The Inner Child

“I smile when I’m angry.
I cheat and I lie.
I do what I have to do
To get by.
But I know what is wrong,
And I know what is right.
And I’d die for the truth
In My Secret Life.”

(Leonard Cohen-“In my secret life”)

-Maria, this is the best Tiramisu i have ever eaten! The best! Thank you so much! Please, give a big slice to Phillipe, he’s locked away in that office for too long…

-I can’t…Sir said he doesn’t want to be bothered…and he also told me to announce you to be ready in an hour. You know…for the business meeting.

-I will be ready, but…Maria, stop this nonsense with “Sir”. He’s Phillipe, my fiance, not some royal figure! If i call him by his name, you should do that too…because you’re like family to me…sometimes you were the mother i never had…Alright…no more tears! Really, Maria, if you call him “Sir” again, i’ll just ask him to call you “Lady”! Lady Maria…

She started to laugh but suddenly she stopped.

-Alicia, you’re like a child sometimes! And me…talking to you while i still have those dishes…

-Let me help you clean up the kitchen. Come on, Maria! You worked too much today and i’m boring…You sit down and i do the dishes! And you talk to me, that’s an order! Just kidding…about ordering you…i respect you too much to give you orders! Just let me help you! Please, pretty please, pretty pretty please…

She tried to look serious but i could tell she was smiling.

-That’s unacceptable! Sir…i mean your fiance was very clear about this! He doesn’t want you to work in the house. Alicia, if you care about me, just respect his demands. You know i depend on these money…not for me…it’s about my children…you know my situation. Tell me something…

-anything, my dear Maria…

-Why are you like this with him? Defying all the rules, acting against his decisions? Like a child who’s testing the limits…You love him, right? He loves you so much…and his requests are not that hard to respect. In the past, that was the only way for a woman. Respectful and loving…So, why are you like this?

-I don’t know…maybe i’m testing his limits. I love him and i trust him but sometimes…is like i see a different side of him. And it scares me…and i wish i could be sure before the marriage…Believe me, i tried to follow his rules. I can’t! And then i told him that my only rule is this: “I got no rules! Rules are made to be broken!”.

-Ali…i wish you could be serious for a minute. You know i love you like you’re my daughter. First time i saw you…you were 20, a child pretending to be a woman. Now you’re a woman pretending to be a child…

-God…Maria, remind me never to talk to you! How can you say those things? You’re hurting my feelings…

-I’m sorry, Alicia, but you need to listen. You wont survive in this marriage if you don’t change, just a little…You have an incredible man as your future husband, he cares about you, he placed your desires above his. Remember…we’re not equals…God made the woman in a certain form. You should show more obedience, more respect to your fiance. And you really have no reason to fear him…he’s so gentle and tender with you. Unless…you don’t love him…and your behavior is your way out…

I heard the door open and i felt relief to see Phillipe.

-Sir, can i serve you a piece of Tiramisu? Or do you prefer a glass of tonic water? Is just as cold as you always prefer it…

-Thank you, Maria, not now. I’ll call you in a few minutes.

He look at me and smiled.

-Alicia, can we talk in private? In my office…

I followed him and carefully locked the door behind me. He turned and i wrapped my arms around him, giving him my best smile.

-I missed you today…you’re working too much, i’m glad you took a break. Philipe…you’re upset? What have i done now?

-Baby, i’m not upset…it’s just that i don’t like when you’re so familiar with the servants. You seems to forget your place…And you know how i feel about that…is one of my…

-…yes, one of your rules! I know, i know! I broke some rules again! I never learn…and i’ll upset you again and again…cause i just wanna break another one! A big one!

-Let’s hear it! You got that sexy smile, wrapping me around your little finger…

-Well…what about this…i never made love in a lawyer’s office…all these secret files so well placed…just makes me wanna lay down on this table and let you see my wild side…what do you think…

-…i think you just got yourself the right to break every rule you want…as long as you’re doing it this way…Alicia, baby…if you knew how much i love you…

-show me how much…make love to me and make me forget about rules or limits…

But can i ever forget about rules? My inner rules…how many times i broke them already? And how much pain it caused me acting this way? Maybe Maria is right…maybe i am a woman pretending to be a child…still laughing, crying, wondering and gazing at this big wild world…Against all imposed rules!

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When there’s nothing left to say…(Part I)

“For my dreams I hold my life
For wishes I behold my night
The truth at the end of time
Losing faith makes a crime.”

(Nightwish-“Sleeping Sun”)

-Wake up…Alicia, princess, wake up…is late…

-nooo…let me sleep…i only slept for an hour…let the curtains down…it’s too much light…

-i have a surprise for you…but if you don’t want it…

-a surprise? for me? really? give me the surprise!

He smiled at me caressing my hair and lifting me up from the bed. Against all my protests he cared me to the window to show me the bright light of the sun.

-Now can i have it? My surprise…Phillipe…

-just like a big child! The surprise is that someone wanna see you…remember the nice lady who used to work for Peter, as cook…Maria…

I didn’t needed another word…i jumped from his arms and run to the living room. There she was! All this time i missed her so much, but i was afraid to contact her…after all, i knew she’s working for Peter…

-Maria! I’m so happy to see you! Come here to give me a big hug, i missed you so much…you came to see me…tell me, how are you? And your children? Come, sit with me…

She seemed so sad…all my cheerful mood started to dissolve itself…

-What’s wrong? Tell me…please, is it something with the children…or…

-It’s just that…Peter fired me…after being in his services for more than 20 years…Alicia, you know me, you know i’m discreet…but the way he’s treating that girl, i have a daughter that age…

-and he fired you, just like that! He’s an…

-I know i should asked you, but Sir told me it’s alright…He said that if you agree…i may work for him. Please, Alicia…

-Who’s Sir?

Phillipe started to laugh. Maria was blushing and i looked at both of them trying to guess…

-Sir Phillipe…i’m sorry…he told me to call him this way. And he deserve all the respect…i’ll never be able to thank him for this opportunity…and for paying the tuition for my children…

-No more of this, Maria. I was happy to help you, considering how much you helped Alicia during all those years with Peter. So, Alicia, what do you think? Is it alright to hire Maria?

I jumped in his arms.

-Thank you! Thank you so much, Phillipe! Of course it’s alright…

I turned to Maria.

-But first i gotta say a few things to Peter…how dare he treat you like this? You were like family to us…ok…i’m gonna take a shower, then i want a coffee and i’m going to Peter’s home…

-My love…heaven’t you forgot something?

I looked at Phillipe, trying to guess what he means by that. Then i remembered…i felt like blushing…

-I know you told me to…but it’s still hard for me. You see, Phillipe, i never asked permission for anything and it’s weird…Anyway…i’ll do it if you want me to…Is it alright to…go to Peter’s home?

-No, you’re not allowed to do that!

I never felt so humiliated  in my entire life. Especially in front of Maria…He continued very calm…

-At least not alone! I’m coming with you. Princess…you know what happened last time you was alone with him…i hope you understand that asking my permission is just for your own safety…

I nodded…still feeling weird…

Two hours later, at Peter’s house

The man who came to meet me was no more than a stranger to me…Peter, my first love…looking older, looking sick and hurt…with a wild look in his eyes and stumbling from all the alcohol he drank all night. The smell was horrible…

-A…aly…sweety, you came back like i knew you will…

He tried to touch me but i managed to put distance between us…only the thought of being touched made me tremble. Phillipe noticed how bad i feel and he took the initiative.

-Do not touch Alicia! We’re here to make sure you won’t cause problems to Maria! She’s working for me now…

-Of course, Maria…another one who betrayed me…What do…do you want more, Phillipe? You stole Maria after stealing my love…my Aly…maybe you want the house too…here’s the key…take it…is yours…

I turned away to leave when i remembered something:

-Peter, where’s Estelle?

-Who? Ohhh…the girl…my own pet…we had a little too much fun last night…i think she’s sleeping upstairs. And…no…Phillipe cannot have it! Nooooo, she’s all mine…

Phillipe took my hand leading me to the door…he wanted, just like me, to get out of that place…But how could i leave like this…

-I have a bad feeling, Phillipe…she cannot possibly sleep, is the middle of the day…let’s go upstairs…

-No, honey…you stay right here…i’m going upstairs…

The minutes seemed hours. I stood with no move, trying to ignore Peter’s babbling…about how much he loves me and how much he regrets…and how “the girl” is nothing like me…

And the image i had in front of my eyes when Phillipe came back…carrying Estelle…

-Alicia…open the door…we’re going to the hospital! Quickly!

-Whe…where…what you two think you’re doing with my girl…she’s drunk…some woman cannot deal with drinking…Aly…don’t take her from me…Aly…don’t go…stay with me…i’ll make you happy…

Leaving him there, drunk and (probably) drugged…was like leaving my past behind. I looked at Phillipe…so calm and so strong during all this…doing the right thing…

How could i not ask myself…was i blind all this time? Am i denying myself the chance to a life in happiness and peace of mind? A chance to have the family i always wanted…

(to be continued)