I have decided to write Miedo 3 as a serialisation of blog posts. I do hope you all enjoy it. I have no plans as to how long this will be or how often I will post an episode, but I will create a page with links to each one I do in case you miss any.
Miedo 3: Fragments of Fear
Episode 1: Prologue
“Footfalls echo in the memory, down the passage we did not take, towards the door we never opened, into the rose garden.” T.S. Eliot, Four Quartets
It was lovely downtown. The sun was shining, there was a skip in my step, and I felt on top of the world while buying a few bits and bobs for my journey when I ran in to Julie.
Now Julie was an old girlfriend who had bailed out on me while I was in hospital for ear surgery. I hadn’t seen her for years. Those of you who have read my second journal of events so far in, Miedo 2: A Reckoning With Fear will already be acquainted with our relationship.
Here she was, the last person I would ever expect to see again, and the furthest person from my mind crossing the road on Prospect Street; heading straight towards me.
“Kev! You’re alive! I thought you died in hospital. Oh my God! How are ye!”
I was a bit dumb-founded to be honest… You see, Julie was my first, you know… And here she was. I must admit, I thought she was looking a bit worse for wear since our crazy days together.
“What you doing later?” She continued as she tried to accost me without giving me the chance to answer the first question. (Either she hadn’t noticed the shiny new band of gold around my finger that says, ‘married!’ or didn’t care… probably the latter.) “Er, oh, hi Julie. Look I’m kinda in a hurry right now, sorry, but it’s nice to see ye.”
Her enthusiasm died on the spot.
“Oh, alright, well look me up, ok?”
“Er, yeah, alright… bye!”
Phew, that turned out much easier than anticipated; what a relief!
Later it dawned on me that this could have been my one opportunity to find out if Julie had truly gotten pregnant earlier, or if it was just gossip. And If so, was it mine or not? Was it a boy or a girl? What name was given? Questions that would arise in my mind time and again in later years.
Soon after my encounter with Julie, I ran into Dave. Readers will have become well-acquainted with Dave in my first journal of events: Miedo: Living Beyond Childhood Fear as one of my best friends.
Isn’t it strange what gets thrown in your path just as your about to make one of the biggest changes in your entire life?
I was getting ready to immigrate to America and having gotten a few necessities from down town, I was just about to board the bus heading to my grandma’s for one last visit before going to what would be my last evening service at church when I heard a familiar voice calling my name. It was Dave.
Now I hadn’t seen Dave in years, not since he’d left for his tour of Germany with the army. I couldn’t believe it! “Dave!” I cried in response. I found myself caught up in the middle of a dilemma. It was getting late and I needed to see my grandma, I literally had one foot on and one foot off the bus, and the driver was muttering something incoherently and making one hell of a face as I turned my attention to Dave.
It all happened in a moment, and in that eternal moment so much was understood that went unspoken, then he suddenly said, “Hey, we’ll catch up later!” I responded without thinking, “Yeah… later! As soon as my other foot entered the bus, the driver closed the door and the bus began to move. It was too late to change my mind. We waved excitedly to each other. I never saw him again.
It was just a moment; a split decision about which foot to move; one which is burned into my memory forever. Why didn’t I simply step off and catch the next bloody bus?!
Later that night, outside the church doors, (Everyone had already left.) I was simply saying my last goodbyes internally, taking it all in with reflection when Ellie approached me. Ellie and I had a bit of history, and we dated lightly for a while. Her father had taken to me too, and always asked me to ‘look after her’ when she was in Hull, which I did best I could. I fell for Ellie, but we kind of went our separate ways. I don’t even know how it happened. I couldn’t believe it when she approached me. She had made as to leave, and then turned back in the hope of catching me alone.
“I wanted to apologise for everything, Kev. You know… The way everybody treated you in church. I wanted to tell you that I never took part in it, and I tried to tell them they misunderstood you; that you are nothing like what they think. I hope you will be very happy in America. Love you Kev.”
She kissed me full on the lips, looked deep into my eyes and said, “I just wanted you to know.” Then she stepped back, waved and walked away. I watched her walk gracefully down Constable Street, stunned, frozen in place.
I’d forgotten how sweet her lips were. Suddenly, all those old feelings for her came rushing on me like a storm raging inside. I almost called her back, but the words didn’t come. I even began to wonder if I was doing the right thing. Ellie was long gone by the time I recovered myself. I did so with strict admonishment about being newly married and having a beautiful loving wife waiting for me over in America.