Chapter 9, part 2: Old Love Will Not Be Forgotten

On the first evening, we just jumped into bed because we were so exhausted from the sun. On the second evening, we went to dinner, and then took a walk on the beach. It was dark, the sand was cold, and we could hear far-away sounds from the busy Boardwalk. We walked farther and farther from the light and noise until we stopped walking. Mike kneeled down and proposed.💍 In that moment, everything stopped existing. I had tears in my eyes and I said ´yes´.❤️❤️❤️

“I´m engaged! Finally!” Klara was excited.
“Are you serious? You are only twenty six!” Barbara protested.
“Twenty six is enough. Our entire Facebook Newsfeed is full of engagements, weddings and new births. Finally, we joined the crowd!”
“I´m sorry Klara, but you are totally mad. That everybody else is getting engaged doesn’t mean that we need to do the same. We don’t live their lives! We don’t live on Facebook. We live here and now. Actually, we don’t. We only survive. We are in America, and we haven’t even seen much yet. We haven’t experienced anything. We haven’t tried anything. We live every day the same way, and we are just waiting for the day when we go home. And what will happen when we get home? We´ll tell ourselves that we spent four years in America and we got shit out of it. So what if we can build the house?!? Will that make you happy?!? Really? When you lay down in the evening, you will tell yourself, “You cost me three years of my life. Three years when I didn’t think about myself and my needs but the plan, and all I did was earn, earn and earn money for it. And now when I finally have it, am I happy?” Seriously, Klara? Do you want to end up like that? And me along with you?”
“No Barbara. You are right. We better stay in the US cleaning houses for spoiled kids and snobby assholes who think that they could do and have anything they want,(See Side story: Stoned Client, coming soon) for the rest of our lives. I don’t want to live like this! I want security and I have that with Mike. He will never leave me. He loves me. I will be happy with him.”
“I dont want to clean houses for my whole life either. Of course not. I know that people here also hurt us, but let´s try to get over it and look for options to get out of this situation. How to jump off this unstoppable rollercoaster and start all over.”
“Star over? Again? We will not start over! Finally, we have an organized life. We have a man. We have a plan for the future. We have a lot of money in our bank account in Slovakia. What else do you want?”
“I want to live! Don’t you get it?!? I want to create! I want to be interesting. I don’t want to be boring and ordinary. I want to achieve something. I want the world to see me and hear me. I don’t want to be invisible like you. I am Barbara and I am meant for big things.”
“I´m sorry, but you should probably stop dreaming. It´s not good for you. It´s how it is and I´m not willing to change anything. I´m good. I´m good with Mike.”
“But for how long?”

In the beginning of November we moved again. The owner of the house sold it so everyone had to move out. We rented a room in a house with strangers again. It was a complete disaster. I swear that I´m not exaggerating. In this particular house there lived an alcoholic, a polish lady, who was totally weird, and an older polish man, who was the owner of the house and bullied us.

I hated it from the first day we moved in. Everything bothered me. The place and the people. I had enough of everything there, and the worst was when we almost burnt down the house on Christmas Day. And why? Well, because our alcoholic roommate got as drunk as a dog and he forgot about the hotdogs he was making. The water steamed out, the hotdogs burnt, and the pot made smoke all over the house. What a “fabulous” holiday we had. 😔

“I want to leave! I can´t stand it here anymore!” I pleaded with Mike.
“Where do you want to go? We have a huge room for so little money here.”
“Fuck the money! I want to be in our own place already!”
“Nothing will ever be our own place here.”
“You know what I mean. I´m begging you. Let´s rent an apartment again. There will be only you and me, and we will have peace.”
“And we will pay three times more than we pay now. It´s wasting money. I prefer to save it and then buy a car in Slovakia.”
“Damn your fucking car! I´ve had enough! I want to get out of here! Don’t you understand? I lived in a good apartment until you came and made me move out. I gave up on my privacy and comfort because of you. I gave up on all my plans because of you. I wanted to go to Australia and only because of you I stayed here and you don’t even appreciate it. You don’t even want to give up on a few hundreds dollars to live better.”

It was all out in the open. I let everything that choked me inside. I couldn’t hold it inside and pretend that I was happy when I was not. Yes, I was not happy. Finally, I admitted it. Barbara was actually right. I loved Mike but I was not able to fulfill his image of a perfect woman, and stick to his financial plan. I didn’t feel like convincing Mike to do what I wanted. I just followed what he wanted until I got tired of it. I was so exhausted that I just wanted to sleep and not wake up.

After the neverending arguments we finally moved. Mike didn’t help me with it at all. I was the one who found the apartment. I made a deal with the owner. I was the one who furnished it and I was also the one who listened to comments like, “So expensive?…What is it all for? We don’t need this….What will we do with it? … We will be fine with a mattress, we will not buy a bed.” …….
I had enough of Mike. He didn’t do anything but criticize. We argued a lot, and it wasn’t the same between us as before.

Mike started to go for business trips to New York and I was home alone. He came home for the weekends, and I worked overtime on the weekends. Before I worked on Saturdays, but only until 12PM. Now I worked on Saturdays until 5-6PM and on Sundays until 12PM. I only had half a day off per week. I don’t know where I got so much energy that I could handle it.

“When we moved, I started to go on business trips, and I´m barely home. I pay so much money to stay here only 10 days a month”, Mike said.
I was sick of him. Would he prefer to leave me home alone in the house with an alcoholic and the Polish psychopaths? He knew that it was mentally destroying me, and he would be okay with it as long as we were saving money. 😥
“I started to work overtime so that it doesn’t influence us financially. It´s not my fault that you travel to New York.”

The truth was that I went to work on the weekends because I didn’t want to be with him. I tried so hard to make everything work until I didn’t recognize myself anymore. I didn’t know who I was. I spent whole days at work which I hated so that I could make everything better but in the end, everything was much worse. We had decent housing here in the US, but we didn’t enjoy it at all. We only languished, worked, worked and worked. The work made us both stressed and it was destroying our relationship.

That kind of work even ruined my health. Last year I had swelling in my knee, and this year before the Summer, I got a pinched nerve in my lower back. I couldn’t move at all so I spent two weeks at home. Fortunately, Mike stopped working in New York so he could take care of me when he came home from work. I wasn’t used to doing nothing. Suddenly, time stopped for me. I was used to moving from morning to night, but now, I couldn’t move at all. Suddenly, the only thing I could do was lay in my bed. And what does a person do when they have a lot of free time? They think.🤔🤔🤔

I thought about my life. I wasn’t satisfied with it. I wasn’t even happy anymore. My future with Mike in Slovakia didn’t satisfy me anymore. I didn’t want the house for which we were saving money the whole time. All those fantasies and dreams stopped existing for me. Are you asking why? After all I lived for those things for two and half years. Yes, but they weren’t my own dreams. They were Mike´s, and I adapted to them because of love. Because of love I gave up on my own dream of studying in Australia. I gave up on myself. I had to find myself again, otherwise I didn’t have a chance for a happy life. Who am I? What do I want? What do I know? Who do I want to become?

“I told you that you don’t have a future with Mike,” Barbara said.
“I know. But I believed in it so much. I wanted it. I need someone to love me. I can´t be alone.” Klara cried.
“I´m sorry. I know you were happy. I felt it. After all, I am you. Even though you didn’t want me for a long time. I am you. You are me. That’s why I know that you don’t want and can´t live like this anymore. Mike isn’t everything. Mike doesn’t make you completely happy. You want more. You miss something. You need to create something. You need to achieve something. You need to bring everything out of you. You want to be seen and heard.”
“Indeed. This life is not enough for me. I don’t want to leave America and tell myself that all I did there was clean houses. I don’t want to go to Slovakia, buy a house, get married, find an office job and live an ordinary life until retirement.”
“I know. I´m sorry that it didn’t work out with Mike again. I know that you need to be loved. Let me love you. We are the same. We need to love each other and learn to live with each other. Otherwise, we will never be happy. Until now we just fought and denied each other. We cried because the world was unfair to us and everyone hurt us, but the truth is that it was us who hurt ourselves most.”
“I agree. I´m sorry. I will never let you go. What do you suggest?”
“You are sensitive, kind, innocent and need love. You are a woman who was hurt by many, and who went through a lot. I am ambitious, strong, cold and mean. Let me write about you. Do you want them to see you and hear you? Let me tell your story.”
“Writing? Yes! I love it! I always did. I was good at it in school. Now when my life story comes together with your fantasy and meanness, we might let out something big to the world. We could succeed.”
“You bet that we will succeed! You and I! Because I am you and you are me. Together we are one and the same.”
“Because together we are one and the same.”


A year after Mike proposed to me, I broke up with him. I felt ashamed. I broke the promise I made to him. I said ´yes´ and I didn’t keep my word. My word means nothing now. But I knew that it was going to be better this way for both of us. Because Mike loved Klara and he barely knew Barbara. He couldn’t be happy that way either. He will understand…eventually.

It wasn’t easy for me either. I loved Mike and it wasn’t easy to break his heart and let him go. Fortunately, Nela came for the Summer to the US. She wanted to earn some money and get some new experiences. She had enough of England already. Since I found myself in a difficult living situation, I was glad to have her here. She was my support. Not only mentally but financially also. After our break up Mike went back to Slovakia. I still had health problems so I couldn’t work as much as before so I earned less money. Having Nela in my place for three months helped me a lot.

“Will you be okay?” Barbara asked Klara.
“It hurts so much, but I will.” Klara was devastated.
“I know what Mike meant to you. I know everything he did for you.”
“He saved my life!” Klara cried.
“I know.”
“He was with me during the hardest time of my life.”
“He wasn’t. Just because you didn’t commit suicide when you were sixteen because of him, doesn’t mean that he was with you during your hardest times. He was always with you when you felt sad or useless. But what then? What about all those years after your break up? You did it all on your own. Even that thing that happened last year. Even though he was here with you, he doesn’t know about it. You got over it by yourself. Actually, you got over it with me.”
“I know that I can´t be with somebody because I´m thankful for what he did for me but I truly loved him. Sincerely.”
“I know. But do you realize that you broke up with him now because of the same reasons as before?”
“Exactly. We gave it another chance, and it ended exactly the same as before. He still has the same priorities as before, and that is honorable. He is ready for marriage and a family. I´m not. I haven’t become who I want to be yet. I wasted even more years pretending I´m someone who I´m really not.”
“Never mind. From now on, we will not adapt to anyone else, and we will live only for this moment. Our dream is the only thing we will follow.”
“We will live our dream.”

Word to the wise: Never follow other´s dreams but your own!! Don´t live their lives but your own! And never pretend being someone you are not!


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