Just Like Magic

older couple at the beach

I never thought I’d feel like this again,

And yet…Nothing has changed~

For once again it is about your pain.

couple in back seat

You asked me to forgive you and so I did.

For after all I said, we were “just kids.”

sad couple on beach

Forgiveness is such a simple word,

almost like a magical choice,

an eraser that removes the memories,

of all those times you raised your voice.

Or the silence of  a hundred nights,

from the aftermath of a thousand fights.

Just like magic and POUF it’s gone.

A simple act that rights all wrong.

I might have been able to forget but in the end,

You made it all about  you again.

sad man reading

Keri London

2011©

And I wonder

smoke

Like a vapor

clearly visible

appearing

and

disappearing

breathe

you yanked me back

into a place

and then left

without a trace

sad girl staring out window

I want to

cry

and

scream

and shake you,

I want to run

and catch

and break you

sad break up

And I wonder…

was it you?

Or just a time

in my life

you took me

back to

doorknob

that made

it all seem

so much like

magic?

 girl with round light

Keri London 1977©

To Not Know Where You Went…

Some days I can wake up and…

you won’t be the first thing on my mind

crying girll 

But slowly, as my day begins,

you are there as my heart rewinds

peeking through the front door

I still can’t go a whole day,

but now I can go several hours,

without my heart feeling  as if it’s been

scraped upon the ground

sad woman2

I don’t look for you as I once did,

But I don’t need to, you’re always there

lonely window

Though I don’t wander through your life anymore

It’s not because I don’t care.

I just had to find my way back to my life now

to find a way to let go somehow….

phone message2

Sometimes it’s harder to catch my breath

as your memory fills my head like a scent

And other times it is like a relief

just to not know where you went.

Keri…

 letting go poem2

Indiscretions

computer instant message

Indiscretions

Like a scent that stills my soul, you come into my life.

You knock upon my door, though I’m someone else’s wife.

My morals have been tempted, as you hold the only key,

slowly giving back pieces of the younger parts of me.

couple riding piggy back

They fall like a puzzle, in a pile at my feet

As I watch a stranger plan with you, how we both will meet.

My life becomes a web of lies, as I crave to smell again,

the scent that led me, into this dangerous lion’s den.

hugging3

We do the dance for months, until I close the door,

telling you I just can’t be this stranger anymore.

And so I return to the life where I feel that I belong.

I ask you to move on and tell you to be strong.

computer man at night

And yet I know you linger, and you are watching me.

Sometimes I wonder, if my heart will ever be set free.

For that scent is on our skin, from all those years ago,

I still smell it every now and then, and  needed you to know.

Diane Reed

2014©

girl staring at computer screen

Can I Call You?

computer instant message

 

One late night when Keri was up in her study working on her book, she heard an Instant Message notification and switched her screen to the Internet and saw Jack’s name and an invitation to chat. Keri thought for a minute. Face book messages and emails seemed harmless but there was something so much more personal about Instant Messages, it was almost like a phone call. Keri leaned her head in her hands and then looked up again and without really thinking it through typed back “Hi”

computer man at night

At first the conversation was formal and then slowly they started a back and forth banter asking each other a lot of do you remembers. And then Jack talked about his work and shared that he attributed all of his success for the foot in the door her father had given him all those years ago. He said he’d never even known about computers and how they were his life now. He shared how successful he was and Keri’s heart felt a tug and typed back; “He would be so proud of you.” And Jack shared about how he called when her father died and Keri typed back “Really?” I never knew!!” Jack replied, “Yeah you were married by then, and your mom answered the phone and was pretty distraught and the conversation was just short and sweet. But I got the message.” Keri sat there as her mind re-winded. So many emotions filled her at that moment. And then Keri typed. “I’ve always felt guilty about your mom.” Jack shot back, “Why?!” Keri shared how she always felt that he’d felt that she’d caused him not to go and save her, that if he went sooner, he would have found her in time. “Oh baby, he typed, I never felt that way! Years later my dad shared with me in a counseling session that mom attempted suicide seventeen times!” Keri felt a flood of emotions and a rush of relief. It was almost as if a physical weight lifted. Tears filled her eyes. She’d carried this burden for all of these years and she could finally let it go.

phone message2

Jack typed. “Can I call you?” Keri froze. And typed back. “Jack, what are we doing?” But then typed in her phone number. And then her phone rang. “Hi” Keri answered. “Hi” Jack said in a rich male voice that gave her a funny feeling. “You sound so different but the same!” Keri said. “You sound exactly the same.” He replied warmly. “I was never going to give you my phone number she said.” He smiled and said “I already had it. You forgot to erase one of your signatures in the very beginning of one of our letters to each other but then you started erasing them so I figured you’d forgotten to erase the one I saw.” She felt her face grow red. “Well yeah, I guess I needed to trust that you weren’t going to do something crazy.” He laughed.

Soon they began texting and he began calling her regularly. She never called him nor initiated any of the texts at first but she’d answer and somehow convinced herself that she was just answering him and doing anything wrong. But she knew that she was stretching boundary lines and it had all become addicting. She’d been caught off guard for this need for the attention he was giving her. Though, she knew that it would take only one more step to fall down the rabbit hole and she was holding on for dear life.

************************

To be continued….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Like A Do Over

Brynne handed the laptop to Jamie who’d remained quiet. After she read their conversation she looked concerned. She opened her mouth to say something as Keri raised her hand in protest, feeling ganged up on and said “Believe me, it is perfectly innocent. But imagine how it must feel for me to be able to get to say everything I ever wanted to after three decades!” It’s like a Do Over!” Both Brynne and Jamie looked unconvinced. When Keri returned home a few days later, she found a pretty lengthy email from Jack. It said that it was her turn now. That he knew that she had things that she wanted to say and he wanted her to be able to say anything and that this time it was all about her and THAT is why he’d found her to tell her that.

girl staring at computer screen

Keri was glad that they’d moved their conversation to email when they’d begun to get a little more personal. Though nothing out of line was ever said. She’d been very careful to remember to remove her signature with all of her contact information attached before she pushed SEND each time she’d respond to one of his emails, remembering how Jack had stalked her at the end of their relationship all those years earlier. She didn’t think that she had anything to worry about but she was just being careful.

Closure

Over the first few weeks they exchanged a few random messages still on her face book page. But eventually moved to emails mainly because she just didn’t think that everyone that viewed her page needed to read their messages. Not because they had anything to hide. They’d been keeping the messages short and sweet and pretty stiff. Though, joking here and there. His corny sense of humor  made her smile when he’d shyly kid with her about something. She tried to picture him as he typed back  and the feelings caught her off guard and confused her but she felt that she was just feeling natural curiosity and feeling the relief of forgiveness after feeling the anger for so long.

 

computer man looking

When Tim came home later that week, Keri told him about the contact and he didn’t seem too concerned. Keri was the jealous one. Tim had never done anything to ever cause her to be the least bit jealous but she couldn’t help it. She’d always attributed her insecurities to her experiences with Jack, and Tim jokingly said he found it flattering and ridiculous when she’d pout about “something mainly all in your head.” He’d point out. Keri knew that Tim was faithful and Tim never had a reason to ever doubt Keri because she’d always been so disgusted with cheaters. So the news about Jack’s recent contact did not seem to distress him in the least, and he didn’t mention it again and neither did Keri as she snuggled next to him and watched his favorite shows with him.

older couple snuggling

Tim’s news of another business trip made Keri groan a bit but she was used to them and ever since Brynne moved out to go to school, Keri planned as many visits down South as possible and Tim would try to join her as much as his work allowed, he always tried to make it to all of his daughter’s performances. They’d planned a trip down South to visit her that next week, she was performing in a show that following weekend at her school. Usually they’d stay in a hotel or if Tim didn’t go too, she stayed at her best friend Jamie’s house who was Keri’s confidant; they’d known each other since before Brynne was born and she was like an Aunt to her. Sometimes Brynne would also stay over and the three of them would stay up late talking and laughing all night long. “So I guess you are going to miss next Saturday night?” Keri asked. “What’s Saturday Tim asked absent mindedly as he clicked the keys on his laptop trying to read a new email that had just beeped him. He looked up and seemed to remember and said, “Oh yeah hon, sorry I guess I will.” Keri sighed. She was disappointed but excited to see her baby and looking forward to some “girl time” knowing that they’d have a good time catching up at Jamie’s.

man on laptop2

Saturday night after a successful performance, they were all lying around, eating munchies and chatting when Keri said light heartedly, “You guys are never going to believe who Friend Requested me on face book. Both Brynne and Jamie looked up and asked “who?” “Jack!” Keri answered, waiting for their shock. Brynne was the first to respond, “Jack? The guy in the journal?” She looked horrified. Before Keri had a chance to reply she asked “Does Dad knooow?” “Yes, of course your dad knows.” Keri said quickly. He’s fine with it and he trusts me. He has always known I never got closure.” Brynne jumped up and turned on her laptop that she’d brought with her. “What’s your password?” she asked as Keri typed it in, Brynne pulled up her mom’s face book page and read the recent exchange between her and Jack. Keri knew that the conversations on her Face book page were all pretty generic and mostly just catching up. They’d just talked about their families and careers. Keri knew that everything that her daughter was reading was perfectly benign. Or at least she thought. “It sure doesn’t look like he is looking for closure mom.” Brynne said looking incredulous.

girl on laptop

The Friend Request

Jack? Jack! Her heart pounded. She sat still and reread the message over and over. She remembered when she used to imagine what it would be like if she ran into him. In the beginning she’d penned a few scripts in her head about how she’d tell him off. But then a few months right after they’d broken up, she and Laurie ran into him at the mall after a modeling job she’d just come from. She knew that she looked good and Jack looked so sad when they spoke. She never said any of the cruel things she’s planned. Perhaps it was because of how sad he looked, and for a split second, she felt as if she might even weaken and give up her resolve. Or maybe it was because Laurie was there and she’d come so far moving on, she stuck to her guns and remained strong as they shared a polite generic exchange, never giving him any encouragement for more, not even a hug. She turned to watch him walk away as she fought back the tears. So much emotion filled her at that moment. She wanted to run after him but she stayed stoic, wiping a tear from her cheek with her sleeve. Laurie asked “You okay?” She remembered just nodding; afraid if she tried to talk she would burst into tears. And that was the last time she’d ever seen Jack.

computer screen frustration

Now she sat in front of her lap top frozen, with her heart in her throat. She read his message over and over again. It was early in the morning. Tim was on another business trip and her daughter, now at school was four hours away. She pictured Jack at twenty two and felt like she was nineteen all over again.  Thinking,this is all so surreal. She felt her heart pounding in her ears and without even thinking, she replied;

Dear Jack,                                                                                                                                                                          

Hi yourself.                                                                                                                                                                                        

 Of course I remember you! HOW the heck are you?                                                                                                           

Keri

Dear Keri,

I am good. I’ve been attending a Men’s Mentoring Group through my church and one of the things we are supposed to do is ask for forgiveness. I immediately thought of you and have looked for you over the years. I didn’t have a last name to go by until your name just popped up in a Classmates website. I immediately looked for you and found you on Face book and saw the pictures there and knew you were the same Keri. You are still beautiful.

Jack

#60

Dear Journal,

When Jack and I broke up, I thought I was going to stop needing you. But I think I need you more than ever now. I want to remember everything so I don’t slip  and go back to my old ways and give in one more time. Just because I still really want to believe in all of his promises. He has not stopped trying to talk to me. I am so tired of finding him at my work or outside of my neighborhood.

So much has happened. I did go back. But not the way that you might think. I went back to get my things when I knew Jack would not be home. I told him that I was going to come and pick up my stuff when he would be at work and would leave my key. He told me to keep it and I told him I that I had no reason to keep it and really didn’t want it. I got there and tried to get everything fast. I knew he was at work and he promised not to show up. But I never know with him. All of my stuff was neatly piled in the living room waiting for me. I could still  picture it all over the lawn and it helped me to stay strong and not feel sad. Though…  It was a strange hollow feeling knowing that it would be the last time that I would ever be using “my key” to walk through that door again.

screen door

When I was walking back from the last trip, Jess called out from his screen door and he and Louise came out on their porch and called me over,  I went through their gate and they hugged me really tight. I sat on their porch with them and they told me that they knew everything. I wondered if Jack told them and then I realized that they’d heard and I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I told them about Switzer and they looked sorry for me and then told me that they would be glad to adopt him. I looked up and asked “Really?” Oh, I was so happy, I started crying and began telling them the whole story. I’d never told anyone everything. Even recently,  just bits and pieces. But I sat there and shared about the time on the sailboat and the time we went soaring and well, I guess they witnessed the New Year’s scene firsthand. They were so great. They told me that they were proud of me and how strong I was. They told me that they were “my” friends and anything that they could do, they would. I gave them  my parent’s  phone number since they only had the one from next door. Louise told me that I could still house sit  since Jack was leaving. I guess looked pretty surprised when they told me that he was moving out.

I guess that I looked a little taken aback finding out that he was moving out. I am not sure why I cared. But I did. They were very apologetic, though obviously thought that I knew. “That was not a great way for you to find out.” Louise said. But I said it was okay and asked what they knew.  They told me that the little house was already rented out or that actually our Landlord’s daughter was moving in.  Jess said that the other day Jack told him that he was moving to Cerritos for a new job offer. I thought that was weird since Buena Park,  is right next to Cerritos and was hoping that he wasn’t moving to be near my work.  But I didn’t mention anything. I guess I still wanted to believe that he wouldn’t do anything that crazy. I told them that I’d  be over to bring Switzer by later that afternoon before Jack got home from work and they said Mopsy would be happy to have the company.

As I stood at the front door I looked back and surveyed the little house that once held so many dreams and now just  held so many memories for me.  I slipped my ring out of my pocket and left it on the table in the entry way along with the key and noticed a small box sitting by the door where all my stuff had been. It was a little set aside so I almost missed it.  It held all of Annie’s letters, I thought Jack threw them away in a fit of rage. But he hadn’t. They were all neatly placed in the box with the ribbon carefully re-tied around them. I picked them up and walked out the door.

 

 

#51 The Calm Before The Storm

 

Dear Journal,

I think it must be that I have never had someone I loved die before. Or maybe I just don’t know what to do with the feelings of guilt that I feel. I want to ask Jack if he blames me for not letting him go see his mom when she called. I want to talk about it with him but I don’t want to make him talk about it if he doesn’t want to because after all, it has been months now. But I just can’t seem to move on inside and I still feel like I want to cry all the time.. When I wake up, I sometimes forget at first what has happened, and then I remember. I can’t stop remembering. My mom even said that maybe I need to see someone. I told her no way! That I was okay. That I would write it out. So here I am again. You know, maybe I should start praying more. I feel like this journal thing is kind of like talking to God in a way.

writingggg

I spend the night at Jack’s house a lot. I say I’m at a friend’s and they don’t ask anymore. I think they know that I’m with Jack. I’m not proud of it. The lying that is. Jack says it’s not lying. But who am I trying to fool?  Since his mom has died, everything has changed.  His house is ours  except that we  just aren’t married so I still have my bedroom at home and when summer is over I will have to go home again and sleep in my own room. But for now it is nice. We can do anything we want, anytime we want. It is so much better than sneaking around at his dad’s or at my house after my parent’s have gone to bed.  I have all my stuff, or a lot of  it at his house. Jack said that I am using him to play house and I told him that he is using me to have his way with me. He laughed and thought I was trying to be cute. I wasn’t.

  making out on top of bed

Larry kept coming around a lot when he knew Jack wouldn’t be home. I finally told Jack but he didn’t seem bothered by it. Funny, I may be young but I am not stupid. Larry is very good-looking. Did I mention that? I mean Disney Movie  Prince cute. And he knows it.  Much cuter than Jack if you liked that kind of thing. But I am attracted to the personality more than anything first and hitting on a friend’s girlfriend is not attractive to me.  I just find it strange that Jack has  been so jealous about every other guy that was doing nothing and yet when it is happening right in front of his face, he doesn’t seem to care.

Larry look alike

I introduced Larry to my friend Lindsay and they have been dating for a while now but Larry’s made it clear when they are not around that he wishes we were together. We hung out at the beach together a few weeks ago and in the waves, he was all over me. I am not sure how Jack missed it.

ocean playing