A Story of Love, Betrayal and Awakening.

Sometimes life gives us such surprises and creates such stories, which the scriptwriters of Brazilian and Mexican serials or soap operas could envy.

Here, in this case, there is a story of life, love, betrayal and the awakening…When I met Marina, I was thirty years old. I dated many women before her, but none of them touched my soul as she had. I thought it was the “chemistry” which people call Love. She has managed to get married, have a child and divorce at twenty-eight years. She had her own story of love and disappointment, so I tried to enter her life as gently and delicately as I could, to show my admiration and my feelings to her. A year later we got married and soon moved to Canada.

Marina wasn’t in a hurry to give birth to our child and I didn’t put pressure on her, considering that all in good time. I adopted the daughter of my wife from her first marriage, which was accepted and raised by me as my own. A little girl got used to me very quickly and called me dad.

I was absent for a long time working in a truck company, leaving on long trips. Every time I came back with gifts for my girls, I was met with a chicly laid table. I often invited the colleagues from our company to such a feast. I became a close friend of Marco, an immigrant from Serbia.

He was tall, smart, but too shy, so friends often joked that he would remain a virgin forever with such a character. Subconsciously, I always tried to support and to protect him, inviting him to me more often than others.

Once after my next arrival from a flight, Marina said that she was pregnant. Being delighted, I took a considerable sum of money, which I saved for the house down payment, and bought her a ring with a real big diamond. Nine months passed quickly, we bought a townhouse, but we had to get into debt. I worked day and night, equipped a children’s room with love.

I was flying in the clouds after the boy was born, although I was still loading myself with work. Oddly enough, my love and desire for my wife had been increasing over the years. So we’ve lived for twelve years together.

Everything changed in one day. Once I found nobody, when I came home from work. The fridge was empty, so I was surprised. However, whether I was tired or maybe I just hoped they went shopping and soon be back, I lay down and fell asleep for a while. I woke up from the noise; the three of them stood in front of me, the mother and daughter were discussing something in a whisper. Son Ivan was staring silently. When they realized I woke up, my daughter took her brother’s hand and walked out of the room with him. Wife pushed a chair closer to me. A few seconds of silence seemed like eternity.

Marina said quietly that she had been thinking for a long time and had decided to get a divorce. She didn’t want to live with me anymore, because she didn’t love me. It would be better for both of us. When I asked about the kids, she said they would get used to it. Wife did not dispute my right to remain their father; I could see them whenever I wanted.

Trying to clarify the situation, I asked Marina if she had another man. She answered that she just didn’t WANT and COULDN’T be with me.It was a shock to me, I realized that I would have to live in a different way and, first and foremost, I had to figure out WHERE to live. I remembered my friend Marco, living alone as a hermit. That day he didn’t work and helped move to him my small amount of things. I have lived with him for a few months; we saw each other rarely as both of us were in working trips. I would bring the money for the house and food each month and leave them to daughter. Wife didn’t want to see me. I thought she’d come to her senses, realize that she was making a mistake and come back to me. I gave her a huge bouquet of roses and beautiful earrings for birthday; she took the gifts, thanked and warned that it did not change anything.  Soon I started living separately. Daughter went to the University. I rejoiced with her as a child, and bought trips to Cuba for three of them. I sent them on holidays, hoping deep down that Marina would understand how my family was important to me and how she was important. When they came back, my daughter started fighting the mother.

Soon, the girl moved to live to me. During the next three years, I still paid for everything my wife and son needed; I paid for the daughter’s study, bought her everything she asked for, and was proud that at least she understood me, loved and appreciated everything I did for her.

Over the years I haven’t dated any woman, I haven’t even tried to start a friendly relationship. I still loved my wife.

Sometimes I met Marco; we had a beer at my place or at his home and talked about life. He was the only one I could confide in and tell about my feelings. He said that I had to forget about Marina, that the years were passing and I was still alone. I have to look for another woman, who would be able to love me and to be always near. Thinking “maybe indeed I have to find someone”, I started communicating with women online, I even had some dates, but…they were all strangers. Every time it was coming to intimacy, I ran away, like a sniveling boy, convinced that I was betraying Marina.

Once one of my friends, knowing my situation, met us with Marco in the garage before travelling, and he said him: “Marko, do you see what is happening to our colleague, he is just like zombie! Take him to Leila, so she prays for him, because the man will be gone”.

I’ve heard about Leila. They said she could make a wonder. I never believed it, but this time her name ran in my head, and two days later I asked Marco to go to her with me. Marco was surprised, but said nothing. I found her phone number in a Russian newspaper, called and made an appointment.

Coming to her a little before the appointed time, we saw two women and a man in the waiting room. The man who was nervously leafing through a beautiful magazine, being far away in his thoughts, not paying attention to anyone. I also wanted something to read to distract myself, but at this time, the office door opened, and a young woman with a calm face invited us into the room. I got up from my chair and before I took a step, looked at Marco like watching a drowning man to a lifeline. Leila smiled and said quietly: “Come both of you.”

The next few minutes, I heard nothing, saw only how Leila was opening her mouth and saying something. Then she stood up and put her little hand on my shoulder and got through to my consciousness by whisper: “Everything will be okay.” Those words were enough for me to get back to reality and threw a hypnotic daze. I smiled and tried to shake hands politely and thanked her for something, not knowing for what so far… Marco got up, too.

– No, you stay! We need to talk, – said Leila in an iron voice. I was waiting in the receiving room. The man, already familiar to me, was still torturing glossy sheets of a magazine. But this time I didn’t want to get rid of my problems and experiences, I was completely calm.

Marco left the room without raising his head in about half an hour. He was like a child who just got punished. I followed him. In the street, Marco looked me in the eye and said quietly, “I’m sorry, Andrew, I am guilty before you.”

He told me how fifteen years ago he and my wife became lovers, how they had meetings in my absence. How he would change trip schedules at work so they didn’t coincide with mine, how Marina gave birth to Vania, his son, but Marina forbade talking about it and registered son on my name. How my daughter found out about the affair, blackmailed the mother, then she decided to move in with me because my wife could not give her what she wanted.

I realized how people I care about had betrayed me from year to year, systematically destroying nonexistent castles, created by me. They all used me. Listening to Marco’s confession, it seemed he was talking about strangers, unfamiliar personalities. It was surprising, but it didn’t bother me. I realized that I don’t want to hear anything about “the heroes” of this story, and went home without saying goodbye.

The daughter came in the evening. I told her I knew everything and she could get back to mom. I didn’t refuse to pay for her studies until the end, but I never wanted to see her. A month later, I flew to Mexico. Warmed by the sun of the Caribbean, inhaling the scent of tropical plants, I was lying on the hot sand and knew that all bad things remained somewhere far in the past, and I’d NEVER come back. I’m starting a new life, and I’ll be fine, as you’ve told me, dear Leila.