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Goodbye

I rolled over and slowly opened my eyes, the space next to me was empty.  I supposed it was him getting up to use the bathroom that woke me up in the first place.  It felt late in the day; the sky was bright and it was quiet, too quiet, missing was the sounds of the family going about their day.  I groped for my phone, the digital clock claimed it was only 8:00 am, we had slept for 10 straight hours, yet still I felt drained.

I groggily recalled returning home, although I guess it wasn’t really my home anymore, I felt like an intruder when I walked in the door last night.  I went into the house in search of my landlords so I could tell them I’d changed my plans, but the entire family was out, probably at their daughter’s Christmas concert.
We’d stripped down naked and collapsed on my unmade bed, even though we’d both been exhausted we still made love, his strong warm body on top of mine, his perfect member thrusting deep inside of me, it was all I could do not to look into those blue eyes and whisper, “I love you.”  Then I was on my stomach and he was behind and soon I was coming, my orgasm so profound that for a moment, I left my body.  I suppose sleep came soon after because I didn’t remember much else.

He returned to the room.
“Good morning beautiful,” he cooed softly in my ear.  “I’m going to the bakery for a pie run, do you want anything?”
“Mmmm… coffee please,” I mumbled.
“Coffee,” he repeated with a smile, “Go back to sleep, I’ll be back soon.”
I curled up on my side as my mind attempted to recall the hazy details of the past 24 hours.


It was Friday afternoon, the day before I was meant to leave and Nick had insisted on having a barbecue for me, unaware that I had booked a bus ticket for the next morning.  Driving to his house I felt anxious: I hadn’t finished packing, I had no reliable transportation back into town and the way he and Jill had been talking, I knew they were planning on a wild night.

When we arrived at his house, no one was home so we all broke into his yard and started sipping beers and listening to tunes.  Nick finally showed up with his puppy Otis in tow, others began to arrive and soon the party was in full swing.  We drank, we ate, we drank, we smoked.  At one point, all of us girls went swimming in the pool.  Everyone was fairly intoxicated and adamant on doing cocaine.  Nick went down the street with money and returned with MDMA.  Everyone loudly vocalised their distaste, but we all ended up doing it anyway.  My anxiety soared as I began to peak, I couldn’t sit still, I couldn’t relax.  I kept moving seats and getting up to do things and starting new conversations.  Jill was all over the map, Nick kept wanting to cuddle and tell me how special I was, Don could barely speak, Shawn was too intense, Kennedy had not done M but was stoned as shit, Mel was too high to function and her cousin Sally looked sober, bored and judgemental.
Max showed up with a couple friends and I insisted they drop with us, they even chipped in for another baggie.  I started to feel a little more relaxed.

It was certainly an entertaining night, Jill got into the clothing I intended to donate and we had a fashion show.  We played truth or dare and everyone got naked or made out.  We took turns confessing deep secrets and fantasies.
Everyone was starting to do more, but I was done and falling asleep on Nick’s shoulder, I knew I should just go to bed and get some sleep, but I just wanted to stay in the company of my beautiful friends and listen to the sounds of Shakey Graves picking away at his guitar and crooning, “Some of us were built to roam…”

I persuaded Nick to join me and he laughed when I begun my game of seduction, “Why didn’t you just tell me you wanted to fuck?  We could have snuck off for a quicky…”
“Nothing about this is going to be quick,” I assured him.
We explored each other’s bodies touching and kissing every inch of skin.  I felt dazed as if I was entering and exiting a dream.  After half an hour I dried up and we both just fell asleep.

A few hours later my alarm went off.  The first thing I heard was the sound of heavy rain on the rooftop.  I thought about all my friends passed out around the house, I looked over at Nick, naked and beautiful, peaceful.  I thought about leaving them all to trudge down the street alone to the bus stop, to wait in the rain, to rush into town.  The idea alone nearly brought me to tears, so I did what I should have done in the first place: I called Greyhound and for a mere $6 fee, changed my reservation to the following day.  I cuddled up next to Nick and fell back asleep.

The next time I woke it was to my phone ringing.  Kyle was on the other line, he was on his break at work and wondering if we’d all survived the night.  He was especially concerned about Max who was apparently still up cleaning when Kyle had left for work.  I wandered out to the patio and found him staring off into space, poor guy.  I made him tea and as the others began to stir I made them all teas and coffees as well.  All the anxiousness was gone, even though I’d changed my plans last minute and messed up the schedule of my cousin, who was picking me up from the bus stop and my landlords, who were expecting my suite to be entirely empty.  I knew I should feel bad, but truly, I did not care.
I rolled a joint and we all got good and stoned before Max made us bacon and eggs.  Jill had to rush back to town for work so I offered Max my seat in the car, insisting I could get a ride with Nick.  On their way out the door, we grabbed Kennedy and convinced her to stay and spend the day smoking weed and watching Futurama.

Eventually the sky darkened and we dropped Kennedy at home before returning to my now empty abode.  And now we were here…


I sipped my long black and tried to gather my bearings.  I took a much needed shower and said my goodbyes to the family who I had been sharing a home with over the past 3 months.  I made the bed up nicely for the new tenant and Nick and I loaded up his ute.  In town we walked on the beach for a while and ran into some friends who I bid adieu to.
This was the final day I was meant to have; not strung out on M; not tired from being overworked; not rushed and stressed.  This was the farewell I needed: chilled out and with him… the man I had loved and lost, cried for and laughed with.  This man who’d been such a massive force in my life, who I had forged this intense relationship with.

At the bus stop, he gathered me in his arms.  “I miss you already,” he promised and I fought back tears, because the truth was I never intended to move back and he was one of the main reasons why.  The last couple weeks I’d been with him, yet had managed to keep my distance, but I knew eventually I’d get sucked back in.  I couldn’t stand the thought of feeling such deep pain again; the heartbreak was inevitable.
Despite my best wishes, there was no future for me and Nick and there was no life for me in this place.

Onto the big coach I climbed, while he watched me go.  I tried to be strong and look only forward though my body trembled with sadness.

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1

Negative Nancy

Shortly after I decided to swear off men, the energy surrounding this beautiful place shifted. I can pinpoint the exact moment I felt it.

The night of Violet’s birthday my roommate Kathy had joined me and actively voiced her desire to do mushrooms, she even had a gram all ready to go. I assured her that Violet would bring plenty of mush and we’d all partake with her.  A few of us arrived down at the beach and began making a fire.  Kathy began growing concerned that it was getting late and that she wouldn’t have enough time to come down before she had to go to work, so she decided to eat hers.  I accompanied Violet back to staff housing and made my enquiry.
“Dude! I just sold the last of it! I have one left though, you can have it.”
Not wanting to leave Kathy tripping alone at a party full of people she didn’t know, I did what any good friend would do: I ate that mushroom capsule.
The crowd around the fire was growing and I could feel myself getting higher.  People’s faced became covered with geometric patterns, but yet I was still engaging in full and sensical conversations.  Kathy and I went on a pee mission and when we entered the bushes we both gasped.  All the leaves were glowing neon green and appeared as thousands of hands reaching up, beckoning me to lie on them.  I collapsed backwards onto the awaiting hands.
“Wow,” Kathy remarked, “Your hair looks like it’s alive, growing into the bushes. You’re like… their queen.”
That was my last happy memory of the night.

Back at the fire, I was continuing to have in-depth conversations whilst staring off into space when a couple guys started talking to us, one was named “Alex.”
“Do you wanna go splash in the water?” He asked me.
“Of course!” I exclaimed and the two of us began skipping out to the ridiculously low tide.
“How do you know Violet?” I asked.
“I don’t,” he said, “I just moved here after being discharged from the military… Should I marry her?” On the way back to the fire he picked me up and threw me over his shoulder and began running with me.
“Stop!” I screamed, “Put me down!”
“Ask me anything!” He commanded as he released me. “Ask me how many men I’ve killed, go ahead, ask me!”
“No,” I stated, “Are you just fucking with me because I’m high?”
“What? No, why would I do that?”

Back at the fire I tried to stay away from him. Kathy and I sat off to the side of the now 50+ person bonfire and listened to my friend play guitar.  Suddenly “Alex” returned and started screaming at my friend to play Bob Dylan.  When my friend ignored him he screamed, “You people are all fucking retarded!” and stormed off.
“Oh my God, I’m so scared of that guy!” I cried, “He’s going to kill me!”
“It’s okay,” Kathy insisted, “We’ll be fine, you’re just high.”
We made our way through the crowd and found our beautiful Kennedy, all swollen and chipmunked after having her wisdom teeth removed, chewing away on weed fudge.  The 3 of us ran out onto the wet sand and towards the surf and admired the glowing phosphoresces that appeared under every step we took.  We stared back towards the lodge, the sky was overcast, but the stars were still shining through in an eery, sinister way.  In the distance, the various lighthouses cast ominous lights. Something felt different, not right.
Back at the fire Kathy became fearful of “Alex” and insisted she and I go back with the now departing Kennedy.  I was in the midst of smoking a joint in the hopes of calming my nerves and promised I would return shortly in the company of my friend Jack.  I assured her that he was completely sober and would keep me safe.  The two of us began our trek back and sure enough “Alex” appeared and began to say some hostile things to Jack.  We both walked away, “Man that guy’s weird,” Jack commented.
“He’s the one that’s going to skin me!”

On the way back and as I came down, Jack began to retail me with ghost stories from the very bay we’d just been partying in.  Apparently, a tourist shot himself in the head there and on occasions a spooky presence had manifested in that spot.  Suddenly he stopped. “Do you hear that?”
“What?” We listened carefully and in the distance we could hear a grinding metal sound.
“A bike?” I suggested.
“Maybe, but whoa, what’s that?” He pointed up beyond the tree-line where two bright lights were circulating towards the sky in perfect unison.
“What the hell is that?” I asked.
“Headlights,” he declared.
“But why are they moving in a circular motion like that?”
“They’re headlights, let’s go!”

Back at the lodge, Jack went up to get a drink of water from the hose while I sat on a beach chair waiting for him.  A little ways down the beach I could see a bright blue light.  Although I was coming down, I was still having weird visuals and I couldn’t tell if the light was coming towards me or was on a stationary post.  It seemed to be moving, but only up and down and if it belonged to a person, shouldn’t they be close enough that I could see them?
“Hey Jack,” I called as he came down the stairs, “Is that light on a post or a person?”
“I don’t know, but it’s coming closer!” The two of us ran up the path with Jack’s blanket wrapped around us for protection.

Back at staff housing we were all reunited and safe, but I still felt uneasy. As I tried to sleep I felt fearful that “Alex” would find me. I wracked my brain for any information I may have given him: that I was staying at staff accom, that I worked at the lodge, the neighbourhood I lived in, but I came up with nothing. I assured myself that I was safe and that tomorrow would be a better day, but the negativity began to grow and fester.

To be continued…