The Gravity of My Hell Part 2
The link to Part 1 can be found here The Gravity of My Hell
The removal of his hand from hers was emphasized by the bus jolting to a stop as it finally arrived at Roong Reuang Bus Terminal. She looks at him again in unsure fashion before looking down at her hands. The passengers around them start to rustle their bags from the storage compartments and then begin to shuffle their feet off of the bus. They haven’t moved yet as to not disturb the special package she had given him that he now had in his lap. They silently decided to wait a few minutes for everyone to exit before they made their move. With head still down facing her hands she asks him "What are you thinking now?" He mumbles some words in response….
My thoughts are still caught in a time loop from 15 months before….
…Unsure glances from her end were quite the norm back then. The first one she had given me was when I had chased her down and stopped her from leaving the lobby of my hotel after only knowing her for two days. I had answered her look with an identical one. Not really knowing the next move we started walking and ended up on Pattaya beach near Beach Road and Soi 12. Here is where I propositioned my desperate plan to her. I said…no, I blurted….I held her hand and looked into her eyes and I blurted out those three little words. Simple words that armies of men before me have fallen to in Thailand.
“Stop working bar” I said to her.
The ensuing conversation exposed a naiveté that I found was common between us. She wasn’t sure whether to pin her financial responsibilities to my promise to take care of her and I thought that sending her 8,000 baht a month was enough (this was my first Thailand trip and a good year before I discovered Stickman so go easy on me, alright). Quick math. Her previous job of waiting tables netted her 8,000 baht a month. I figured doubling that with 8,000 of my own would cut in half what she could make monthly at a bar but thinking that not having to go with men for money was worth the loss. Her look of confusion that after working bar for 4 days a stranger would send her 8,000 baht a month was foreshadowing.
The five minute phone call that I had to take at that moment gave her some more time to think about it. My friends from India were calling. I almost forgot! My friend/neighbor/former co-worker’s voice was strange to me and out of place at that moment. My flight back to India was leaving in 4 hours and I was to meet them in Mumbai for dinner that evening at the time and place that he was then specifying. Their job search was over and a pretty hefty promise was being made. My Indian friend had a millionaire cousin, even by US standards, who was of a unique sort. He owned factories in both India and Thailand where he had made his fortune. He promised he could deliver what I thought was the undeliverable in India. My friend stated for a fact that his cousin already had villas on an unnamed island off of the Indian Ocean reserved and factory girls of a slim, willing, and eager nature on reserve as well. Two for each he promised with our own separate villa if we pleased. He and his cousin had done this with guests before so there was confidence in the plan (the subsequent Indian adventure can make a stand alone submission in and of itself). Bittersweet words as I sat on the beach in Pattaya and witnessed the face of my new responsibility slowly start to accept my offer of sponsorship. I gave her enough baht to quit bar that day and that would last her until the end of the month. I told her we could do this together. I told her I would come back for her. She watched my airport taxi from the beach as it drove out of sight.
A week later post India adventure found me back home in the United States and suffering a bit quite frankly. It didn’t take long for me to realize that while in Thailand I had caught an STD (Siam Transmitted Disease). Symptoms left me bored of the bar life in my city and with a mental aching pain to go back to Thailand. Within a few days I purchased a ticket that would get me back 5 months later. I sent her money on the first of every month as promised with a little extra here and there most months as well.
3 months until my arrival back in Thailand saw her restaurant switching her day shift to the night shift which was why she stopped answering my calls at night. Her battery was “no good” which was why her phone was off most times during the day. 2 months until my arrival saw her making more four day or one week trips back to her village where there was no cell phone reception, thus no contact, she would repeatedly tell me though I never asked. 1 month before my arrival saw her phone never having enough credits for responding to my text messages.
What goes around comes around and I had never been caught. In all my life with all the lying I had done to many different women I had never been caught. Never had I imagined that those past mis-deeds would come right back around to catch up with me in the form of knowledge. Knowledge that I knew I was now being lied to. Round 1:
It was 1 week before my arrival when she informed me that her visa to the UK to stay with her cousin there for a few months had been approved. The timing of this with my trip to Thailand left us with 1 night together in Pattaya before she was to leave for London. I decided to be a lover and not a fighter for that one night we had together. Her much improved English and even more improved sex (menu and performance) only confirmed that her and her bar had re-kindled their previous romance and were going steady again. The next morning I told her good luck in England. I told her I’d be in touch. I did not watch her airport taxi as it drove out of sight.
Subconsciously on purpose I meandered back to Walking Street. Back to her “so called previous” bar where I saw the bartender that broke the ice for us the first time I met my girl. I realized then that no one at her bar knew about me and my sponsorship. The bartender was homely, even by western standards, but of all the girls in Pattaya she was the one that had exactly what I needed that night. I bar fined her and got what I wanted from her…information. My girl went back to the bar as a freelancer just 3 months before I was informed by the bartender. The trips to the village my girl told me about were really trips to Phuket and Samui with customers. Back to the hotel room and straight to my laptop. I suspected its existence and promptly discovered my girl’s newly created social networking site where she had posted Samui and Phuket photos that documented her lies. I also learned her real age. She was actually 18 and not 21 as she had told me. The girl she was staying with in England was not her cousin. It was actually in fact her older sister. At this point I was interrupted by a hand on my shoulder. I was beckoned back to bed by the Thai lady who was in my room at that moment. She had showered and then had mysteriously lost her towel as she gently demanded I come to bed long time. No! Not the bartender! I went back to customer service at the bar and did an exchange after I got what I needed from the bartender. This time I bar fined one of my girl’s friends from her bar. It cost more than an SMS or a phone call but it was a very effective way to send a message to England. The next night I coaxed 2 shower girls from a go-go and was sure to take them to my girl’s “so called previous" bar for a few rounds of drinks and then to my hotel for a few more rounds. Just in case the first message didn’t get through I was sure this one would. Round 2: Bargirl-1 Farang-1.
In the end it took about 3 months before my girl went back to Thailand and found out about all of this. Before that time we Skyped for weeks, hours on end everyday, while she was in England with her “cousin.” I was hesitant to expose the lies because we chatted daily when I was at my job and she was a great diversion from work to be honest. The sponsorship had ended the day she left for England but a friendship was at least stirring a bit it seemed as we talked daily about anything and nothing. The bar that was in her starved due to not being fed by other bar girls, lady drinks, and large sums of cash. As the bar in her receded her conscience took its place. She confessed everything to me in a conversation that lasted late into the night between sobs and her begging for forgiveness. I had been weeks in waiting for this unprompted confession. When she was done I showed her the pictures I had pulled from her social networking page a month before to show her that I already knew she was lying to me before she even confessed. A fresh set of tears from her. I had been waiting for this moment. The left side of my brain calmly stated logic. Lie + Lie(squared) = get rid of her. The right side of my brain relayed something different due to what I had learned pre-confession from her in our now daily chats. I imagined that the truth of her life necessitated the lies. The truth that she didn’t know if I was coming back for her. The truth that she didn’t know if our 2 nights together would translate into any form of security for her thus her family. The truth that her family’s poverty was encapsulated by her mother's brain cancer and subsequent treatments. The truth that she used my sponsorship to help pay for her mother's cancer treatments and the further truth that it wasn't enough money anymore because her mom's tumor was no longer in remission. Access to her email account showing correspondence between her and family members and doctors concerning treatment options and chemotherapy pictures, months before she even met me, more than supplied the grim truth. Age 14 found this girl alone in her home for 4 months with no one to look after her. Her mom was transferred to Bangkok for her initial diagnosis and treatments at that time. Her father was gone. Off to Bangkok as well to take care of her mom. She tended to her house duties alone. She tended to her schooling alone. She tended the rice fields alone with the occasional help of a nearby aunt and uncle. From the rice fields she watched her family’s land shrink as her father sold rai after rai of land to pay for the mounting hospital bills. Her resolve shrank as well as she didn’t know whether her mom would live or die. She worked tirelessly everyday between school work and the rice fields, never taking a day off. This particular time period in her life and this particular truth nurtured a part of her that if her mom ever came home, ever came back to her, she would do anything she could to take care of her. As someone stated in an earlier submission “don’t judge them until you’ve been to their village and have had to shit in the same hole they’ve had to shit in all their life.” Her mom did come home but to fields and a life that no longer resembled the one she had left physically or financially. These words from her began to construct a road to forgiveness as I tried to immerse myself from the relative shallowness of my world into the depth of hers.
The road to forgiveness was also paved with a hidden truth that I had yet to reveal to her. A hidden truth that far outweighed any lie she had told to me. She revealed all, giving pieces of herself to me in the process, yet I was still holding back my slowly growing secret. Round 3: Forgiveness won this round.
She was going back to the bar after she left England and she was sure to tell me that this time around. My sponsorship was to stay revoked though. Reality being that I had to either go all in with meaningful monthly support and with a plan to secure our relationship or not go in at all. Put simply, I could neither fund nor secure her dedicated mission at that point. I had to catch and release. I had to let her go back to the bar to find her fortunes there. This was not a game.
Going back to her bar she immediately found out what I had done with her friend from her bar. The resulting mushroom cloud could be seen from space. What do the Loch Ness Monster, The Easter Bunny, and Bar Girl Anger Management have in common?….none of them exist. That and the resulting aftermath of her finding out about my previous 2 go-go shower girl romp had an unpredictable effect on both of us. It was the catalyst that brought out something that I desperately needed to tell her. It also was the final straw that prompted her to tell me something she had been meaning to say to me for a month now. Both of us had failed to bring what we separately had to say to light while she was in England. My need to maintain an emotional distance being the reason for my keeping quiet. It has been sage advice often repeated to not keep a bar girl for more than 2 or 3 days. Just as traditional condoms are used for physical protection, "emotional" condoms should be strictly used as well. The physical dangers of unprotected sex are well known but in participating in this hobby one must be careful when getting emotionally involved also. Also like traditional condoms you can’t feel anything when using emotional condoms, hence the fact that I don't like to use emotional protection when getting involved. Not unlike a skilled Japanese chef who is preparing a poison laced puffer fish for the delight of his patron; just enough emotional attachment to feel the rush, numbness, then warmth of a form of love but not enough emotional attachment to stop my heart when she eventually betrays me. In my case, for this one time, each form of emotional protection and physical protection broke at some previous irrelevant point.
I finally I told her that I was in love with her.
She told me she was pregnant…
….”I am in love with you” He repeated to her realizing he had just mumbled the words as he returned from his thoughts of the past. The last person had exited the bus a few minutes before but there they remained posed in their seats. They were stuck in a moment that they couldn’t get out of. Time to exit the bus. Getting down the aisle was easy. Getting down the steep steps with their infant daughter was more of a challenge. She had handed their baby over to him after they had stopped in Prasat so that the special package could sit in his lap for the rest of the way to Pattaya. He sighed heavily at the sky while exiting the bus. This was not the place for a proper goodbye and besides, he still had one more thing to say to her. He motions towards the safer looking of the 3 awaiting taxis. The desperation of his need to tell her was only outweighed by the responsibility that they had created together. The fact that he had no choice now was no substitute for the confidence needed for the final step. “Beach Road and Soi 12” he said to the driver. Yet again another small step in a journey that would take two of them halfway across the world.