It was an old, memory-filled place with wooden benches that were curved around cold, metal tables. The door squeaked every time Giavanna entered, allowing her to smell puffs of cigarette smoke and thick layers of oil. The mirror, adjacent to the door, always greeted her with a smile to welcome her back. Loud banging noises, followed by either cheers of joy or a sigh of lost hope, sounded all too familiar. It was the best place to go to for a moment of enjoyment; the bowling alley.
"Giavanna!" a familiar voice shouted. "We're on lanes three and four and we're against him again."
"Again?" Giavanna sighed. "I thought we wouldn't be anymore."
As Giavanna walked to lanes three and four, she glanced around to see many of her friends that she made throughout the years. She had been on the same bowling league for five years, and never had a dull moment. She set her bowling bag down, and began putting on her shoes as her friend sat beside her.
"Here he comes," her friend nodded towards the mirror. "Hide now or never!"
Giavanna rolled her eyes. "Desiree, he's perfectly harmless."
"If you say so," Desiree giggled. "Look, he is staring at you! Do you call that harmless?"
"It's okay, Desiree," Giavanna responded.
"Well, I can try to get rid of him for you. We can shut him in a bathroom or something!" Desiree suggested as began tying her bowling shoes.
"Don't be so dramatic, Desiree! I'll just talk to him, and maybe he'll give me some space." Giavanna responded.
Once her bowling shoes were on, Giavanna made her way over to Ethan, a very muscular and tall teenager. He had untidy facial hair, extremely curly black hair, and a skull t-shirt on. When he noticed Giavanna, Ethan frequently blinked and rolled his shoulders.
"Hi, Ethan. How are you today?" Giavanna casually asked.
"I'm okay," Ethan always spoke with a slur, and Giavanna still could not believe his voice was that deep. "I got fired at my stupid job, though. I hate those people. I want to go to a rock concert, and take out all of my anger there." He began muttering swear words under his breath.
"Oh. Well, why did you get fired?" Giavanna stopped herself from laughing at his immaturity.
"They said that I was aggressive, and that I cursed too often." He sighed. "But do you want to hang out some time? We could go to the mall today."
Just then, the lanes turned on for ten minutes of practice. The room instantly grew loud with the roars of the machines. Most people would just socialize, but there were a few who would actually practice. Giavanna took that opportunity to get back to Desiree.
"We'll see. I don't really know about today," Giavanna responded, and walked back to the anxiously waiting Desiree. She couldn't tell him that she wanted to keep distance because she felt bad for him. Ethan didn't have many friends. He might've had none, actually.
"How did it go?" Desiree asked.
Giavanna grabbed her bowling ball. "I think it will be okay. I couldn't tell him to leave me alone, though. I just feel too bad for him." She made her way to the approach, and positioned herself.
"You need to be more aggressive!" Desiree shouted to Giavanna as she swiftly threw a curve ball, and accomplished a strike.
"How is that for being aggressive?" Giavanna smirked as she stepped down, and noticed Desiree's same reaction. Desiree prepared to throw her first practice ball when Ethan appeared for practice on the adjacent lane. He seemed to be checking the girls out, until Ruth, the co-owner of the lanes, noticed and scolded him. Ethan's face turned burgundy, and he began twitching.
"Giavanna is my girlfriend, everyone!" Ethan began announcing.
"Ethan, stop it! I'm not your girlfriend," Giavanna said as she looked around. Luckily, no one other than Desiree had heard Ethan, probably because of the volume of the room. Either that, or people just weren't paying attention.
"You always talk to me. You are the only one. That must mean that you like me. We are more than friends," Ethan explained as he walked to a corner near a table and a side door. Giavanna followed.
"Ethan, you are not my boyfriend, and I am not your girlfriend. We go through this almost every week. We can be bowlers together, but that is it." Giavanna said.
She knew that Ethan had an excuse for his thought because he was in the special education program. He functioned normally, but he did not seem to grasp concepts very well. Maybe Ethan thought that Giavanna was attracted to him because she always gave him attention. She was always nice and talked to him, while everyone else ignored him. She wished that she could be nice to him, but still stay acquaintances.
"We both are almost eighteen," Ethan began. "It is okay if we go on a date, you know. Will you go to the mall with me?"
"Ethan, I'm sorry. Let's just stick to bowling," Giavanna said.
"Come outside with me for a minute," Ethan pleaded.
"I want to get back to bowling."
Ethan slowly put his hands around Giavanna's wrists. His grip grew tight. "Please give me attention," Ethan begged.
"You're hurting me," Giavanna said as she tried to get out of his grip. She glanced around, and noticed that Desiree was chatting with a few girls. Ruth was busy explaining something to an adult. Everyone else seemed to be talking and bowling. No one was noticing what was going on.
"You are already hurting me by not loving me," Ethan said. He moved his left hand to his pant pocket, and pulled out something silver and shiny. Giavanna knew at once what it was. The sharp dagger hid beneath Giavanna's hair, and touched her neck. Her heart began pounding.
"Please don't hurt me, Ethan," Giavanna begged.
"I would never want to. I can't even think of doing such a thing. I love you so much. However, you need to love me in return. Otherwise, you will pay. Let's go," he said as he pushed the door open with his right hand. The dagger still remained on Giavanna's neck. She slowly walked outside, and Ethan followed. He quickly shut the door, to reveal the empty side of the parking lot.
"Take me to your car, and then drive. I will tell you where to go," Ethan explained as his placed the knife back into his pocket.
Giavanna slightly nodded and led the way to her car. She gazed into his eyes. He wasn't the innocent and sensitive teenager that she knew. He now looked wicked, and above all, determined.
When they reached her car, Giavanna pulled out her keys from her pocket and unlocked the door. She sat in the driver's seat, and watched Ethan jump in the passenger's seat.
"Before we leave, I want to do something," Ethan said. Giavanna's fear skyrocketed, and her mind became jumbled with so many things that he could do to her.
"What?" Giavanna asked, her voice and body shaking.
"Give me the keys," Ethan said. Giavanna did. "Now, don't worry. It will be okay."
Ethan pulled out the dagger, and it shined in the bright, morning light. Giavanna felt tears dripping onto her cheeks as Ethan grabbed her left arm. He held the dagger, feeling its power, and began etching into her skin. She screamed in pain. Giavanna awkwardly opened the door with her right hand, and halfway fell out of the car.
"Get back in the car, now!" Ethan screamed, and grabbed her legs. "I have a dagger. I know where you live. I can hurt the people that you care about."
Giavanna began kicking to get out of his grip. His immense strength pulled her back into the car, partially on his legs.
"Sit back in your seat, and shut the door." He calmly said. Giavanna did as she was told. She felt so disgusted. "Good. I will attack you, and others around you, if I need to, so please do as I ask. Now, where was I?" Ethan grabbed my left arm, and finished etching what he began.
Giavanna felt the worst pain ever in her life. She felt him dragging the dagger in a certain pattern, slowly around the top of her wrist. It felt like he was carving a series of lines, almost like letters. Giavanna regrettably looked, but couldn't tell what he did, for the amount of blood was large. Her crimson fluid began to drip onto the seat and emergency brake. Her tears were dripping from her chin as she felt the incredible sting, almost like her wound was on fire.
"Do you see what it says?" Ethan asked with a satisfied grin on his face.
Giavanna looked, once again, but could not tell. She shook her head.
"It says Ethan," he said. "Now you will always belong to me."
He finally got what he wanted. For the first time in his life, he was in control.