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  • Writer's pictureJack

I Cried A Lot

Until I met my first serious girlfriend I hadn’t met many people that I’d liked that much. I tolerated people more than liked them. When we got together though it was true love.

I’d seen her around college but never dared talk to her. She hung around with the cool crowd and I was the sort of person that struggled not to shake when talking to people. She’d sit with a big group of people in the college canteen, and I’d sit mainly alone, getting stoned in the corner.

One boxing day I went out with my older brother and his friends, and I found out she was the younger sister of one of my brother’s female friends.

She was there with about five lads who were her friends and she kept coming over and chatting to me. One of my brothers friends asked if I liked her and when I said I did he kept telling me to make a move on her and I just kept refusing because I assumed one of her friends was her boyfriend.

He said, ‘She only comes over when you’re here, stop being a wus’ then he proceeded to get me to down a pint in one to get my courage up.

We ended up chatting more and more then right at the end of the night started kissing. It was the greatest thing that had happened in my life up until that point.

Eventually it was time to leave and once people had prised us apart, we exchanged numbers and left.

These were landline numbers as it was before mobile phones, I loved looking at her writing on the piece of paper even though it was just her name and number. I wanted to call her the next day but my brother said, ‘You’ll look desperate, the protocol is three days, trust me’

So I waited until Wednesday, three days later and called her and tried to sound all casual asking if she fancied meeting up. She did and we met in a café in the centre of Bradford called the Acropolis and had coffee and cake and then she came back to mine.

We were instantly like best friends and lovers and was with each other every minute we could from then onwards. When we had to work or be separate for any reason, I pined for her, I hated anything that kept us apart.

She was always with me, always there for me.

Some years later I had some kind of breakdown, I can’t remember much about it now, I remember I’d been suffering with depression worse than usual, I remember her trying to coax me out from under a giant pile of dirty washing in the bedroom of my flat. I remember one time when she wasn’t there, I’d thought about hanging myself and tried to fashion a noose out of bed sheets but didn’t have the courage to go through with it, another reason to dislike myself.

She persuaded me to go with her to the doctors.

I remember being in the doctors and I was crying and couldn’t talk, and I remember this arsehole doctor just staring at me and said something along the lines of ‘What do you want me to do?’ and she lost it and shouted at him ‘He needs help!’

She was good to me; I was weak, and she was strong.

The doctor had told us he’d referred me to somewhere or another and to expect a letter.

Three weeks later I got a letter saying that an appointment and been made for me six months after that. For some reason I got a bit worse after that.

She turned up at my house at some point with her dad, he told me to pack my things and said I was moving in with them, she still lived at home when she wasn’t with me, and she’d confided in her parents about the state I was in and they wanted to look after me.

When she was younger her dad had been committed to a ‘Mental Hospital’ for a while and he’d got better. I remember he gave me some tablets that zonked me out but made me feel better. He was such a funny guy and he’d always say things with double meanings and look at me out of the corner of his eye like a naughty child trying to get me to laugh. I really liked him, and we would go looking around antique shops together.

They were such lovely people to take me into their home and treat me like one of their own. I got better too, well better than I had been.

I can’t remember how long after that it was but they were all going on holiday and usually she would stay with me but she’d decided she wanted to go with her parents like old times. They asked if I’d house sit. I had gently pleaded with her not to go but she had her mind set on it and I tried not to be a dick about it.

I remember her mum took me shopping and bought massive amounts of food to stock me up.

I didn’t realise how bad it would hit me when they went away but we hugged and kissed and when I saw her waving to me out of the back of the car as they drove off, I felt sick.

I was in her childhood home, surrounded by all her things, photo’s everywhere, and she was gone and I was alone. Being alone had never bothered me until I knew what it was like to love.

They had left to do their annual four-week camping trip in mid France. Four weeks, four days was too much to be apart, four weeks!

I cried every day, I’d cry on the floor in different rooms, this wasn’t depression, this was heartbreak.

I don’t know how loud I’d been crying but a neighbour came around to check on me, thinking about it now, her parents had probably asked him to check in with me. We had a deep conversation and later he brought me ‘The Prophet’ by Kahil Gibran to borrow, which was nice.

She’d call me some nights from a phone box on her campsite, I’d hear French lads calling her name in the background and would be extremely jealous and think the worst and cry some more.

When she returned, I was so ecstatic to see her. She didn’t seem that pleased to see me, that’s how I saw it, but she was just sad to be back from holiday, I took it very personally, It felt like I’d mourned in our separation and she’d just enjoyed herself.

I suppose you could say I wasn’t the most emotionally mature person.

This is a painting from my strange and troubled past series, where I explore memories which have stuck with me for some reason or another.

'I Cried A Lot' Acrylic on canvas board 30 by 40cm

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