Keri’s last chapter…. Or at least an experiment, starting from the end and going forward….
After reconnecting, Keri was wary. But slowly let down her guard. Though there was never an innocent place for them to land. They said everything and more. All the things that they ever wanted to say after a lifetime of not being able to. It was almost like going under water and gasping for air as they hit the surface, taking a breath and going under over and over again. Trying not to respond. Not wanting to hurt anyone. Weaning themselves, from the connection. Most of their contact was through sporadic writing. It was hard to stop. A year would go by and then one or the other would break the hiatus with a bit of news. His dad died, his wife died, Keri’s friend died, there was always something, always a reason to reach out to the other, and maybe always would be, until God forbid, one of them died.
Keri knew now, that she’d been deeply in love with the boy, at least as much as a young girl could be, and recently had come to terms with the fact that her love for Jack the man, seemed to be convoluted with all the memories of Jack the boy.
Though through the intensity of their exchange her heart seemed to explode, Saying things she was afraid to say before but having nothing to lose now. It was empowering and in the beginning she was ruthless. Jack had no idea how crystal clear her memories would be. He’d found her first. From what he could tell, it was apparent that she was married with a family. He told himself that he was going to just ask for forgiveness and move on. Nothing more. But she surprised him by letting him into her life a little more than he’d hoped for. At first the exchange was very guarded and it pained him to know that she feared him. But slowly she began to share memories and he told her that “this time” IT would be about her, that he could take it.
For several months their exchange was lost in a fantasy, when they talked or wrote, they both imagined the younger versions of one another. It was hard to grasp the reality of what their relationship had become. Keri worked non-stop on her book the first year after they’d stopped the contact. And then, something just died inside of her. The need to write about it seemed to lessen. The last time she’d heard his voice gave her a sad panicked feeling, much like when she was a girl, trying to break up with the boy she’d loved so much. In a time she felt that there’d been no place to run.
Now she felt unsettled. Needing a place to land to write and remember. And so she wrote….
Why haven’t I learned to trust my gut? My first punch of intuition? Why didn’t I run like the wind like I did the last time we saw each other when I was so much younger and afraid of you? Did you know that I hid from you? That I hated you? And yet I loved you, she typed in agony. She stopped suddenly and clicked print. And read. She printed another and another page and crossed things out and added things and all at once she was inspired and for the first time began really writing.