BRUTAL TRUTHS • by Felicia Aguilar

After some point in my fifty-two years alive, I had finally learned to say to people what they didn’t want to hear, even if it was brutal. I mean, if you were a blind man and thought you could see, wouldn’t you want to know that those visions and colors were nothing but figments of your imagination? The trouble is that people don’t want to know because they can’t fathom the unyielding power of truth.

That’s how I landed myself right in the pit of Pandora’s Box. The club had only been open for a few months. There was a big fight about the opening of a strip club in a small town like ours but there are also many perverts in our small town. Looks like the perverts won.

God loves the righteous, but loves his sinners even more. I only wanted to explain this necessary truth to them. The girls at Pandora’s weren’t smart, or even beautiful for that matter. They were mascara-stained, young, raunchy girls that should have been working on their college essays. Instead, they were simply trying to get a nickel and dime for their coke habits. They had no qualms about taking a man into a restroom stall if it meant another twenty-dollar bill.

Brutal truth: They were unsaved, filthy hookers.

Having never stepped foot in that club before, I have to admit it was all a bit overwhelming. There was one girl, though, that made me feel at ease. Her name was Aurora. Aurora was beautiful; she had curves and a smiling c-section scar that made me realize she was more woman than girl. I saw her landing on the laps of other men in the club, straddling them and letting her long legs rest on their outer thighs as if she yearned to be riding wild horses instead. It disgusted me to see her on top of them. Beautiful Aurora should have only been given the best in life, not these cards that had been dealt to her.

I offered her a fifty-dollar bill for a dance. I only wanted to save her. After that dance, I kept wanting to save her.

Aurora had no plans to be saved, but I couldn’t help myself. We already had a routine etched. I’d go into Pandora’s after my weekly sermons at the church, and sit by the bar. She would come over and remove my tie, brush her hands through my hair. “Tell me about your long day, Pastor.”

I would only talk about God at first, of course. But the way she would walk on over to me with that big Cheshire smile on her face made me know that Aurora needed more than preaching.

“Tell me I’m beautiful,” she would say.

“You’re beautiful, Aurora. My God, you’re beautiful.”

Aurora needed a friend.

As with my experience, most friendships such as what Aurora and I shared tended to go sour after a time. First the conversation fades, as does the magic, as do the feelings. And then the truths, like little monsters, come out to play.

One night, I felt the magic fade. Just like that. Aurora came over to me and told me she’d be quitting soon. One of her patrons had whisked her away into a sudden marriage. She wouldn’t be able to see me anymore. I have to admit that stung. What about all our conversations, the passionate kisses, the dances, all the intimacy that we had developed over the months? She ended it so abruptly that it led me to believe that what we shared meant nothing at all to her. How could she let some jackass she hardly knew marry her when all I wanted to do was save her?

I have to admit, I got a little angry.

So I laid a brutal truth on her: she had stretch marks down her breasts and her thighs resembled cottage cheese. She really shouldn’t be dancing anymore anyway. Her beauty had faded long ago. Past her prime, you know? But I overlooked those things because like I said before, most people just don’t want to hear the truth.

I’ve spoken a lot of lies. I’ve told a lot of brutal truths. In the end, all you can hope for is that they somehow balance out and that God will forgive you. But, I have never factored in Karma. God and Karma are two different entities. Karma did not touch me until the day I told Aurora her truth.

Even with her standing above me on the podium, I could see the flash of anger in her eyes. I expected anger, but what I didn’t expect was the tip of Aurora’s stiletto heel to violently make contact with my right eye. I didn’t even realize what happened until I felt the warm blood oozing down my cheek, and then the pain rushing in.

Brutal truths are hard to handle, even in the best of circumstances.

I mean, if you were a blind man, wouldn’t you want to know?

Felicia Aguilar has the words “Why She Wrote” tattooed on her wrist. It is a personal reminder to follow her passion and write every day. Her work has been published in The NW Drizzle, Postcard Shorts, Daily Love, and the Flash Fiction Offensive. She lives in Dallas, Texas and is the mother to two wild toddler children, and wife to a wonderful husband who supports all of her creative endeavors.

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