Before I confuse you completely, this is me, eight months since that terrible day when “he” invaded my life. I’m sorry, I mean Russ. My therapist stressed the importance of always calling him by name so that in my mind, he is just a person and not the monster I could have made him out to be. Russ, went to prison for life. I’m not sure if the sentence had anything to do with the actual severity of the crime, or more so about who I am and those powerful people my family knows. Russ is receiving the intense therapy he needs to become a better person than he has grown up to be, which is good and I hope it works. I barely think about him anymore; only when something reminds me of all that we went through. Sometimes it’s a face, or a story in the news, but it’s reminder enough I am far from over the trauma.
However, here I am and as you can see I’m no longer on the island. For the past eight months I’ve been staying at Castle Merengue, an all girls home/school where I have been receiving further training in art, mainly sculpting. You chuckled in your head just a little when you read all girls, didn’t you? I’m sure you are thinking, that Jin! But ease up just a little because believe it or not, the “all girls” thing was all me. Well and a little of mom too, for it was her contacts and friendships that helped me get into this program in the first place. I’ve looked to the sky and thanked her many times since I arrived here.
The castle is absolutely gorgeous! True to the mental image you receive when you hear the word castle, it is indeed surrounded by a “moat” which also goes right through the middle as well. Here is the back:
My bedroom is a child’s fantasy, as one imagines entering a princess’s chambers would be like.
First thing I did when I arrived, was to remove the double bed and replace it with a single. I haven’t been able to sleep in a double bed since that night and once I gave up sleeping on the floor, I found a single I could tolerate. Here is what my room looks like now:
A little less princess-like, but suits me just fine. One of the things I love is these guys who sit outside my room. It’s silly to say, but they make me feel a little more safe somehow.
They actually sit half way between the third floor where my bedroom sits and my studio which is directly above me in the top of the tower. So I am doubly protected no matter where I am. LOL I just love the expression on their faces!
I’ve changed a lot from the teenage girl I was on the island. It’s incredibly weird to say, but many positive things came out of my near abduction by Russ. One could conclude I grew up on the spot, for the whole experience opened my eyes, tore off the rose-coloured glasses and ripped the childish banner from my mind. Life became very real, very fast. That kinda happens when the whole world suddenly knows who you are and what you are about.
I’ve made some good friends:
Brenna, who is our resident musician.She is a few years older and plays the piano like I could only dream to do. Even though the piano sits in the fireplace room and my studio is in the tower on the fourth floor, I can still hear the sounds of everything she plays. It soothes me I find, and I sculpt better when she is playing. Until she plays this one particular song. I don’t know why, or what it is but it makes me grit my teeth.
Tenisha, a fellow artist who is from China and graciously teaching me martial arts. I have asked her many questions regarding her native land and she has answered them most honestly and kindly. She has no plans to return, of that she makes distinctly clear.
And Kymber, the photographer.Her photos make you feel what you are seeing, if that makes any sense. She hopes one day to work with a famous interior designer, taking photographs of their finished creations so she can “bring them to life.”
These friends have stuck by me through all the mess I brought with me. Which is good because I was completely green to how things worked in life. From obvious things right down to how a vending machine worked, as an example. Hey! I never had to worry about money before, let alone the technology of the Simworld! I stumble sometimes when something new comes along, but my friends have been awesome with the “no judgement” thing. Kymber calls it no judgies.
Since Russ, I have made some strict rules for my life to help me heal both mentally and emotionally. My number one rule: Technology will never again be an important part of my life. Which means no social media and no computer. I use the school computer for one hour a week so I can Skype with my family, but that is all. Staying in touch with them is super important to me for I don’t want the monsters to forget their Auntie Jade. Secondly, art is my number one priority. More specifically, sculpting. I still paint and I love to do so during my spare time for fun. But there is just something about putting your hands on a medium and turning it into a creation so…..beautiful, peaceful, soothing or vibrant to the soul. Third and a little silly to admit, no makeup. Well not “no” makeup, just very little. Nothing that will ever compare me to the look in those ghastly photos in the magazines. Oh and never again will I wear revealing clothes either. It’s not that I wear baggy, just nothing to provoke the thought of sexy. There you have it, this is me now.
Anyway, I’ve jumped way ahead in my excitement to tell you about my new life. However I need to stop right here and tell you what happened AFTER everything went down.
I was a mess, as you can imagine, feeling completely out of sorts and lost, totally lost. First thing I did though, was dye my hair back to black. I spent about a month sleeping on the floor of the nursery, getting little rest and sore joints from lying on the hard floor. Sun tried hard to find me a new space that I would feel comfortable in, even offering the master bedroom to me. Yet I didn’t feel it was right to displace anyone in the house and at the time I was thinking, of course, that I deserved all the discomfort I had. So I never complained.
I spent my days pacing around the house and island. Blindly walking with no real direction and mostly blank thoughts. Jin tolerated it until one day he blew up with a growl, practically dragged me downstairs, and shoved me in front of a large block of clay.
“Work!” he said.
“I don’t want to sculpt,” I whined at him.
“And I’m tired of the constant patter of your feet. Work the clay, it will help,” he replied firmly.
I stared at the clay for a few minutes more. “I don’t know what to make. I’m just not feeling it. I have no ability to be creative right now. Don’t you understand?”
“Then don’t be creative,” he said in frustration. “Make something, uh, make something practical. Start with that.”
So I made this:
I could tell Jin was not impressed when he said “Not funny Jade”, but he really couldn’t complain could he? I did what he asked. I of course took to pacing again and two days later, he dragged me back. This time all he did was point at the wood then cross his arms.
“You can’t just order me to sculpt you know. It begins with a feeling, an idea and I have NO ideas. Nothing to base an idea from.”
“Are you blind,” Jin replied while mostly holding his temper. “We live on a beautiful island Jade! Lots of inspiration to go by. Now on with it!”
He wanted island, so I made this:
He was a little more impressed but still not happy.
The moment I realized things were not getting better for me, I was once again on the beach.I spent as little time as I could in the house, where the memories of the attack came flooding back in my mind all day long. So I paced, around the kitchen island, out the back door, then behind the pond, across the small beach and back onto our beach front. Where I would stop and stare, sometimes for long periods of time. However, it wasn’t the ocean I was staring at, but Travis’s camp on the tiny island next to our own. I missed him. He goofy grin, his contagious sense of humor and his beautiful blue eyes.
He had called my parents to say he had safely arrived at school but since then I had avoided all contact with him. It was easily done since I had no phone or computer for him to keep in touch. In my mind I let him go that day on the beach so he could get on with his own life and be happy without me. My heart however, was a different story; still longing to see him and waiting for him to return. It hit me then and there, I couldn’t stay. For he would never let go if I was on the island waiting for those moments when he would visit. After a long talk with the “parents”, we decided furthering my education would be the best thing for me to do .
So back to now and today is my 18th birthday! I’m celebrating with my gals over this fabulous cake while they try to talk me into going out to the bar for the evening. I was briefly saved, by those familiar tingling feelings…..
While sparkles flutter down, my eyeballs are still spinning in circles. “How do I look?”
“Well the wardrobe could use some work!” Brenna exclaimed. Figures she would say that.
“Doesn’t matter,” Kymber states firmly. “We are dressing her up and taking her out! She is finally old enough to drink and par-tey!” Kymber is a party person, if you didn’t get that already. Nothing like an outing to put her in the best of moods!
I borrowed a dress from Teneisha, one more form fitting that I would like, Brenna did my make up and nails while Kymber did my hair. I wish I could say it felt like being in a spa, but instead it was a flurry of activity that had my head still spinning when we arrived at the bar/restaurant/store. (It’s a teeny tiny town) However, I think we look good.
“Time to introduce Jade to food stalls!” Kymber exclaimed.
I leaned over to Teneisha and asked “What is a food stall?”
She pointed at the four booths in front of us. “Food from different seasons that you normally wouldn’t eat at home. You’ll like it. Take your pic.”
“Maybe the hot wings weren’t the best choice,” Kymber admitted looking very ill. “Let’s go get Jade her first juice!”
“Uh, Kymber it’s early yet. Can’t we wait a bit?” Teneisha asked.
“Early means more time to party! C’mon!”
“Hey look” Kymber smacked Brenna in the arm and leaned on the couch. “Oh he’s cute!”
“What did he want,” Kymber asked in a suggestive way.
“He just wanted to talk. Nothing what you are thinking,” I replied as I wiggled my finger at her.
“Did you give him your number?” Brenna asked.
I fake yawned then. “I’m tired! Anyone else want to go?” Then I stood up hoping to stop the conversation. Brenna stood also and began to follow me out. Behind me I could hear Kymber yelling “Oh c’mon! Jade! Jade?”
By the time we found Teneisha I had been properly teased, leaving us laughing in intoxicated giggles.
“Hey Kymber,” I shouted then realized my shoe was caught in the hem. I grunted while trying to remove it in my tipsy state. “Show, show a little leg and maybe we will get the cab for free!”
“Like this,” Kymber asked as she posed for the drivers on the road. “Whoa! The world is tipping!”
“Don’t rip my dress!” Tenisha yelled at me the same time Kymber began to fall backwards.
I was still balancing on one foot, then laughed so hard I fell down the stairs. Brenna grabbed for Kymber before she fell to the ground.Tenisha kneeled down to make sure I was okay. I was so embarrassed. “Did anyone see me?”
Kymber spoke through fits of laughter, “I think I need to lie down.”
“Well not here,” replied Brenna while still holding up a tipsy Kymber. “Here is the cab so get in.”
Thank you to the following creators for their lots!
Castle Merengue by fredbrenny HERE
Sera Bar and Restaurant By Autaki HERE