Did I have a clue as a naive young woman with such little world experience to make such long-term decisions? I had always been mistaken for someone older, not based on my looks, but my personality, the way I carry myself, and the way I just am. But here I was, reduced to just a plaything for an older man, who basically bought me with a house, car, and an easy, carefree life. Until that day I found out he was seeing other women, it had never really occurred to me that it was a transactional relationship.
As I relaxed there soaking in the tub, staring off into oblivion and feeling emotionally raw from the day, I decided it was time to do some research. I had never questioned my lifestyle before; I was taken care of, so I didn’t have to. I started doing some research on exactly how much I was costing Marco: the cost of rent if I were to pay it, the cost of the truck, insurance payments, gas, groceries, dinners or events out, gifts, books, you name it. I calculated everything he’d bought or paid for up to that point.
I had no idea that maintaining me for his own personal enjoyment, or whatever you want to call it, was costing him so much each month. It’s not like he didn’t have the money to do so; I just had no concept of money until I put two and two together. I’d never managed finances before, so after totaling things up to approximately $4,000 a month regularly, sometimes more, I was shocked and disgusted with myself. How did I take so much for granted? I could never afford any part of this lifestyle on my own. I enjoyed it, but more so, I enjoyed Marco.
I thought I loved him, and I thought I could change his mind about being monogamous with me. To me, our relationship was real and valid. I pictured us getting married, having kids, and living happily ever after, just as we were now. Reality had other plans. As my mom warned, Marco returned home early. He was off the entire trip and lost the bid. When he returned home, I was there waiting in a sexy little outfit and with a smile on my face.
We didn’t talk at all—we just made passionate love, without reservations or hang-ups. The sex was better than usual, more intimate and intense, bringing a whole new level to our sex lives. Afterwards, Marco presented me with two gifts: diamond and pearl earrings. It was his way of apologizing. Did I want this? Yes. Did I want Marco? Yes, but I also wanted forever with him and couldn’t even figure out if he would consider it. We didn’t bring it up again. The sex remained hot for some time and small surprises were more frequent for a small period of time, reminding me just who was in charge.
That weekend, I went out with my brothers and their friends while Marco spent time with his own friends. Life was back to normal mostly. “You know he’ll never change Viv, he’s an old man set in his ways. Why do you waste your time with him? He’s so old. And you could be with a young guy like Bill in a heartbeat,” my brother scowled.
“I love him! He’s taught me a lot and takes good care of me,” I responded shyly. My brother, Thomas, and I had never talked about my relationship before.
“You have daddy issues,” he jibed.
“WHAT? I do not. We share parents in case you forgot, a*shole!” I shot back fiercely.
“Nope, you were adopted,” I could hear him say teasingly as his voice trailed off—my mind was running wild now. I didn’t have “daddy issues,” did I? I wasn’t sure exactly what the hell he meant, but I didn’t have that kind of issue, or so I thought—little did I know.