I never wanted things to be this way, but you can’t change the past. I wish I could though. I only wish things hadn’t gone this far. So many people have been hurt by the things I have done. I have caused so much pain to those I loved and knew. My name is John and I am a murderer.
1976 A five year old boy
Life. A word I had never been fond of. It meant nothing to me. Ever since I turned four years old I have longed for death. I may sound morbid but it’s the truth. And there is only two words that will tell you why that is so. And those words are my Father. My Father is man full of hate. He has never loved me or tried to; all he has ever wanted was for me to feel pain. Ever since I was born he has neglected me, he treats me like a piece of s**t and doesn’t even try to hide it. He has beaten me, he has abandoned me and more things that I can’t even describe for it brings the memories back. But what really hurt me the most was that my Mother just stood there and watched it happen. My Mother is kind and caring and always has a smile upon her face. But I hate her. The very first time my father beat me my Mother was no where to be found. The second time I was beaten, she was no where to be found. This happened for months and months. Whenever my Father beat me, my Mother was never there. But one day it all changed…
It was my fifth birthday and I couldn’t be any happier. My Father seemed to like me, he was even nice to my friends – of course I only had three. But something in the atmosphere wasn’t right….why did my Mother seem on edge? And why was my Father straying no farther than 3 inches from me? I was soon to find out why, and what happened is hard to even say, but it happened.
When my friends left I turned to my parents with the biggest smile upon my face, but when I looked at them my smile was quickly erased. My eyes flashed to my Mother and I saw that she had her shoes on, and was lurching for her coat, hurrying out of the door as if she was late for an appointment. Then my eyes looked upon my Father. And as I looked into his eyes, I had never been more scared in my life. “I’ll be back in an hour or so” my Mother said to me. “Take all the time you like” said my Father “Me and John here are going to have some great fun aren’t we?” I didn’t know what to say, I wanted to yell “Mother no please don’t leave me with him!” but all I could do was nod my head solemnly. “Good, I’ll see you boys later then” and as she said that her face showed that she couldn’t wait to get out of there. As I watched her leave I felt my Father behind me, I didn’t dare turn around, all I wanted to do at the moment was crawl under my bed and cry. My Father pulled me away from the window and forced me to turn and face him. He leaned down and whispered in my ear “Now John I just want you to know, if you tell anyone of this day I will kill you. Do we understand each other?” I had no time to answer before my father began undressing me. I had never cried so much in my life. I begged my Father to stop but he just laughed.
That was the day I was raped. That was the day my Father laughed as he left me naked and alone. That was the day that my mother knew and just walked away from it. And that was the day that John died. And to think, that was only the start.
The 1980-1982 A new John
Ever since the day my Father raped me I had changed. I was more distant. I was 10 year old boy, but I didn’t act like one. I kept to myself, I had no friends and all the other children kept there distance. I was a new John. I may not have had many friends in the first place, but now…I hated everyone. I wanted everyone to feel the pain I felt. I was now the school bully. Any child that I thought seemed like I was when I was young – innocent, small, push over….an easy target – I would go for.
It was the 22nd of November 1980 and as usual I was in MY area of the school. I was leaning against the fence with my hoody – It was brand new – over my eyes and my portable CD player on full blast. I then felt a tap on my shoulder. So I turned to see a young boy next to me. I turned my music down, just so I could just about hear him. “John can you help me please? I can’t tie up my shoelace.” Said the young boy. I turned away. It was Thomas; he was a new student here, so he didn’t know about me. He was maybe 6 or 7 and very small for his age. I had been asked to look after him for the day. How wrong had they been to hand him over to me.
“John?” Thomas asked. I stopped leaning on the fence and turned to face him and I looked at him from under my hood and smiled. Thomas smiled “You will do up my shoelace, thank you so mu—“ Thomas froze as he watched me raise my fist. He looked me in the eyes, and just by looking at him I saw myself. And he looked at me the same way as I looked at my Father. And that’s when I heard it CRUNCH! That was the sound of my fist having made contact with Thomas’s face. As I looked down at Thomas I had never felt more ashamed of myself. He was a young boy, who looked up to me. And how did I repay him? With most likely a broken nose.
That was my first fight. Well I guess you can’t call it a fight, my first child beating. Well I guess no matter how I say it, it’ll always sound bad. After that ‘incident’ I kept getting into more and more fights. I got moved to different schools over and over. And I didn’t even care. The only one that is at fault here is my Father.
HA! My Father.
I have no Father.
That ‘incident’ with Thomas happened 2 years ago. And ever since then, I had tried to change. And I’ve managed to do this but that is probably because he has been away a lot. I was perfectly fine with it of course, but my Mother….well that was a different story. She seemed more depressed than usual. “Mother look what I made a school today” I showed her my drawing of Jesus on the cross. “Mother look, isn’t it cool?” I looked at her, and something about her expression worried me. I walked over to her. “Mother? Are you ok?” I asked. My mother looked into my eyes and said “I’m fine dear”. That was the first time my mother lied to me. And it really stung. I had to know what’s wrong, so I asked the impossible… “Mother, where is Father?” My voice broke as I said those words, but my Mother didn’t even respond or react. She just stood up and walked away from me. I had never been so worried about my Mother before, well why would I? She let him abuse me. But the look on her face worried me so. I began to follow after her. She must have heard me behind her.
She turned around to face me, but didn’t raise her eyes from the floor, and yelled at me “John stay away from me!” Mother had never yelled at me before, so I froze at the bottom of the staircase. “Please just stay away, I don’t want you to get hurt” she whispered. She looked into my eyes and as she cried I realised something…. My Mother had always loved me. I watched my Mother head towards the bathroom. And then I saw the unbelievable... My mother thought I couldn’t see, but I could. I saw the reflection. My Mother lifted the flask to her mouth, and before she downed the contents, she caught my eye in the mirror and mouthed to me ‘I’m sorry’.
That was the day my Mother killed herself.
Seconds turned to minutes and well it didn’t get to hours, not yet anyway. But ever since my Mother ‘died’ I had never felt so…alone. Other than well no one, my Mother was the only person who would listen to me. And now she was gone. I had no one left, zero, nought, nada, zip, well you get the idea. I was all alone. He didn’t even know that she was….she wasn’t here. He was at a ‘conference’. So I was alone at home all by myself. With my mothers lifeless body next to me. I know I should have called the police, or an ambulance, but I didn’t want her to be moved yet. She looked so peacefully. And for once in her life, she was smiling. It warmed my heart. And before long, I was lying next to her crying. It may seem strange to you, but to me it was….comforting. I laid there looking at her; and that’s when I realised, I had never really noticed her before. Her lips were of a pure red colour, while her eyes were a shiny brown. Her cheek bones were defined and her hair hung down over her shoulders long, straight and a lustrous brown. And that’s when it hit me. I looked just like my Mother. I smiled to myself.
And that’s when I knew it was time. I stood up and walked away from my Mother, and I knew just what I was going to do…
999 what’s your emergency… My Mother is dead please come.
And I couldn’t help but feel happy. For my Mother was finally at peace. And if she was at peace, then I am too.
Since he was at a ‘conference’ or better known as a strip club. The police took me to a care home for the meantime. And it couldn’t have been better.
I was in the back of the car – a police car – with a police woman, named Sarah. And as we drove to the home I stared out the window, watching as everything became blurred. Next thing you know I was crying into the woman’s shoulder. I thought I had let it out earlier, but it seems I had more to come. All I could think about was her taking the drugs; it was like God was replaying it over in my mind just to taunt me. I guess only one good thing happened that day, and that was that I was finally being taken away from my Father. At that thought I couldn’t help but smile. And then, the tears slowed and then stopped. Sarah seemed happy about that. As we grew nearer and nearer to the care home, I became agitated. I thought to myself what if they don’t want me? What if the children don’t like me?
I entered the building. There was a boy of about my age or may be older stood at the bottom of the stairs. He had blonde hair and blue eyes. And his mouth smiled welcomingly at me. “Hello, I’m Jack we’ll be sharing a room. I hope you are ok with it?” he smiled again. I had never felt so happy before. I smiled at him “that sounds great, lead the way” and so he did. We walked up the stairs, and I couldn’t help but be amazed. I was told by many people that care homes, were where bad children went. That the house they were sent to was trashed, haunted and full of nothing. But here…it was the complete opposite. I had never felt so alive before. Here people didn’t care that I was weird, all they wanted was a friend. I had the time of my life at the home; me and Jack – who was now my best friend – were always playing pranks on the girls. We’d steal their underwear; we’d hide under the beds at night and pretend to be monsters. And we even had a surprise water attack. But there was one girl I wouldn’t prank. And that was Anna Timmins.
I had never had a crush on a girl before; to me they were from the planet Venus and us lads Mars. But the moment I laid eyes on her I couldn’t help but feel warm and mushy inside. She wasn’t like all the other girls. She was one of the boys too. She played sports; she helped with the pranks and even dressed like a boy. I believe there was only one part of her that wasn’t boy like. And that was her voice. The first time I heard her voice was on my second day at the care home, when me and Jack were about to pull a prank on her.
“OK John do you remember the plan?” Jack asked, smiling mischievously. I looked at him “yeah I remember” and smiled back. “On the count of three we jump” “Three got it” I said. He looked around at the other boys - Dan, Sam and Josh - and began the counting. “One…….two……three-“Jack was cut off by the most beautiful singing voice I had heard. I stood up and began to walk towards it. I heard Jack behind me telling me to come back. But I paid no attention, the voice that I was hearing was breath taking. I needed to know the source of it. And so I continued to follow it. I had been following the voice for no more than 50 seconds when I found where it was coming from. It was coming from
inside the bathroom. I know it was rude but when you are fixated upon something this beautiful you have no control on yourself. And so…. I opened the bathroom door. As the door swung open I saw Anna standing there, looking in the mirror. She stopped the song she had been singing and turned to look at me. She smiled with heart full content and began singing a song I had never heard before. I see your face across the room; you smile at me because I noticed you. I’d never felt so alive till I saw you. She stopped singing and yelled “ATTACK!” and before I had the chance to run 6 or 7 girls had jumped out and surrounded me with water guns in there hands. Anna walked up to me and said as if she was a soldier “Name?!” I played along and replied “John ma’am, you?” She smiled, obviously glad that I was playing along. “Anna. How old are you boy?!” “I am 12 years old Miss Anna I am 13 next month. How old are you?” “Same as you private. Now why were you with Jack?” She cocked an eyebrow. “We had a plan Miss Anna. We were going to prank you, it was his idea I didn’t know you was beautiful.” I said bashfully. She blushed a deep red, smiled sweetly at me and said “Thanks John that was nice of you to say”, but no sooner had she said that she became a soldier again “ATTACK HIM!”
Next thing I knew I was being pounded with at least 500 litres of water. But I didn’t care because as the water was hitting me from all directions the only thing I saw was Anna and the only thing I felt was love.
John Ever since I was taken to the care home I had forget all about him. I had Jack, I had my friends Dan, Sam and Josh and I had Anna. But I knew that one day I would lose them. It is a care home after all; it’s a place where children are fostered or even adopted. But even though that is a big something to worry about the only thing that I could think of was if my father came back. He would take me away from my friends. But I didn’t want to dwell on those facts, not just because they depressing, no it was time for mine and Jack’s prank of the century. We knew we would be remembered for it. Our plan was to hide in the girl’s wardrobe and when they were all asleep we would draw stuff on their face. I know that doesn’t sound like much but we have something else as well…. At 1900 – better known as 7pm – we entered the enemy’s territory and searched for a closet that would fit us both in. All of us boys had picked a room out of a hat and unfortunately for me Jack had picked Anna and her roommates - Hannah and Claire – bedroom. But I was on a mission so I had to hide all discomfort and get my head in the game. 1915 – We heard the girls enter the room and I couldn’t help but cross my fingers that we wouldn’t be caught. Jack opened the door by a crack so we could hear what they were saying.
Anna “God my hair is so annoying! I wish it was curly like yours Anna.”
Claire said while taking out her hair band, and letting her blonde hair fall over her shoulders. I looked at her “Why would you want hair like mine? I’d rather have straight hair.” I began twirling some of my brown curls around my index finger and asked “What do you think of John?”
John We’d been in the wardrobe for a while and all the girls seemed to want to talk about was each others hair. Of course I wasn’t overly bothered I got to listen to Anna talking but then something happened. Anna was twirling one of curls around her index finger and then for no reason at all she asked the others “What do you think of John?”
Anna “What do you think of John?” as soon as I had asked it I regretted it. Don’t get me wrong Claire and Hannah are amazing, but they’re too much girl for my liking. “John? You mean the boy who came last week?” Hannah asked. “Yeah him” I replied. Claire and Hannah looked at each other than back at me “Why do you love him?” Claire questioned.
I blushed deeply “Of course not don’t be silly” I tried to hide my face with a pillow but Hannah had snatched it before I could. Hannah said “Don’t lie, your blushing it’s so obvious.” I was about to defend myself but I couldn’t. I whispered “Your right, I do love him”
John I couldn’t believe what I had just heard. I kept replaying what had just happened over and over in my head but it wouldn’t sink in. Anna Timmins just said she loved me. I wanted to charge out of this wardrobe and tell her I love her too, but she’d hate me for being here. So I stayed where I was, but I couldn’t help but smile. I turned to look at Jack and his face nearly made me laugh. He was doing gagging motions, of course he knew I liked her and was just messing. I leaned back against the wardrobe and sighed happily. And I thought to myself Anna Timmins likes me! Who’d of thought it?
Anna After telling Claire and Hannah about my feelings for John I couldn’t stop smiling. And not because someone knew, but because I couldn’t stop thinking about him. Since the day he said I was beautiful I’ve found it hard to concentrate. But the bad thing is, I don’t think he likes me. I’m like a boy
and if I remember correctly boys only like girly girls. I sighed aloud and laid back against the bedroom wall and smiled to myself. Then I heard someone sneeze, I sat bolt up right and turned toward Claire and Hannah. They seemed startled as well. We turned toward the source of the sneeze. It had come from the wardrobe.
John Ever since Anna said she loved me the girls had been rather silent. Claire and Hannah were doing each others hair and Anna was laying up against a wall. She was smiling to herself. And all I could think about was what was she thinking about. What I wouldn’t have given to hear her thoughts at that moment. And then she sighed happily. What ever she was thinking about was obviously something good. But then the worst happened. I heard a sneeze. It was close and since I was the one peering through the crack at that point I knew it wasn’t one of the girls. I turned to look at Jack. He had his hand over his mouth and his eyes were wide with fright. I turned back to the crack and saw the girls heading towards
Anna We headed toward the wardrobe. I was livid with anger, for whoever was inside knew about the John thing. I was ready to kill whoever it was. As we grew closer I heard muffled voices. Next thing I knew the doors were swung open and Jack was running out of the room. As I knew Jack wasn’t crazy I turned to see who the other boy was, and as our eyes connected my face turned bright red. It was John. He had heard what I had said. He knew. Oh my God he knew.
John The doors swung open and Jack ran for his life. I was faster than him so I could have gone too. But I was frozen. Because there was Anna stood no more than 1 metre away from me. She watched Jack leave and then she began to turn towards me. I could see she was mad. But as our eyes met her face turned red, not with anger but with embarrassment. She knew
I knew. I blushed as well and said “Hello Miss Anna” She tried hard not to smile, but couldn’t stop the grin from spreading across her face. She turned to her friends and said “Strap him to the chair” They smiled and nodded. They picked me up and took me to the middle of the room. Hannah went to collect the chair that was in the corner of the room. And they sat me down and tied me to the chair. The girl’s stood around me. Hannah and Claire to the side’s, and Anna in front of me. “So you and Jack were spying on us?” Claire asked. “Yes” I replied. Anna asked “Why?” I smiled mischievously at her and said “We wanted to know some secrets” She blushed. “Claire, Hannah go and find Jack and torture him till you get information. I’ll keep an eye on this one.” She never lost eye contact with me. And I didn’t with her. They nodded and left giggling. It was just me and her, alone.
Anna “Claire, Hannah go and find Jack and torture him till you get information. I’ll keep an eye on this one.” I never lost eye contact with him. And he didn’t with me. They nodded and left giggling. It was just me and him, alone. We were silent for a long time; we never looked away from each other. It seemed we were both looking at each others features. His were so defined. His brown eyes were shining with happiness. His nose and ears were in proportion and his lips were in a set smile. Then he broke the silence “Did you mean it?” I knew what he meant but I decided to play dumb “About what?” “Do you love me?” he asked. I walked over to him and started untying the rope and said “Of course not, why would you think that?” it was a lie and I knew it. When the words left my mouth I caught his expression. He was upset about that, why was he upset about that? He looked down at the floor.
With out thinking I asked “Do you love me?”
John She asked “Do you love me?” I stood up and walked to her. She didn’t back away or even look angry; she stared into my eyes with deep content. I stared back into hers and I said “Yes, I do love you.”
Anna I couldn’t believe it. John was in love with me. I didn’t know what to say, we stood standing so close I could feel his warm breath on my face. A normal 12 year old girl would cringe away from him, but I wasn’t a normal 12 year old. I was a 12 year old in love. I stood on my tip toes and whispered into his ear “I love you too.” After I said that to him he wrapped his arms around my waist and I wrapped my arms around his neck. And as he bent his head down towards me, I couldn’t help but smile. Then our lips connected.
My first kiss, at that age I never thought I would be able to say that. Of course since I was 12 at the time, when we kissed about 20 seconds later we pulled away and said “Ewwww.”
After that day we were inseparable. By my second week at the home me and Anna were being called ‘Janna’ or ‘Anhon.’ And no sooner had it been our kiss, it was my birthday.
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday to Janna. Happy birthday to you” as everyone finished singing happy birthday; I felt slight pressure on my hand and turned to see Anna. She smiled at me and I smiled back and we said to one another “Happy thirteenth birthday.” All of the people in the home had bought us presents. Jack had bought me a book on practical jokes and he bought Anna, well he played a practical joke for her present. Of course she was expecting it and played one first. At three o’clock in the afternoon me and Anna were allowed to go in to the town to spend some of birthday money. First we went to the bakers and bought a slice of cake, it was on the house since the waitresses knew it was our birthday. Next we went to our favourite book shop and bought our favourite books, and then we went to sit on the shops comfy chair and read them. I was on chapter nine of my most loved Charles Dickens book Oliver Twist - when I felt Anna get off the chair. I lowered my book, raised my eyebrow and asked “What’s wrong?” She smiled and said “I’ve got something to show you, come on follow me” she ran off. I put my bookmark in and began to run after her.
“Anna where are we going? We’ve been walking forever” I complained for the umpteenth time. “We’re nearly there” she turned to look at me “I swear.” And the look in her eyes made me believe her. “So where are we going exactly?” I asked. She stopped and turned towards me “Close your eyes” she said. I looked confused and didn’t, she sighed and came to cover them for me. “Walk” she commanded. So I did. We walked a little further and then I heard something. It sounded like rustling of food wrappers. I thought I must be wrong but then I smelt it. Chip butties, the smell was intoxicating but in a good way. As we grew closer and closer, I began to smell all different foods. Strawberry’s, Apple’s, I could even smell the different drinks. Then the pressure on my eyes was removed and as the darkness disappeared I was left looking at the most beautiful sight. It looked like something right out of a fairytale. The meadow was filled with flowers of different colours; the trees were of the purest green I’d ever seen, and the sun had begun to set leaving the sky painted with reds and oranges combined. There was life everywhere you looked, young rabbits playing with brothers and sisters; a mother fox and her babies passing through and even a deer with her fawn.
Then I looked to the spot in which Anna was sat, it was a little picnic for the two of us. It seemed so grown up. I walked over and sat down next to her and smiled warmly at her. She smiled back. That day was the best for me, we joked, we laughed, and we ate. But what happened next was amazing.
I was taking my final sip of my Coca-Cola when I heard Anna sigh sadly. I put my glass down and turned to her. “Anna, what’s wrong?” I asked. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes “This isn’t going to last forever is it?” I thought to myself what does she mean? Of course it will, we love each other. But then I understood what she meant. One day she’ll be fostered or my Father will come back and we’ll never see each other again. So I sighed sadly as well, and leaned up against the tree. She leaned against my shoulder “This isn’t fair” she said. “I know” I replied “but I have an idea” I gently pushed her off my shoulder and jumped up. She stood up and asked “John what are you doing?”
I pulled out my penknife – a present from my mother, I never went anywhere with out it - and began carving in the tree. “John what are you doi-“she cut off as she read what I put.
I looked at her and said “This tree will always be here, and this tree will remind us of the vow we made.” She looked at me confused “Vow? What vow?” she asked. “The vow we’re about to make.” I held up my hand “Place your hand against mine” She rose up her hand and laid it against mine. I smiled at her warm touch, and then remembered what I was to say. “I John, promise to love Anna forever.” I nodded towards Anna and even though I said nothing to her she understood. “I Anna, promise to love John forever.” She smiled. “We promise not to fall in love with another person or marry them. We vow that we will wait for one another.” I entwined our fingers as she said “We vow”.
And from that day on we went to our tree and we just knew that we were destined to be together.
My life was complete, I had friends……I had Anna. My life could not be more beautiful, but it could become ugly. And it did.
I had been at the home for 8 months now; I was told by the workers there that I was now officially a real ‘Care Home Child’ and I couldn’t be happier. I had been called into their office and told that, so know one else knew. So as you can guess I went straight to Anna to tell her the news.
I knocked on her door. “Anna open up its me. I have something to tell you.” I pressed my ear up to her door, and I heard her crying. “Anna? Anna what’s wrong?” I cried. “Nothing” she sniffles “I’m fine.” It was so obvious that she was not fine. “Anna I’m coming in.” I said. I began to open the door. “John please don’t come in, I want to be alone.” She said. I felt so helpless I just stood at her door waiting for when she called for me.
It had been two hours and I was still waiting. I was leaning against her door, and no sooner was I leaning I was laying on the floor, breathing gently for I had fallen asleep.
I had know idea how long I’d been asleep for, but when I awoke all was quite. I looked at the grandfather clock and it read ten thirty at night, I had been here for 4 hours, waiting. It dawned on me, why had no one disturbed me. Not even Hannah and Claire, this was their room as well. They must all know and want me to find out myself. I stood up and turned toward the door. And with out hesitation I walked in. There was Anna asleep on the sofa bed. Around her eyes looked swore and red, it was obvious that she had been crying. I would not wake her, so I pulled a duvet of one of the beds and covered her with it. I grabbed myself a pillow and before I slept I whispered to her “Goodnight my sweet.”
I awoke to the smell of strawberries. I knew it was Anna, I recognised her shampoo. I opened my eyes and there she was lying next to me. Her head was turned away from me, But some how she knew I was looking at her. “I’m sorry” She said. I was confused “What are you saying sorry for?” She turned to face me “I didn’t tell you, what was wrong.” I smiled “No need to apologise, you needed time to get your head around it. For you I would wait an eternity.”
She smiled back “I’m ready to tell you” her smile vanished. “I’m ready to listen” I said, but to be truthful I didn’t want to know. If it was something that made her this upset, it can’t be good. We were silent for many minutes but eventually she broke the silence. “I’m being fostered” I froze. I couldn’t believe it; the girl I loved was leaving.
After Anna had told me that she was leaving, I had felt so empty. She was leaving in three days time, and I wouldn’t stray further than a metre from her.
She promised me that she would write and come back to visit me. But as I had learned, no one who is fostered has ever written or even visited. So I knew not to get my hopes up. I spent every waking day with her, cherishing every moment, knowing it would be our last. Every word, every breath, every hug and every kiss was sealed in my heart. I lived for her smile.
As the day grew closer and closer, Anna’s smile decreased in size. I wanted to make her happy, but I knew there was no way around it. She would never be happy again, as long as I was in the picture. I tried to tell Anna how I felt, but she wouldn’t hear it. She wanted me to stay with her, and to never leave her. Of course I didn’t want to leave her, but just the thought of her misery; it was enough to make a grown man cry. I would sacrifice my happiness just to see her smile again.
But who knew that that would really happen.
It was the day before Anna’s departure, and we were in the living room watching television when Ms. Williams ‘our carer’ came in. “Hey Liz, what’s wrong?” Anna asked. “There’s a visitor” Liz said.
Anna’s eyes widened in terror “What?! They didn’t come early did they?!” She sat up suddenly and looked out into the hall. Liz smiled reassuringly at Anna and said “No it’s not for you. It’s for John” I stood up. “W...W...What?” I was so shocked. I had been at the care home for 9 months, and no one had visited me. I didn’t have any family left apart from……but it couldn’t be. But then it walked into the room, and my body froze. The man walked through the door, his blonde hair hung over his eyes and was slightly ruffled. His blue eyes glistening, and his smile sweet and gentle. “Your father is here, and he wants you home.” Liz smiled. From the outside, you would have thought that he was a fine man, but if only they knew. Liz looked upon my Father with pure curiosity, and adoration. If only she knew the truth, then she would have never let him into the home. I looked upon my father, my eyes like daggers. As I looked into my fathers eyes, his smile became sinister as he said “Hello there son. Why don’t you come give your old Dad a hug”? My hands balled up in fists, my eyes became slits and I growled at him “Go to hell!”
Liz looked at me and her face showed she was appalled with my behaviour. While Anna reached out for my hand, and tried to un clench it. But even with all this happening I never looked away from my father. “Aw take no notice of him ladies; he’s probably just pissed because I left him here. But I can’t see why he’s complaining, being surrounded by lovely ladies like yourself” he turned to Liz. “Oh Mr. Richardson, how sweet” her cheeks turning a little pink. “I know you are” and with that he reached for her hand, and as he moved his lips toward her hand, his eyes turned to me and when his lips touched her hand, he smiled at me. My anger had gone off the radar; I wanted to confront him about what he had done to me. But I knew if I did, he would kill me and maybe even Anna and Liz too. I couldn’t risk their safety for my own sake. I knew that if I didn’t start acting nice, Liz or most likely Anna may suspect something. When he stood up to look at me again, he smiled. “So how about that hug then?” He was using me. He knew I wouldn’t be able to reveal that true side of him, so he was doing this to me. I knew I had to do it, so I walked to him. All I could get in my head was what had started on my fifth birthday, no matter how hard I tried to rid of the thought, I couldn’t. As I came closer to him, the pictures grew bigger and bigger, filling my head. But I couldn’t have Anna hurt. So I
walked over to him, and as he opened his arms I put the image of Anna in my head and hugged him. As we embraced, I could feel Anna’s eyes on my back. She knew something was wrong, and knowing Anna she won’t rest until she discovers what it is. But I could never reveal the truth, for it’ll put her life in danger. We were in brace long enough for my Father to whisper in to my ear “Good, you remembered what I said. Now if you don’t want you’re little girlfriend to get hurt, you better keep your mouth shut.” And he pulled away. I bit on the inside of my cheek to try and hold the tears back, but even with all my strength I wasn’t able to stop the first tear from falling. “Oh John, your so happy you’re crying” Liz said, holding her hand to her heart. “How adorable” If only she knew, I thought. I wiped the tears from my face and smiled thickly at her “Yeah, isn’t it just.” “Well of course, my son just adores me. Like I adore you, Elizabeth” My Father said and Liz giggled. I went to sit on the couch; I couldn’t bare to be near my Father and his flirtatious behaviour. I hid my head in my hands, trying to wipe away this nightmare. But as much as I feared, this was never going away. I thought back to the day when I and Anna first visited our tree.
“This isn’t going to last forever is it?”
I thought to myself what does she mean? Of course it will, we love each other. But then I understood what she meant. One day she’ll be fostered or my Father will come back and we’ll never see each other again.
And now I knew our worst fears were coming true. There was only one reason for why my Father wanted me home. It meant he wasn’t done with me yet. The tears began to burn my eyes, and I choked on a sob that was coming. Since my Father and Liz were to busy flirting, no one noticed. Except Anna.
No sooner had I been sat with Anna watching the television, I was up in my room packing my bags. I had never felt so empty before. This day, would be the last time I ever saw Anna. At the thought of never seeing her smile again, or even feel the
touch of her lips on mine. It was like my heart was being ripped from my heart and spread across the world. As I placed the final item into my bag, time seemed to slow. I walked into the hall, and the children from the home all came out of there bedrooms to bid me a’ dew. I hid my fear and sadness, and smiled at them all. As I grew closer and closer to the door, I thought of all the good times I had had here. I turned to Jack. His blue eyes glittered with tears, he smiled at me. “You come back and visit you hear?” he said. “Course I will” I smiled “Nothing could stop me.” He looked at his feet “I’ll miss ya mate. We have spent much time with each other lately, but you are my best friend.” And with that, he gave my shoulder a punch – his way of showing emotion. “See you around Jack.” And as he walked away I turned toward the door and walked towards my doom.
I headed towards my Fathers BMW – well what you expect from an owner of a cat house. As I was about to open the door “John!” yelled a voice. I turned to see Anna running this way.
Tears ran down her face, her hair blew out behind her in the breeze and as she drew closer a new explosion of tears began. She fell into my arms, her whole body shaking with tears. Her arms wrapped around my waist and her head was on my chest. Her breathing was broken. The tears carried on falling as she begged for me to stay. “Please John, please don’t leave me. I need you.” She cried. I was torn, I wanted to say “Yes of course I’ll stay stuff my Dad he’s nothing but a rapist” but I couldn’t for if I did, he would hurt her. I couldn’t let him do that. “I wish I could, but I can’t.” “I love you so much” she whispered. And as her sobs became quieter, a tear slid down my cheek and of my chin. I kissed her head and close my eyes. I would never forget our last moment together. I pulled her to look at me. I stared in to her eyes and she stared back into mine. “No matter what, I will forever love you. Their will never be anyone else. We’ll meet again. I promise.” And to seal that promise I leaned in.
As we drove away, I watched as my friends waved me goodbye. And as I looked upon my best friend and my one true love, I knew I must find a way back to them.
And as I watched Anna fade into the distance, I began a tearless sob.
Being home felt so strange to me. After living at the care home for so long, I’d forgotten what my house even looked like. I tried to remember, but whenever I thought of home the only
image that came to mind was the care home. With Jack and Anna. But my home was so different to that. It didn’t feel safe. It wasn’t full of love. No. This house was full of the past. And the past is scary. The one thing that I didn’t understand is, why did my Father come now? He could have come for me months ago. Why suddenly now? What did he want? What was he planning? What did he want? There were so many questions I had, and so little time. All the emotion, I had help inside me for so long was exploding inside me. The next thing I knew, my feet were running and I was heading toward a bedroom with the letters ‘J, O, H, N’ on the door.
I fell onto my bed and as the tears flowed, I yelled out. “I’m sorry Anne! I love you! I don’t want to leave!” I cried and cried. Only wishing she could hear me, then she would know why I left. I couldn’t stand being in my bed in comfort, when Anna was probably on the floor in tears. I stood up and looked under my bed; there was enough room for me. But then something caught my eye. It was a journal of some kind. I reached for it and as it came out from under the bed it had across the cover ‘For John’. I recognised my Mother’s handwriting.
I opened the book, and on the first page it read…
To my beloved John, I know you must hate me for what you have been put through; I know I would if I was you. But I want you to know that I always loved you, which is why this journal is for you. I hope you find this, and with it your dreams will come true. With love, Rose Elizabeth Tyler – Your Mother.
My eyes welled up with tears. My mother had given me a journal to make up for what she had done. I know many would say that this is not enough, but to me – it meant the world.
I didn’t know what to write about. There was so much I could say. So many things I could confess about.
That’s when I knew.
I picked up my ink pen and began writing.
Life. A word I had never been fond of. It meant nothing to me. Ever since I turned four years old I have longed for death…
I stopped writing and smiled to myself. I knew I could never reveal what happened to me as a child, but I could write it down. That wasn’t breaking the threat. And so I continued writing.
Next thing I knew, it was 9 o’clock at night and I had written about everything that had happened to me up until this exact moment. My stomach grumbled. I hadn’t eaten since this morning at the….home. I didn’t want to go downstairs. But when my stomach grumbled again, my hunger made up my mind. And I left my room and started heading down the stairs. “He’s up in his room” a rough voice said. I froze. “Of course he can’t hear me. And if he did, I have ways to silence him.” Even though I couldn’t see him, I could hear the smile in his voice. “Don’t worry.” He said “No he doesn’t suspect my reasons.” I was confused. Reason’s for what? “Well why would he suspect that I took him away from his girlfriend to keep him silent about the rape.”
My eyes widened. That bastard had taken me away from Anna, to keep me silent about what he did to me! Anna. My head dropped in despair. My Father truly was evil. “Wait. I hear something, I’ll call you back Bill.” The beep of the phone told me I was in trouble.
I rushed back to my room as quietly as I could, I knew if he caught me I wouldn’t just be fearing for Anna’s safety.
But then the worst happened.
There was a loose slate of wood on our floor and since I hadn’t been home for a long time, I had forgotten all about it.
That’s when I went flying.
Everything went in slow motion, as I flew through the air I heard my Father turn around the corner and with out even having to look I could feel the anger radiate from his body. And then I hit the ground. Everything went silent. Dark. Empty. Nothing.
As my eyes began to open, all I saw were fuzzy shapes. I blinked consecutively, but the fuzziness didn’t go. My head throbbed. I tried to move my hand to my forehead, but…I
couldn’t. My hands seemed to be tied to the bed. I tried to pull them off, but I didn’t have all my strength back yet so my effort was meaningless. “So you over heard did you?” a voice said. I couldn’t see where it was coming from, but I knew it was close. I tried to play dumb. “What did I hear?” I said.
The voice had slapped me round the face. The force of the slap gave me my vision back, and I saw my Father. Of course I had known it was him before, but looking at him now made me wish it was someone else. I’d rather have Jack the Ripper here than my Father. And that’s saying something. “You know what I mean you stupid bastard!” My Father yelled. “Did you hear me talking to Bill?!” I couldn’t let him know that I had, he would kill me. “No I didn’t. Who’s Bill?” I asked. I wasn’t as convincing as I could have been. I thought he had bought it. But a sinister smile appeared upon his face. And that look took me back to the day of my fifth birthday.
“Seems I’m going to have to try a different method.” Once saying that, he began untying me. I thought he was going to let me go. How wrong could I of been. He barricaded me with his arms, and stripped me of my clothes. Next thing you know, I’m strapped to a chair with fear in my eyes as I looked at my Father holding a whip. “I won’t ask again!” He cracked the whip “Did you hear me talking to Bill?” I wanted to tell him, but I knew if I did he would kill me. But even if I didn’t he’d still kill me. There was no way around it, either way I died. “No. I didn’t hear anything I swear! Please, just let me go.” I begged. He defiantly wasn’t convinced.
That was the sound of the whip connecting with my body.
SMACK! SMACK! SMACK!
Tears ran down my face as he whipped me another three times; once on my stomach and twice on my back. I bit my lip and tried not to scream.
“Please!” I sobbed “Please stop!” “You brought this on yourself!” He yelled “This wouldn’t have happened if you had told the truth.”
That was the final blow; I felt blood trickle down my face. My Father panted with exhaustion “I…won’t ask again!” He cracked the whip “Did you hear me talking to Bill?!” I dropped my head in despair and answered. “Yes. Yes I did.” I closed my eyes and a-waited for the final attack. But when nothing came, I looked up. There was no one there.
“FATHER!” I screamed. No reply.
“FATHER COME BACK! DO NOT LEAVE ME TIDE UP LIKE THIS!” Still no one answered. I was going to give up calling for him. I knew he would never come, but I tried one last time. “FATHER, COME BACK!” I heard movement coming down the stairs. It was only now that realised we were in our basement. I didn’t even know we had a basement. The movement became clear footsteps as they grew closer. Then my Father entered the room. “So you’ve learnt your lesson now have you?” he grinned. “Yes. Yes I have please, please let me go.” I sobbed. His smile was cruel. He walked closer and then he was next to me. “You know, theirs no one around. And their will never be anyone around. I could easily rape you now.” His hand caressed my face; I cringed away from his touch. He sighed. “So easily I could slip of my trousers and have my way with you” He looked down at me, my eyes wide with terror. “So easy, and yet so not worth while.”
He looked at his watch. “Hmm 2’oclock.” He walked behind me, and began untying the rope. When the rope came off, I rushed into my clothes. “Say what time is your girlfriend leaving?” I froze. “Anna.” My eyes welled up; I turned to my Father “You Bastard! You did this. You took me away to keep me silent about what you did! You had no right! I wouldn’t have said anything anyway! Anna means more to me, than my life!” I screamed at him. He just laughed “You better hurry, the care homes a mile away.” He clapped his hands together “Chop, chop. I’m done with you now, you needn’t come back.” And with those words I ran.
I had to get to Anna before she left. I just had to. I couldn’t let her go with out saying goodbye. I needed to tell her I loved her. My legs had a sudden burst of adrenaline, and then I was soaring. As tears welled up in my eyes, I carried on running. All I could see was the picture of Anna sealed in my mind. I was running out on energy, my heart was racing and my breath came out in short gasping breaths. But still I ran. I must truly love her. I did not know how long I had been running, but all I knew was that I was getting closer. My legs were numb, my chest on fire, and yet I continued to run. Every moment I had spent with her ran through my mind, like a movie on fast forward. And that’s when I saw it. The care home’s roof, was poking over the top of a field of trees. “ANNA! I’M COMING!” I yelled.
As I grew closer and closer, I heard a chorus of “goodbyes” and “I’ll miss you’s”. I was too late, she was leaving right now. As I rounded the corner, the sound of a car started made me freeze. I saw Anna. She was getting into the car. I tried to run to her, but for some reason my body wouldn’t respond. And then the car began to move. “ANNA! WAIT!” And that’s when my legs kicked into gear. “ANNA!” I yelled. I ran after the car. “ANNA! I LOVE YOU!” I screamed. Anna’s head looked up.
She turned around and saw me running. Her eyes widened. She hadn’t expected me here. Here whole body turned to face me. “ANNA! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!” Tears blurred my vision, and as I whipped them away Anna waved goodbye.
She looked me in the eye and mouthed to me “I will always love you” and as she closed her eyes, a single tear fell down her cheek.
And then Anna was gone.
Never to be Forgotten
“John the Smith’s are here for you!” Liz called. I stayed lying in on my bed.
My hood was up, and I turned the radio too full blast. It had been four years since I had lost Anna, and let’s just say – my life has become more shit than it was in the first place. Every day the memory of me losing her replay’s through my mind. And I have hated myself for it. Why wouldn’t my legs move? I could have stopped her. And yet, my body seemed to not want too. Since that day, I have hated myself.
I curled myself up into a ball on my bed, and closed my eyes and pictured her face in my mind.
I’m sixteen now, and I had been fostered many times. Let’s just say it didn’t go as well as it could have.
I got into fights. I ran away. I would argue with my ‘family’. I would break things. And every new place. Every new home. Every new family. I would do the same. I didn’t want a family. I didn’t want anything except……to turn back time.
I wanted to go back to the day that Anna left, I wanted to make my legs work, I wanted to get to her in time, and I wanted to tell her I love her. I wanted to kiss her, I wanted to wrap my arms around her and never let go. I wanted to marry her; I wanted to have babies with her. I wanted to grow old with her. But I can’t go back to the day she left, I can’t make my legs work, I can’t get to her in time, I can’t tell her I love her. I’ll never get to kiss her again; I’ll never get to wrap my arms around her and not let her go. I’ll never get to marry her; I’ll never have babies with her. I’ll never get to grow old with her. All those never’s, can’ts and won’ts are the things that make me cry at night. There the things that make me go through so many foster families. There the reason I wish death would hurry up and take me.
My door opened and I sat up straight. It was Liz. “John didn’t you hear me calling?” She asked “The Smith’s are here for you.” Her eyes widened “John! You haven’t even packed yet!” She walked up to me, hands on hips. “John why haven’t you packed?” I sighed “What’s the point? I’ll be back here in another couple of days.” I laid back on the bed.
She let out a huff and replied “If you didn’t have this attitude then maybe you’d get on better with your foster families” She just didn’t understand. All my life I had been treated so badly, and then when one good thing final happens to me it’s taken away so quickly. I just wish I could tell Liz everything. But she wouldn’t understand. I closed my eyes and pinched the brim of my nose “You don’t understand! I don’t want I family. I never have and I never will!” My voice broke and I whispered “I just want Anna back” I turned away from Liz. “Please, just leave me alone.” I sniffled. Liz sighed, but in an understanding way “Of course. I’ll tell the Smith’s. I’m sure they’ll understand.” I felt her smile. And as she closed the door, I fell into a dreamless sleep.
I saw Anna. She was getting into the car.
I tried to run to her, but for some reason my body wouldn’t respond. And then the car began to move. “ANNA! WAIT!” And that’s when my legs kicked into gear. “ANNA!” I yelled. I ran after the car. “ANNA! I LOVE YOU!” I screamed. Anna’s head looked up. She turned around and saw me running. Her eyes widened. She hadn’t expected me here. Here whole body turned to face me. “ANNA! PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME!” Tears blurred my vision, and as I whipped them away Anna began laughing at me. I slowed down my pace. Why was she laughing at me? She coked her head sidewise and I averted my eyes to a figure sat next to her. It was another boy. He turned to face me.
His eyes were as black as the night, his hair ruffled and brown, while his smile shone with accomplishment. I stopped running. For there was no where to go. I was in an entirely different place. Where walls surrounded me in darkness. I looked to see if I was OK, and I had changed. I was sixteen again. I looked up and there was Anna and the mysterious boy. But she looked older. Anna and the mysterious boy stood in front of me, smiling. “Anna, who is this boy?” I asked accusingly. She smiled “Oh him, he’s a better version of you.” I winced. Why was Anna with this guy? Didn’t she love me? I stood up. I was confused “I don’t understand. I thought you loved me.” She sighed “John, John, John.” She walked closer “Can’t you see? I never really loved you.” My eyes welled “W...W...What?” She let out a frustrated sigh “How many times do I have to say it?!” she pushed me “I never loved you! Nor will I ever love you!”
Those words cut deep. I closed my eyes. “Every kiss, every hug, every word was a lie to fulfil my needs. I’m a woman. It’s what we do!” “SHUTUP!” I yelled. She didn’t look stunned or even scared of my anger, she looked like she was enjoying it “Aw did I hurt little Johnnie Wohny’s feelings?” I nodded, even though I knew that most likely wasn’t a good idea. “Well good!” She yelled back “I can’t believe you even thought I would love you! You’re a scrawny little bastard who deserves to die!” I looked up, to beg her to stop. But as I did…
Her fist connected with my chin. And as I fell toward the floor, I saw her and ‘the new John’ walk away laughing, whist their arms were wrapped around one another. Then I hit the floor. “ANNA! NO!” I screamed. Liz came rushing in to my room.
“John what’s wrong?” “Make it stop” I cried. “Make what stop?” She asked. “The nightmares.” I whispered “Make them go away” I rocked myself back and forth “Bring Anna back” I sniffed “Please. I can’t live with out her.” She held me close. “It’ll be OK. You’ll see her again. I promise.” She kissed the top of my head “It’ll be OK.” I only wish I could believe her.
Every night the nightmares became worse and worse. All ending with me crying into Liz’s shoulder. Why I was having these dreams, is unknown to me.
Each time I awoke from these dreams, I would cry out in pain and horror. And every time Liz would come to see if I was OK. Liz hardly comes now. It seems, she has grown tired of trying to look after me. She now leaves that job to my physiatrist. Yes, a physiatrist! Liz now believed that I was obsessed with Anna, and that I needed professional help. Of course at first I thought she was joking. But then Dr. Fibbs came the next day.
Dr. Fibbs wasn’t you usually looking physiatrist. He arrived at the home in what can only be described as a ‘Danny Zuko’ copy cat. His black hair styled with hair gel in the same position. He wore a black tank, tight leather trousers and a leather jacket that read on the back ‘GREASE IS THE WORD!’ So I’m guessing he’s a BIG fan.
Our first session was probably the biggest waist of time ever. Dr. Fibbs or Danny, since we were on first name basis. Sat in the green chair opposite of me. His leather jacket hung over the back of his chair, while he held a notepad and pencil in his hands. I – who was sat on the sofa – looked at him. “So, are we gonna start? You’re cutting into my writing time.” And I was telling
the truth. I had been writing in the journal from my Mother since the day I got it. I’d be needing a new one soon. His eyes widened “So you’re a writer are you Johnny boy?” “No, I just put down words on paper and call it art.” I rolled my eyes “Of course I’m a writer. Not like there’s anything else to do around here.” And that was the truth. When I came back to the home all my friends vanished two by two and then Jack, my only friend left, was gone. He nodded his head “So what do you write about?” He wrote in his notepad. “None of your business” I replied. He nodded his head, and wrote in his notepad again. I sighed with disbelief. I can’t believe this was actually happening to me. He put his notepad and pencil aside. And slid himself to the front of the chair. “So John, I hear you’ve been having nightmares?” My eyes widened, that was hitting bellow the belt. “Yes.” I said through my teeth. He smiled, as if he’d finally gotten somewhere “About this girl. What was her name…..Annie?” “Anna!” I yelled.
“Oh Anna.” He said “So John, did Anna break your heart?” I closed my eyes. How could he say such things? Hadn’t Liz told him what had happened? “Why are you avoiding the question?” He pressed “Was she even real? Then I broke. I jumped up “SHUTUP!” I yelled “YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING! SHE WAS REAL! I LOVED HER AND SHE LOVED ME!” my voice lowered in pitch “And then she was taken away from me” I sat down on the floor “I was too late. I didn’t get to her in time.” Danny came and sat next to me “I let her down.” He hung his arm loosely over my shoulder “I didn’t even get to say goodbye.” I leaned on his shoulder for support. “It’s going to be OK, I’ll help you forget all about her” He said. My body froze. He noticed my sudden change “John? Are you OK?” I stood up. “What did you say?” He looked confused “About what?” My fist’s shook with anger “What do you mean about forgetting ANNA?!”
Danny suddenly looked frightened. “John calm down. I didn’t mean forget Anna….” I butted in “That’s what you said!” I imitated his voice when I said “It’s going to be OK, I’ll help you forget all about her” “I didn’t mean Anna. I meant your dream-“ “DON’T LIE TO ME!” I screamed “HOW CAN YOU TELL ME TO FORGET HER! I LOVE HER!” He stood up. He was now directly in front of me. “John, calm down. I don’t want you to forget Anna. I want you to forget the dream.” I was so full of rage, my judgement was blinded. “John please, listen to me.” He tried to reason with me “I’ll leave, you don’t need sessions.” But I was far from reason. I wanted him to hurt. I wanted him to feel pain. But was I able to do it? I guess my fist answered for me.
My fist collided with Danny’s stomach.
I felt the air being knocked out from him, and a sick feeling exploded inside of me. Why did I do this? How could I do this? I looked down to the man who tried to help me lying across the floor. He coughed and spluttered. And not once did I try to help. I had no idea what to do.
So I ran.
I had never felt more ashamed of myself. I ran away from my troubles at any opportunity I got. I tried to change that. But it’s landed me running again. As I ran I began to think to myself, about what I had done.
And there was a side to me thinking I should have hurt him. He deserved it; he shouldn’t of bad mouthed Anna. She is the most wonderful person, and he told me to forget her. And then denied saying it. I should have hurt him more than just once.
That was my irrational mind thinking. But then the reasonable side spoke up and I began to think of how bad what I had done was. Why had I hit him? This reason was unknown to me. He had done nothing wrong. How could I do such a thing? Is Anna that much of an affect on my life? How will I react next time someone mentions her name? I could really hurt someone.
As I thought about how all of these things came into concept, my pace slowed to a jog, to a walk, and then I came to a stop. I spoke allowed “What have I done?” And next thing I knew, I was running. But not away, I was running back. How could have been so idiotic? It was so obviously a method to help me! And yet I didn’t see that until now. I ran with all my might, wishing I could reverse time, and understand him. And to have listened.
As I ran I replayed that moment over and over in my head. Why couldn’t I see? Why couldn’t I understand? I guess the saying is true. When one is truly in love, they can be blinded by the truth. But when someone has loved and lost, being blinded by the truth can make you hurt the ones who try to help. In this day and age love is the greatest and most dangerous things of all. It can make you blind and vulnerable for most things. I must have been deep in love for the when the smallest of things happens I explode in anger.
I began to slow in pace, for I was nearing the home. And as I grew nearer and nearer my heart began to pound with fear. For what I had done was awful enough to even think of. But I had to apologise for what I had done and also explain the reason for it.
As I reached the door I closed my eyes for a single second and exhaled as I opened the door. For what lay beyond these doors showed my future, my wellbeing and what will happen if my heart is once again put to the test of its strength. As I walked through the halls, my breathing accelerated and then I entered the room from which I had rushed to escape. And my eyes looked to the man whom I had injured, and as our eyes met his showed anger and pity where as mine I could tell shone with apologies.
Seeing the look in his eyes I knew that I would never be forgiven. As I took my eyes from his I finally took into context what was going on in the room.
Liz was stood in the far corner of the room her hair was a mess – most likely from worrying – and her eyes set on me. I noticed a paramedic checking Danny over, and then my eyes set on….the police. I looked at Liz “Liz? What’s happening?” I looked to the police again and then back to her, fear rising in my stomach. Liz moved towards me, but cautiously “These men are here to help you?” she said. I was confused “What do you mean?” My fear was on an all time high, I took a small step back. Liz looked at me then the police and back again “Then going to help you with your issues. Then going to make you better, and help you get a family.” She smiled, but the smile held no warmth. For a boy of my age I wouldn’t really care where I was taken or who I was taken by. But with the life I have had the slightest change did affect me. The home was my life; it was the only thing I had left of Anna. Other than my memories. “But I don’t want to go, this is my home.” I cried. My eyes flicked to the police, their faces were filled with caution. But when I looked to Liz her eyes and face showed that she understood. I knew I most likely had no chance of getting my way, but I had to try. “Please Liz, make them see reason. This is the only thing I have left of Anna.” I moved toward her – slow and cautiously of course - and I looked into her eyes and whispered “I can’t lose her again”
Her eyes filled with remorse and I could see that she was about to say something, but she was cut off by The Psychiatrist. “He’s a nutter he is! He should be locked up! He’s f***ing mental!” He yelled those words so loud that you could here the venom in his voice “He hits me for no reason at all and you’re thinking of letting him off!” I was about to stand up for myself, but before I could get a word out Liz was up in his face. “How dare you!” She spat “How dare you come here and accuse my John of such a thing. I know what you did. You provoked him, I heard you.” She turned to me. “What did he say to you John, tell them.” She said. I was scared, but she nodded and smiled at me. And so I told them “He told me that the girl I loved wasn’t real. And provoked me into hurting him. He knew about her but he still continued to press on the fact that she wasn’t real and had broken my heart.” I looked to the police “I love her and he tried to hurt me by using that fact.” Danny’s breathing accelerated I looked to his face, it was livid with anger. “You bastard! If you had only kept your mouth shut I’d of gotten away with it.” He bellowed.
The police looked at one another and went towards Danny. The tallest of the two said to him “That was a messed up thing you did. You’ll be coming with us; it appears that you’re the one who is mental.” As I watched the police drag my present and now past psychiatrist away I couldn’t help but feel relieved and then for the first time in a long time, a smile broke out across my face. And then I began to laugh. I turned to Liz and as I continued to laugh, she joined in too. We laughed hysterically for hours on end.
I had never laughed so much before. And now I will never leave Anna again. I planned to keep it that way,
Part 5 The year is now 1987 and I have been in care for 5 years now. Usually the amount of this stay would be worrying. But me and Liz know that for me I am not entirely bothered. And there is no need for me to say why, since it is perfectly obvious.
I was now counted as a member of staff at the home, since I had not left for the half way house at age sixteen and now since I am seventeen I am officially a member of the home.
I feel like I finally have a family that love me and that I love back. At the home we all treat each other with the respect and courtesy we would show to anyone else. But of course there are times were we do get down each others throats.
And guess who deals with the fights? Yes it obviously was going to be me.
But the way that I deal with them, is that I tell them stories.
Stories as I like to think are the best medicine for a child, especially a care home child. It gives them a sense of hope of a happy ending. My most famous story that the kids enjoy was Oliver Twist. And to me it appeared that the only reason they wanted me to read this story was because they always liked hearing the story of how I got it. I was sat in the chair reading one of my Charles Dickins books when little Charlie came running up to me squealing “John! John! John!” I held out my arms for her to jump into. “What is it Charlie?” I asked as she snuggled into my shoulder.
“The other people tol me to ask you if you could weed us a stowry” She asked, her five year old voice slurring few words but it was still easy to understand. I smiled at her “Let me guess, Oliver Twist?” She shrieked with glee “That one! That one!” I laughed “OK sweetie, go get the others and I’ll grab the book” She nodded, jumped off my lap and scampered away. I shook my head and laughed “Same old story, everyday the same one. And they don’t even listen to the story. They leave as soon as I’ve finished telling them how I got it.” I began to laugh to myself as I retrieved my Oliver Twist book. As I looked at the front cover I smiled to myself, this book brought back so many memories. I went and sat down in the chair and closed my eyes imagining being back at our forest.
The meadow filled with flowers of different colours; the trees of the purest green you would of ever seen, and the sun having begun to set leaving the sky painted with reds and oranges combined. Life everywhere you looked, young rabbits playing with brothers and sisters; mother fox and her babies passing through and a deer with her fawn. Just thinking of it, imagining I was there. It felt like I was there, I could smell the fresh grass; I could feel the sun on my face and hear the animals around me.
And then a voice called out to me “John, I’m here” The voice sounded so far away that I could hardly hear it. It was a sound so quiet but so delicate. I heard it again.
“John, I’m here” it cried.
“Who are you?” I called into the distance.
“John, I’m here” it cried again.
My eyes widened as I looked into the distance “No” “John!” I awoke with the yell of my name “Anna?” I shook my head “What a strange dream” I heard someone clear their throat and I looked to see Charlie with her hands on her hips, her lips pouted in a cute five year old way. “John! You said you’d weed us a stowry” she stomped her foot “But you fell asleep” I smiled; Charlie was always the one to get in a state about story time. “I’m sorry sweat pea, how about when I’m reading you sit on my lap?” She squealed with joy while all the other kids whined.
“John, that’s not fair” said Joshua. “I want to sit on your lap John” Laura cried. I had been told earlier that day by Liz that eleven year old Laura was in love with me. So I wasn’t surprised by her comment. “Sorry you guys and Laura maybe next time hun” I smiled at her. She blushed and nodded, I then over heard her whisper to the girl she was next to “He loves me too! He called me hun”. It was so hard not to laugh, but I held it in. “So, are you guys sitting comfortably?” they nodded “Then I’ll begin” They giggled, remembering the time I told them how Liz use to watch TV as a child. I cleared my throat “Baby Oliver’s mother died almost immediately after giving birth to him in a workhouse……” I was cut off by the shrieks of the children listening to the story. “NOOOO!” They cried. “Tell us how you got the book John” Joshua yelled. A mumble of agreement filled the room, “Please John, we’ll be very grateful” Laura whispered. I sighed.
I looked at the children’s faces, it was enough to make an evil villain break down and do as they please. My eyes moved to Charlie and then to the others. “OK then.”
Part 6 “The story of how I got this book was both the best and sometimes worst day of my life. It was the day that me and my one true love…” “Humph” Laura said and folded her arms crossly.
I laughed and continued “It was the day that me and one of my true loves” I looked at Laura – just to make her happy – “Finally realised that our love was the greatest thing that could ever happen to us. Even though we knew it could not last forever. It was mine and Anna’s thirteenth birthday and we were allowed into town for a birthday treat. “On arriving in the town we first visited the bakers and were given free cakes – they knew it was our birthday you see – and after finishing them we set off towards our favourite book store. With the money we were given we bought our most favourite book – in my case it was of course Oliver Twist – and that is the end of my story.” They all grumble. “You’re lying John, you told more last time.” Cried Charlie. I sighed and thought to myself children can be so annoying at times. “Do you really want to know the rest?” I asked. “Yes!” came a cry from my audience of demanding children. And so I continued from where I left off. “After buying our books, we went and sat next to one another in the ‘comfy chair’ in the shop and we began reading. I had gotten to about Chapter 9 of Oliver Twist when Anna suddenly stood up and said “I’ve got something to show you, come on follow me.” And so I followed her. We had been walking for a long time when she stopped and turned towards me “Close your eyes” she said. I was confused and didn’t, she sighed and came to cover them for me. “Walk” she commanded. So I did. We
walked a little further and then I heard something. It sounded like rustling of food wrappers. I thought I must be wrong but then I smelt it. Chip butties, the smell was intoxicating but in a good way. We walked closer and I began to smell other things. And then the pressure on my eyes was removed and as the darkness disappeared I was left looking at the most beautiful sight. “It looked like something right out of a fairytale. The meadow was filled with flowers of different colours; the trees were of the purest green I’d ever seen, and the sun had begun to set leaving the sky painted with reds and oranges combined. There was life everywhere you looked, young rabbits playing with brothers and sisters; a mother fox and her babies passing through and even a deer with her fawn. Then I looked to the spot in which Anna was sat, it was a little picnic for the two of us. It seemed so grown up. I walked over and sat down next to her and smiled warmly at her. She smiled back. “That day was the best for me, we joked, we laughed, and we ate. But what happened next was amazing. I was taking my final sip of my Coca-Cola when I heard Anna sigh sadly. I put my glass down and turned to her. “Anna, what’s wrong?” I asked. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes “This isn’t going to last forever is it?” I thought to myself what does she mean? Of course it will, we love each other. But then I understood what she meant. One day she’ll be fostered or my Father will come back and we’ll never see each other again. “I had an idea though; I jumped up from where we were sat and pulled out my pen knife and carved our names into the tree. I looked at her and said “This tree will always be here, and this tree will remind us of the vow we made.” She looked at me confused “Vow? What vow?” she asked. “The vow we’re about to make.” I held up my hand “Place your hand against mine”. She rose up and laid her hand against mine. I smiled at her warm
touch. “I John, promise to love Anna forever.” I nodded towards Anna and even though I said nothing to her she understood. “I Anna, promise to love John forever.” She smiled. “We promise not to fall in love with another person or marry them. We vow that we will wait for one another.” I entwined our fingers as she said “We vow”.
“And from that day on we went to our tree and we just knew that we were destined to be together. The end”
I looked at my audience and smiled noticing how most of them had dosed off. And when I looked down at Charlie her arms hung loosely at her side but one hand held tightly on to my shirt. I laughed gently to myself “Kids these days fall asleep at the best parts”.
Part 7 “JOHN! JOHN! JOHN!” Charlie screamed. I turned to see her galloping towards me, I opened my arms wide and she jumped straight into them. “What’s up Charlie-Warly?” I asked, of course knowing what it was.
“It my birthday today John. I’m six today.” She smiled with glee. “It’s your birthday is it? Now then, I guess you’ll want your present?” I looked at her face as it lit up with excitement. She pretty much leaped out of my arms it took a lot of effort to try and not have her fall. She turned to me and screeched “Now John, please can I have it now?” “Maybe” I smiled and began to walk away. “John! That’s not fair, please.” She begged “You’re my besterest friend in the world!” I stopped and turned to look at her “So can I have my present please.” “Ok sure you can. Its right this way follow me.” I led her to the living-room were a little red box was sat upon the table. She looked at me and back to the box, checking to see if she was correct in thinking. Of course she was and so she went straight for it. She opened the box and what she found in there made her speechless. And with Charlie, well that’s saying something. The look on her face as she looked at the glass angel was priceless. She turned it from side to side watching as the sunlight bounced on and off of it. She looked at me; her eyes shinned with tears “its beautiful John, It’s really pretty” She stood up and gave me a giant hug. I was rather surprised by this reaction. Usually on her birthday’s I’d give her a
present and she’d go straight to show her friends. But this time she didn’t go, she stayed with me for the whole day. We sat on our chair and just talked. And when she fell asleep on my lap she still held the angel in her hand.
Me and Charlie had been dosing on our chair for a while, but of course I did not know how long we’d been sleeping. But suddenly I was awoken.
It was Liz, she was gesturing for me to come talk to her. The way it looked it seemed to be important. I gently lifted Charlie off my lap and laid her back on the chair. And I followed Liz into the other room. “So Liz, what’s up?” One look at Liz’s face and it was obvious that it wasn’t good news. “Liz you’re worrying me now, is everything OK?” I began to panic “It’s not one of the kids is it? Are they OK? Is it Josh? Or Laura? Please tell me it’s not Charlie!” Liz shook her head “No there fine, it’s none of the kids. It’s you.” “What about me?” I asked. “Your nearly eighteen now and I’ve just been told, that when you turn eighteen you have to…..” she exhaled heavily “Um…you have to…leave”
I was shocked “What?” “You have to leave when your eighteen” She whispered “I’m sorry John” I couldn’t believe it. It’s not fair. What about the kids? I can’t just leave them. Charlie? How could I leave Charlie? And then a thought came to my mind.
I’m losing Anna again.
Part 8 I couldn’t believe it; I had to leave the home. I couldn’t leave the kids. It’ll break their hearts, it’ll break mine. Poor Charlie, I can’t believe that I’ll be leaving her. It’ll kill her. I was like a brother to her, and she a sister to me. The whole house was my only idea of a family, and I couldn’t believe I’d be losing them in no more than 6 months. For me that’s not enough time to smile, let alone to say goodbye. It
had been two months since Liz had told me what was to happen, and during that time I had been spending as much time with the kids as I could. I knew that I would have to tell them at some point, but I just couldn’t bring myself to do it. Just thinking about it just reminded me that it would be happening. And right now, that’s something I didn’t want to think about. My life had been destroyed so many times that I had began to get use to it. But something of this strength would be un bearable. Even with all this pain that I feel about losing the only thing I have close to family, the pain is not as heart aching from the time that I lost Anna. But it was bloody well close.
As the time drew nearer and nearer, I knew that I would have to tell them soon. But there was someone I had to say goodbye to first. Darkness. That’s all I could see, of course I did have my eyes closed. I exhaled; I knew I had to open my eyes sometime. But I was afraid, all the memories it would bring back. They were good memories, but it’s too sad to think of them. I breathed in and opened my eyes. It looked the same as it did five years ago.
The meadow filled with a variety of different colours, the trees of the purest green. And as the sun began to set, the colours danced across the sky. And as the animals sprung to life, I began to walk towards our tree. It was the tree where our names were engraved; it was the tree where we vowed to only love each other. And it was the tree where we realised that our time together would never last forever. As I grew closer to it, I saw our mark.
A.T + J.R 4EVA
As I reached it I placed my hand over the mark and as I closed my eyes, I thought back to the day it was done. She looked up at me with tears in her eyes “This isn’t going to last forever is it?” I thought to myself what does she mean? Of course it will, we love each other. But then I understood what she meant. One day she’ll be fostered or my Father will come back and we’ll never see each other again.
So I sighed sadly as well, and leaned up against the tree. She leaned against my shoulder “This isn’t fair” she said. “I know” I replied “but I have an idea” I gently pushed her off my shoulder and jumped up. She stood up and asked “John what are you doing?” I pulled out my penknife – a present from my mother, I never went anywhere with out it - and began carving in the tree. “John what are you doi-“she cut off as she read what I put. I looked at her and said “This tree will always be here, and this tree will remind us of the vow we made.” She looked at me confused “Vow? What vow?” she asked. “The vow we’re about to make.” I held up my hand “Place your hand against mine” She rose up her hand and laid it against mine. I smiled at her warm touch, and then remembered what I was to say. “I John, promise to love Anna forever.” I nodded towards Anna and even though I said nothing to her she understood. “I Anna, promise to love John forever.” She smiled. “We promise not to fall in love with another person or marry them. We vow that we will wait for one another.” I entwined our fingers as she said “We vow”.
As I opened my eyes, I smiled to myself.
I lent my head against the tree and whispered “Goodbye my love.” I sniffled “I will always love you” And with those final words, I walked away. As I walked away the tears began to flow, but I brushed them away. I knew what I had to do. “I’ve got to tell them”
Part 9 “No John, you can’t” Laura cried. I sat in my chair with my head in my hands. I’d finally told them, and they were taking it worse than I would have hoped. I only had a couple more weeks until I turned eighteen, so it was obviously now the year 1998.
The reaction from the kids was heart breaking, But not as heart breaking as the reaction from Charlie. I lifted my head from my hands and looked at her again. She had been sat in silence for a long time now, no words, no change in movement, nothing. “Please John, you can’t leave. What about me- I mean us?” Laura spluttered. I sighed “I’m afraid I have no choice. I want to stay with you all, you’re my family.” My voice began to break “Woo, I’m getting all emotionally.” I laughed “What does a guy have to do to get a hug around here?” Next thing I knew, I was on the floor with a bundle of kids hugging me. A full house bundle. From where I was bundled, I looked towards Charlie. She was still sat in the same place. I was really beginning to worry about her. “OK guys, off you get” I said “Or no story” They screamed and all jumped up. “Can we still have our story?” little Francine whispered. I nodded “But first I want you guys to finish your chores and tidy your rooms. OK?” They nodded and before I could say GO they were gone. All except for Charlie, who was still silent and un-moving.
I walked over to her. “Hey Charlie, How are you?” I asked. She wouldn’t look at me; she turned her head in the opposite direction. I crouched by her side “Charlie please talk to me.” I whispered “Your like a sister to me, I don’t want to go.” I turned Charlie to look at me, and looked into her eyes. “Please forgive me” I cried. As I looked into her eyes, I could see they beginning to shine with tears. Her upper lip began to tremble, and as the tears fell she began a round of sobbing. “John, please don’t go!” She cried “You’re the only family I have! I can’t lose you.” She wrapped her arms around me and I held her close. “Shh...Shh…It’ll be OK.” I cooed. She cried into my shoulder “But it won’t be” she sniffed “Your leaving me” Those words that she said had finally broke through my mask. And I broke down in to tears. Me and Charlie sat together and let our tears out.
We both new what life was like with out a family, and since we’ve been friends we’re the closest thing to family. And losing family is the worst thing possible. “I’m going to miss you Charlie-Warly” I whispered. “I’m gonna miss you too” she replied. I pulled away from her and placed my hands on her cheeks “I will never forget you” She nodded “I won’t forget you either, never ever ever” she half smiled at me “I love you big brother” And as she hugged me I knew that what she had said meant the world to me.
Part 10 It was leaving day, and all the kids came to see me off. I had managed to buy a flat in Wolvercote it was to far from the home, a couple of hours or so. So I could still come back and visit. “We’ll miss you John, won’t we kids?” Liz said.
“Of course they’ll miss me, who wouldn’t?” I laughed. Liz came and hugged me goodbye, I kissed her on either cheek and then turned to the kids. “Are you guys going to be good?” I asked. They all nodded. “Good” I smiled “Am I going to get a goodbye hug then?” Laura ran towards me “NO JOHN! DON’T GO!” as she came nearer she jumped. Good thing I can catch. I was holding Laura in the air, but I quickly placed her back on the floor. “I’m sorry sweet pea, but I have to go.” I said “I won’t go far, I’ll still come back and visit.” She burst in to tears “But….but…I LOVE YOU…” I smiled “I know I love you too” Her eyes lit up “I love all you guys” “Thanks dude, really appreciate it” Josh said. In his usual cool mood, I’ve only seen his true side once. When his Mother told him that they didn’t want him anymore….over the phone. He cried in to my shoulder for hours. But he made me swear not to tell anyone.
“Come on Josh, come here” I said. Josh walked cautiously towards me “What do you want?” I didn’t say anything, I just hugged him. Next thing I knew he was sobbing into my shoulder. “Please John, please stay” he sobbed. “I wish I could” I look at the others “Anyone else want to join our hug?”
After our hug session, I got into my car. It was time to say goodbye. “I’ll come back and visit, I promise” I yelled from my car. “You better” Charlie said as she walked towards my car. “Is that a threat Miss Charlie?” I asked, with a smile in my voice. She smiled “It is Mr John.” “Will you be wanting a goodbye for now kiss then?” I asked. She nodded. I leaned out my car window and kissed her forehead and muffled her curly red hair. “Goodbye sister”
And as I drove away, I knew that I would never forget my friends from the home.
MORE STORY IS YET TO COME!