‘UnBoxified’ – BRIEF SYNOPSIS
Two lead characters’ first-account of a, partly fictional/partly based on true events, story in which mystery, gritty reality, comedy, romance and science-fiction, are the vehicles for a journey where the meaning of life, death and everything important in between, are the destination.
It’ll make more sense if you read it in order, though. If you haven’t read it yet, you can find Chaptisode 1 here: | Chaptisode 1: ‘Bloody Hell’ >
(Previously in Chaptisode 6… ‘ “No, I better read it at Marty’s home’ I decided in my head as I let it fall back inside my coat’s right pocket and I grabbed my bags from the top compartment right above the seat next to mine. The seat had conveniently remained unoccupied for the whole journey and thank goodness for that as I would have been way too tired to chit chat and I hated to come across as rude. I headed for the middle part of the blue velvety-dressed bus and my heart felt lighter with every step, surprisingly, excitingly, marvelously light… like a feather’)
I could sense it, as soon as I stepped down the bus, I could sense a shadow of dread wrapping around my throat, strangling my neck, throwing ropes that tightened my stomach and threatened to squeeze it into obliteration.
I turned slowly to get my bag out of the luggage compartment, without daring to look up or look around, shocked by this sudden feeling that had ripped apart the wings I had grown just a minute earlier, not wanting to face the physical implications of what it meant. But I eventually did. I looked up and saw that familiar face, now slightly distorted by the weight of the years and the shadow turned into a knife, and the knife plunged into my heart with ferocity.
Logan was standing there, sheltered by the partial metal roof that covered that side of the outdoor bus station, tall and strong as always but with thinner blond hair that I remembered, just a few feet from me and the bus that had carried me into the town I had sworn against. His baby-blue eyes studying me from head to toe with a menacing spark that clouded with a light haze the dark pupils I had so many times studied in the past, as to ascertain whether he was happy or not. I realized, in a split second, that I should have checked that message from Betty Fullam as soon as I saw that I had received it. I just knew she had something to do with this cruel joke, this repeat of hellish memories now made flesh again.
I hesitated. I didn’t owe him anything; I didn’t even owe him my acknowledgement of his presence. My whole relationship with him had been based on what I thought I owed him based upon the twisted morals of a sacrifice that didn’t make any sense. I wanted him once, and then realized that what I wanted was an escape, but it was too late, I had already devoted myself to him, and so my escape became my prison, and I felt I owed it to him to stay in it.
Too late. Logan walked towards me with a sardonic smile on his face.
“Look who’s back…” – his deep, grave voice dragged the word ‘who’ with a prickly edge.
Once upon a time, a mix of self-induced guilt and genuine concern would have kept me frozen in place, while my blood boiled to the surface of my skin, overflowing my eyes and inundating my vocal chords until I could only whisper a high-pitched and broken, shy ‘hello’. But those were the feelings of a lost little girl, the one that feared hurting him far more that hurting herself. I had assassinated that girl slowly and with premeditation, one day at a time for what it now seemed an eternity. That girl was nothing but a pallid reflection of an unwanted life. I was no longer that girl. I rose slowly and inhaled:
“How did you know I was coming and what on earth are you doing here?” – I replied fiercely. Goodbye little girl, so long.
Logan’s eyes blinked nervously, the piercing spark gone and his mouth open in surprise. I was no longer bound to him by my insecurities and the lessons of victimization thrust upon me. I wasn’t showing a speck of fear or intimidation despite how uneasy I had started to feel. This was new to him. Somehow it never occurred to people like Logan that others could change in time, sometimes changing into the people they always were deep down, the fearless, authentic, unashamed, creative force that we all are. For all the signs of the passing of time plastered all over his face, as they were on mine, it was obvious he had not changed within one bit.
“Well.. err.. I… I heard…” – he babbled and then frowned in an effort to regain his composure – “I heard through a friend and thought it to be cool to give you a surprise welcome. Aren’t you happy to see me?” – he ended, the sardonic smile back on his face, the vicious spark igniting his eyes again.
“Do I look happy to see you? Do I sound happy to see you?” – I refused to back down – “I didn’t come to see you, so, yeah, this is a surprise, all right, just not a welcome one, what did you expect?”
‘Fuck him!’ a long forgotten fury was rising up within me. Who the hell did he think he was? Hadn’t he tormented me enough back in the time? Hadn’t I tormented myself enough by staying with him as long as I did, and worst of all, in spite of all I had set myself to lose and lost? I was in a mission to find the love of my life and I could feel that him, Ewan, needed me somehow now more than ever before. Logan Doherty was not going to stand in the way of that, like he had done before, or rather, like the useless and morbid self-sacrificing old me had allowed him to do. And for what? Ewan never knew what I felt for him, what’s more, he ended up thinking I didn’t like him at all, and this bastard, the one who had chained my heart and soul by threats of taking his own life if I ever left him, had eventually spitted on my broken self once he had had enough of it, once I had destroyed any chance for Ewan and I to ever be, once I could no longer recognize even a speck of the real me on the mirror, once I had completely become the person he wanted me to be; a moldable object at his complete mercy. Swallowed, chewed, stretched, shaped and spitted out like old gum with no flavor left. Then, stepped on and left on the street pavement to desiccate. That he did, and he certainly didn’t die, he carried on, alive and well, not a care in the world after that.
I remembered… I remembered looking at myself in all of the mirrors of that flat Logan and I had moved in together after that fateful night I had denied Ewan and my soul with all my might. Perfect hair, perfect make-up, perfect fashionable clothes, but all I could see was a perfectly ugly nothing underneath a blob of flesh. Such a good girl, ‘such a bad girl’ I thought, wanting to see Ewan in any other men, the substitutes, the ringers, then and for years to come, toying with them in a twisted dance of seduction to later pushed them away, on repeat, on repeat, like that hideous night that broke my heart, feeling the guilt choking me, not understanding what the hell was wrong with me, punishing myself over and over again, wanting to drown the monster that had possessed me under my name ‘I’m a good girl’, ‘I’m his perfect girl’, ‘This is my destiny’ I used to instruct myself to stay with Logan, and with whomever I was, after him, overriding myself like a software program, as to love my misery.
The downward spiral of my psychotic breakdown, which, considering my upbringing was long overdue, was filled with hours in front of those mirrors while applying layers upon layers of make-up to end up washing my face and starting all over again, while crying and screaming ‘It looks horrible!’, ‘I look horrible!’ (‘I’m horrible, worthless, nothing, I need this mask to hide and be the perfect image of what I’m not’) and Logan looking at me as I did it, with a mixture of disgust and worry, although not enough as to set me free while I still wanted to, while there was at least that beast that I had become trying to rip me apart from him and from the person the world wanted me to be, whether my indoctrinated conscience wanted me or not, a beast trying to liberate me or kill me trying.
I obsessed about everything and everyone, I resented Logan and I would yet resent myself for resenting him, so I would cover him in kisses and gifts to make up for it. I burned through my credit cards to see him smile, for that’s how he would (things and sex, sex and things), trying to erase the wreckage of my self-destruction off his mind, trying to cover all his needs and then some. I would chain smoke, drink and annihilate all consciousness of my reality so I could have sex with him (things and sex, sex and things), ‘keep him happy, keep him happy, he matters, you don’t’, a song that for eons seemed to have been the soundtrack to every woman’s life, and like an animal, a crazy imprisoned animal, I would try to fuck my way out of that misery at least for a few seconds, perhaps in hopes of dying in some form of ecstasy that at least echoed a true living. I ended up reducing the act to a mere objectification, too (sex and things… sex as a thing), because I could no longer afford to feel; feeling was synonymous to sorrow and desperation, so even I needed that orgasm to forget for a moment that I was I, that everything I was going through was of my own doing, yet still felt unable to change a thing, the ‘life is suffering and sacrifice’ teaching weighing heavily on my soul like a done deal, a perpetual seal stamped across my existence, closing it with burning wax and fuzzy drunken, drugged foggy memories.
‘I’m a good girl, look at how he screams of pleasure; look how great I make him feel’, ‘If he knew…. I’m worthless, I’m nothing, I’m a monster, I’m ugly, I’m a perfectly chunk of putrid rubbish’… ‘I love him’… ‘Do I love him?’… ‘I have to love him, he would be devastated if I left him, he’s told me in tears more than once, so it’s real’…’I HAVE to love him, what’s wrong with me?’.. ‘Love him, bitch!’… ‘I hate him’… ‘I hate me’…’Kill me, monster, kill me already, please!!!’
I was no longer that person. I had assassinated that little traumatized girl and the monster she became bit by bit over the past ten years. I had healed. It had taken near-deaths, absolute loneliness, painful sordid trips down memory lane, tragedy, drama, craziness, more loneliness. My work had saved me, or rather, the purpose behind it. It took several times of destroying myself to the bone, and then the slow process of rebuilding myself back up, before I even managed to cement any ounce of confidence on myself, but I did it, I survived, I rescued the person I was born as, and followed the intuition and higher call I was meant to follow, changing with it even the imprints of my genes, the history that had been mapped out for me destroyed in favor of one of my own making, I grew both myself and anew. But there was still that hollow space within me… that space that only Ewan and what he represented to me was meant to fill. And although I had also worked hard to obliterate this fact, the recurrent dreams I had had in recent months had been the ones that had obliterated any resistance in me against that fact. And here I was. It was time to dance, as I should had done, all those years ago, the dance of true love, no matter what.
“You betrayed me” – Logan mumbled through his teeth – “I’m the one who should despise you”.
“I never did” – I replied sharply.
“In your mind you did, so it’s like you physically did. You did.” – He quickly refuted.
“I only betrayed me. I betrayed my heart, my soul, my sanity and I did it because of you, because every time you sensed I could walk away you would chain me up with your emotional manipulation and the love and compassion you knew I had for you” – I related in one breath – “But at the end it was you who left me, right? Taking with you everything I had worked for, everything I had, and everything I was and was meant to be right then if I had not stayed with you. I tried to explain it all to you on that letter I sent you after I left town even if I needed to give you no explanation after all you did when we broke up. So what the fuck do you want now? There’s nothing left from me for you, not even that guilt I didn’t even have to feel and which was so convenient to you”.
“Look… as I said, I should despise you… but I don’t… You have your own version of how it all went down, I know that… I want to make peace with that past, with you. Just have a coffee with me. I’ll drive you to Marty’s place. We can stop and have that coffee on the way” – Logan’s voice mellowed as he talked at the same time of making a slow and calculated attempt to grab my bag.
And then it struck me. Betty Fullam could not have told him that I was coming today because Betty Fullam didn’t know about it. It had been a decision on the spur of the moment. Betty only knew what I had sent her in that message weeks ago, that I was having those horrible dreams about Ewan and was wondering if she was still in touch with him and knew if he was OK. Even less she could know that I was going to stay at Marty’s place. They didn’t know each other. My head started to spin again, just as it had started to settle after the monumental shock of seeing Logan there waiting for me. Could have Marty told him I was coming? No… that couldn’t be either… Marty was my friend and as far as I knew she had only seen Logan a few times while I was with him, but even then they hadn’t really had a whole conversation, let alone exchange phone numbers or an email address. And if she had bumped into him any time over these past years she would have told me, I was sure she would have done so. So how did he know?
Confused and emotionally beaten I surprised myself this time by replying tiredly, as in throwing the proverbial towel… – “Ok… just one coffee and then it’s over, no more talks, we go separate ways again”.
“Just one coffee and one final talk, I promise” – Logan smiled triumphantly – “Let me help you with that, my car is parked over there” – He grabbed my bag with decision this time as he pointed at the street in front of the station with a move of his chin, and without uttering another word, he started walking in its direction.
The knot that I had felt forming around my throat and strangling my stomach as I first saw him on that station, threatened with leaving me without any air now as my body mechanically followed him. What the hell had just happened? Why was this happening? Why was I abiding to his wishes once again, despite my resolve to scare him off just a minute before? ‘He needs to make peace with himself, a proper closure’ echoed in my mind ‘You’re a compassionate person, always have been, that has never changed, it is the angular stone upon which all your scientific work is based, and the reason behind everything you do, and this is nothing, just a talk over a cup of coffee, you would want Ewan to do that for you, too’ it continued playing in my head as we walked towards the car.
And so I resolved that I would give Logan that chance, even though it was still obvious that, in his mind, I had been the only and very real monster in the relationship, even though the monster of his thoughts and the one I had really been, had had a different victim and played different tricks to the ones he felt it had. Maybe that talk was necessary after all. He needed to comprehend that we are not guilty to feel, that we, as human beings, are not always in control of what our soul needs, and yet we need to fulfill its call, or else; that I never intended to hurt him and that by trying to not hurt him I had hurt him and myself far more, but that never was part of any conscious plan. The knot gripped my guts now but I deemed it to the unexpected of the situation and my confusion at its mysterious arising. It didn’t cross my mind that the knot was the way my intuition had to warn me, like I had learned to decipher and heed over the years, instead of deeming it to paranoia and as a result ignoring it. But it seems we’re always a work in progress… logging in, logging out, but always on, always in a “to be completed” status before switching off for good.
I noticed a weird faint smell in his car, like antiseptic but sweet, as I buckled up in the seat next to the driver’s… ‘No, what is it, this smell, it’s growing stronger…’ I saw his right arm covered in the black leather of his jacket angling over the steering wheel and towards me as I felt the sudden grip of his left hand pulling my hair from behind my seat, his right hand now rising to my face fast, too fast, too fast, a handkerchief in it, that smell, the pain in the back of my head stinging, I felt dizzy, the last thing I saw his mouth and nose covered with the unfolded turtleneck of his grey fleece jersey… ‘I can’t react’… a tear fell down burning my cheek in slow motion, speed and stillness at the same time, and then… absolute darkness…
-To be Continued –