Wish i were you

“Can’t you see I can give you

Everything you need

I’m the one who want to love you more.”

(Celine Dion-“To love you more”)

-Tell me about this amazing guy you’re gonna meet next week!

-Ali, it wont be any amazing guy if i don’t find a proper dress to wear…I can’t go to the date wearing my uniform from work…

I looked at Anette trying to be as much sympathetic as she needed at the time. She really seemed upset and i wasn’t in my best mood…tired and sad after leaving the company…scared by the thought of working with (or should i say…for) Phillipe, still trying to adjust to my new life. A married woman…still couldn’t believe how my life changed in just a few months…

She interrupted my thoughts.

-Anyway, i shouldn’t bother you with my problems. I don’t even know why i told him to meet when i know my condition…cleaning rooms in the hotel…don’t get me wrong, Ali, i’m grateful for your effort to find me this job, is much better than being a servant to that i…sorry, to Phillipe. Keep forgetting he’s your husband…Know what? I’ll just cancel the date…he’s way out of my league…

-Why are you talking this way, Anette? You’re smart and beautiful and interesting. If he’s the one for you…he shouldn’t care about your pay check or the way you earn your money, right? And…know what?

-What?

-I have the perfect solution to your problems! I was afraid of saying before, cause i don’t want you to feel bad…but if i can help…Can i offer you a dress or a few dresses of my own? As a gift for you…i let you choose and you can try them at home…Will you?

I saw her blushing and i felt like doing a big mistake. And then i saw the tears in her eyes. I should have known…

-Anette, i’m so sorry…i never wanted to make you feel…

-No, Ali, it’s not this…just that no one before you…no one at all…was so nice to me. You’re like a sister to me…and i’m overwhelmed…cause you helped me so much…finding me a job…and with my mom’s treatment…and now this…And i’m still whining and complaining…But i’m just so insecure thinking i’m gonna see him for the first time…did i told you he’s a doctor?

-No, i only knew he’s from London and that you two met online on a chat room…didn’t knew he’s a doctor…that’s great!

-Here…i have a picture of him…see…he’s gorgeous. His name is Mark and i truly feel he’s the one for me…

She showed me the picture and i felt like falling in a deep swamp…uncontrollable feelings and my heart racing. Because in all this time i said to myself that i was dreaming…that he was only a vision from my tormented mind…but no, he is real…Mark…my Mark…i could still feel his kiss on my burning lips and his hands running trough my hair. AND IT WASN’T RIGHT! Someone i used to call “a ghost”, “a vision”…the love at first sight…maybe the love of my life…How could i be so foolish? He’s a real man! Using a chat room and dating Anette! My God…

-Ali…are you alright? You look like you just saw a ghost…Ali! You’re all white and trembling…

-No…i’m ok…I just didn’t eat lunch and i think i’m catching a cold or something…Now come on…i promised you a new wardrobe, right? Let’s chose some nice dresses for you…

two hours later

-Alicia…why is this woman leaving our home with a big bag full of dresses? I thought we talked about it…you know how i hate when you’re so friendly with servants…

Trying to cover my true emotions…still shaking from deep inside my heart…I smiled at him, looking into his eyes and putting my arms around his neck.

-Well…technically…she’s not your servant anymore…and she needed some clothes…you know, for the first date and a few more…hopefully…She’s dating some doctor from London and she’s so insecure about her look and style and intelligence…actually…her everything…So, i thought i can help with a few dresses…you know i have too many clothes…

Phillipe started to laugh as he held me tight in his arms.

-My sweet princess…always running to help the needy ones…but there’s a fact i should tell you. Look at me, Alicia, when i talk to you…Alright…A servant remains a servant! You can dress her anyway you want! And about her insecurities…don’t make me laugh…why in the hell is she dating a doctor? Well, she’ll have a major break down after the first date, believe me!

-Why do you hate her so much? Because she’s poor?

-Because she’s a garbage! A disobeying garbage! Who, by the way, insulted you! And never…not in a million years, i’ll never be able to understand why you care for her! Sometimes i feel that you just likes to be insulted and abused…your choices seem to show it…

I felt hot steaming tears running down my cheeks. I looked at Phillipe wanting…dreaming…that just for one second…it could be Mark the one who’s holding me…or i could be her…the one who’s gonna feel his arms around her…

Phillipe grabbed my face and wiped away my tears. He melted his tone trying to comfort me.

-I was too harsh…i’m very sorry for hurting your feelings. Alicia, i think you’re amazing but i also think you’re very naive sometimes…and i made a promise to protect you, remember? My beautiful wife…Look, you know i don’t care about the money you spend…give her money…help her financial…but stay away from her. I never wanna see her in our home again, or around you, princess…understood? Good, now come here…no need to cry, baby…i’m not upset with you…

So, was it the destiny? My destiny…or just a cruel joke? A chance to say good bye to him…to see him one more time and look into his eyes. A chance to ask him why…

Why didn’t he gave me a chance? Why did he turned his back on me like that kiss never happened? Why did he broke his promise…letting me believe it was all just in my imagination. And…my God…why now? Now…when is too late…

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How can i love when i’m afraid…

“When you looked into my eyes
And you said goodbye could you see my tears
When I turned the other way
Did you hear me say
I’d wait for all the dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky
You promised me when you said goodbye
That you’d return when the storm was done
And now I’ll wait for the light, I’ll wait for the sun”

(Madonna-“Rain”)

Laying in the jacuzzi…letting the hot water running down my body, while his warm hands were massaging my shoulders…i couldn’t remember the last time when i felt so relaxed. The scent of lavender oil combined with the rose petals and a glass of french champagne…I closed my eyes feeling his fingers gently touching the back of my neck…small goose bumps were forming in the warm little spot where my skin met his warm breath and his hungrily kisses…

-I forgot…

With lazy moves he moved his body so his eyes could meet my eyes…

-you forgot?

-almost…

His charming smile and the question in his eyes made him so attractive. He grabbed my chin making me look into his dark eyes…the eyes that always seems to capture my soul. He pulled me closer…

-What did you almost forgot, princess? Anything important?

-My life…before you…Who i was, what i felt…my friends…the family…they are so far away, like in another lifetime. I can’t remember myself without you…

He just smiled and kissed me with passion and hunger…creating shivers trough my body…his hands caressing and exploring…like discovering me all over again…the sensations were making me tremble…abandoning myself to him…to his desire…making love with a passion i always dreamed to live…

Opening my eyes slowly…i felt him carrying me to the bedroom, holding me close…

-How do you feel, my beauty?

-i feel…like i never want this to end…

-…happy?

-more than happy…Phillipe…i feel like meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me…

He became serious…like a sudden shadow took his smile away.

-Alicia…i need to know something…do you have any regret about us? If you could turn back time…

-i would change something…the fights, the anger…we should made love instead of fighting…i feel such a fool for not recognizing the true love…But why do you ask me this? And why do you look so sad…mon amour…what’s wrong? Something i did?

He took me in his arms and kissed me.

-It’s about what you said in the morning…about signing a prenuptial agreement…i was so angry with you for proposing me something like that…i didn’t had the chance to explain what i feel…

-Phillipe…i hope you know…i only wanted to make things right. I’m sorry for hurting your feelings…it’s just that my father accused me that i’m marrying you for your money…i was devastated to hear him talking like this. But why do you mention this now? I thought we’re ok…or, are you still angry with me…

-no, baby…i’m not angry…how could i be…is just that i have to tell you something…and it’s serious.

He looked at me and his eyes were so dark and cold…i couldn’t stand that look in his eyes…

-you’re scaring me…again…Phillipe, don’t look at me this way…

He held my face into his hands…making me look at him.

-Look at me. Alicia…I don’t wanna have this conversation with you again. We’re not signing a prenuptial agreement because we don’t need one. We’ll never divorce…i mean it. A marriage is over only when one of the partners is death. Do you understand me? It’s the only way a marriage should end…

I felt like falling down from the clouds. My euphoria replaced by fear…For the first time i started to see what the others were telling me all this time…maybe i don’t know him at all…

He seemed to melt seeing me so scared, trembling and with tears in my eyes. He tried to sweeten his tone.

-Baby…what’s wrong? Didn’t meant to scare you or hurt you in any way…

-it’s just that…i wanna love you, i really do…i wanna make love to you and be faithful to what we have…and i want a family…a child. But how can i go on if i don’t trust you…Phillipe, i’m afraid…sometimes i don’t recognize you…did you listen to yourself talking? Can you even control yourself? Or do you enjoy this? Fear, sadness, hurt…is this the way you want me to feel? Seeing me shocked and frightened…does this satisfy your need to control…? Are you happy now?

-No, of course no…

-Then stop it! Imagine what’s in my heart…i got no friends, my father doesn’t speak to me anymore, i’m tired and sad…and the man i love…the man i should trust…the only one who should be by my side to protect me no matter what…is suggesting me that…that…

I couldn’t speak anymore…the hurt inside silenced me, making me hate my own weakness. When i looked at him i saw in his eyes how sorry he is…i thought i saw him crying. Or i just saw my own tears?

I know you’re wrong…

“I’ve had enough of danger
And people on the streets
I’m looking out for angels
Just trying to find some peace
Now I think it’s time
That you let me know
So if you love me
Say you love me
But if you don’t just let me go”

(George Michael-“One more try”)

Lacoste, le Chateau de Le Marquis de Sade

-So…what do you think, my love? Those walls saw it all…this view is what He saw every day here. The history showed that this is the place He adored more than any other. Feel this energy in the air…Alicia, i feel so alive, so energized, i could live here! Home…

I was trying really hard to share his enthusiasm. It was a pleasant feeling to see him so happy, like a child who just opened a gift, but beyond that…I was struggling my inner storms, thinking of Mark and judging myself for kissing a complete stranger. I felt sad and abandoned and the castle seemed to made it worst. Like a dark cloud over my head…i felt a deep loneliness inside me and a sharp pain in my head. And a lack of air who got worst ever since i stepped inside the castle.

-Yes, Phillipe, it’s beautiful, even if it gives me some cold shivers…Look at those paintings and those images…can’t you feel the pain of his victims? It’s a very cold place…

-We’ll make it warm…i’m ready to make you love this place as much as i do. Come here…i have a gift for you. Close your eyes and feel this…

The touch of silk…

-A vintage dress…for me? It’s gorgeous, thank you so much…

-I want you to wear it tonight. Right now…and then i’ll show you the surprise. But first…let me see my beautiful princess dressed like she deserves…

The vintage dress was amazing. Brushing my hair, i kept repeating to myself that it’s alright. I’m oversensitive…in fact, i must be crazy…i just said “i love you” to a stranger. My God…maybe he’s having fun right now telling all to his friends. But he gave me the Medal. I looked at the necklace…no, i’m not crazy. And i have to get back to Phillipe…

-…is it ok?

He looked at me like it was the first time he was seeing me. Fascinated, amazed…i smiled to him thinking how much he loves me and how much he deserves from me to try…at least to try to feel…

-Alicia…i’m breathless…i tried to imagined this so many times…

He took me in his arms and held me so tight. I was still feeling bad but i tried to rationalize this sensation. After all…i was there with the man i supposed to love, in a castle. He tried everything to make me feel special and loved. I had no reason at all to react this way.

Two hours later, the main bedroom

-Feeling better, my love? You are so pale…

-Phillipe…the dinner was extraordinary…you brought me all my favorite food…with a touch of Provence. Even the home made chocolate that i used to eat when i was a child. And the wine…fabulous! I’m just so sorry i ruined the dinner…

-Don’t be silly, you just gave me a reason to take you to bed, my beauty…And now that you’re here in my arms is all perfect. Alicia…take off the dress. I wanna kiss you all over…and i’m gonna start with this little spot on your neck…Baby, what’s that necklace you’re wearing? The Miraculous Medal…i’m sure you didn’t had it when we left home…

He grabbed my face looking deep in my eyes. He was serious. I started to feel myself blushing and i tried, in desperation, to find a lie…

-No…someone gave it while i was waiting for you…it’s nothing, really. I forgot already…

I could see the anger growing in his eyes. My heart started to beat faster…he seemed changed, like something wild was taking control…

-Alicia, you’re the worst liar i ever met! Ok, my love…if it’s nothing…i’ll tell you what to do. Take it off and throw it away. Now! Didn’t you heard me? Or you need help? My pleasure…

He took the necklace in his hand trying to ripe it off my neck. I felt a panic and sadness like never before…

-No, Phillipe, stop it! I’ll tell you everything…just don’t break it. Please…

I started to cry, protecting the necklace with both of my hands. He stopped and lifted my face so he could see my eyes…

-I was…in the church…and it was a man who has the necklace…and i told him about my mom…and he gave it to me because he felt sorry for me. Cause i lost mine…and i was afraid to tell you cause you said not to go in the church…

I couldn’t speak anymore. My tears runned down my cheeks straight to the dress. It wasn’t about the fight anymore…i cried because my heart was so full…

-Baby…it’s alright. I’m sorry i got so angry with you. I believe you, ok? Stop crying, you’re gonna ruin the dress…Alicia…i don’t know what happened right now…i lost control. I felt that you’re acting like a spoiled child…thinking only about yourself. And me, my love? Don’t you think you hurt me a little too much? I’m only human…And i’m used to a different kind of woman. Sometimes i don’t know how to get to you…but all i do is for your own good. Try to be a little more sensitive about my requests…i don’t think is so hard…

-yes…i’m so tired…i think is the wine…i just wanna sleep…

-…you will, princess. Tell me…you wanna make me happy? But be honest now…

-you know i do…

-good…because i have something to ask you. A dream…my dream and yours too. Remember when you told me how much you want a child…my love…this is the perfect time, the perfect place…

-what do you mean?  You wanna…Here? No…i can’t…you know, i need more time…we need time…

-Alicia, i love you. It’s simple…In time, you’ll love me too…but why should we wait? We both have this dream…let’s make it happen right now…just think about…

His words were like fire in my heart. I said no…thinking all the time that i made the right decision…

Because in a place where fear and anger took the place of love…

in a place where i felt ravished by sadness and not by passion…

in a place where having a child is an expression of possession and control, and not an expression of a loving family…

No child should be conceived without love! No child should be a cure, or a bond, or a price, or a gift…or an attempt to heal my broken heart.

The girl who’s running to the Seashore…

“Cause were living in a world of fools
Breaking us down
When they all should let us be
We belong to you and me.”

Avignon, Les Palais des Papes

-Welcome to the most important gothic building from Europe…under the UNESCO Patrimony…this Palace is the most safe building, made to resist to all the types of dangers…

The guide’s voice sounded in my ears like a old well know story. Me and Phillipe…we were at Avignon. He said he’s searching for the perfect castle for his princess, it sounded so romantic…but i knew it better. It is all about taking me out of Monte Carlo in weekends, to prevent me from seeing Peter. And he’s right, the best thing i can do is to avoid him, now that my nightmares are more and more rare… I need time to heal…that’s what i told to Phillipe, that’s what i said to myself in an attempt to justify my fears…

-Alicia…hope you feel alright…you heaven’t said a word since we came in the Palace.

-I was just thinking about what the guide said…i really feel safe in here.

-Baby, you’re always safe with me. And we’re going to have a beautiful dinner at my friends home. I told you about them, they have a 3 years old boy.

-That’s lovely! Are we going to stay over night there?

-No…we have the nuptial suit at Le Grand Hotel D’Avignon. We need privacy…you’ll love the view and we’ll have a private garden too.

-Looks like you thought about everything…

-Yes, princess…is my job to read your mind and make sure you’re happy. And i know what you need right now…

He leaned on me and kissed me gently. Running his fingers trough my hair, he pulled me closer to him…feeling his body, my mind was running wild…

-Phillipe, stop it…they are looking at as…

-Never, my love…i’ll never stop loving you. I have this fantasy of making love to you in a medieval castle. What do you say…think that the old Popes will be very upset with me? I’m just trying to make an angel fall in love with me…

I couldn’t stop thinking how lucky i am….how different is this relationship from any other…

Avignon, Bryce and Helen’s home

-The dinner was delicious…thank you Helen! Let me help you with the dishes, please.

-you’re so kind, Ali…i hope you and Phillipe will come often to our home, we don’t have so many friends and Robert adores you.

-your little boy is so precious! Can’t believe he felt asleep in my arms…you know, i just started to dream about having my own…

-Ali…Phillipe seems so in love…and if you want to have a baby…he’s the right guy…serious, responsible and still so passionate…

-…you’re crying? Helen…is there something wrong…please tell me, i wanna listen and help…

-is just that…we were like you…i don’t know what happened. In time…he just stopped to look at me like this…and i know i’m fat…he told me this. But i’m a woman too…i’m sorry Ali to bring this all on you…i just met you today…but i needed someone to talk to…

-Helen…you are a beautiful woman and you love him…and i know how it feels. I know how heart breaking is…

I opened my arms to give her the warmest hug…Yes, i knew all about rejection, i knew how is it to fall asleep crying because he just can’t see you…It makes you feel unattractive, depressed, ugly, unlovable…and angry. I felt so much anger and pain in my relationship with Peter…i almost forgot who i am. I became insecure…i’m still paying the price for my lack of courage. The courage to break free…

Bryce and Helen’s home, in the garden

-Ali, did you saw Helen?

-i think she’s with Robert…i heard him crying…

-can i sit here next to you, Ali? I know Phillipe would break my legs to know i’m alone in the garden with you, but…

-can i ask you something? I saw Helen crying…

-yes…all that drama. I thought of divorcing her but i’m staying for the child…other wise…

-so you don’t love her anymore? She’s feeling so alone…and she’s a beautiful woman…

-Ali…she’s the mother of my child, of course i love her…i always will love her. But sleeping with her? She’s obese! I tried to help her lose some weight but she’s eating all the sweets…I’m a man…i just can’t…

-just try to make her feel beautiful and wanted…Bryce, she has no motivation for losing weight if you keep saying that you don’t want her. When you said about divorce…it really makes me cry thinking of that beautiful little boy…

-now let me ask you something, Ali…how come that someone so sweet and lovely like yourself is dating Phillipe?

-…

-you know, right? About him…really Ali, you’re just too carrying and innocent…

Phillipe showed up and, before i could say anything, Bryce and Helen were saying good bye to us.

in our way to Le Grand Hotel d’Avignon

-what did they give to you? Everywhere you go, people are giving you things, Alicia…

-jealous?…maybe a little? i said laughing. Alright, i’ll show you…

-a painting…sure, i forgot that Bryce is painting…what is written there?

-let me see…The girl who’s running to the Seashore…is the name of the painting. It’s a girl, i think is me…dressed in a white dress running in the middle of the storm. The waves are so dramatic…it look like she’s running directly in the sea…Phillipe…this paint is giving me a feeling of…just look at the sky…is black…

He stopped the car.

-Alicia, let’s trow away the painting. I don’t like this…he was my best friend but that does not give him the right…Just give me the painting!

-No, let me look. He wrote a message for me, let me read…

-Alicia, don’t…

-“The girl who’s running to the Seashore…trying to escape the storm inside her. She should save her soul before she’ll be completely drawn into the darkness…running scared in the arms of the pain… princess and rebel at the same time…she lost the crown of dreams. Will she be able to survive in a kingdom of hopeless fears…For Alicia with all our love, Bryce and Helen”

-Alicia…that’s crazy…i don’t know what was in his mind…baby, you got tears in your eyes…

-it’s about me…and you. They were saying…i’m really afraid now, Phillipe…

-look into my eyes, my love…see any threat? It’s only love…one day you’ll be the mother of my children…and i won’t hurt you, never…please don’t lose your faith in us just because some crazy people are jealous of what we have…

Looking at the painting was like looking inside of a mirror. Sometimes we all are lost in the kingdom of hopeless fears…i have one dream left untouched by the storm…the dream that his love…our love will show me the way back to the light…

We had it all…

“Losing my mind
From this hollow in my heart
Suddenly I’m so incomplete
Lord I’m needing you now
Tell me how to stop the rain
Tears are falling down endlessly…”

(Mariah Carey-“Love takes time”)

Standing alone in the middle of the crowd…waiting and thinking. Phillipe said he’ll be back in 10 minutes because he needed to talk to a client. A part of me was almost in the verge of telling him “please don’t go, don’t leave me alone…” but i stopped just in time to save my dignity. All these people seems so happy, so in love, the romantic music and the warm athmosphere really bring the best in them. And Peter with that girl…

-Aly…is someone here who insisted so much to meet you that i had no chance to say no. She’s Estelle, our bright star from the summer campain. And your biggest fan, my dear Aly…

-Nice to meet you, Alicia. I admire you so much, it’s an honor to finaly talk to you.

For a moment i thought i’m in a paralel universe. There were Peter and the girl (i mean Estelle) holding hands. She was beautiful, angelic look with big baby blue eyes and an inocent smile. I finaly got my voice back:

-Nice to meet you too, Estelle. And thank you for your kind words, but i think Peter deserve all the credit for our latest project. So, did you enjoied the party?

She tried to say something but Peter grabbed her by the arm and pushed her gently toward the door.

-Sweety, go wait in the car. I have something very private to talk to Aly. Now be a good girl and go to the car.

She left quietly, under my shocked eyes…

-Why did you treated her like this? You were so impolite…And she just obeids you, like that…

-Yes, Aly, she’s like a little good puppy. She does everything i tell her to do and know what? i’m loving this in a woman…i may give her a big hard price tonight.

-You drinked? My God, Peter…you promissed me…

-Honey…we both broked all the promisses. Yes i’m drunk and you’re coming with me…

-No, i’m not…

-Yes, you are…you’re so afraid of embarassing your new boyfriend in front of his client…so be quiet and he wont know…

He was right, i was afraid of Phillipe’s reaction. Before i could think further, i found myself alone with him in a room…didn’t even knew there’s a room so closed to restaurant…

-You are disgusting…don’t know how you can live with yourself. I can’t stand that smell of alcohol and that look in your eyes…

-but you like my hands on your body, don’t you, Aly? come on…one last time…i’m not that drunk!

He pushed me by the wall and started to kiss my neck while his hands were untidening my dress. Feeling so helpless against his body, i saw flashes in my mind. From the past…from the near future. A new found feeling od shame and fear…I started to cry so desperate, almost running out of air…

He stopped for a moment and looked deep in my eyes…

-Looks like you don’t love me anymore, Aly…let me tell you something…i slept with half of the woman from the party, Liz included…Yes, don’t look so shocked…she’s lame in bed…Anyway, you are the best…now i wanna have you one last time and then you can go do whatever you want with him.

-Peter, you’re drunk! You know what drinking does to you… Just let me go, you’re hurting me…

-He’s better than me? Tell  me, Aly…i wont let you go this time…you’re acting so scared and hurting but we both know you like it…

I heard someone forcing the door to open…shoutings and Phillipe’s voice. The time seemed to stop while he was pulling Peter from me and than the sounds of fighting. I closed my eyes and collapse into Phillipe’s arms.

A few hours later, in Phillipe’s appartment…

-Here’s a chamomilla tea…it will help you relax a little. You cried so much, i think you have fever…let me hold you, you’re trembling. Say something, baby, i’m worried sick for you now. Can i get you something?

-…no, don’t go…promise me you wont leave me alone…

-i’m here, my love…Alicia…he will pay, i promise you this. For every tear he caused…i’ll make sure he’ll lose it all.

-Phillipe…how can a man do that? any man…how low should a person feel to abuse someone this way…i feel so empty…like in the place where i felt love now is just empty and fear…how will i ever go on feeling like this?

-i dont have an answer…i know for sure that love has nothing to do with this…i can promise you i’ll spend every moment from now on loving you, making you feel how good it is to feel loved and protected…

-you love me? you really do…?

-I love you…now try to sleep, i’ll be right here holding you all night long. My love…

And even if in the darkness of the night i was feeling lost, i knew all the time, deep inside my heart, that it will be light. And right in that moment my old wounds were starting to heal.