There are a lot of things about me that I keep hidden, like tiny rocks in a deep ravine obscure from view, only seen when one jumps or fall down and searches out for them. But if one tries to searches out for them, they have to know they exist and also have to have the drive or initiative to want to look for them right? Nearly all secrets are hidden, unseen from the naked eye, exposed at the right time or forever concealed never to be revealed. JAG will be divulging a secret to you today. It's been a long, and difficult week for me, and the only way I know how to cope is to write, write, write, and write some more. So here you go, enjoy. (:
Summer after high school when we first met
We make out in your Mustang to Radiohead
And on my 18th Birthday
We got matching tattoos
Used to steal your parents' liquor
And climb to the roof
Talk about our future
Like we had a clue
Never planned that one day
I'd be losing you
- Katy Perry
It's hot, boiling sweltering hot. The kind where you wish that you could wander around butt naked or lay in your bed, serenely still with no clothes on, praying that your mother or annoying little brother won't barge in without knocking again. The sun is high in the cloudless ocean blue sky and the hand on the dial on her mother's grandfather clock glares unashamedly that it is way past noon. Sweet sticky sweat drips slowly like a leaky faucet all over her tanned skin and is made more obvious as her pale pink singlet clings damply to her thin body. She's glad that she wore her favourite faded denim short shorts that her mother threatened to throw out last month, but secretly managed to stealthy save it from the laundry cupboard that housed rags.
She opens the fridge and sighs in frustration that there isn't anymore freshly squeezed lemonade, and takes out a bottle of water. She hastily rips off the lid, chugging down the tasteless liquid and swallows. Even now, she can hear her mother's thin flat voice reprimanding her that in order for water to be properly digested throughout the blood system you need to take small slow sips. She ignores the ghost reminder. Just like she ignored a lot of painful thoughts this week. She sighs again. Swallows more water and then walks out the back door which is directly behind the kitchen. Stepping out into the glaring sunlight, she pads silently on the verandah that snakes around the entire little house, her mind numb, but her legs knowing exactly where she wants to go.
He watches her - just like he's always done. Quietly and unknown against the white picket fence that surrounds his home. She can't see him but he can see her. He notices from far away what others wouldn't, because she once belonged to him. He winces at the thought. Once. Every since that incident that happened to her three years ago, she changed. She shut people out, avoided social contact and interaction with anyone. He wondered what her thoughts were like, whether her personal demons had won the battle for the day. She rocks idly against the veranda swing on the back porch, her eyes closed, her brain dumb and already he knew. She hadn't tried today. She had a funny way of escaping. When problems and difficulties arose, her thoughts becoming more naggy and draining she would push everything to the back of her mind. And then after a few hours went by and a similar, familiar thought arose once more, she would do anything to distract her self and in so would never find the way out of the enclosed maze in her mind. She wouldn't even try to fix anything - all she wanted to do was escape. So the troubled situations loomed closer and closer, and she disappeared into her self further and further. She hated drama. She liked life to be always simple. But the more she closed and boxed them away, the more they arrived tied in tight strings of fresh, raw pain. She did eventually solve her troublesome dilemmas, but left them always a millisecond before it became synonymous with 'too late'. Leaned against the front fence he slowly shook his head and wondered why she pushed him away.
The worst thing about her life was the memories. She often wished she had amnesia. Maybe, then things would be easier because she wouldn't remember. She would torture herself with the endless loop about her past - when she was different - when she was normal. Life was so much easier then. Friends abounded, fun was expected around every corner, and the sneaky getaways with the boy next door was cherished. God, she loved him. She thought about him all the time, well until she pushed it to the back of her mind, forcing herself into another's world, her nose deep in six inches of a romantic novel because her own world had become too painful to live in.
It all started one winter three years ago. One holiday that changed her life forever. Within weeks of arriving back home, she became sick and progressingly grew worse until she nearly died. Three years later and she was much better. Much, much better. She blocked out all of the memories from three years ago. She hated them, they haunted her every move, her every thought was shadowed by her ugly past. Her face would contort in pain and she would frown in concentration as she mentally blocked it, till it was very, very far corner in the back of her mind. At night, just the thought of what happened scared her and chilled her bones till she broke out into a cold sweat. She would toss and turn and scream into her pillow writing in agony because she could not sleep. They diagnosed her with an anxiety disorder among other things. The topic of her illness was known around the small town she lived in. Small talk about the weather, eventually became small talk about her. But the topic itself was taboo when you spoke to her. Just the mention of it and she would freeze up, her body instantly rigid, as she slowly turned around and walked away, leaving you waiting there, the conversation hanging limply in the air, frozen in time. She was frozen in time, in her past, and try as she might she could not break free, because who could forget their own past?
He always loved her, since the first day he laid eyes on her. He missed her black/brown eyes, and the bitter-sweet memories of their sweet stolen kisses in his parent's wide, open field always lingered in his mind. These days he would be lucky if she nodded or grunted at him when he said hello. He wasn't welcome anymore. She said, she wasn't pretty enough now for a boy like him. She built up a wall between them. She was guarded now. She hated herself, who she'd become. He told her that he'd never leave, that their love was for forever, but she smiled and laughed in response. She didn't believe him. She was as stubborn as a mule, but he loved every inch of her. Every inch that now looked so different.
He was in her memory and try as she might she could not forget him. But she despised herself, and in her beautiful mind she believed that he deserved better. In her heart? Well, she loved him. She missed the way her hands fit perfectly in his man hands and the way her finger completely intertwined with his. The space in her fingers only fit one man's hands just right. She missed the way he kissed her and made her spine tingle in anticipation. But they were all memories, in the past, for all she knew it could have been pretend. He could have forgotten her and their memories, why shouldn't he? She wasn't what you would call beautiful anymore. She wasn't ugly, she was in-between, stuck in the middle, stuck in her past, stuck in her thoughts, stuck in her life. Stuck, stuck, stuck, stuck. And there she stayed for another day on her back porch, rocking the veranda swing back and forth, back and forth, to the silent rhytmn of her chanting, haunting, and tormenting thoughts. Unaware that a few metres from her house, a young man was watching her, wishing her to be by his side, albeit knowing full well that he had already lost her.
But he'd try, because he was nothing if not persistent. And there was always the hope of tomorrow.
Always the hope that she'd be his, again
The sun set in the horizon, bursting forth in mesmerizing hues of pink, purple and red swirled together like a colourful lollipop. Twilight began to set in, the sky rolled back into a deep, dark night blue. The stars came out to shine and the moon kept his nightly post. She didn't move from her seat, her eyes were closed as she had now curled up into a tight ball - she was asleep. He didn't move from his casual position either - leaning on the white picket fence that had long faded away to expose chipped and splintered wood underneath which was in a desperate need for a new paint job.
He knew what was going to happen next. He had watched her for years. He used to be so close to her but now the tyranny of her illness separated them, she was within his grasp yet he couldn't hold her, she was elusive, like a sweet dream. No one would wake her up. No one would carry her to her bed. She would wake at midnight. She would stumble across the porch, sleep in her eyes. He would see the flicker of lights, in the kitchen, as she a drained a glass of water. There would be the daily trudge up the winding, old, ricketing staircase. Her bedroom lights would flicker on. She would brush her teeth, swoop an old oversized t-shirt over her head, knock off the lights, swallow a couple of pills and then hit the bed.
If she had taken the pills tonight, she would have slept well - but she didn't. Her mood was broody tonight, she was quiet and taciturn - she was thinking. It was completely dark in her bedroom, there was no light peeking though her thin, white curtains, and she was acutely aware that she was all alone. The silence comforted her, the absence of people's watchful presence sheltered her from their hurtful whispers. There was one presence she did miss though. She longed for him at night especially when she couldn't sleep. That is when she forced her brain to dream about him, because try as she might she couldn't forget him, and she sure as hell didn't want to. He had become her oxygen - the reason she forced herself to face the day when she woke up. He was the reason for everything she did. She could see it in his eyes as she walked past him in town. He'd stop and wait, watching her past him by. She'd looked back out of sheer curiosity to read his eyes - because eyes never lied. He still loved her, wanted her to be his they said. She turned around and blushed, promptly bumping into a stranger, muttering a bland apologie and kept on walking. She sneaked a hurried look over her shoulder and he was still there, watching her, like she was some delicate flower that would wilt if not taken care of.
And if she was honest to herself, she would confess that she was tired. So tired of pretending and trying to forget. She was tired of being stuck. Tired of being the town's constant small talk . Tired of being stuck in this lonely place she was forced into. She wanted to break out, to feel free, to fly away like a butterfly after metamorphosis.
Maybe what she went through was her metamorphosis.
Maybe it was finally her turn to fly.
Maybe she'd walk down his street tomorrow and say hello.
She'd ring the bell and wait for him to answer. Yes, that was better. Much better. More proper she thought.
She rolled over in her bed and sighed anxiously. All of a sudden she was impatient, a nervous energy running through her veins. She just had to see him now. Why wait for your life to start when you can start it now, yourself?
She jumped up, not caring in the slightest to change her attire of a lone over sized t-shirt draped over her slightly solid frame. He had seen her in a lot less after all. She blushed at the thought, and then smiled a secret smile. A smile, if he was here, he would understand. And if he really loved her he wouldn't care what the hell she wore, he would find her
sexy irresistible in a garbage bag. She ran down the stairs, out the back door, and down his street which was a couple doors down from hers. She didn't dare knock this late at night. She didn't want to wake up his parents - his dad wouldn't understand. She hopped over the fence and around to his bedroom. Then she swallowed hard. Breathed. And lightly tapped on his window. No answer. She tapped again and subconsciously bit her lip in worry.
His husky voice broke the silence and she spun around at the sound of his lyrical, familiar voice.It was then that she knew, she was right, he would always love her. Right then, that thought unnerved her and she shook slightly, the summer breeze running waves through her long, brown hair. He stared at her, the moon light shining upon them both, illuminating everything in their path. It was bitter-sweet, so familiar, like a recurring dream or a high school reunion. He was a part of her . A tattoo on her heart that could not be removed. She stood where she was and waited. She didn't know how long they stared at each other. She had to take it all in. Because coming back here, to him, meant something, it meant that her scars were beginning to heal.
"I had a feeling you'd come - tonight."
He drawled slowly and blinked like he didn't think this was real. He finally straighten himself up from leaining against the back fence surrounding his house and stroded towards her, meeting her halfway, just like he always did.
She didn't feel scared tonight, not around him. The way he gazed at her was just like she had always remembered, pure love evident in his brown eyes, but somehow better because it was happening now, it was real, it wasn't just a memory that had passed, this was her life and not a novel. She was the heroine and he was her hero.
"I waited for this for a long time."
She murmured in response. Speech had long eluded her.
He leaned closer, and her dire need for an escape found a hiding place in his chest. He held her against his plain white t-shirt and the whole world slowed down. His hands stroked the back of her hair, tangling in her bed hair before finding a resting place on the nape of her neck. He moved closer, so much closer. And then he kissed her, like a boy kisses a girl he hasn't kissed in many, many years. Desperation, longing, love, lust, warmth, peace, and security emanated from his touch. Her mind was finally a happy blank. She had never felt more free because she had finally found where she belonged. She had always known, but now instead of denying herself the truth, she embraced it.
And come she did tonight.
Her eyes had that familiar sparkle he loved about her.
He should have known.
After all, it had been many weeks since he had seen her trying desperately to lose herself in a novel.
She was more herself these last few minutes than he seen in years.
Maybe it was the love they shared with each other that saved her.
Maybe because he refused to give up on her.
He didn't give a shit about the particulars, because she was finally home at last. And really, that was all that mattered because right now she was here in his arms and he wasn't losing her. He smiled at that thought and squeezed her tighter.