Once upon a time… Or at least that is how these sorts of stories are supposed to start. But this isn’t your normal bedtime story.
It might not even have a happy ending.
It might have more than one.
Guess you’ll just have to read on and find out.
Well, it all started when I met this girl (doesn’t it always), but it wasn’t like that.
She was hell in high heels. The devil in a short skirt. A fox in some fish nets. OK maybe it is like that.
Her name was Carla, and she drove me mental.
We first met at my best friend, Larry’s backyard pool party.
Now Larry’s parties are world renown. It usually involves some sort of sexy theme (this time, being a pool party, it was a Hawaiian theme.), a top DJ and an Emcee, and excessive amounts of alcohol. They are extremely popular, and highly exclusive. I only managed to get in due to being friends with Larry since Primary School.
Carla was a Brazilian model who was there with her two friends from the photo shoot the day before. It was the first time she had ever been to one of Larry’s parties, I knew this because I was at almost all of them and I tend to talk with everyone.
At first I didn’t notice her. I was just doing my usual thing. I was standing by the bar, talking to her two friends and some Chechen playboy. Then, for some unknown reason, I was drawn to the entrance as this smoking hot, brunette Brazilian girl, wearing a red bikini and a knee length grass skirt, and her hair tied up with a green flower in her hair.
She was gorgeous. I don’t know why I was so drawn to her. I am surrounded by models almost every weekend, but there was just something about her.
The feelings I had were only intensified once she begun to speak. Her voice sounded like a heavenly siren, just drawing me ever more dangerously towards the jagged rocks.
“Hey, sorry I’m late. You wouldn’t believe the traffic.”
“Hey Ky. No worries better late than never.” Said her blonde friend (one of the ones I was talking to before). “Let me introduce you to a new friend.” She said as she pointed towards me. “This is Maximus. He’s a close friend of the host.”
“Call me Max. How are you?”
Her friends then continued on talking with the Chechen and Carla and I continued on talking with each other for the remainder of the night. It turned out that we had an awful lot in common.
It wasn’t until about four in the morning, when her friends came and told us they were leaving, that we started to notice the party was beginning to end.
Now, I should make a note here that Larry doesn’t believe in last calls. His parties end once everyone is either past out in one of his many guest bedrooms or left. Carla was planning on leaving with her friends, but thankfully they told her to stay and to get a lift home with me, as I lived in the same part of town. Naturally I agreed.
So we headed back in to the pool and continued talking about her dreams, her family, the birds and the bees and other random topics. Until our conversation ended and we started making out right there, in the pool.
One thing leads to another and we were both enjoying the greatest nights of our lives in a spare room that Larry always puts aside for me, mostly because I usually get way too drunk to drive home, but not this time. I tell you what she knew some things. It was if we were running a marathon together. When we were finished, several hours later, we both could not move and we both struggled for breath.
After we recovered, which was after sleeping for 9 hours in each other’s arms, I drove her back home and we carried on where we left off at Larry’s. I don’t think we left her room, except for food and drinks, for the whole of the next week. She lived alone, so we didn’t have to worry about noise control or modesty.
Then after that week we parted ways, as we both had jobs that needed seeing to.
As with most things, life continued on as usual, I had almost begun to forget about Carla when a couple of weeks later, she called me up out of the blue. Which in itself was weird, as I never gave her my number. I found out later on that she got it from one of her friends, who got it from Larry.
Anyway, we talked for a little while and she asked me out to dinner.
That’s right. She asked ME out.
I accepted and arranged the details with her. We talked for a bit longer and then went about our day.
The following Friday, the day when it all started. I arrived early, as I always do for dates, at the designated spot, which although it looks like a high class restaurant, I was to learn that it is actually a pretty shady place.
I did what I usually do before a date, walk around and get to know everyone in the place in order to build up some social proof and at least appear like I’m an important person. This is what probably led to the later chain of events because I got to know everyone there on an emotional and intellectual level, and they got to know me.
Anyway, a few hours later, and late, like all females usually are, Carla arrived.
She still looked as gorgeous as the first time we met. This time she was wearing a sexy little red dress, that ended just above knee height and high heels, and she had her hair done up in pig-tails (and she really pulled it off as well).
I walked over, greeted her with a hug and a passionate kiss, on the cheek. I linked arms with her and led her to a table booth, a private one because I got to know the owner.
We talked, like we never parted ways, for a while, and then the waiter, whose name was Steve, approached us to ask for our order, and that’s when I realized that he knew Carla as well. In fact, I was to learn soon that everyone there knew her because after we placed our order (I ordered Bobó De Camaro and she ordered a Caesar Salad, and I also got a bottle of red for both of us to share), everyone started approaching our table and talking to us, once one left, and the next would approach. It was as if she was some kind of Brazilian celebrity, but she knew them all by name. It was nuts.
Then the owner, whose name I previously learnt was Alexandro, came up to us. It turns out Alexandro is Carla’s father (which explained why she was so popular there).
Let me just let that sink in. Carla invited me out for dinner at a sketchy restaurant, which her FATHER owns.
It was like a first date nightmare, made worse by the fact that I got to know him before he knew that I was there on a date with his daughter.
He sat down right between us and started talking to, or should I say interrogating, me about my life, how I met Carla, and more importantly, my intentions with his daughter. It was completely mental.
Anyway, apparently I must have made a really good impression because he invited me to go hunting with him.
Let me just say, I have never held a gun before in my life, much less gone hunting, but I felt like I had no choice but to say yes. After all, you can’t really tell a 6 foot 5, bulked up Brazilian bloke, whose daughter you’re apparently dating, no.
Apparently happy with my response, he left, though he kept a really close eye on us.
Nervously, and completely aware that her father lingered close by, I returned to our date and to conversations about her and her relationships.
It appeared to me at the time that she had a close relationship with both her parents, but whenever I asked about them or what they did for a living, she would always subtly change the subject or become evasive. I didn’t think much of it at the time but, looking back, that should have been the first clue as to what would happen later on in this story.
Anyway we finished our meal (Which was bloody delicious by the way. Just saying) and polished off a couple bottles of their best wine (on the house), then went to leave. Now, I caught a taxi to the restaurant and we were both way too drunk to drive, so we decided to share a taxi (even though I was copping dirty looks from Alexandro.)
Long story, short, she ended up staying at my place for the next few nights.
Now that weekend was ANZAC day weekend, so we had the Monday off. While millions of people took to the streets in order to remember all those that have fallen in service to our great country, I was to meet a big, intimidating Brazilian with a gun and a few of his friends and family.
That’s right, I went out hunting with her father, partially because I had never been hunting before and wanted to give it a shot, but mostly because I had really started to fall for this Brazilian goddess and the fact that I never break a promise, even if I should.
Now most people turn up in some sort of four wheel drive in order to go hunting, but not me, I can’t drive, I took a taxi to the designated spot (try telling a taxi driver to tack you in to the middle of the bush).
Alexandro issued me with a rifle and gave me the basic tutorial on how to use it (Carla must have told him that I have never touched one), we talked for a while and he introduced me to a couple of his business colleagues and some of Carla’s cousins and uncles. Then we set off in search of Kangaroos to shoot. Now it turns out that I’m a natural with a gun. The first few I missed but after that I was actually pretty accurate. I had earned the commendation of everyone there. Which sounds like a good thing, doesn’t it? But I would come to wish I hadn’t later on.
We took all the Kangaroos that we caught back to Carla’s parents place and we met up with all the girls. I got introduced to everyone, including Carla’s mother, Gabriela and her sister, Rachel, and then Alexandro took me away and taught me to skin and gut the Kangaroos. Which was one of the most disgusting thing I have ever done, by far, but I did it, mostly to bond with Carla’s father. Girls have no idea the extent in which us males must go to in order to win over their fathers. It’s insane!
Mostly we talked about life and love, and that sort of thing. Then for some reason he offered me a business opportunity. Either Carla told him what I did for a living (International Businessman at my father’s company) or I did when we first met, I don’t know, but he made me a business proposition.
All he asked me to do is pick up some package the next time I was in Egypt and bring it back for him. He even told me he would pay me a sum of $5,000 for it. I asked what it was and he said it wasn’t anything that will get me in trouble. Me, playing for team stupid, and being blindly in love with Carla, said yes.
Three weeks later, I was flying business class for Cairo international Airport. I sorted out my work business early (as I usually do, in order to explore the city I was in) and I headed to some kebab joint and picked up the package (and a kebab), from some guy named Sharif.
Now I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking that I picked up a package full of drugs, and you’d be wrong. Now you’re probably thinking how would I know? Because I’m not an idiot. Even though I was asked (or told) not to open the package, I am not someone to be set up as being some drug mule, so I opened it, checked to see what it was, then resealed it perfectly. Until now, they never knew that I opened it; if they did they probably would have killed me. In case you were wondering, it was a tiny, gold statue of Amun-Ra.
So, have been satisfied with the fact that I wasn’t doing anything illegal (or so I thought), I packed to statue away in my luggage and continued to explore the great city of Cairo.
When I got back a week later, Carla picked me up from the airport, I gave her the package, we went and had breakfast together (I got in at 9 am), went back to my place and you know what happened next. Afterwards I fell asleep (it was a long flight). When I woke up she was gone and an envelope with exactly $5,000 in it was sitting on my bedside cupboard.
The next few times Alexandro asked me to do the same thing, all in different countries, I was still sceptical, and I opened the packages just to make sure, but after about 5 times of doing the same deal, I stopped checking and just picking up the package and bringing it back.
Each time Carla picked me up from the airport and each time we had a little fun and she left me the standard $5,000 on my cupboard.
I never spent any of the money that they gave me. I still have every dollar hidden away in a safety deposit box at my bank. It’s not that I knew what I was doing was illegal; it was just that I never needed to use it. I’m already filthy rich. I was pretty much doing it for Carla and as a favour to her father.
I did this once, sometimes twice, a month, for five years.
I was actually happy for once in my life. I had a smoking hot girlfriend (we had actually become exclusive after six months of sleeping together), her parents loved me like I was part of their family, I was loaded with money, and my father’s business was booming (he was even thinking of retiring and leaving me the business). I was even thinking about proposing to Carla.
I was going to ask her father’s permission when I got back from my latest business trip. However, after I picked my bag up from the baggage area, two guys in light blue uniforms pulled me over. They introduced themselves as Customs Officers, and told me to go with them.
I didn’t know, at the time, what I was being stopped for. As far as I knew, I wasn’t doing anything wrong. So I was kicking up a stink, complaining that I was in a hurry, and all that sort of thing. Then my whole attitude changed when one of them pulled Alexandro’s package out of my suitcase.
They asked me what was in it and I couldn’t answer. I told them it was probably some statue or artefact and that I was just picking it up for a friend.
They scanned it in the X-Ray machine and saw that it was encased in a lead case (which didn’t help me at all). So they opened up the package, in order to verify that it’s not dangerous. It wasn’t, and it was what I said it was (It was a jade monkey statue), but they informed me that it was stolen from the Japanese Empirical Museum a couple of weeks ago and that I was under arrest, unless I could give them the person in charge of the operation.
So, naturally, I told them everything.
I mean, I’m not going to prison for someone who was setting me up. Besides, I would never survive in prison. I’m way to pretty.
Now, either they could tell that I am an outstanding citizen that was tricked in to committing a serious offence, or they thought that I was a gullible idiot, because they offered me a deal. I was to wear a wire and get a confession from, not only Alexandro, but also from Carla, in return of all charges against me being dropped.
I didn’t know what to do. Either go to prison for a crime I didn’t even know I was committing, or betray the woman that I loved and her father. I was really conflicted, so I asked for my phone call.
I called my father and told him what has happened. He got straight in his car and called his lawyer on the way to the airport.
The three of us talked for a while, until we all agreed what I must do.
I took their offer.
Now, I have parachuted out of planes, gone to the heart of war-torn countries, and bungee jumped out of a helicopter, but they weren’t even half as terrifying as walking in to a criminal organisation, wearing a wire and stabbing them in the back.
An hour after they wired me up, they released me back in to the wild, tagged.
I called up Carla to come and pick me up as she usually did.
I told her that my flight was cancelled and I had to take a later flight. We talked about my trip and about her for a few kilometres, and then she asked me if I had the package.
‘Bang, got her.’ I thought.
I started probing her for information about the packages that I brought back and about why her father was paying me so much money to bring them back for him.
She started to get sceptical at my sudden interest but, luckily for me, I have had years of experience in lying through my teeth in business deals.
I told her that “I know that, what I am doing is against the law and I want more money for risking my life for her and Alexandro.”
“What are you on about?”
“I was pulled over by customs over in Japan and they told me what was in the package. Now luckily for me I had a couple of corrupt agents that I managed to pay off, because otherwise I would be stuck there for the rest of my life.” One thing I have learnt during my career is that over-exaggeration is a brilliant motivator. “Did you know?”
“I think we should go and see my dad.”
“Maybe tomorrow. I have had a really long flight. I just want to go home and spend some time with you. We can sort this out tomorrow after work.”
She must have been happy with the distraction, or at least played along, because she agreed.
We spent that night together having possibly the best sex we have ever had. There is something about lying and betraying someone that is a serious aphrodisiac. Just saying.
Anyway, the next day she was gone, as usual, and the money was on my cupboard, as usual.
I went to work for my usual debrief, except the two customs officers were there for a debrief of the night before, and a briefing for that day. They went on about safe words and escape routes, and some other bullshit that I mostly wasn’t listening to. I was still feeling weird about betraying the girl I loved.
Afterwards, I caught a taxi to Carla’s, and I assume that customs were following me the entire time.
I think that she was waiting around for me to arrive because she walked out the moment I pulled up.
I will never forget how she looked on that day. The day that I betrayed her. She was wearing a pair of skinny, white jeans, a red tank-top, and her knee-length, black, heeled boots. She was looked as gorgeous as ever.
We did the pleasantries; we had a couple of drinks, watched a movie, made out for a while, and then we called a taxi and went to her parent’s place.
That was the part of the entire operation that I really didn’t look forward to. Lying to the face of a giant of a man that looked like he could snap a tree trunk in half with his pinkie. Though, surprisingly, I was really calm and normal whenever I spoke.
Again we sorted out all the pleasantries before getting down to business.
The three of us talked about what was going on and what I was bringing back each time, and all the other particularities about the business that apparently their entire family was involved in since the 20’s. Though he was smart about talking about it, he kept talking in hypotheticals and about past relatives.
Then, once Carla got up and went to the toilet or something, he really started interrogating me.
“How did you find out?”
“Why did you pay off the Japanese Customs officers?”
“Why do you want to get deeper into it?”
Each question he asked, I made up some bullshit answer. I was actually really good at this whole undercover thing. I seriously thought about a career change.
But then he stumped me with one question.
“Why should we trust you?”
For some reason I couldn’t bullshit my way out of that one question. I just automatically answered with the truth.
“Because I really love your daughter and I would really like to ask your permission to ask for her hand in marriage.”
I couldn’t believe I just said that, and I was really hoping he would say yes and that he knew the trust was there, but in some way I really hoped he would say no because I was about to betray them all.
He suddenly started bursting out laughing, loudly. “Of course. Love is a great reason for wanting to join us…Oh, and yes, you can ask her.”
Then when Carla came back we continued talking about the ‘Family Business’, except now he was talking more openly about it. He was just started confessing about their entire operation, about what his job in it was (Fencer), about what Carla’s job was (To stake out and find the target piece), about what my new job will be (In charge of their smuggling operation), and also about what everyone else in their immediate family does. He told me everything.
We talked well in to the night, then, since I had to go to work tomorrow, I left with Carla and we had one last night together.
Over the next few day, the customs officers and the feds went around arresting every member of Carla’s family, even me for image sake.
I was stuck in some stingy motel for three months, until the case was over and done with. Luckily for me, they didn’t need my actual testimony. Otherwise I would lose my life and given a new one. I think that it was all put down to wire taps and listening devices, or something because I didn’t get mentioned once during the entire case.
Afterwards I continued on with my life as if nothing happened. Except for the fact that I now have serious trust issues and an overly cynical nature. I never met anyone else. In my eyes no one could ever compare to Carla. Maybe someday I might find someone and trust people again, but that won’t be anytime soon.
So that is my story about the best and the worst part of my entire life. Hope you enjoyed and never have to go through this crap yourself.
(This was the very first story ever written, so it does need a lot of work. As usual, let me know what you guys think.