Con – Artist of the Heart.
Maria just came out of a seven year relationship with a married man, she has decided that she does not want to waste anymore of her time waiting for someone who keeps giving different reasons for not getting a divorce. The saddest thing is, Maria had met Jonathan ten years ago while she was living and working in London, six months before she decided she to go to Japan to study Japanese language. At that time, Jonathan had just moved to London from Cote D’lvoire and he was on a visitor’s visa. Jonathan met Maria three days after he arrived and was instantly attracted to her and invited her on a date. Maria told Jonathan about her plans to move to Japan for two years to study to which, Jonathan asked her hand in marriage, she however turned him down because she feel at this time, it would not be in their best interest.
They parted and Maria moved to Japan, where everything was so dissimilar from what she was used to. Maria tried to settle in as best as she could and pretty soon she found a small group of student like herself who was in Japan for studies and build up a small support network. Time flew by quickly in Japan and after two years of studying, it was time for Maria to return to London has come. She was very excited but at the same time, the thought of leaving her friends in Japan was very sad. She returned to London and found a job as a Japanese language teacher and quite soon her life started going in the right direction of progress. She bought a little pink mini-cooper through a car dealership on the internet, rented a nice one bedroom apartment in Nothing Hill and even got a new hair cut for her first day at school.
The car dealership told her she could pick up the car this weekend. The weekend came and Maria was very excited and eager to go get her car. She planned on driving out to the country side for the weekend. Maria got to the car dealership, the attendant who was servicing her turned out to be Jonathan. Maria was speechless and so was Jonathan, for a while all they could do was just look at each other, point, and laugh. After a few minutes they hugged each other, gathered their composure, and started to talk about what happened and how has their life changed. Jonathan told Maria how he got married and Maria told Jonathan she had just moved back and how everything has been going thus far. They bid each other farewell and Maria got in her new car and drove off to the country side for a weekend of relaxation and rejuvenation.
Maria had her first day of work and the students were great, however it was a bit overwhelming as she was teaching high school students who weren’t much younger than she was. At first, she found it challenging to get their attention, however by the end of class she had it all under control. After a day like that, all Maria wanted to do was go home and take a long hot bath, drink a glass of wine, and relax with her favorite T.V series Criminal Minds. Maria was in the midst fixing her bath, the phone rang which caught her off guard because she has not had the chance to give her home number out to many people and her parents in Cote D’lvoire normally call on the weekend. She picked up the phone and for a second she could not recognize the voice until the person said, “It is Jonathan”. She was taken aback and tried to be polite but could not help but ask him where he got her number. He told her that it was in their system when she filled out the paper work for her car. He then went on to saying, the reasons he was calling to see how her day went and also he would like to take you out for dinner. She then said she does not think it is a good idea because he is married, she bid him goodnight then hang up.
The next morning while getting ready for work, the phone call ran through Maria’s mind again and it started to irritate her immensely as well as offensive, because she could not understand why he would dare call her to invite her to dinner while he is married. She made the decision to not entertain any of his phone calls if he does call again and if she sees him at the dealership when she goes to get her car tuned, she will keep all conversation to a minimal. Jonathan did not call back that week, but he surely did call her again on Saturday to say that he is in the neighborhood and maybe they can grab a cup of coffee as friends. He told her there is a new Ivory Coast café that just opened up, which is very good and he knows she will love. This was very tempting and she decided to meet him, mainly because she wanted to know where this café is because there is not many cafes in Nothing Hill that serves her native food which she craves all the time.
She met Jonathan at Nothing Hill station because she did not want him to know where she lives, although she figures he probably can get that also from the paper work at the dealership. They met, greeted each other and drove to the café which turned out to be a very big open style restaurant by the water, this site alone just put her in the best of moods. It was 6:00 pm and sun was just starting to set, the color was so beautiful, yellow mixed with gold and some blue on the outside, it was just very mesmerizing. The food was delicious and she is very happy she made the decision to go because it was worth the drive and the company. After they ate, Jonathan started to tell her that he never stopped loving her and after she left he was in a jam and decided that the best thing to do at the time was get married, which he claimed was only for visa purposes. He then went on to saying that him and his wife does not get along, they rarely see each other because they sleep in separate bedrooms, and he does not eat at home anymore. Maria listened attentively, said nothing, after he said all that he had to say, Maria asked him what would her like her to do and what it is that he wants from her. He said that he would like for them to start over and if that is possible, he will move out of his house and get a divorce. Maria said ok, since at the present I am not dating anyone, and do not have anyone that I am attracted to and I am open to giving it a try, however under the condition that you will get a divorce and move out as soon as possible.
It has been one year now since Maria and Jonathan started dating, every month he would come with a different reason of why he was taking him so much time to move out or get a divorce, until one day he told Maria that his wife was pregnant. He told Maria that his wife forced him and because he wanted his wife to put in all the paper work needed for his residency, he had no choice. Maria being as understating as she is but more because she is greatly in love with Jonathan said she understood. She told the story to herself a million time making his wife the villain, until she believed it. Jonathan kept coming to her house as well as going back to his house and sometimes when he would leave, Maria would cry herself to sleep. Some nights she tells herself that she is going to end it because it is not the best situation for her, but there is also the little voice telling her that maybe next month he will do it, just be patient and wait a little longer, you have invested so much of your time and it would be a waste to throw it all away.
Maria and Jonathan kept going and Jonathan now seemed to be a part of Maria’s family, he would help out with the finances and at times call her family in Cote D’lvoire to check if everyone was ok. Jonathan felt that if he inserted himself in Maria’s family, then it would be very difficult for her to leave him and this way he would be able to play out his marriage until the end. He feels that everything is going great right now, so why should he try and change anything, he is also not sure if he wants to leave the mother of his child. Jonathan would love to marry Maria because they are from the same country, speak the same language, and can relate to each other. He feels the most comfortable when he is at Maria’s house and the most relaxed. However at the same time, things are not great at home because he has a system now that seems to be working. He does not want to change that because after all he is in London and when it a country it is always best to marry someone from that country. He knows that his wife is not a bad person and has been there for him through hard times, regardless of the fact that they are on bad terms and fight a lot. He does however loves her in his own way as well and when it comes to moving out and leaving her alone, he cannot get himself to do that because it would be cruel. So right now he figures the best thing to do is try and keep Maria happy and patient and hope that one day his wife might move out and move in, and then he can be with Maria. Or if Maria was to move back to Cote D’lvoire then it would be perfect because he could start a family with Maria then, however not while they are in London.
It’s been fours years now and Jonathan has a baby daughter who is two years old, he decided one day to bring her to Maria’s, he wanted Maria to meet her because she is going to be her stepdaughter, Maria could not say no, as that meant he is thinking of moving forward with her. Jonathan came over with little Brenda and Maria felt she was so adorable, she even took a photo and decided to use it as a screensaver, a photo of her future step-daughter. Jonathan told Maria that Brenda is still too young but once she reaches the age of four, he is going to send her back home to parents who, however he asked Maria if his parent cannot care for her, would Maria be open to living with him and Brenda, and of course Maria said she would be delighted to.
Jonathan kept going back and forth in regards to the next step until one day he came and told Maria that his wife tricked him and now she is pregnant again. He told Maria that his wife told him she was using oral birth control and can not get pregnant only to find out two months later, she is pregnant, she wanted another child. Again, Jonathan told Maria how his wife is evil and she tricked him and he did not want to have a second child with her. Maria again being so in love with Jonathan decided that he was telling the truth or she tried to convince herself that he was and his wife was wrong for tricking him. She could see through it all and started realizing that Jonathan was never going to leave his wife, but at that time she decided to live in denial and continue with their relationship.
Maria and Jonathan were tied in together financially, they started a business venture together and both their money was invested, this proved Maria that he is indeed thinking about a future with her or else he would not have be involved in his business with her. He would also take her shopping when she needed anything and would come with expensive gifts. Opened his own car dealership, gave her a new car and would by every weekend with groceries. Everything was going fine and to Maria they were a normal couple, except for that fact that Jonathan could not sleep there every night for entire night, at some point he would have to go home.
He started exporting cars and when he had business visitors, he would take them to Maria’s house for her to cook African dishes and introduce her as his fiancé. This made Maria very proud and happy to open her house and show a wonderful hospitality to strangers who were his business colleagues. She was happy that instead of going to a restaurant he preferred for her to cook, and serve them at her place.
To be continued
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