Farida Samerkhanova
Farida Samerkhanova's stories, poems and
essays appear or are forthcoming in journals
such as Zygote in My Coffee, Canadian
Immigrant Magazine, Danse Macabre,
Bewildering Stories, and Word Salad Poetry
Magazine. Originally from the Eastern European
republic of Bashkiria, she now lives in Toronto.
I met Meg at the corner of Yonge
and Eglinton. It was drizzling, and
she and her girlfriend were just
standing there looking good. I had
nothing to do so I stopped.

They got into the car and said they
wanted to go to a motel at Highway
400 and Steeles Avenue. It was far
away but I drove them, cursing the
traffic as we went.  

Meg and Ann were incredibly nice
looking. God gave them the best
bodies he could create and also the
prettiest faces. They were in their
early forties. Any man would have
liked to sleep with them. They were
dolled up as if they were going out
for a night on the town.

They said they were going to a party
at the motel. There would be many
pretty single women who would like
to find a match. They invited me to
the party and said I would not be
bored. I said okay. But why should I
meet other women if Meg was with
me? My eyes were glued to her body
curves. I wanted to touch her. They
chatted with each other and I was
thinking about having sex with Meg.

When we arrived at the motel it
turned out there was no party. Meg’s
daughter was missing and she had
information that the girl was in the
motel. She was about twenty. She
was on drugs and was a hooker. I
don’t think I would have driven Meg
there if she had told me the truth.
Still, I felt pity for her and asked if I
could help. She said it would be good
if I stayed there for a while and
waited for them. Probably they would
need a ride back.

That “for a while” lasted for more
than four hours. Meg showed a photo
of her daughter to the receptionist
and the police. She also showed it to
some of the motel guests. No one
could say anything definite.

It was close to midnight when I
drove Meg and Ann back. They lived
in the Bathurst and Steels area. I
exchanged phone numbers with Meg
and was about to drive home. She
looked at me with her deep brown
eyes and I felt sorry for her. I took
them both to a restaurant and
bought a bottle of wine. In a short
while the bottle was empty. I bought
another one. Then I drove them

After a couple of days her daughter
finally showed up. She wouldn’t say
where she had been. Meg began to
call me. She would say she wanted
to go out. I took her to restaurants.
She drank and smoked a lot. She
smoked something else, not regular
cigarettes, and I did not like it. I also
disliked lots of things about her. She
was a dirty woman despite the
beauty gifted to her. Later I found
out that she used to be a stripper.
She undressed in front of thousands
of men and lost her pride at the pole.
She lived in a shelter for abused
women. She liked strong drinks. She
was a hooker like her daughter. And
she wanted me to marry her.

She often said she wanted a
handsome, generous, educated man
with good manners and good
intentions. She said I was the one. I
would reply that I had a girlfriend
who I loved. For Meg I felt pity,
nothing else. I supported her, giving
her money from time to time. She
wanted to conquer the whole of me:
my time, my body, my mind—
everything. She insisted on seeing
me more and more often. I worked
hard to make money and she made
me spend hundreds of dollars every
time I took her out. I let her know I
could not afford a life like that but
she would not listen to me.

My girlfriend Kitty began to suspect
that I was not as busy at work as I
pretended to be. She smelled lies.
Meg pushed me to become intimate
with her. If I began to sleep with
her, I knew things would get worse.

One time I told her we should buy a
bottle of wine and go to my home
instead of going out. It would be the
same as spending time at a
restaurant, but much cheaper. She
said I would make her sleep with me
if we went to my place. I said no.
She said yes. Finally she went up to
my place and we had wine. We slept
together that night, and again the
next day.

That evening Kitty said she wanted
to sleep over. I said she could not
come because I had been busy all
day and I was tired. She asked
where I was and I said I was driving
home. Meg was in my car and she
was touching my balls while I was
talking to Kitty.

We parked the car and went to the
entrance of the building. Kitty was
waiting for me. Meg asked who she
was. I said she was my girlfriend.
Meg grabbed Kitty by the hair and
began to beat her. I grabbed Meg by
the throat and pressed her against
the wall. She began to choke. I let
her go, went inside and pushed the
elevator button. The women were left
outside without an access key. I
looked back and saw them fighting.
They cursed so loudly that the whole
building could hear them.

I went up. My son was there because
his girlfriend had dumped him. He
sometimes came over to spend the
night and lick his wounds. We would
have tea together and he would tell
me about his suffering. He seemed to
find some pleasure in it. The pain
made him realize that he was still
alive. That night he looked tired. I
was also exhausted, and we went to
bed early.

A terrible racket woke me at two o’
clock in the morning. Women were
shouting and pounding at my door. I
think all the neighbors on our floor
woke up. I opened the door to see
Kitty and Meg standing in the
corridor. Both were drunk. They
pushed me inside the apartment and
began to punch me. My son tried to
pull them away. They began to
punch him also. Our pajamas were
torn. We had scratches all over our
chests and arms.

My son called the police. Scratches
were all over my cars and some of
the car windows were broken. The
police made a record of this and took
both girls to the station.

The next morning Meg and Kitty were
released on bail. As soon as they got
out they began to call me. They both
told they loved me. I asked them
what they would do if they hated me.

Meg came over with her mother’s
gold ring and one hundred eighty
dollars in cash. She said the ring cost
four thousand dollars and it was all
compensation for the damage. I said
I did not want anything. She began
to yell and kick the door. I said I
would call the police if she did not
stop. She did not stop so I made the
call. By the time the police arrived
she was gone. They found an
envelope outside my apartment door.
In the envelope were the ring and
the money. I told them it was Meg’s
and they took it to the station.

The next day Meg reported to the
police that I had stolen her jewelry. I
asked them to issue a restriction
order against her. She could plant
drugs or do something worse. I knew
I was in big, big trouble.

Kitty and Meg got criminal charges.
Both of them were ordered to pay the
damages. In the court records I was
called the victim. I received a check
for five hundred dollars from Kitty’s
lawyer but I returned it.

Kitty disappeared from my horizon
and I have no idea what happened to
her. I am sure she did love me—
deeply and sincerely—and I felt bad
about cheating on her. Meg, she kept
calling me. She apologized and asked
me to sleep with her. Once she
claimed she was pregnant and I was
the father. I knew she was trying to
blackmail me. I said if she had a
baby girl, she would grow up to be a
hooker and if she had a baby boy, he
would grow up to be a drug dealer.
She hung up. I know she was furious.

Not long ago I happened to be
walking along Yonge Street in
downtown, not far from where I first
met Meg. I seldom walk, but on that
particular day I did. I was deep in
thought when all of a sudden I saw
her approaching me. The closer she
came the more she pretended not to
notice me. I looked straight at her.
She cast glances at me from time to
time. Our eyes met for a moment but
she passed by with her eyes on her
shoes. She was blushing and her
hands were trembling. Was this a
sign of hatred? Fear? Love?

I turned to see if she would look back
to see if I looked back. She did not.
Gemini Magazine