Naivete is bullshit

The Setup

I should have seen it coming, but my inclinations reject assumptions. My gut told me be careful, but my politics insisted I not jump to conclusions. My friend told me to trust my intuition, but I, like my terrier, am a blockhead.

For reference, I had recently gotten a divorce, but was still in residence with my ex. Civility is my mode of conduct. I kept my position neutral, sleeping on the couch as had become the norm the past year of my discontent. He still cooked my dinner, I still did the rest. We cohabited as out-of-necessity roommates.

The apartment was ideal, renovated, with original, dark hardwood floors, two-bedrooms; one assigned as my painting studio, I was set to start my new life. Every small treasure moved, alone, the confines of my little Miata, expanded to full capacity, each trip consuming an hour drive-time, I learned the art of making each second count toward my independence. The remaining furniture would involve purchasing the time and bodies of professional movers.

My choice cemented, the date scheduled, I was laid off. One more hurdle that left me reeling, adrenaline coursing, my panic reeking havoc on my ability to see straight, I somehow had to get myself in my car and home in the appropriately driving rain. The morning of my surprise, I grabbed my painting "on loan" at my now former workplace and medications taken during each day of the last seven years of my thirteen employed at my "home away from home", and dutifully, but absently, returned goodbye hugs to those that approached me in my hysterical state, as I repeatedly muttered, "what am I going to do?" One co-worker, a woman of absolutes, said "you have to go on with your plans". She was right.

'nough said

Haulin' ass

Relaying my news via phone on the rainy ride home, crying without disguise or apology, I called my friend in Florida, my mom and my ex. Their shock mirrored my own. The following few days, I drank too much, became morose, my blathering turned dark. My ex threatened calling "the men in white coats", sobering me up. My life needed no more complications.

Moving day dawned blistering hot. The moving truck arrived at the bottom of the long, steep driveway, spilling out three men; two Bosnians and one of Asian descent. I had organized the furniture for easy access, facilitating the most effortless transport from my exile into the truck. The whole round trip ticket took only 2-1/2 hours of sweat and tears. My precarious emotional state, heightened by the fear of my impending financial state, drove my tears as I explained my recent unemployment to the young, charismatic, Bosnian handling my personal belongings. With his handsome head down, he was silent, and when he spoke, softly, kindly, with his Bosnian accent, he said, "I am very sorry". A stranger conveyed understanding, sincerity, empathy and exactly what I needed at that moment. The worse was yet to come.

The unspoken deal

Goin' with my gut

Upon arrival at my new digs, the older Bosnian, who spoke little English, and the Asian, did most of the laborious task of bringing my furniture from the truck into my new home. It did not go unnoticed, either by myself of the other two movers, that Mr. Hollywood spent a good deal of his time "hanging out", smoking a few of my cigarettes on the back stoop, employing his well practiced smile and assuring me "You no worry, you get job...a better job", that I did not look my age and that my body gave him hope in growing older. He was the man with the contract, the one I paid. He made mention that he would put my queen-sized, brass bed together at no cost because "You not working". Word on the street convinced me that the Bosnian community here was comprised of "good, hard-working people" so I squelched my suspicions and chalked up his offer to the sentiment I'd heard from so many. My phone number in tow on the contract he mislaid, necessitating a suspicious, about-face return to my apartment, left me uneasy. He looked disappointed when I told him I could manage the bed...no need to take the time from his busy work filled days.

One afternoon, roughly two weeks after my move, there was a knock on the door. The building I now call home has a security system. The outer doors lock automatically, necessitating the use of a phone system and a code located front and center in the courtyard for entry. I assumed the landlord was at my door, but rather, upon opening the door, noticed that one of the residents had jammed a hefty newspaper under the door to secure it open for personal convenience, allowing anyone to enter unencumbered. I was surprised to see Mr. Hollywood, looking innocent and sweaty from the day's hard work. He said he was a man of his word and wanted to help me put the bed together. I had already accomplished that feat, alone, but did not have the wrench I needed to fully secure the headboard to the foot-board. He said he would check it and tighten the bolts to stabilize the frame, which he did in short order. I thanked him and assured him I appreciated his expertise, although I'd accomplished the difficult part on my own.

He came across to the opposite side of the bed where I stood facing the bed. In an instant, before I could realize his intent, he shoved me face down on the bed, pulled up my skirt. pulled down my pantyhose and attempted to rape me. I wrenched away slightly so he could not enter me, started crying and begged him to stop. I could not tell you my exact words; something to the effect that I had just gotten divorced, lost my job and could not handle any more negatives. He stopped and said, "What the big deal, only once". He did not rape me. Instead, he presented another agenda. He said we could be good business friends. He explained that he has many friends trapped in Bosnia under horrific conditions. I could be a ticket out for some of them if I would consent to marriage "in name only" in exchange for $10,000 cash. In six months, I could divorce this phantom husband and go on to marry another for another deposit in my account. At this point, I just wanted him gone. I did not mention reservations about federal laws and imprisonment. Right then, I was a prisoner in my home and I wanted freedom from him on the other side of the door.

I pacified the Bosnian by telling him I needed time to get my house in order and would let him know about his business proposition. He called me several times thereafter, and I ignored the calls when Caller ID announced his intrusion. I chose to not involve the police as I have no more faith in them than any stranger.

I am a grown up now. Naivete is just another word for stupid. If I must err, it will be on the side of caution. When I consider the possibilities of what might have happen, rape is not the worst. If he had snapped my neck, alone as I was, it would have been the smell of decomp that would have announced my fate. So, fuck the auto pilot, Miss Manner's etiquette that allows a stranger to stand too close or become too familiar too soon. I'm goin' with my gut.

And so it goes....

You gotta hold on

42 comments

epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

...well I guess I gotta give you ten wows for this story - so here goes - wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow wow - I have, as you know, a pretty overdeveloped imagination and I couldn't even to begin to come up with something like this - lol lol - and inbetween all this(real-life) drama and tension comes Bob Dylan and Tom Waits - right out of the blue. Like I said when we first met - you're a damned exciting writer and you can't teach this 'craft' to anyone - and you either have it or you don't - and honey you definitely got it!!!!!!

Also in passing - anyone who has Tom Waits (and a video) in their hub is an instant hero with me!!!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Wild thang, I think I love you. And you know who you are.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 6 years ago

....and there's nothing wrong with The Troggs .... neither!!!! Or any other of your musical selections - I'd love to play your jukebox any time of the day or the night - or in the words of one of my favorite Kinks' tune - ALL DAY AND ALL OF THE NIGHT!!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I love your openmindedness. It is a sign of pure intellect. I think the best comics also have the best brains. I've noticed many of your poems have high comedic value.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Epigramman, you make my heart sing!


drbj profile image

drbj 6 years ago from south Florida

Well, Amy, based on this hub it would appear that you do not lack the raw and real material for many, many interesting hubs. In the meantime, keep those locks on your door securely fastened. I look forward to reading more of your (?) adventures.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Wow, your comment is so intuitive. I was just over at my friend's apt to take her pup for his final walk of the day and we were discussing the deadbolt locks on our doors. I told her about the "mailman" from my last place of employment who called me on my cell today. He got my unlisted number from some numb nuts at work. He's the mailman so he can easily find where I live. Maybe fodder for another hub unless he hunts me down and kills me. Maybe just in time for Halloween. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment, drbj.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

What a harrowing tale. Some men are scumbags. You are under much stress. Chill.


Cheeky Girl profile image

Cheeky Girl 6 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

Wow, that is a scary thing to have happen to you. Personally I'd have called the police or someone to formalise in some way what happened. What if the Bosnian came back? What if he'd done it to other women? Well, it's a harrowing learning lesson. Glad you got through it in one piece.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Ya know, James, I'm not so sure he was a scumbag. Bosnia is not a good place to be now. I wonder if becoming desensitized by seeing abhorrent daily violence hasn't affected his abilily to clearly see boundaries. However, it was frightening for me and definitely moved my boundaries back a notch. No matter what, though, I'll never live in a bubble. Thanks for reading and commenting, James. Your writing is awesome.

Cheeky Girl: The fact that he mentioned he lived 5-minutes from me actually made me more reticent to involve police. I know that in many cases, the perpetrator gets a slap on the wrist, only enraging him and ultimately the victim is victimized again. Too many women with restraining orders die. The fact that he did stop is a good sign and makes me think he is confused about acceptable behavior in America. I think his experiences in Bosnia damaged his attitude about "what's a big deal". He thought it was "no big deal". Live and learn. Thanks for reading and commenting. I look forward to reading more of your adventures!


HSchneider 6 years ago from Parsippany, New Jersey

Wow Amy, that was harrowing. You had me on the edge of my chair with this story. I can just imagine the terror you felt during this episode. I'm very glad to hear you came out of this incident physically unscathed. I also tend to trust people a bit too much though I also have my skeptical antennae up. Sometimes one just tends to goof though yours could have been catastrophic. I hope this didn't mess you up too much emotionally. I doubt it since you sound like one tough woman. Hang in there Amy.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your understanding without judgement. I have been finding that the people contributing to hubpages are a group of very kind intellectuals. It has made it possible for me to unload some revelations that, otherwise, would go unsaid. It has been one of the most exhilarating, freeing experiences of my life. I'm hooked and along for a walk on the wild side. Thank you for your honest input. It enables me to keep communicating.


Lucky Cats profile image

Lucky Cats 6 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

Amazing story, Amy! Thank goodness you came out of it in one piece! Great relating of a potentially terrible experience..I love your use of some "quotes," or 'cliche' s" ie: "...year of my discontent." This life can surely be challenging at times. Maybe I'll write a hub about the time I was a "naive" young hitchiker traveling up and down the west coast...and the 'oh so nice' trucker who tried to do the "thang" only to fail thus throwing me out of his truck in the middle of nowhere and the middle of the night...but, physically unscathed, I live to tell the tale! Two thumbs up on this one, Amy!!!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I knew you were a "smart cookie", Lucky Cats. You picked up on the catch phrase exactly as intended. I'm sure your "adventure" would not only be extremely well written, but a warning, for other young, innocents, who think nothing bad will ever happen to them. As always, thank you so much for your comments.


ghomefitness profile image

ghomefitness 6 years ago from Chicago,IL

You can look at it two ways, it was a really bad situation with a better outcome than most. You learned a good lesson and through your persuasive skills talked your way out of a much worse outcome. We can hope that was a luck changer and things go up from there. Thanks for sharing and get a big dog.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your input, Ghomefitness. My Scottish Terrier is a terror. He sounds ferocious from behind a door. Although, he is not a big dog, he acts like he is and his nature is aggressive and territorial. Had he been moved in with me at the time, the incident would never have happened. I saved moving him last to avoid stressing him with the chaos of the move. Thank you for time and comments.


A.A. Zavala profile image

A.A. Zavala 6 years ago from Texas

This was such a wrenching tale. The attempted assualt coupled with the long list of everything else that has happened to you would have caused weaker people to buckle and fade away. Thanks for sharing the story.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 6 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for checking this out and your heartfelt commentary. This was a lesson learned and I feel incredibly fortunate that the only consequences were emotional. Of my relatively recent trials, this was actually the least traumatic, as I felt like it was my gullibility that enabled this situation. It was my job loss that still levels me. Thank you for coming over to see me. I appreciate your time and comments.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

Damned! Why people love to take a chance on other's misfortune! Yo should send him to jail, Amy. This is horrible incident and he can do this to another girl too! I'm sorry for what you already through, dear. Wish you have great life now. Big hug!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Freya, I felt so completely alone and scared as it was, I am sorry, but I could not take on any more. Fairly recently, I noticed someone had been sleeping up against the outside of my bedroom window. I found the blankets, cigarette butts, and a pair of shoes. I called the police to have someone come out and check on it. I explained to the dispatcher that I lived alone, walk my dog at night and sometimes take out my trash to the dumpsters in back. She told me "no, just call us if you see him". I expect and have never gotten any real concrete help from the police. I actually feel safer in not having involved them in the experience with the movers. I have to trust myself because I've not gotten one concrete iota of help from anyone here. Recently, a 72 year old Vietnamese man and his wife were attacked not far from my apt. Walking home from the store, as they did not drive, 4 young people (2) girls and (2) boys, punched them and when they fell, kicked them, killing the man. Someone videotaped the event, but did not attempt to actually help. We have become a nation of voyeurs with technology out the ass, but the way of the day is to "not get involved". Just take pictures. It makes me sick, ashamed and afraid. Thank you Freya. In the event I come across someone needing help, I will act and think about it later.


Freya Cesare profile image

Freya Cesare 5 years ago from Borneo Island, Indonesia

That is scary! How can people let that happening? Here at my country we also not really want to lean on cop. Not because they will not help, but because there are too many corrupt cop which need to be 'pay' for his service or we will only get an awful service from him. For this, neighbourhood usually decided to gathers money to pay for security service or they will doing the service with shift themselves, maybe one night a month, depending on how many family are live in the neighborhood. It kind of little lose right now but several neighborhood still do this every single night. Very good in keeping the place become safe to live in and created great harmony and closeness with everyone. Nothing is worst than have to live if fear every single day. Wish you always save.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, sweet Freya. Yes, there is corruption here, too. The police are not paid very well for all the risk they take and I suppose there is some resentment. Also, due to the economic straits now, there are many communities with few police left on the job as there have been many layoffs. Some of the most crime-ridden areas have next to no protection. I imagine fear can even create more crime. Many arms themselves and that can be disasterous. Thank you for your kind wishes.


Sylvia's Thoughts profile image

Sylvia's Thoughts 5 years ago from Southern California

You are quite a story teller! This was very visual. It also shows how important it is for women to be ever watchful. So...when do we start working on the screenplay???


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I swear, Sylvia, for awhile it seemed like everything in my life was turning into one, big, soap opera. I was glad I could get it out in writing, because it all sounded too ridiculous in the telling to be believable. Nevertheless, it is the truth. It was a daunting way to begin living alone, having just been laid off, too. I was a mess. Thanks for checking this one out, Sylvia. I want to read your latest. I started it yesterday and got waylaid. It looks like a firecracker!


Jlava73 profile image

Jlava73 5 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

Girl what a horrible ordeal. Glad he wasn't able to accomplish the intended rape but be careful and alert cause this creep could be lurking around still.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you for your concern, Jlava. I've actually found some of my "so-called" friends to be more deceptive than the moving guy. It can be disheartening, but its all part of growing up. I'm much wiser for the bad experiences.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Amy - when I visit - looking at your hub titles - I feel like a kid in a candy store! I'm not sure which to choose and so excited because either way - it's sweet. Now I happened to click on this tonight. First, you are an artist with that typewriter. I read you - I see you as a real woman - with the perils of this. It is your street smarts that helped you avoid being raped. Thank goodness that inner voice kicked in and you did not respond as he expected. I believe it threw him off (literally and figuratively).

I love everything about your writing. It is mature and I love the language use....it's always so intelligently laid out. Keep pushing on...!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear RealHousewife, You have no idea how much your words mean to me here and now. I've hit a point where I feel, dare I say, afraid. I guess things happen in bundles...joy or not so much. My online writing at AMS has dried up. They hired so many writers there hasn't been one available topic in several weeks now. I submitted an article to Vogue, but haven't heard anything, which could be good, actually. At least, they haven't yet said no thanks. I have recently entered a writing contest and am writing a story for a Ladies Home Journal (check out their website, Real, you are a fantastic writer). I haven't given up, but I'm feeling overwhelmed. In a years time, with no income, funds begin to dwindle and its scary. At this point, I should use my "dog poop scooping" experience and, quite frankly, would do that for pay or housecleaning. In fact, its much more appealing than the thought of office work to me now.

I adore writing. Its fun, but actually making a living at it, takes more time than I've got. I'm exploring the "hardship" route in trying to pry the monies my first ex owes me from his 401K at the time of his retirement. We were married 19-years and divorced in 1994. Whether he retires at 65 or later, under the circumstances, I read online that there are provisions whereby I can acquire it now without taxes taken out due to my unemployment and the poor chances of re-entering the job market any time soon. Once I get my answers on that, I'll feel a lot more secure.

So, thank you for your wonderful words to me. You have bolstered me up when I needed it most.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Amy - if I could make you feel better for just a second today - I am so glad! I've had times like that - when all it seems to do is rain shit. I can remember getting up in the morning and thinking today is going to be a better day than yesterday.....I mean when does bad luck run out, right? But it does and you could be on the cusp of it this very moment. You are super entertaining - very professional with a sharp whit. You always hit the nail on the head and say it as it is!

I know the season is changing - things are starting to pick up business wise and every time it does - the economy starts heading in the right direction....but I have to say....I would NOT want to go back to working in an office either! I haven't done that in years and I find it is just too noisy for me. I don't want to cloud my head with so much of other people's lives as I would like to write about them:-) lol. So I believe you're totally turning things around with each little direction you follow. And keep me posted!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Thank you, RealHousewife, for your understanding and compassion and encouragement. The problem I'm finding is the fact I've been unemployed for a year now, and especially at an age close to retirement. That's why I think the only way is as an independent. Its just a matter of coming up with a simple yet overlooked idea. I used to cut hair (got my barber's license @ Belleville Barber College, yes, "College")so maybe I could open a barber/dog poop scooper/poetry/painting joint. LOL Its good to laugh! I am a believer in "where there's a will, there's a way.


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

I do believe in the power of positive thinking. You think you can and you will! And laughing beats out everything. I do independent work because I love it! I know you would too - it works nicely to be able to write and do your other creative work. I so hope it turns around quickly and who cares how old you are when you write - have you ever heard of The Writers Market? It has oodles and oodles of addresses (it's a directory basically with rules for submissions) and how much it would pay, I bet you have a copy!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

No, Real, I've never even heard of The Writer's Market. Is it online? I'll check it out. Thanks for a terrific idea! You are one adorable, resourceful woman!


RealHousewife profile image

RealHousewife 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO

Oh Amy - you need to get a copy! I buy a new one every year to keep up. You can find it online and it has every single address to every single magazine. It tells you how much they pay per article upon acceptance, what types of articles that magazine is looking for - the editors address along with submission instructions!

It is updated every single year and I paid about 30 for mine...but I get it the second it comes out so I bet you can find a copy cheaper on amazon. I doubt rules change a ton from year to year but addresses might be changing for those that have gone out of business. Check it put - you will LOVE it:)


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

I looked it up online and read some fantastic things. This is exactly what I have been looking for. I am definitely going to get a copy. I was flying by the seat of my pants submitting to Vogue. Now I won't have to guess! I understand the book even gives you info on exactly what the magazines are looking for as to topics, and what they pay. Thank you RealHousewife, for "real", concrete help!


molometer profile image

molometer 5 years ago

O my word Amy,

I feel guilty about laughing at the opening paragraph now. it was funny.

Damn what a roller coaster ride this story is.

It had me gripped all the way through and I wanted to reach in and strangle that Bosnian batsard.

What a day you had hey? and then Mr Hollywood tries to put the move on you what a feckur.

Damn that makes me so mad, tossers like that give all men a bad name, to our shame.

I'm thankful that you managed to keep your composure and got rid of him.

Buy A Tazer and zap the next MoFo that tries any of that BS.

I would have liked to say great story but what does one say? Thanks for sharing isn't enough really.

Voted up useful interesting and resourceful but there isn't a button for that or courage.

Well done, don't let the batsards get you down.

Ps Do you like what I did with the profanities? they still work hey. The power of words never cease to amaze me. Did they make you smile? I hope so.

PPS I Love Dylan always have always will.


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 5 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear molometer, I absolutely love your way with language. And, of course, I wanted you to laugh, too. I "think" the way I "write" and humor and the element of surprise is always more interesting than a "downer".

I did laugh at the very outset of your commentary, which I enjoyed from start to finish. "O my word" is not something one hears everyday and it is very endearing. And, "tossers" is a new word for me, but quite descriptively appropriate.

Thank you kindly, molometer, for giving my story your time and attention. I appreciate your very engaging and honest commentary.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

My goodness, that was a devastating couple of weeks for you!

I hope your wounded wing is healed, and you are now soaring to heights you once only imagined!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Tom, No soaring yet, but each day a new opportunity arises and I keep writing. I've had a number of letters read on-air on our local PBS "Donnybrook", I've had a letter published in Vogue and one in Elle. I also, recently entered a contest by Elle magazine. Just yesterday I submitted a "column" piece to a local newspaper looking for a couple of new writers for "Opinion Shapers". I don't know whether it's a paying gig or not, but either way would be an opportunity to be read. And, you never know who's reading!

Thank you for coming by and supporting my efforts. And, thank you for your fantastic wishes.


Tom Koecke profile image

Tom Koecke 4 years ago from Tacoma, Washington

Well, dear, you may not be traveling through the stars yet, but, to me, it sounds like you are soaring!


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

You've got a great positive attitude, Tom. You're a good influence on me! Thank you


Jo_Goldsmith11 profile image

Jo_Goldsmith11 4 years ago

wow! Amy! This sure is something else! I agree, "to hell with miss manners"! Bless your ever loving and beautiful heart! I hope the days are getting easier..and the laughter comes quickly. :) sending you hugs and circling you in prayer of protection and peace...


Amy Becherer profile image

Amy Becherer 4 years ago from St. Louis, MO Author

Dear Jo, What a sweetheart you are. Thank you for your support especially with hugs and a prayer of protection and peace.

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