(Quick note to him: Thank you for your fairytale compliment. I know I didn’t say anything back, like thank you, or your wet messy hair looked nice too, but I wrote this piece to tell you how much I appreciated it. My hair defines who I am today and this is why…)
“Were you always dominant?” His question ricocheted in my mind along with the blasts of trance inside my car. I knew the answer, but there was so much more to it. The security officer at the gate checked my badge and I drove off forgetting about the whole thing. Until that boring meeting when his question echoed once again, itching for an answer and so I had to dive into my past for the answer he deserved.
Was I always dominant?
The easy answer was no, despite my family background. I was raised by alphas. Every single one of them. From my grandmother, the aggressive dominant sadist-dictator, whose strategy to get what she wanted was by throwing things at my grandfather until he bled. Now mind you, my grandfather was a retired General, another super alpha, who knew perfectly well how to defend himself, but he enjoyed the drama way too much and was a masochist in disguise.
And here comes my mother. There is no classification for her, really, but I’ll try my best. Uncompromising and bossy, hyper aggressive, extremely demanding, cynical and critical towards my father—the only person in the family who didn’t deserve to be criticized. Because my father was the only one who knew how to behave and provide for his family where we were spoiled to have the best. Without a doubt, he was the leader of the pack, the one to always bring peace to the family. Because he was the clever one, the negotiator, and the diplomat. It was his emotional intelligence that stamped his superior position and I understood that at very young age. My father was Sam from “Where the wild things are”. He knew how to tame the crazy beasts with just one “Be still” and the beasts loved him for it. I admired him too, every time and I wished to be him, but it was just a wishful thinking, because I was a beta. The only one in the family.
Genetically, I should have been a monster la dominance. But genetics sometimes are not everything. As a child, I was very sweet and obedient. Always shying away from conflicts, avoiding upsetting the alphas whether at school or at home, because I feared them or feared to hurt their feelings. When things went wrong I thought I was to blame in some way or another. Always trying hard to please everyone, but myself. I was always bullied at school, and not because I was too weak to defend myself, but because I just let them. I never fought back nor told my teachers. I just didn’t have the guts to stand out for myself and the only way to compensate for it was to dominate everyone in sports. I was the best tennis player in my town and nobody from my swimming team could master the butterfly like I did. At least athletically, the dominant genes were on my side. But when it came to dealing with people I was very submissive.
Until that night…
The one night I’ll never forget. I was only 18 back then. Fresh out of high school, just got accepted to a medical school and went to celebrate with my friends at a nightclub. The atmosphere of the club still lingers in my mind. The loud beats of the house music, the smoke, the frantic lights caressing the dance-floor. I remember dancing a lot that night, with my body young and strong, with my mind at peace, and my heart open for my first big love. And that boy, the really attractive one, staring me all night while sitting at the bar, smiling at me from time to time. I was all smiles too.
There was so much joy trapped in that congested place that at one point I decided to get out for some fresh air. And then things turned upside down. At the exit, two stocky men stood in front of me and closed in on me with the “Where do you think you are going bitch?” I don’t remember the exact conversation, but it had a very short and direct outline: their boss was in the VIP waiting for me to get to know me.
My first thought was MAFIA. Back in those days during post communism, organized crime spread like a wild fire and we, the common people, the innocent, started to hear these horrible stories of racketeering and killings. Stories about young girls being gang raped and left dead on the road. But I, being so young and naive, thought these were just over exaggerated stories and this kind of stuff was never going to happen to me. Right?
So here I was, standing in front of those thick-necked monsters, all dressed in black, with their cauliflower ears sticking out to remind me of the ugliness in this world. I can still see their muscles flexing in the neon-lighted nightclubs, with their eyes hooked onto me, telling me that there was no way out. They said they were 8 of them and nothing will save my holes that night. Those were the exact words. They also said I should just accept my destiny and surrender to what I was made for. A masterpiece of holes for their taking. A toy for that one night.
Everything afterwards happened in a blur. I ran to the bathroom to hide from those bastards. But there was no hiding in there and I knew it. No cell phones. No cops to come and save me. And just like that I felt alone in this world. The same world that was so wonderful a few moments ago. I remember not a single friend came to look for me in that grey bathroom and I just sat on the toilet seat crying like a baby. I was probably there for an hour or so, but to me it felt like a century and every time I peeked from the bathroom door, they were always there, waiting for me so patiently as if I was the only one. And each time I saw their nasty mugs, my intestines twisted in a nod and I felt nauseous from the fear and all the other emotions that were circling inside my system.
But the strongest emotion of all was anger. Anger that those assholes were going to destroy my life and everything I worked so hard for, just so they can have one night of good fucking.
And the worst part….I was a virgin.
Back in those terrible moments, I remember trying to look at myself in the bathroom mirror, but couldn’t see anything from the tears that were streaming down my face. I could only see the blurry reflection of my messy curly hair. And that somehow got my attention. I realized that it was from all the dancing and the humidity in the club, that my hair got so enormous. Like a giant lion’s mane and for a moment there I laughed at the irony of it. Because I was the prey.
The resemblance of a lion though took me back to my favorite father’s story when he was young, training for his boxing competition. He told us, my brother and I, how he used to jog in the mornings and how that one time, he got attacked by a pack of starving coyotes in the middle of the winter. According to his words, his way of defending himself was rather clever. He roared like a powerful lion, bared his teeth with a warning and put on a fight like the lion he believed he was. He told us that all the coyotes run away with their tails between their legs.
My brother and I used to laugh with tears at that story. My father always put on such good show with his roaring and punching in the air, and we were so proud to have such fearless dad. My mom on the other side was always skeptic and told my dad to stop filling our heads with boloney.
Perhaps his story was a boloney, I would never know, but what I did know was that everything in this world happened for a reason. And my father’s words “When you are hunted, be the predator.” were not just empty words, but the piece of the puzzle I had to solve. Back then, though, his words didn’t make any sense. I had no chance against those men, who were professional wrestlers if I judge by their cauliflower ears. There was no fighting back even with my extensive training in martial arts. Nothing could save me that night. And I knew it.
The feeling of my hopeless situation made me angry again and this time anger escalated to aggression. A fierce animal aggression that I never felt before, perhaps a toxic buildup from all the bulling I’d experienced until this point. The aggression was so intense, I felt a sudden need to flash it out of my system. I bared my teeth and for the first time I felt the lion in me. Fierce, blood thirsty, and vicious, ready to tear up some flesh.
That was the first time in my life that I felt dominant. And it wasn’t just a feeling. It was my true dominance, the lion in me, who woke up to save me…
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