How many times does one have to touch the flame, to know it will scorch, burn, and not fade away…
Not burnt, but scorched as I try to recall, the times when common sense, head and knowledge should have prevailed. Scorched is such a ‘told you so’ word, it’s that ‘ha-ha’ moment when someone else learns of how you got burnt, stitched up, again.
It starts with a girl, who had nearly always dreamt about being married, the white dress, children, the ring. The Girl Talk and Sugar magazines where you did the boyfriend quizzes, the primary school dances where you stood at the side when everyone else slow dances….
Perhaps we should start with childhood memory flutters, where when I thought hanging around with those older than me in school was the best thing since sliced bread. Except it wasn’t for all that long, as I remember those year 6 boys and their method of ‘fun’. Yet I recall, being told it was my fault for wanting to hang around with them, so burnt I was.
We tiptoe towards adolescence, when being popular still reigned as a big achievement, a goal. The day when two boys knocked for me at home, I thought I was more popular. Happily I obliged as they asked me to the leisure centre, not questioning why they had never knocked before. We reached the pond, and at 13 with a heavy heart, I realised my fate. They weren’t friends, how silly was I not to learn from the first scorch those years ago, about people’s actions and that thing called gut instinct. A girl called Stacey was waiting there, with her friend, who’s name I can’t remember. The procession started with her taking off her coat, then handing her friend that big chain and those chunky rings. Whilst the boys and her friend stood watching she cornered me against a hedge by that peaceful pond that day, and used me like a punch bag. I walked home battered, bruised, and then having to admit to my mother, and grandparents what had happened. Perhaps the hospital visit was more absurd, as the nurses didn’t seem to be concerned about the rib, or the bruises that she’d left and dealt with it all matter of fact. Not long after she got me again, outside the school, with her sovereign ring. The boys never talked to me funnily enough, or knocked for me ever again.
At 14, being cocky once again, I was walking down the street with friends. Thinking my black, yellow and white dress was all the rage, I felt confident, almost fitting in. That very day, stood in that new dress, a ‘friend of a friend’ commented within ear shot, not afraid if I could hear, that I was a ‘paper bag job.’ What possessed that comment directed to someone under-age, I can’t fathom, but it did manage to shatter my confidence once again.
Some months later, once that confidence had tried to be raised, I met a man-child who placed a Haribo ring upon my ring finger. Whilst telling me we would grow up old, and live together, he took it upon himself to make this a family affair, and went onto fornicate with someone with whom I shared a family name.
At 15, the first boy to attempt to give me a ‘real’ engagement ring, announced we had broke up because I wouldn’t sleep with him. The ring got thrown out of the English class window to my friends’ amusement, yet I had to spend my entire GCSE English lessons in the same closed-up classroom with him and his ‘mates’.
Later on, someone to whom I thought I would be wed, had instead of insults, got inside my head. From not wearing make-up, to not allowed to buy skirts, it started off small, and got a lot worse. My duties were to cook and clean, to try give him a baby, and buy the latest Xbox games. Never a finger did he lift, except that day the chair flew towards me. The night that I went to leave, to find myself again after those years, he got his family in on the act, and his mother strangled me in front of him and his sister.
I rebounded, (well now I realise) to a guy who would flirt openly and behind my back. One who threatened to come after me, should I ever tell of his father’s little secret of looking at unclad child images that I found on the computer that day. Of course, my mouth would not be shut, and it was no surprise to me that I soon after left. Even if the shock wasn’t expected for him.
So how many times had I been scorched, how many times to return to the flame under the guise of love? Could it be that I’m a mere hopeless in love victim, and that these first attempts of being loved, would continue it’s path into my adulthood? Then again, maybe all these dowsed out fireworks were my fault, and I deserved every pain. The way I look, the way I talk, maybe I was too nice, too polite, too boring, too me….
Or maybe, just maybe these guys felt burnt. Burnt by the girl that wouldn’t agree to everything like a nodding dog. Melted by the girl who stood up for her self-beliefs, not to use the fairy tale wedding day dreams to sugar coat all events. Perhaps, they think of me time to time, to the one that would clean, cook, spend and love. Then again, who cares if they do or not.
A horrible way to learn along the way, although it’s possible it’s helped to shape who I am now. A little crisp around the edges, a little more out-spoken, but filled with so much more love. For where the flame failed, whether it’s them, I or both, it left space for years later for my wedding day. Second best, only to the days where our children entered the world. For our children, whom love unconditionally. The smiles the family unit all bring, make every burn, scorch, insignificant.
I sit here now, with a little one wrapped under one arm, a blanket, a dvd, a little sickness and a whole lot of love. So thank you, to the cremators, the burners, the incinerators. Just because she wasn’t perfect for you, doesn’t take away who she is, what she is, where she’s been, and where she’s going to go. ‘For why you were looking at the stars, you might just of lost the moon.’
You cremated the girl, she entered the world a woman, a mother, a wife.
Rose-Sky Journey Pieces.