No more illusions…(part two)

“All this time I can’t believe I couldn’t see
Kept in the dark but you were there in front of me
I’ve been sleeping a thousand years it seems
Got to open my eyes to everything
Without a thought, without a voice, without a soul
Don’t let me die here
There must be something more
Bring me to life”

(Evanescence-“Bring me to life”)

The Montcalm Hotel, London

Don’t feel, just think…don’t ever feel anything…you’re frozen, let your mind do the routine and froze everything else…you’re functioning very well, breathing and living even if he’s gone…no…he doesn’t exist…don’t feel…

The hot water relaxed me enough to be calm…i surprised myself with my inability to cry…And all i kept repeating to myself was that i have no more tears. Looking in the mirror i saw a pale shadow…that’s not me anymore…but i still can make it better…my hair falling free on my shoulders, a trace of perfume, the natural colors on my makeup, wearing nothing but his white shirt and a white underwear…Brave enough to go out of the bathroom and show myself in front of him…

And his smile said more than words…

-So, do you like the suite? I asked them the lavender fragrance and red satin sheets…i also requested wild flowers…

-Is amazing…you did all these things for me…i truly appreciate it…i’m a little hungry but there’s no rush if you wanna talk…

-Your wishes are my commands…butter flavored croissant sounds good? With fresh orange juice…a light french breakfast special made for you…and a red rose…please join me to breakfast…

He took my hand and helped me with the chair…I looked at him and wondered about his feelings…

-Now…how do you feel, Alicia? How do you really feel?

-Guilty, stupid, angry at myself…

-Good…Alicia, you broke my heart…not to mention that you costed me a small fortune…but i guess is alright as long as i found you…Don’t say anything now…i know all there is to know…

I looked down…taking his hand and placing it on my cheek…he lifted my chin and continued talking, looking deep into my eyes…

-You know, baby…i understand you…i can’t accept it…but i understand. You thought you found the love of your life…and you ran away with him. So romantic…but you see…people can be so weak and predictable…all he wanted was to save the orphans from Kenya…i gave him enough money to build a school or a church or…anything else…and he took the money. He sold his soul…just to feel in peace with himself…i’m sorry you’re hurting…

-No, Phillipe, not anymore. Is true…i thought i’m in love but he proved to be an idiot and the Light doesn’t exist…The only truth is that humans are selfish, proud and stupid and i’m no exception…

-Alicia, i can buy anything…anyone. Every person has a price, i’m not talking about money…offer them what they think they need…and it’s over…over with love, faith, morality. Too easy…till i found you…you’re the only one i can’t buy, you don’t need anything i can offer…that’s what’s making you priceless…

-How about you, Phillipe?

-Me…i only want one thing. I want you! Not your body…i want you to love me, to adore me, to obey to me…And i’ll do anything to have you. I’ll pay any price…

-You would lie…black mail me…

-I would lie, cheat, fight, kill…yes…i would use anybody and anything, even that child, Robby…I thought i found out what your price is…a child’s life. But i was wrong…i wont say i’m sorry, cause i’m not…i still want you and i’m still willing to do whatever it takes, except for one thing. I’ll never force you again…never. I’ll never hurt you again…i won’t even touch you if you don’t want it…

All this time i finished my breakfast…his words were passing by and all i could think was that people really sell their souls. Where’s my soul, do i still have one…and suddenly i remembered how Mark said i’ll be rewarded for “my sacrifice”…i remembered that dark cold feeling of hate and i felt it again. When i spoke it wasn’t even my voice…

-You are right. You were right all the time and i was blind. The idiot sold his soul…everybody does it! If i had one, i probably sell it too…but my soul died, along with the Light and Love. There’s nothing above us…God never left me because He was never there…So, take me as i am, cause i’m yours. I give myself for free…no price at all…

-Alicia…i’m impressed…

-But i need your help, i need you to teach me…i need a strong man by my side, someone who could lead me. I’m willing to learn, to obey…just be patient with me. Your rules are my rules now. I am yours and i belong to you as long as you’ll want me. I want one thing in return…

-Anything you wish…is yours!

-While i was gone, a few people disrespected me. Servants…you told me to stay away but in my stupidity i thought they are my friends. I want them to be punished…Maria, Annette…i want you to let me deal with them. I want them out of Monaco with nothing but the clothes they’re wearing. And about Helen…a liar…claiming that her own child is dying…Helen will lose everything, especially her rights over the child. I also want a bank account…of course you’ll be in control…and my legal rights over the company…i’ll let the old fool to be in charge but i want full control and the possibility to take action…And i want my engagement ring back and a new set of clothes. I wanna throw away these old junks and change my style…So…what do you say…is it too much?

He looked at me amazed…and then he took out of his pocket something…he took my hand and placed the black diamond ring on my finger…Then he leaned over, taking my face in his hands and kissed me…a hungrily kiss…devouring desire…and i found myself responding to his kiss, eager to feel his body against mine…

-Baby…if we don’t stop now…i wont control myself anymore…and i wanna give you time, so…

-What do you say, Phillipe…will you do what i asked you…

-There’s only one thing i can say: Welcome back, Princess!…

Don’t feel…don’t ever feel…cause feelings destroyed you once. Don’t ask yourself why you can’t cry anymore…don’t wonder where’s the compassion and love you once felt…This is new to you…is cold and dark and there are no Angels in here…

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Deep into the darkness

“I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah”

(Leonard Cohen-“Hallelujah”)

Les Baux des Provence

Phillipe had a joyful spark in his eyes, reminding me of a big child. I used to adore this feature of his, but now i felt much too tired and sad…

-I did it! I deleted your account on Second Life! I also found a Facebook account, i deleted it too…How do you feel, princess? Relief?

I tried so hard not to cry…after all he brought me here to my favorite place…

-I’m…confused…and a little sad…i will miss my friends…

He pretended he didn’t heard me saying that, but i knew from the look in his eyes that he did. Holding a small bottle he started to count the drops of something…

-Alright, Alicia…let me help you with the sadness…Here! Take the spoon and swallow it all!

-What’s in the spoon? Phillipe, you know how i feel about self medicating…

-It’s St. John’s Wort. Take it! You will feel a little dizzy but that’s the whole point…it should make you incapable of acting against yourself. And more relaxed…i need you to relax and let me take care of you. Remember what you said…you belong to me…body and soul. This means you’ll do exactly what i tell you to!

I took the medicine thinking it can’t be that bad. The taste of the drops was a little bitter but the effect started to show in a few minutes. It felt like i was melting inside, like i didn’t cared anymore…Phillipe noticed and he smiled at me.

-Isn’t it better? For the next weeks you’re gonna take the medicine three times in every day. I’ll make sure you’re doing it. And tomorrow i want you to see someone. A therapist specialized in hypnosis. You’ll see her two times on week till i’ll see some progresses. Any question?

-I already have a therapist. You know, Gerard…i like him, i don’t wanna change him.

I felt really sleepy…the effect of the drops was more powerful that i thought before…I struggled to stay awake.

-Baby, your therapist encouraged you in a few directions that i find dangerous. I don’t like him! And i don’t like his methods…much too gentle and ineffective.

-But he said hypnosis isn’t…

-You’ll do as i say, Alicia! Tonight you tried to throw yourself in front of a truck…i saved you in the last minute…look at your bruises…you lost the right to take decisions…

I couldn’t take any decision…it was hard to keep myself aware of the reality.

-You’re right, Phillipe…i don’t know what’s wrong with me.

-I know…it’s Second Life addiction. You’re different since you started to play it…

My eyes were closing by themselves. I manage to say one more thing…

-God was sending you…tonight…

I felt his arms around my body and his voice sounded more clear than ever before, even if he was whispering.

-Not your God, believe me! If it were up to His will, you would be death by now…now sleep. You are much too important to let you waist your life this way…Your God left you alone, like He always does, sweet princess…but I’m here to make sure that you’ll fulfill your destiny…

an hour later

-Alicia, baby, wake up! You’re having a nightmare! Open your eyes, i’m here…no one is gonna hurt you.

I opened my eyes realizing i’m crying so hard i almost suffocated. He was lying next to me, looking worry. I was trembling and he took me in his arms.

-Phillipe…i dreamed that i’m lost and it’s all dark around me…and in my dream i thought i hear your voice, like a strange incantation. And then i dreamed myself dressed in white…flying. And my mom took me in her arms, like an angel, and then…something dark grabbed me and i lost her…it was so cold and it kept suffocating me…

He stroke my hair and wiped away my tears, smiling at me.

-Baby, it was nothing but a dream. You need to forget it, you’re safe in my arms. And i know the perfect way to make you forget…

He started kissing my neck, slowly and gentle. His hands were moving all over my body…i tried to relax but the memories kept coming back. The fight we had, my own madness who leaded me till the edge…my nightmare…i felt a fear like never before.

-please, stop…i can’t…

-how do you mean…you can’t? i’m your husband…since when you can’t make love to your husband?

He sounded angry and for the first time i felt like loosing control. My body was hurting and my heart felt like breaking in small pieces. I tried to say something but he kissed me and grabbed my arms. I tried to look into his eyes and i saw something so dark and cold, something beyond anger or desire…like a dark fire burning. He whispered in my ear and i tried to convince myself it’s for the best…

-i love this scared look in your eyes…like a deer caught by the hunter…you need to relax, baby…like this…doesn’t it feels good just to let go the control…

And for a second it made sense. He wants the control. Over my body and over my soul. And i married him…more than this…i made him a promise, to be what he needs me to be. So, how can i deny him what he feels is his right? Even if my heart is lost somewhere in the darkness…

He collapsed on the bed feeling overwhelmed by euphoric sensations.

-I love you, baby…it was more than i can describe…like the first time…just overwhelming…Alicia…are you alright? how do you feel, baby?

-good…frozen, scared, hurt, lonely, sad, devastated…i’m alright…it was great, Phillipe…

I’ll never forget you

“Cómo olvidar tus locuras.
Cómo olvidar que volabas.
Cómo olvidar que aún te quiero
más que a vivir, más que a nada.”

(Enrique Iglesias-“Nunca te olvidare”)

-I give you one chance…only one…to tell me the truth! And be careful, because your life may depend on what you’re going to tell me! Start talking Alicia!

-W…what are you doing? i asked trying to regain my voice. Phillipe was staring at me with a frozen expression, his eyes unbelievably dark. His hands on my neck, feeling my pulse under his fingers. There was nothing sensual about his touch and i felt nervous, almost afraid of what he might do.

-You were playing Second Life? Yes or no!

-Y…yes…

-Even if you said you deleted the account! You are a liar…you know what i do to liars? Well, you’re about to find out…

-No…i didn’t…

-So, you have a virtual relationship, a virtual lover? My wife is cheating on me right under my eyes!

-It’s not like this…

-So, how is it? Tell me, i want details. What is it that you need and you’re not getting from me? Or, better…let’s fix this! Let me give you what you really need…

He pushed me on the bed, making me lose my balance. With precise moves, like he could read my intentions, he grabbed my hands holding them above my head and blocking my every move with his body. I felt trapped and i could sense the panic building up inside me. I felt salt tears on the corner of my eyes…

-Stop whining! I don’t wanna hear one sound and i don’t wanna feel you moving! Don’t make me hurt you, Alicia!

He grabbed my hair and kissed me like never before. Biting my lips, invading my mouth, forcefully taking control over me…I closed my eyes thinking it will be over soon…

-Open your eyes and look at me! You like it, don’t you? It must be better then virtual sex, right? Right?! Answer me when i talk to you!

-Don’t…don’t do that…just stop…please…it was enough…

-Not nearly enough, honey! When i’ll be done with you…But let’s have fun now! I wanna hear you bagging! Bag me to stop! I love the sound…

-Phillipe…please…if you’ll do this…you’ll destroy me…us…I wanna save what we still have…

For a moment i though he’s gonna hit me…i couldn’t even try to guess what’s in his mind. And then the familiar sound of the phone. He instantly got up and answered. My body was still hurting with every inch…

-You’re lucky this time! When i’ll be back i wanna see you looking decent. You’re still gonna be punished…i will think of something worthy of your misbehavior…

-Where are you going? Was it a woman? On the phone…

His laugh was sinister.

-Baby, let’s say that she will give me something you’ll never be able to…

He left. Leaving me in tears, ravished and desperate…Don’t know for how long i just stayed there, holding the pillow in my arms, incapable to think or to feel. And then i felt like suffocating…

In the darkness of the night, i felt my eyes blinded by the lights of the street. The world was spinning around me and i remembered the feeling i had when that car hit me. A few months ago…the fear of losing my life…and now all i could dream was to let it all go. Am i really afraid? Losing my life…but i lost it already…strange thoughts running in my mind. There it is…the flashing lights…it’s closer…and i wonder if someone will miss me…and i’m afraid it will hurt…Can it hurt more? I’m already teared apart, it’s only one step more…and it will be over…and i’m taking the step…

-Aliciaaaaa!

Waking up in his arms…his voice like i remember, his touch…so gentle and tender on my skin. Am i dreaming? I opened my eyes…yes, it’s Phillipe…

-Phillipe…i know i was wrong…please forgive me…

-Baby, are you hurt? You could be death…what were you thinking…princess…that’s why i won’t ever let you alone again…

He took me in his arms, holding me tight with a gentleness i thought forever lost…

-Alicia, i’m sorry for losing my temper…it will never happen again. When i left i realized…what have i done to you. I guess you weren’t ready for a life with me…and maybe i need someone more submissive…But it’s you the one i love! And you just tried to take your own life…because of what i have done.

-I hate it…

-What do you hate?

-The dominance thing…the rules and..you’re so cold sometimes…and i never felt submissive…i’m sorry…i hate to ask permission and to be punished…

-And i hate sharing you! I hate Second Life! And the people who are taking you away from me! I hate that you spend time with another man…I hate that you lied…

I looked in his eyes…i saw only pain, devastating pain…

-Can we, please, start all over again? I wanna be what you need me to be…and if you need a submissive woman…maybe i should be the one for you. I will do anything to make you happy…

-Why? After all that happened tonight? Why?

-Because you saved my life…again. And you care…and if someday i’ll die…you’ll miss me…

-Baby…that day, i’ll die with you…this is how much i love you. So, you will delete your account?

-No.

I saw his eyes getting dark again, and i hurried to continue.

-You will. Starting from now, Phillipe…my laptop it’s yours, like everything i have…like everything i am…I want you to do whatever it takes…i wont touch it again. But can you promise me…?

-Anything you want, baby…

-Promise me you wont hurt me…

For a moment, i thought i see tears in his eyes. He leaned on me and kissed me tenderly, caressing my ravished hair.

-Alicia…my sweet Alicia…how could i hurt you again? I almost lost you tonight…let’s go…a new life is waiting for us to live and enjoy it…

-Home? i asked still scared of what happened in that place…

-No…i don’t want you to remember…i don’t want you to be afraid of me…we’re going right now in Provence…i wanna take care of you, to heal your bruises and to make love to you…slowly and gentle…till you’re ready for more…

Provence…the place where my new life can start…The place where my second life ended…forever. Because my heart cannot beat in two directions at the same time…and the real me needs more…

In the light of the morning sun

“Steal my heart with every note you play
I pray you’ll look my way
And hold me to your heart someday
I long to be the one that you caress with
tenderness
And you don’t know
You don’t even know that I exist.”

(Toni Braxton-“Spanish guitar”)

The cold air on my skin was giving me shivers…a strange light…is it already morning? How could it be…it seemed like i only slept for a few minutes…my eyes were still closed and i could feel the traces of the tears that i cried…falling asleep crying was lately my only way…I held my breath for a moment realizing i’m not alone in the room. Someone was there, caressing my hair…for a moment i thought i’m dreaming…his strong and gentle arms holding me tight. He must sensed i’m cold…because now his hands were gently rubbing my bare shoulders, going down…

My breath accelerated while i could feel my heart beating so fast…memories came back…last night…i just wanted to erase them…For a moment i imagined myself lying there, on the big white bed, asleep, wearing that silky nightgown…i knew i’m almost naked and i could feel in his touches how much he loved seeing me like this. His body was warm and feeling him so close made me tremble inside. He kissed my closed eyes and the traces of my tears…i could feel his warm breath on my neck and i could almost sense him smiling when the goosebumps appeared on my skin.

Maybe i’m just dreaming, maybe he’s not even real…sleepy thoughts…should i open my eyes and regain my control…or should i lye there and feel…just feel…in my mind were playing different scripts…but how could i fight this pleasure…how could i struggle with my desire…because my body in his hands, under his kisses was like an violin played by an expert. And he knew…playing with his fingers, kissing, caressing…every sensitive spot of my skin…and the smell of his body…the sweet pressure…he was moving so gently, so careful not to wake me up…

Like a fantasy come true…later in the morning i’ll just pretend nothing happened…just a dream…but my body will know…My eyes were still closed…fighting the temptation of opening them…what’s the point of facing reality…he’s having the control…just like he wanted…and it was so easy to let him…just to let him…It felt like there isn’t really a choice…i didn’t really had a choice…and it felt easier just to accept his desire…

But the sensation was so real…how can i pretend anymore…it were waves of warm pleasure invading my senses…and any attempt of fighting was useless…is just too late…we’re making love…no, he’s making love and i’m just pretending i’m not there…but i feel him with all my body and soul…it’s just too much to keep inside and my tears were falling down my cheeks…He saw them…he sensed my inner struggle…cause i could feel him kissing me, touching my face with an infinite tenderness…saying it’s alright…

The silky fabric of my nightgown felt so cold on my warm skin…i could still feel my body trembling…longing to feel him again…he’s holding me so close…like he’s afraid i’ll vanish…I slowly open my eyes…the light of the morning sun is too bright and i want the darkness of the sleep back…i want my dream back…i’m just hurting inside, deep inside my heart…He’s asking me how i feel and i can’t talk…he understands. He tells me how magic it feels to hold me in the morning light…i just can’t stop crying…

His words are reassuring and his voice is so warm…telling me he never meant to hurt me…i believe him and i see the blue of the sky in his eyes. He’s kissing my hair and he’s trying to tell me something. But he just stops…i know what he feels…i can feel he’s going trough some struggles too…but what’s the point? I’m trying to tell him that i’m fine, but he knows i’m lying and he doesn’t let me speak…kissing me with a desperate passion…

Because we both know it’s over…

And we both know that no dream can come true in the light of the morning sun…

What’s beyond control? (just another power game)

“My breaking heart and I agree
That you and I could never be
So with my best, my very best
I set you free.”

(Rod Steward-“I wish you love”)

The soft music and darkness of the beach…the full moon shining above us as he gently touched my shoulders keeping them warm…the cold wind and the waves…an angry sea with the power of ravishing my lonely heart…

He looked deep in my eyes and none of us knew what to say. This time, i wasn’t afraid of the silence…this time i didn’t tried to fulfill the empty space…But the need to feel his arms around me was overwhelming and he knew that. He also knew that i just need somebody…anybody…to give me a sense of normality trough the madness i’m living in…

-I wanna tell you about my dream…the dream i’m living right now with you…Alicia…in my dream i wanna lay with you on the warm sand…i wanna feel your soft skin and your silky hair…there’s no one here, just us…between the sky and the sea…no one will know how much passion…how much desire…my body is longing to have you in my arms…to touch you and to make love to you…

-Henri…if i could…

-don’t tell me you don’t want it…i know, i saw it in your eyes…i felt it in your touch…i know you’re afraid…you’re just frightened to feel…but there’s nothing here that could hurt you…tell me, does it feel good? my fingers trough your hair…my arms holding you so tight that you cannot run away…i can feel your heart beating so fast…you’re trying so hard not to feel…but your body knows better…

-just don’t do that…Henri…i know myself…this is how the disasters starts…everything is perfect at start and i’m always convincing myself that i’m in love…and later i only cause pain and suffering…but this time, with you…i just wanna be honest…

-Ali…you don’t even know what you feel…you’re confuse, you’re tired…let go all the tension…close your eyes and allow yourself to feel…give in to this desire…it’s normal and natural…don’t fight against your inner desires…we’re still friends…i’ll still be here in the morning…we’ll say it was a dream…you cannot really control what happened in a dream…

He was holding me tight, close to his body…i knew deep inside my heart that i have to stop this…it happened too many times before. Same script…different actors. I keep making the same mistakes…confusing passion with love and loneliness with desire. Running from an abusive relationship only to jump in the next one’s arms…Only that this time i cannot pretend anymore…i cannot say like i always did: “i’m trying to fall in love…” or “i don’t know what i feel and i’m trying to find out”…This time i know exactly how i feel. I know how it feels to be in love. It’s crazy…I am in love…maybe is the wrong person, the wrong moment, the wrong time…but i feel it with all my heart. I cannot lie anymore, not to myself, not to the others. And yes…it’s a tragedy…and it’s heartbreaking… and i just wish i could erase it from my mind…

He lied me on the sand…i felt the panic of letting things go too far…

-please…don’t…i wanna go back to the hotel…

I saw it in his eyes, i saw the burning desire, the hunger…it almost frightened me…And right in that moment i realized how incredibly naive i was. Thinking i can have him as a friend, thinking he would help me without asking anything in return. The thought brought tears in my eyes. He looked at my face like it were the first time he saw me.

-…so vulnerable…so lonely and scared…Ali…you’re just so sweet…trying to fight the inevitable. When all you should do is to enjoy our passion…because i can make you feel so good…but i love this game of yours…saying no when you really mean yes…it’s alright…you only makes me want you more…feeling this tension in your body…tell me something…what will you do if i don’t stop? if i’m starting to make love to you…ignoring anything your rational mind is telling me…

-Henri…

-tell me…will you try to fight me…will you scream…will you cry, pleading with me to let you go? Or will you relax and play along…enjoying every moment even if you’re convinced that i was forcing you into this…

-no…i wont…

-what? tell me…i wanna hear the words…you wont do…what?

-i wont fight…or scream…or plead with you to let me go…i wont even cry…

-good…see? it wasn’t that hard…

-I will die. I mean it, Henri…I will just die. It’s all i want…

My words shocked him. He looked at me like he just realized what he was about to do. He stood up and helped me stand on my feet. I felt so tired…

-Ali, this isn’t funny anymore. I’m…i’m sorry. Extremely sorry…i really meant it like a game…you know i wasn’t doing anything to you, right? I would stop it…i just thought you’re playing…you know, like saying no when you really mean…But you know i would never abuse you like this. Say something…God…i feel like the worst criminal now…

-i wanna go back…

-Sure, we’ll go to the hotel right now!

-no…i mean, i wanna go back to Monte Carlo…

-it’s because of what i did…Ali…just stay a few more days…let me try to make things right…

-Nothing…nothing it’s ever gonna be right again…and you know the saddest part here? I just lost you..i just lost my only friend…

Returning to my life…with no place left to hide away or to run…And, after all…who i’m running from? We all are carrying our scars deep inside our hearts. No matter where we go…or what’s the language we speak when we shout out loud our pain…

Stronger…

“WOMEN WHO HAVE MADE MISTAKES
ARE A LITTLE AFRAID
THEY DON’T LIKE TAKING CHANCES
SHE WILL PLAY THE WAITING GAME
SHE’S NEVER IMPRESSED BY THE MANLY ADVANCES
I KNOW I’VE JUST MET YOU
MAYBE I SHOULD KNOW BETTER
BUT WHEN YOU LOOK AT ME THAT WAY
THERE’S SOMETHING INSIDE THAT’S SO RIGHT”

(Tina Turner-“I don’t wanna loose you”)

-I just spoke to Brice…it’s a poem, a goth poem inspired from a medieval story. So, it’s not about you…or me! There’s no evil forces ready to take you to the darkness, my princess! Just me…more than ready to take you to bed…

I started to laugh. He was charming, as always, knowing exactly what to say to ease my tension. The hot shower made my skin warm and soft and i knew how much he loves the scent of roses from my favorite perfume…I wanted to look beautiful for him, knowing how much he’s trying to make everything perfect for me. The room was gorgeous…the modern designs combined with the medieval style, all white…

-Alicia…you look amazing…

He was in front of the door and his eyes were proving me he really mean it…he seemed fascinated and that made me feel so proud of myself…

-Wait, i’m not ready yet! I didn’t brushed my hair…

-Let me do that…it will be my pleasure…

He took the brush from my hand and held me close leading me to bed. I sit there, relaxed…he started to brush my hair and the sensation was incredible…

-You like it, princess?

-Phillipe…i feel so relaxed…i don’t even know when i felt like this in the past…i guess…never before…

-good…that’s the way you should feel…no silly painting will change that…

-i’m sorry for believing that it was about us…

-you know…when i saw that scared look on your face…you’re not afraid, aren’t you, Alicia? I want you to tell me that you trust me…

-i do…i trust you completely…i’m here…i’m still here…because of you…you know it, that night…when Peter tried to…i just wanted to die…

-don’t pronounce his name in my presence!

The sound of his voice was changed…he stopped brushing my hair and now he turned me to look directly in my eyes.

-…no, Phillipe…i want you to know something…it was not only about that night…I felt so hurt because he never tried to talk to me after that…not a single call…after eight years of relationship…and knowing how much pain he caused me…he didn’t even cared if i’m alive or dead…

-he did.

Phillipe said this in such a normal tone…i started to wonder if i heard it right…He pushed me gently against the pillow, holding my body tight and looking straight into my eyes.

-I will tell you once…and then i don’t wanna hear a single word about him. He called you many times that night…i blocked all the calls but i did send him a message…that if it will be one more call…i’ll ask for a restriction order…

All the information was too much…i felt overwhelmed. I tried to get up but he was holding me close to his body…her hands were caressing my skin an he continued to talk calmly…

-and there were a few messages as well…i erase them all…pathetic, don’t you think? but no more of this…you’re mine and i wanna make love to you…

-Phillipe…you had no right…i can’t believe what you just told me. I trusted you with my life and you lied to me like this…let me go! I’m going home right now!

He looked at my without any intention of letting me go. Holding my hands so strong, i knew i had no chance and for a moment i wondered if he could be able…but this time i didn’t felt panic…just anger.

-You will let me go right now…or you’re not man enough to have a woman without forcing her? At least Peter had an excuse, he was drunk. Yes, Peter! Did you heard me? I just pronounced his name! Now what you’re gonna do? Force me into what? I feel pity for you…you don’t stand a chance in a fair fight with me…

He released my hands and started to laugh so hard…

-And guess what! I’m not yours! Never was and never will be someone’s toy…Now why the hell are you laughing?

-Alicia…princess…you’re so beautiful when you get angry! So rebel and disrespectful…What will i do with you? I really don’t stand a chance…

-What do you mean?

-You wanna feel loved but when i love you…you want your freedom! You wanna be happy but you’re not letting the past go! You told me to let you go…but you’re still here…half naked…the most beautiful woman i ever saw in my life. Those sparks in your eyes…so much anger…so much passion…Now, my beauty…you’re in control! I’ll give you ten seconds…if you’re still here after this time…i’ll take the liberty to explore that sexy body of yours and i swear i’ll make you bag for more…

-I’ll never bag…

His words were the complete shock to my ears…My own reaction were betraying me, because in all this time…i didn’t felt any fear or any pain. I felt anger…of him, or it was the old bitterness that i collected from my relationship with Peter? I didn’t wanted to go home…i wanted to stay and explore this new feeling…my ability to go beyond the “victim stage”. It was all about having control over my emotions…

-Too late…time expired! Now don’t start to struggle or i’ll think you like some kinky role-playing…

-Phillipe…there’s no role-playing here…i want you…i want this to be right…

His kisses and the way he touched my body…with the passion and desire i dreamed about…but still so gentle, like touching the open petals of a rose…That was all the reassuring i needed. And my own responses…all the anger turned into pleasure…

There’s something i learned from all those years of feeling helpless…When you feel like a victim, you’ll only attract two kind of partners: the aggressor and the savior. And it’s very easy to confuse them…

So…what’s beyond “the victim stage”? Freedom? Love? Both?…

A different kind of game…

“I want to break free from your lies

You’re so self satisfied I don’t need you

I’ve got to break free

God knows, God knows I want to break free.”

(Queen-“I want to break free”)

Tess was obvious tormented…she reached out her hand and gave me a piece of paper…

-Here is his number…i’m so sorry, Aly…i told him all about you…

-All about me? You mean…God, Tessa, how could you?!

-He made me do it! And he told me to give you his number…but don’t call him!

-Tess…

I tried to be mad at her, but i was extremely worried…my friend, the one that always made fun about guys…the one who liked to humiliate any man in intimacy…how could one man reduce her to…that? Frightened, unable to explain, on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

-Tess…let me help you…i can see how afraid you are. He did something to you, don’t he? He’s hurting you? Is he blackmailing you about something? Tell me all about…we’ll find a way out of this…

-Stay out of this…

-You just told him all you know about me…it’s not fair…the Tess i know would never gossip about her best friend…

-Promise me, Aly…you won’t contact him…

-Sure, i promise.

And in the minute that she left my apartment, i was calling Phillipe. He was surprised…more surprised when i invited him to my place, in Nice. I told him that it’s my turn to offer him coffee. I felt sad…i really liked him. But the reactions i saw on Tess…and the way he talked to me before…

It was strange for me that i didn’t felt afraid…

One hour later

-Thank you so much for calling me and inviting me here. Your apartment is beautiful…and what a view you got there…

-I’m glad you like it. Phillipe…i hope that you can talk to me as friend, because what i saw before, at the coffee shop…let’s just say that it made me have second thoughts about seeing you again.

-So why did you do it? Why am i here? he asked calmly.

-I wanted to show you how i look without tears in my eyes.

He started laughing.

-You look gorgeous. Now…the real reason.

-Tess told you about me…my relationship with Peter, the way i mess it all up, now with Matt…I may be crazy, but i thought i could convince you to open up to me…tell me all about yourself.

-There’s nothing to tell. Just one thing…Theresa is in a bad state of mind, if you are her friend, take her to therapy. She played a game beyond her powers and when you play with fire, you get burned.

-I know…

-You know? How could you know?

-Look!

I showed him my burned fingers. He started laughing again.

-Look, Phillipe! Hand…fire…that’s the result. But it was Peter’s fault. He distracted me. All because he does not believe i can cook…and he does not even like me, not to mention about love. And see how strong i am? Not a single tear when i say this! I’m strong and brave and i’m not afraid so…you can tell me all about you and Tess. Now why are you laughing?

-You need to learn to say no…At least from time to time…You ever said NO in your entire life? It’s a power word…a safety word if you wanna think this way…only that you never use it. If you want…i can teach you. I promise you that saying NO to Peter (and to Matt and to Liz and maybe to your parents as well) will get you exactly where you wanna be. Think about that as if it were a new game…a different kind of game…

-Wait a minute…i said NO before. I know how to say NO. You don’t have to teach me that…

-Really…

He grabbed my waist and pushed me against the wall and, without having any time to analyse, i found myself unable to move. My heart started to beat faster…i could feel how strong he was…he was holding my both hands so i had no chance to push him. He gently touched my face, running his fingers on my lips, the look on his face made me think he’s gonna kiss me.

-Alicia…i want to kiss you…i can see that you’re frightened…maybe you don’t wanna do that…you need to tell me now…

I closed my eyes trying to concentrate…i couldn’t quite understand what he was saying. I wanted to reject him, to feel afraid of him, even to hit him real hard, but it was something else. I felt like all i want is just…to let this happen. I wanted him to kiss me…so bad…

-…if you’re not saying anything…i’ll just suppose you want me to kiss you. And maybe i’ll do more than that…

-NO!

He let go of me in the instant that i pronounced the word. I was still trembling…

-See…was it that hard? You need practice…try it, you’ll get more control over your life.

I was unable to speak. So…that was a game, a way to show me what he mean…he never intended to kiss me…God…i felt really stupid.

-Alicia…You know i wouldn’t do that…forcing a kiss. Our first kiss, if it will ever happen, will be because you want it too, not because i’m using force to make you do it. I’m sorry if i got too far with that…

-Let me try, Phillipe! NO, i don’t want to play this kind of game with you. And NO, you don’t have my permission to kiss me or to even touch me. Now our meeting it’s over. NO, you cannot stay here anymore. And if you do anything to Tess it will be a big NO to our friendship as well. Is it good, Phillipe? Satisfied?

He smiled…

And then he left.

Standing all by myself, crazy thoughts were running trough my mind. What if he’s right? I never said no to Peter…i was always there…giving in to his desire…to my desire. My insecurities, my fears…did i ever rejected anybody? No…because being abandoned was far more destructive to me then any other feeling. It’s not about feeling used…not physical. It’s about putting all my feelings and emotion on a silver plate. For him…