Kevin Shaw: Falling In Love With A Girl Named Belassi


[Don’t worry, we have a proper reveal reviewing all of the details of the new Burrasca HERE. This is just meant to be dumb fun. – Ed.]

I still cringe when people casually throw around the term “abusive relationship”; it always feels like somebody should be cowering in the corner with a black eye or something. But I know that’s not the case. Abuse can come in a variety of ways, and in my instance, it was being in love with a girl who didn’t know who I was. Have you ever been in an abusive relationship? Y’know, the one-sided, emotionally-vacant, disconnected kind of relationship that leaves you hollow, empty – no, not starved for attention – just abandoned? That’s sort of how I feel about Belassi. She was amazing in that weird, inexplicable way where nothing about her truly stood out – we didn’t like the same things, we never socialized with the same people, really – but Belassi broke my heart without even knowing I existed.

Most of us had heard about her before ever seeing her. She was a foreign transplant from Italy, or Austria or something. The story always changed. I first saw her when she breezed in through the door really late for class. She clearly didn’t care – nor did the principal. The teacher sure did but that didn’t matter. Belassi had a free pass; we later heard that her folks were loaded. What that meant for the school wasn’t exactly clear. But again, it didn’t really matter. What mattered was that she was gorgeous. Something exotic yet familiar, an intangible dream made real. This wild, radiant figure, lean, and healthy (without looking too athletic if you know what I mean) and every guy wanted her. It was magnetic. All of us were transfixed.

That first year was rough. She never took notes, God knows if she bothered to study, failed every test, and frankly, baffled the teacher (and all of us) why she even attended. But I knew why. She just wanted somewhere to go where everybody’s eyes were on her. At least, that’s what I thought – because I was just as mesmerized as all the other guys. She’d disappear every now and again; some said she got expelled. Others said she moved back to Europe. I heard later that her parents’ money dried up. Again, it didn’t matter, because sometimes mid-semester, other times for half a year, she’d blow back into our lives and we were all glad to have her.

She hardly talked to anyone, except for maybe a handful of foreign students on campus, but you and your friends couldn’t stop talking about her. Details were slim. Was she a dancer? A swimmer? Nobody really knew. Now, everybody thought they did, but that was just speculation. All we knew was that she was gorgeous, and that’s pretty much all we knew for sure. I talked (once) with one of those European guys who hung out with her in between classes. He even took her out once for a ride along the beach. He said it was great, but she wasn’t “into cruising.” A friend of mine got to know her through one of these foreign students, a friend-of-a-friend sort of thing. He spent a summer seeing her on-and-off. When I asked later for details, anything really, he just replied, “Ugh. Don’t.”

Yeah, that’s Belassi. She sought attention from everyone but never returned that affection. Well, except for one kid. György came in late into the school year, but man, this kid was a fast mover. In no time, everybody knew who he was – and so did Belassi. She swooped in on György and snatched him up. All of us needed to know, who was she? All he said was that he loved her. Well, hell. So did all of us. But what else? Nothing. He would sooner leak secret government launch codes than reveal what he had learned about Belassi behind closed doors. I just imagined her lips whispering details, her indiscretions to him. It was maddening. And then, just like before, it was over. Belassi was gone from us, retreating permanently to Europe never to be heard from again.

At least, that’s what we thought. A few grainy snapshots appeared on Facebook a year or two ago by some Italian guys claiming to know where she likes to hit the beach. And again, in perfect Belassi fashion, when she was expected at some swanky event she was a no-show. Later György‘s friends managed to get him to talk and the news was out, she was coming back – but not back to the States. The insane roller coaster that has brought Belassi into our lives was exhausting. I didn’t know how much more I could take. She’d spring up intermittently in the occasional social media thread. A coquettish smile, a cutesy selfie – all just to remind you that she hadn’t gone away and you still hadn’t gotten over her. I swear it was intentional.

And then it appeared; an indiscriminate email in my Junk Folder from her, from Belassi. It was less of an invitation and more of an announcement. Belassi was throwing some reveal party, a coming out celebration it seemed. She sent pictures – even a video, which was really nothing more than just a tease – and so much more. I knew this went to everybody, but did Belassi know who I was this whole time? Did she even care? My heart raced as stars flickered in my peripherals. No! I growled at myself. Not this again. I refuse to get sucked into her swirling vortex of drama one more time. I’ve got a really good thing going right now – a really healthy bunch of friendships; reliable, dependable, healthy relationships – and you know what? I’m happy.

I’m happy without Belassi in my life. I’ve given her too much. Too much of my time, my attention, my love. If she was serious… if she is serious, she needs to come to me this time. So, so many have chased this girl for too long. And for what? Disappointment and broken hearts. “I swear she gets off on it,” my friend lamented. “She loves to be chased. She has to be out front. In front of everybody. It’s the attention she wants.” I’d like to think things will be different this time, but she’s going to have to prove it.

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Kevin Shaw

Kevin Shaw is a decade-long powersports and automotive journalist whose love for things that go too fast has led him to launching The Watercraft Journal. Almost always found with stained hands and dirt under his fingernails, Kevin has an eye for the technical while keeping a eye out for beautiful photography and a great story.

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