Just a little human touch…

“Sometimes I think I’m going mad
We’re loosing all we had and no one seems to care
But in my heart it doesn’t change
We’ve got to rearrange and bring our world some love.”

(Scorpions-“Under the same sun”)

Les Baux de Provence

-I missed this house! The colors, the smell…everything! Remember, Phillipe…

-How could i ever forget our first time? Princess…the way you gave yourself…abandoning your body completely in my arms…the sweet look in your eyes…the passion and the pleasure…i felt like the luckiest man on earth! And the best part is that…every time is better…every time i want you more and more…

-Phillipe…

-I adore you…look how cute you are when you’re blushing like this! And your eyes…when you’re happy they are sparkling! I feel like throwing you on the bed…i swear that your sexy smile make me loose my sense of reality…

I wrapped my arms around his neck, gently touching his face, arranging his careless hair.

-I love you…i wanna make love to you…but you said about a special dinner…and i’m starving!

He started to laugh.

-Alright…i guess i can wait a little more. Alicia, can you go to the kitchen and announce the servant to set the table?

-I rather not…that girl, Anette…i think she don’t like me…Why do you look at me like this? No, i’m not afraid! Alright…i’ll go!

a little later

-Mademoiselle want the dinner to be served now?

I looked at Anette. She seemed around 30, looking still very young. I asked myself why can’t she find a better place to work. Serving Phillipe…that must be hard…

-Yes. And, please, Anette, don’t call me “Mademoiselle”. I’m Alicia, or you can call me Ali, like all my friends. We’re the same age, i think…

-Excuse me, mademoiselle, i don’t have time to small talks…

-You don’t really like me, do you? It’s alright…at least let me help you arrange the table. Give me the salad…

The look in her eyes was more than the words could express. She took the salad boll out of my hands with harsh moves.

-No! Because I know how Sir prefer to have the dinner! I’m on his service long enough to know about his preferences! What did you imagined? You thought you can come here and ordering me like you’re the lady of the house? I only listen to Sir’s orders! Not to some spoiled girl! Yes…you thought that if you’re sleeping with him…

The door suddenly opened and i saw Phillipe standing there. And by his expression i understood that he heard it all….

-What’s going on here? You…girl…how dare you raise your voice to my fiancee? And offending her like you did…you should be on your knees bagging her to forgive you!

-I’m sorry, Sir, i’m truly sorry! I shouldn’t said, but i got mad because she wanted to arrange the dinner table and i know you like it in a certain way. I promise you, Sir, this will never happen again!

-Did i gave you permission to speak?

His eyes were so cold and his calm seemed to hide an anger beyond humanly understanding. He looked at Anette like he just saw a trash.

-Pack your things. In 15 minutes i want you out of this house. And do not dare to look in my eyes ever again! Or to speak to my fiancee who, by the way, is the lady of the house! Now, get your garbage out of my house!

I saw her standing there, looking hurt but trying to keep her dignity. And suddenly something snapped inside of her mind and i was horrified to see her kneeling in front of him…

-Please, Sir…i bag you…i’ll do whatever it takes…i’ll work harder and i’ll never do that again. Please…it’s late…i have no place to go and you know about my mother…she’s sick…Please Sir…

-Well…you should had thought about your mother before! You only have 5 minutes left to leave this house! Start packing. Now!

I looked at him…how cold and cruel sounded his words.

-Phillipe…she’s on her knees…it’s not right…do something. Look, i already forgot what she said…it doesn’t matter and i’m sure she’ll try…

He interrupted me with a firm voice.

-Alicia, please go upstairs and wait for me there. You’re oversensitive about these things! And i don’t want you to mix with servants…ever again. OK, baby? Go upstairs…

I left the room feeling so sad…I heard her crying and i imagined how she must feel. And then, i saw her living the house and i couldn’t resist anymore. Running down the stairs…trying my best to catch her before she’ll go into the darkness…

-Anette…wait!

-What is it? You’re happy now? You wanna take a good look at me just to enjoy the view?

-No…let me help you! Here…take this money…it’s all i have now. You said you have no place to go…this will help you to pay a room at a hotel. And here’s my phone number…Please, call me…i have some friends and i think i can get you a new job. Please, Anette…let me help you…

She took the money and, for the first time, she looked at me friendly.

-Alicia…Ali…thank you! I…i don’t know what to say except that…i’m extremely sorry! I was horrible to you, and you were nothing but kind…I’ll call you…

I opened my arms and gave her a big warm hug, thinking how wrong can we act out of prejudices…And then, i turned back to the house.

a little later

-so…princess…you gave her all of your money…and you promised her a job…

-yep!

-and you left the house without saying a word to me…just to help a stranger. Of course…not any stranger…someone who offended you…

-again…yep!

-Are you out of your mind, Alicia? I’m serious now! Tell me exactly what’s going on in that beautiful head of yours!

-I don’t know, Phillipe…but i’ll tell you what’s in my heart and soul…When i saw her kneeling in front of you, my heart broke. It was the saddest thing i ever saw…and any offending word she might told me…it didn’t matter anymore. I felt like she’s loosing her dignity, her pride…

-Baby, servants are not supposed to have dignity and pride! She’s not the first woman kneeling in front of me or bagging…I love you, Alicia, but you need to learn to behave…because your admiration…your fascination toward people will cause you many problems. This need of yours to help and love them…why don’t you understand? They don’t deserve it! I’m the only one you should love and respect! And it’s the last time when i allow you to do something like this…

-You’re the only one i love and respect…Phillipe…can we be like…before? Can you hold me and make me feel loved and protected again? I feel so lonely and sad…i wanna cry and i have no more tears…I’m afraid to talk to you, to tell you how i feel…and i’m afraid to be myself…can you love me like before? Without all those cruel words…

He smiled at me and took me in his arms.

-My beauty…no more cruel words. I don’t wanna hurt you…sometimes i feel like you’re just a big child, completely blind to the darkness of this world. How could i be ever mad at you…when all i want is to make love to you…i never loved anybody like i love you…

Maybe i’m blind to the darkness around me. Or maybe…i just see the light in places where the others renounced long time ago to search it. The lost causes…how could i ever turn my back? If there’s a chance, just a little one, to turn someone’s life into better…how could i walk away without trying? How could anybody…

because i just feel i’m a lost cause myself…

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The Inner Child

“I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.”

(Leonard Cohen-“In my secret life”)

-Maria, this is the best Tiramisu i have ever eaten! The best! Thank you so much! Please, give a big slice to Phillipe, he’s locked away in that office for too long…

-I can’t…Sir said he doesn’t want to be bothered…and he also told me to announce you to be ready in an hour. You know…for the business meeting.

-I will be ready, but…Maria, stop this nonsense with “Sir”. He’s Phillipe, my fiance, not some royal figure! If i call him by his name, you should do that too…because you’re like family to me…sometimes you were the mother i never had…Alright…no more tears! Really, Maria, if you call him “Sir” again, i’ll just ask him to call you “Lady”! Lady Maria…

She started to laugh but suddenly she stopped.

-Alicia, you’re like a child sometimes! And me…talking to you while i still have those dishes…

-Let me help you clean up the kitchen. Come on, Maria! You worked too much today and i’m boring…You sit down and i do the dishes! And you talk to me, that’s an order! Just kidding…about ordering you…i respect you too much to give you orders! Just let me help you! Please, pretty please, pretty pretty please…

She tried to look serious but i could tell she was smiling.

-That’s unacceptable! Sir…i mean your fiance was very clear about this! He doesn’t want you to work in the house. Alicia, if you care about me, just respect his demands. You know i depend on these money…not for me…it’s about my children…you know my situation. Tell me something…

-anything, my dear Maria…

-Why are you like this with him? Defying all the rules, acting against his decisions? Like a child who’s testing the limits…You love him, right? He loves you so much…and his requests are not that hard to respect. In the past, that was the only way for a woman. Respectful and loving…So, why are you like this?

-I don’t know…maybe i’m testing his limits. I love him and i trust him but sometimes…is like i see a different side of him. And it scares me…and i wish i could be sure before the marriage…Believe me, i tried to follow his rules. I can’t! And then i told him that my only rule is this: “I got no rules! Rules are made to be broken!”.

-Ali…i wish you could be serious for a minute. You know i love you like you’re my daughter. First time i saw you…you were 20, a child pretending to be a woman. Now you’re a woman pretending to be a child…

-God…Maria, remind me never to talk to you! How can you say those things? You’re hurting my feelings…

-I’m sorry, Alicia, but you need to listen. You wont survive in this marriage if you don’t change, just a little…You have an incredible man as your future husband, he cares about you, he placed your desires above his. Remember…we’re not equals…God made the woman in a certain form. You should show more obedience, more respect to your fiance. And you really have no reason to fear him…he’s so gentle and tender with you. Unless…you don’t love him…and your behavior is your way out…

I heard the door open and i felt relief to see Phillipe.

-Sir, can i serve you a piece of Tiramisu? Or do you prefer a glass of tonic water? Is just as cold as you always prefer it…

-Thank you, Maria, not now. I’ll call you in a few minutes.

He look at me and smiled.

-Alicia, can we talk in private? In my office…

I followed him and carefully locked the door behind me. He turned and i wrapped my arms around him, giving him my best smile.

-I missed you today…you’re working too much, i’m glad you took a break. Philipe…you’re upset? What have i done now?

-Baby, i’m not upset…it’s just that i don’t like when you’re so familiar with the servants. You seems to forget your place…And you know how i feel about that…is one of my…

-…yes, one of your rules! I know, i know! I broke some rules again! I never learn…and i’ll upset you again and again…cause i just wanna break another one! A big one!

-Let’s hear it! You got that sexy smile, wrapping me around your little finger…

-Well…what about this…i never made love in a lawyer’s office…all these secret files so well placed…just makes me wanna lay down on this table and let you see my wild side…what do you think…

-…i think you just got yourself the right to break every rule you want…as long as you’re doing it this way…Alicia, baby…if you knew how much i love you…

-show me how much…make love to me and make me forget about rules or limits…

But can i ever forget about rules? My inner rules…how many times i broke them already? And how much pain it caused me acting this way? Maybe Maria is right…maybe i am a woman pretending to be a child…still laughing, crying, wondering and gazing at this big wild world…Against all imposed rules!

(Love)It’s just a simple word…

“Oh girl that feeling of safety you prize
Well it comes with a hard hard price
You can’t shut off the risk and pain
Without losin’ the love that remains
We’re all riders on this train…”

(Bruce Springsteen-“Human touch”)

-You said you wanna talk, i’m here…even if i shouldn’t be.

She looked tormented, nervous and troubled, like she were on the verge of breaking down. Sleepless, tearful nights…i thought seeing  her eyes. Liz was standing in front of me…i invited her to coffee, trying to see if there’s something there i could save…our friendship..her sanity…my conscience…

-Liz…last time we talked you asked me if we can be friends again. I missed our talks…and i was hurt and i thought…

-say no more…I’m so relief, Aly, you’re my best friend…

And like nothing ever happened, she hugged me, erasing all the lost time. My best friend…

-You’re not mad because of me and Peter?

-You’re not mad because of Second Life? We started laughing so hard. We were talking the same time, same words, same friendship.

-Ok, i’ll start, i said with a happy smile. I overreacted… about you and Peter. I’m moving on, i’m having a new beautiful relationship, Peter belong to my past. And if you got any feeling left for him, maybe…

-No, Aly, Peter was a big mistake. I knew even when we were…in fact he was only thinking of you…so…And i’m terribly sorry for saying all those horrible things about you playing Second Life. I was unfair…

-Now, stop it…you’ll make me cry…How are you, tell me honestly, Liz.

-I won’t lie to you, Aly, i’m still hurting, but it’s a little better then 3 weeks ago. And i’m trying to move on. But enough about me, tell me all about…

-About Second Life? I’m sorry to say this, Liz, but it’s only a game for me. I mean…i know how serious was for you…you considered moving to his country…and then all those lies…Now i understand you better, but i…

-You’re not as stupid as i was, Aly. And probably you’re blocking everything because what was happening before, with that man…

-Don’t remind me! And you were not stupid, just vulnerable…The truth is that Second Life is full of lies…beautiful words, but that’s it…only words. I have met great people, great friends, the kind of people who could easily be my friends in real life too. But i have met troubled ones…sad ones, looking for love without even knowing the meaning of the word. Lonely, angry of them past or ex-partners, full of prejudice and so full of them…And when something like this happen, when i met someone like that…i’m sick and tired of Second Life…

-And the romance? You never felt like…

-I never felt in love…yes, i experienced the romance, i usually say i’m addicted of that…and it’s true…God knows, Liz, maybe i don’t have the capacity of falling in love…

-No, you don’t wanna fall in love there, believe me! One broken heart is enough! But you’re still playing, right? Even if i feel you’re a little …

-Second Life it’s a beautiful game. You can meet great friends from all over the world…and even if i say it’s a game, that doesn’t mean that i’m not carrying  for them. It’s the drama that i don’t like…

-I have to ask you…you ever talked to…

-Your love? No, Liz, and please trust me, i wont. You describe me that man like the type of player that could say anything just to get you where he want…And i think he’s not worthy of my time and energy…

-Aly…i admire you so much…you’re so sure of yourself…if i could be like that…

-Don’t admire me…i feel guilty sometimes…i really don’t wanna hurt no one and it’s so hard to distinguish between truth and lies on Second Life. Does he really care or it’s just the routine to get lay…I think that the most dangerous thing is to search love in these kind of games. You know what i mean…the true love…

-I did that…i know. And talking about true love…i’m with someone really special. I’m starting to love him, Aly, it’s amazing. And he talks about family and kids…even if we’re just at beginnings…

Matt showed up…seeing me with Liz he seemed so relief…

-Finally…you girls are so impossible sometimes…best friends, but they don’t talk…he start laughing. Liz, did Aly told you about us?

-Yes, Matt, congrats to the hottest couple of Monte Carlo! You and Aly did the miracle and turned back the clock! Eight years!

Yes, we did the miracle! Matt and I…we found each other again…my never-ending love. Could it be?

Liz and I…another life-lasting relationship…Could it be?

Could love be more then just a simple word? In real life…

Because i’m still playing Second Life. I’m not worried about being addicted. I’m only worried about my burning desire of taking off the mask…Just once…in Second Life. Could it ever be possible for me to really feel…?

A world full of strangers

“Lay your head on my pillow
I sit beside you on the bed
Don’t you think its time we say
Some things we haven’t said
It ain’t too late to get back to that place
Back to where, we thought it was before
Why don’t you look at me
Till we ain’t strangers anymore…”

(Bon Jovi-“Till we ain’t strangers anymore”)

-…and i kept calling him Jack…so, he stopped and looked at me and said something like that: c’est Pasqual, ma cherie…and what do you think i said to him? i said: if i say it’s Jack, you better not argue with me, understand, Jack?…you should have seen his face, Aly…

Tess was joyful and kept talking about that guy…Pasqual (or Jack?) that she met the other night…one night stand…she was laughing so hard that a few people turned their heads to see her. She was calling me to invite me to breakfast.

-And he just accepted? How can you do it, Tessa? i asked laughing…

-Years of practice, my dear Aly…but tell me about you…i’m already bored of Jack…so…he really proposed you…

-He had this fantasy about…

-…about you being the sweet wife cooking and cleaning all day…and with a few fat kids and a lazy husband…hope you didn’t think twice about that…

-It sounded romantic…but no…

-I used to have sex with that mexican guy who cleaned our pool…but i never thought about marrying him…

-Tessa, i interrupted her, you never told me why you and Jason divorced…

Right in that moment, someone came close to our table. I recognized that voice from a million…

-Hi, Alicia.

It was Liz…i imagined that moment for so long…and now i just was unable to speak. Tess broke the silence:

-Well, well, well, look who’s here…the whore of Monte Carlo…sweetheart, the second hand mans are somewhere else…go there, will you?

-Theresa…she said looking at Tess…the same bullying like in school…you never grew up…

-Oh, you sweet little victim…bullied in school…that’s why you steal husbands?

-Alicia, said Liz, keep your dog in the leash…or should i call her bitch? And be careful, she bites…

-Call me bitch one more time and i’ll make you my bitch…Tess was now standing, her face betrayed anger…

-Tessa, let’s go from here…i don’t like this place anymore…

As we were leaving, i started thinking about Tess…i never saw her like that before…and the way she was speaking…

-You asked about my divorce…she said calmly, i don’t know if it’s a good idea to talk about that with you…

-Why? I won’t judge…how could i judge…

-You told me once about Second Life…that you have met there a few members of BDSM community…

I was confused…what Second Life and that community has to do with her…but i tried to respond:

-Well, yes…i kinda made fun of their choices, but then i felt sorry…they were talking strange…

-Aly, why did you made fun? You joke about gay people too? Or about people with another orientation too? You were judgmental and closed-minded…

-I reallised i was wrong…i don’t really wanna judge anybody…but why do we think about them, Tess? What does that have to do with you and Jason?

-Did you ever thought that maybe you feel attracted to this kind of practices? After all, you said yourself about Tony…he’s a little dominant in bed, right? and you enjoy that…just think about…

In my mind i was determined that i have nothing to do with that…still…i was beginning to ask myself  if Tess…i mean…her behavior…

I saw Peter…for the first time in the last week i was happy to see him…i introduced him to Tess…searching very careful for a sign that she may be…

And i knew then that i don’t really know her…like i didn’t knew Liz or Peter, after all…i knew, with all the sadness in my heart, that i find easier to trust and talk to strangers from Second Life…a lot easier to even care for that strangers…

Am i a stranger too? I know myself enough to trust in my choices? And witch world is safer for me: the real or the virtual one?

No regrets (morality issues)

“In my life there was so much anger

Still I have no regrets

Just like you, I was such a rebel

So dance your own dance and never forget…”

(Joe Cocker-“N’oubliez jamais”)

-…and, in the end, he told me the truth. They were together for a few weeks…that time…when we just broke up…he said that he ended the relationship because she became obsessed and dependent…and was jealous and insecure…

-I’m so sorry, Aly…i never imagined…Peter and Liz…she was your best friend…

Tess’s shock was visible on her face. I knew her ever since College, back then she was a lovely girl with an angelic look, now she became a strong business women, divorced and independent. We were never close, but our businesses brought us at the same table, to negociate a contract. And i needed someone to talk to…

-…of course, i always though that Liz is using you to get where she wanted…you were always with the cool kids, she wanted to be a part of these…Anyway, how are things now with him?

-I’m more upset for the lie then for what’s happened between them…i think i need time to sort things over…Lately, i found a refuge in that game i told you about…

-Yes, you told me, Second Life, right? I heard about that…so, anyone interesting there? A little pay back? You know you got every wright…

-I know, maybe i did it already…you know, Tess, how simple is to find someone and just feel good? No complications, no calling the next day, no guilt…

-…and no love…just sex. But i understand you, i had the same crisis after divorce. You’ll get over, just don’t tell him about the virtual sex…Is it good?

-The virtual sex? That depends of each person imagination and their ability to put in words the sensations…

-So, you did it…

-In Second Life i do exactly what i want, when i want, with who i want…the experiences could be awesome…

-And you never felt like cheating on Peter? Never felted guilty about?

-Maybe you’ll judge me…and maybe i’m wrong…but no, never. If it wasn’t Liz and Peter i would never heard about Second Life…and considering how rarely it happened with him, maybe i’m doing him a big favor…he don’t have to worry about sleeping with me anymore…

Saying out loud, the burden seem lighter…i felt like drowning in my own tears. That was my only truth…it’s extremely painful to be rejected by the man you love…how strong should i be, just to not allowed myself to became insecure? And all the reasons in the world (he’s tired from work, he has some healthy problems, he’s waking up early in the morning…) can’t stop me from feeling rejected. I love him and i hate him for doing that to me…

-My God, Aly i never imagined that he…i mean…you were a model…you’re attractive, any man would want…remember college, you could have any guy…and now it’s just the same. I never believed that you would feel like that…ever…I tell you what you should do: find a young and passionate lover, but do it in real, not in that game…you’ll feel much better after…

I smiled to Tess, what a incredible friend…

I smiled to myself remembering Tony…still feeling our passion burning inside my soul…

Tess offered me a shoulder to cry…i knew all along that the time to move on has come…and still i’m holding with all my heart on my addiction…

No, i’m not addicted of Second Life, i’m addicted of passion…

The beginnings

She just stood there, starring at me with that look that i knew so well…I was trying to guess what she felt, it may be anger, pain, dissapoindment…A few days ago she was telling me her story, we were crying together when she fond out that the man of her dreams was nothing but a lie. It happends all the time when you’re having a virtual relationship…people are not what they seem to be…I said those words with all the compassion and regret i could feel for her.And now…

Finaly, she broke the silence:

-You know what, is your life…you can do whatever you want…but Aly, you do that all the time!

-What do you mean? What am i doing all the time?

-I know you for…how many years? 10? Or more? Every time someone is telling you not to do something, you just jump on! And you know what? Maybe you should be more wise this time. You’re 28 and acting like 15 sometimes…

-Look, i was just curious about…I read all i could find about this game…

-Is not a game! she interrupted my speach, Aly, don’t do that, is evil, is devil’s creation! You said you read about…did you heard how many people got hurt for “playing” Second Life? Do you know how many relashionships has been broken? People fall in love there, Aly, i know i did it…And look at me now, you like this? You wanna feel this pain?

-I wont take it so seriously, believe me. I dont even have time, running this agency is more that i can handle…I just wanna see how is it…After all, i can always close the acount, if i dont like it.

-Oh, you’ll like Second Life! You’ll wake up only when is too late…And Peter? Did you even think about him?

-I will tell him all about, is not a secret…You know, we have a very open relationship…

-I know he loves you, enough to do whatever you want…Maybe you dont realise how much he helped you…are you ready to throw away all? And for what? For being curious? God! Alicia, you’re sometimes like a spoiled princess…

-Ok, i know is your pain who’s talking now. I think i heard enough…Maybe we’ll talk some more when you’ll be in a better mood.

-Aly, please, forget this! Talk to Peter, he’ll tell you the same…You’re on your way to hell and you don’t even realise…

With these words, she left my office, without even saying good bye. The day was about to be over, i overlooked on the preparatives for the next casting…It’s almost 3 years since i stopped being a model…sometimes i miss the glamour, the cat walks, the excitement…Of course, my work now is much more important…

I stopped in front od the mirror to check my make up. One final touch of blush and it’s perfect…

One hour later my first Second Life account was already created.

(to be continued)