- I took into account your opinion, yes. – I replied.
- Swear, honey? Ben looked at me.
- If you had listened to us , you wouldn't have wasted eight years of your life involved with that rubbish. And still judge me. – Salma sat on the other couch, with her legs up, excited to start discussing the most ridiculous part of my life.
- I'm free of him and that's what matters. Now I only have one focus: Bon Jovi.
The two started to laugh.
- While you were with Jardel, was Bon Jovi the lover? Or the other way around? Ben narrowed his eyes, trying not to laugh.
- Anything. I shrugged my shoulders. “He was always the true love of my life.
- And my Axel Rose, Miss Alice in Wonderland. Ben hugged me. – Don't start making up this story of "I'm going to love someone impossible and be happier if I do".
- Ben is right, Babi. Two years have passed. You have to move on.
Yes, it had been two years since I got rid of Jardel, my ex - boyfriend. And it wasn't easy. I only got that when he died. And I can't say that “unfortunately” he passed away... Because I was the happiest person in the world when that happened.
But I couldn't move on after he left. And not out of love for him. I just started to be afraid to get involved again.
My relationship with Jardel was good only in the first year. He was beautiful, adventurous, full of dreams and showed me a world I didn't know. I threw myself into it and gave him all my heart. And there was no space left inside me for anything but him. Not even for myself.
I met him at the age of eighteen, shortly after my mother died. I was coming out of my teens and still wanting to get into a rebellious phase, even after I was past the time to do so.
His family was wonderful. The mother, the father, the brothers... They treated me as if I really belonged there, being part of a family, which I thought I never had, because it was just me, my mother and grandmother.
A while later, his father left; met another woman. The mother was devastated, not accepting the separation. Their lives turned upside down... Consequently, mine too. Jardel, who until then had only smoked joints to have fun and become happier, started using new drugs. He went through all of them and ended up in the crack. And I was there with him, by his side, the whole time. Because I loved him, because I thought I had this commitment, since he had cured me of the pain of losing my dear mother.
When the situation became untenable, he promised me he would stop. He went through several rehabilitation clinics. At the end? Nothing resolved. Promises were never kept, lying became part of our relationship constantly and sobriety was short-lived. In the end, I couldn't stand him with or without drugs.
Two years before he died, he started the betrayal part. I think he didn't even know what he was doing right anymore. And when I was at my breaking point and trying to end our relationship, it wasn't just the apologies he was trying to do. He started to stalk me, including causing me to miss some college classes and then promising jobs.
I no longer believed him. And I also didn't want to be betrayed anymore. The least I deserved was fidelity, since I'd held him back for so many years. There was no more sex... except when he forced me to. That was when he was able to maintain an erection.
Tired, scared, because he was already starting to be violent in some situations, I started to simply pretend that I was by his side, when in fact it was just my body and not my mind or my heart.
His family and I knew that if I left him, he would go crazy. And I wasn't ready to find out what his next step would be: to commit suicide, kill his mother, one of his brothers or me... Anyway, nobody knew.
From a promising, intelligent boy, adored by everyone, Jardel became a pauper, a beggar. Lost a job, lost friends, lost everything he had. In the end, only the family and me were left. They thought I never gave up on him. I knew that what I counted was my life. I mean, I was afraid.
But I knew that no evil would last forever. I was used to suffering. What is a drugged, crazy, violent boyfriend for a girl who lost her mother at sixteen, went to live with a grandmother she barely knew and never knew who her father was?
But I couldn't deny it. I supported it largely thanks to my friends Benício and Salma. At first they tried to help me, give me advice, get me into my head that I had to leave Jardel and live my life. Years later they gave up. They knew I wouldn't do that, as if carrying Jardel on my back was my destiny and goal in life.
My grandmother, Mandy, stayed by my side. She never gave advice... Just her shoulder to cry on. And he heard my screams for no reason and bad mood, without asking why. Because deep down, she knew.
I spent a short time living with my mother's mother, Mandy Novaes. My mother and I lived our whole lives. When she died in a car accident, I found myself completely alone. I ended up with my only living relative, my grandmother, who lived in the countryside. A gigantic place, but in no way reminiscent of the life I've always lived until that moment.
In these two years that I lived with her, I stayed away from Salma.
I met Jardel at a gas station while I was filling up with some friends. It was love at first sight. I invited him out. Soon we were together. I lost my virginity to him.
In the beginning both our relationship and sex were good. But I confess that I enjoyed myself more while I was masturbating, looking at the Bon Jovi poster, than when he penetrated me.
The luck of it all is that I always knew my life was shit. And I never thought Jardel would get me out of that situation, even though I liked him. Certain that my father was some idiot, that he got my mother pregnant and left, I was never deluded about men. Where's the luck in all this? The mere possibility of becoming pregnant with him scared me to death. So I never had sex without a condom, apart from the contraceptive, which I didn't forget a single day. The possibility of becoming pregnant with Jardel was zero.
Eight years of having sex with a man using a condom to keep from getting pregnant and best of all: not getting a venereal disease or anything else.
Why would I believe in God? I attended mass with the woman I thought was my grandmother since I was a child. When she died and left all her possessions to distant relatives except my mother, I knew I didn't have her blood. My mother worked at her house as a maid. The old woman treated me like family because we lived there and no one looked for her. Still, the bitch left everything in her will to her blood relatives and not to my mother, who took care of her until the end of her life.
From there, my mother rented a house for us. Those were the happiest years of our lives. She had a good job, I kept studying and getting good grades and I had my best friend Salma always with me. In fact, now we lived even closer to each other.
The two of us always agreed, since we were little, that one day we would live together in an apartment. Of course, the plan wasn't to rent and be on the fourth floor and the elevator to always be broken. We'd have perfect men, have drinks on the balcony watching the full moon while they serenade us. Ironically, we didn't even have a balcony.
Anyway, Mom died and I knew then that I had a grandmother. All this so as not to go to an institution for orphaned minors. I rebelled and made her life hell at first. But Mandy was strong. And she never let anything shake her. I soon learned that my mother left home at a young age because she was involved with an older man, and my grandfather was against the relationship. I don't know if my father was this man, or another... Or maybe a third or fourth. Mom never wanted to talk about him. All she said was that she was tricked and that he knew of my existence, but he never came after us.
Unfortunately my grandmother didn't know anything. And I'm not even sure why the two were so far apart and didn't speak to each other, even after my grandfather's death.
Mandy Novaes was financially better than my mother. Even with my later rebellious attacks, it paid off all my college tuition. And it helped with my first job, already at the North Noriah Center. I was fired because Jardel entered my work environment drugged and made an unfortunate scene.
After all, life was not easy for anyone. I didn't believe that people could exist without problems.
Little did I know that yes, it existed... And soon I would know. And that "I" would be someone's only problem. After all, we cannot predict the future. Because if that were the case, when I saw Jardel the first time, I would have disappeared right away.
Moving on I already followed. The thing is, I wasn't held back by Jardel or the loss. On the contrary; After I went to the funeral and returned home, I opened a bottle of sparkling wine and went with my friends to celebrate at Hazard. I drank until I couldn't take it anymore and was brought home almost in an alcoholic coma. I believe it was the best thing that happened in my life after my graduation.
And no, I wasn't a bad person. I was too good, after all, I was with Jardel for eight years. In other words, eight years thrown away. When he was gone, to me it was as if the lid of the dustbin had closed. And I free.
You must be wondering: where does Bon Jovi fit into this whole story? Well, he helped me all the way through my unconventional life. How did he do it? Just landing beautifully on a poster, which I would stick them on the walls, ceiling, t-shirts... When everything went wrong, it was his smile that consoled me. And the lyrics of failed love songs made me delirious. Not to mention the shows I watched on TV, which was like I was there with him, in the middle of the crowd, screaming until I lost my voice.
He brought back good memories... Of a happy life, of a girl who had no obligations and didn't even know what problems were. He reminded me of happiness... And my mother... The two of us, lying on my bed, laughing at nonsense... While the picture of him on the wall stared at us.
Everyone thought: it's just another fan, one of those fan-naticas . It started at eleven, so the idea was that it would pass. The problem is that I was 27... And it didn't pass. I even had a tattoo in his honor. And yes, it was the only one.
If you asked me today: what is your dream? I wouldn't think twice: meet Bon Jovi. And fuck his wife. I would kiss him on the mouth. And then kidnap him.
I looked at my friends and said:
- I don't want to talk about Jardel. I'm sick.
- Like this? We haven't even started. - Salma started to laugh.
- But I quit. A movie has already crossed my mind. And he managed to be on the "to cry", "to scream", "to laugh" lists... Except for "pretend to see".
- Ah, yes, enter this list, Babizinha. Ben looked at me. - You pretended not to see.
- I've always seen it, Ben... Everything.
- I know exactly what you need. Salma stood up, pulling me off the couch and out of Ben's arms.
- Cash, Bon Jovi and a one-way ticket to Dubai? I arched an eyebrow.
- No. You need to know Babylon.
- I don't even have money to pay the rent, friend. You guys will have to pay me this month.
- I'll put you inside.
- Through the window of the men's room? Ben stood up, clapping his hands together.
- By the entrance of employees, you fools.
- May I know why you didn't do this years ago, while I was begging for this moment? – Ben was confused and angry at the same time.
- Because it wasn't an urgent situation. Now is. – she justified.
- Like this? I'm going to die, is that it? Do you know something about endometriosis that I don't? I frowned, trying to keep calm as I stared into my red-haired friend's honey-green eyes.
- Fuck you guys. Enough of being sure. What do I gain by doing this? Fuck no. Besides, Mr. Casanova won't get any poorer if I put two non-payers inside his fancy nightclub.
Ben started jumping and clapping:
- Let's make up, girls!
- Can't that give you trouble? I asked.
- Of course yes. – she laughed. - And I don't care. You are my friends and you deserve it. You need to get rid of this fucking life you've been having, Babi.
- And Babylon will do that? - I laughed.
- Oh, friend, I can bet you do. No one who has less than six trailing zeros in the account enters that place.
Ben had already disappeared, gone to get ready.
I sighed and hugged her:
- Play Bon Jovi there?
- Friend, Bon Jovi only touches your little head. He's old and worn out. You shouldn't even remember the songs by heart.
- Salma, Bon Jovi is like wine... The older, the better.
- And what do you understand about wines, friend?
- Nothing ... But I understand Bon Jovi. - I started to laugh.
I wore a short, tight-fitting burgundy dress that left part of my breasts exposed, contrasting with my fair skin. The bare back highlighted my body. I combed my hair and let it down, with the wavy blond hair falling over my shoulders and halfway down my back. The lipstick matched the color of the dress. Nude eyeshadow to contrast my blue eyes. And an extremely tall shoe to make up for my short height. A gold bag with nothing inside but my photo ID and a cell phone. Money, which is good, I didn't have.
Yes, I was prepared to meet the most expensive and talked about nightclub in the country... And also the place where my best friend worked.
And so it was there, that night, that it all began. The beginning of my life... Really.