Saturday, February 26, 2011

Franks First Love

The very first short story we even wrote was about him.  We were 16 years old. The inspiration for writing was fueled by adolescent first love, and cultivated by our personal brand of creative “insanity”. 

We've since lost the transcript of the story in our many escapes from "sticky situations", and the minute details, overall, are not important; what is important to note is the finale of the story.  The finish to our very first, and to date, only short story, involves a double homicide by the young female protagonist. 

We like to think the story was harmless enough. The tale was that of a young girl who, was experiencing great floods of angst and frustration towards not only Her Father but also the first boy she had a confusing, albeit crazy, mad, love for. For story purposes from here until forever he will be referred to as Our Forrest (because he said we are his Jenny - xo).

Did we also mention the female character heard voices?

The portions of the story that featured him contained long descriptive sentences of his characteristics, so well described that our closest friends, and some not so close, found the similarities uncanny; and not at all a coincidence.

We don't remember how the young girl ultimately decided to deal with her father issues (we do know she killed though); what we clearly remember of the scene (and of our feelings) was the point where the life of character representing our first unrequited love comes to an end...we remember that...and peanut butter. 

While the main characters love interest is making a peanut butter sandwich, in her kitchen, she pretends to seduce him while she grabs the butter knife, covered in peanut butter, and jams it in his back.  Maybe we’ve watched too many violent movies as a young adult, under the occasional care of The Mother, after she left us.  We recall seeing 'Single White Female' and 'The Hand That Rocks The Cradle' at a far too young of age.

For whatever reason, when we think about that today, it kind of disturbs us, (well it did anyway) that our adolescent mind would take things to such a place.  By our accounts it was ritualistic erasing; if we could remove him in the story, then perhaps in our mind we could ease the pain of confusion, and disappointment, his departure from our life left behind; or we were just an over dramatic teenage girl. Or we’re just overdramatic. (stop rolling your eyes and agreeing with me)

Whether it was a way for our mind to deal with the memory of him, and how our friendship came to an abrupt end, we will never really know.  Poetry had always been our outlet for emotions, since the age of nine or ten we had been pouring out our heart onto blank sheets of paper, writing love poems to a boy we crushed on, even as a young girl of 10.

This new outlet, this short story at 16, unveiled new and creative ways to handle our feelings about the world and the things around us; however we didn't write another fully developed short or long story for seemingly countless years, always going back to poetry for that familiar release.

It was that typical crazy adolescent feeling that we had long forgotten that struck us 15 years later, in the spring of 2010, when we became reunited with the very man we had removed from our heart with a peanut butter smeared knife.  We, he and "I", recalled feelings of unknown mutual adoration, juxtaposed with the uncertainty we felt for each other in those days; he was remembered for being an enigma in our mind and heart.

We often try to remember the day we met Our Forrest, and while the memory is dormant, yet awaiting a nudge from its sanctuary, we can recall countless other meetings with him.

We were 15 years old, insecure but just beginning to bud from our wall flower position in life; he was 17, interesting, tall, shy and to us, amazing.  We used to take long, hour long, walks together along the lake. He was a mystery to us and we wanted to engage him in conversation, but we were still shy and our social skills poor, we just knew we wanted to get to know him.

We used to hang out in a friends basement and watch movies and be pals, in our memory it went on for months.  We were friends but it seemed to be an unspoken understanding that we were enamoured with him. He captured our attention so much in those days that we were like a lost puppy, we wanted to be near him whenever we could. 

We began smoking cigarettes because Our Forrest would be outside smoking during breaks at school, and so we would go out and pretend to smoke.  Eventually some of the girls caught on to the fact that we hadn't been inhaling, and they showed us how; and thus began our on-again, off-again, relationship with cigarettes (which we've recently kicked, again). All we cared was that it gave us a chance to steal glances at him while we were at school, a place we never talked to each other – reserving that for walking, outside of school hours.

He live in a beautiful neighbourhood of the city in close proximity to parks; in those days one of our “BFF's” lived mere block from him, on an adjacent street. Whenever we hung out at her house we would persuade her into going for walks, paths of which often lead us past his house.  She knew the score; it's what young girls who were in love for the first time did – at least that’s what we think. 

We were a love sick puppy of a girl, leaning (hiding) against trees near his house, hoping we would see him after days of not seeing him; when he showed up places we were, we were elated. We never knew, that he knew, we were behind those trees.

We have always looked to these memories of who we were as a teenage girl and have been greeted with a slight feeling of nausea.  While it is perhaps a generic story of young love, it had been a stepping stone to our long life of relationships.  It was an impact.

We don't recall the last time we saw him, before we lost contact, but we do remember one of the last times; and for so many years it stuck in our head as the day we realized we could not understand men, or our own intuitions.

It was a misty day, we were out for a walk in a park near the lake – it was “our” place for walks.  In a portion of this park there was a stone stage with two castle tower replicas on each end, it had been built, and was used for, the annual Shakespeare Festival in our city. 
As the mist slowly turned to rain that day we continued walking.  In our memory a lot of our walks contained pensive silence and playful nudges, in our mind, flirting; the thing that made us the most confused by him was we could never tell if he was on the same wavelength as us, he was always good at keeping things inside.  We always saw potential for something more between us, but we could never read him: if he felt the same way, or if he thought of us in a strictly “pal” kind of way. There exists in the recesses of our mind a memory of hand holding that may have occurred at some stage, but we haven't been able to decipher it's validity. The entire friendship has always remained under a cloud of confusion always trying to understand what we had done wrong.

On this day, when the mist was heavy, we took temporary refuge from the lake rain in the castle tower of the old stone stage.  Inside the small castle tower was a stone window overlooking the lake.  As we stood and looked at the lake he put his arms around "me", and we just stood there.  It was comforting, it made us feel amazing, and safe.  As the rain came down on the grass surrounding the stage we shared our very first kiss.  This may not have been "my" first kiss ever, but it might as well have been; if you've ever had that first kiss you'll know what we’re talking about.

Shortly after that day we stopped hanging out with each other; he had just graduated high school, so after that summer he would be attending college and "I" would be starting our eleventh year of high school.  Of boys in high school he's always been the one who was in the back of our mind, the one we'd always hoped for: interesting, pensive, creative, intelligent and attractive..and FUN. Those boys generally didn't exist in high school and as we'd find out later in life, they were few and far between after high school too.

When he appeared again in our life through social networking this past year, we were interested. Interested to see what had become of him. 

We got to know him again, the adult version of our high school love.  We didn't know what to expect from the time we made first contact online; we remained uncommunicative friends for quite some time – watching each other, I suspect.  From the information we gathered via social networking “stalking” prior to our official contact – we found he was in a relationship, and had children, and we were happy for him.  He still looked as cute as ever – just like we imagined he would look 15 years later. 

At first we were nervous about how he would remember us, that he would remember us as ‘that girl who used to follow me around’, or maybe 'that girl who used to hide behind trees near my house' – those, we feared, were to be his memories of us. 
What sparked our sudden shift in social networking communication was nothing more than a single line to a song we enjoy, posted to our status. 'Dream a little dream of me...”.

What we were greeted with when our initial transmissions began was an awakening of dormant emotions, they were ignited by the person he had become.  Our heart ached for him while he shared small insights into his strangely parallel life since we had parted so many years before, and current statuses on the unhappiness he felt in his life 1500 miles away.  We found him to be an even better version of the young man he was at 17 – at least on paper.  Whenever we would get an e-mail, a comment, an acknowledgement from him we were left breathless.

We hated that his presence in our life, at such an age, had this effect on our body and our mind; we would spend far too much time thinking about him, daydreaming about meeting him face to face, we would imagine violent things we knew he's like to do with us (lets throw rocks at stuff!) occasionally taking our daydreams to levels that made us fear for the relationship we were in at the time.  We had fallen in a complete trance, revelling in the disclosures of unknown reciprocal feelings he had had for us in those youthful days. Amazed at the fact that not only had we been on his mind at any point in the last 15 years, but we had been continuously.

We made a few attempts to see each other, "I" took trips back to our home town, under the guise of wanting to see others, and inviting to pay for his transportation, if only he could get away. He never could. But we did have a date once last summer, miles apart, beneath a clear sky, starring at a full moon.  We made a pact that “I” would go to our castle tower in the park, at a designed time, and he would sit near the stream by his house at the same time, hundreds of miles away, and we would watch the stars together, and listen to music.

We went to our spot, and we sat, and we thought of him, and looked at the stars and listened to music…and as we got up to leave we listened to the song, that “I” can only hold in "my" heart as our song. On of his favourites, and one that we love.

Months later, in the fall of 2010, we started pulling away from each other, in what appeared to be a mutual move based on disappointment at the failed attempts to connect in real life. And then a month after we hadn’t spoken, we saw on his social networking wall that he was engaged, to the woman he wasn’t happy with. We sent him a short message:
Holy Fucking What Batman? 
So, I see from Facebook that you are engaged...I guess I should say congratulations...but I'm not gonna.
And since I really have nothing nice to say....
That was all we had to say to him.

He didn't write back; didn’t respond...until the night before this entry. 

We won’t post his message. That’s not something we do when Frank truly loves someone. In his e-mail he wanted to convey his uncertaintly over “what [I] had wanted from [him]”, and his confusion as to how "I" had ended our communication (meanwhile, he was the one who didn't respond, not to mention he removed us from his social networking account), and to express the feelings that he’s always had, and an admittance that his thoughts of 'me' "weren't going to go away". But he would deal/live with them, since "I" wouldn't talk to him.

There is no doubt in our mind that this man is telling us the truth. The most painful thing is the impossible distance, the obstacles keeping us apart, even if it was feasible for us to be together; and the understanding, and acceptance, that there may never be more between us than hours of video chats, starring at each other in comfortable silence, punctuated by laugher, discussion, and more starring; watching the pain flash in his eyes, the regret, the sadness, and struggling to to hold back our own tears.
Just when we thought our heart couldn't handle anymore. It did. But that doesn't mean this isn't how it feels.


  1. It was in the tower on the left.


  2. Sorry that Jenny didn't get Forrest. Seems like Forrest has regrets that he didn't end up with Jenny/Frank. Weird that he would instigate such a connection via social networking and then pull back and remove frank when feelings clearly still did exist. Still loved the way you wrote this. I feel that this story has happened to many others with Facebook and other social media sites help bringing old flames together.

  3. Don't fool yourself into believing his lies. He runs those same lies on every girl- you aren't the only one- not the first and surely won't be the last.

  4. Thank you for your view, All Men.

    Greatly appreciated, however, since there is no motive for his "lies" (i.e. there is no chance for a relationship, or even physical satisfaction) we do have a hard time believing it, in this case. Most other cases we would respond with "duh".