For anyone that knows what it feels like to have your heart pulled out of your chest, imagine that and multiply it by 1000. The news that Priscilla and her boyfriend were getting married stuck me like a ton of bricks on my soul. I knew that this event would not only cause me to lose my best friend, it also eliminated any chance that she and I could end up together.
I knew that her boyfriend could see the pain in both her and my eyes at that moment. It was almost as if he knew something had been going on between us and he wanted to cause as much pain as possible at least to me when he asked if I would please attend the ceremony in the house later that day. As I refocused myself after the initial shock and the inappropriate request, I said that I would let him know but would try to make it. With a heart that felt destroyed I said I had to get back to my house for a business conference call and walked out the door.
There were still a few hours before the wedding ceremony and it was not real until they both signed those marriage documents. Almost as soon as I walked out the door was a text message from Priscilla just saying “sorry”. My response was quick and direct, “don’t do this. Why are you doing this?” She and I text messaged back and forth all afternoon. I tried as hard as I possibly could to convince her that getting married for insurance for the child birth was not a good reason to get married and was actually not necessary. Although her father did not want her to go through with the marriage, the emotionally abusive boyfriend had her convinced it was the thing to do “for the baby.” Although I tried to show her she deserved more and that the only reason to marry is love (which obviously she did not love him if she was being intimate with me), she had been brainwashed by her boyfriend to go through with the marriage.
The truth of the situation was that the boyfriend’s Costa Rican friends had told him that it would be easier to get the insurance for the hospital to be accepted if they were married. He also knew that if he married her she was his for a while; like a dog marking his territory. By getting Priscilla to sign those papers he knew she was trapped. While he could not watch over her and make sure she would obey him, he now had an ally that would be there full time to ensure she remained under his control…….her mom.
Priscilla’s mother is a devout Catholic, but as it is with most extremely religious people, they are also the most hypocritical. Her mom was not happy when Priscilla got pregnant but now that she was, the fact that she was getting married made her think that her daughter was now doing right in the eyes of God. Her daughter’s happiness fell behind her never wanting their family to be seen poorly in the eyes of people in Costa Rica. We all know that person that allows society and what other people think determine their life decisions. Priscilla’s mom was one of those people but she also used the Catholic religion to mask the true drive of her actions. Once those papers were signed the comments “you are being a bad woman” when she saw Priscilla and I together, would now turn into “you are being a bad wife”. Although Priscilla said that the comments did not affect her, I knew that they did. This was going to be the ally the boyfriend needed to ensure that she did not waiver from his plan to import a woman to take care of his child and be his servant. He was not going to change his life for her, and wanted to make sure nothing got in the way of his plan.
Upon arrival to my house, I sat down and contemplated whether or not to attend the ceremony that evening. Did I have the ability to hold it together over that 2 to 3 hours and not show the emotion inside me? Would I be able to refrain from saying “I object”? My mind told me not to go as I knew it would cause me more pain than I could handle but my heart told me that if I showed up then maybe she would not go through with it. An hour before the wedding and I started getting ready. I put on the white shirt she always said I looked good in and tried to prepare myself emotionally for the night ahead. As I walked out the door to head to her house I thought I was ready, when I was let through the door at her house I knew I wasn’t.
I was let in to mingle before the ceremony. Priscilla’s lawyer friend and husband were there as well as her mother and father. The humorous part of the entire situation was that of all the people there most of them did not want her to get married. Her friend knew that she did not love her boyfriend (fiancé). Her father and I also did not want her to get married. Her friend’s husband was indifferent as he did not know the situation. The only two people that wanted Priscilla to go through with this were her fiancé and her mother, but because no one wanted to cause drama with these two we all kept are mouths shut. The only way that this was not going to happen was if Priscilla herself decided to start living her life for herself that day and to stop letting herself be controlled. If she did not make that decision quickly she and I were destined to fall apart.
Priscilla’s fiancé then asked me if I would please film the ceremony as if this entire situation was not hard enough already. I hesitantly agreed to record their memories of this union at least I was going to be able to hide my emotions behind the camera lens. As the ceremony began it was basically a lawyer reading to the couple and then each of them repeating in Spanish what she said. Being that her fiancé never took the time to learn Spanish in the 8 to 10 years he was in Costa Rica; it was hard not to laugh at the ridiculousness on the entire situation. That internal laughter was all I had to keep from crying on the outside.
In my mind I imagined a movie scene where during the ceremony someone objected and the bride tells the groom she is in love with someone else. After which she looks at the one she loves and they get married as the groom ride off into the sunset. Too bad real life never mirrors the movies. The marriage papers were laid on the table in the living room of her house, the $20 ring he had bought her was on her finger, and the last part of the ceremony was wrapping up. The fiancé leaned over and signed the marriage papers and then Priscilla leaned over and did the same. It was official for at least the next 3 years (minimum you can be married in Costa Rica before getting a divorce) she would be married to this man. The miracle I had hoped for that would have ended this joke of a relationship did not happen.
After a few congratulations and hugs, I made a quick excuse to leave, something about a conference call with associates in the USA for a fake business deal. I just had to have something to get out of there. As I exited the house I heard her now husband on the phone talking to a family member back home and saying how he hoped he did not screw this one up too. (He had been married before and I guess his ex-wife finally had gotten tired of the life with an emotionally abusive husband and had left) He had his new victim now though and he was going to make sure that she did not leave him.
I walked down the street and knew the pain that was going inside my heart and head would not disappear for a long time. A huge anger grew inside me as I felt betrayed and hurt by someone that was supposed to have cared deeply about me. All I wanted to do was make the pain go away of only for a little while. There was a bar open only a few blocks away……I needed a drink, I wanted to never return to the life I was living.
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