The Spanglish Girl Diaries: Ride or Die Chick (Season Two Diary No. 18)

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The Spanglish Girl Diaries

Ride or Die Chick

Season Two Diary No 18

The first words out of Cristiano’s mouth were, “Is it mine?”

His ex-girlfriend shook her head yes and shared she was 7 months pregnant so it had to be his. I quickly did the math in my head, and I was relieved to realize that at seven months, the baby would have been conceived before Cristiano and I, even met.

Cristiano then demanded, accusingly, “How can you be so sure it’s mine?”

When she didn’t respond, he then added, his tone full of bitterness, “I ask because we both know you get around.”

She did not appreciate the insinuation that she was a whore and raised her hand to strike him. Cristiano’s reflexes, however, were quick and he managed to grab her hands and pin them to her sides.

Embarrassed and angry, she fought him and they began to struggle against one another.

It all happened so suddenly, it took me a moment to react. Finally realizing they could actually hurt each other, I screamed at the top of my lungs for them stop; my voice was so forceful and loud, it scared even me. But it worked: they stopped fighting and eyed me.

Cristiano’s eyes instantly filled with shame and regret. She, however, could care less, and became even more enraged. With Cristiano distracted, she freed herself from his hold and shouted, as she took a step away from him, “I have no doubt it’s yours asshole.  And I don’t sleep around any more than you do so shut the fuck up you hypocrite.”

As she said this, she eyed me. I could see she aimed to alarm me. Cristiano sensed this too and, in self defense, he shouted back that even she puts his history of womanizing to shame with her looseness. He then went on to call her a low life bitch with no self-respect.

I was so horrified by their harshness towards each other, my jaw actually dropped. I also realized at this moment that this was not for me, and that if I stayed, I’d have deal with their craziness for the rest of my life…

My gut feeling warned, “Walk away, walk away and don’t ever look back.”

My thoughts were interrupted by Cristiano finally having had enough and demanding she leave. To move her along, he used his body to intimidate her, closing in on her towards the exit of the patio.

Once he got her out of the patio, he shouted, “Until that baby is born and I have a paternity test to prove it’s mine, I don’t want to know anything about you. Now get the fuck out of here before I call the police and charge you with trespassing.”

She began to walk away, but right before reaching her car, which was parked next to mine in front of the club, she shouted, in return, “I’ll do you one better you piece of shit: I’ll see your ass in court when I get you for child support.”

I could see this got to him, as he realized for the first time, the severity of what a child meant for him financially.

He didn’t bother to respond and instead continued to make his way back to me. As he neared me, I stared at him, my expression a mix between disappointment and worry. Cristiano took note and reached for me, apologizing that I had to see all that.

Still on edge, and not sure how to feel about any of this, I moved away from him.

The move stunned him. He froze, eyed me and asked point blank, “Why did you do that?”

My chest tightened, my heart began to race and my head pound. The truth, I did it because I was disgusted: he was like all the men before him who had broken me and I hated him for it.

As much I resented the fact that she was pregnant with his baby, I also realized him kicking her out of his life, like he just did, was a reflection of his own selfishness and machismo, something I had been at the receiving end of in my past relationships with men who called me a whore and threw me away or rejected me.

I’ve always believed our actions in our worst of times are a reflection of our true selves. And although Cristiano may have said and done most of the things he just did out of anger, resentment and fear, I still was not so naïve to believe that that side of him would not someday take aim at me, and this left me feeling uneasy and I finally listened to the voice in my head that told me to walk away.

I got up and began to walk to my car.

Cristiano panicked: Sensing it was over, and that I was alarmed by what I had just seen, he followed behind me, trying to explain why he behaved the way he did. He stated, all but pleading, “She cheated on me, stole from me and used me for money.  That’s why I have no respect for her, that’s why I can treat her the way I just did.”

When I didn’t respond and kept walking, he reached for my arm and turned me. Him putting his hands on me, forcing me to turn to look at him, became the breaking point for me, and I snapped. I shouted, without any regard for his feelings,  “So she was good enough to fuck, but now that she’s the mother of your child, you want nothing to do with her? How convenient, Cristiano.”

I could tell I made my point. He looked ashamed.

After a few seconds of silence, I realized his silence was him admitting I was right, that he had used her for sex.

Livid, that he saw women as objects, commodities of convenience for whatever goals he had in life at that moment—with her, sex—with me, wife—I let him have it, letting my own sense of self-righteous get the best of me, and I delivered the final blow.

I replied, my voice filled with disappointment and anger, “You’re just like every other guy I’ve ever known. To you, women are something you entertain yourself with and use for whatever purpose you have in your life at that moment.  So when you wanted to have fun, a whore was just fine. But now that you want a mother for your child, you demand sainthood.  Well I’ve got news for you, I’m no fucking saint.  And guess what, a year ago, I was in her shoes and the man I was with, did to me, what you just did to her.  But unlike you, he got lucky and my child died, so he was off the hook.”

I then paused, before adding, with great emphasis in my voice, “You disgust me.”

He froze. I couldn’t quite tell what shocked him more, that I had once been pregnant or that I was calling him out on his bullshit. He was not left speechless for too long, though. After a few second of thinking, while I continued to glare at him, daring him to say I was wrong, he finally spoke.

Tired of me berating him, he finally reached his own breaking point too and calmly, but sternly, stated “Don’t compare me to every man that has ever hurt you. Me and you have our own thing. What I was with her, or who you were with the men before me, has nothing to do with us. Now I’m sorry that you went through that, but this is not the same thing. You don’t know my ex, and if you did, you would understand why I treated her the way I did.”

He waited for me to say something, but I didn’t. Mainly because even though I knew he was right, that our pasts were our pasts, I still couldn’t do it…

He took my silence as a response and sensing defeat, he asked, hesitantly, “So this it then? All these pasts months, all the good times, all the things I did do right, all the love, it counts for nothing?”

Wanting him to understand, I finally spoke, doing my best to explain why it would never work. I stated with despair in my voice:

“I’m not a ride or die chick, Cristiano.

I can’t be there for you like you will need me to be if that kid is truly yours.

I have to finish school, I work full-time.

Your schedule will have to revolve around the kid—I’ll have to share you, and I just don’t know that I can or want to…

We barely have enough time now to see each other as it is!”

I stopped myself from saying more, I realized I was rambling and that I sounded like a spoiled brat.

Cristiano, realizing I was unhinged from the stress of it all,  didn’t respond directly to my comments. Instead, to buy us more time, he asked me not to decide anything today.

Still hopeful, he tried to reason with me, stating, “Look, we don’t have to make any decisions at this moment. Let’s give each other two weeks to process all this, then we can meet again to decide if we want to end it.”

I looked at him and realized he wasn’t ready to let me go.

I couldn’t help but wonder what he would think If he only knew my true thoughts…

I already knew the naïve girl in me who could pretend love was the most important thing in the world was dead. She died a year ago, after Adiel drove away.

Gone were the days I’d be willing to give up my life and dreams for a man’s mistakes.

I’d be dammed if I was going to be sleep deprived and inconvenienced by another woman’s child, especially not when I didn’t even have kids of my own.

I had my own dreams, my own goals, things I wanted to achieve for my own kids, so that I could give them a life I never had—and I just knew I couldn’t slave away for a child that wasn’t even mine…

And yes, maybe in the beginning, when our love was still new, I could make it work, but I just knew, eventually, when things got hard, I would begin to resent that I was having to make scarifies for a mistake I didn’t make.

My thoughts were so selfish I felt shame…

It even occurred to me that maybe I was the one who didn’t deserve Cristiano. Maybe he was too good for my selfish ass…

I even wondered, what if the tables were turned, would he walk away? 

Because I failed to respond, Cristiano asked me again if I could give us two weeks before we decided anything.

I could hear the worry in his voice and for this reason alone, and the fact that I felt so evil, I decided I owed it to him to at least think things through. So I agreed, and I spent the next two weeks soul searching, trying to decide if I had it in me to give of myself selflessly, for a man’s love and his child…

 

Two Weeks Later:

I dragged a hammock out to the lake by my house and hung it between two trees. The lake was crystal blue and the trees lush and full of colors.  With it being mid-September, I knew the days I could be outside enjoying the fall foliage were numbered. Soon, it would be cold again, and as winter set in, I’d have to spend most my time indoors.

It occurred to me that this was probably a good thing—almost perfect timing.

I climbed into the hammock and covered myself with a blanket I had brought along. In my lap was my LSAT book.

These past two weeks, I had buried myself in the LSAT to avoid the pain of my relationship with Cristiano. While a part of me realized this was not entirely healthy, I decided it was necessary. After all, the only thing I wanted more in life than love, was to go to law school.

I eyed my cell phone. It was time to text him. I was scared, but I knew it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t keep him waiting and with today being the two week mark, I needed to tell him it was over…

I made the decision to end the relationship after speaking with Lupe. I asked her to be honest with me, to tell me if she thought Cristiano’s ex would ever let us live in peace or even be fair about parenting.  All in an attempt to truly consider staying.

Lupe, having known Cristiano and his ex, who I now knew was named Ariana, was brutally honest with me and told me everything I needed to know.

Lupe shared that Ariana was unstable. She had a history of drug abuse, mainly pill popping and had no real career.  Lupe, as much as she loved the idea of Cristiano and I together, and believed we were truly perfect for each other, agreed that I needed to get out.

Lupe’s exact words to me that day we spoke:

“Cristiano’s going to get stuck with that baby full-time. If you didn’t have law school, if you had kids of your own and you were both bringing baggage into the relationship, I’d tell you stay, to try, but because you are so free, and young and unattached to anyone or anything, I wouldn’t want this for you.  It wouldn’t be fair to you prima.

You should end it. And maybe later, in a few years when you are done with law school and his kid is older, if you are both still free, you two can try again.”

And so, to be fair to me, to stay true to what I wanted and needed in life, I decided I was out.

The sadness that came over me made it impossible to study. And still not ready to text him, I put the LSAT book  down and instead just lay there, in my hammock, starring at the lake, thinking about the beautiful summer Cristiano and I had shared and how much I was going to miss him…

Two more hours would pass before I finally got the courage to text him that I was ready to talk. And to my horror, he responded that he was on his way…

I jumped out of my hammock and panicked. I did not expect this and assured him we could discuss things over the phone.  Cristiano, however, disagreed and made it clear this was a discussion he wanted to have in person.

Realizing he wasn’t going to budge, I agreed. Panicked, I quickly packed up my hammock, raced home, cleaned my house and took a shower, in anticipation of his visit.

3 Hours Later:

I was now sitting on my porch waiting for him to arrive. I couldn’t believe he was willing to make the drive and it only made me feel even more awful about what I was about to do.

To keep myself busy until he got here, I read a magazine. I was in the middle of ripping out a chocolate cake recipe when I heard his truck pull in to my drive way.

I immediately got up and walked over to him to greet him. Seeing Cristiano, after two weeks apart, was harder than I thought it would be.  I yearned for things to be how they once were.  For the times he had visited me, and I’d run out to greet him and we’d kiss and hug and run into my house to cook or watch a movie or make love.  Our life then, compared to now, seemed so perfect, almost unreal…

To my relief, he was calm and kind. He gave me a kiss on the forehead and asked me how I had been.  As we walked towards my house, I shared with him I was starting an LSAT class soon.   He took note of my study materials on the table and he asked when I’d be taking the test.  I responded that I’d be taking the test in December.

As he took a seat at my kitchen table, I asked him if I could get him anything to drink. He asked for a glass of water and as I got it, I shared that I’d be applying to law schools in the spring.

He seemed genuinely proud of me, but I could also see it made him think. He promised me I’d do well and wished me luck.  That he wished me luck hinted at the fact that he sensed it was over, and I felt a deep sadness come over me.

As I brought him his glass of water, he asked me to sit. I did so, sitting across from him, making sure there was as much distance possible between us.

He then addressed the breakup first and stated, easing into the topic gently,

“So I’ve been thinking a lot about what you told me the last time I saw you, that you’re not a ride or die chick. I get it and I’m not even made about it. It’s what I love most about you, that you have your dreams, that you value your own life and time so much.  I respect that and I would never want to change that part of you.”

I reached for his hands and held them, as he always did mine. I then responded, looking at him in his eyes and replied, “It’s not just that Cristiano, it’s also the fact that I can’t be there for you how you need me to be and that would also be unfair to you.”

He shook his head to imply he agreed. He then admitted all the things Lupe had already told me.  He explained, “Ariana, that is my ex, she is not well: she abuses medication, can’t keep a job and has a history of minor thefts.  If this kid is mine, which I really do think it is, I’m going to have to raise it myself.  I’ve already hired an attorney to get ready to fight her for primary custody.”

I shook my head to imply I agreed.

Then, out of nowhere, once he realized this was really it, he threw our relationship a lifeline in a last ditch effort to save us and he offered me something I had not expected.

He asked if I was certain it could never work. He even brought up the idea of him hiring a nanny and me quitting my job. He explained he could take care of us all and in return, we could be together, and we could be a family, and I could go to law school and not worry about money.

I was so caught off guard, I froze. He noticed the shock on my face and he explained it was just an idea, that if my true concern was time, then he would meet me half way and let me not work to make it easier on me.

I didn’t know what to respond. That this was even an option was news to me—news I had not even considered.  I sat quietly for what seemed like, forever.

I racked my brain for an answer. I tried to imagine my life in Chicago with him and the baby and me going to school and not having to work and I’d be lying if I didn’t admit it seemed like a romantic life…

Still waiting for an answer, he asked again, if I’d consider it.

Where the answer came from, I don’t even know. It just came to me, from a far away place inside of me that already knew, even before my mind did, what my heart and soul wanted.

It occurred to me that maybe this was wisdom, the result of having lived, survived pain, and taken the time to get to know myself.

With my decision  clear, I replied…

Part Two of the series finale to  be posted June 28

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