(This is my submission for a writing contest, about my other OC, Jamie Peterson. Enjoy!)
He was there, so many years ago, when the world was waking in the Paris dawn, holding my hand as I watched the sun rise for the first time. He was there in the dark when I first discovered pleasure, and when I spent that long night in the hospital, hardly daring to breathe through the blinding pain. He was there.
“Get an apartment, try to survive.” We’re there on the playground, in my mind, eighteen hundred miles away from this freezing basement bedroom. The cold stings my cheeks, so it’s easy to remember.
He sits on the rotting bench, long legs stretching out, and looks up through the trees that are heavy with green light. He smiles, flashing two rows of pearly teeth. His grin is infectious, and I sit beside him, holding the scene—not as I last saw it, a few hours before the new year, with snow drifts so high I couldn’t climb over them—as I knew it in my youth. Everything seems larger, everything except him.
“Jamie…” My Jamie.
I don’t need to tell him, he already knows. We’ve been here before, to the place where he was born, sometimes I don’t even get out of the car. But I always come back, back to the beginning, back to the center. My thinking place, the shape my soul takes. I look back beyond the thin veil of trees, to the house that is no longer mine.
“It will always be yours,” he says; my strength. “No one can take that away from you.” My confidence.
I look at him, really look. I’ve lived more years with him than without him, now, this man that I made so many years ago. Was he like a daemon, a silent creature that was born with me, bursting forth from that prenatal abyss, letting me curl my hand around his finger? Was he always my protector, my passion, my voice of reason? I hear him so rarely now, perhaps because I’ve grown to speak the same words, the same wisdoms.
My life…it’s falling apart, but at the same time, it’s coming together. Is this what it always feels like? He takes my hand—I imagine; his smooth, yet rough, palm, his long fingers—and leads me through the discordant music of my doubts. I pass them, their surfaces shimmering with foam.
The playground disappears, and I’m there, watching the white, white moon hang above the plane’s right wing. Another step, a turtle’s ancient, crusted face stares back at me, inches from the side of my kayak. Once more, and the feelings overwhelm me as a crowd of Portuguese women cluster close, blessing me, speaking earnestly in English. The Ghost of the Future returns, her steps hesitant, but soft, bearing in her arms the sheaves of encouragement and strength.
Taking a deep breath, knowing it was he who brought me this, I turn. I turn and meet his eyes in the mirror.