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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If only for tonight…

“Tengo marcado en el pecho todos los dias y el tiempo no me dejo estar aqui
Tengo una fe que madura que va conmigo y me cura desde que te conoci”

(Gloria Estefan-“Hoy”)

Predejane, Serbia

-This place is beautiful! Look, Henri, we’re surrounded by mountains! It’s so peaceful and i can see the stars…so bright in this darkness…Henri, what are you doing?

-I’m thinking…witch side of the bed should i choose? Difficult…and i asked for two beds…i guess they thought we’re such a nice couple…

-How convenient…but i always sleep on the right side! And be careful, i have nightmares and i’m talking in my sleep…so, stay away…Anyway, why did we stopped by in this place? I thought we’re gonna cross the border…

-We stopped because you, my dear, said “my whole body is in pain, i never wanna ride a motorcycle again!”. Remember? And then you said you’re hungry and thirsty and you need a shower. And  then you took out your helmet because your hair was “a disaster”. And then you…

-So untrue…i bet you planned this from the beginning! A nice motel in the mountains…a nice french bed, you and me, a romantic dinner on the terrace…with home made bread and a great home made cheese. What’s the name? kaimac…yes. By the way, i wanna eat kaimac in the morning…and i want the fresh baked bread too…

-No! Tomorrow you’re gonna eat meat, like it or not! They have pleskavita, it’s great, much tasty then any cheesburger you have ever eaten…

-I wont eat meat! You cannot make me eat meat! That’s it!

I started to laugh like i didn’t laugh for months…with Henri everything was so simple, like he was my best friend. Actually…that moment, he really was my best friend…my only friend. But do i really know anything about friendship? Or love? How could i know…when the people i trusted the most betrayed me…

-Hey! You…Earth to Alicia! The runaway girl! Yes, you! What’s with that sad face?

-Nothing…

-Look, Alicia…don’t say it’s nothing. You’re so desperate to run and hide…i cannot even begin to imagine what’s in your heart…It’s ok to cry if you feel like…what your father and Phillipe did is unbelievable…deep inside my mind i still hope you misunderstood. Tomorrow i’ll talk to your father…

-But you wont tell him where i am! Promise me! Cause if you plan to do that, i’ll go away right now. I’ll cross the mountains by myself…

-…with bare foots and a bag full of kaimac! Please take some bread with you, will you? And some meat to give it to the wolfs! So they wont eat you. You know…they are not bad…you’re just so sweet…irresistible…

-Now you’re making fun! And you’re being mean! You…wolf-man!

-What did you just said? I’m a wolf-man? Ok, there’s just one thing left to do with you, little girl! Come here, lay on the bed…give me those runaway foots of yours…i’ll give you the best foot massage in the world! By the way…you’ll need it if you wanna cross the mountains by yourself!

-Henri…

He looked at me with the most warm look i ever saw…

-yes…tell me, you like it?

-you have magic hands…I just wanted to thank you for being my friend. I’m sorry for being so difficult…

-You’re not difficult, Alicia. Can i call you Ali, like all your friends? Ok, Ali…you’re just human. What happened to you lately…all the things you told me about your relationship with Phillipe…any person would go insane…You’re one of the strongest people i ever met, but it was enough. Pain, abuses…and a father who rather sell his only child then giving away his business. No wonder you’re so scared…And i know you heard this before and it was only a lie…but this time it’s true…you’re safe with me.

-I feel safe…and completely relaxed. Henri…if i close my eyes…you wont disappear? And you wont turn into something bad…

-Now you’re talking in your sleep and you’re having nightmares! Stop talking like this or i’ll tickle you to death…good…i made you smile. Close your eyes and try to get some sleep, we have a long trip in the morning…

-you think they are searching for me? Phillipe…my father…

-i think they called the local Police, the french one, Interpol, FBI…and Secret Services! They must be crazy not to…Any man who lost you would search for you. I know i would…till the end of the world…Ali, you’re sleeping?

-almost…and you’re buying me kaimac? with…home-made bread…in the morning? cause now i’m so tired…

I thought i heard him saying something but i felt lost in a dream. The night was dark and cold…in the mountains of a country i never knew before…without any friend except for this man who, till yesterday, hated me…

…but still surrounded by Light and Love, like never before.

The window to my soul

“Every now and then
I get a little bit helpless
And I’m lying like a child in your arms…”

(Bonnie Tyler-“Total Eclipse of the heart”)

What’s wrong with me, missing you like that…if i had more time, if you had more courage…And what’s wrong with you, not to see, not to feel the true love…You’re in my dreams every night and day…in every pray and in every breath…Mark…

-Look who’s here!

-A…li!

-My God, it’s little Robby! Bryce, you didn’t told me you’re bringing my precious little Robby here! How are you, sweetie?

-Ali, it was impossible to keep him away from you. After all, he’s repeating your name ever since you and Phillipe came to our house.

-I’m just so happy that you and Helen accepted my invitation. Where is Helen? I can’t wait to show her all the places…

-She’s shopping! Typical woman! She said you told her about a boutique…i wanted to see you and to talk to you and in an hour we’ll meet her. If that’s ok for you…

-Of course…i missed you guys. And i missed my little Robby…

-Ali, i wanted to thank you! I don’t know what you said to Helen, but she’s a different woman. She started a diet and it shows…And she’s more calm and loving. I know you talked to her on the phone…almost every day. You did a miracle to our marriage, Ali!

-No, Bryce, you did! Or…you two, together. She just needed someone to talk to…a friend, someone to tell her how beautiful she really is and how she doesn’t need to fill the empty space in her heart with food! She only need her husband’s love. But please, be sensitive to her needs…you have an amazing woman in your life and she’s madly in love with you. Just don’t let her go…

-You are an angel, Ali…if there’s anything we can do…

-Just enjoy this time here! I hope you’ll like my apartment in Nice, it’s not very big, but you’ll have privacy. And i’m offering my services as baby-sitter as well! So you two could have some time together…

-Ali…thank you! I almost forgot, we have a gift for you! It’s a lot more appropriate for you…i’m sorry if the last time i frightened you…tell me if you like it.

-Wow! It’s so beautiful? That’s me?

-Yes…looking trough a window…and seeing an angel on the other side…only that you don’t know that the window is actually a mirror showing you your soul…please, read the poem as well…

“The Window to your Soul

I see a light on your window, it’s late in the night

and i can’t see if you’re laughing or crying inside…

Locked away from the world, in the Dark Castle,

i wish i could be that knight…to rescue you…

from all the sadness and evil surrounding you…

To caress your hair and whisper in your ear

that all the danger is gone…

I see a light on your window, it’s late in the night

but i can’t see if you’re awake or lost in a dream

when He’s telling you to follow Him…”

-Bryce…that’s amazing, i really felt like this recently…now i’m overwhelmed…

-it’s just a poem…Ali, there are a few things that you need to know. It’s about Phillipe…about you and him. You don’t seems happy to me…tell me, is he treating you right? Or did he…

-No, i’m ok, Bryce, i’m just oversensitive and ever since i came back from that castle i’m having nightmares…

-What castle?

-in Lacoste…you know…i’m probably overreacting but i never felt so sick like in that place…

-Ali…did he said or do anything to you? How sick did you felt? Like poisoned? Or drugged…tell me and please be honest because it’s not too late…did he hurt you in any way? Because if he did…

Right in that moment i saw him…he probably listened the whole conversation because his eyes were like fire…

-Phillipe…

-What do you mean by hurting her?! Bryce, are you out of your mind?! Are you saying to my fiancee that i might drugged her or poisoned her…You’re the only one poisoning her mind with those foolish words…

I looked at him trying to make him calm down.

-Phillipe, please…you’re going to scare little Robby…i know you would never do something like that. It’s all that matter, right? I trust you…i think we all need to get out from this office. You said you’ll buy me ice cream…

He smiled at me, taking me in his arms. Holding me tight and kissing my hair…The feeling of being safe was so strong that i wondered how could i ever think differently. I saw myself like a scared child needing to be reassured.

-Baby, if i said i’ll buy you ice cream, you’ll get ice cream! You and Robby! This guy, Bryce…who used to be my best friend…i don’t know him anymore…And, Bryce!…we’re not done yet!

I looked for one last time at the painting…remembering Bryce’s poem…

I don’t even know sometimes if i’m awake or lost in a dream…i only know that when he’s telling me to follow him…my heart is just on a different path.

The Right One…

“She’s taking her time making up the reasons
To justify all the hurt inside
Guess she knows from the smiles and the look in their eyes
Everyone’s got a theory about the bitter one…”

(Savage Garden-“To the Moon and back”)

Liz was sick, really sick…i felt so worried and, against Peter’s good judgement, there i was, next to her, with my chicken soup (made by Maria) and my good intention. Not enough…she could barely speak…

-Aly, i’m so grateful to you, you’re my best friend ever! Hope you’ll not getting sick too, for visiting me…and the soup is delicious…you burned your hand cooking for me…

-Try to get some rest, ok, Liz? I’m right here if you need anything…

-I feel like i’m gonna die…what if i’m dying…i gotta tell you…my worst regret is…you know…with Peter…

-You’re not gonna die, i promise you that! And i forgave and forgot all about you and Peter. Now, please, try to sleep…

-You’re happy with Matt…tell me Aly…can i ask you something really stupid?

-Try…

-You think that getting engaged after a few weeks of relationship is bad? My birthday is the next week and he want to propose me and give me the ring…i know…it’s so soon but i really think he’s the right one…charming, smart, carrying…and he loves me…and if you knew…he’s great in bed…

-Well, Liz, maybe he really is the right one…sounds like you found the perfect man. He’s french?

-No, italian…wait a minute…can’t believe how stupid i am…you know him…it’s Tony…he was your pillates trainer…

I though i didn’t hear it correctly…Tony…

-…Aly, you hear me? you’re very pale…i know…forgive me…you’re sad cause Matt is in the US and i keep bragging about my relationship…

-No…it’s ok…just remembered i have something to do…

Outside, the gentle wind made me realize the drama of this situation. I know Tony…i know him too well, we ended our relationship in anger. Could he really love Liz? He said i’m the love of his life…could this relationship with my best friend be something real…and if it’s not…what kind a game is he playing? I needed someone to talk to…i called my other best friend, Tess. She told me to come to the coffee shop…she’ll be ready in about half  hour…

I though that a nice strong espresso will wake me up to reality…espresso, he was making the best espresso ever. I started to remember…his hands on my body…the passion that we shared…the desire that made me give in to something i knew it’s wrong…God…i cheated on Peter…i lost the love of my life…i lost my Right One…and for what…and now…what if he’ll hurt Liz…another one that will suffer from my lack of …i felt big tears running down my cheeks…

-Two espresso…and a glass of water.

I recognized that voice…Phillipe! I felt like a great feeling of joy…he was there and i though i lost him…i was searching for him but he left the second day after…after i cried in his arms in his hotel room…

-I took the liberty of ordering you another espresso…i really think that your salty tears kinda ruined this one…And you need water too…the way your pulse is racing is like you’ll gonna have a panic attack…

-Phillipe! You’re here, can’t believe it…i jumped off my chair straight into his arms…i only met him once but i felt somehow connected…

-I’m here…couldn’t leave you like that…after all you made quite an impression on me that day. And you’re the same! Unbelievable! I let you crying, i found you crying…Alicia, gotta stop this…

-I can’t! Every time i think i’ll be all right, i just dig myself deeper and deeper. And that day…you were right…about everything. Even about Matt, unfortunately…

-Yes, your boyfriend…the worst kind of abuser…the frustrated boy who dates the most beautiful girl, plays all sweet and nice till he feel like he really has the control…that’s the point where the abuse begins…

-Phillipe, gotta ask you…you’re a therapist? You seems to know so much and you really read people…

-I’m the man who can change your life…if you let me. I can make you feel loved and protected…and i’ll never play with your emotions or with your feelings. Now drink the water and listen to me…i found your helpless innocent look really attractive…

I stared at him in a state of shock…there was something about his voice…

-Hey, Aly! I came as soon as i could…

Tessa’s voice was cheerful…till she saw me. Or, should i say…till she saw him. She took a step back, like trying to defend herself…her hands were shaking without control…i tried to talk to her but she seem in discomfort.

-Phillipe…now you started stalking my friends? I though we had an agreement…you can’t break your promise like this…and Aly it’s not…leave her alone…

-Now, sweetie…i think she can decide for herself…or you can’t…Alicia?

I started to feel weird, like in a bad movie. All seemed strange…Tess and Phillipe…they knew each other…and he was talking to Tess so disrespectful…calling her sweetie…too weird, like Tess was not herself anymore and Phillipe…

-Tess, what’s going on? I have the right to know…and you Phillipe…the way you were speaking before, sorry but it was just too weird. Thank you for the coffee…again. Maybe next time you’ll be more open and honest…

I left them, imagining all kind of things. The prospective of being loved and protected was tempting me but…again…what’s the price? I already payed way too much for this feeling. No, no more tears, they wont bring me back what i lost…

My Right One…is it just an illusion? And if it’s so…i lost it forever?…

When life was simple…

“Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play,
Now I need a place to hide away.
Oh, I believe in yesterday.”

(Beatles-“Yesterday”)

-I understand that you miss Matt and i’m sorry he has to stay for so long in US, but i won’t stay here to hear you bad talking about my marriage! Especially with this gentleman standing here! I can’t understand why he’s with you all the time! He’s, after all, your ex boyfriend! You think that Matt would appreciate this?

The voice belonged to Corinne…I invited her to my office under a false pretext, but the truth is that i was very touched by her sadness and her lack of reaction…And the fear in the child’s eyes. I was telling all the story to Peter and he reacted like any normal man would react: “Let’s talk to her, maybe we can help. I’ll offer her financial support, legal aid…maybe a place to stay…Call her, we have to try..”

Now, looking at her…i knew i was right. Big black sunglasses to cover the swollen eyes…bruises on her shoulders…a trace of a recent scar that the make up couldn’t cover…Shaking hands and a mental state that revealed more then her words. And she was defending Nick! I knew that’s a possibility but seeing her like that…I looked at Peter with a helpless feeling…

-It’s not only about you, it’s also about your child. That kid need to feel safe and loved…don’t you think, Corinne? Is it ok for you to see him so scared? Peter’s voice sounded calm and reassuring. I admired him in that moment…

-Leave David out of this! And leave us alone! It’s true, Nick has a bad temper…but in his heart it’s the kindest man i ever knew. He loves us, he take care of us…

-How? Hitting you? Making you cover your eyes because you cried all night? Humiliating you in front of his friends? Tell me, what exactly does he do for you?

-Alicia…this was a mistake…i tried to be your friend…but you…just…

I saw tears falling from her eyes and the feeling was terrible. I didn’t knew this woman, what if i just destroyed the poor balance that she created? To be able to survive…She continued to talk…

-…maybe you’re just too young…when you’ll be married, you’ll see that these are normal things…it’s up to you if you’ll make a big deal or just learn to be what your family need you to be…And Nick it’s a great guy…you talk like you didn’t knew about Matt…

I felt a weird sensation of lacking oxygen…like falling down from a high cliff…

-What should i know about Matt? Please, Corinne, tell me everything…i felt it’s something wrong ever since you mentioned Katie…and Nick got so mad…it’s something about Matt’s ex wife? I need to know…

-You didn’t knew that? I’m not surprised…your perfect Matt…the one who’ll never hurt you…you know what? I’ll tell you, so you could see that this it’s not only my situation…you know that Katie was born prematurely? Only six months of pregnancy…they called her a medical case…and she’s still having a lot of health problems because of this…

I didn’t knew…i felt bad…the man who loves me is going trough such a difficult situation and i…

Corinne continued to talk like enjoying a victory…

-She’s like that…because of him. Matt…your sweet and loving Matt…he pushed Mary-Ann from the top of the stairs…after hitting her so hard that she needed surgery…they were fighting…i remember like it was yesterday…we were there. And she was pregnant…And it wasn’t the first time…oh, no…so what are you saying to me now? At least my man didn’t try to kill his own child…

The shock was enormous…A big part of me was trying to deny…that’s a lie, isn’t it? But my intuition…

I can’t remember when she left my office. I remember that i wanted to cry and my tears just didn’t appeared…And Peter holding me…and his voice when he talked…

-It’s better to find out now…then after the marriage. And for me it’s obvious what you should do. I’m sorry…you took a shock after another…you need to rest a little. Come home…I’ll ask Maria to cook for you your favorite desert, chocolate-cherry cake…and i still have some jasmine petals…i’ll prepare you a warm bath…

-To your place? i said without thinking.

-Home. Our home…the place where you belong. You’re safe there…

I looked at him trying to guess…

-Am i safe, Peter? Or it’s just another way to make me…

He smiled.

-Let’s not go trough this tonight, ok? Stop analyzing every word i’m saying. You need to be with someone…i’m taking you home. And yes…you’re safe. But i wont promise you that i wont try…because i want you so much…

And i blocked all my thoughts. I said to myself i wanna go home

-You said something, Aly?

-Take me home…

(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?