Keri’s last chapter

silouhet of profile of woman

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….

computer2

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.

siloette of writer standing up

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©

The One That Got Away

sad break up

It all seems like a dream now,

you finding me, all these years later,

trying to pull back the years from yesterday.

I let you in, I closed my eyes and jumped.

All the years in-between vanished.

It was just you and me in that moment,

skin against skin, hearts beating, raging, stopping.

breathing, tasting, rushing.

Breathless memories crashing, youth returning.

Falling in love with each other or just the past?

Never really truly knowing.

And the struggle between the reality and the fantasy,

well it never let us hang on tight enough.

You slipped away just as quickly as you appeared,

beyond all of my values and morals and what people might say.

I allowed you in.

Why?

Maybe because I still loved you.

Maybe because I hated you so much for hurting me

that I wanted you to know what you lost,

What you could have had,

What you didn’t fight for all those years ago,

And maybe it was a little of both

Maybe it is just nice to know now  that there is someone out there…

someone wanting me,

that believes that I was the one that got away.

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

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.

The next Chapters….

For all my loyal readers…. (Reading Girl especially – smile) I am sharing my next few chapters…. I’d love to hear how you feel about the transition from Keri’s journal to the third person telling it again, and your thoughts on it… I really felt that I left you guys hanging and just wanted to share!  Remember read this first:

http://dianereedwiter.wordpress.com/2012/10/22/would-anyone-read-this-chapter-one/

so it makes more sense

xoxo

k

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

mom readinglistening to mom reading

By the time she finished reading, the fire had died down to a flicker and two hours, maybe more had passed. Keri closed the book and looked up at Brynne “Oh mama” she cried, “It is all just so sad.” Keri overwhelmed by the moment, got up and walked over to her daughter and hugged her tight as tears filled her eyes. “I shared this with you because I want to spare you some of the pain that I experienced as a young girl, and for you to just always be aware. “NOW I understand why you wanted me to add SLOW TO ANGER to my list that you made me make.” Brynne said with genuine empathy and tears in her own eyes. Keri nodded and held the closed  journal to her chest; she didn’t have any second thoughts. She knew that sharing this with Brynne would be a memory she would carry with her forever. She prayed that this knowledge would be like a little extra tool for her, that most young girls aren’t aware of.

Keri counted the years since those journal days and sighed. Looking into the fire she said, “Time sure flies.”  “Do you know where he is now?” Brynne asked curiously. Keri shook her head. “No, “I’m not even sure if he’s still alive.”  Brynne was filled with questions. “What about Larry?” she asked. Keri realized that she was not going to get off as easy as she thought and cleared her throat to continue. “We ended up dating for a while,” “YOU DID?! Brynne looked surprised and Keri laughed, “Yeah, he even asked me to marry him.” Brynne’s eyes grew wide. “Reeeeally?”  “Yeah, but I don’t even know why I went out with him. I kind of knew it was wrong but I was so hurt just how quickly Jack seemed to move on and well, Larry really was very good-looking.” she chuckled and then continued more seriously, “but then, he knew it and I never loved him, so I said no.” She said it so matter of factly  that it almost seemed as if she was realizing it all for the first time.  “I don’t think that I really ever got over Jack. I just let my hurt turn into anger and have pretty much stayed angry with him all of these years later. I never really let anyone back into my heart for a long time.”  Keri smiled at her daughter. She looked dumbfounded at meeting this side of her mom and wanted to know everything. “I dated for over a year or so and then I met your dad and that was that.”

Waaaaait a minute.” Brynne demanded, motioning for her mom to sit back down, Keri sighed inwardly realizing that Brynne was not going to let her off the hook that fast and had many more questions. So with much filtering, Keri shared what came after Jack and in-between her dad which was a time that entailed a lot of things she did due to her broken heart, things that she was not very proud of. And that was how Keri told her daughter about Jack. It had been time. Tim already knew about him. He knew about Keri’s walls and what happened and that her first relationship was behind a lot of their issues. But he was very patient with her. When they’d first met, it was evident that Keri had been very hurt and did not trust easily. Their marriage had its issues but it was solid for the most part and Tim offered that one trait that Keri deemed so important; he was slow to anger.

“Okay Keri said, lets finish up with the boxes in the attic.” Brynne followed her mom up the stairs as they began sorting and throwing out things. Keri continued to answer her daughter’s questions as they worked together, and made a big dent clearing  everything out that day.

 

attic office emptybook casescomputercomputer2

Keri’s writing studio was finished and she loved it up there. The wood floors were rich and off set the wall to wall built-in bookcases that lined both sides of the room and reminded Keri of her Grandma’s craftsman style house in Seattle.  On one side of the room there was a beautiful little window seat where she could take her laptop and write. The view was most inspiring there. At the front of the house,  they’d built-in  a craftsman style desk and drawers overlooking the little window on the opposite side of the room. It all turned out just the way she’d imagined. Tim worked on it a lot as time allowed, but just like her father,  he traveled a lot for his job and Keri grew impatient over how long it was taking to complete. “I have a book that I need to write, and I really want to start it and finish it up in my study.” She’d pressed and so he hired Brian, a contractor to finish some of the details.

For a while, Brian and Tim worked together with Keri to create the charm she envisioned. Even the stairs that led up to the attic were recreated exactly the way she’d imagined with the brown and white steps she remembered from her grandma’s house . Several months after all of the construction was complete, Tim surprised Keri with a fireplace that she’d seen on-line and thought that he’d forgotten about. One night in bed, when Tim was working on his laptop, Keri urged him to go to that page with the photo of the exact fireplace she’d chosen. She knew it exceeded the budget they’d set aside for the studio but told him that “Someday waaay down the line she’d love to have one just like it.” Never dreaming she’d get it so soon.

Tim  installed  it a year later while she was in LA visiting Brynne for her birthday.  She squealed with delight and hugged her husband’s neck, feeling very spoiled. She loved to turn it on in the mornings with a mug of coffee and write her blog and or work on her book.  Brynne had been away at school for a little over a year and the house just seemed so empty. She wished Tim didn’t have to be away so often but she tried to be a good sport about it and understand and was growing more and more used to being alone. Her studio was her refuge. When she wrote, she didn’t feel so lonely. One day as she took a break from writing, she checked her blog comments and then wandered over to her Face book page and found a message from a name that caused her to choke as she sipped on her coffee. The message was short and generic. Keri set her mug down still sputtering and held her breath as she read;

Hi Keri,                                                                                                  

I’ve been looking for you for a long time. It looks as if you are well. I am glad to see that you are still writing… I wasn’t sure if you’d remember me, but I’ve wanted to find you for a while now. I look forward to your reply,

Jack