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April 21, 2014

My Mother Invited My Attacker to Dinner. ~ Karen Mary Castranova

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As women, or should I say young girls, in high school, we all have those dates we’d rather not remember.

Well, this is a story of one of them.

The guy was a soccer player, fresh out of Brazil, and his first name was Solon. He was a diver who practiced at the Woodlands Country Club in Conroe, Texas, and he went to my high school for a bit as an exchange student. He rode on the back of a brand new 1976 Honda Gold Wing.

As fate would have it, he eyeballed me and asked me out.

Our first date was a complete disaster. We went into a posh restaurant and he ordered the waitress around like he was the King Of Sheba. What happened next is horrific.

We came out of the restaurant to find his brand new, 1976 Honda Gold Wing—gone.

Someone had jimmied the ignition and rode off with it. Sweat started beading up on Solon’s nose and he cussed at the moon. He screamed profanities in Portuguese as his arms flailed wildly in the air. We had to call a taxi to get back.

Weeks later, he asked me out again. I felt sorry about what had happened on our last date, so I uttered a reluctant, “yes.”

Bad move.

Now, not only had “daddy” bought him a new Gold Wing, but also his own apartment. So, after the movie, we rode back to his place because he told me he’d fix me a nice dinner and we’d have “non-alcoholic” drinks. (Since we were both 18.)

What I saw when I entered mortified me.

There were no chairs, tables, furniture or anything in his place! Carpet and that was it. He told me to sit on the ground and he’d bring me a soft drink. I did.

He sat next to me, took one sip of his drink and lunged like a panther. He knocked me backwards and in a brief moment, I found my tiny frame pinned beneath him. I had no time to think, so I socked him as hard as I could in the face with my fist.

For an instant, he was stunned.

That brief opportunity allowed me to roll over, jump up, flee to the door and then outside. I screamed at him that if he didn’t take me home that instant, I’d call my Dad. Well, my Dad was a very built Italian guy with a temper that would make the ear-biting Michael Tyson look tame.

Of course, that was our last date—but not the last time I saw the kook.

Months later, I started dating a guy who was much more pleasant named Kevin. We went out to get a burger and fries at Whataburger, and we were in Kevin’s old Camaro when a bright light came up behind us on an old dirt, back road in Conroe, Texas. Kevin exclaimed, “Who the hell could that be?” In my gut, I knew Satan’s spawn had returned. Solon came up next to Kevin’s Camaro, and actually kicked the door while on his Gold Wing 1000!

Kevin screamed like a baby and said, “I’m calling the cops!” I said, “Please don’t, let’s just call it a night and go home.” I knew if Solon knew we were headed back to my parent’s home, he wouldn’t follow. He knew better than to follow us back to my Italian Stallion Dad’s place.

Many years passed. I was in college and it was spring break.

As an Italian, Catholic girl who didn’t do much on spring break other than to go back home to Mom and Dad’s, I drove back home from the University of North Texas, (now called, NTSU) and that’s when Mom called. She said she had a surprise guest for dinner—I couldn’t imagine who it was.

“Oh God,” I exclaimed, as my heart jumped out of my chest when I saw the all too familiar Honda Gold Wing in my parents’ driveway. My mother had invited my almost rapist to dinner.

The thought of sharing our dinner table with my attacker made me lose my appetite.

He had with him a beautiful, blonde girl who looked like Christie Brinkley. She was wearing shorts. Her legs were badly bruised. When I asked her about it, she told me it was from his motorcycle that had burned her legs. Since I have a degree in biological science, I believe I can distinguish between a bruise and a burn! I thought to myself, “Geez, I know it’s not from that danged motorcycle! Who do you think you’re foolin’?”

There’s a lesson to be learned here by everyone: always be careful about who you choose to go out with.

I got lucky, because I was able to escape.

If you feel that sick kinda feelin’ in your gut, trust it. Not everyone is able to get out of a situation like what I found myself faced with. It could’ve been much worse.

Be smart and be careful girlfriends!

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Editorial Apprentice: Terri Tremblett/ Editor: Travis May

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Karen Mary Castranova