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LABELED: The Persian Prince of Watts Part I by Christina Morris

I once dated this guy; he was tall, dark and incredibly handsome. I met him at the Thirsty Crow when I was completely blacked out. Neither of us claim to remember how it happened, his version: I was ordering at the bar, turned to him, said somewhat of a hello then grabbed his face to make out. The only memory I have of that night is a story we'll save for part II. Regardless, the events of our meeting were hazy, but the instant connection was obvious and lead to a few months of dating.

He, being a native of California and living in an area near Beverly Hills, Bakh we'll call him had the ethnic background of Persian. This gave him striking dark features, a wealthy bank account, a VERY large you-know-what, and much to my dismay, an overbearing family. I came to learn that people of the Persian descent very often have an immense attachment to their family. It's not something I was completely against as I grew up with people that had close relationships with their siblings; however, not ever experiencing this bond myself, it was hard to understand when close was too close.

I had come to know Bakh well. We had simliar sense of humor, the same admiration for felines, and the same taste in music and fashion. On paper, we were a perfect match. We looked good together, we couldn't keep our hands off each other when we were out and most importantly we made each other laugh.

Along with that, we had shared intimate moments. I had gazed into his eyes and felt like it was love. I had told him things I rarely opened up to with people and trusted him with my feelings, which was also a rarity; I thought he was going to make everything okay.

It was embarrassing how far off I was. In the beginning of hitting my head against a brick wall, was a conversation we had over the phone.

After dating for several weeks and talking nonstop in between, everything had come to a sudden halt and I was very caught off guard. He was blatantly ignoring my texts and blowing off plans without even telling me. It was nothing like the person I had come to grow such affections for.

On one particular night Bakh had completely ditched me and said he couldn't come out because he was going for drinks with his sister.

Hours after we were supposed to have met up, he told me this over text and only after I texted him to check in to see if we were still meeting. Alcohol took all control and I dialed him in an emotional rage. I asked him if I had done something wrong to put him off, and he claimed “No, not at all,” and promised we'd talk tomorrow.

The following day we had a relationship - or lack their of - talk. He essentially said it was never gonna happen. I agreed with him over the phone that it made sense since he had recently come out of a 4 year relationship and that it wasn't the right time. I lied to him and myself. I thought in that moment it would buy me more time with him. I thought in that moment, I could evenutally change his mind.

Follwing this conversation, we continued to spend time togehter. One weekend he ended up staying at my place and we had the greatest night into day, into night again, into day again. He slept at my apartment two nights in a row with no hesitance. It was the late afternoon on our 3rd straight day together and he was at the edge of my bed with his phone in his hand, the screenlight reflecting on his bed.

"My parents are so mad at me."

Ah, yes must mention this: he still lived with his parents.

"Why is that?," I asked, somewhat bothered that not only he still lived in the same bedroom he had in high school, but that his parents needed insight on his weekend agenda.

"I don't know, they just want me home. And my sister won't stop texting me," his eyes rolled, "Whatever."

I assumed his “whatever” meant he was trying to stray away from his traditional roots. I'm not going to stereotype every Persian person, as I've only been around very few. I want to find the love for their family endearing, but it was overbearing in his case. The more I got to know him, the more I got to know his sister, without ever really meeting her.

At first, I did think it was sweet. Though all of my relationships I am still single, the men I've dated that had sisters had treated me much better than the ones that did not. They understood women better, they were more polite, more comfortable and they cared a tiny bit more about our feelings.

Bakh on the other hand had begun to cross the line into obsession with his sister. While out to brunch one morning, he told me a story about how she had worked on some MTV production and was able to keep a foosball table from it. He had made note of his love of foosball too many times to count, so I understood how serious he was about it. After his sister had gotten this foosball table, she had decided to give it away to someone else.

"I stopped talking to her for like three days," he explained in the midst of this story.

I thought he was completely joking because A. 3 days isn't that long to not talk to someone B. Who really cares that much about foosball and C. where the hell would he have kept the table anyway? He lives at home...

At the time I admittedly thought it was cute and thought his young spirit was something to keep me feeling youthfull and like I was still a teen.

As we continued to faux date, I started to realize his family would most likely prevent any chance of me actually being his girlfriend. His weekend obligations were to his family, mainly his sister. On many, many different occasions he would tell me he couldn't hang out because he felt bad leaving his sister. Might I point out, she's married. And at this point, later into us dating, he had moved into her apartment. He was bordering pathetic and odd and the line of their relationship was soon crossed after a conversaion we had about bath time.

I don't remember the exact premise of the discuss but we started to talk about him and his sister... showering together. He told me they shared bath tub and shower time until he was about 7. I took a moment to myself and did the math. He was 26 at the time, and his sister, I believe, was 35. That means she is 9 years older. That means, it was until she was 15. It wasn't completely creepy on his end, as maybe at 7 you're still young enough for that not to anything on the lines of sexual. But a 15 year old girl wanting to shower with her little brother just shows dependance issues. Among, many other things.

When I did the math aloud he quickly took it back. He stated, “Maybe it was until I was 4 or 5.” It was too late, I was so creeped out. Only to follow was his explanation, which made it all the more disturbing and uncomfortable.

"I think when she started to grow breasts was when I wasn't supposed to shower with her anymore."

I awkwardly laughed because I wasn't quite sure how else to react. We moved on.

About a week later we were back together at a bar. He told me he asked his sister about them taking showers together. I thought we were done discussing his showers with his sister.

Apparently her reaction was as put off as mine. He expressed his sisters disgust with the thought of them showering together and informed him that it never happened. This left me with one distrubing thought: he had made up memories of being wet and naked with his 15 year old sister.

After that, I realized I was in competition with his sister both in fantasies and reality; I wasn't willing to compete. All the things I thought about him and all the moments I romanticized started to become more clear. He was a man-child, a typical boy living in Los Angeles with serious Peter Pan syndrome. Every story that I thought was sweet was all just a sign pointing to, well, immature.

His obsession with foosball, not that cool.

His consistent stuffed nose, actually pretty gross.

His squinted eyes that made him look permanently stoned, not exotic.

His new-found moustache, just creepy; not hip.

His ever 90s inspired outfits, not that fashionable.

When more and more was revealed, I saw the faults in what I had initially fallen so hard for.

It ended against my personal will. I was willing to overlook all of this because he was the best kisser I've ever shared make out sessions with. But I knew deep down, it was all too good to be true. He would never move out, he would never detach, he would never fall for me. Took me about a year after we broke up to really accept it.

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