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…

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Learning to smile

“If I stand all alone, will the shadow hide the color of my heart;
blue for the tears, black for the night’s fears.
The star in the sky don’t mean nothin’ to you, they’re a mirror.”

(Rod Steward-“I don’t wanna talk about it”)

Olympic Beach, Greece

-Here…take this one! Is bigger! Why throwing only the little white rocks in the water, when you could throw this ugly big black rock? Now, Ali, repeat after me: with this big ugly rock…

-with this big ugly rock…

-I’m throwing away…

-i’m throwing away…

-All the pain and sorrow and anger…

-all the…I can’t! I wish i could, Henri…but the pain and the sorrow are still there. I think i’ll never smile…

-You will! Not only smile, but laugh and love and feel…Ali, you made this?

-What?

-All this big water lying under the cliffs?

-Don’t be silly…it’s the sea…

-No, you don’t fool me! Taste it! It’s salty, like your tears…you cried so much that you created the sea? Please…don’t drown us, you creator of the seas!

I started to laugh again even if my tears were still running down my face. He wrapped his arms around my shoulders keeping me warm and safe. I looked into his eyes…

-Your eyes are blue…like the sea…

-and my shirt is all wet from your salty tears! And you don’t even know how to remove the white stains produced by salt! Cause you never eat salt…you’re made of sugar, my sweet girl…

-Henri…do you ever talk seriously?

-i spoke to your father…

-oh, i understand…he convinced you that i’m a spoiled rich girl, an irresponsible and a liar…and that he and Phi…

-Stop! Stop talking or i throw you in the water! Look at me, Ali…now i’m serious. I didn’t recognize your father, he’s not himself anymore. He wanted me to convince you to accept…I told him my opinion and i guess i was a little harsh to him. I told him that you’re not for sell and that he just lost my respect for him. It’s true, Ali…he wants you to accept a relationship with Phillipe, regardless of your feelings. He was even capable of threatening me if i don’t “bring” you back the next day. Like you’re an object, a doll…God, i’m still furious…

-are you going to leave me? Because of my father, and Phillipe…and all my problems. Don’t…don’t leave me, please don’t…i’m so incredibly alone…

-Ali, did you heard what i said to you? Did you listened to me? I just said that i lost my respect for your father. I never said one word about leaving you! Sometimes, Ali, i feel like i’m talking to a big child! A big crying baby…look, i brought you here, no one knows where you are…no one will find you. We’re returning to Monte Carlo only when you’re ready to face the disaster. I’m with you in this! What else do you want me to tell you? Fight your insecurities or they are going to consume you. And never argue with me, cause i can talk more and faster than you!

-Henri, i’m so grateful to you…

-Show me how grateful you really are…let’s go back to the resort…

-what do you mean? i hope you’re not suggesting…

-Again…you’re talking over me…you’ll never learn, do you? Now listen to me! I wanna see you wearing that sexy red dress…we’re going to a club to dance till morning! Understood?

-Let me tell you a secret…Henri…come closer…this game of yours, playing dominant with me…my dear…it’s not working. Cause, you know what? I know how to play it too…only that i choose not to…You see…you cannot pretend to be a lion if deep inside your heart all you want…all you desire…all you need…

-yes…don’t stop…

-…is to stay at my feet…hoping i’ll give you the chance to kiss my little finger…

He started to laugh.

-Girl, you’re dreaming!

-Now, catch me if you can! See who gets first in the room. I bet i’m faster! You can’t catch me…wolf-man!

-You’re playing with fire, little girl!

Yes, i know…

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.

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)