(photo source)

Her mother had warned her about sleazy men with shifty eyes and leering grins, but she had failed to warn her that she would encounter many men, and women too, as she went out into the world, who appeared to be kind and good and totally trustworthy, but in fact were none of that. 
Kiana had been raised to be trusting and open, eager to make new friends, and all too willing to let them into her life.  Piece-by-piece her heart was broken as those she let get close to her turned out to be much different than what they presented.  Her mother, always pragmatic, said "That's just life, Kiana, learn to be a bit more careful and watch for signs that things are not exactly as they seem."
When Sheldon came into her life Kiana thought she'd finally met The One... the man who was everything she dreamed of and with whom she wanted to share her life. Sheldon was a few years older than Kiana, but maturity suited him well.  He had a good job with a banking firm, and played important roles in the community and his church.  He treated Kiana like a princess, with flowers and fancy dinners, and lovely things to wear.  He talked sweetly and paid attention to what she said and what she liked.  He opened doors, and spoke of her glowingly to all his friends.
Eventually Sheldon convinced Kiana that it was time for her to move in with him. So she ended her apartment lease, and took up residence in his lovely home. At first everything seemed perfect to those on the outside, like a fairytale romance was being played out before their eyes.   Then Kiana's appearances with Sheldon in public became less frequent, and her mother noticed that she often didn't respond to calls or texts for days.  When asked about it, she said that she was just so busy with Sheldon and their life together, and didn't have a lot of time to keep in touch.
Kiana finally agreed to meet up with her mother with lunch one day a few months later.  Her mother was shocked to see her daughter looking so thin and pale; dark circles underneath her eyes barely concealed by makeup.  Once again Kiana had an answer, stating that she'd been sick with the flu, and was starting to feel better now.  Her mother wasn't all that sure though, the usually bubbly Kiana was now quiet, and something just seemed off.  The friends Kiana had before she met Sheldon also told her mother that they rarely heard from her and she was never willing to go out.  She had even dropped off Facebook and Twitter, and gone were the days of sparkling posts about the new love of her life.
Sheldon failed to show up at work one Monday morning.  When his boss called him on his cellphone, he responded that he and Kiana had gone to the mountains over the holiday weekend, and had problems with their airplane connections coming back. He assured his boss that he would be in tomorrow, but he wasn't.  Kiana's mom was also worried, and the few texts she'd exchanged with Kiana in the last few days seemed strange, not her usual manner and style of responding, and then, since Sunday there had been no response at all.  She called Sheldon, who said not to worry, that Kiana had been sick again, but was doing just fine now and they were at the airport and headed home.  He said that they were in the process of  boarding the plane, but promised to have Kiana call her Mom as soon as their plane had landed. 
That was the last contact anyone had with Sheldon or with Kiana.  Police investigators found records indicating that the couple had travelled to Mexico the prior Friday, but that only Sheldon had returned to San Francisco the following Monday.  Sheldon never returned to his job or his house and his Mercedes was never found. The case remains unsolved, without leads warranting more investigation.
Things are not always as they seem then, those who appear to be good guys may prove in the long run to be the worst.  Relationships are always infused with risk, and yet we continue to attempt them, and we must.  But be aware of the warning signs for yourself, your sister, your daughter, or your friend. If something tells you in your gut that it isn't right or as it appears, don't hesitate to investigate, and if it's your relationship don't hesitate to run!
This was written for Two Shoes Tuesday
where the theme choices this week are target and deceived.
If you enjoy writing, come and join us!


  1. Good advise, hard to give and hard to hear, but good advise nonetheless.

  2. Josie I think this is a wonderful post demonstrating the two words for the week. So often things aren't as they seem, and people can be very manipulative. This is compounded by the fear of a victim for people to see the big mistake. Mental abuse can be even as damaging as physical abuse. Thanks for sharing this story.

  3. It can work this way, and it's awful. If you are concerned about a friend, do everything you can to get him/her out of the situation.

  4. Sadly in our world there are those that have a completely different set of values and think nothing of bartering others lives for profit. It is so important to be continually reminded of this by such excellent post such as this Josie. Unfortunately there are those with the charm and knack to fool the innocent despite the warnings.

  5. Chills up my spine reading the end of this story.

  6. I know I'm not like other people but I've never understood how people can put up with less than they deserve? I'm not talking about living in your in-laws home rather than your own house, I'm talking about being treated like garbage by someone that supposedly loves you.

    It makes my stomach ache reading this, and the true stories I'm sure inspired it. I want to help these women and kick the crap out of these kinds of guys. I want to give them my strength so they don't have to endure the fear.

    Hard read but good post.

  7. Wow! You certainly can weave a great tale. Scary but it often happens like this in real life. That photo you used with it was perfect for your subject material.

  8. Am sure this happens all over the world, Josie.
    There was a Hindi Bollywood Movie in which the parents cannot trace their only daughter after she gets married...
    They are so upset about it that in the movie, they go about solving & setting right cases of unhappy couples.
    You are very right that we must try to help & to do whatever we can & ring alarm-bells. Better be safe.
    Yhese days we can't trust anyone...

    1. *These*
      spelling error in my reply above :)

  9. Sometimes truth is hard to hear like in your story. Sad that this is too often not a fictional tale.


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