Dodging A Scam
© Copyright 2021 by Talara Nolan
We were sitting in the car like we did, sitting in the same parking lot like always. There was a routine about him that was both boring and somehow comforting at the same time. I did enjoy spending time with him, he was my boyfriend after all, so no matter how much I found it boring I never said anything.
“So I’m planning on going back to Morocco to see my family in about 4 months,” Joe said to me, looking so lovingly at me, I thought.
“How long are you going for?”
“A month. I’ve had this planned for a long time.”
“A month? That’s a very long time,” was all I managed to say.
What was going to happen to our relationship, I thought to myself. Could I really wait a month for him to come back?
“Why don’t you come with me?”
I sat there for a minute in shock. That was not the answer I thought was going to happen.
So I just said, “Come with you? Seriously?”
“Of course. I don’t want to be apart from you for that long.”
For a few minutes I just sat there unsure what to say. Yes it was a romantic gesture, but could I really do this?
“I mean, thank you, but I can’t get a month off of work. Especially not right before Christmas.”
“Well, I assumed you will quit your job. You hate it any way.”
“Quitting sounds nice, but I still have rent to pay. It’s not that simple.”
“Yes it is. You will move in with me. There would be no point in both of us paying rent.”
I took a deep breath trying to regain my thoughts. I looked at him in his eyes and saw how serious he was. I don’t even think that he thought it was a big deal at all.
“Are you serious?”
Without thinking, I answered, “Okay, sure.”
And he kissed me without another word.
on the subway on the way home that night I couldn’t help but to
wonder what had just happened. Did I really just agree to change my
whole life? How did that even happen? Was I making the right
The next day going to work I couldn’t help but to laugh when I started to tell people my plan. My assistant and my friend, Fran, was coming into work at one that day. So I had a long morning to wait and think about her reaction. Consider all the different things that she was going to say. I tried to stop thinking about it, but I just couldn’t.
“So how was your night?” she started when she got there.
“Well…” I laughed.
“What did you do?”
“Well Joe asked me to go to Morocco with him.”
“Wow that’s exciting.”
“For a month.”
“Excuse me? A month? Seriously?”
I couldn’t help but to laugh, “yep a month.”
“Are they going to let you take a month off work?”
“Well I figured not so much. So we agreed that I would quit and move in with him,” I said it and watched her face in shock. I couldn’t help but to laugh at it.
“Oh my god. That’s insane. You haven’t even know each other for that long.”
“I know, it was his idea.”
“Why on earth would you agree to it?”
“He made some good points. He is going, he planned it before we met. He doesn’t want for us to be separate for that long. I agree with him, but the reality is that for me to go there is no way I can work here. I hate working for this company anyways, so I should be looking to leave. This way it’s the best of both worlds.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Not really, still figuring it out. But I think that it’s a good idea.”
“Oh my goodness. There’s something about this that just isn’t right. You need to seriously think about this. You are going to go over there and have no one else. They don’t even speak English over there. What if something happens to you? Have you even considered that?”
I didn’t say anything, I wasn’t sure what to say. I knew she had some good points of course, but I think I so badly wanted for him to mean it.
That night it was all I could think about. Was this the right decision? She had made some good points to me. I knew that I should have listened as I knew that she only wanted the best for me. Then the phone rang.
“Hello,” I answered.
“Hi,” I heard Mike, my ex, on the other end.
“I’m hanging up,” I said quickly.
“No, don’t. Please hear me out.”
“Why the heck should I? There is nothing left to say.”
Mike and I had dated before I was with Joe. We had dated on and off for years. It was anything but a smooth road. He had played me and left me for his crazy ex-girlfriend. To say that he had hurt me was an understatement.
“I’m sorry, I’m very sorry for everything that I did.”
“You aren’t sorry, there is just no way that is true. What do you want?”
“I do mean it. I love you. I just had to close the chapter so that we can be together.”
“So that we can be together? Are you insane? There is no way that I am going to be with you. You are only going to hurt me again. We both know that. Besides, I’ve moved on.”
“You’ve moved on? You have someone else?”
I took a deep breath to regain my thoughts for a moment. I was trying so hard not to get angry, but just hearing his voice made me angry.
“Yes, I have a boyfriend. I’m happy, so please just go away.”
“You don’t even know what I’ve been through.”
“I don’t care what you have been through.”
“She destroyed my house. I just got out of the hospital.”
“Oh,” I wasn’t sure what else to say to that.
I know the thing to say is that you are sorry, feel bad for the person. But after everything that he had done to me, I knew that there was no way I could feel bad for him. In fact, it sort of made me happy to hear it.
“My parents are going to kill me. I don’t know what to do, and I have no one.”
It was that moment that I couldn’t help but to feel bad for him.
“I’m sorry to hear that really. But what did you think was going to happen? You thought that she wasn’t going to go crazy on you.”
“I believed her.”
“Like I believed you.”
“Yes I guess so. Please come and help me.”
“Come and help you? No, of course not. My boyfriend won’t like that every much.”
“How serious is it with this guy? It can’t be that serious.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Well how long has it been? It couldn’t have been that long that you guys have been together.”
“So you can’t be that serious.”
“Whatever you want to tell yourself, but you’re wrong.”
“How am I wrong? He doesn’t really care for you. You know that he can’t feel for you like I do.”
I paused considering if I should tell the truth. I wanted to defend our relationship, tell him how wrong he was. But at the same time I didn’t want his option either.
“We aren’t serious? Well we are. We are going on vacation, and then moving in together. We have a lot of plans.”
“You are moving in together, seriously?”
“Yes, he’s going back to see his family for a month and has asked me to come with him. So we are going to move in together right before we leave.”
“What about your job?”
“I’m quitting. So we are very serious really. So I just can’t do this with you.”
“What? He has another motive you know. He doesn’t mean it and doesn’t care for you.”
“You don’t even know him, there is no way that you can know that is true.”
“I know men and that is all that I need to know. He doesn’t love you, he doesn’t care for you. You know that I am the only guy that loves you like I do. He’s trying to scam you I’m telling you. You are going to see that I am right.”
“I just can’t deal with this, I’m sorry really I am for everything that you are going through. But I just can’t do this.”
I hung up and couldn’t sleep that night. I laid there thinking, thinking of all the different options that I had. Thinking of all the ways that things could go wrong. I was afraid that he was right.
I saw Joe a few days later. As we sat in the car, as always, there were a million things going through my head. I didn’t know what to say or where to start to ask all of my many questions. He started talking about the trip.
“Are you sure you want to do this with me?” I asked.
“Of course, why? Are you not sure?”
I took a deep breath, unsure how to answer the question. So I just answered, “I don’t know. It’s just a big step. I want to make sure that you are ready for it.”
“I won’t have asked you if I wasn’t sure. Where is this coming from?”
I just looked down unable to look at him and say all the things that I was really thinking.
“I don’t want to be without you. Of course I’m sure. That’s why I asked you in the first place. I’m not having second thoughts at all. I hope that you aren’t. Did you tell anyone?”
“And people got into your head. That’s why you are having second thoughts. Don’t let people talk you out of this. We are going to be together and be happy. Don’t tell anyone else.”
“Because I know you and I know that you will listen to their opinion. They don’t know me and they don’t know us either. This is our decision and has nothing to do with anyone else.”
“Okay,” was all that I could say.
As I went home that night I couldn’t get his words out of my mind. Why didn’t he want me to tell anyone? I was going to be moving and leaving most of my life behind. I couldn’t exactly do that and not tell anyone, could I? But at the same time I did understand what he was saying. I did have a habit of listening to other people, and maybe even changing my thoughts based on what other people tell me. But I just had a feeling deep down inside that something was off, and I wasn’t sure what it was or how to place it.
A few days later I was going to meet my friend, Sierra, for dinner. We both worked for the same company at different locations. So for the first while of us talking we only talked about work.
Then she asked me, “What else is new with you? No more work talk.”
I opened my mouth, and before I could think I said, “Well, Joe asked me to go to Morocco with him.”
“Really? That’s so cool, when are you going?
“Like September, months away still. But we are going to for a month. He had planned this trip to see his family before we met. And he doesn’t want to be gone that long without me.”
“A month? A month? They are not going to let you take a month off work so close to Christmas.”
“I know, so I am going to be quitting. I’m going to move in with him just before we leave.”
At first, she just sat there just staring at me. I’m sure that she wasn’t sure what to say to me.
“Are you sure that is a good idea?”
I took a deep breath and said, “Yes, I care for him and I don’t want to be without him for that long. I don’t like my job, so really I shouldn’t be trying to stay there anyway.”
“I guess, but I don’t think that is a good idea. You are putting a lot on him and on this relationship. You are going over there where you don’t speak the language. What if something happens to you?”
“Nothing is going to happen. He won’t let anything happen to me.”
“I really don’t know about this. It’s a dangerous thing you are doing.”
“No it isn’t. He won’t do that.”
“You haven’t known him long enough to really know that is true. I’ll support you no matter what you do, but you should really think about this. This could go so wrong. You won’t know anyone there and won’t know the language. No one will be able to come help you if something goes wrong over there. So just do me a favor and think about it.”
left that dinner just thinking about her words. I knew that she was
trying to look out for me and that she meant well. At first, I
wondered if she were right, maybe this was a bad idea. Then I
remembered what Joe had said to me, that he had told me not to tell
anyone. And I could see why he told me not to listen to people, maybe
he was right, and I couldn’t let anyone else’s opinion of
what I was doing effect my decision at all.
I hadn’t been able to think about anything else other than what my friend had said. I kept trying to tell myself that I was making the right decision. But what if I wasn’t, what if she was right. I spent the weekend at Joe’s. I was trying to pretend that I was okay and that I was on board with our plan still. We went out to eat and as we sat in the car afterwards he made a video call to his family. Something that I had seen before.
“I miss my family so much. You have to understand, it’s not the same as you. Your family is here and you can see them. I haven’t seen them in two years.”
“I know, that’s a long time. I know you miss them, but we will see them soon.”
“Well you know that I talked to a lawyer about getting my brother here.”
“Getting him here? Like him moving here?”
“Yes, I want at least one of my family here.”
“He would do that, he wants to do that?”
“Of course, this is a great country. I want him here with me, but it’ll cost me a lot of money.”
“How much money?”
“Like 20,000 almost he said.”
“Wow, that’s a lot. I wish I could help.”
There was a pause, and then he said, “Well you could if you really wanted to. You could marry him since you are coming over any ways. Then I could give you the money instead of giving it to a stranger.”
“Oh, won’t I get in trouble for lying.”
“No, he can tell us how to do this. We all can live together so no one will know. It’s not like I don’t trust you. I know you won’t try to scam me.”
“That is true.”
“It would make me so happy.”
“Well I want you to be happy, so I will do it if it’ll make you happy.”
“Oh that makes me so happy.”
As I went home that day I couldn’t believe that I had agreed and that I had agreed so easily. What was I really thinking? I must have lost my mind. Not only was I changing my whole life for this, but I was going to marry my boyfriend’s brother. How was I going to tell my family? Was I going to tell anyone? The whole time my ex kept calling me. Every night I would get two phone calls; one from my ex, and from my boyfriend. I felt like I was being pulled in both directions all the time. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do, or what the right thing to do was.
I didn’t tell anyone about our new plan at first. I knew that I had to sort out my own thinking. But no matter how much I kept thinking I felt like I was still in this circle unable to get out of it. Joe asked me to meet him a few days later after work. We got our plane tickets and started planning. When I got my ticket I told myself that was it, decision made and there was no turning back.
Then he asked, “Give me your address.”
“It’s so my brother can send you something.”
“Why is he sending me something?”
“It’s to prove that you knew each other before you went there. They are going to want proof, and that’s one thing that we can do. Then I knew someone that can fake it online for them too.”
“Oh ok,” I wrote it down and then said to him, “You sure know a lot about this.”
“I’m making sure that nothing is going to happen to you. We need to do this right, I’m making sure we are doing it correctly.”
gave me his explanation and I believed him. Of course, I believed
him, he was my boyfriend I didn’t want to think that he was
trying to trick me.
The next day I was going to dinner with my friends from work to celebrate someone’s birthday. Fran and Sierra were both going to be there. I knew that Sierra would bring up my upcoming plans, and honestly I was worried about telling them the latest development of our plan. We had gotten through most of the dinner. I was starting to believe that maybe I was in the clear, and it wasn’t going to come up.
But right before we had dessert, Sierra asked, “So how goes the crazy plan?”
I couldn’t help, but to laugh.
Our friend, Dan, looked confused and asked, “What plan? What’s going on?”
I took a deep breath and answered, “Well Joe has a trip to Morocco planned to go see his family. He is going for a month, and has asked me to go with him. He doesn’t want to be away from me. Because it’s for a month I will be quitting, and moving in with him. There is no way that they would let me go away for a month right before Christmas, so if I go I would have to quit.”
“Wow, that’s a lot to take in,” was all that he could manage to get out.
Looking at him, I could see how shocked that he was.
So I just continued, “Well there has been more, actually. We got my plane ticket, so I guess I’m committed now.”
“Are you sure there are no other motivates to you going?” Sierra asked.
“What does that mean?”
“I told you that you need to be careful. You are going somewhere that you don’t even know the language. And I just feel like there is something else going on. He hasn’t asked you to do anything else has he?”
I just looked at them. Looking at their faces, I just couldn’t lie to them at that moment.
“What is it? There’s something isn’t there,” Sierra said with a look like she knew that she would right.
I took a deep breath and answered, “Well the other day we were talking. And he really does miss his family, and wants to find a way to bring his brother over here. He had a meeting with someone who was going to help, but it was going to cost a lot of money for it. So I agreed to help him.”
“Help him how?” Fran asked as they all looked at me hanging on every word.
I opened my mouth, telling myself to lie, but the words just came out, “I somehow agreed to marry his brother while I am over there, since I am going to be there anyways.”
“You what? You’re going to marry his brother? Just because,” Sierra almost yelled.
“Not for free. He’s going to end up buying me a car once we get back. Then when his brother gets here, we are all going to live together. It makes him happy, and I get something as well. That way he gives the money to me, instead of to a stranger.”
There were a few minutes of silence as they all had a look of shock on their faces.
Dan just said, “I didn’t see this conversation going this way. This is so much to take in.”
“I mean I don’t know about this, this seems like the craziest thing I have ever heard,” Fran said, clearly trying to say things as nice as possible.
Though Sierra was not that way at all. It was why I loved her, but sometimes it was also hard to hear. So she just came out with it, “You are just totally crazy. This is the most dangerous thing that you may have ever done. Just the trip alone is crazy enough. Now you realize that you could get in real trouble with this. They can figure it out, figure out that you are lying to them. What if your relationship with Joe doesn’t work out?”
“What about it?”
“You know that if you bring his brother over, then you are responsible for his brother even if you are not with Joe. You are responsible for him for a long time. Have you considered that?’
I just looked at her for a few minutes. Just letting things set it. Then I just said, “I don’t think that is going to happen. I am believing him that he won’t do that to me, and I need to trust him.”
I said the words, but if I was being honest with myself I wasn’t believing them. I just felt like if I just kept saying it, then I would believe it.
“I have known people that brought people over from other countries. When it didn’t work out, they tried to get divorced, but they were still forced to pay for that person because they brought them over. You really could get in trouble, and you need to really think about this.”
“Yeah, I think she might be right,” Fran said so nicely, “I’m not sure about this.”
I felt that dinner knowing that I wasn’t sure at all about the decisions that I was making in my life. If I was honest with myself I knew there was a part of me that knew they were right. I just didn’t want to admit it, I wasn’t ready to let go of the excitement and adventure of what was going on. As I was processing everything that my friends had said to me, Mike called me.
“I just can’t do this right now,” I said to him after I heard his voice.
“What’s wrong? You seem stressed.”
“Yes I am very stressed.”
“If you were doing the right thing, and making the right choice, then you won’t be as stressed about it.”
“It’s just a lot, a lot going on. A lot to think about.”
“It’s so dangerous what you are doing. It’s on the other side of the world, and you don’t even speak the same language.”
I didn’t have any more words left to say. I just took a deep breath.
“Come on you know that I am right,” Mike said, “Don’t go. You know that you shouldn’t be with him, and you should be with me.”
“I don’t know that. You hurt me so much you forget that. Besides, you are only saying this because I moved on, and you hate to see me with anyone else. Which is funny because you don’t want to be with me.”
“You know that isn’t true at all.”
“I don’t know that isn’t true. If I knew that wasn’t true, then I wouldn’t be with someone else. You just want me to always be waiting for you, waiting for you to come back. Well I’m not going to wait for you anymore, I’m going to move on with my life.”
I hung up so proud of myself. I was so happy that I had finally stood up for myself. But I couldn’t help but to wonder if I was right and if I believed the words that I said. I knew that I wanted to, I wanted to believe it, I wanted to believe in Joe and that everything would be okay. Deep down I also knew that there was a chance that everyone was right, could I really take this big of a risk.
Joe wanted to see me that night after work. Meeting up I was still shaken by everything my friends said and everything Mike had said as well. I couldn’t shut my brain off. I sat in that car staring out the window not really saying anything.
“What’s wrong?” he asked.
“Nothing, why do you think that something is wrong?”
“Because I know you. You are so quiet tonight, I know that something is wrong. Did you tell anyone about our full plans?”
I didn’t say anything, I just looked at him. I didn’t want to tell him the truth, but I couldn’t lie to him.
Finally, he said, “Okay who did you tell?”
“Some friends, they asked, and I couldn’t lie. It shouldn’t be a secret anyways.”
“I know, but look at you now I could see that it is effecting you.”
“I could get in trouble for lying to the government, like a lot of trouble. They just are trying to protect me.”
“I know what I’m doing, I won’t let anything bad happen to you.”
“What do you mean that you know what you are doing?”
“Well because I’ve done this before. So I know how to do it and make sure that you don’t get in trouble.”
“You’ve done this before?”
“Yeah, when I got married to come here. I came here as a tourist for a few weeks, and wanted to stay. I had met this girl, so we got married so that I could stay here. So I know what I am doing, and I won’t let anything happen to you.”
He kissed me. I wasn’t sure what to say, so I just kissed him back.
I was even quieter after that. Luckily for me, I left for a little while after that. Everything was going around my mind over and over again.
I knew at that moment that he had tricked me. Maybe he had thought of this plan the whole time, or maybe he thought of it part way through our relationship. Either way it didn’t really matter, did it? Here was the problem with what he said. When we had first meet, he had told me a very different story about his first wife and why they got married. He had told me that he wanted his wife to change some things. She had told me that she would change if they got married, so they got married, but she never changed. I remembered it because I thought that she had tricked him. When in fact it was the other way around. I knew at that moment that he had tricked me. But now I was too deep in this, could I even get out?
I walked through the mall on my way to the subway home, and started to cry. I tried to stop, but the tears just kept coming out. I went into a hallway, and fell to the ground crying.
At that exact moment Mike called my cell, I answered it without thinking.
“What’s wrong?’ Mike asked.
I told him what happened, that he had tricked me. He told me to come to his house.
Without thinking, I agreed.
I wasn’t sure what I was going to. All I knew was that I couldn’t go on that trip. It was a trick, and I was grateful that I knew the truth before I went there.
I am a single parent to a 4 year old girl and I currently live in Ontario, Canada. I have always been writing, though I have yet to be published anywhere. I have been a retail manager for over 15 years. I love to workout and spend time with my daughter in my spare time.