Beyond the Screen II (Hady)

I continued to talk with Sanjeev but I let myself stay separated emotionally from him. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, I wanted to stay rational and I kept reminding myself that it was not impossible for us to be together but it was unlikely. I had a lot of extra time on my hands, I didn’t think of sanjeev non-stop like I did before, classes had ended for the semester and I found myself chatting with others while I waited for his occasional mails and IM’s.

I am not saying that I was over him, or that it was that easy to move on, it wasn’t. I hated life, I hated the circumstance I was in and I often questioned God’s plan to keep me from love. I stopped praying…..

One of the conversations Sanjeev and I had towards the end was that he had seen a man that did horoscopes and he had mine cast, he said that he was concerned about me and if I was strong enough. He wanted me to start praying to a Hindu God (Lord Hanuman) the Monkey God. I had no idea who he was and I argued that I will not pray to a God other than my Christian God. He said that all Gods are the same God just different versions of the same man and I should get to know this one. I didn’t know who he was or what he was known for then. I never did pray to him, regardless of Sanjeevs pleading. But now I better know who Hanuman is and why people do pray to him. He is not just the God of strength physically but he also was one of the few God’s that was celibate. I should have known him better then.

I was not an internet whore and I seriously do not know how it happened that I would have so many internet love interests. I used yahoo like a screening process, getting to know men better without the stress of sexual pressure. I kept pictures of each man and the ones I didn’t like I deleted and the ones I did like I let myself get closer to. At one point I would show my mother pictures of them, tell her a short run down of where they were from and what they did. She would do her own research on where they were from and tell me later if she thought one was better than another.

Usually as soon as I found out one was without a job or that he had no desire to come to America to be with me I would let them go. I met a few men that I consider worth putting in this story. I can’t say I remember all of their names, many times they tell me nick names anyway or in my mind I thought of them as what they did (the architect, the artist, the dr) I tried to keep in mind that although I wanted a good man I needed one that I could actually fall in love with, not just financially take care of his family, but the fact that money was needed to be able to come to America it did tend to tip the scales a bit.

In my search to find this man I thought I needed I met a few men that I knew were not going to be able to come, I knew were not a good choice, they were too young, too poor, and they even knew they were out of their league. They were my friends, the ones I would tell my stories to. Beautifully handsome, wonderfully nice and caring, Hady was 24 and had no real job; he occasionally worked at his father’s shop repairing TVs. Hady was a great listener and I spent a long time never even knowing what he looked like, I knew he would have been a waste of time. Our first meeting after finding out his age and his occupation I made him promise me before letting him look at my cam “You have to promise you will not fall in love with me or ask for sex, we are only friends and we will only ever be friends, now promise me!” he laughed and almost joked that I was big headed to think that all men would fall in love with me.

I was not saying that because I thought I was so great. I swear to you I had no idea why so many men from other countries loved me so much, every time I opened my cam in chat it was always the same “OMG! you are the Moon, you are the Queen! Why are you not married? You are so beautiful!” I have to admit it was a boost to my ego, and I never felt like I was so wonderful or beautiful but they did, and I loved hearing it. After all I never really heard that before here from men, no one told me I was beautiful or even acted interested in me at all.

I was a dime a dozen: blonde, blue eyes, pasty white, fat, mother of 3 sons. That was pretty much ½ the population of the German heritage town I was living. No there was something about me that East Asians, south Asian, middle eastern and north African men loved, I was special in their eyes, maybe it was that I was large, I had heard that some cultures value a woman when she is fat because it is a sign of good health and money, or maybe it was that I was so honest, maybe they just never met anyone like me before, but for whatever the reason I attracted the darker skinned men, they were like moths to the flame.

No when I asked Hady to promise it was because I wanted our talks to remain as friends and not be bomb barded with all that lovey stuff, I needed a friend. He promised and I reluctantly opened my cam, I saw him sit up straighter to get a better look at me, he smiled and starred…. Silent a moment…. “Hi friend” and I laughed so hard that I scared myself, I was able to keep my friend, I was so happy! I found out that we had a lot in common, his birthday was the same week, we always thought the same, finished each other’s sentences or typed the same things at the same time and we became very close. More close than I had planned.

Hady started asking to see my cam every time we talked and he started giving his opinion on the men I told him I talked to, and of course none were suitable. He wanted to know more and more personal things about me and I started to see in his big beautiful eyes more than just a friends love, I asked my friend/neighbor who was also single to come over one day and sit to the side of my computer so that Hady would not see her, I wanted to know if it was just me or could she see in his eyes and in his words that he loved me. Maybe I was wrong and maybe I was just starting to love him myself and it was just wishful thinking. Rachel watched as Hady and I opened cams and listened to our conversations, she watched as Hady sat from across the world with his face resting on his hand, smiling into a camera at his computer screen and Rachel started to cry “I wished I had a man look at me with that much love as he looks at you”  

What was I going to do? I didn’t want to lose my best friend!

I tried to keep it from turning into love but sure enough I fell in love with Hady and we started to think of ways we could be together… student visa, marriage visa, work visa, what the requirements were for each. Meanwhile……

Another friend that I had met that Valentine’s day was also from Egypt but he was much younger and he had no interest at all in thinking of love or marriage Hamid was taking Hadys place in the best friends roll. Hamid loved my stories about who I talked to and who I was interested in, he used to draw the cutest cartoons of Men in a competition for my love. He called it the race to Deborah, whoever would be able to come to America would win Deborah’s hand and heart.

His jokes were not that far from the truth, I had put myself in a position where I had met so many men that were what I would say was suitable but each had their own reasons why they couldn’t come right now to the US or they were working on applying. So many that I had become attached to, I loved little things about each but none I could actually say “This is the ONE” and honestly even if there had been a man that I considered perfect in every way, it would not have changed my attitude, I knew not to trust my feelings or to wish too much, at any time they could disappear.

And one by one they did: The Iraqi Dr, The Egyptian Architect, The Indian Artist, The Rich Sadi, the Business man from UAE, The funny man from Jordan. I stood by and watched each one of those men that said they loved me, give up on trying to come here, and one by one through the years I got mails of them telling me they were getting married. I was happy for them in a way, and a little insulted, why couldn’t I meet a man that would work hard enough to be with me? Why couldn’t I find one man that would do anything for us to be together?

I decided that maybe me waiting for them to come to me just wasn’t going to work, maybe I needed to just give in and go to them. I had an older friend going to Egypt with her husband’s group of friends and I asked if I could tag along with his group for the cheaper air fare. She said sure but wouldn’t you know it, the very day I got enough money together to buy the tickets, Egypt’s government fell and there were riots everywhere, the business trip was cancelled, Hady told me to wait a little while and try again, but then there was internet problems and I stopped hearing from Hady at all

I got a mail after him being gone for a few months, his Father wanted him to marry…….

NOT AGAIN?

Beyond the Pane VII (Melvin revisited and Chris Kills me)

Coming back home was difficult. I had some real mental problems, I do not remember actually living, it was the closest to the definition of a zombie that could be. I walked, I talked but I was soulless. I was just a memory of what I used to be. My days were full of unforgettable memories; in the dark I relived a horror movie of abuse and torture. It was called post-traumatic stress syndrome, I jumped at loud sounds, and people startled me at every turn. I looked at knives and thought only of grabbing them and finishing the job. I truly belonged in the mental ward, but my parents assured the hospital that I was not a danger to myself and that once I got out of the abusive environment I would be fine. I was fine, I was away from him. He couldn’t hurt me again, but who would stop me from hurting myself?

Then why couldn’t I forget his words? Even now I hear them “I love you and I refuse to live without you, I refuse to let you live without me”. I used to sit outside in the country, after everyone went to sleep, I would look up at the stars, and wonder if there was anyone out there for me. I was too scared to relive the nightmares that came to me when my eyes closed, with every car that drove down the dark gravel road I wondered if it were Chris, coming to get me. My thoughts wondered to whether he would steel me away, or would he just kill me. More than the fear of him that affected my life, I was afraid of myself. I still loved him! I didn’t trust myself and my own decisions, I refused all calls, I never left the house, I never talked, too embarrassed that my words would tell people I really just desired to go back with him.

I had been home for about a month when I started to actually think again in a normal rational way. I was having dinner when the phone rang. It was Melvin.

Melvin hadn’t known I was back home, the last he heard I was living with a man and that I had gotten an abortion, He was calling looking for my sister to find out If I had indeed aborted, he had spent so much time hating me for killing his child. He was surprised to hear my voice. We talked for hours, and when we had finished the conversation he knew what had really happened and I had forgiven him his indiscretion. I mean how can I blame him, we never talked of marriage; we hadn’t really put a label on what we had. I was miles away, he was a single man, and we were young and just finding out how we felt. I set up to see him and we met in town at a hotel.

It was a lovely moment we shared, we talked about feelings and how distraught we were when we last saw each other. I was enjoying being with my friend again, even without sex I loved him, the sex was nothing, I long sense separated myself from that act. I was trained by Men to just be an actress when they lay on me. I would close my eyes and think of better days, of being alone in the woods near my childhood home. I walked those woods; following the creek letting my feet dip in the cool clear waters, as the fish tickled my toes. It was my “happy place” yeah I know a bit cliquey but none the less. Any sexual experience caused memories I choose to forget and better I just not be there when those moments happened.

Melvin didn’t want to hurt me, he wasn’t a bad person, I knew he had a lot to think about, I mean here he was again thinking of being with a woman that was pregnant with a child that was not his. I knew in many ways he was just like me. He loved too easily, too intensely, without a need to hold anything back. There was nothing to protect against the pain. And we were destined to be hurt. That night I went back home finding myself dreaming of trusting again. I wanted to live, I wanted to love. I was so excited when Melvin called I thought he just couldn’t wait to talk with me again. It was his friend calling “ Deborah, when a woman calls you, asking if Melvin came and saw you tonight, you have to tell her it was ME that met you in the hotel and that Melvin just dropped me off” Looks like Melvin was living with a woman and she was pregnant with his child. I was the other woman this time.

I never got the chance to tell her the truth, She never called me but when I did get a call from Chris I took it. It was his court ordered psychiatrist, wanting me to come in a talk with him so he could better treat Chris. But regardless of why I decided to put myself in access of Chris, I do not think it was because I was mad at Melvin, he was what he was. I just was ready to give up, what was there left for me, more pain? I had a world of men that wanted nothing from me but sex, or wanted nothing from me at all. At least he wanted me, He wanted me to the point of insanity, and deep down inside I knew I deserved no better. I was nothing.

A few days later Chris called me, we were supposed to meet at the doctors after the 4th of July weekend, he was excited that I would talk with him, and he had months’ worth of things he wanted to tell me, how he stopped using drugs, stopped drinking and knew that he was wrong to have treated me the way he did. He said. “Please let me prove to you that I do love you and I never want to hurt you again”

I met Chris at a place we both knew and when we saw each other I didn’t see the man that told me I was nothing, I saw the man that used to hold my hand and tell me I was everything. I wanted a chance to start over and forget all the crazy. Maybe we could be a family. We spent a wonderful 4th of July. I don’t know how he could so easily be this person that was caring, considerate and in touch with his feelings but that day he was everything I ever wished he could be. Several times I noticed him sitting just staring at me smiling.

Back at the apartment things had changed, it was clean and organized. He wanted to wait on me hand and foot. We made the most beautiful love together, so sweet so marvelous I could have cried. We finished and lay spent holding each other when he said he was thirsty I told him I would get it! But he said “no, no you wait right there I have something I wanted to show you anyway”

When he came back and was standing in the door way he had his hand behind his back. I thought maybe he would ask me to marry him; I was worried about what I would say. I was still worried about saying anything at all to upset him, what if he were so crazy that he could return to being Mr Hyde. Then I realized as he held a gun in his hand that I was just with Hyde. “Now I am not going to ask you twice, and I want you to think long and hard on the answer you want to give me. I already know the truth and just need you to fill in the details. Who was the man you had sex with at the hotel last weekend?”

My eyes never left the gun. I heard the words and knew what he wanted but I never looked away. In my mind I felt two things: One was that he just had the best love making with me than we ever had in all our time together and it was all an act. He knew when he lay with me what he was going to do, how cold, how manipulating and insane he must truly be; and two, what answer could I give him to keep him from killing me.

I thought of denying, maybe it was a bluff, maybe someone he knows said they thought they had seen me, but maybe he had me followed, Oh shit I am dead, I am cold hard put a tag on my toe and call my mother to identify me DEAD! I thought, I thought, I screamed to my brain to think of something to say!

The calm flowed over me. I was at a state of acceptance. There was no need to lie and cry or try to talk sense into craziness. “It was Melvin, we met to talk about getting back together and he was not interested in me because I was pregnant with your child, he has a woman he is having a baby with” I left out the 4 hour sex-a-thon we had before actually discussing our desires outside the hotel room.

He walked over to me and with his free hand he placed it beside my face and said softly as he rubbed my check “I told you Jean, I will never let anyone have you but me, even our child will not let you leave me” I looked up at him and I told him with every ounce of actress in me, as the tears streamed down my face “I Love You, Chris” and he lifted the gun and slammed it beside my head, over and over again, he kicked me as I screamed for help and tried to crawl to the door.

He grabbed my feet and pulled me back, I tried kicking loose; I thrashed and threw my weight around and tried to roll over so to better fight him as he dragged me down the hall. He moved on top of me and started beating my head again, this time hitting mostly my face. I do not remember how long he beat me. I blacked out after several really good blows. I think that might have been what saved me though. Maybe he thought he killed me, but I woke up with him frantic, yelling my name and throwing water on my face. I couldn’t see, my eyes were swollen shut, and I coughed up blood as I woke. He did kill me in a way, I had lost all love for the man that day. He helped me to the bathroom, apologizing that he didn’t know what came over him. All the words I have heard before but this time meant nothing to me.

I took a glance into the mirror as he washed the blood from my face, I stopped him and took the rag, dobbing at my eye that hurt the worst, and spitting blood into the sink, he kept saying stupid things like “It isn’t that bad, it will clean up, you will see, it will be better tomorrow” I was disgusted at what I saw in the mirror. I slept for 2 days and when I did finally sit up, all I did for 2 weeks was stare at the walls, I refused to listen, or talk day after day all I did was stare with a blank mindless gaze. Chris started to worry and wanted me to be back to being me again….. But there was no me.

We came and got my things from my parents’ house while they were gone and left a message for them that were going to try to make it work. I was glad they were not home because I hadn’t been sure that the makeup had actually covered all the bruises and in truth if they had asked me if I was going with Chris willingly I would have to have said no. I had no will.

I spent the whole pregnancy in a state of helplessness, he worked 2 jobs and I was never asked to do the house work like before, he was a little concerned I think of my mental state and he even feared what I would do even without his abuse. I was starved for food and he didn’t have any money, he would bring me home a lunch at 3 before he left for his other job, so I lived off of one meal a day while being pregnant. So when I did have Christopher (our son) I looked like a 12 year old, thin and frail. The baby was healthy and long, no real birth defects and he was strong. If I accomplished nothing in my life up to that point, I at least gave birth to my son against all odds.
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