I know it is not common in today’s world where one night stands and flings are something men are so proud of. When they have sex, it is like a gold medal to them; the higher the number goes, the prouder they become. Me, I have always been different. I slept with only two girls. And both the time, I was in love. Sex is as important to me as marriage. That’s why I surprised myself when I took my friend’s suggestion and called the girl he promised would take all my stress away.
And, I am a man who cries easily. Most people label me with different names; it sometimes hurts but I have got used to it now. They describe me for exactly who I am, they just use an insulting title to do that. Yes, because I cry easily and that, I don’t sleep with anybody. It’s not about the opportunity because I had many. I just don’t feel comfortable to be that intimate with someone whom I don’t absolutely love.
My first break up was traumatic enough and took me lots of tears and shutting myself to move on. I was scared to get into the second one but what kind of fool I’d be if I rejected love? Well, I was a fool, perhaps not because I didn’t reject the love, but I accepted the wrong one, again. The second time is easier they say, what a stupid thing it was to believe. The second time was harder. The faith in love shook at its core more than ever.
“Trust me just on this. When you’re in bed with someone, your stress just goes away. Like a magic. Poof, you are far better,” my friend said.
“Even with a stranger, I have to pay?” I retorted.
He smiled, “The best. She will be everything you want her to be.”
I shook my head, “She can never be who I want her to be.” No, she couldn’t. No one could.
So, I called her. She was expensive like my friend suggested. I asked her to be with me for the whole night, which only made it even more expensive. What’s money if it can’t bring you happiness? I was trusting my friend’s instinct for that, as my instinct failed miserably, twice.
When she entered, I was surprised. She looked so normal, like people I see every day. If she didn’t seductively smile, I wouldn’t have remembered who she was.
“Please come in,” I said, managing a smile.
She walked with her heels making the sound every time she came closer. I was confused if my heart beat made more sound than that. I paid her the cash money.
She got on the bed and smiled, “You want me to remove my clothes? Or yours?”
I shook my head, “Just sit down and relax. You can watch TV if you want.”
She didn’t seem surprised. She just nodded and put on the TV. I stared through the window, drinking whiskey. I still couldn’t imagine myself like that, with her.
The dinner came. I asked her if she would like to join. She seemed little surprised at that. She nodded. She sat across me. I offered her wine and she politely declined.
“So, Cathy is it?” I asked her.
“Anyone you want me to be,” she said with a smile, a seductive smile. My friend’s words echoed in my ears.
“I want you to be you. The real you. Can you?” I told her.
She shrugged, “Sure, why not!”
I shook my head, “I mean it.”
She looked at me seriously at that. She was lost. Maybe she needed an explanation but I had none to offer. I was just as confused as she was.
She asked for the wine. I poured it and offered her. She drank a glass and said, “Honestly, I don’t remember who the real me was. I have pretended to be someone else for a long time, that now, it has become my identity. If I try harder, it is only going to break me down.” She smiled sadly at that and refilled her glass.
I sighed, “I am breaking down tonight. I wouldn’t mind a company. Am being totally selfish here. I am sorry.”
She shook her head, smiling, “I meet selfish people every day, trust me, you are not one of them.”
She took a sip and said, “Did she cheat on you?”
I looked at her, surprised. I finally nodded.
“With someone you know?” She asked.
I frowned, “How does this matter?”
“Trust me, this matters.”
I picked up my glass but didn’t drink. Instead, I looked at it for few seconds and said, “Someone I know. But not close. I just saw him once or twice before. He was a friend of her friend.”
She nodded. And there was silence after that. A comfortable one, surprisingly.
“You want to talk to me about your childhood? About how you were before you started doing….” my voice trailed off.
She smiled bravely, “That girl died a long time ago. I buried her deep, so deep that even I cannot reach her. If she comes back from dead, this girl dies and if this girl dies, everything goes away. I will be surrounded by so much chaos that I cannot come out of.”
I nodded, “I cannot even imagine.”
“I think you already do,” she said with a smile. So, does that mean she had a heartbreak too? I wondered. But I didn’t say it.
“Tell me,” I sighed, “how did you bury the old you? Was it easy?”
She laughed, “Oh it was anything but easy. When you want to escape, you become desperate and you do anything to get away from the pain. Anything. You have a choice to either run away from the pain or face it. If you run away, sometimes there is no coming back. Coming back will only kill you. So you keep moving forward and then when you stop and look back, you realize that facing pain would have killed the pain eventually, no matter how much you suffered. But running away, the pain will only add up, but you can’t go back and you have to keep moving until the pain is so much that you don’t feel it anymore. But if it comes back, which it does eventually I guess, it will consume you, so bad you will wish to be in hell instead.”
My tears fell down shamelessly in front of her. She held my hand. I looked at her and smiled and looked away. She rubbed my hands slowly, it comforted me.
She moved towards me and hugged me, I leaned my head on her heart and cried. She stroked my hair slowly. We talked more. She didn’t judge me for crying. I felt more comfortable and it, in fact, was helpful.
“Let us go on the bed,” she said. I did. We slept together as she hugged me and rubbed my back. She gave me a soft kiss on my lip and hugged me back again. It felt different like she was not a stranger. Like I have known her my whole life.
Just before falling asleep, one question hit my head. The words that my friend said, “She will be anything you want her to be.” The words she said, “I will be anything you want me to be.” Was this all a pretense then? Was she pretending to be a heartbroken person who could empathize with me just because I paid her? Just because she was doing her job. I fell asleep without coming up with an answer.
The ring on my phone woke me up.
It was my friend. I tried to open my eyes fully and looked around, she was gone.
“Hey, did she help?” My friend asked.
“Yes. It did. It really did. Thanks a lot,” I told him with a smile.
He screamed ‘yay’ and said, “Told you! She was really great in bed, wasn’t she? The best?”
Oh, how well my friend knew me. I told him I will call him back and hung up. I woke up to take shower and my eyes fell on something. There was a piece of paper she had left where she had written, “Don’t run away. Face it. You can.” Behind that paper was the cash money I had given her.
She wasn’t pretending to be who I want her to be! I realized this and a smile appeared on my face, which I am sure reached my eyes.