That Fateful Day (1)
Her morning started out like any other day.
A pounding headache, incessant yelling and the moans of early morning sex.
Groaning, she ran a hand down her face, dragging the sleep away from her eyes. Her body ached so terribly that she had to bite her lip to stifle the cry of pain. She shut her eyes against the light of the rising sun and gripped the edge of the couch tightly to keep herself from falling to the floor.
“Today, is another day. I speak a good day into existence and claim it for myself, and anyone who needs it.” With that, Guadalupe stood from her ‘bed’, hunched over to avoid banging her head against the wooden beams.
At her 5′4 height, the idea seemed almost comical, and she would have laughed if it wasn’t for the splitting migraine she was sporting.
She pulled the hatch open and the noise hit her at full force, making her wince and bite her lip to stifle another cry of pain.
Slowly climbing down the rickety pullout stairs, she gripped the banister tightly as two of her younger cousins whipped by, screaming and laughing with glee as they chased each other about at 7am. A deep sigh escaped her as her feet touched the floor, and she quickly waddled to the empty bathroom for a shower.
‘Finally, some hot water up in this bitch.’
Snorting at the mental comment, Guadalupe scrubbed herself raw despite the still-aching, fading bruises she sported. The tears mixed the the running water and the sobs were drowned out by the noise outside the bathroom. Her greasy hair finally felt clean and the tingling of her skin made her feel something close to clean.
After drying and wrapping the flimsy towel around herself, she tiptoed out of the bathroom and up the rickety stairs, slamming the hatch shut to muffle the yelling. In the corner, away from the windows, her clothes were neatly stored in a medium sized suitcase and a duffel bag.
Guadalupe pulled on her most comfortable pair of leggings and her favorite sweater, which was fraying due to overuse, over a black vest, and her better pair of running shoes. Using the last of her hair products on her wet hair, she pulled the now softer, kinky mass into a bun atop her head. She grabbed her bag and opened the hatch again, mentally preparing herself to face her family.
It wasn’t that she didn’t love them; she did, a lot, despite their backhanded compliments and indirect, yet direct insults. They were supportive, and did encourage her to further her education, so it wasn’t as bad as her mind made it out to be.
She could still hear her grandmother and eldest cousin arguing, and her other cousin yelling at her daughter to stop playing and get ready for school; could hear her aunt yelling at her younger cousin to put the video games away and get ready for school, and yet another one of her cousins was still having her early morning loving.
Her grandfather’s booming voice telling the younger ones to sit down and eat their breakfast or they’ll be punished, and the younger ones paying him no mind and still chasing each other around.
Guadalupe entered the kitchen and greeted her grandfather who sat at the table with his Bible open and a cup of coffee next to him. She made herself a cup of tea and drank it with some crackers, then grabbed an apple and a bottle of water, then bid the older man goodbye as she left for the library, where she would be spending the day studying.
She found that the walk was good for alleviating the headaches and keeping her active, since she had no money to pay for a gym membership she would barely use. The thought brought her unwanted memories that she tried to shake, but they just flowed like a busted pipe.
“You should go to the gym, Ada, lose a couple pounds. Maybe it would make me want to stay with you.” His tone was joking, and everyone laughed, but she knew that look in his eyes and he was as serious as a heart attack.
His friend, Jamie, the only one who never laughed at his ‘jokes’, stood up for her like he always did. “If you don’t know how to handle her curves then you shouldn’t have her, Mateo.”
Mateo glared at Jamie, and Jamie glared right back. “Maybe he’s right, James.” Guadalupe whispered, and Jamie look at her in disbelief while Mateo slung his arm across her shoulder and laughed. Jamie held her gaze for a few moments, searching her face. Once he came to a conclusion, he scoffed and stood from the table.
Before he walked away, he leaned in and whispered harshly to Mateo, “You don’t fucking deserve her, you piece of shit.” His glare softened to something Guadalupe didn’t recognize. “I’ll see you around, Ada.” For some reason, his words sounded like a goodbye and her heart broke.
“Bye Jamie.” She whispered sadly, and his lips quirked up before settling to a thin line and he walked off, the rest of the group calling after him. Mateo waved his hand in a dismissive gesture. “Ah, he’ll come back around. He always does.”
His grip on her tightened. Lance, another friend who stood up for her from time to time, leaned on his elbows, propping his chin on his hand. “He never liked the way you speak to Ada.” He said, glaring pointedly at Mateo.
Denise, one of the two other girls in the group, scoffed. “Ada needs to grow a backbone and lose a few.” Tara, Lance’s girlfriend, slammed her hand down on the table. “Leave Ada alone.”
They launched into an argument, and Mateo’s grip on Guadalupe became painful. “Any idea why Jamie is so... defensive.. of you?” he whispered in her ear, and Guadalupe shook her head, staring straight ahead of her, where Jamie had occupied. His grip tightened, and she was certain that she would have a bruise in the morning. “You fucked him behind my back?” he whispered harshly, and she had to stop herself from wincing.
“Like you’ve been fucking Denise and countless other girls behind mine?” she wanted to say, but settled with a simple, “No, Mateo.” He grunted in what seemed to be approval, and pulled her closer, whispering harshly, “Good. Because that virgin pussy is fucking MINE.” Guadalupe gulped, and forced the tears that wanted to spill back into their ducts.
She nodded meekly, and he released her, turning to the group and diverting the conversation to something else. She exhaled shakily, and counted backwards from ten, then tuned into their conversation, barely participating.
The music vibrated her to the core. She could scent the sweat and alcohol in the air, and her stomach churned, but not completely because of the smell. She didn’t plan on coming here, because she actually wanted to spend time with her cousins tonight, but Tara had sent her a video that made her heart drop.
She could tell exactly how she was seating: her legs wrapped around Lance from behind and her chin propped on his shoulder as he lovingly stroked her leg. She probably had her phone hidden behind his arms.
They were playing truth or dare while drunk, much like every party they go to. There was girl with pink dyed hair that made her look like a fairy tale princess. She giggled, and pointed to Maeto, who had Denise in his lap; the fact that they looked so good together broke her heart even more than she would like to admit.
“Truuuth or Dare, Mateo?” he sighed, raising a drink to his lips. “Truth.” He said, and someone shouted, “Pussy!“, causing everyone to break into laughter.
The girl shifted to make herself comfortable on the carpeted floor. “Since we’re all drunk here, I’m gonna cheat because we all want to know.” Mateo chuckled with a raised eyebrow, but urged her to continue. “You and Ada fucked yet? I want some of that ass.” A drunken stranger shouted, and Denise scoffed.
“No he hasn’t fucked the fat bitch. Not that he should want to anyway.” She murmured as she rolled her eyes, and Mateo bounced his leg once, gaining her attention. He murmured something to her and she leaned in, pressing her lips to his.
“How did you survive, bro? No pussy in so long must have been fucking torture.” Another drunken stranger said, and Mateo chuckled, pulling Denise closer to him. “Who said I wasn’t getting pussy?”
The group cheered, and it got louder when Denise pressed her lips to his, kissing him sloppily. “So, is it true that you and Ada broke up because she fucked Jamie?” the girl with the pink hair finally asked, after being cut off twice. Mateo nodded, and almost immediately, Lance’s voice boomed, “That’s a fucking lie and you know it!”
Both Mateo and Denise glared at him as the music filled the silence that suddenly fell. “Ada has been nothing but faithful to your undeserving ass, and all you do is cheat on her and give her shit because she doesn’t want to give it up to you. Rightfully fucking so.” Mateo remained silent, but clenched the bottle in his hand. Lance continued to speak.
“Jamie and Keon had every fucking right to stop talking to us because we just let you walk all over the sweetest fucking person. Who knows, you probably even beat her because she won’t spread eagle for you and she’s too scared to fight back. I’m so tired of your shit, and I hope to God she comes to her senses soon and leaves your sorry ass.” Lance moved, and Denise’s eyes widened when she caught sight of Tara.
“Rot in hell, both of you. You deserve each other.” The camera shifted, and Tara spoke. “Lose our fucking number.” Tara’s and Lance’s faces then showed. “You deserve better, baby girl. So much better.” They said simultaneously, and the video cut off.
Her heart had sunk, and silently, she pulled on her shoes, not caring that she was in sweats and one of her father’s old shirts. She texted Tara and she showed up not ten minutes later, continuously asking if she was sure. Guadalupe ensured her that it was something she had to do. She unhooked the necklace and bracelet, gripping them in her hand, ignoring the biting in her palm.
She sought out a familiar face; any familiar face honestly, and she found one, brooding in a corner. His eyes softened once he caught sight of her, and he pushed off the wall, and away from the girl chatting his ear off. “Ada, why are you here?” he asked after he pulled her to a quieter, less crowded corner. “Where’s Mateo?” she asked, and he immediately shook his head. “You don’t want to know-” “He’s with Denise, I know. I’ve known for months.”
Keon looked at her sympathetically. Guadalupe smiled sadly, and opened her palm. “Give him this for me when he finally gets out of that bedroom.” Keon nodded, taking the jewelry from her.
“Will do, Ada-girl. Take care; and don’t fall for another piece of shit, yeah?” Guadalupe chuckled, but nodded. As she walked away, back to Lance’s car where they waited for her, she felt like a weight was pushed off her chest.
She didn’t realize that she was already at the library until she tripped on the bottom stair, but caught herself in time. She licked her chapped lips and climbed the stairs, calming her heart that raged as she relived that awful time.
Two years. It’s been two years but it still plagues her; it still haunts her. There was something wrong with her; terribly wrong.
She pushed open the door and greeted the librarian at the front desk, sighing deeply before setting out to find the books she wanted.
Her thoughts continued to flow. After everything that happened with Mateo... Guadalupe clenched her fists and kept her head lowered as she walked to her destination, trying to outrun her own thoughts.
‘You’re such a sick fuck.’
‘You like the pain; you crave it.’
‘Then why do you still have bruises?’
Guadalupe stopped in her tracks, clenching her fists tighter as they began to shake.
‘No good excuse~’ The voice was sing-song; and it was right. She had no good excuse.