THIS IS THE ORIGINAL VERSION - EPISODES OF JADEN: WAKING THE FOLLOWING STORY WAS POSTED AND WRITTEN BY J.HAMILTON IN EARLY 2010. THIS IS A SHORT INTERPRETATION OF THE BOOK CHAPTERS MADE FOR 2018. NAMES HAVE BEEN CHANGE TO PROTECT THE NOT SO INNOCENT. EPISODE ONE
ALL I COULD HEAR WAS THE SOUND of a vibration, a deafening hum that seemed to go on indefinitely. The hum of such kind finally faded in the background when my eyes flipped open to the unknown, where I found myself captured by the dark, a place beyond nothingness. A short grunt echoed in my right ear and knew for a fact that I wasn’t alone. Turning from the side position to face up, it revealed a man whom I hardly recognized, with his rough, sweaty skin sticking to mine like paste. The alcohol on his breath was easy to detect, and his ponderous arm was wrapped around my chest so that it was difficult to breathe. From afar, the rattling noise of the air-conditioning system grew louder, and I could feel the cold air brush against my naked body.
Just then light slowly peeked in from a window through a vinyl blind, shining through the room. It was a room filled with empty bottles, cigarette butts, videotapes, and dirty laundry, a moderately new urban loft covered in fresh turquoise paint with designer-labeled furniture and modern artworks.
Carefully, I placed his arm on the side of the bed, reaching for my iPhone. The time was seven on a Sunday morning, and it dawned on me that I had no recollection of last night’s events.
I staggered slowly into the bathroom and pressed gently on the edge of the marble countertop to hold myself up. Flipping the switch with a single rub, the red fluorescent light flickered onto the mirror. As I looked at my reflection, I saw a young man clouded by his emotions and still lost somewhere in the middle of a dream.
The source of my headache might have been from drinking with friends, but why didn’t I remember any of it? It was the first time in a long time that I felt disconnected from myself and couldn’t recall what had happened. All I could think of was Mac whom I somehow didn’t forget.
* * *
I knew he then he was what I wanted when I first laid eyes on him. His oceanic green eyes carried thrills and excitement. I had never seen such beauty in my life. He was an attractive blond guy in his late twenties whose life was filled with hope. There were adventures in his eyes that I wanted to explore and learn.
MAC WILLEMSEN stood about six foot two and was quite athletic. What I learned in the last six months was that we shared the same thoughts and feelings. From musical tastes to long-term routine relationships, there was a definite resemblance. Above all, we both had the same vision of what a relationship should be. It was as if I was resurrected, instantly bringing back all the thoughts in my head, reinstating all the same possible feelings I had when I was with Jeremy. He made me feel alive again.
The most memorable moments with Mac were when we began to know each other.
The first few months, we were inseparable. We spent hours and days on end learning about each other and took time lying in bed wrapped around in sheets. Even the sexual appetite between us was overpoweringly stimulating. He knew my desires, and there was nothing foreign about the way he caressed me.
I learned that nothing in life was ever perfect, that nothing was set in stone. Every relationship required work and dedication for it to be a successful one. This was why I took his imperfect past for what it was. However, the problem with allowing a troubled past, it had its disadvantage.
In retrospect, his ex-boyfriend was that troubled past. The stress lines on his forehead brought out a disturbing personality. Any man who dared to stare at him felt threatened and attacked. Those eyes, I remembered those eyes. They were light blue, but they were mysteriously dark and soulless to me.
It wasn’t until we decided to move in together that I really got myself tangled in this nightmare. Vicious motives had just begun.
DANE REICH was Mac’s ex-boyfriend of five years, who wasn’t about to let it all go. His plan was clear. He wanted me gone. A jealous rage had manifested into something dangerous.
It was early Friday morning in April when the situation completely got out of hand. Mac and I had just recently moved into a two-bedroom loft, a condo in downtown Seattle.
“I have to go back. It’s the only way he will leave you alone for good. Just trust me!”
It was the first time I saw the frightened look on his face.
“What do you mean go back?” I was confused.
“It’s the only way I can protect you.”
I really didn’t understand how it got this way. I had lost my job a week prior for an unknown reason. All I knew was that Dane was responsible somehow. He had a plan to ruin me completely, and it worked.
It was also that same year when the economy had soured. People were losing their jobs left and right. But nothing could have prepared me for what I had learned, Mac too, lost his job. And just when I thought nothing could get worse, Mac moved back with Dane.
The whole situation didn’t quite register until he was gone.
Several weeks had gone by, and life sort of picked its way up. Within weeks, I found myself a decent job as a personal assistant in downtown Seattle and eventually met a couple online that was willing to take over the four-month lease that we had left. There were times when I wondered about Mac, thinking about the danger he might be facing. Curious to know if he thought of me the same way I did about him.
Eventually, a friend helped find me a new place to rent down south of Seattle. We found a luxurious apartment home by Lake Washington. To some, it might have been the next paradise, but to me, it was just a place to sleep. Ironically, this place soon became an unforgettable waking.
As fate would have it, it was a place near Mac. It happened that Dane owned a townhouse a couple of blocks from the apartment complex. I didn’t expect to soon reconnect with Mac.
One day, he noticed me in the park and I was stunned to see him. Before any words came out of our mouth, we knew then a start of summer affair. My decision for taking another shot had everything to do with me being a firm believer in faith and that everything happened for a reason. There were moments when I missed out on opportunities because I was too afraid something terrible might happen. I would think about Jeremy and that accident. I wanted to be different and fearless.
As Mac explained many times that he was unhappy living with Dane, and he had a plan for us to be together. All it took was for him to find a secured job. That plan never got us very far. Dane somehow figured out his whereabouts. He developed clever tactics in discovering Mac’s mind; this soon transpired into a dangerous obsession of his.
This obsession of Dane led us to see less of each other. Soon, we were only seeing each other a couple of times a week. It went from hours to just a few minutes. There were times when I would sit in the clubhouse and wait for him to appear, but he never came. It felt as if time took him away from me.
The first week of July was when I received a message from Dane, as he shared their plans of moving into a new house to start fresh and expressed that Mac had no feelings for me. At first, I wasn’t sure of it, I viewed it as a ploy to see how I would react. I ignored him just as Mac told me to. But it became the truth when Mac’s mother reached out.
“I’m sorry to tell you this. Mac has feelings for you, but he just can’t let go of Dane. You need to move on before anyone gets hurt.”
I remembered sitting on the bathroom counter by the mirror with my hands held tightly on my iPhone waiting for some good news to come out of it, but tears rolled down my face.
“I am sorry that Mac did this to you. I just don’t want to see anyone hurt.”
“But he told me that he has a plan. What do you mean ‘did’ this to me?”
“I don’t know what Mac told you, but you need to let this go.”
I never could comprehend the real meaning of why he couldn’t let go of Dane nor did I understand why he left without any explanation.
I stared at a young man isolated from reality, lost in a dream. Resorting to alcohol to alleviate the pain hadn’t been a wise choice of mine. It didn’t help me forget Mac altogether.
I quickly washed my face, when I noticed a slight gash on the side of my head, about half-inch. My fingers ran across it, touching the outer part of the wound and it looked healed. The thought of not knowing how it got there had me wonder about my actions. I was not aware of my existence when it came to Mac, let alone determine the stranger in the bed. I felt shame and filth.
Right away, I picked up my phone, collected scattered pieces of my clothing off the floor, and put them on as I went. On a console against the wall, sat a portable device over a stand that faced the bed. It was better to imagine that none of it existed, and so I managed to pull a piece of microSD card out of the device and pocketed it. With fear of waking him up, I went to the door down the steps, quietly and quickly. Behind me, the door shut and it sounded like him yelling from the loft above:
“Hey! Where are you going?”
I ran as fast as I could out of the four-story building into the midst of quiet, empty streets, made variable turns at every corner in a chance that I might be followed. Then turned down a narrow alley to catch my breath, but something held my windpipe and began to struggle. Soon I started choking only to discharge a content from my mouth, it looked to be a shape of a cough drop. The thought of a frightening sensation passed my mind after I proceeded to the other section of the alley when I caught myself off guard staring at a street name, Amdomes Junction. There was some truth behind it, but I couldn’t figure it out. A great dread crept in and realized I had lost my way. I had forgotten the importance of life, that its surrounding had their guidance if understood correctly. My inability to pay close attention and what had led me to this circumstance gave me insight and purpose. Perhaps this was a wake-up call, a chance to recount the episodes in my head that occurred before this trauma and take notice closely. If nothing else, at least help discover my reasoning for always running.
I decided to call my friend, assumed he had some answers to its obscurity, but when I picked up the phone to search for his name, it became evident the list of contacts were not mine, to begin with. The phone in my possession belonged to the stranger. I made my way back to where I came from and found myself baffled by what I saw. The four-story building had disappeared, and what lay above the visible landscape, a tall high-rise.
It was a hope to retrace my steps in capturing the mystery within but didn’t foresee the game ahead.