When even friends seem out to harm you

“And when your fears subside
And shadows still remain
I know that you can love me
When there’s no one left to blame
So never mind the darkness
We still can find a way”

(Guns’n Roses-“November Rain”)

Overwhelming feelings, sensations and thoughts were running trough my body and soul…Lying naked on the sateen sheets…shivering light from the white candles placed all around the bed…creating a sweet sensation of tranquility. Red wine, contrasting with the pale white shadows and a music i never heard before…He looked at me and took my hand kissing my fingers. I slowly begun to move, just to feel his body closer, just to make sure he’s real…

-Thank you…

My voice sounded gentle and sweet, almost like a whisper. I opened my eyes looking deep inside his heart. He took me into his arms, holding me tight.

-I would give anything for this look in your eyes…To see love, adoration, trust…Alicia…there’s nothing in this world i wouldn’t give you…

-I only need you to love me, Phillipe…to make love to me…like you did. With passion and tenderness…

Running my fingers trough his hair, thinking how handsome he really is, how perfect we can be to each other.

-I realized something, princess…losing you, destroying your trust in me, hurting you the way i did it…it was a nightmare, i am a monster, like you once told me…

I placed my fingers on his lips to stop him for talking.

-You’re the only man i love…and i tried to change you…it was so unfair of me…I felt in love with your wildest side, your dark side attracted me so much, but all i ever dreamed was that you’ll love me so much…so you’ll wanna change it all for me…Do i make any sense?

-Baby…

I felt tears and i didn’t tried to stop them.

-Now i understand, Phillipe…now i know and i respect you for who you really are and i’m scared that i’ll never be able to make you happy. God knows i’ll try! But i’m terrified of the thought of being harmed…and still…i wanna give you what you need, what you desire…i think i need you to be patient with me and to assure me again and again…

He kissed me deep and passionate grabbing my hair and holding firmly my face.

-Alicia…you’re making me very happy…i need to learn how to keep this beautiful smile on your lips…how to see every day this spark in your eyes…how to make you feel safe and loved. You’re the only light in my darkness…

The phone was ringing…a cruel sound in the perfect ambient.

-Oh, no…it’s Annette…do you want me to answer?

-Yes, baby…but put it on speaker…i wanna hear it all…cause i have a feeling…

the conversation with Annette:

-Ali, where are you? I need you to come to the hotel, pleeeeease…

-Hi, Annette. I can’t…i’m not in Monte Carlo…actually i’m very far away…i said looking at Phillipe with a playful smile

-I need your help, Ali! In two days is my date…i told you about Mark…

-Yes…did you find any dress to fit you?

-Ali, it’s not about the dress…you gave me clothes for a few years at least. I found a great dress…the red one. But i don’t have aaaaa…

you know…

-Tell me! You need shoes? Or some nice earings to match to the dress? Phillipe started to laugh.

-God, Ali, don’t make me say it! It’s about an underwear…i need a hot sexy underwear and all are so expensive…and i wanna impress him…i’m planning to pay a room in the hotel and spend the night with him…

-Wait! Annette…this is your first date…you never met him till now. Don’t you think you’re hurrying things too much? What he’s gonna think about you?

-So, you’ll give me? Please, Ali…

-I’m sorry, this time i can’t help you! I really think you should be yourself and not trying so much to impress him…he should be impress by you, your heart and soul, your personality…not by a sexy underwear that it isn’t even yours…

-Thanks for nothing! Are you trying to ruin this for me? Why? Jealousy? You know, Alicia, he is my chance…i wasn’t born rich, like you! And i didn’t married a rich man like you did! And i don’t wanna spend my whole damn life cleaning rooms! He’s my chance to escape from poverty and i need your help…

-Oh my God! You need my help to…what? To sleep with him? To sell yourself? Annette…

-Sure, like you’re better than me! Don’t tell me it’s a coincidence that all the guys you were involved with are millionaires! I know what you’re doing…playing good little housewife till the next one will appear. And, till then you’ll get all you can from the jerk of your husband…

The attack took me by surprise, or maybe i was too high and falling down was too painful. I blocked and i started to cry, looking helpless at Phillipe. He was so angry…a frozen expression. For a moment i thought he’s gonna smash the phone, but he just took it from my shivering hands and spoke with a sinister dark tone…

-So, the trash voiced…spitting all the venom in my home…Trash…you know what is going to happen to you? You know what i’m doing with the snakes? Make them swallow their own poison…

-N-n-no…Sir…i’m sorry, i was angry and i didn’t thought…please, Sir…forgive me…

-This conversation is recorded. I will use the information. You will forget about Alicia and this number. And…almost forgot…in the next half hour, the poor fool is gonna receive a mail. With a link…

I heard her crying and whining and praying and bagging. Phillipe closed the phone. He took me in his arms.

-Now is a good time to tell me “i told you so”. Phillipe, i’m a fool…i should had listed to you…i still can’t believe…

-No, baby…you’re not a fool…you made a mistake…you always see the best in people, don’t you? And you believe in changes for better, right? A big part of my reason to love you is this precious heart of yours! This light you spread all around you…now don’t be sad…you didn’t lost anything…

He was warm, gentle and carrying. And the love i felt for him in that moment was overwhelming.

-Promise me i won’t lose you, mon amour…

-As long as you’ll be like this…your precious soul is safe. And nothing and no one will harm you again. As long as you’re mine…

And, with all my heart, i wanted to feel like i’m his…but deep inside my soul i know i’ll never be…

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No more masquerade

“Wish you well, I cannot stay
You deserve an award for the role that you played
No more masquerade, you’re one lonely star.”

(Madonna-“Take a bow”)

Belgrade, Serbia 

Henri was standing in front of me with a sad smile.

-I just wanna say thank you, Alicia. For defending me like that…the things you said about me…

-It’s all true, Henri. You’re the brain behind our success, the real value inside this company. Not to mention you’re modest enough to promote our products and not yourself. My father is lucky to have you! And, believe me, i’ll never allowed anybody to offend you like they did. I don’t care about their reasons…the fact that you’re american does not give them the right to…

-…i’m half american, my mother is french…

-that’s my point exactly! It doesn’t matter! You could be half alien, they still don’t have the right to talk to you like this! God! I felt like i’m gonna explode when they said those horrible things! I’m even sorry we sign the contract with them!

-Don’t be! You probably saved the company…even if you were about to start the third world war! But…how did he said? Right…”You’re not only beautiful and intelligent…you have a strong personality as well. And we are proud to have such a strong minded business partner.”

Henri started to laugh. I was thinking this is the first time i see him so relaxed. We knew each other for so long, but all this time he never spoke one single kind word to me. Like he could read my mind, he continued:

-I’m really sorry for all the mean things i said to you all this time. You’re not like i though…you’re…

-Henri, please sit down. I have to tell you something and you’re not gonna like it…

-I can imagine…and i probably deserve it…

-It’s not about you…or me. It’s about the company you’re working for. My father did some risky investments and he found himself in the situation to sell. That happened a few months ago, before i even knew Phillipe. Yes, he’s the new owner. He owned the company when i started to date him…i didn’t knew about any of this. I returned to the company thinking i’ll be working in my family business and when i found out…i was devastated. Not for losing the company…for being manipulated like this…

-What do you mean? Manipulated?

-Yes, Phillipe said he’ll return the business to my father if i’ll accept being in a relationship with him…a serious relationship.

-Oh, my God! Alicia…that’s prostitution! Modern prostitution! I bet your father is furious…knowing how protective he is with you…

-Then you’ll be shocked…Yes, he was furious at first. But tonight…you know what he told me when i called him to tell him about our success?

-What?

-He said: “Ali, just think about this. Phillipe seem to really care about you…don’t let your pride ruin something that could be great for both of you…after all, you and Phillipe had a relationship before you found out about all this. And if the company returns to family…that’s even better!”

-No! I can’t believe this! Your father is brainwashed? That’s beyond manipulation…

-I told him that, in this moment, my pride is all i have. And i’ll keep my dignity no matter what! Even with the price of loosing the only family i still have. So…i saved the company…his precious company…And that’s all! I’m leaving, Henri…that’s my resignation letter, please give it to Phillipe…

-Wait! Alicia…where are you going? It’s late in the evening…you don’t even have your car. It’s crazy…

-I got my passport and i have money…i’ll take the bus. Honestly…i don’t know where i’m going, i just don’t have the straight to go back. I have nothing left there…no one…

I wanted to sound strong, but i felt overwhelmed by sadness.

-Don’t go…Alicia, if all you said it’s true…i don’t wanna work for that guy. I never liked Phillipe…i never understood this strange friendship between your father and him. And now…what you told me…it’s disgusting…But i need time to think about all this. It’s all so sudden…i need to speak to your father before doing anything.

-Take your time, Henri, you got every right. And don’t forget that they depend on you, not the other way around! I have to go, i really wanna be gone when Phillipe returns.

-Have you ever ridden a motorcycle?

-What?…no, never…

-All right…you’ll have your chance tonight! We’re leaving together…you’re lucky i’m crazy enough to help you escape from this madness. But i still wanna talk to your father. Deal?

-You mean…

-That’s right. We’re leaving in ten minutes, after i speak to a friend of mine to make a reservation…Alicia, i hope you told me the truth, cause i’m risking everything here…ok…ready?

-Where are we going?

-Away from this place…don’t worry, we’re not crossing any ocean…ok, my partner in crime…

-Me? Partner in crime? No, Henri…the crime was already committed…they killed my trust and my faith…

(to be continued)