The “YOU” inside my head

window seat girl

The shadows still block the light

and yet  sunshine flickers through.

When I wash my car, even now,

I always think of you!

washing cars

Why do my memories seem

like a valued work of art?

Why is it that yesterday

is still trapped inside my heart?

sad girl staring out window

Am I just in love with the boy

that I wanted you to be,

even though today,

you are but a stranger now to me?

couple at end of dock

It makes me wonder if I was just in love

with the “you” inside my head,

just a figment of my imagination

a mere fantasy instead…

peter pan never grow up

An escape from reality,

a place that I softly fall,

a love that I used to know

that meant the most of all?

computer2

Or was it ever really real,

that place I’d wander to…

The Neverland of make believe

where I thought that I’d find you?

Keri London

1977©

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

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

#62 YOU CAN’T HAVE ME NOW

praying man B&w

I am lost in your shadow

as I bathe in your tears.

You can’t have me now

so stop following me here!

future past present signs

I won’t be charmed

by your pleas and your sighs.

For my tears have cleared

the sight in my eyes.

You captured my heart

like  birds who fly into their cages.

bird cage

your words were like whispers

upon old folded pages.

folded page A

Your love haunted me

until I finally gave in,

But it was too late for us,

for… we began at the end.

Keri London

1977

Dear Journal #55 Life Goes On

 

Dear Journal,

Jess and Louise have been talking about going on another trip to Misourri soon but they said that they are waiting for the economy to do something. But it would be nice to drive from Lomita to work rather than from my house in PV. It just seems like PV is so far away from freeways and everything. If Jack and I could set a date then everything would be fine because this would be my house too but until then, I take the route around Portuguese Bend and get on the freeway through San Pedro. I drive past this wonderful house with blue and white awnings on Walker Street and think that someday… I want to live in San Pedro. And even though our house is in Lomita, I have this strong feeling that someday I am going to live in San Pedro. Maybe not in that house but in that town.  Weird huh?

traffic woman drivingsan pedro house

The other day I was out mowing the lawn and the wheel fell off again, I went in to find the wrench that Jess had given me and when I came back, Jess was out in the yard just finishing tightening up the wheel. He is so sweet. We couldn’t have asked for better neighbors! It was Thanksgiving a few weeks ago and they invited us over for pumpkin pie and coffee one night after dinner. I think that Louise is probably the best cook I know besides my grandma. I love the way their house smells. It reminds me of  the smell of my grandma’s house a lot.

lawn mower fixed

 

I think that Christmas is going to be hard this year. I guess it’s always going to be kind of hard for Jack and I. My mom invited Jack’s dad again this year but he said that he is spending it with Rachel at his sister’s. I told Jack that he could go too. But he said he’d rather spend it with us. We bought his dad a nice watch. I told Jack that we should have him over for dinner right before to give it to him. He said that he thought that would be nice.

We have been going up to Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear and taking our cross country skiis that Jack bought me. We go and find perfect spots to skii and then come back to our cabin.

cross country skiingcabin in the snow

 

We have found this cute place in Lake Arrowhead with a little kitchen and it’s own bedroom. It is so much fun. I love Christmas. I hope that the memories of what happend won’t ruin it forever. I was happily surprised last weekend, I’d spent the day with Lori going Christmas shopping since she is home for Christmas break and it was dusk when I drove up to find the last touches to Jack’s putting up Christmas lights on our house. I had the happiest feeling in my heart when I saw it!

Christmas lights vine

Jack and I invited friends over for New year’s Day evening. This year it falls on a Saturday so that is why we chose that night and besides, everyone has places to go on New Year’s Eve. Jack seems happy and to be getting into the spirit of things. I was so worried that he’d be sad. But he seems okay. It is hard to believe that we have been engaged for a whole year!

 

 

 

#52 Dear Journal – House Sitting

front porch
Dear Journal,
I’ve been house sitting for Jess and Louise a couple of times over the last few months. It’s been kind of nice because it’s like I have my own place. It has been so nice sitting on that wonderful porch after work with a glass of iced tea writing. I like to imagine that it is my house. I used to like to imagine that it was Jack and my place but it’s funny, now I pretend that it is all just mine.

mopsy and kitten

My parents are okay with me staying there alone.  When Jess and Louise go farm hunting in Missouri, they go for weeks at a time. At first I’d just go and feed Mopsy and come back over to Jack’s and bring her with me. It’s funny because Switze and her get along. You wouldn’t expect to see a dog and a cat playing so well. It’s very entertaining. Some nights, I just stay at Jack’s. But I told him that I’d rather sleep over there even though he wasn’t happy about it, because my parents are trusting me and I didn’t want to ruin things since this might be going on for quite a while.

 

 cocktailcouple on couch

One night I had Jack over for dinner and he stayed the night. But most nights, he goes home to his own place and I stay at Jess and Louise’s. On those mornings I don’t see him at all until we both get home from work.  A few times, I had Jack and Larry and Lindsey over for a barbecue during the week  and one weekend after we’d gone out dancing we’d all come back to the house and stayed up really late. We’d had a bottle of cab and Jack had just gone home when I was just cleaning up and  Larry came back over cuz, he’d forgotten his sunglasses. He ended up staying really late talking. And we really were just talking.  He  is a nice guy. But I’m not stupid.  I’ve said before, I know he likes me. I almost wish that Jack would have looked out and seen his truck and confronted him. But he didn’t.

engament ring

I still guess we are engaged. I still wear my ring. I think that Jack feels that engaged means forever. I do too. But I feel that engaged means setting a date to get married. I wonder if I took off my ring or gave it back and told him to keep it until he was ready to set a date what he would do? It is hard to believe that in a couple of months it will have been a year since we have been engaged.

 

 

#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

 

#49

Dear Journal,

It has been a while since I last wrote in you. And it is hard to believe that it is almost summer again! I got Jack a little kitten for Easter. When I was doing our laundry at the laundromat around the corner a little girl and her dad had a box out front with four kittens in them. There was one boy left so I got him and named him Schweitzer after the kind of Sail Plane that Jack has.

kittennn

Jack loves him and calls him Schwites. He is a funny little kitty and sometimes it seems as if he is trying to make us laugh. Jack let me invite Jess and Louise over for strawberry shortcake and it was a nice evening so we served it out on the patio. Jack took Jess into his shed to show him his workshop while Louise and I chatted. It was a nice night and as I was doing the dishes Jack said something about using HIM to play house. I was so hurt I just stood their washing dishes crying. I don’t even think he knew he’d hurt my feelings cuz later he grabbed my hand and said “lets take a walk” and everything was okay. We still haven’t set a date and it’s been almost six months since he proposed. I think that he really just wanted to make sure that I was not going anywhere but maybe he doesn’t really want to get married.

I had Finals last week and Jack was so proud of me. Even my dad joked about how he was glad that he wasn’t still paying me for my As! I now have a 3.8 average and I am so proud. I think that my dad thinks that Jack is good for me in that way because I never really got interested in school except for writing and my dental assisting classes helped boost up my GPA. Though that was all it was good for since I obviously have not done much with dental assisting.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the summer. The Center is trying to talk me into going to camp again but Jack does not want me to go at all this year. Everyone at the school goes on unemployment but they pay $100 for the week at camp so I told him I wanted to go and he told me that he’d pay me $100 not to. I think he is joking but he sounded kind of serious. He really likes to mess around and so do I but he seems to need it and in a way I am feeling a little used. I sometimes feel that maybe he would have set the date if I’d not given in to so much so fast. He is always jumping all over me and touching me and I love it because I love him but it bothers me sometimes that he doesn’t like me to say no.

couples kissing on bed

Anyway, Jack said I should work on my modeling and stay home and take care of him. (What do you suppose that means?) He is doing well at work. Did I tell you that Jack got promoted and switched to the day shift at work?  My dad was pretty impressed because I know he had nothing to do with it and Jack got a raise all on his own merits.

Lori is coming home for the summer and a few of my other friends have been asking me to do things again so I am glad that I will have my days free for them. They have been kind of annoyed that Jack consumed so much of my time the last couple years. But I was going to school and working and barely saw Jack as it was so it really was my choice and not his fault like they seem to make it out to be. But I think that this may be my last year to just be a kid and I am going to take it and enjoy it.

 

#42 A Change Of Plans

 perinos menu

Dear Journal,

So Jack wandered into the spotless kitchen. And looked concerned when he didn’t find a turkey in the oven or the dining room table set for a holiday meal or anything. Rachel was showing me a mother of pearl necklace that her boyfriend had gotten her when Jack came out and eyed an opened bottle of wine and looked at Rachel who shrugged and told us that it was opened when she got there. Jack’s smile vanished and he looked  worried. I felt so sorry for him. The whole way to her house he talked about his mother’s great cooking.

Finally Liz came floating into the room with a long black velvet skirt and cashmere sweater smelling like cigarettes and chanel #5. She kissed us all on the cheek and poured herself another glass of wine before sitting next to Rachel and said “Lets get this party started.” Poor Jack bless his heart, dutifully began distributing all the gifts in front of the recipents. Rachel and Liz loved their gold crosses and Jack had snuck and bought me one too. We all had to stop and put them on and he helped each one of us with the clasp and then sat smiling as we admired each other’s.

Rachel and Liz loved the Bibles. I’d snuck and gotten one for Jack with his name on it too that he seemed to love. Then I fished out the gift I’d been saving. He thought I’d just gotten him the Bible but I’d also put a digital gold watch he’d eyed at Zales on layaway one of the times we’d been looking for rings. I even had it engraved with “forever K” He was so surprised,  I thought he was going to cry for a minute but he said he loved it and put it on and then made everyone admire it.  Then he began piling presents around me after that. I was so embarrassed. He’d bought me an Elna Sewing machine  and  cross country skiis and his mom bought me a beautiful camel colored coat with a fur collar. And said “You can wear it tonight because I am taking you all to Perinos!”

Wben I heard Rachel say… “Mom I thought that the plan was, that you were cooking?” I was so grateful that she took the lead on that one because I just know Liz would have been on the defense if Jack had asked the same question. But she just lit another cigarette and explained, “Oh no! I want to treat you all to a REAL Christmas Dinner.” And looked at me and said “Keri honey, you wanna hand me that little bottle of merlot sweetie?” I just smiled and poured her some more as Jack looked miserable and Rachel asked, “What time are reservations?” Liz lit another cigarette and told her six thirty. Jack looked at his new watch and said “it’s almost six now.” So we all begain getting up and getting our coats on.  Liz saw Jack’s coat and asked him if he was going to wear THAT and pointed to it as if it were a rag. I saw Jack’s face turn red as he took the keys from his mom’s hand and said “I’ll drive.” As we all walked out the door.

#40 Tinsel and Tears

Christmas tree on top of car

Dear Journal,

Mrs. Walker would not be happy with the way I am keeping up with you! I am so sorry that I am doing catch up again.

So lets see…. How to catch you up….

Oh yes! You should see our little house! It is so cute! Jack put up Christmas light right after Thanksgiving and we got the perfect little tree for our front bay window! Speaking of…. While we were driving down the street with the tree tied to the top of our car this guy in a big truck kept flashing his lights at us. At first Jack thought that maybe the tree was not tied right and was falling off,  so he pulled over and come to find out it was Larry, Jack’s friend from High School who lives behind the gates in Rolling Hills now. He followed us home and helped Jack bring the tree inside and then he invites us to his house and we followed him there and he gave us this amazing tour. His house was so big we had to use a golf cart to see it all! He has the greenest eyes I’ve ever seen. He kind of looks like one of those Prince’s in the Disney movies!

When we were riding around, I sat in the middle of Jack and Larry and Larry put his arm around me. Jack didn’t  even seem to notice. He usually is so jealous! Anyway, I didn’t like it. It really bothered me.  Maybeeee,  because I was worried that Jack would be upset but then it bothered me that Jack didn’t seem to even notice or care that Larry was kind of all over me. (He has since come over a few times when Jack hasn’t been there which I will save to tell you about  on another day!)

You should see his house. He lives  in the pool house which is twice as big as our house! They have a maid’s quarters in the main house which is also bigger than our house! Along with tennis courts horse stables and like I said a pool! Crazy!

Christmas tree branches

 

Later that week, I kept bugging Jack to go with me to buy ornaments. He just gave me money and told me to go buy “whatever” I wanted while he took Larry soaring. I was so hurt. We only had one day off together last weekend. At least he put the lights on the tree but I decorated it all by myself. I remember my mom doing that a lot and it made me so sad, I cried.  When Jack came home he raved about  how perfect it was, but I really had it “in my head” very differently. When he saw how upset I was he started tickling me and kissing me and we ended up making love under the Christmas tree with the fire going. But it still seems to me that he really didn’t understand why I was upset. At least he didn’t get upset back. Usually when I get mad at him he doesn’t know how to handle it and just gets offended and it starts a fight. So maybe things are changing a little.

kissing on the floor

The Thursday before Christmas Vacation started, Jack told me that he wanted to go Christmas shopping for his sister and his mom. They are talking again and his mom invited us over to her new apartment for Christmas dinner. So we will do Christmas Eve at my parent’s house and then Christmas morning at our house and then go over Christmas afternoon at Liz’s. Jack has been in such a good mood since he made these plans. I am so happy for him. We went shopping last weekend and got his mom this beautiful gold cross with a diamond chip in it and a Bible. And we also got Rachel a Bible. We had their names engraved on both of them. Jack also got his sister a sweater that I helped him pick out. I haven’t seen him this happy for a long time.