Damien“Damien”, what a name to give to a child it sounds almost devilish; as he sat in his chair pondering about life, and what has become of his. He looks back into his childhood growing up in what could be loosely described as the ghetto, his mom had to work four jobs while his dad was a slave to his single job. He rarely saw his father and saw his mother even less, which left him to raise his two other siblings which was a daunting task in and of itself. One specific memory stands out in his mind and he cannot shake it no matter how hard he tries; sitting on the swing as he swings higher and higher he can feel the wind beneath his body taking him and releasing him from this hell hole that is reality.
“I can just let go of everything, nothing matters, just let go and let all of the world slip away” Damien says to himself; “let go of the swing go head first into the ground nobody will know the difference if you are here or not.”
He reaches his point of no return but at that exact point in time the kid swinging next to him jumps off of his swing and sends his seat sailing through the air landing on Damien’s eye. He can feel himself falling from his eternal seat and lands on the hard unforgiving ground. “I can feel it, my life force is draining from my head, not the way I had envisioned but this will do”, he thinks as he losses consciousness.
“Wow dude you look kinda hurt”
John says as he stares at Damien’s bleeding wound.
“It looks cool bro what happened?”
Another child asks.
Damien slowly starts to wake up from his traumatizing incident as he realizes that he has not been ended, a sickening feeling comes over him as he gently touches the impact sight and realizes that he now has a goose egg the size of a small melon. He stands up not realizing the damage that has been done and suddenly does not feel all too well, leans over and throws up what little breakfast he had this morning. When somebody throws up in public the surrounding pedestrians think it is disgusting and vial, they are in an almost repulsed state of mind when that unfortunate incident occurs. When a child throws up on the playground it is the coolest thing they have ever seen, and coupled with the goose egg that now brands Damien’s head the playground was in an uproar.
“Look everybody! Damien’s horns are growing, too bad they are coming in one by one!” one kid says as he points his unforgiving finger at Damien.
“Hey Damien, are you going to cry now? Common cry for us you little baby”, another kid yells at him.
“Well, well, well, looks who we have here, the devils son!” John, who had been somewhat compassionate not five minutes before, started in as well.
Damien can feel the warm sting of tears welling up in his eyes but refuses to let them fall, instead he stands like a statue until one of the on duty yard aides comes to his rescue.
“Damien”, who would give their child such a name that can be torn apart, torn down, and stepped on to no ends? He stares at the clock on the wall as it slowly ticks away time, waiting for the end of the day, just waiting for the school day from hell to end, to leave his mind and his soul. He has had nothing but horrible luck and horrible timing which has sent him spiralling downward into his depression that has led him to come to his final decision that he had promise himself that would never again surface.
“Nobody will notice I am gone, all I am to the teacher is a number, if they do a little subtraction they will miss nothing”, Damien thinks as he sits on the bus to go back to his school.
“Dude, are you coming to Jason’s party tomorrow?”
Damien’s mood slightly lifts as he thinks to himself, “is Dylan asking ME to go to Jason’s party?”
“So are you going or not man I need to know.”
“There it is again, is that an open invitation? Is it a final diplomacy act to be nice?”
“Ok bro, one last time and this time I am not taking no for an answer you are coming whether you like it or not.”
“Yeah Dylan I will come”, Damien says as he turns around in his seat. He feels his face flush and he feels the feeling once again that crept up on him on that fateful day on the playground, Dylan was not talking to him, but to his buddy on the cell phone.
“Hey dipshit! I was not talking to you!”
Dylan says almost demonically.
“Sorry I just thought...”
“That is your problem then isn’t it?! You just think.”
“I’m sorry” Damian says one last time as he makes his way back down into his depression.
“Whatever dude just shut up and turn around”
It has been decided, Damien was going to end it this time, but it will be on his grounds and his way. He will not be some pushover that slits his wrists then calls the paramedics, he knows how long it will take them to get there he has tested them multiple times before.
Damian ignores all that is around him, all acknowledgments of his presence no longer exist to him.
There it is again, such a sweet voice, he had heard it before many times, but none of which were aimed at him.
“How are you?”
“I am fine” Damian states with greats hesitation.
“Well that is good, how is school going?”
Damien then realizes that the voice is not talking to anyone else, but has singled him out, or has it? This new voice that is now lingering in his psyche is it for real? Is this voice talking to him or is it another ruse? He decides to test it with his own sadistic ways.
“It is going in the opposite direction seeing as how we are on a bus traveling away from it.”
“Ha ha ha I think you are a funny guy, I have seen you around before, what is your name?”
“My name is Damien.”
“Well it is nice to meet you Damien, my name is Becca.”
Damien looks up from his book that he had buried his life into for only just a glance and sees this sweet young lady sitting in the seat right next to him. He was so entranced by his book when he got onto the bus that he had not even realized that had now had a partner. The two of them got to talking and before they knew it they were back at the high school, they had talked non-stop for almost ½ hour and not even realized it. Damien no longer had the empty void feeling that has haunted him his whole life, was it gone for good, or was it just in remission? He did not know, there was no way to tell and it was eating him up inside.
“Damien”, what a name to give to a child it sounds almost devilish, he was once again in his deep thought as he sat in his chair at his place of work. He had since moved on from the young boy he was and he had cut ties with everyone around him, including his life saving angel. He was now sitting in a rotating chair doing just that, rotating for no apparent reason other than for his mere amusement; he never really had a childhood due to his parents forcing him to raise his siblings.
“I am not feeling so good right now Derek”, he said to one of his co-workers. Derek had been so nice to him when he first started this job of healing and helping in the medical field.
Derek had started to laugh just as Damien stopped because of the look on his face.
“Dude”, he said with a chuckle, “you look like you are about to puke!”
“Ooohh bro get me a trash can!”
“Nah man you have to get up and get it yourself”
“That is not funny man!” Damien said as he stood up, wavering from all of the circulating motions that he had participated in. He started to have seconds thought on spinning in the chair at all.
“What are you two village idiots doing out here?”
James the floor manager comes out to see what all the commotion is. He is not a very happy person by nature, he had everything given to him on a silver platter when he was growing up so he had never gotten the chance to really enjoy life, to work as a kid and earn money, and earn respect of his fellows peers.
“Dude, here comes king crabby”, Derek whispers to Damien from behind his hand that he has held up hoping to cover most of the sound.
“Be careful he may fire you like he fired his wife!” Damien replies with a chuckle.
“Yes boss??” Both Damien and Derek reply at the same time. They could not help it; they started to chuckle which quickly turned into a full blow laugh-fest.
“What are you two idiots doing out here?!?” James asked, this time he let them see that he was a little bit more than irate, with the slam of his hand on the desk at which Damien and Derek sat. The sudden noise from the violent force startled them out of their laugh-fest.
“Uh nothing sir, Damien was just spinning of his chair and he got.....”
“I do not care what he got! You bumbling idiots get back to work.” Were his last words before the door slammed behind him as he went back to his office.
“So how have you been?” Damien asked with pure sympathy.
“I have been good.”
“And the rehab?”
“It's going all right I feel that I have gotten everything out of it that I can.”
“Hey man you know I am here for you if you need anything at all right?”
“Yes I do and thank you so much for that.”
“Anytime, we are like brothers you and me.”
“We really are aren’t we? We have had some good times.”
“Yeah you can say that again, hey remember that night we stayed up the entire night before we went on our little camping trip? Holy mother Teresa that was fun!”
“Yeah that was an adventure of sorts that is for sure”, Derek said with enthusiasm
Derek was the one and only tie that he had not cut from his past; they were as close as a friend could get without being related. They went through everything together, heartbreak, death, breakups of the multiples, and even a few weddings. Just recently within the past year Derek had fallen into some bad company and gotten himself into a really bad drug ring, along with the drug ring came the addiction and the loss of some real good friends; Damien stood beside him the entire time waiting, helping, and hoping for Derek to recover. Derek’s whole drug habit stemmed from the death of his mom, the two of them were very close and Derek took it too hard, blaming himself for it because he was driving the car that horrible night.
Derek and his mother were driving home from his grandparents’ house on Christmas Eve, the speed limit was posted as 45MPH but the blinding snow was forcing him to drive under 30MPH. As they were passing an accident on the side of the road Derek had gotten distracted and looked away for 5 seconds, but 5 seconds was too long for him to take his eyes off of the road. He felt himself losing control of the car and as it started to spin he could feel the fear in his heart rising to the boiling point, he looked at his mom at the wrong moment for the slid into a tree. When the impact occurred, a low lying tree branch came through the window at such force it punctured his mothers head and pushed its way through her forehead, making a sound you only hear in the movies; a child at the age of 17 should not be seeing something as graphic as his mother being impaled through the head” was Derek’s first thought when he came to after blacking out. He could not believe what had just happened, he was so scared he did not know what to do, he blacked out for a second time. He continued to drift in and out of consciousness as the wheeled him in to operating room, when he came to for the final time he had his left arm in a cast and a bandage on his head.
“What happened?” He asked groggily to the first person he saw.
“Son, you were in a terrible accident.” Said the doctor that was attending to his wounds.
“Where is my mom?
“Son....” The doctor could not finish his sentence before Derek hoarsely interrupted him.
“No! Where is she?!”
“Son, your mother is dead.”
“She died instantly, she felt no pain.”
“No, this cannot be happening to me, you are lying!”
“I am afraid not”, the doctor said with much compassion in his voice.
That night was the pinnacle for his drug abuse and the beginning of the end of his life. As Derek looked back on his like he had decided that doing all of the drugs that he had done, and all of the acts of crime he had committed were not the right thing to do to cope. He enlisted the help of his best friend Damien to overcome the devils that burned with such passion in his soul.
“Hey Derek?” Damien asked with question in his voice.
“Who is that?” He asked as a gorgeous woman walked by glancing only once at the two of them sitting there.
“Who that?” Derek asked, he motioned towards her with his head as to not give away that they were talking about her
Derek Laughed saying, “that is a person that is way out of your league.”
“Why do you say that?”
“Dude two reasons....”
“And they would be??”
“One, she will never in a million years talk to you”
“Two, dude you have a fiancé!“
Damien had gotten together with another woman 2 years prior; they had been dating for 6 months when he decided that it was time to marry the woman that he loved. The way that he purposed was a unique and one-of-a-kind way, her friends thought it was corny and stupid but Jasmine thought it was very sweet, silly, and thoughtful. The day started out as any other day for the two of them, Damien had picked Jasmine up and they were planning on going to get something to eat then go to a movie. After stopping off at the local eatery Damien decided it was time to do the deed, he took Jasmine to 3 different stores looking for a ring, just shopping around and playing with the idea. As soon as Jasmine found the ring that she wanted Damien purchased it right then and there, he got down on one knee and purposed right there in the store, Jasmine broke down in his arms and agreed with all of her heart to marry the man she loves.
“I know I only want to talk to her, do you know her?” Damien continued.
“No stupid do you know her statistically?” Damien said with a chuckle.
“Yes! Do you know her personally?”
“Well not really.”
“So then your little speech about her being way out of my league has no preference, correct?”
“You could say that.”
“Dude seriously, shut up.” Damien said jokingly
Damien was only interested in talking to her as a friend, a woman with such beauty and grace would certainly already been taken, not to mention the fact that he himself was already attached. He continued to watch her walking up and down the hall as she checked on her patients as well as his. The place where he worked was called Health & Healing Memorial; it is a recovery center for the patients of traumatic accidents and surgeries. The employees there did not have official titles for what they did or practiced, they were merely pawns in a much bigger picture that they were not yet aware of. He watched her go into one of the patients’ rooms, he waited for her to come out but she never did. Interestingly enough he forgot all about her as soon as Derek started spinning in his chair.
Damien chuckled “dude don’t make yourself sick.”
“Why not it is so much fun.”
“Yeah true that, true that.”
“I saw you watching her.”
“And your point?”
“I am telling you dude you need to be careful.”
“Why? I am not going to do anything.”
“I know you, you are a little too smooth for your own good.” Derek motioned like he was ironing a towel.
“And what is that supposed to mean!?”
“You know exactly what I mean.” Derek said with a sly smile on his face
“No but seriously man what is her name?”
“I am not going to tell you.”
“Why the hell not!?” Damien exclaimed.
“Fine you wanna kno....”
“YES! Tell me.”
“Fine her name is Julie but she likes to be called Jules”
Damien got up off of his chair and headed for the door to the room that he had seen Julie enter earlier. To his surprise she was no longer I the room, he could not figure out what had happened to her, as he thought back he realize that she must have left when he was arguing with Derek. Damien smacked his forehead with the palm of his hand as if to give himself a big “duh” sign, he realized as soon as he did that, it was a bad idea. His forehead no stung as if he had been branded with a cattle prod, he went to the mirror to check out the damage he had so stupidly done to himself, only to notice a big red hand mark on his head. As he stood at the mirror baffled he suddenly realized that there was a few minutes when he was talking to Derek that she could have slipped out of the room. “Damien, you are not thinking straight right now get her out of your head” he thought to himself.
Just as he was finishing his thought and was walking out the door, he saw Julie talking to Derek like they were old friends. Damien could not figure out why his friend had lied to him, he could not figure out what was going on, if he was with Julie or if he wanted her for himself. On the way back to his seat Damien was thinking of things to say to Derek and questions to ask why he felt he had to lie to him, all of the questions left his mind as soon as he got the his chair. Julie left just as Damien was getting back, as she did she looked at Derek and winked as if to say your mine. Damien was furious at Derek by this point and caught himself stomping over to his chair, and asking Derek “What the hell man?!”
“Dude are you stupid or do you just have a death wish?”
“What are you talking about?”
“You know exactly what I am talking about!” Damien Exclaimed.
“No really man what are you talking about?”
“What were you and Julie talking about, I thought you did not know her personally?!”
“Ok bro I lied.”
“Yeah no shit! Why did you lie to me, I thought we were brothers!?”
“The reason I lied to you is because I know her situation and I know your situation, you have a fiancé and she is just getting out of a nasty divorce. I do not want to see you get hurt and I do not want to see her get hurt.”
“Dude I told you that I was only interested in friends!”
“I know what you said, but Damien.”
“Derek, I want to talk to her, I do not know what it is but I know I want to talk to her.”
“Damien......” Derek asked.
“Go introduce me please?”
“Damien...” Derek repeated
“Dude you owe me that much for lying to me.”
“Fine Damien, you want me to introduce the two of you I will.”
Derek got up and out of his seat as if to go and collect Julie, but he did just the opposite, he smacked Damien on the head and took off running. Damien sat in his chair as if nothing had happened, he could not get her out of his head, he was contemplating what would happen if he were to pursue her. What can happen if he goes after her, what will the consequences be if he gets her? He was torn between the love that he has purposed to and this new attraction, it is like a fat kid in the candy store his mom tells him, “now son, only one piece of chocolate”. Damien quickly snapped out of his delusion as Derek came back laughing so hard he had tears falling from his eyes.
“Dude...” Derek says as he tries to calm himself.
“Dude ok I’m sorry that was not nice, but seriously I will introduce you two ok?”
Ending of the day was the best time for Damien, it means that he can go home and just veg out on the couch and not have a care in the world. In reality, when he gets home his fiancé makes him do anything but veg out; the first time that Jasmine and Damien met, they were both on their way to a bar. It was Jasmine’s first time out to a bar, so she would be what is a considered a bar virgin, Damien on the other hand was not. He arrived at the bar in his ’98 Ashton Martin that had a slight ding in the door with a smudge of a bike tire he had acquire while pulling out of the garage that night. As he stepped out of his car and was met by the usual yes-man suck up people who would take his car and compliment him on every little thing, he was getting so sick of those guys. As he walked past his car he stuck out the sleeve of his jacket and rubbed off the rubber marking and called it good.
Jasmine drove up to the bar in a ’94 Ford Taurus; the car looked as if it had been drug through the streets behind a street cleaner. She did not care, she did not care about the looks that she got as they drove up, all she cared about was the fact that she got from one place to the next. As soon as Jasmine stepped out of the car she could feel the cold wind catch in her lungs as she gasp a slight gasp, she was not met by the valets, she was not met by any kissups she was only met by her other friends who were just excited and happy to get out of the house. She was of course in the parking garage because she was not in the cool crowd and was not able to get the front row parking, but she didn’t care, she was there to get drunk and forget the world.
As fate would have it Damien and Jasmine sat at the same bar, two stools away from each other. As Damien took a short sip from his martini, he was glancing around the room, not giving any one lady a second chance glance. He was not there to make friends; he was not there for a one night stand, or a “good time”. Damien was there to unwind from a hard day up the hospital, he did not want to talk to anybody or have anybody talk to him; as he was glancing around the room his eyes fell on a woman sitting two seats down from him. He could not take his eyes off of her, it was as if his eyes were positively charged magnets and her body were the negatively charged magnets, they met in the middle and he was hooked.
Damien longed for the feelings that he once had with her, he was not sure what happened, where did it all go wrong? Was it him, or was it her? Why does life have to change so drastically so fast and with such force it feels like you have been hit with a hammer? All these things and more he sat contemplating until he was interrupted when his favorite song came over the radio, he reached for the dial and turned it clockwise increasing the volume to a level that would make his mom go deaf. Damien could not stand his music if it was not high enough to be heard from the street, it makes no sense to him to have music in your life if you cannot turn it up to enjoy it.
As Damien drove down the road listening to his favourite music he cold not help himself but crank it up even further and start to sing along to his favorite country song.
“Don’t leave I think I love you!” He started to sing the song as he thought back on todays events and seeing Julie for the first time.
“I just saw the rest of my life, honey you’re in it.”
“Won’t you hear what I say, give me just a minute.”
“Don’t Leave, I Think I Love You.”
“I know you think I’m crazy, and you probably should.”
“I wouldn’t make this up, I couldn’t dream this good. “
Damien could not believe he actually remembered the words to that Toby Kieth song, he amazed himself. As he continued home he could not help himself but to think about Julie, the way her hair swayed in the draft as she walked down the hall. He noticed her walked and drove himself half wild, the moment that she winked at him he just about lost control. In the middle of the song Damien started to feel a little uneasy, he did not know why, and he could not figure out what it was. He felt like there was somebody watching him, he knew it was impossible because he was in a car driving seventy mile an hour, but he could not shake the feeling. Damien got home still a little bit shaken from his ride home, as he walked into his house Jasmine was waiting for him with a look on her face that was all to familiar, she was upset at him because he was only 15 minutes late. She had a habit of cutting Damien down because he was too nice, and he just sat there and took it, his feelings and emotions were stirring inside of him like a boiling pot but he kept a lid on that pot for she is the person he purposed to.
The morning woke Damien up with a start, his alarm did not go off but for some reason he was still awake. He had nightmares of the possibilities which caused the strong uneasiness the night before, his mind was going to fast for his feet to keep up as he tripped himself while getting out of bed. As he walked downstairs he could smell the old familiar smell of eggs and bacon, with wheat toast on the side with a glass f Orange juice.
“Smell delicious honey!” Damien said with enthusiasm in his voice.
“Why thank you”
“How did you sleep last night , you did not move as much as you normally do?” Damien Asked
“I know, you were doing enough moving for the both of us.”
“Yeah, what was swimming through your head last night?”
“I don’t know, it’s jus....”
“Oh just forget about it, you have a long day today so go get ready.”
“But honey I really think I need to talk to you about what happened last night.”
“What did somebody try to run you off the road?” Jasmine asked with a chuckle.
“Ok then go and get ready..... go, go” Jasmine motioned up the stairs.