April 12, 2017
Love is a Dog from Hell
"Babe, we're going to go for lunch today with Adrian," he says as his arm falls around my shoulder, leaving me to carry his dead weight down the street.
"Are you sure?" shrugging my shoulders with uncertainty, "I can stay home, he doesn't really like me."
"What? Of course, he likes you, why would you even say that?" I feel his hand weakly caress my shoulder, it's a slightly underwhelming feeling. Like, either rub my shoulder or don't. "He knows that you're the love of my life," his eyes meet mine and I can see the intensity beaming from them.
Sadly, Marco's a little slow to catch onto things. His best friend, Adrian, fucking hates me. Maybe it was the psychopathic smile that gleams off his face whenever Marco and I argue in front of him. Or it could also be that time when I sat alone with Adrian in the kitchen, watching him crack open a beer as he casually told me he hates me and cannot wait for the day when me and Marco break-up. You know, there were warning signs - subtle and soft, like the fluorescent lighting you see in the offices of Pyramid scheme-based businesses.
"We're going to have a barbeque," he continues, "it'll be a great way for you two to get to know each other."
I nod my head slowly as I force one of those half-ass smiles, similar to when you get handkerchiefs as a Christmas gift. I already know everything anyone needs to know about Adrian.
Adrian's a Bosnia refugee, living illegally in a Jersey Shore-inspired beach town in Montenegro. His sister supports him and his family by working as a check-out girl in a supermarket, his obese mother watches Turkish soap operas in her bedroom all day long, he enjoys drinking other people's beer and his laugh can only be described as Hyena-like in nature. The rest of him is bullshit.
"Listen," he stops in his place, turning towards me while gently scooping my face in between his hands, "You have nothing to worry about. And even if you did, it's me and you, that's all that matters, who gives a fuck what he thinks." He kisses me softly on the lips, "now, about the barbeque, pork or chicken?"
"Marco!" I scream in between heavy, sob-filled breaths, "Marco, help me!"
I'm kneeling in the middle of a field, my bare knees digging themselves into the ground. I can feel the rocks jigsawing away at my skin, as if, they too, are also trying to hide from what's in front of me. Marco is in the distance flipping over the pork chops that we argued about in the market. But it doesn't matter now, their fat is sizzling on the grill and he can't hear the screams. Adrian is in front of me, hanging a small, black street dog.
Like I told you before, Adrian fucking hates me.
"Please...stop..." tears streaming down my face, my voice goes from a scream into a subdued drawl. "Please, stop, I'll do anything, I swear, just stop." I drag my dirt-covered fingers down my cheeks, the tears catching onto the globs of dirt, pushing them downstream. But it doesn't matter anymore, poetry won't help me now.
He releases his grip and starts laughing. The dog falls onto the ground, stumbles around in the dirt, grasping onto her breath and collapsing into a small ball, whimpering. On all fours, I crawl over to the dog in desperation, hovering over her body as my ears absorb Adrian's laughing.
"She's fine," he proclaims, staring down at me with one hand resting on his hip. I had considered myself a protector of this animal, but it's dawned on me that in his eyes, this dog and I aren't much different, "she likes it, Natasha. Don't you see?"
I raise my head up, staring at him. "You're a fucking piece of shit," I announce, violently spitting on his shoes. He stops smiling. "You wanna play this game?" my voice crescendos, "you wanna play this game, you sick fuck!"
"What the fuck's going on?" Marco yells, walking over quickly with a face buried in concern. He stops, standing in between me and Adrian.
"He--" struggling to get up, I stumble over some rocks while getting my balance, "he was...fucking hanging this dog, Marco."
Adrian walks towards me, "Fuck man, I wasn't doing anything," each step coming closer and closer, " she's overreacting man, I just did th---."
"No!" pushing him back, "don't touch her!" My eyes meet Marcos, but he stands still, watching. Adrian grabs my hands, pushes me to the side lurching for the dog. He grabs her by the neck, her body shaking uncontrollably. She starts to scream.
"Marco! Tell him to stop!" I look back at Adrian with only desperation, "Adrian, please, I'm begging you," my breathing becomes short, " pl-pl-pl-please stop, please, please, please, you're killing her!" I look at Marco again yelling with panic pouring out of my voice, "Marco, tell him to fucking stop!"
Marco stands there as sweat starts to form on his forehead. He was always a nervous sweater which made him a shitty liar. He glances at me and then at Adrian.
"Natasha..." wiping his hands nervously against his shorts, "he's not hurting her, come on...you're overreacting."
Adrian's jaw falls open as his hand suddenly let's go of the dog's neck. She hits the ground, her gasps of air are the only sounds that can be heard.
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