be still my heart this could a brand new start

Posted: January 20, 2007 in musings on life and death

you should listen to “be still my heart” by the postal service.
ok, so this might be a bit of a confessional and a bit out of the blue, but what the hey. i think it should be said at some point.
you never know this could be a brand new start, i might actually let go of this now.
let me tell you a story.

this story begins with a girl. just your average scottish girl, not entirely sure if the faith she professes to is real, and being 16, is full of insecurities about herself and how people, boys (especially boys), girls, anyone sees her. one day, she recieves in her inbox a comment from a stranger who thinks she is “interesting”. this piques her curiousity, how can a stranger think she is interesting- especially as the only evidence they have to go on is a pretty old msn spaces profile. nonetheless, the comment is there, so she replies, “why? and, by the way thats an old profile, i’ve changed a bit ;)” a conversation ensues, where it comes out that this stranger thinks she is the sort of person he would like to get to know. it also comes out that this stranger (lets call him -yes, him- Garry) is 29 years old. this doesn’t put her off however, lets face it, an older man thinks she’s interesting? who would give that up?

so the conversations progress, they text and email and instant message all the time, she begins to phone him, they talk most nights for an hour or so, discussing all sorts of things, aliens, religion, drugs, even sex. she tells him she is a virgin. he seems surprised. he still likes her though, he wants her to go to his house (just about an hours drive from her house) for the weekend, where they can drink and play strip chess and fall over. yes, really.

after a month or two Garry begins to ask when he can meet her, until now she’s always been slightly evasive, even she recognises that there may be some element of danger in this, however, she does want to meet him, he’s the most interesting person she’s met in a long time. they eventually arrange to meet up one weekend, when she has to be in school anyway, so she meets him near there. they go for coffee and she discovers that its really easy to talk to and flirt with this guy, this damaged person who has never really followed his dreams, who was hurt by his parents, was damaged by finding out he was adopted and had to learn to love and trust again, yet, there is still nervousness. he offers to drive her home, and it takes a few nudgings before she accepts. she doesn’t want to tell her mum, in her heart she knows that this isn’t exactly a good situation. that afternoon, however she takes her courage in both hands and tells her mum. but she lies. she says that this guy is friends with her friends cousin. and that her friend went with her too. not that that makes it that much better. her mum is still worried about her and she tells one lady from her church, a trained councellor.

seperately from her mum talking to the councellor, another lady (shona, lets call her) who knows the family talks to the councellor about the girl. shona is known for being gifted with the holy spirit, she often is blessed in different ways. anyway, shona has a dream about the girl, in which she is given a word “predator”. shona believes that there is a predatory force at work around the girl. shona tells the councellor, who passes this on to the mum. mum and dad discuss this and eventually, a few days later decide to talk to the girl about it.

during this same week, one of the girls friends dies. this friend, charlotte (as good a name as any) had cysitic fibrosis, and had had it ever since she was born. charlotte had been extremely lucky to make it as long as she did. the mum had gone to see charlotte and her mother and had told them about the girl and garry. charlotte was upset at this and told the mum not to letthe girl do that, because “she was far too beautiful”. a day or two after that conversation, charlotte died. this was an emotional time for the girl, it was a monday morning when she found out and on the wednesday evening her parents decided to talk to her about the situation with garry. being good christian parents, they emphasised the fact that they thought it was the devil tempting the girl. this was hard for the girl to hear, she was upset about charlotte and needing the support garry was giving her, and also confused, she didn’t feel she was enough of a christian to be worth bothering the devil. that talk didn’t really resolve anything. the girl still made plans to meet garry again, this time with her friends around. the night of charlottes funeral. unsurprisingly her friends and garry didn’t really get on that well. too much of an age gap, cultural differences… everything. the relationship cooled slightly over the next few weeks, but there was still almost daily contact.

the girl and her mum went to spring harvest that easter, about two weeks after charlotte died. during that week, the girl wasn’t expecting to be able to get access to her email, but she still told garry to email her. she had a good time that week, making new friends, going to different talks and actually, for once really beginning to experience God. she made one friend, sam, who she learnt a lot from, how being different was ok- you didn’t have to follow the crowd. he was important in helping her to be ok with herself. even if he didn’t realise it. one night at the youth services, the teachers at the front asked people to come forward for prayer. the girl, realising she had to do something, went forward. she was prayed over and her mind was, for once at peace. that night, in her fold out sofa bed, she really prayed. she asked God to look after the situation with garry, to be in control. if it was his will that she be an instrument of truth in his life, then so be it, but if not, that was ok too.

in the car on the way home, she put on a del amitri cd, which started with the track “be my downfall”. her mum asked how garry was. she answered, honestly, “i don’t know”. when she got home, there were no emails from him. she had recieved no texts from him. during the week, she had deleted all his texts and erased his numbers- that was how God was in control, if he contacted her, then it was for a reason. she heard from him once more, over a year later, she got an email through, a generic quiz type email that you pass round all your contacts. she didn’t reply- what was there to say?

the last time she saw him was a year, almost to the day since the last time she had met up with him. he was walking along the main road near her school, she was on a study period and at the shop. they walked past each other. once he was past and looking in a window she recognised him. the experience shocked her. so badly she was shaking for about ten minutes, like seeing a ghost. to this day she doesn’t even know if it was him or if he recognised her…. for a time, such important figures to each other and then… nothing.

what else is there to say?

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