Once upon a time there was a teenage boy who fell in love with a girl his age. He was too shy to tell her how he felt but became friends with her. He loved the colour of her eyes, the way she smiled, the way she beat him at chess mercilessly.
As they grew up they went their separate ways and for a year after school didn’t see one another. After the first year of college the boy called the girl up and got chatting. He found out she now had a boyfriend. Jokingly he said “so who do I have to be jealous of?”. Something in the silence that followed told him everything he needed to know; that she had felt the same way about him and had wanted there to be more between them. The two met up, they were totally in love and started going out together (now both seventeen). Intimacy came very slowly. She told him she couldn’t have sex because of the abuse she’d suffered. This didn’t matter to the boy; he was from a “straight laced” Christian family and the subject of sex was one he was happy to leave alone for a long time. He loved her.
Then one day the girl introduced the boy to an old man she’d met in the year they’d been apart. This old man seemed to be a fatherly figure and one who somehow took place of her own father. They talked and talked about anything and everything from science to religion to philosophy to sexual fantasies.
Here in our story we have to take a step back from the detail because the old man abused the two of them forcing them to do things while he watched and trying to make them do much worse than they ever did. Needless to say it destroyed the relationship. The abuse involved such extreme brainwashing that neither of them really knew what they were doing. Even when the boy tried to break free of the control he didn’t know what he was escaping from. And the girl… well she was last seen walking naked down the street at the old man's command and nobody knows if she ever got out from his control.
All the boy knew was that the girl of his dreams, the only one he’d ever loved was taken from him and somehow he blamed himself simply not knowing what really happened. He broke down. Not totally but repeatedly. Time and again he forgot who he was while inexplicable memories would twist his nightmares. Over and again he had to reinvent himself because the memories would surface and destroy his self image.
More than a decade later our boy, now a man began to collect these memories together and at last could see what had cause so much pain in his life. As he began to work at it the memories they became clearer and more coherent. Piece by piece he worked out what had happened, who he’d been before and all the re-invented versions of himself since.
So now there’s me. Too many version’s of me to know which one’s the right one. I guess for now I’ll be the one who can remember and not break down. I’ll feel the love I felt for her so deeply and hope that somehow she got out, hope she is somewhere safe now. I hope that tomorrow I can be someone who can love without feeling the loss. I hope there is someone out there who can accept that I’m more than just one person, accept that I will love them with all the versions of me.