This is chapter 26, part 4 of the Pleasing María novel. If you are under 18 years of age, or are offended by explicit descriptions of sexual activity or violence, or by strong language, please exit this site immediately. To view the Table of Contents of the novel click here. To go directly to the first chapter, click here. To read the latest novel post, click here. This is a rough second draft.
Chapter 26, Part 4 – María Assaulted
In one of these coffees with María and the Estrella, I noticed a man staring at me. After a few minutes he appeared at the table and asked if I was the Guy that had produced the system software for ‘XYZ’ company. He had seen my photos in some of the articles published by the company in engineering journals. He would love to talk with me, so I sort of annoyingly invited him to sit, and he called over his wife.
She looked warily at María and the Estrella and deduced quickly María was my wife. When I presented María as my ex, and the Estrella as my current companion, she relaxed–she didn’t want to compete with María, but the Estrella was within her range. They surely thought I was in a mid-life crisis, and I had grabbed a young woman to get my youth back.
The man was an engineer at my former company. He was on the team of system and software folks that maintained my software I had leased to the company. He was dying to talk shop but the women would have none of that. We were soon engaged in an animated discussion of arts, salsa dancing, political gossip, and crepe recipes, joking and laughing and toasting with Antiguan coffee–the beautiful musical prattle of women in their comfort zone.
But I felt uneasy, something was wrong. I realized this couple thought I was quite normal. Every since my castration, I thought of myself as a cripple, as horribly damaged, my defects obvious to the entire world. My usual companions, the Estrella, María, the med students, the Prof, all knew about my condition and it reflected in our relationship. This couple saw me fully clothed, sitting with two beautiful women in a café, knew I was a successful engineer, thought I was perfectly normal and treated me as a special person, meaningful in their lives. What a rush!
Another aspect of the tyranny of great beauty is it distorts all social relationships. María’s beauty and sensuality grabbed directly at the groins of men. It hurt them to see her, and their spouses could feel their men’s longing for her. The men resented I possessed her, at least nominally, and the women feared they could lose their partner to her in an instant. So even small talk with other folks was strained. I never realized this before, I thought it was normal.
The couple treated me strangely, with deference and respect–with reverence. I couldn’t make out what was going on when it struck me. They owed their upper middle-class life to me, to my software. When we were finally allowed to talk shop, he said he had never seen software designed as I had done. He was part of a team of three full-time engineers that maintained my system and adapted it to new hardware. None of the group had ever figured-out the overall architecture of my system. He said I was a genius. My vocabulary is inadequate to tell you how that made me feel, I was flooded with … something. I was valuable!
They invited us for dinner, María demurred, and we scheduled around the Estrella’s residency schedule. Several days later, the Estrella and I went to their house–it was a party with several couples, about half associated with the engineering company. The technical people hung on to me like leeches, listening to every word. The Estrella loved the gathering–she was respected for finishing her medical studies, and was quite pretty but not too much to be a threat. She was expertly made-up by me and dressed-up sensually. I thought she was beautiful and had trouble keeping my eyes off her. I even felt some jealousy as other men teased and flattered her. If these folks knew of our true relationship, they would be horrified.
* * *
The Estrella and I always went early to our café meetings and, hidden across the street, we’d observe María arrive. María’s appearance stopped my breathe for a moment, my body trembling from a shot of adrenaline. The Estrella tolerated my locura (madness) but changed the administration of my testosterone dose to after these meetings.
This day, we lurked behind a pile of construction debris to watch María approach the café. A small double-seat motorcycle passed close by María and the rear rider grabbed María’s shoulder bag as the driver gunned the cycle. The bag’s strap caught María’s shoulder diagonally and spun her around and over backwards, pulling the rear rider heavily off the motorcycle. The cycle wavered then struck a car head-on and dumped about 25 feet beyond. The rear rider, gasping to recover his wind, rolled to his knees and struck at María while tugging at the bag under María’s body. Women screamed and people ran frantically. Waves of nausea flooded me, I toppled with vertigo and went black.
A sharp blow to my head brought me back. The Estrella bent over me, pulling me to her and an out-of-focus María screamed and flailed at a policeman who dropped his nightstick. The Estrella embraced me and asked if I was OK – I felt nothing but the throbbing of my head. The cop wrestled with María and she kneed him in the groin. I was splattered with blood – so were the Estrella AND MARIA! I focused on a young man a few feet away – his face and head bloodied.
Two more police ran up, one pinning María, and I struggled up and towards her. Something spun me around onto the hood of a car and steel bit into my wrists. I heard someone screaming, “María, María, …”, maybe it was me, and I went black again.
I returned to consciousness laying on a gurney in some primitive clinic. Both my hands were handcuffed to the gurney rails and I heard María and the Estrella arguing with a male voice. I drifted in-and-out then realized my hands were released. The Estrella helped me up and lead me tottering out to the street into a taxi. I must have been sedated, I awoke when the morning sun hit my face. I checked myself for damage – I had been cleaned-up and wore the Estrella’s ridiculously undersized pyjama shorts.
The Estrella came in at lunch time and she told me what had happened. When María was assaulted, I clambered over the pile of construction debris, picking up a large rock, and charged across the street. I grabbed the helmet of María’s assailant and pulled him away from María, pulling off his helmet. I sat on his body and beat him with the rock. Both María and the Estrella struggled to restrain me without effect. I had destroyed the thief’s face before a policeman arrived and clubbed me in the head.
María assaulted the cop, and we were both arrested. The two thieves were also arrested. I remembered nothing.
The Estrella located PerfectPenis–he arrived from Antigua about two hours later carrying our marriage certificate. The witnesses at the scene had enthusiastically lied about the violence of the thieves and PP paid a big bribe. María and I were released without charges.
Both thieves remained in custody. My beating target was in critical condition, mouth, jaw, nose and eyes destroyed, and might not survive. My hands hurt–I saw they were clenched and trembling. I wasn’t finished with the thief–I would kill him. How dare he presume to survive after assaulting María! The Estrella saw my rage building, and she commanded me into her, “Mírame a mi, …” She washed me clean for the moment.
The motorcycle driver had a long rap sheet and was summarily sentenced to ninety days in the federal penitentiary. I called the hospital daily for news about María’s assailant. Yes, he would survive and I was relieved–no further legal repercussions. I relaxed and resolved to put the event behind me. Then I received a call from the scumbag brother of the thief demanding an enormous sum of money or else. He threatened he knew how to find María and I, and his entire family wouldn’t rest until I paid up.
I went to the market at the bus station and bought half-a-dozen stolen cell phones. I contacted the sicario (hitman) I had once contracted to castrate PP–US$500 each for the parents and siblings. The sicario called the next day after checking–seven hits for US$3,500 total. That was much cheaper than the extortion demanded and a definitively final solution to the problem. Perhaps the best investment I ever made–the thief would be left blind, without family, crippled, impoverished, a short life of misery. As an afterthought, I added US$100 for cutting off his penis. I wanted him to have no pleasure in his life ever again. The sicario gave me an approximate date, and I destroyed that cell phone.
I arranged a tour to see orchids in Cobán. I told the Estrella and María I needed to get away to de-stress from the incident and I went on the tour. I watched the papers every day, saw nothing, and had to stay a few extra days, so I took another tour from Cobán to the beautiful thermal pools at Semuc Champey. I finally received a phone call from the sicario–the deed was done. He crowed about the penis amputation–it was simple. The thief was handcuffed to his bed and heavily sedated. The sicario simply walked in, snipped off his penis without a flinch from the thief, ripped off the monitoring sensors, and walked out. He threw the penis into a gutter. I destroyed another cell phone.
The news of the discovery of the bodies was reported in the Prensa Libre by the same reporter that covered the assault on María. He astutely connected the penis amputation with the murder of the thief’s family, and wrote a soppy wail about the lack of social justice in Guatemala. After I returned to Guatemala City, I received a courtesy visit from a detective. He took my story about my trip to Cobán, commented the thief’s family all had criminal records, and I never heard back from him.
I began to mull about the motorcycle driver–he had participated in the attack on María. I arranged with the sicario to amputate his penis inside the penitentiary. Another hundred dollars plus a carton of cigarettes, a vial of meth, and a cell phone for an imprisoned friend of the sicario. Prison violence isn’t reported in Guatemala, so I had to take the word of the sicario the amputation was completed.
I later received a visit from the mother of the motorcycle driver. She was a humble and simple woman, honest and hardworking, trying to raise her children, educate them and keep them out of trouble. She had guessed I might have had something to do with the disappearance of the other boy’s family, and she wanted to assure me her family posed no risk to me or María. I learned from her that her son, the motorcycle driver, had been gang-raped and killed with a shiv to the liver. His genitals were stuffed in his mouth.
End of book content.
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