A bad man and the devils return…

(Entry 14. This dark chapter of my life is penned to the haunting sound of greenday-wake me up when September ends).

You have to understand…all my hours were devoted to seeing her, when not with her I thought about her, so, even a week apart was torture.
As you know I learned to balance my life when time apart came between us but! After our last summer together…I was struggling…cracks were beginning to show, I wandered around town, my mood conveyed the approaching storm…cracks were showing…and I didn’t care! Soon enough I could push her from my mind entirely…I had to didn’t i? What life was this?!? Only…the only way I could push her from my mind was with blind rage, because I didn’t want to stop thinking about her…I changed…and not in a good way…
With a reputation that followed me from Highschool and my appearance (6ft3 and 16 stone bodybuilder) it wasn’t long before I was approached by a bad man…he offered me work…like a fool, I gave the devil mouth to mouth and helped him up onto my back…truly it was the devils return…I became truly lost…the reputation from Highschool was replaced by one it would take me an age to remove…from that moment on I fed my rage, I was given unlimited supply of ‘good’ to do so…hurting people because I was hurting became my life…they bled, my hands bled…my heart bled and further and further she slipped from thought…and further and further I slipped from humanity. I was adored by the bad men…a champion in their world…nobody could stand against me because…in order to kill the beast…you have to become the beast…nobody could become what I was…and still a child…I hadn’t grown into what I am today (but today…I protect…not hurt). I was put into the most dangerous situations, I was stabbed, burned, hit with bars and bottles…but my evil was great…I was always the one to leave…if she saw me now…what would she think…who had I become…one day sat in my room in the early hours of the morning (sleep had been a thing of the past for a long time now). The room was silent…no breeze no open windows nothing…my shoebox fell from off the top of my cupboard…I froze staring at it…my memory box of her…instantly images of her flashed in my mind…I pushed them away quickly…I don’t remember what happened next…all I remember is waking with her letter in my hands…I jumped up and ran to where the bad man were…I unleashed the full force of my pain onto them…there are no more bad men in my town anymore…
I found myself outside a church, it was closed but that didn’t stop me staring up into the heavens and asking for forgiveness…
A lot happened in these dark months but I cannot tell this chapter full…for my sanity…and my soul…
So there I was, standing in the street alone in the world as I had frightened and distanced myself from everyone…and as though as in answer to my prayer…an elderly woman…walked past me, smiled and said ‘hello young man’…she didn’t see a beast…she saw a kid stood at the side of the road…nothing more…I said goodbye to those days and I had a nickname which I won’t reveal here…I said out load ”insert nickname here”…is dead’…and I hugged the devil and forgave him and like breath in the winter…he vanished…
Next…the wolf pack and lost days…

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Is there a name for this and gone with the wind…

(Entry 13-written to the beautiful Damien Rice-the blowers daughter).
We spent many days together, they weren’t the same as the old days but they certainly weren’t bad…it’s just we never made anything official to one another, we weren’t a couple but we also were not nothing! Is there a name for this…I don’t know, I called it being ‘on pause’…it was as though we both new…this wasn’t going to last, college would begin again soon and the cruel coldness of time and distance was stalking us ready to cloak us in it’s bleakness and desolation…it was so unfair, many night I spent running as fast as I could through the hills surrounding the meadow shouting at the stars…why…why,why,why, I never got my answer. I was fiercely ambitious back then (nothing compared to now) but then, no one could match my drive, but I would have given up on my dreams if I had the option of staying with her in those lazy, long summer days and summer nights…because when with her, that was my dream. It’s strange to think but although we spent so much time together, not many words were spoken, least by me…looking into her eyes, watching her, laying together in the grass, that’s all the communication I needed…words didn’t have the weight to convey the feelings I had for her. Were her feelings as strong as mine? I will say yes…I will hope yes…I will believe yes. I remember the first time she said the words I’ve wanted to hear all my life…’I love you’. My mind left my body, the devil that had been living on my back slipped and died and I felt free. I said it over and over again to myself in my head, replaying it over and over…I forced myself to remember everything about that
Moment, how she looked, the place, the Wheather…everything, to commit it to memory. I refused to let it go.
We said it often, even at time when we weren’t sure the other would here it…we said it. We whispered it, we shouted it…we even texted it (the mobile phone was beginning it’s take over). The free time grew closer to it’s end…I wanted to ask her one day…’come away with me tonight, we’ll make it happen’…but I never did…we knew our goodbyes were coming and even after so many…they didn’t get easier…they got brutally harder. I wanted to ask so many things, will I see you soon…will I see you again…change to my college, I’ll change to yours…I don’t want this to end…
I didn’t say any of those…I was too ‘In the moment’…so instead I did this…
I took her hands and gripped them tight! I said…’you see this, even when I let go now…I am never letting go of this!’ We embraced…we kissed and we hugged as the world turned and life moved on around us…and like leaves in the breeze…once again…she was gone with the wind…next…a bad man and the devils return…

Pubs and beer make magic happen…

(Entry 12. Written to semisonic-closing time).
I stare at the clocks…tick,tock,tick,tock,tick,torture!
I’m counting the seconds until the date can begin…time is being my enemy again tonight, creeping to a halt, getting dressed was the most stressful experience of my life for that date, top after top, jeans and pants (even shorts at one point) were thrown on and torn off…I couldn’t get it together, after taking two extremely cold showers, I felt a little but more relaxed and ready to try again, eventually I settled on a nice t-shirt and you guessed it…jeans and brown shoes…fast forward….
For some reason I’m feeling awkward, a lot of time has passed between us and honestly…I don’t know how to act, surely I’ve not been on her mind like she has mine? But then again…she is here right?…we chit chat and move from pub to pub, eventually we settle into a real dive! Heavy rock music is being poorly screamed down the microphone and the small pub is packed…making it awkward for my new dimensions to move inside, we found a round table awkwardly pushed into a corner, people sat on either side but we found a nice corner to sit in, with full view of the pubs strange sites and for a long time the laughs echoed and the drinks flowed…we had slipped into our old ways without even noticing, hands accidentally touched now and again and when this happened we both looked into each other’s eyes…(I believe more than a few ‘accidental’ touches were not so accidental, I know on my part they were not). With a head full of alcohol she shimmed closer to me and rested her head on my shoulder, to anyone looking, this would have been a picture of two people totally at peace…my body would have showed this but my head was absolutely racing!!!! Should I put my arm around her…what the hell do I do now…I sat there…not moving and trying to focus my thoughts…she lifted her head and I let mine fall a little, her lips accidentally brushed the side of my face…I’m sure the entire room could hear my heart beating…and possibly see it!
I pulled my head back and looked at her and she looked at me with soft eyes that I fell into for infinite hours…’I think you want to kiss me’ she tipsily said…before I could answer, her lips found mine…the feeling that followed was physical, I had been waiting…hoping for so long, so very long that I would kiss her again, I believed it would happen, I wanted it so very badly, and it was happening right now, a week ago I’d have called you crazy if you had said I’d be kissing her again…but right now my lips were on hers. ‘Excuse me, you can’t do that in here’…the old battle axe owner of the bar, she banned us for kissing…there were people doing much more in that pub…she just mustn’t have liked us. So laughing hysterically we left and went out into the night…I watched her spinning under the streetlight on the empty road and I smiled, I wished at that moment that I could say here forever…pubs and beer make magic happen…
Next…is there a name for this and gone with the wind…

Fancy seeing you here and the angel in the room…

(Entry 11 choked out to amberlin-inevitable).
I knew, after Highschool, college had no chance of success, none of my friends…or her attended this college, it was the fresh start I never truly wanted. I made new friends but no bonds were made. There were girls, I made it clear i was only good as a friend for anyone who showed any interest in me…life had changed dramatically and I with it, anger crept back into my life, with it frustration and distance. My evenings were spent writing (terrible) poetry in a little exercise book I got from a local shop…that and reading and re-reading the entry from my leavers book and looking at photos. In the months that past I must have hand written her a 300 hundred letters…I never sent a single one, she was living her life I was sure so who was I but some fool who couldn’t…wouldn’t…refused to move on. Nothing is more sexy than that right!!!. Home life was different my father was long gone (not dead, he’s moved in with his second family…what a guy). My mother was suffering. My brother and sister lived away. To be totally honest everyday was torture I felt lost in the world. I went back into seeking solitude and the days past without any more mention of her name…………
‘C’mon mate, this Saturday town, you’ll have a great time’. Friends from Highschool, we had all go in touch again and met up at least once a week, and now they were into going out into town on a weekend getting drunk and having the time of their young lives as well they should! For some reason I decided…’ok…I’ll be there’…I usually avoided it, me and alcohol and strangers wasn’t a good combination at that time of my life and I didn’t like hurting people…I saw too much of the old man in it. But this night I felt different and so odd we went…’The boys are back in town’…just an ordinary Saturday…nothing special what so ever, I hadn’t thought about her in months (that’s a lie but I tried not to). So imagine my surprise…imagine my almost despair even when I heard….’Jason?’…I didn’t have to turn around to know who said my name, the hairs on my arms stood on end, my brain snapped awake from it’s long slumber…my heart ached with fresh beats…I turned around and there she stood…she had grown more beautiful and it was hard to look at her and despite my previous mood…I smiled…instantly…’fancy seeing you here’ I said, she ran over and to my extreme surprise…hugged me…I almost fell unconscious, all my old senses sprang back to life, her scent, the feel of her skin on mine, it was too much for me to take, she looked so happy to see me, I just said inside my own head ‘just give up, this girl is going to be the death of you, just accept it and get on with it’. She stayed with me all night from club to club…I won’t lie, foolishly I let myself think this could be the start of us again…of course it wasn’t…it was just one absolutely perfect night…a perfect way to say goodbye…but there was no way on this earth…I was saying goodbye…
I had learned the ability to balance both life and being depressed over her absence well…no body knew I was dying inside and all was well for the most part. Me and my friends conquered the world on weekends (those are stories for another day…after the watershed).
My phone rings…I answer and say hello…’hey’ my body always reacted first to her voice then my mind did, ‘hhh…hey’ I cooly replied down the phone…can I come see you she asked…of course I said (far too eager…why can’t I be cool).
A car pulls up outside, sod being cool I run out to meet her, she’s with her friend, this girl is the driver, the butterfly gets out the car and I see her take in my new appearance, I won’t lie the look in eyes made me feel like king shit! She liked it, I had changed a lot…I had found away to put myself through tremendous amounts of pain but with a positive after effect…bodybuilding.
She touched my arm and studied my new shape and size…I’d never felt better than that moment!!!!! They both came in, I wasn’t being intentionally rude to get friend but my attention was drawn to her, this other girl was just there…she came into the house my mother was out for the evening…she sat down and the room grew brighter…there was an angel in the room and she was looking at me, we talked for a little she made fun of the music I was playing (ironically the playlist was songs that reminded me of her…I never mentioned this…her friend had to go (understandably bored of being completely ignored by this guy and her friend). The friend went outside…the butterfly said ‘would you like to do something this weekend’…’yes I’d like that’….
A date…I had a date…that night I sang loudly to every song on that entire playlist…
Next…pubs and beer make magic happen…

The recap…

(Entry 10. Played whilst crying to American pie 1 song-sway).

First sight:
I had my first ‘kiss’ in reception primary school, I always had girlfriends but that’s exactly what they were…friends…who were girls, I never wanted anything more from them, I wasn’t interested, I knew in my young heart that love is a sick joke, you see I was never really a child, that was stolen from me, I saw the world differently to the other kids, so the day when fate stepped into my life, and I found myself watching that play…you see the effect that truly had on me, love at first sight is real, and it is the most powerful force on this earth! It’s hard to explain, girls in my school were all pretty but I simply didn’t notice, when she lowered that mask…I noticed every single thing there was to notice, the way she stood, legs crossed right at the bottom, hands into twisted fists her go to pose of uncomfortability, her hair, I’ve never very felt the urge to smell something before in my life!!! I had to use all my strength to stay seated in my chair! Her jaw line, her eyes, her nose, her lips, her teeth and her neck, I studied every aspect that made her. The way she walked, always a skip in her step, the a rush of blood in her face when she realised people were watching (and she was literally skipping).

Memories:
The meadow, the clay hole, the enchanted wood, Alton Towers, the school park. When I visit these places today, It’s as though some part of that life has been stained on these places. I can feel the memories there and it’s an overwhelming experience. Magical.

What I have to show for it all:
I kept everything she ever gave me and things that reminded me of our time together. I still have the ticket Stubbs from Alton Towers (and cinema trips). The necklace and information booklet, the college info she built up for me, photographs of our time together…and the entry she wrote in my leavers book…

Highschool:
I think about my time in Highschool…every…single…day…

The Last Dance:
I never got my last dance, but that night in my dreams…I did…
People spun and danced in circles all around the room, but like a beacon of the brightest light she stood in the middle of the dancing couples looking at me, I walked towards her taking in her appearance, the dress, her hair, her face, my heart was only human, it wasn’t made to be battered by this type of beauty…she held her hands out for me, I took them in mine and we embraced, she lay her head against my chest, I lay my cheek on the top of her head and slowly, we began to move side to side…it may have only been a dream…but at least I got my last dance…

Next…fancy seeing you here and the angel in the room…

The year that wasn’t and distance…

(Entry nine-delicious with a sprinkling of loni rose-I never thought.)
The final year of Highschool arrives.
Love had blossomed everywhere, the atmosphere had changed dramatically, friends made and bonds grown over five hormone fuelled years, embarrassment, angst, memories, happiness. Highschool to me was more than I could ever have dreamed it could be! Completing and making the most of Highschool is a right of passage every boy and girl should take! First underage drinking sessions, and maybe if you were a real hero…first sexual experiences! And it all ends with the leavers do…or prom as it’s called these days. The days of year 11 flew by with evil speed…there was no fighting, no arguing in year 11, the end was approaching and we all knew it. Every year me and her began a new relationship with one another and ended it…every single year…except this one, this was the year that wasn’t! I had a new girlfriend now, oddly one of the butterfly’s closest friends…this new girl, let me talk about her before carrying on, she was fiercely intelligent, deeply caring and was absolutely beautiful! She didn’t have an easy time of Highschool, out own year and other years took to bullying her, I never once saw that it affected her! When we got together we were all on our Friday night drinking sessions in the woods, and I remember laughing to myself…all the bullies took turns in promising to her they would never call her again, I wonder what she thought about the strangeness of that night, I smiled a lot. We lasted the year, but no more.
Shirts came out…felt tips pens zoomed across then like cars racing zig zagging through the track, signing shirts is another seminal moment, leaving your comments of love and memories on your friends shirts…a very emotional experience. Of course there was one signature I treasured more than the others. Just when the emotion was reaching spilling point for me (I had to control it…I was the king of the school, I can’t cry). The leavers books came out, this wasn’t just for a quick scrawl and a few xxx (kisses). This was for paragraphs and pages of writing all your memories and love and wishing them luck for the future…I signed a lot of books and everybody signed mine, there were a lot of groups in my year, but I never attached myself to any one group, I was the only kid in school who was friends with everyone…my book got a lot written inside it…sure I was choked up, I wanted to ball my eyes out and kiss everyone…EVERYONE!!! But I held I together. Talk of what happens next spread though the school, college, work, what? I never knew, I had no idea she was behind the scenes trying to keep us together…
I walked into the library one day, and the librarian I had never spoke to said…’Jason’ how did she know my name, I thought God, what have I done now. She passed me a small pile of information, all on one college and the grades needed to get in…naturally I just started at her puzzeled…she smiled at me an said ‘she’s looking out for you’. If there was a moment when I should have broke down…that was it! But thankfully confusion kept me in check. I came down the stairs to see her at the bottom…she saw the information in my mind, started at me (for what was actually seconds) but to me, I could have been there looking into those green eyes for decades, I was convinced I must be an old man by now, then she smiled and turned and walked away. I wanted to drop all the books chase after her, grab her and tell her I loved her…I didn’t move an inch. I was in a relationship and I am an honourable man. Which is why I made the hardest decision of my young life, one that still pains me today…
‘We gonna get a huge limo…cigars and champagne boys!!!’ The leavers do was here and the year was overflowing with pride and excitement, GCSE’s were back we all did good, my favourite teacher hugged me and told me ‘you’ve made my career’. Anything that’s good about me today…she had a part to play in making it good! Tux’s were being ordered and we were ready…the night of I’m sat in the living room….waiting for the limo to arrive and then it hit me…my girlfriend…and her. There is a moment at prom known as ‘The last dance’ where you take up your favourite person and dance with them and them alone…since year seven I had pictured this moment…with her. I knew I couldn’t watch on as she twirled and spun with someone else holding her. And I couldn’t tell my girlfriend who I did care for so very much, I wanted to dance with another, the limo pulled up…I opened my front door and looked at my best friend…he looked at me, the others in the car shouted to hurry, they didn’t share our connection, my best friend still looking at me ordered the driver to move on, a friend like this is a rare thing…I loved two people in high school.
I went to view the college she had picked for us both…the second I walked through the doors of that beautiful building…I felt like I was home. Everything about it was so perfect, it was situated surrounded by nothing but great expanses of roaming fields and farms. There were students laying on the hot summer grass, I pictured the two of us here and it all fit so perfectly. I wonder what would have happened if in the end I did choose that college…I think about that sometimes…not too often though…
Highschool was over…College had begun and ours were very far apart…distance crept between us and I didn’t see her again…for a very very long time…next…the recap…

On again off again and the necklace…

(Entry eight. Written nostalgically whilst playing Vance joy-emmylou.)
It’s hard to explain a feeling…it’s something so unique to each individual!
I think the best way I can sum this up is simply…she made me feel! I loved her unconditionally and irrevocably! I adored her, I studied her features daily, I took snapshots in my mind of all her different looks and expressions, her poses and posture. This girl was my oxygen, my life support, my heart. She made me stronger, she made me smarter (I had to become smarter to stay in her classes). She made me…me. I could have taken on the world and won when we were together. We spent all out days, laughing and living carefree. The Butterfly and the Cloud. She was both my red sun…and my kryptonite. Her smell intoxicated me, made my thoughts fuzzy, I don’t know if I was all this to her…but I know she loved me. We were the couple every other couple measured there success on. Everyone was happy for us, lady and the tramp or rather beauty and the beast. Of course life has such a funny way of going about it’s business.
She went on a family holiday, phones and computers were not part of everyday life for children then, contact was hard! She would ring when she could (including one time when she walked down the beach and got chased by a dog). It was hard I won’t lie, the phone calls didn’t last long enough, and life was grey without her radiance to keep my in the sun. She returned home to my utter delight and to my surprise had brought me back gifts…(this had never happened to me before) a information leaflet from where she holidayed and a necklace. I treasured them deeply and needless to say…still have them today!
The years of Highschool began to roll by and by chance or by fate, we broke up and we got back together…and broke up and got back together, every single year we did this. She broke up with me and once (when life at home took a bad turn) I unbelievably broke up with her…but we always got back together. The magnets turned north and north and we parted but they quickly turned the right way back and we stuck together once again.
Time was a blur, we were together more than apart and when apart we didn’t spend a single day apart…we were best friends! And as long as she was near…I could survive…
Next…the year that wasn’t and distance…