Pieces of my broken dream

“I wish I could just make you turn around,
turn around and see me cry
There’s so much I need to say to you,
so many reasons why
You’re the only one who really knew me at all”

(Phil Collins-“Against All Odds”)

-Let me do this…you know how much i love to feel the touch of your hair…so smooth…like silk…

I smiled at him. Phillipe started brushing my hair with slow moves, touching it like it were something precious. I felt so relaxed and it was a new sensation of being safe.

-I could get used to that…

-You should, sweet princess, cause i’m gonna take care of you…baby…i never felt so much love. You’re so beautiful and you’re all mine…

He stopped for a moment and turned me to face him. He had something in his hands…

-A gift? For me? What is it?

-It’s a reward. For you, for being so sweet and good and acting so responsible. It’s yours, open it.

I took the ribbons off and my heart jumped with joy seeing a beautiful reply of the house from Provence…made of wood. Like a fine piece of jewel.

-It’s beautiful! Thank you, i love this home and now i can carry it with me anywhere i’ll go!

I jumped in his arms, giving him a kiss.

-Baby, i wanna see that spark in your eyes all the time! It’s yours! I know how much you like the house and we share a very precious memory there. And i don’t want you to feel like a guest…you’re my world, my only love…

-Wait a minute! Phillipe…you’re talking about the house…the real house? You wanna give me the real house? But why…i cannot accept it!

He started to laugh.

-Of course is about the real house! And you can keep the little one too, it has a dedication written on the roof. See? “For Alicia, the love of my life, the light of my heart and soul!”.

I felt overwhelmed.

-Phillipe…i…i don’t deserve it…i mean…it’s yours and i…i’m sorry…i can’t…

-Ssssshhhhhsss! Of course you can! It would mean the world to me if you’ll accept my gift. So, whenever we’re going to Provence, we’ll stay at your place…

-I…i don’t know what to say…

He took me in his arms and kissed me, grabbing my chin and looking into my eyes with a feeling of tenderness.

-Well, you don’t have to say anything. Just sign the papers…baby…what’s with the tears?

-Why…after all that happened…

-Because i can and i want! And because i love you, i wanna give you a shelter, a feeling of being safe and it’s the only way i know how…And because you were a good girl…no phone calls, no internet, no going out without my permission…you followed all the rules and i know it’s not easy for you. That’s why! And for renouncing to Second Life…

-I’ll do whatever it takes to make you happy. If Second Life is a problem…

-Baby…i hate that game! And the though of you being with someone…but you’re starting to forget, right?

-I never tried again…after you deleted my account…

-I know…

-Phillipe…my phone…all my conversations are recorded?

-Yes. And i placed video cameras in the apartment…and your laptop is checked daily. And i hired someone to observe you when you’re out of the house without me. It’s the normal thing to do. Alicia…i’m protecting what’s mine. All i want is for you to forget him…forget Second Life. I want you to do it willingly…but there’s always another way…

I stood quiet in front of him, thinking of a warm place with warm arms wrapped around me…

-Baby, what’s wrong?

-I’m cold…i’m tired and cold…and i can’t fight this feeling. It scares me to feel so cold…

-What do you mean…cold? Your skin is warm, hope you’re not getting sick…

-Phillipe…it’s like i’m in the middle of a dream, a beautiful dream. And then something is breaking and i feel like walking on glass and cutting myself with every step i’m taking. And the pain is cold…unbearable cold.

-Alicia…look at me. Stop talking like this…stop crying. If you’ll follow the rules, like you did so far, maybe i’ll think about giving you more freedom. What do you say, baby? It’s up to you…now be a good girl and sign the papers, this house needs a new owner! Good…this is the way i like it…you, doing what you’re told to do…princess…you makes me very happy!

-Thank you, Phillipe. I’m sorry for being so sensitive…of course i understand and i’ll do whatever it takes…

-Baby, it’s all i need to hear. And Alicia…don’t ever try to lie or to cheat again! Remember who you belong to…

I closed my eyes, still feeling tired and cold. His arms around me…he loves me, he wants to give me his whole life. In return i only have to give away my freedom…it’s not that hard…

But forgetting…it’s just impossible…How could i forget him? My love…the man who made me dream and love and fly without wings…When every step i’m taking, every song, every dance, every place…reminds me of him. Leaving him without even saying good bye…how could i ever forget or forgive myself? Every night i feel like pieces of a broken dream are haunting me and the days…the days are just empty…and there’s no one…absolutely no one who could hold me and love me the way he used to…

Deep into the darkness

“I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though it all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah”

(Leonard Cohen-“Hallelujah”)

Les Baux des Provence

Phillipe had a joyful spark in his eyes, reminding me of a big child. I used to adore this feature of his, but now i felt much too tired and sad…

-I did it! I deleted your account on Second Life! I also found a Facebook account, i deleted it too…How do you feel, princess? Relief?

I tried so hard not to cry…after all he brought me here to my favorite place…

-I’m…confused…and a little sad…i will miss my friends…

He pretended he didn’t heard me saying that, but i knew from the look in his eyes that he did. Holding a small bottle he started to count the drops of something…

-Alright, Alicia…let me help you with the sadness…Here! Take the spoon and swallow it all!

-What’s in the spoon? Phillipe, you know how i feel about self medicating…

-It’s St. John’s Wort. Take it! You will feel a little dizzy but that’s the whole point…it should make you incapable of acting against yourself. And more relaxed…i need you to relax and let me take care of you. Remember what you said…you belong to me…body and soul. This means you’ll do exactly what i tell you to!

I took the medicine thinking it can’t be that bad. The taste of the drops was a little bitter but the effect started to show in a few minutes. It felt like i was melting inside, like i didn’t cared anymore…Phillipe noticed and he smiled at me.

-Isn’t it better? For the next weeks you’re gonna take the medicine three times in every day. I’ll make sure you’re doing it. And tomorrow i want you to see someone. A therapist specialized in hypnosis. You’ll see her two times on week till i’ll see some progresses. Any question?

-I already have a therapist. You know, Gerard…i like him, i don’t wanna change him.

I felt really sleepy…the effect of the drops was more powerful that i thought before…I struggled to stay awake.

-Baby, your therapist encouraged you in a few directions that i find dangerous. I don’t like him! And i don’t like his methods…much too gentle and ineffective.

-But he said hypnosis isn’t…

-You’ll do as i say, Alicia! Tonight you tried to throw yourself in front of a truck…i saved you in the last minute…look at your bruises…you lost the right to take decisions…

I couldn’t take any decision…it was hard to keep myself aware of the reality.

-You’re right, Phillipe…i don’t know what’s wrong with me.

-I know…it’s Second Life addiction. You’re different since you started to play it…

My eyes were closing by themselves. I manage to say one more thing…

-God was sending you…tonight…

I felt his arms around my body and his voice sounded more clear than ever before, even if he was whispering.

-Not your God, believe me! If it were up to His will, you would be death by now…now sleep. You are much too important to let you waist your life this way…Your God left you alone, like He always does, sweet princess…but I’m here to make sure that you’ll fulfill your destiny…

an hour later

-Alicia, baby, wake up! You’re having a nightmare! Open your eyes, i’m here…no one is gonna hurt you.

I opened my eyes realizing i’m crying so hard i almost suffocated. He was lying next to me, looking worry. I was trembling and he took me in his arms.

-Phillipe…i dreamed that i’m lost and it’s all dark around me…and in my dream i thought i hear your voice, like a strange incantation. And then i dreamed myself dressed in white…flying. And my mom took me in her arms, like an angel, and then…something dark grabbed me and i lost her…it was so cold and it kept suffocating me…

He stroke my hair and wiped away my tears, smiling at me.

-Baby, it was nothing but a dream. You need to forget it, you’re safe in my arms. And i know the perfect way to make you forget…

He started kissing my neck, slowly and gentle. His hands were moving all over my body…i tried to relax but the memories kept coming back. The fight we had, my own madness who leaded me till the edge…my nightmare…i felt a fear like never before.

-please, stop…i can’t…

-how do you mean…you can’t? i’m your husband…since when you can’t make love to your husband?

He sounded angry and for the first time i felt like loosing control. My body was hurting and my heart felt like breaking in small pieces. I tried to say something but he kissed me and grabbed my arms. I tried to look into his eyes and i saw something so dark and cold, something beyond anger or desire…like a dark fire burning. He whispered in my ear and i tried to convince myself it’s for the best…

-i love this scared look in your eyes…like a deer caught by the hunter…you need to relax, baby…like this…doesn’t it feels good just to let go the control…

And for a second it made sense. He wants the control. Over my body and over my soul. And i married him…more than this…i made him a promise, to be what he needs me to be. So, how can i deny him what he feels is his right? Even if my heart is lost somewhere in the darkness…

He collapsed on the bed feeling overwhelmed by euphoric sensations.

-I love you, baby…it was more than i can describe…like the first time…just overwhelming…Alicia…are you alright? how do you feel, baby?

-good…frozen, scared, hurt, lonely, sad, devastated…i’m alright…it was great, Phillipe…

I’ll never forget you

“Cómo olvidar tus locuras.
Cómo olvidar que volabas.
Cómo olvidar que aún te quiero
más que a vivir, más que a nada.”

(Enrique Iglesias-“Nunca te olvidare”)

-I give you one chance…only one…to tell me the truth! And be careful, because your life may depend on what you’re going to tell me! Start talking Alicia!

-W…what are you doing? i asked trying to regain my voice. Phillipe was staring at me with a frozen expression, his eyes unbelievably dark. His hands on my neck, feeling my pulse under his fingers. There was nothing sensual about his touch and i felt nervous, almost afraid of what he might do.

-You were playing Second Life? Yes or no!

-Y…yes…

-Even if you said you deleted the account! You are a liar…you know what i do to liars? Well, you’re about to find out…

-No…i didn’t…

-So, you have a virtual relationship, a virtual lover? My wife is cheating on me right under my eyes!

-It’s not like this…

-So, how is it? Tell me, i want details. What is it that you need and you’re not getting from me? Or, better…let’s fix this! Let me give you what you really need…

He pushed me on the bed, making me lose my balance. With precise moves, like he could read my intentions, he grabbed my hands holding them above my head and blocking my every move with his body. I felt trapped and i could sense the panic building up inside me. I felt salt tears on the corner of my eyes…

-Stop whining! I don’t wanna hear one sound and i don’t wanna feel you moving! Don’t make me hurt you, Alicia!

He grabbed my hair and kissed me like never before. Biting my lips, invading my mouth, forcefully taking control over me…I closed my eyes thinking it will be over soon…

-Open your eyes and look at me! You like it, don’t you? It must be better then virtual sex, right? Right?! Answer me when i talk to you!

-Don’t…don’t do that…just stop…please…it was enough…

-Not nearly enough, honey! When i’ll be done with you…But let’s have fun now! I wanna hear you bagging! Bag me to stop! I love the sound…

-Phillipe…please…if you’ll do this…you’ll destroy me…us…I wanna save what we still have…

For a moment i though he’s gonna hit me…i couldn’t even try to guess what’s in his mind. And then the familiar sound of the phone. He instantly got up and answered. My body was still hurting with every inch…

-You’re lucky this time! When i’ll be back i wanna see you looking decent. You’re still gonna be punished…i will think of something worthy of your misbehavior…

-Where are you going? Was it a woman? On the phone…

His laugh was sinister.

-Baby, let’s say that she will give me something you’ll never be able to…

He left. Leaving me in tears, ravished and desperate…Don’t know for how long i just stayed there, holding the pillow in my arms, incapable to think or to feel. And then i felt like suffocating…

In the darkness of the night, i felt my eyes blinded by the lights of the street. The world was spinning around me and i remembered the feeling i had when that car hit me. A few months ago…the fear of losing my life…and now all i could dream was to let it all go. Am i really afraid? Losing my life…but i lost it already…strange thoughts running in my mind. There it is…the flashing lights…it’s closer…and i wonder if someone will miss me…and i’m afraid it will hurt…Can it hurt more? I’m already teared apart, it’s only one step more…and it will be over…and i’m taking the step…

-Aliciaaaaa!

Waking up in his arms…his voice like i remember, his touch…so gentle and tender on my skin. Am i dreaming? I opened my eyes…yes, it’s Phillipe…

-Phillipe…i know i was wrong…please forgive me…

-Baby, are you hurt? You could be death…what were you thinking…princess…that’s why i won’t ever let you alone again…

He took me in his arms, holding me tight with a gentleness i thought forever lost…

-Alicia, i’m sorry for losing my temper…it will never happen again. When i left i realized…what have i done to you. I guess you weren’t ready for a life with me…and maybe i need someone more submissive…But it’s you the one i love! And you just tried to take your own life…because of what i have done.

-I hate it…

-What do you hate?

-The dominance thing…the rules and..you’re so cold sometimes…and i never felt submissive…i’m sorry…i hate to ask permission and to be punished…

-And i hate sharing you! I hate Second Life! And the people who are taking you away from me! I hate that you spend time with another man…I hate that you lied…

I looked in his eyes…i saw only pain, devastating pain…

-Can we, please, start all over again? I wanna be what you need me to be…and if you need a submissive woman…maybe i should be the one for you. I will do anything to make you happy…

-Why? After all that happened tonight? Why?

-Because you saved my life…again. And you care…and if someday i’ll die…you’ll miss me…

-Baby…that day, i’ll die with you…this is how much i love you. So, you will delete your account?

-No.

I saw his eyes getting dark again, and i hurried to continue.

-You will. Starting from now, Phillipe…my laptop it’s yours, like everything i have…like everything i am…I want you to do whatever it takes…i wont touch it again. But can you promise me…?

-Anything you want, baby…

-Promise me you wont hurt me…

For a moment, i thought i see tears in his eyes. He leaned on me and kissed me tenderly, caressing my ravished hair.

-Alicia…my sweet Alicia…how could i hurt you again? I almost lost you tonight…let’s go…a new life is waiting for us to live and enjoy it…

-Home? i asked still scared of what happened in that place…

-No…i don’t want you to remember…i don’t want you to be afraid of me…we’re going right now in Provence…i wanna take care of you, to heal your bruises and to make love to you…slowly and gentle…till you’re ready for more…

Provence…the place where my new life can start…The place where my second life ended…forever. Because my heart cannot beat in two directions at the same time…and the real me needs more…

Love of my life…

“You make me dream
By the look in your eyes
You give me the feel, I’ve been longing for
I wanna give you my soul
All my life
Cause you are the one I’ve been waiting for
I’ve been waiting for so long.”

(Scorpions-“When you came into my life”)

Undressing me with his eyes…holding me gently and still so tight in his arms. I know he can feel my heart beating faster and the warmth of my skin, like fire burning under his touch. His hands go slowly on my necked shoulders, while his warm breath on my neck is giving me goose bumps. He takes his time, never rushing these precious moments, savoring the smell of roses on my skin. My favorite perfume…cause every time i wear it my body feels mesmerized and i picture myself in his arms, making love…

He knows from the tremble of my body…he sensed what i want, what i’m longing for…He’s smiling, holding my face in his hands, his gaze going down on my lips. I remember the taste of his kiss…i wanna feel it again…I’m biting my bottom lip waiting, needing his touch…he’s caressing my hair making me feel safe and i wanna tell him…but his kiss surprises me…feeling his lips pressing against my lips, gently parting them and going inside…letting a soft moan escape when he feels the softness of my mouth. The hunger in his kiss makes my body responding and i’m melting in his arms. He’s having the total control over my senses, my body rushing into a new found sensation of pleasure…

Deep inside my conscious mind i wonder…does he really knows the power he has over my body and soul…can he really feel how i’m longing for his touch…his hands exploring my body, his mouth tasting, kissing, biting, teasing…letting all my inhibitions aside to give myself to him…completely and without any restrains…how could i deny him anything when he’s already having my heart and soul…the pleasure i’m feeling is beyond physical attraction…it’s the feeling of a spiritual bonding…It’s much more than making love…it’s letting him have the most intimate places in my heart…fulfilling all my fantasies and giving me the greatest gift: making him happy…

And sometimes i long for this…knowing that i brought a smile to his face, feeling his pleasure and desire. knowing he wants me just like i want him…there’s nothing i wouldn’t do to give him the feeling of fulfillment…being completely his is the safest feeling and the sweetest pleasure i ever felt…and when i’m lying in his arms, there’s no other place i could call home…and i never felt like this before…my vulnerability turned into strength…living and loving the way i know i can make him proud…

He’s the love of my life, my guardian angel and the One i never even dreamed to met in this lifetime. My love for him…beyond any reason or judgement, beyond any rule. Totally trusting, with a faith that amazes me…and getting stronger day by day. Love is giving, generously carrying and lightening the life of the loved one…

My love…Michael…this is for you…thank you for being here…for teaching me how to live beautiful and how to love completely.

Forever yours. 

I have a story to tell (and i wish it wasn’t real…)

“You wanna run away, run away and you’ll say

That it can’t be so,

You wanna look away, look away, but you’ll stay

Cause it’s all so close…”

(Josh Groban-“Brave”)

-Are you sure about this? he asked searching any sign that i changed my mind. We can still say no to this, it doesn’t matter, i’ll explain to her…it’s all up to you, Aly and if you’re not ready…

-I’m ready, Peter! I should had made this public a long time ago. And you heard what the officer told us…it’s safer this way. I’m not sure if i can be that brave till the end of this interview, but…

-I’ll be with you every step…i wanna hold your hand, take you in my arms, make you feel safe again…And you know what? you don’t have to be brave…just tell the story and you’ll be stronger, it’s all that matters. You carried this burden for too long…

One hour later, in Peter’s office:

Reporter: I wanna start by saying thank you to both of you for sharing this with our readers, especially you, Alicia. I know how hard it is to talk about an abuse but people need to hear. And maybe if they’ll hear it from you, that could change somebody’s life…

Me: I’m not sure how to begin…i should say that it all started like a beautiful friendship. A virtual friendship…the classic relationship that develops in a virtual world. In a game played for so many people…And it was innocent and beautiful…at first. We were chatting,  making jokes and discussing serious subjects. As friends…nothing more. I felt good about this…

R: I have to ask, did you saw any signs that he could be an abuser? Or did you ignored them?

Me: Back then everything seemed normal. The only sign that should get my attention (and i was blind to this) was his so called depression. He used to say things like his life is meaningless, nobody loves him…and later he began to tell me that i’m the only thing that keep him alive, that he cannot imagine how someone like me could care for him…i know, i should have noticed that something is wrong…

R: So, you tried somehow to save him? Giving him attention, carrying for him, showing him that he’s important? 

Me: Yes, it was stupid of me! The only thing i should have done is to tell him to find professional help. And i didn’t do that…

R: When was that this so called friendship turned into something more? Why did you accepted to meet him in reality?

Me: I didn’t, at first…but, you see, it seemed natural. Changing e-mails, giving him my fb account, using the web cam…gradually, almost without noticing, this turned into a real relationship. I had second thoughts in the moment he asked me to meet him, but he insisted, assuring me that this it’s normal, that we’re friends… I think there was the point were i should have just say no…

R: You never realized that he’s in love with you? Tell me about the moment you saw him…

Me: I think i realized but i was lying to myself. Honestly, i was feeling lonely…and in a strange way i felt safe because he was married and had children. First time i saw him it was at a coffee shop. It was strange, because we didn’t had plans to meet that day…i had just told him that i don’t feel ready and we should wait…he told me that he found me using informations from my fb account, location and other details that seemed natural to me to post there… That was the moment when i was feeling that something it’s wrong. Don’t know how to explain…the way he was looking at me…talking strange, saying things about the destiny…when we were suppose to be friends…

R: What happened after that meeting? 

Me: The bullying…cyber bullying…then it started…mail after mail…harassment on my fb account…posting poems and love quotes…jealousy crisis when i wasn’t online…phone calls in the middle of the night. I was in panic…i closed my fb acount, my skype…hoping he’ll get bored, till that day…

R: Take your time…Alicia, what happened that day? He just appeared at your door?

Me: Yes…saying that he just dropped everything to be with me…his marriage, his job…he even took money from his family…

R: You told him clearly to go back home? You assured him that you’re not interested? 

Me: Of course i did this! I even told him that i will call the Police if i’ll saw him around my home! I thought this would be enough…

R: But it wasn’t…tell me about the moment when you realized you need legal help…

Me: He was stalking me…i saw him a few times…and started to make threats…going through extremes. One day he was telling me that i lied and i deserve to suffer for his pain, the other day he changed the story, saying that i’m just a lost soul and he’ll help me to find my way…I remember exactly how he said once that this world is not the right place for “us” and that he’ll set me free from this pointless existence. That was the moment when i knew i can’t handle this alone. I called the Police…

R: I’m gonna ask you something very delicate…you told me about the emotional abuse…but was it ever something more? Physical..

Me: It was…almost…it’s hard to talk about…i tried for so long to block this memory…He didn’t get that far…i guess i was lucky…because his intentions were not to rape me…or maybe i’m lucky that i’m still alive…i don’t know…

I was shaking and my tears couldn’t stop from falling. The memories were there…like time didn’t helped at all…I looked at Peter…he took me in his arms…it felted so good knowing he’s here for me…

R: Alicia, i wanna thank you again…what you did was incredibly brave…and i don’t wanna put you trough the pain of remembering this…but is there a message that you wanna send to our readers? There may be a girl who need someone to say this to her…

Me: I wanna say that no one has the right to abuse another person. Not in real life, not in virtual world. No means no! And there’s no reason…not the sexy outfit…not the flirting…nothing at all can justify an abuse. I was blaming myself for letting things get so far…i felt anger, pain…and i realized that all this bad, negative emotions was caused only by him. It took me so much time to feel that it wasn’t my fault…i still have moments when i just…go back there…And i’m still afraid…i’m still feeling like blocked every time someone reminds me of him…It’s just not fair. And there’s something more…people have the tendency to consider that if it was not a rape, that makes things easier. It’s not like that! Emotional abuse, cyber bullying…it’s still abuse and the abusers from virtual space should be punished too…

One hour later, my place

-Peter, do you think this is enough? Do you think that will stop him? If it’s even him…or should i just close my account? I cannot go trough this again…

-The officer told us that usually going public with the story helps. Anyway, one more threat and we’re going to press charges, ok? I don’t care if it’s him or another…you’re not alone this time.

Hoping and praying that it will never be a “part II” for this story…

(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?

You know what i want…

“I know the things you wanted, they’re not what you have,

With all the people talkin’, it’s driving you mad

And if i was standing by you, how would you feel,

Knowing your love’s decided, and all love is real…”

(Guns n’Roses-Don’t cry, alternative lyrics)

-…and make sure that the balloons are NOT blue, ok?

-But they are expecting a baby boy…

-They are designers, Aly, said Peter with a big smile on his face. They don’t want blue, is overrated, they will dress the kid in black and white…

-Like a little vampire, i said laughing, can i buy, at least, a doll or a teddybear? I know they have a little girl, she’s 5…

-No dolls, no bears…maybe a Rubik cube, but no pink either… said Peter ironic. Did i said thank you for going there, Aly? You’re doing me a big favor…and i’m sorry for not being able to go with you…

-It’s ok, i like them, they are a nice family…

-They are not…did you knew that it’s going to be a divorce after baby’s birth? They already had spoken to their lawyers…

-Can’t believe it…

An hour later i was at the door, being late to a party where i didn’t even wanted to go…With three blue balloons in one hand and a doll and a teddy bear in the other hand…

-Alicia, i’m so glad you’re here! Where’s Peter? He’s coming later?

-Peter had something to do, he wishes you all the best, he’s so sorry for not being here…He told me about…i’m sorry…

-Don’t be! It’s only a divorce…and after the paternity test i’ll get a small fortune…

(too much information for me…i couldn’t hide my shock)

-I was smart enough to sign a prenuptial agreement, in my favor, of course, she said whit a mean smile. He wanted a boy, it seems like  faith was on my side, but don’t just stay there, come and sit down, Alicia, you’re a little pale…

I can’t remember what i said to get myself out of the house…The whole world was spinning around me. I needed to take a long hot shower…

Feeling the warm water running down my skin, i was imagining that all the burden goes away…i could let the tears fall with the water…they were warm and salty and, before i could even realize, i was sitting there, hot water burning my skin, hot tears burning my soul…crying like never before…I was thinking about their children, the little girl who probably wouldn’t get the doll and the teddy bear i bough for her. God, i was 5 when my parents divorced and my dad won the custody trial…i remember being moved from my home, having to speak english and french (i still can’t speak french correctly…)when all i wanted was my old room back…

I looked in the mirror, trying to hide the effects of my cry of my skin…i was going to wait for Peter, dressed like he liked…It was night and the wind was so cold…with the laptop on the bed, next to me, logging on my favorite game (who’s much more than that, i know it now)…Second Life is always the best place to dry my tears and look and act sure of myself. I was searching for a romantic place…

You seems so lonely in here, are you waiting for someone? asked the man, looking deep in my eyes…i noticed his dark hair and the black eyes, darker than the night. He was taller then me, his strong arms and that voice like a far away thunder…He took me in his arms and my body was responding without a single word…His fingers caressing my hair, touching my face, my lips…moving gently on my neck, making me tremble with unspoken desire…

– Aly, are you there? Close the laptop, there’s someone here who want to meet you! And please, hurry, he can’t stay long…

My mind was trying to follow his words. It’s Peter and we have a guest…at this hour. I felt angry, at least he could told me so i would wear something decent…

-Peter, wait, i’m going to get dressed…

-Why? Let me see you…he came in the room without any warning…you look beautiful, you can come like that, he’ll like you…I invited him in our bedroom…

I looked at him completely shocked. Part of me was still believing that this is a dream, more a nightmare…he never said nothing about something like that…

-You’re joking, right? You want to tease me…i almost believe it, you scared me a little…i said trying to smile…

-Alicia, i’m serious. Now we’ll go upstairs, don’t want to hear any comment…his voice sounded so heavy…

-No! I’m not going! You can tell him to go to hell, you know i’m not into this…

-I though you’ll like it…after all, you spend hours with strangers on Second Life, doing god knows what…Anyway, is too late. Keep your voice down and relaxe, you might enjoy it…

-NO!

-Now, you leave me no choice…saying that he lifted me up in one move…i had forgotten how strong is he. He was holding my hands so tight with an arm, i couldn’t make one move.

-You can close your eyes, if you think it will be easyer, he whispered in my ear, making my heart almost jump of my chest…

Still trembling and with my eyes closed, he lay me on the bed. I sensed a move next to me…

-Baby, please open your eyes, it’s ok…his voice was now so gentle…Give me your hands…

In my arms was now a little puppy…Eyes like olives, a little wet nose, looking so scared. I started to cry again…

-How could you? I really thought…and…you brought me a  puppy…you knew how much i wanted that…but you never agreed to this…i said with a voice that didn’t sounded mine…Peter, don’t ever do that again, this kind a game, i’m still terrified…

-You know, this little friend of mine needs a mommy. I told him that you’re the most amazing woman in the entire world and that i was a fool to neglect you like that. It’s yours if you want him…

-Peter…

-And you thought i could share you with some stranger? Like i’m crazy to do that…i feel bad only thinking that someone else could touch you…even on that stupid game you play…

And, feeling his arms around me, hearing every beat of his heart, the feeling of safety and love was overwhelming…without flirting or chatting or playing games…just us…

But how can i control this desire to go back into my virtual world? Is it addiction? And who’s going to pay the price for my madness?

(to be continued)

Maybe you’re just blind…

“Well, somewhere in this darkness there’s a light that i cant see,

Maybe its too far away

Or maybe i’m just blind…”

(3 Doors Down-“Love me when i’m gone”)

The yellow light from the 2’nd floor was so bright, suggesting that Peter was reading something. He always had this habbit of reading till late in the night, and then falling asleep on that couch…My favourite part of the house was a small room, more a bedroom then anything else, with nothing but a big and confortable bed, big windows and a scent of roses…Yes, it brings back all those sweet memories from our first month of relationship…Now, after few years, this room was not used anymore…

I layed on the bed, dreaming away, my laptop next to me. I was going to check my emails when i remenbered (with a sad smile) that talk from my office, about Second Life. The account was created, i just needed 10 minutes to choose an avatar and start playing. The game seemed easy to me, all intuitive…My avatar looked gothic, pale, big black eyes on white skin…nothing attractive about her. My ego was shouting out loud, i couldn’t play that way…The minutes just went by, a half hour, a whole hour and the avatar looked completely changed. And choosing clothes, what a joke, i do that all the time…is boring this game, i said to myself…

-Honey, i’m going to bed, are you coming too? You’re working at this hour?! Peter was standing in front of me, his blonde hair looking sand-colour in the pale light. He was an atractive man, looking more like 35 than over 40, with his dark blue eyes and that sexy smile.

-It’s not work, i heard about a game and i was trying to see how is it…i said trying to look as innocent as i could be. Nothing important, i’ll come in a minute.

-Let me see that game…(at this point i think i was blushing a little), so…you play Second Life?

-I just started, is a funny game with funny avatars. Some of them were writting to me, they are all nice telling me wellcome…

-I know all about that. Liz (my friend from the office) was calling me today to tell me that you’re about to do a foolish thing…

-Like playing a computer game? God, Peter, you dont mean that, right? She’s messed up with that stupid cyber-love of hers, i said furious. Anyway, i’ll talk to her, he’s unbelievable calling you like that…

-So, you didn’t even thought about having a relationship there, right, honey?

-Not in a million years, you’re all i need, i said smilling at him and running my fingers thru my hair (i knew that he can’t resist me when i do that). Look, if that’s a problem for you, i’ll just close my account. But it will be a shame, i didn’t even had the chance to see how to play this…

-No, it’s ok, you should at least check on that game…

-And you wont be jelous if i talk to another man? Or if i dance with him? It could be pretty romantic, i said, teasing him. Maybe you should make sure that i’ll be faithfull…i said pulling his body closer to mine’s and letting my dress slipping down on the flour…

-Aly, you know about the casting…I’ll get up early in the morning to arrange that location. It was a hard day…just come and get some sleep.

-Sure, just 10 minutes more…i said hiding my dissapointment. You go ahead…

-Good night…and, Alicia, i meanted what i said about Second Life, just dont do anything stupid there…

And i didn’t…What seemed to be a game, it’s actually a wonderfull adventure into a virtual world, a world made by human imagination and build on hopes, dreams and expectations. When words are all you have, you have more that you may think…And i’m here to tell you my story, my journey into a imaginary place, a place that can change real lifes…

(to be continued)

The beginnings

She just stood there, starring at me with that look that i knew so well…I was trying to guess what she felt, it may be anger, pain, dissapoindment…A few days ago she was telling me her story, we were crying together when she fond out that the man of her dreams was nothing but a lie. It happends all the time when you’re having a virtual relationship…people are not what they seem to be…I said those words with all the compassion and regret i could feel for her.And now…

Finaly, she broke the silence:

-You know what, is your life…you can do whatever you want…but Aly, you do that all the time!

-What do you mean? What am i doing all the time?

-I know you for…how many years? 10? Or more? Every time someone is telling you not to do something, you just jump on! And you know what? Maybe you should be more wise this time. You’re 28 and acting like 15 sometimes…

-Look, i was just curious about…I read all i could find about this game…

-Is not a game! she interrupted my speach, Aly, don’t do that, is evil, is devil’s creation! You said you read about…did you heard how many people got hurt for “playing” Second Life? Do you know how many relashionships has been broken? People fall in love there, Aly, i know i did it…And look at me now, you like this? You wanna feel this pain?

-I wont take it so seriously, believe me. I dont even have time, running this agency is more that i can handle…I just wanna see how is it…After all, i can always close the acount, if i dont like it.

-Oh, you’ll like Second Life! You’ll wake up only when is too late…And Peter? Did you even think about him?

-I will tell him all about, is not a secret…You know, we have a very open relationship…

-I know he loves you, enough to do whatever you want…Maybe you dont realise how much he helped you…are you ready to throw away all? And for what? For being curious? God! Alicia, you’re sometimes like a spoiled princess…

-Ok, i know is your pain who’s talking now. I think i heard enough…Maybe we’ll talk some more when you’ll be in a better mood.

-Aly, please, forget this! Talk to Peter, he’ll tell you the same…You’re on your way to hell and you don’t even realise…

With these words, she left my office, without even saying good bye. The day was about to be over, i overlooked on the preparatives for the next casting…It’s almost 3 years since i stopped being a model…sometimes i miss the glamour, the cat walks, the excitement…Of course, my work now is much more important…

I stopped in front od the mirror to check my make up. One final touch of blush and it’s perfect…

One hour later my first Second Life account was already created.

(to be continued)