Saturday, July 16, 2016

Miami Stories Vol. 3

I leaned myself from my chair to sign all the highlighted lines. I was sitting in front of my favorite finance manager at Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables, signing paperwork for my new S65 Coupe. As I gave up my final signature my phone began to ring. On the other end of the phone was Dani, Tony’s girlfriend for about the last month. She got my number a couple weeks back from Tyler. Our first conversation was long and existential, sparked by how intensely her boyfriend annoyed both of us. Today though, she called me out of the blue to see if I was busy. I replied:

“Well I’m just getting ready to pick up my new car over at Mercedes, what’s going on?”

“Nothing, I’m over at Merrick Park and I just wanted to hang out with somebody.”

I could detect an air of depression in her voice. As weird as the phone call was, I decided to be sympathetic and see what was wrong. We agreed to meet at Yard House for a quick lunch. I wanted to call Tony and ask what the hell was going on, even though that wouldn’t go well for anybody involved. After receiving my keys from the delivery specialist, I placed my blazer in the back seat and hopped in and waited as the V12 turned over to emit a deep howl. I let out a gleeful squeal as I peeled out of the dealer’s parking garage towards Ponce De Leon Blvd to meet with Dani. 

As the large coupe idled down the road towards Coral Gables, passers-by stared as the matte white paint and black wheels rolled by. I rubbed my hands over all the porcelain leather in the interior. Things were good for me, some recent financial windfalls helped me add another car and spend some more time enjoying myself. It was just the second whole week of spring, and I was ready to dive headfirst into whatever it had to offer. Before Dani called I had plans to thunder down to Key West and stay at a friend's vacation house, yet I couldn’t help but find out what was going on in her world.

The valet cautiously grabbed my key after I alerted him to the fact I just bought it. I walked over to the restaurant to find Dani awaiting my arrival. She was standing there aloof, in a simple pastel blue dress. She ran up to me with a smile and gave me a tight, lingering hug. We sat outside on the palm tree shaded patio. I ordered a glass of a good Malbec and she ordered a Corona. As our server walked away I could see Dani’s face drop into a pitiful pout. 

“Dani, what's going on?”

“Can I ask you a question?”

“Of course.”

“Look, can you promise me this conversation won't go back to Tony?”

“Have any of our conversations ever gone back to him?”

“Okay... Be honest, has Tony been cheating on me?”

“That I know of, no.”

Of course I was lying, I knew he just had sex with one of our friends two nights before. There was no way in hell I was going to tell a fragile young woman like her the truth. She was still visibly on the verge of tears when she asked me again:

“Are you sure? Because he accidently texted me this the other night.”

She shoved her phone in my face showing me the message he sent, most likely intended for me. It was plain to see, a shot of a mutual friend Brittany laid across her bed naked with a message following it: “Look what she sent me after the other night.” I pretended I wasn’t trying to stare at Brittany’s pussy on the screen in my face. I sternly replied:

“I’m not really sure what that is. If any of this happened it was outside of my knowledge. You need to calm down and not lose your mind over this.”

“HOW THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO CALM DOWN!”

Her yelling turned the gaze of the entire patio towards us. I motioned for her to relax, and then she looked me directly in the eyes and said:

“I refuse to be treated like this by anyone. Why would he do this to me?”

“I don’t really even know what he did, neither do you-”

“Paul, I’m not stupid. I know what that message means. You know-”

“I get it. I’m just saying don’t jump to the deepest end of this situation.”

“Fuck that!”

“Look why did you call me to do this? This has nothing to do with me. I only came here because I was worried about you, not to speculate on what your boyfriend has been doing behind your back.” 

“I’m sorry, I just need somebody to talk to about all of this. I don’t have very many friends here.”

“Look, I was headed down to the Keys for a couple days, and after polluting myself with this shit I’d rather not drive all the way down there alone.”

She looked up at me with her entire face alight as she accepted my offer with a nod. Our drinks came and we directed our conversation shifted to a lighter tone. She then asked about my new car:

“So what did you buy? I didn’t see you when you pulled up in the valet line.”

“A S65 Coupe.”

“Wait, what’s that?”

“It’s a giant two-door car with a retarded engine.”

“Sounds rad.”

As we hit the hotter stretch of the afternoon it was time to leave. I handed the valet my ticket and waited with Dani. A couple standing nearby also sat waiting. Right as I began to start small talk by going into detail about the Mercedes, a BMW M6 Gran Coupe rolled up to the curb. Just as the valet opened the passenger door, my car arrived. The couple stopped in their tracks as Dani hopped in the passenger seat and I closed the door. I strutted to the other side of the car, hopped in and took off with a quick hint of tire squeal. Dade County disappeared behind us as we floated down the Reagan Turnpike. I could see her rubbing all the leather surfaces in the interior as the long white coupe ate up the miles. Dani leaned over in the seat and stared at the everglades whizzing by. Softly, she asked:

“Do you like alligators?”

“What?”

“Do you like alligators?”

“I guess they’re cool, I’ve never put that much thought into them.”

“How did you become friends with Tony?”

“He wrecked his car in front of a party I was at.”

“What?”

“He wrecked his E30 into a fence outside of a house I was at. It was gonna take way too long to get him to the hospital via ambulance, so I took him.”

What I didn’t tell her was Tony was driving completely drunk and racing another car when the accident happened. I could feel Dani staring a hole in the side of my head. So I decided to keep elaborating:

“After he got out of the hospital, he got my number from a mutual friend and called me cause I had someone tow his car to my old house. I didn’t want the cops to take it. He came over to look at his car and get the keys and we had a a few drinks and it ended up turning into him inviting 75 people to my house for a giant party. Long story short, we’ve been friends ever since.”

The sun was setting as we flew down the Overseas Highway past the naval air base. We were almost at our destination: my friend Demitri’s new house nestled right on the edge of Key West. Dani held my hand as we turned off the highway into Key Haven. The car slowly lumbered over the roughly paved streets leading us further into the neighborhood. I I closed my hand tighter with hers as we got ever closer. Finally we pulled up on it, a monstrous two story, new construction, tropical plantation styled home. We pulled through the open gate and parked on the brick courtyard out front.

Demitri came running out the door, shirtless, in a pair of boardshorts to greet us. He skipped towards me and flamboyantly flung his arms around my body. He peered over my shoulder and saw Dani get out of the car behind me. He ran over to her and gave her a tight hug, then turned to me and said:

“You didn’t tell me you had an adorable girlfriend coming with you!”

“You didn’t tell me how big this fucking house is.”

I’ll take a moment here to tell you who Demitri is and why I’m staying at his house. He used to date a good friend of mine, Nate. Now, Nate and him had been separated for a decent amount of time and Demitri moved to Florida shortly after I did. What I didn’t know until a few weeks before was Demitri’s sugar daddy had bought him a house in Key West. He begged me to come stay from the moment he moved in, hence the trip down from Miami in the middle of the week.

I watched Dani from behind as she walked up the stairs into the house, I’d never really paid much attention to how she looked. Inside we were greeted by normal seaside home pastel hues and nautical themes. We sat at the giant wet bar next to the kitchen and drank cocktails as quick as Demitri could pour them. As I sipped on my sixth Tanqueray and pineapple, Dani grabbed my open hand again and held it tight. She gently rubbed my locked hand with her thumb as I continued to make conversation with Demitri:

“So what are you doing down here anyway?”

“Porn.”

“What?”

“Internet cam shows mostly, I’m getting ready to launch my own website soon too thanks to Chris.”

“Chris is Chicago sugar daddy right?”

“Yeah! He’s like super proud of what I’m doing.”

I managed to glide past any talk of gay porn for another hour, and Demitri led me and Dani up to the guest room he prepared for us. Dani had a concerned look in her eyes as she realized there was only one bed in the room. Demitri showed us the attached bathroom and the balcony off the back of the house. He left us there on the balcony with a good night and disappeared out of the room. Me and Dani sat in the chairs on the balcony and stared as the moon reflected off the shadowy waters of the gulf. I finally broke the silence for both of us:

“Look I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to bring you here like this.”

“What do you mean?”

“I mean he assumed you came with me as a romantic companion. I’ll go sleep on the couch downstairs.”

“No I want you to sleep with me. I really need someone with me right now. You’ve made me feel so much better today.”

“What about Tony-”

“Fuck Tony. If he cared I wouldn’t be here right now.”

She was right. I got up from the chair and went inside. I could feel a deep wrenching inside of me, everything about what was happening was wrong. How could I ruin the trust between me and one of my best friends because I was trying to help someone? What made everything even worse was I invited her to all of this. After pacing the room for minutes I walked back out to the balcony. Dani was leaned against the railing looking out at the water. I walked up from behind her and her voice cracked as she said:

“Why have you been so good to me?”

“Because it’s the right thing to do.”

“Why won’t he do this?”

“Because that’s not the type of man he is. You knew this already though.”

“Do you love me?”

“I don't know you, Dani. I don't think you know you. You're way more intelligent than this. Tony loves you, he's just a piece of shit. I hate to say that but it's true. You can't rely on him to feel good about yourself.”

She turned towards me and softly kissed my lips. I stared at her in the eyes, then grabbed the back of her neck with my hands and kissed her once more. We pulled away from each other and she looked at me with elation in her eyes. She grabbed my hand and led me inside to the bed. 

As we approached, I spun her around and threw her down on the bed. I crawled over her and pulled her dress up over her head. I kissed her pale flesh from her neck, then between her soft breasts as I gently massaged them with my hands. I made my way between her legs and listened to her squeal as I licked and sucked on her clit. Her hands pulled at my hair as I continued to give her pussy my undivided attention. I felt her body convulse and her legs shake as she let out heavy screams. I pulled her hips towards me as her back began to arch I kept going until her body relaxed and she let out a deep gasp. 

I picked her up from the bed and carried her, giggling and kicking out to the balcony. I instructed her to look at the moon as I came from behind and made my way inside of her. She grabbed the railing and yelled expletives from a wide open mouth. I held her breasts as I whispered in her ear about what her walls made me feel. The sound of ocean waves mixed with her moans as we continued into the night. 

I woke up the next morning to the sound of the surf crashing against the rocks outside. Dani was laying next to me nude and snoring. I got up and grabbed my iPhone off the floor. I saw a missed call from Taylor so I proceeded out to the balcony to call her back. The phone rang twice before she greeted me:

“Nine is kinda late for you to be waking up on a Wednesday.”

“Good morning to you too, dear.”

“What have you been up to?’

‘I’m in Key West at Demitri’s for a couple days, what are you doing?”

“Key West, that sounds nice.”

“It was a last minute thing I did. I’m leaving tomorrow, we should have dinner or something.”

“Yeah, I couldn’t go anyway cause I’m in the middle of this stupid group project for this political economics class.”

“I miss you.”

“I miss you too. I gotta go I’m pulling up on campus late for class.”

“I love you Taylor.”

“I love you too.”

I sat back in the chair and looked out over the perfect view of the gulf, the sea breeze whistled through my beard. I looked down at Demitri’s dock where he his Sea Ray yacht was moored. A monstrosity almost the size of the house, it felt like the perfect nighttime relaxation spot. As I schemed up my evening plans, Dani came out from the room and sat next to me on the balcony. She looked at me with a loving gleam in her eyes. I realized very quickly I had made a mistake of epic proportions the night before. The smart thing to do right now would be get in the car and immediately head back to Miami and never speak on any of this ever again. But for some reason smart wasn’t satisfying to me at this point. So I turned to her and asked:

“Did you sleep well?”

“Yeah, did you?”

“Of course.”

“Hey, so I realized something…”

“Yeah?”

“I don’t have any clothes or any of my things.”

“We’ll go solve that in a bit. It smells like Demitri is cooking breakfast downstairs, we can go after that.” 

“Hopefully he’s just making breakfast and not some weird gay porn.”

I went back inside and changed into a pair of straight-leg jeans and a linen oxford shirt. I dragged a wrinkly-but-dressed Dani downstairs, where we found Demitri in the kitchen. The kitchen was a big gourmet affair with granite countertops and appliances with big Wolf and Sub-Zero branding attached to them. We stood in the doorway as my consistently-shirtless friend cooked bacon and filmed himself doing it for Snapchat. I finally interrupted the vapid moment:

“Is that your porn Snapchat or the one I follow?”

We all chucked as Demitri shooed us over to the breakfast nook where the table was full of champagne, fresh juices, fresh fruit, danishes, and eggs. Demitri sauntered over with a plate of bacon and sat down to feast with us. As I prepared a mimosa I quipped:

“So Demitri, you move all the way down here and no boyfriend?”

“I didn’t realize an area full of bright colors and sunshine could still be so unfriendly to gays.”

“Really? I wouldn’t have guessed that at all.”

“Well, young gays don’t have it easy here. The old guys can afford to stay on the down low. Honestly in Key West it's mostly old gays anyway. Where you are up in Miami, that's where all the action is.”   

“Oh.”

As I bit through a crispy piece of bacon I looked across at Dani, beaming and full of laughter. I paid close attention to the features of her flat, mostly featureless face. Her small grey eyes with full, low-arching eyebrows above them. Her long, thin nose flowed down to her small set of lips and tidy chin. Her face matched her somewhat milquetoast demeanour amongst a group of people. Demitri and me conversated past her about missing Charlotte, and all the things we did back home. I went on about how I left my motorcycles and other toys back at my old home. Demitri brought us down to his garage and showed where all his porn money was going.

On one side was a black Dodge Charger Hellcat on custom 22” Vossen wheels. He went on about all the modifications he had done, as we walked over to the other side of the garage where all his motorcycles sat. Ducati, Kawasaki, Harley-Davidson, and Triumph all sat there in various stages of modification. Demitri then motioned for me to follow him outside.

I followed him over to the other half of the driveway where I stopped in front of a pleasant surprise. Demitri knew what my favorite cars in the world were, but this one took the cake. It was a beautiful, original 2001 BMW 750iL in Impala Brown Metallic. I nearly fainted when he told me it only had six thousand miles. I went from faint to ecstatic when he handed me the key and told me to go have fun. I opened the passenger door and waved for Dani to get in and shut the door behind her. I looked over at Demitri as I bounced around to the driver’s door and gave him an approving nod.

We sped off towards the heart of Key West, the V12 whirring as we went along. We stopped on Duval Street where I parked the 750 on the curb. As we started to walk down the street, Dani nervously asked:

“So what are we doing?”

“You said you needed clothes, so I’m getting you clothes.”

“Wait what?”

“You’re welcome.”

“Thank you. Look, this is really nice and everything but I’m not sure about what we did last night.”

“What do you mean?”

“We have to- um, talk about what we did.” 

“We had sex.”

“Yeah, and I enjoyed it.”

“You’re welcome, again.”

She giggled and we continued walking down the block. We eventually came to the conclusion that not speaking about what happened was the best course of action. After a quick stop at Banana Republic and a few boutiques Dani was dressed and ready for anything. By the time her shopping came to a stop it was three o'clock and we both were tired and hungry. I suggested we go around the corner to El Siboney. 

The restaurant was just off the street nestled between residences, you would probably miss it if you weren’t looking for it. I managed to park the brown Bimmer right in front of the small brick building, it fit in alongside the old 90’s Benzes and Cadillacs. The dining room was filled with simple tables under a low ceiling. As we sat down to the light sounds of Cuban music playing, the waitress asked for our drinks I ordered us a pitcher of sangria. As I sat back in my chair to send a text message Dani stopped and asked:

“You’ve been sending an awful lot of texts since we left the house.”

“Just following up on some things back home.”

“Oh.”

What I was really doing was texting Demitri to get his yacht ready for me and Dani to go take a nighttime ride. While me and her were eating our Cubano dinner, Demitri made sure there was enough diesel to get me and her around for a pleasant ride. We had our fill of chicken, rice, beans, and plantains together. We spent most of dinner downing the refreshing sangria and going on about random party fouls and mishaps that occurred at my place. When we stumbled out of the restaurant it was late and the sun was fading over the island. 

The lengthy, brown BMW rolled softly into the driveway and came to a halt next to my Mercedes. I grabbed all of her shopping from the trunk and led her inside. We walked in the front door to a quiet house. I dropped the bags at the front door and pulled Dani through the house all the way to the back through the yard and down the long jetty that lead us to Demitri’s boat. Dani stopped midway and inquired:

“What are we doing?”

“Going for a ride.”

“On that?”

“Yes… it’ll be fun.”

“I guess.”

I continued dragging her down the jetty to the yacht, a 65 footer with a flying bridge. It appeared much more imposing in size until we reached the end. I held her hand as she stepped down onto the teak rear deck. We walked up the stairs into the salon where were greeted by a cheerful Demitri. We all sat on the couch as Demitri poured margaritas from a pitcher, and settled in. After a few minutes he made his way up to the upper bridge and set off from the dock.

Me and Dani sat back and I explained what was happening:

“Demitri is taking us out for a ride in the Gulf.”

“Why?”

“Because not using this big ass yacht for its intended purpose is tragic.”

I woke up the next morning out on the water me and her down in the forward berth. The windows were emitting a shimmering light reflected from the ocean water. I wiped my eyes as I looked over at her and realized the true danger I created. All the alcohol from the night before couldn’t break the soberness I experienced in that moment. I grabbed my phone from the floor then crawled slowly out from the bed and went upstairs to find a lounging Demitri drinking a mug of coffee.

“Where did that coffee come from?”

“My ass.”

“Well hopefully it can brew another batch.”

“What’s wrong?”

I walked over to the galley and poured a mug of hot coffee, then replied:

“Look, the girl I came here with is my best friend’s girlfriend.”

“Oh no.”

“Yeah, I fucked up.”

“Plus I have a girlfriend in Miami too. They know each other.”

Demitri nodded his head as I continued to tell him all the details. By the time I finished my cup of coffee, I had told him everything there was to know. He patted me on the shoulder and asked me:

“Do you love her?”

“Who?”

“Your girlfriend?”

“Yes, very much so.”

“Do you love Dani?”

“No.”

“Then you need to tell them both the truth or you will never outlive it.”

“I’ll be right back.”

I walked to the forward deck and grabbed my cell phone and dialed up Taylor. She answered in a hazy tone:

“Hello?”

“Hey dear.”

“Paul? What’s up?”

“I need to tell you something.”
“Okay?”

“Look, I made a mistake…”

“What are you talking about?”

“I messed up-”

“Paul, please just tell me what ever it is that you were going to say.”

“I told my parents we were going to come up and see them next month.”

“Oh?”

I couldn’t do it, I wussed out of telling Taylor the truth because I still couldn’t handle the truth myself. I walked back into the salon where Dani and Demitri were sipping on coffee and avoiding eye contact. Demitri went up to the bridge to point us back towards shore. I sat silently and looked out at the sea as we made our way back in from the gulf. Dani broke the silence:

“Do you love me?”

“Dani, I already answered that question.”

“So are we gonna talk about any of what’s hap-”

“DANI THIS WAS A ONE-TIME EXPERIENCE. LET IT GO. FORGET IT HAPPENED.”

“HOW ABOUT I JUST TALK TO TAYLOR ABOUT IT.”

“WHAT? Did you just threaten me?”

“What if I did?”

“Do you want me to tell Tony?”

“Do you?”

“Fuck, you can not do this to me. I don’t need this on me. I have enough to worry about.”

“Let’s not act like you didn’t like it. Don’t act like this wasn’t fun for you.”

“No. I’m not talking about this anymore. When we get back to Miami I will act like it never happened.”

“Bum.”

We made it back to shore, where I promptly thanked Demitri for his hospitality and grabbed me and Dani’s belongings. I told Demitri I’d come back soon, as I took my seat in the Mercedes. We hit the road in a hurry, making record time. I made it to the front of Dani’s North Miami apartment in less than 3 hours. I gently parked the S65 on the curb, where Dani broke the silence we had kept the entire trip:

“Thanks, time for me to go not be cared about again.”

“Be grateful for the break. It won’t happen again.”

“Fine.”

I called Taylor, who had just got back to her apartment from class. I invited myself over for conversation. I arrived at her apartment 20 minutes later, and softly knocked on the door. Taylor came to the door in a simple black bra and pink boy shorts. I voiced my elation for her choice of clothing:

“Well aren’t you just delightful to look at?”

“I’m hot.”

“You didn’t have to tell me that.”

“No, my air is broken.”

I chuckled as she pulled me through the doorframe into her apartment. I walked inside to the sound of top 40 hits playing on the Sonos system. Nothing seemed out of place or wrong with the day she was having as I sat on the couch next to her. She resumed the conversation:

“So how was Key West?”

“It was quiet. I needed that.”

“Meet anybody special while you were down there?”

“Demitri bought a 750. The one I’ve always wanted. Brown. I might have to go find one too.”

“Okay, I gave you an opportunity to tell the truth. I was trying to be civil.”

“What?”

She pulled out her phone and pointed the screen in my face. On the screen was Dani’s Snapchat story from the previous day. It went from a selfie of Dani in the passenger seat of the BMW to a view of the gulf from the back of Demitri’s house. I could feel Taylor’s breathing elevate as she swiped through the videos she saved from the day before. Before I could get the words together, she started:

“Tell me why she was in Key West with you.”

“It wasn’t like that at all. I didn’t say anything to you about it for this exact reason. She called me right before I was leaving for the trip. Tony cheated on her and she confronted me about it, just like this. So I let her come to Key West with me to let go.”

“Shit. Does Tony know?”

“He doesn’t even know she found out about him. He doesn’t need to know, understood?”

“Okay.”

After minutes of conversation I decided to go home for some rest. I kissed Taylor and as I turned to exit, she stopped me and asked:

“Paul, you won’t ever lie to me again, right?”

“I promise.”

The very next morning I was sitting in an tidy office at Bradford Marine in Fort Lauderdale. The salesman was showing me pictures of a newly-constructed Warren 120 foot yacht on his computer screen. I pulled in a deep sip from my coffee and promptly sat it down to grab my buzzing phone in my pocket. It was Dani, I decided to ignore the call. I resumed my conversation with the salesman about interior options for an oversized yacht I could barely afford. As I finally settled on a nickel finish on all the bathroom fixtures, Dani called again. I answered the call in an exasperated tone:

“Hello, Dani.”

“Where are you?”

“You have a habit of calling me when I’m in the middle of buying a new vehicle I don’t need.”

“Tony isn’t going to be in town until tonight, and I’d love to see you-”

“Bye Dani.”
I hung up the phone. As the salesman continued to chatter about the ash wood flooring, I got a restless feeling in my body. I pulled out my phone and sent a message to Dani: “I’ll be over in a hour. Be ready.”
















  

No comments:

Post a Comment