She a whore.”

Mama was crying beating on the door. Couldn’t a man get some privacy for God’s sake? He’d locked himself in the bathroom to get some solitude, but there was no seclusion here, with only the stolen bottle of vodka, and his phone for solace.

He suddenly hated his parents, hated that they dragged him to America in the first place, that he would always be foreign dark and strange; both at that stupid college and dump job. But that’s what she liked in the first place, his strangeness. She laughed and sang “People are strange, when you’re a stranger...”

Mama and Papa couldn’t even speak proper English.

“Go away Mama, this is not your business,” Grigor yelled back.

 Mama’s crying faded into the distance, but he could hear the indistinct mutterings of their conversation about him. Papa cursing in Russian. Mama wanted him to date a nice Slovak girl with a mustache. He took a swig from the vodka bottle while he sat on the toilet and dialed her number, then hung up.

“That bitch, that little tease, just wait until I show her who’s a man.” But even the mumbled threat seemed hollow, pathetic.

He’d heard those guys boast about her at work from the day he started. The kind of girl that they would never be seen with, could never catch, those kinds of guys. Laborers, not educated men like him.  He wondered why she, a college girl, would work at this job filled with these kinds of guys. But the pay was good, repairing cash machines.

“That one is so wild. The little ones are always that way,” Steve nodded his big blond head knowledgeably.

Steve was married, boasting that she couldn’t get enough. Grigor didn’t believe him at first, then he did, then he didn’t.

Larry told him they were all full of shit and shouldn’t believe those things about her. It was just guy talk.

 “They wished. She’s a nice girl,” Larry said.

“I fucked her right here, right on this desk,” the boss Shane bragged.

 But Grigor didn’t believe a word that guy said.

Pete told him she wasn’t that kind of girl.

“Hey man, when she found out the guys were saying that stuff about her, she cried. I felt really bad for her. But I blew it when I told her I liked her, thought she was going to punch me.” Pete looked ashamed when he confessed this to Grigor.

At first Grigor took her to lunch and when he offered to pay, she refused. He knew she never had any money, was paying her way through school, and her car was always in the shop. She read at work and didn’t seem to flirt with the guys, but she was friendly, working and going to college.  She could do the job fixing ATM machines better than the guys, who were mostly former car mechanics.

The more he was around her the more he wanted her. He would watch her pretty face with those clear green eyes and little body, wondering, and fantasizing what it would feel like to touch her. She would be his first. But he seemed older than she, towering over her. They all towered over her.

“Adrianna,” he whispered her name, then drank.

But the first time she let him kiss her, late at night, when the office was closed. She seemed to want to leave when he did, last. She leaned against her car, and he knew she wanted to be kissed. He wanted and craved her body after that. She gave in a little at a time. He gently explored her, most often in the front seat of his car, feeling her breasts and nipples. He tasted them and she groaned making him believe he was a natural lover. He was the only one who’d seen her naked body, felt her.

He felt the prick of hardness between his legs, remembering her sweet little body, then took another swill from the bottle.

He manned up.

 “Just wait, I show her who’s a man.” He wanted to fuck her, hit her, hurt her, for humiliating him, because she was a tease.

His heart was bleeding he loved her so much. She didn’t want him at first. She thought he was a boy she could play with, giving him a little more each time. She beat him off in the moving car, and he almost drove into a stop sign. She drove him crazy; always “No” when he wanted more. Then she said, “Yes.”

He was caught off guard that night when he called her, and she said he could come over to her apartment. She showed him her bedroom, the double bed that seemed filled with the promise of revealed secrets. She knew what she was doing, but he was suddenly afraid of disappointing, of being compared, uncertain.

He tried not to sweat his expectations, but sensing she would know that he was a virgin and she wasn’t the type of girl that needed a virgin. His mouth went dry. She needed a man. He thought he might faint his heart was beating so fast.

Oh, dear God it was so embarrassing, humiliating, he wanted to die. He looked in the bathroom mirror still not able to understand. His reflection seemed dangerous, and dark, admiring the effect of the vodka.

These things were so simple, right. She got naked, you did things, you got naked, she did things and you got hard and fucked her. The things that seemed so simple in your head and in the bathroom, were more difficult when you were under the weight of expectations. But he just couldn’t seem to get it up, no matter what she did and she did a lot. She was clearly, pretty frustrated.

She sat up and got dressed when things weren’t working.

“You’d better go. It’s late,” she didn’t look at him and pointed to the door.

He remembered feeling like a dog. A dog that had peed on the floor.

It was so easy with oneself, so difficult with that real girl. He drank and dialed.

“I’m coming over,” his voice wavered, sounded fragile not strong.

“No Grigor, I don’t want to see you anymore.” She sounded defiant, cold. The phone went dead.

Papa was pounding on the door.

“You not going anywhere Grigor, I took your keys. You come out of bathroom now.”

Papa forced the door open and he started to cry. Papa held him like he was a little boy, saying it was okay. But it wasn’t. It would never be okay again, because he loved her.

© Deirdre Fryer Baird           

Bio: Deirdre has an MFA in creative writing from AULA, and has completed her first novel. She lives in Los Angeles.