Jolts of Pain

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
A mother falls in love with a young man over the internet. she pretends to be her daughter so the man is not aware of who is he talking to.

Submitted: November 05, 2016

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Submitted: November 05, 2016

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1

Pain. Jolts of pain. Air is running out. I’m soaked in sweat. The color of my face is disappearing. I’m turning blue. I want to scream but I am not able to. I feel numb. I’m having a heart attack. I can see my daughter sitting on her computer chatting to some freak few countries away. She is not paying attention to me. My chest is being pressured more and more as if some elephant stepped on it. I’m panicking. Finally, she turns to me. I can see the fear in her eyes as she looks towards me. I managed to blurt out few words… “Call 9 1 1”.

Elizabeth froze in her place for a second but somehow managed to dial for the ambulance. I am getting weaker. I cannot breathe. My eyes stopped working like a video camera and now I see everything in snap shots. She is trying to tell me to breathe like her, as if I was not trying. She is standing beside me scared. I see the television in the background, the unvacuumed floor, my unfinished coffee, and my daughters’ pictures on the walls smiling innocently someday. I can hear the ambulance sirens, the whirling of its lights doing a disco strobe in my living room, the door opening. I see shadows of men running toward me. Someone is asking my daughter something and the other is getting an oxygen mask. They were asking me questions that I could not understand; their voice sounded like it was coming from a deep hollow cave. Darkness. 

2

I think it all happened around 10 p.m. My husband was probably sleeping, so was my son; Suzanne and Marianne were out as usual, and I was stuck with Elizabeth. I had felt weak all day. My shoulders were mountains of pain and my chest kept pressuring me every now and then. I tried to lie down and sleep to ease or even forget the pain but it was useless. My phone call with Joseph did not help at all; in fact now that I think about it, it might have worsen my pain. It was not Joseph’s fault but mine. Sometimes I blame myself for everything that goes wrong. Sometimes I blame fate, my daughters, or even God but most of the time I blame myself. I am the one who left Michael to marry Jacob, I am the one who brought up my kids, and I am the one who introduced Suzanne to Joseph and Joseph to Suzanne. Joseph was a great person, I found in him the person I always dreamed to marry. He was gentle, kind hearted, generous, secure, and not jealous which is a very important thing. Jacob, my husband, was the opposite of that. He did not care about anything but himself; he was always withdrawn to himself like he did not belong to this family. He was never a husband to me or a father to his children. I hated him since the first time I met him and yet I married him. I admit I might have gotten close to Joseph more than I should have but he was the son I dreamed my son to be, he was the husband I wished I married and the friend I never had. But it was impossible not to get drawn to Joseph. He had this aura around him that makes you want to know more. I met Joseph online about a year ago. Yes, online. Emptiness in my life made me discover the Internet after we bought the computer for Marianne. First, I thought it was silly. Elizabeth and Suzanne were the ones using it most of the times. I would sit next to them for hours as they chat to guys from all across the globe. Elizabeth made a list of friends online quickly. Suzanne on the other hand did not. Suzanne concentrated on one guy at a time. Even though she had a boyfriend, Peter, Suzanne was having fun online. Peter; however, was enraged one day when he saw pictures of her on the computer with his face cut off. It was mother’s day and he came to take us out for dinner. Suzanne, as usual, was not ready yet so he sat on the computer to listen to some music. I sat in the living room watching him going through documents and files. I saw him turning red. I saw his jealousy, his anger taking shape on his face. What went next was a scenario I got used to over the last three years of his relationship with my daughter. The yelling, the shouting, the screaming, the explanations all seemed familiar. I smiled to myself bitterly. I never liked that asshole since I saw him but my daughter wouldn’t listen. The fight was over quickly as it started and we went out to his car but the tension was just in the air. He did not say a word the whole way and Suzanne was just looking funny. I held my peace as well until we arrived to the restaurant. We all ordered our meals and to my surprise no one said a word. Finally, after he ate he looked at her, smiled and said, “ You know Suzanne, I was not going to forgive you but after this great meal I think I will.” I almost laughed out loud from the irony of the situation. My daughter was going to marry a pig. He was willing to forgive her because he filled his stomach. My mom always said the shortest way to a man’s heart was his stomach and in this case she was right. I guess I had a cynical smile on my face because Suzanne looked at me with her fiery eyes that brought me chills. Suzanne and me understand each other pretty well. Sometimes we even think the same thing. I wish I could say like mother like daughter but Suzanne was stronger than I. She did not have any remorse or pity for others like I did and she was definitely more stubborn than me. She was heartless like her father. She was not like that when she was a baby. She was very kind and gentle like me but these so called friends she met since she started going out hardened her heart. I had high hopes for her but I lost her like I lost everything else in my life. That’s why I turned to the Internet. I had given up on my daughters, my husband was a lost cause and my son Tony was too young to understand anything. My life on the Internet began in boring chat rooms where the people were too unreal. I met some nice personalities here and there but I did not really get involved. I spent hours night after night talking to people I would never meet. The hours grew longer every day and my new hobby was about to start a new chapter of my life.

3

I met Joseph on a very hot night in May. I could not sleep that night and the computer was my only relief. I needed someone to talk to, tell my problems. I could not talk to my husband or my daughters or even my brothers or sisters. I needed a friend I can talk to who wont necessarily help me or hurt me. Joseph was all that. He was the one who started the chatting and quickly I was hooked to his conversation. His sense of humor made me laugh so loud in the most silent of nights. I no longer needed the chat rooms for Joseph carried on several conversations that sometimes I could not keep up. I spent the nights talking to him and the days waiting for him to come online. I was obsessed and I could not help it. My life seemed to be more interesting once more as I talked to him. He showed me the other side of life, a happy one free of hurt and problems. I felt at ease with him and he did too. However, the happy days in my life are but few lines in a book of sadness. Joseph was curious, too curious in fact. He kept asking for a picture like it was the air he breathed. He did not know I was Forty-four years old. He did not know I was a mother of four married to a hollow man. I have to say that this all started as a game for me. I was pretending I was one of my daughters. He would not have talked to me if he knew who I was and I could not let him go easily. I had to lie. He knew me as Suzanne. When he asked for that damn picture it was Suzanne’s pictures he received. All the time he talked to me he thought I was Suzanne. It was complicated in the beginning but I had managed to do it. All my daughters knew I was talking to him, hell . . . even my husband knew. We all played our parts very well and I cannot blame him for believing it. I must say that after a week or two it stopped being a game for me. I truly liked this man and I thought he would be the perfect husband for my daughter. I knew it was crazy and a bit extreme but I did not want my daughter to be with this Peter prick she was dating. I did not want her to spend her life miserably like I did. I won’t be like my mother who watched me go knowing fully well that the man I was marrying was terrible. I still remember the day when he slapped his sister in front of my mother and me in the taxicab for disrespecting him. We were going to pick up my blasted engagement ring, which was hideous of course. He came to pick us up around noon and Sarah his sister was already waiting in the cab. I could tell the whole scene disgusted her from all her huffing and puffing. I never really liked her; she was an annoying selfish little brat. I did not find any reason for her to be there but I guess he did not feel like he could do this alone. We all sat in the car quietly and Jacob was actually trying to talk. What a shocker. His quietness was horrible but now the fact that he was speaking was even more drastic. I felt like I was listening to Marlon Brando trying to sing opera. He was even trying to tell a joke. I was going to tell him that he was not funny but it was his sister who said it and her punishment was an across the face slap that still rings in my ear. My mother saw this and yet she did not say a word. Peter was as terrible as Jacob and even worse sometimes. I have a right to protect my own daughter and I thought that Joseph would be the man for her.

4

My thoughts were dreams. I never imagined meeting this man. I was happy just the way everything is. I was happy to have him there, chat on the Internet and talk on the phone. I did not want anything from him but his virtual company. However, Joseph was not happy. Joseph was restless. He wanted to meet. He wanted to talk to me (her) in person, touch my (her) skin, see how I  (she) smile and laugh. He wrote me poems about meeting, he sang me songs about meeting and he implored me everyday to accept to meet him. Joseph wanted a normal relationship, a physical one. He wanted the long walks, the handholding, the hugs, the whispers of sweet nothings, the long French kisses, the cuddles and the lovemaking. I could not blame him and I could not do anything for him either. He was in love with a woman who was in love with someone else; a painful love triangle. The poor guy did not know anything. Joseph was in the highest stage of love and there was no turning back. I wanted out. I wanted to run, to hide, and even to kill myself for what I have done. I knew that there was no way in hell Suzanne will agree to meet him. In her mind she was in a good relationship with a man she loves and who loves her back. She did not mind that he was extremely jealous or that he was controlling. She did not mind that he was over 200 pounds while she was at most 130 pounds. She did not mind that Peter’s best friend, David, controlled him like a little puppet. She did not mind that he would buy a car stereo for a thousand dollars and buy her a ring for two hundred. She did not mind that he made her cry every other day. She did not mind that on her birthday every year he had to create a problem out of nothing yet on his birthday no one was able to disturb him. And of course she did not mind that I hated him or that I would never accept her marriage. However, the miracle or the nightmare happened one day in May, a year after I started talking to him. The day was sunny and beautiful. I woke up with a cheerful sensation, which does not happen much in my house. I made my coffee and sat alone in the kitchen looking from the window as the cars passed. I could hear the birds chirping at the first signs of the summer. Jacob was still in the bathroom but I could hear his coughs that sounded like a dying car. He was not dying unfortunately. Tony was still sleeping on the couch in the living room, he was wearing his blue shorts and it seemed he didn’t have any underwear on. Marianne yelled at him when she woke up. I was enjoying a few moments alone when Suzanne came and sat right in front of me. She was wearing her pink pants and her yellow Hawaii shirt. She looked like a homeless girl begging for money, a sophisticated homeless girl with her Chanel glasses. She looked tired. It was another late night I’m sure. I should have asked where was she but I stopped asking long time ago. She kept looking at me for about a minute when she suddenly said, “Ok, I will meet him.” I was shocked but I felt a triumph, a glimpse of hope. Something must have happened for her to accept to meet him.

“Is that right?” I asked unsurely.

“Yeah, there is no harm of it. I will just meet him and that’s it right?”

“Well, he will have to stay in our house.”

“What? You never let Peter stay in our house!”

“Honey, Peter is something else. Peter has a home he can go to. But Joseph is traveling to come and see you and I am not going to let him stay in a hotel. I will just give him a room for the time he is here.”

“Well how long he is going to be here for? I don’t know how long I can do this.”

“I do not know and what do you mean?”

“Mom, I do have a boyfriend!”

“So why did you agree to meet Joseph?”

“So you would get off my fucking back. I am tired of all this nagging shit. Why can’t you just accept Peter and accept that I am happy with him?”

“Because you are not happy with him.”

“Says you”

“Honey, do not lie to yourself. Don’t think I am sleeping when I hear you crying in your room after you get off the phone with him. He may be fun for a while but you cannot marry him. He is not like us. He is very controlling, he is jealous like your father and even more.”

“Yeah, yeah yeah I’m tired of the same bullshit. If you hate my father so much why did you marry him? Don’t try to correct your fucking life by controlling ours mother. I mean how could you. . .”

I could not hear anymore. This was not my daughter. This is a monster that I do not know who created. Suzanne was a little angel since her birth. She did not cry when she was born like all babies. I guess that was a clue. There were some other clues here and there. I remember the time when she and her two sisters dropped a bag of sugar on the floor. I was in the basement doing the laundry. It had been a really long Monday for me at work and I was exhausted. We were still struggling with our business and the work was abundant. I came home late and made dinner for the girls. Jacob was away doing our deliveries. I was usually thankful when he is away but this day I was not. The girls’ clothes were piled up like little mountains and it was still the beginning of the week so I had to do them. I looked at the washer spinning the whites as I was ironing. The girls’ voices were cheerful upstairs. They were in another world. I smiled. At least they were happy. Two minutes later I realized that I did not hear their voices. I panicked of course and ran upstairs with all bad scenarios running through my head. However the scene I saw was too much for me. There was sugar everywhere. It was like snow that dropped exclusively in our kitchen. But what made it worse was that the girls were trying to wash the sugar with water and as I tried to move, the floor grew sticky under my shoes. I was infuriated and I probably looked scarier than the boogey man or whatever was scary at the time. I yelled at them and then just kicked all of them out of the house! I felt the cold wind as I opened the door but I did not care. I was too mad to care. They cried and begged me to stay but I could not deal with them in the house. I probably would have killed them if they were in my sight. I know I overreacted but I was too tired and this sugar incident was the last thing I needed. I opened the window when I finished cleaning to see what were they doing. They were shivering and crying except Suzanne. Suzanne, their leader, was exasperated. I heard her telling them not to cry. She was going to show me she said and “show me” she did. As I went to get the clothes out of the drier I heard the breaking sound of a glass. It was Suzanne. She broke the window and was trying to get in. I was too shocked to do anything.  But my shock ended quickly as I ran upstairs like a raging bull. I opened the door, grabbed her hair and pulled her in. She was frightened now. She ran from me and hid under the bed. Elizabeth and Marianne came in as quietly as possible and went to their room. The battle was over. One of many battles to come. The battles grew fiercer day by day, year by year, but nonetheless Suzanne was the one I felt close to me. I never really knew why. I felt she is my hope. Marianne was not me and Elizabeth was nothing like me. Suzanne however was me. I can never stress enough how I felt this bond with Suzanne. We were friends and she told me about almost everything. Almost. I can only smile bitterly now as I see memories of her growing up before my eyes. Days went by, school started and the girls were growing up fast. Suzanne was already trying to lift her skirt up higher than her knees in six grade and by eighth grade she was unbuttoning her shirt down. I received calls almost every other day from the sisters complaining about her behavior and the way she dresses. I talked to her about it but it felt like talking to the walls. Sometimes I feel that if the walls of my house could talk they would just scream and then cry me rivers. With school, boys came and they only came for Suzanne. Marianne was not really interested in boys because she looked like one until her sophomore year in high school and even then she was still not really into boys. Elizabeth was heavy and boys hardly talked to her. Suzanne loved the attention, and boys were the answer to her prayers, if she ever did pray. What worried me most was Suzanne’s friends who looked like they just came out of a brothel. Stephanie was my ultimate fear. She was dating four guys in one time and her legs looked liked they never said no to a pecker. Suzanne and me had so many fights because of this Stephanie. But the prevalent fight was in junior year of High School, six months after Stephanie had her first baby who was the ugliest baby I have ever seen. Suzanne promised me that she will not go to Stephanie’s house anymore. On an unfortunate day of august, the sister Mary called me to tell me that Suzanne was not in the school. It was not the first time. I immediately thought of Stephanie because I knew her parents were out of town for the week due to the death of Stephanie’s uncle. I called her house and not to my surprise it was Suzanne who answered. Of course I did not say a word and just hanged up. I never liked to embarrass my children in front of anyone, even on the phone. When I went home I just sat in front of the door in demonic anticipation. She had a mischievous smile as she walked into the door.

“ Hi mommy,” she said still smiling.

“Hi”

“What’s wrong?” She was playing stupid and that made me just angrier.

“Where were you today?” I asked directly.

She rolled her eyes and laughed as she spoke, “Well in school of course where do you think I was?”

“Suzanne, honey, I know for a fact that you were not in school. Just please tell me where were you. Don’t worry I won’t be mad.”

“Mom, I was in school,” and she looked directly into my eyes with defiance I could not believe.

“Suzanne you were not in school today!! You were with that slut Stephanie! Don’t lie! Tell me you were with her!”

“What are you talking about?! I was in school! Ask Marianne or Elizabeth! They saw me there!” I could not control myself anymore and I just slapped her on the face. She pushed me back almost immediately and ran to her room. Sometimes I could not blame her because I did lie when I was her age too. 

5

I grew up in a little village that was not really rich. We were not rich. The fact that I had eleven brothers and sisters was not helpful either. We slept six in one bed. I wore the same dress to school and the same shoes. At the time, it was sexy to be plump and not skinny like these days, not because of anything sexual but it was the hard thing to do. We could barely eat enough to stay alive. Now it is sexy to be skinny because it is the hard thing to do. Life simply was shit. When I was a little girl I swore that when I have a family of my own I would do my best to treat them well and bring them everything they needed. I treated my girls like little princesses. Nothing in this world they wanted and I did not give it to them. They all wore the nicest and most expensive of things. Their allowance was more than any other girls in their school. I wanted them to be happy and enjoy their lives. Everyone told me that I was spoiling them but I did not care because my children were happy. I should have listened. No one spoiled me and I turned out to be all right. I suppose I am all right. Maybe I’m just the wrong person in the wrong time. Maybe they are the wrong persons in the wrong time. I should not blame myself for everything. I lived my whole life blaming myself for what I am in now. Things have to change around here or else they would eat me alive.

My father loved me the most and I loved him the most as well. He was a really good man but he was weak. I hated my mother sometimes the way she treated him. But then I hated him for the way he let himself be treated. …

My stubbornness brought me to this misery and I did not want this for Suzanne. But, I cannot blame her for she is more stubborn than me.


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