How can i love when i’m afraid…

“When you looked into my eyes
And you said goodbye could you see my tears
When I turned the other way
Did you hear me say
I’d wait for all the dark clouds bursting in a perfect sky
You promised me when you said goodbye
That you’d return when the storm was done
And now I’ll wait for the light, I’ll wait for the sun”

(Madonna-“Rain”)

Laying in the jacuzzi…letting the hot water running down my body, while his warm hands were massaging my shoulders…i couldn’t remember the last time when i felt so relaxed. The scent of lavender oil combined with the rose petals and a glass of french champagne…I closed my eyes feeling his fingers gently touching the back of my neck…small goose bumps were forming in the warm little spot where my skin met his warm breath and his hungrily kisses…

-I forgot…

With lazy moves he moved his body so his eyes could meet my eyes…

-you forgot?

-almost…

His charming smile and the question in his eyes made him so attractive. He grabbed my chin making me look into his dark eyes…the eyes that always seems to capture my soul. He pulled me closer…

-What did you almost forgot, princess? Anything important?

-My life…before you…Who i was, what i felt…my friends…the family…they are so far away, like in another lifetime. I can’t remember myself without you…

He just smiled and kissed me with passion and hunger…creating shivers trough my body…his hands caressing and exploring…like discovering me all over again…the sensations were making me tremble…abandoning myself to him…to his desire…making love with a passion i always dreamed to live…

Opening my eyes slowly…i felt him carrying me to the bedroom, holding me close…

-How do you feel, my beauty?

-i feel…like i never want this to end…

-…happy?

-more than happy…Phillipe…i feel like meeting you was the best thing that ever happened to me…

He became serious…like a sudden shadow took his smile away.

-Alicia…i need to know something…do you have any regret about us? If you could turn back time…

-i would change something…the fights, the anger…we should made love instead of fighting…i feel such a fool for not recognizing the true love…But why do you ask me this? And why do you look so sad…mon amour…what’s wrong? Something i did?

He took me in his arms and kissed me.

-It’s about what you said in the morning…about signing a prenuptial agreement…i was so angry with you for proposing me something like that…i didn’t had the chance to explain what i feel…

-Phillipe…i hope you know…i only wanted to make things right. I’m sorry for hurting your feelings…it’s just that my father accused me that i’m marrying you for your money…i was devastated to hear him talking like this. But why do you mention this now? I thought we’re ok…or, are you still angry with me…

-no, baby…i’m not angry…how could i be…is just that i have to tell you something…and it’s serious.

He looked at me and his eyes were so dark and cold…i couldn’t stand that look in his eyes…

-you’re scaring me…again…Phillipe, don’t look at me this way…

He held my face into his hands…making me look at him.

-Look at me. Alicia…I don’t wanna have this conversation with you again. We’re not signing a prenuptial agreement because we don’t need one. We’ll never divorce…i mean it. A marriage is over only when one of the partners is death. Do you understand me? It’s the only way a marriage should end…

I felt like falling down from the clouds. My euphoria replaced by fear…For the first time i started to see what the others were telling me all this time…maybe i don’t know him at all…

He seemed to melt seeing me so scared, trembling and with tears in my eyes. He tried to sweeten his tone.

-Baby…what’s wrong? Didn’t meant to scare you or hurt you in any way…

-it’s just that…i wanna love you, i really do…i wanna make love to you and be faithful to what we have…and i want a family…a child. But how can i go on if i don’t trust you…Phillipe, i’m afraid…sometimes i don’t recognize you…did you listen to yourself talking? Can you even control yourself? Or do you enjoy this? Fear, sadness, hurt…is this the way you want me to feel? Seeing me shocked and frightened…does this satisfy your need to control…? Are you happy now?

-No, of course no…

-Then stop it! Imagine what’s in my heart…i got no friends, my father doesn’t speak to me anymore, i’m tired and sad…and the man i love…the man i should trust…the only one who should be by my side to protect me no matter what…is suggesting me that…that…

I couldn’t speak anymore…the hurt inside silenced me, making me hate my own weakness. When i looked at him i saw in his eyes how sorry he is…i thought i saw him crying. Or i just saw my own tears?

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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…