The blonde sits down at the desk, her back straight, her hair pulled up into a messy bun. It was the weekend and the flat was quiet, save for the rhythmic dripping of the tap. She pulls out a leather bound notebook and a fountain pen from her drawer before gently pushing it shut. And then she opens the notebook.
The pages had been pristine, pure white, with no lines. The sun coming from the window reflected on them so she rises briefly from her seat to pull them closed. She sits back down and her hand smoothes over the paper before she takes the pen in hand and starts writing.
Property of Shannon Saunders
She waits for a couple of seconds before the ink dries and then turns the page.
It has been a while since I’ve decided to keep a journal. I can never do it. It just feels that words on here are always too final.
She pauses before writing a date on top of the entry.
But since it’s a new one, I’ll start from the beginning. My name is Shannon Saunders and I’m twenty-nine.
A strand of hair escapes her bun and she has to push it behind her ear.
I’m a teacher assistant… I couldn’t take on the full responsibility of a teacher.
But let me tell you how it all began…
It was hard, writing it all out. She was told to try it so many times and gave up on it every single time, simply because she just couldn’t bear to think of it. She didn’t want to be caught up in the memories. She didn’t want to be so absurdly stuck. Not again. Yet, she put pen to paper once more.
It was one of our nights out. You see, I used to be a colourful teen. There was a small, regular circle of friends. We would do all kinds of shit, get drunk, get high. But it all comes down to that one night. That one night that I can’t forgive myself.
She takes a deep breath in and shuts her eyes. Just for a little. Just for a couple of seconds.
She steels herself. Now that she started, she might as well finish. She didn’t like leaving things unfinished. And now that would be her curse.
So, we were out. Me, Dom, Jason and a few others. We were having a good time, just the usual with a drink or two.
Save for the fact that Jason had his hands all over me. I didn’t really care to be honest. It wasn’t serious.
I felt a glare on me the entire time though and I knew. I wasn’t surprised that after a couple of minutes Dom challenged Jason to a fight. After a couple more shots, he agreed to it.
I guess that maybe… if I was sober… I could have stopped Jason. I knew how Dom could get. We all did… except for Jason, of course. Of course.
She bites her lip, trying to hold herself back. There’s a sting at her heart and the next thing she knows, a tear slides down her cheek to come to rest on the page. The ink blurs.
Irrational fear forces her out of the seat to check if all her windows are closed and the door is locked. All three locks plus the chain. So maybe she’s a bit paranoid. So sue her. She’d rather have that than…
She takes a couple of breaths before returning to her spot at the desk.
Dom didn’t fight fair. He never fought fair and for goodness sake, I should have stopped them. Yet, I chose to be a spectator with a good portion of the pub goers. There was excitement, people were yelling, honestly, it all blurred into one. Before… before the barman came out and told them to get on with it. That prompted Dom to pull out a knife.
Jason got in a few hits and then Dom just… stabbed him. One moment, Jason was there, in a fight and the next he was coughing up blood before dropping to the floor. There was just… blood… everywhere.
Her mind screeches to a halt as she recalls that night. Details blurred over the years, but she can still remember how it all felt, the way Jason’s blood went all over her hoodie… it made her feel sick to her stomach.
She really didn’t want to continue with the story. It was all bullshit, anyway. Gets it out of your system? More like it prompts all the memories to come swarming back. She feels almost as if she was drowning.
I remember Dom’s face. It didn’t have an expression in particular but he stared at me. I couldn’t force myself to break the eye contact, almost still on the spot, having a feeling that I was next but he… he just stepped over Jason and walked away.
I had to go to court to testify. And I did, all of our friends did, but he still got off, charges dropped. Because even if we did share the same story… we were drink addled drug addicts.
She sits back in her chair, staring at the full page, looking at the blurred ink from when she couldn’t hold her emotions back. She was never the one to hide the truth from herself, many times faced with sleepless nights, nightmares… even during the day, the fear didn’t fade.
I haven’t seen him for a good couple of years until that one point… we were having a weekend trip and just so it happened, that I’ve ran into him when trying to get away from all the stress.
That meeting brought everything back. The feelings that I thought I buried deep enough for them not to be found again, found their way to the surface. Like a fucking reminder of the days long lost.
And so I quit my job. I couldn’t, even after having been there for a good few years… I’ve decided to start again. Clean slate. I worked at a café for a while, before slipping back into teaching. Well, not exactly teaching… But you get the point.
I haven’t seen him since. It has been quite some time, I’m not really sure how long. And I don’t know what to do. Whether I want to see him again or not… Because while my heart is almost screaming for him… I can’t. I just can’t.
She slammed the notebook shut.