Alexandria and her Imaginary Lover
By the age of twenty six Alexandria had never been kissed. In fact she had never had a boyfriend. Her mother would often tell her that she was different. She was an angel sent from heaven to bless people and stay pure. But the reality was that Alexandria had an intellectual disability. It broke her mother’s heart to see her daughter sink into a world of fantasy and loneliness. While other people her age were experiencing love, marriage, heart break and children, Alexandria was a secluded lifetime spectator.
Both Alexandria and her mother lived in the town of Los Tuxtlas Mexico. What was unique about it was it was well renowned for having witches perform black magic. Most people who lived there believed that all illnesses, accidents and misfortunes were caused by la maldad negra, the black evil.
One day Alexandria started acting strange. All of a sudden she had an imaginary lover. She would call him Juan Pablo, describing him as the most caring generous man she had met. She was finally alive! Hardly ever having left the confines of her house, she would now walk into town hand in hand with this nonexistent man talking to air and at night she would cry out in ecstasy from her bed. Her mother would then rush to her bed to discover it was covered in the sweat from her delusional pleasure with the imaginary Juan Pablo.
"My dear girl! Juan Pablo does not exist, it's all in your head." Her mother would tell her time and time again, only to witness more bitter resentment and accusations.
"You're just jealous. You want me all to yourself forever. Mother you're sick!" Alexandria would shout back.
Schizophrenia the doctors would say, yet no doctor or priest could help her. Her mother had no choice but to approach another witch in Veracruz. He was to remove the black evil by bringing in la poder blanca – the white powder to overtake her madness. The day after the white prayer had been performed, Alexandria woke up in silence, stared into blank space, and refused to leave her room or eat for weeks. "Juan Pablo left me, mi amor left me!" she would cry over and over. She got so thin her collar bones stuck out and her eyes had lost the spark they had when she was in her invented world of elation.
In time, her mother began to wonder if the mad are at times happier than supposed sane people and didn’t want to be cured. So what if she wanted to believe in a fantasy that lifted her heart and brought her happiness. Was it a crime to live in a make-believe world? Eventually she realised that whatever had happened to her daughter what not a curse, but a blessing.