My name is Vera Miles.
And in the story of my life, I am the villain.
How could I not be?
Tattoos and piercings.
I love food too much.
I love sex too much.
And I’ve had part in breaking up a marriage.
But I’m starting to think that most villains aren’t evil—they are just misunderstood.
Or victims of that most manipulative force: love.
Love causes war and causes death, breaks souls and breaks lives. It runs people into the ground, makes them behave like moronic, immoral beasts, before it dances off, leaving only destruction in its wake—hearts blown wide open for the whole world to see.
Love puts the blame on the poor souls who succumb to it.
Love, that ultimate villainess. She makes examples of us all.
And yet we still come back for more.
We keep playing the role she gives us.
For one more chance to feel alive.
Love has made me a villain. But at least now, I don’t have to be misunderstood.
This is my story…
“Aí, assim meu amor!”
I had no idea what the hell the guy (was it Cristiano? Cristo?) was grunting loudly in my ear but given that my head was inches from smashing into the dorm room wall, I didn’t really care. He obviously liked what I was giving him and I couldn’t complain.
Smash. He thrust into me just a tad too hard and my head smacked into the greasy stucco.
Okay, I couldn’t complain much.
I shifted back a bit, careful not to interrupt his flow all while not losing my balance and toppling over the side of the bunk. It was bad enough that I kept glancing over at the door every five seconds, afraid that the other backpackers would come back at any moment. I was a bit of an exhibitionist but I still didn’t want the people I was sharing a room with to see me naked with my ass up in the air and some sexy Portuguese guy doing me doggy-style. Cristo, Cristiano, whatever his name was, was staying in the room next door and wouldn’t have to put up with them.
Unfortunately, though he was one sexy beast and we’d spent the night flirting with each other over greasy pub food, that didn’t translate so well into sexual prowess. His dick was big but he didn’t really know what to do with it except try and brain me into the wall, so I finished myself off as he came.
He pulled out and I heard the squishy snap as he unrolled the condom off of him, followed by a smack as he hit me across my ass.
“You Canadian girls are good, yes?” he said with the smirk that made me get naked in the first place. Well that, and copious amounts of Newcastle Brown Ale.
I rolled over, careful not to send us both to the floor. “Well,” I said, trying vainly to cover up my breasts and failing, the bunk shuddering beneath us. “I can’t speak for all of us. But yeah, I’m pretty good.”
“Eh!” he said, his smile looking more idiotic. “Right? Eh?”
I rolled my eyes. “Yes. I’m pretty good…eh.”
“I knew you all said that,” he said gleefully. I tried to move past him, knowing I couldn’t but hoping that he’d at least go down the bunk bed ladder, but he just sat there, his rapidly deflating penis in full view. They were certainly right about the Europeans being relaxed about sex and nudity. It’s like the mothership had finally called me home.
He nodded at my body. “Why so many tattoos? Is that a Canadian thing?”
I smiled and looked down at my chest, arms and legs where my ink was display. “It’s a fun person thing.”
“I don’t have any tattoos.”
“I can tell. You’re naked.”
“How many do you have?”
“Ten,” I said off the bat. “No, wait. Eleven.” I had gotten one from my favorite artist on Main Street right before I left Vancouver for London. I turned over the inside of my right arm, the ink still vibrant. It was yet another constellation, this one of the archer, or the symbol for Sagittarius. Now, I was actually an Aquarius but I loved the stars that made up the bow, the idea of shooting for something. Instead of plain stars like so many of my tats were, I incorporated skulls into them. My arm looked like skeletons flying through space. I was super proud of it.
“So many stars,” he commented, his eyes lingering all over my body.
“I study astronomy.”
He turned wide-eyed. “You’re joking? You study? In school?”
And here we go—I couldn’t possibly have eleven tattoos, multiple earrings and a nose ring and tongue ring and go to university, earning a science degree. I heard it all the damn time, I just thought Europe was more progressive in that area, too. I guess you could find morons in every country.
“Does it surprise you that I’m smart?” I asked pointedly while I considered pushing him off the bunk.
He nodded. “Of course. Usually, uh, girls who are…who…” I narrowed my eyes as he fumbled to continue, “have tattoos and, um, like the sex. Usually they aren’t so smart.”
I breathed in and put on a stiff smile. “I can tell that the girls who sleep with you have to be stupid. I’m starting to feel a bit stupid myself. I’ll blame London, though.” I motioned for him to move. “Now are you going to get off the bunk bed or do I have to make you?”
His eyes grew round yet again. If he thought my tats made me hard-core, I wasn’t going to convince him otherwise. He got down off the ladder and quickly slipped on his clothes while I did the awkward climb of shame. I had a healthy body image but getting my curvy ass down a narrow ladder couldn’t be a pretty sight.
He headed for the door while I fastened on my bra, then paused and shot me an anxious glance over his shoulder. “Did you want to go back out? I think people are still drinking.”
I shook my head. “No thanks, you go.”
He looked relieved. “Okay. Well thank you for…have a nice night Vilma.”
He shut the door after him and I yelled, “It’s Vera!” after him. I sighed and shrugged. I guess it was only fair. I couldn’t remember his name properly either.
I quickly slipped on my matching underwear and stared at the dress that Portuguese boy had taken off me earlier. It was my last night in London and incredibly tempting to head back out to the pubs and have some more fun but that’s all I’d been doing for the last week. Sure, I took in a lot of the sights—the natural history museum, the London eye, Tate Modern, Tower of London. I rode the cute cabs and the underground and double decker buses and ate food that ranged from awesome (deep fried Mars bars!) to nasty (don’t order fish and chips from a Chinese restaurant).