Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs (Part 7 of 7)

Saturday, June 11th This is it. This will be my last journal entry. I don't know now why I even bothered to try to put any of this on paper. I thought it would help someone understand, but I realize now that some things can never be understood. I saw the priest a little while ago. He kept saying the same old things he's always been saying. I feel kind of sorry for him. I almost played along just so he could have a clear conscience about being a part of all of this, but in the end I couldn't do it. It just wouldn't be honest and, if nothing else, I've never been a liar. This is no time to start picking up bad habits. They tell me that it's almost time and I won't be able to take this journal with me to the next room, so I guess I better hurry up and finish saying whatever it is I've been trying to say. In almost no time at all I'm going to see her parents and will get to tell them what I've been waiting so long to tell them. I can't wait to see their faces when they realize that they are actually doing the very opposite of what they always meant to do. When they realize they are actually sending me to her and that they won't be there to try to keep us apart any more. I wonder if it is gonna hurt. They say it's humane, but how would they know? It's not like they ever actually did it before. I guess I'll know soon enough. And then she'll be there waiting for me. Arms open in forgiveness. I never meant to hurt her and I know she understands that now. I just couldn't stand to lose her and I lost it for a moment there. Just for a moment, but a moment was all it took. But all of that is behind us. I know she understands now and is waiting for me. I can't wait. Getting nervous. I know they'll be here soon to take me. Mom, if you read this I'm really sorry about how all of this happened and someday I'll see you again. Hopefully then you'll finally be willing to talk to me again. I forgive you for the years of silence. Dad, I guess we'll never see other again cause if I get my wish we're not going to end up in the same place. There are some things that can't be forgiven. Meredith. I love you. I'll see you soon. Stephen Michael Hobbs

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs (Part 6 of 7)

Friday, June 10th Well I guess the cat's out of the bag now. I was gonna wait till tomorrow's entry to talk about seeing Meredith again soon, but that letter from Ryan just set me off. It's true. I'm finally gonna see her again after all these years apart. I wonder what she'll think when she sees me. I know I don't exactly look the same anymore. Don't get me wrong, it's not like I've let myself go or anything like that. In fact, I'm probably in the best shape of my life what with all the time I spend working out each day. But I am older. No doubt about that. And my hair... Well let's just say it's not the same as it used to be. I bet she looks just the same. Just as young and beautiful as ever. I can hardly wait. It's hard to even write this. My hands are shaking with excitement. I keep having to stop writing every few minutes so I can pace around and burn off some of this nervous energy. And the best part is that everyone will finally know. Everyone who ever tried to keep us apart will know. I'm going to look straight into her parent's eyes and tell them that they can't keep us apart anymore. And then they'll know they can't do anything about it. All these years of keeping us apart are finally gonna be over forever. And there's nothing they can do about. I can't write any more now. I'm too keyed up to sit still.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs (part 5 of 7)

Thursday, June 9th I got a letter from Ryan today. He still doesn't get it, after all these years. He's still trying to make me see things differently. "Before it's too late" he says. It was too late the moment I first set eyes on her. How can I change the way I feel? Feelings aren't like that. They just are what they are and were what they were. I can no more change my feelings than I can go back and change what happened. Of course I wish I could go back and change the way things happened. I'd give anything to find some way to change things so that she and I would never have been separated from each other. Looking back it seems that every other person we knew wanted the two of us to be apart. Her parents, her boss, her friends. Even God I guess. Even God wanted us to be apart. No one wanted us to be together. She and I knew better though. And yet here we are. I'm here and she's there and there is so much distance in between us. I've never let it go though. I've never for one single moment stopped planning to be together with her again. I've never stopped believing that we will be together again. I've never moved on and neither has she. There's no moving on for either one of us. That's what Ryan doesn't understand. He talks about it like it's all over and I need to just let it go. Like that's the only way I can be at peace or some such nonsense. I won't be at peace again until she and I are finally together. And we will be together again. People talk like if you make a mistake then that's it and it's all over forever. Love isn't like that. Love overcomes mistakes and survives. We all make mistakes, but they don't last forever. I know she forgave me the second I messed up. It's all these other people that can't let it go. It's all these other people that keep getting in the way and not letting us be together. Soon though. In fact, it will only be a couple of days now till we're together again. That's something no one will ever understand. All the Ryans and possum faced mothers of the world can't keep us apart any longer. Meredith knows it too. She knows I'm coming for her. It's been so long and the waiting is finally almost over.

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs (part 4 of 7)

Wednesday, June 8th So I guess I need to try and tell you more about Meredith and I so you can understand us better and know what it was really like. It was so easy to feel everything so clearly, but it's not so easy to try to put all of those feelings into words. Words are harder than feelings. She and I were seeing a lot more of each other. She played it real cool for a long time and I liked that a lot. I wasn't looking for some easy tramp that would just flirt with anyone. Not Meredith. It took months just to get past her outer defenses and really get her to even talk to me. I went to that stupid shop every single day and gradually she started to open up and see me as more than just some guy who once dropped a cheesy line on her. I realized quickly that she didn't go for that sort of thing and started taking a different approach. I had to start going by the shop each day if I wanted to see her at all since I couldn't go to her window at night anymore. Between the motion light and old "Buckshot Watson" on the prowl I didn't dare risk it. I finally got her to lower her defenses a little bit by asking some questions about that junk in the store and even buying a few things. I remember the first time I made her laugh. Some joke I made about the garden gnomes they had for sale. She had the greatest laugh. Those full lips. I can still see them so clearly. I can still hear her laughing. I eventually got up the nerve and asked her to go out on a real date. Poor thing. I could see that she was so excited and so disappointed all at the same time. You see, her parents didn't allow her to date anyone who was already out of high school, so she had to turn me down. I didn't even think of asking her to sneak around behind their backs cause I knew that she was a good girl and wouldn't do it, no matter how much she was starting to fall for me. So I reassured her that I would just keep coming by the shop each day so we could keep seeing each other without doing anything against the rules. She put up a token argument just so I could see she respected her parents and what not, but I could tell how pleased she was. I think she was probably already mostly in love with me by then. And so it went on. I came by every day and walked around the store and talked with her whenever the manager wasn't around to eavesdrop on us. That nosy little pansy was always hanging around trying listen in on our conversations. I think her parents were getting wise to the whole thing and must have said something to her. I could see little changes in her with each visit. She would start getting more and more nervous while we were talking and would start looking from side to side to see if anyone was within earshot. Her parents! I still get so mad when I think about those days, which should have been the greatest in our lives. So young and in love! But they were determined to keep her from me and it wasn't enough that we were playing by their rules and just talking in the store. They couldn't just let things happen naturally. They couldn't see what they were doing to her. I could see it. She grew more pale and thin as the weeks passed. She began looking for eavesdroppers more and more frantically each time we talked, her eyes darting from side to side. Then one day she just wasn't there. I went into the shop and there was some other girl behind the counter. I admit I overreacted. I do. I clearly overreacted, but who can blame me? This was the only time I had to spend with the girl I loved and now that was being taken away from me too! I paid for the broken counter top and the owner finally agreed to not press charges. It's not like I hurt anyone or anything, but I knew that my days of visiting Meredith at work were over. I was gonna have to find some other way to see her. I knew I had messed up, and it wasn't fair to Meredith that she had to go without seeing me now just because of my mistake. If only everyone else would have just gotten out of the way and let us be together. It was almost like that famous play. She was just like Juliet and I knew that if things continued like this it would eventually get to that same point. I knew she would rather die than live without me, but I wasn't gonna let that happen to her. I decided then and there that we were going to be together and if we had to break a few rules to make that happen, so be it. No one was going to keep us apart anymore.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs - Part 3 of 7

Tuesday, June 7th I just read back over what I wrote yesterday. That doesn't tell you how it was at all. Not by a long shot. I left out too much that showed how she felt about me as the relationship progressed and it ended up reading like I was some kind of stalker or something. It wasn't that way at all. It's just so hard to get the words out on paper. Too much is left out. I don't feel much like writing about Meredith today. I think I'll tell you more about me instead. That ought to be easy. I like to think I might know a thing or two about that topic. I grew up in Granton same as every other kid I knew. There was nothing really special about it. I caught crawdads and played baseball and read comic books same as the other kids. I went to the movies and played in the park and tried to bum smokes from the older kids. Real normal small town kid stuff. The only real difference between me and the other kids is that I was a better athlete than most kids my age. When Junior High rolled around I played on all the teams. It was all so easy. I hit manhood a bit earlier than most of my friends and was big for my age besides. It was around that time that the girls around me started changing too. And how! I learned just how much they were changing from a girl named Jessica Wilson in the 8th grade. No big deal since I think she shared this same knowledge with about half the football team. I wonder where she is now. Probably a preacher's wife or something. Who knows? I certainly had a nice time with her on several occasions the following summer. It wasn't so easy the next year when high school started. Jessica moved on to the Seniors on the Varsity Team and suddenly I wasn't the biggest kid on roster anymore. I kept growing though. By 10th grade I was back in the starting lineup on the defense for the football team and hitting cleanup on the baseball team. I had plenty of girlfriends that year. Nothing special. Then, my Junior Year, a girl named Laura Brighton transferred to our school. Her family had moved from Omaha and she was about the best thing I'd ever seen. She and I were something of an item for most of that year. Her parents never really liked me though and they eventually decided to move back to Omaha just before the school year ended so we couldn't see each other anymore. She was the closest I ever came to really loving someone before Meredith came into my life. Looking back now, I realize how juvenile it all was compared to what I would later have with Meredith, but you couldn't have told me that at the time. At the time I could not have been more head over heals for Laura. I would have done anything for her back in those days. That's what scared her parents so much. They realized I could be something for her that they could never be. That I would do things for her that they could never do. I proved that when Trevor Barnes said something about her that he shouldn't have said. I won't relate exactly what he said, but let's just say it was sexual in nature and that he implied having first hand knowledge. I put that redneck in the hospital for a month. Laura and I should have been closer than ever after I had shown her how much I cared, but instead her parents took her and headed back for Nebraska as soon as they heard about what happened. As soon as they realized she could love me more than she loved them, they took her away from me. It's kind of funny now. Trevor still has that crooked nose I gave him and he won't look me in the eyes when we pass in the market. At least that was true the last time I saw him before I left Granton a few years ago. I got suspended from school for a while because of the whole Trevor/Laura thing. My coaches never treated me the same again after that. They still let me play the following year. They knew they couldn't win without me, but when it came time for college recruiting, I know those hypocrites blacklisted me. No offers. Not a single one. I tried confronting my football coach and he just shook his head and said something about me not being college material. I should have stuffed that stupid whistle down his throat that day. Not college material? Why? Cause I defended my girlfriend? Why couldn't they just come out and tell me the truth! I know the truth is that they were punishing me cause their golden boy Trevor wasn't able to Quarterback the team anymore due to some lingering nerve damage to his shoulder. Same with baseball. He had been the team Ace and he couldn't even throw a ball over 70 MPH after what I did to him. Punk got what he deserved though. If someone else were to say the same thing about Meredith that he said about Laura, I know I'd do much more than just end their sports career. I'd end them period. So I didn't go on to college sports glory. I didn't go on to college at all. After graduation, I bummed around my parents house for a while until they got fed up and made me get a job. After that I worked at Roger's Garage. I was always good with my hands and good with cars. I guess you could say I was in something of a holding pattern in my life. Waiting for the next thing to happen. The next thing to happen was Meredith. I'll tell you more about her tomorrow.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs Part 2 of 7

Monday, June 6th I almost didn't sit down to write this today. First of all my hand hurt like fire after all that writing yesterday. Second of all I don't really know how to put into words something like how we met. I can tell you about what happened, but unless you could feel all the things there were to feel I don't know that you'll be able to understand. I'll try though. I got nothing else to do. I first met Meredith about 11 years ago. A little over 11. It was in the spring. I saw her walking into some knick knack store on the square. One of those stores that sells a bunch of junk no one needs. Snow globes and stuff like that. You know the kind. It turned out she worked there, but I didn't know that at first. It was love at first sight, just like you hear about. For me anyway. Since she didn't see me when I first saw her she couldn't feel the same way I did right away. I was just coming out of the courthouse when I saw her across the street, getting out of her car. I can still see it today, just like it happened then, except now I sort of see it in slow motion, like in a movie. She stepped out of a yellow Volkswagen Bug and walked into the junk store. She had this really great tan and was wearing a red dress with white flowers on it. It was one of those little summer dresses and it hit her about mid thigh. She was tall, leggy, and had dark brown hair pulled back into a ponytail. She had on these really big sunglasses so I didn't get a great look at her face until later. The thing I remember best about the whole thing, the thing that is frozen in my memory which I think about from time to time, is that as she was climbing the steps up from the street a little gust of wind caught the back of her dress and blew it up before she could catch it and hold it back down. I may not be much of a world traveler, but I can testify that I saw London and France that day, if you know what I mean. I decided I wanted to get a better look at her and find out who she was. So I crossed the street and went inside that junk shop. Like I said before, it turned out she worked there and was behind the counter already. I start walking around the place, picking stuff up and pretending to look at it while keeping one eye on her the whole time. Turned out her face was just as nice to look at as her figure. Nicer even. She had these enormous brown eyes and really full lips. She had lips like that actress. What's-her-name with the full lips? I'm bad with names. You probably know who I mean though. That really smoking hot one. So finally she comes over and asks me if I need help finding anything. So I give her a line about how now that she was in front of me I think I found just what I was looking for. She's classy though. She doesn't go for it that easy and looks a little annoyed and tells me to let her know if I need any more help and goes back behind the counter again. I look around for another couple of minutes to make it look good before I leave. This kind of set the pattern for the next few weeks. As soon as I got off work each day I'd wash up and head over to pretend to shop for something. She played dumb every day and mostly pretended to ignore me, but we both knew what was going on and it was obvious that there was a mutual attraction building between us. I figured out her first name from listening to some of the regular customers talking to her. A bunch of old blue hairs mostly, buying baskets and those dead flowers that smell like old ladies houses. Poper-something or other. Maybe I'll ask the priest about that stuff next time I see him. Could be those baskets are religious or something and he'll know what they're called. So anyhow, I wanted to find out more about this girl besides that her name was Meredith, so one day I decided to wait across the street and follow her home. By the next day I knew her full name, address, and just about everything else there was to know. She lived outside of town, out in the boonies and it turned out she was a High School Junior down at Woodrow, which is where I went to school. So she would have been a freshman my Senior year. Looking back, I still wonder how I missed seeing her when we were both in the same school together every day for a year. Maybe she hadn't blossomed yet or something. I was pretty caught up in playing football and baseball, so it would have been pretty easy to overlook some flat chested little runt with all the cheerleader skirt I was chasing back then. But back to Meredith. She didn't have no brothers or sisters. Just that possum faced mother I already mentioned, and her dad, who worked some white collar job in the city for some big shot company. I decided to start moving the relationship forward a bit, but wanted this time to be different than the other girls. I wanted to make sure she knew that what I felt for her was different than anything I'd ever felt before. That it was special and she was special. So what I did was that I started leaving things for her on her windowsill. Little presents just for her. It was easy enough to figure out which window was hers. Don't go thinking I'm some kind of a peeping tom or something though! I never looked in no one else's window before or since. It wasn't anything like what those pervert weirdoes do when they go around trying to peep in people's windows for a glimpse of skin. I loved Meredith from the first moment I saw her. It was a different kind of thing when I'd watch her. I'd stand out there for hours some nights just watching her doing her homework, or reading a book. I even watched her sleep all night a few times. It got so that I could barely keep my eyes open at the garage the next day. So anyway, I started leaving things there for her on the windowsill. Just little things so she'd know someone was thinking about her and cared about her. A flower one day. A polished rock another day. I kept this up for a few weeks until her nosy cow of a mother got wise and bought one of those motion detector lights and put it right outside of Meredith's window. I had to run like a cursed rabbit the first night when it came on. I just made it to the trees when I heard the door open and her dad started yelling for me to "show yourself, you pervert!" He had a shotgun in his hands and looked ready to blast the first thing that moved. It was right then that I knew her parents would do anything to keep us apart. I can barely hold the pen steady now. Dang hand cramps. More tomorrow.

Friday, March 2, 2012

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs - Part 1 of 7

I'm going to try something new. I'm in the process of learning how to write. It turns out that writing is a lot harder than reading. With that in mind, I'm going to post a short story here and am open to feedback. There are seven chapters, so I'll post a chapter a day for the next week. I hope you enjoy it.

The Journal of Stephen Michael Hobbs

Sunday, June 5th

This is not a love story. At least not like any love story I ever heard of being told. But in another way I guess it is a love story. Maybe the truest love story ever told. More true than that romance junk they sell down at the drugstore in Granton. The kind with those roided up men wearing those open white shirts with the billowy sleeves and some chick in a low cut old timey dress. The one's that all have that same guy on the cover. That big guy with the long hair. You know who I mean. This isn't that kind of story at all.

I never kept a journal before now. But these days I got a lot a time on my hands and I need to fill it with something. God knows it doesn't pass easy. Getting all this down on paper is as good a way as any. Besides, I like to think that someday someone might read this diary and learn something from it. Kind of like that Jewish kid that wrote about Nazi's and stuff. Like that, except I ain't Jewish and the Nazi's are the least of my problems these days.

But back to the main point. I don't believe there could ever be another love like mine to tell about, but maybe writing about it could help somebody in some way with some lesser romance. I like to think maybe it could. I got to tell you though, I never realized how hard it was to try to write stuff down. My hand can't keep up with all these thoughts in my head and by the time I finish writing a line I don't remember where I was going anyway and have to read what I wrote all over again to remember what I need to write next. Maybe it gets easier as you go. We'll see. This might end up being the world's shortest story. I suppose that would be okay too. Maybe there ain't anything to learn from it anyway. Maybe no one will even read it in the first place.

I guess I should start by telling you who I am and who she is. Those are the important parts to the story I suppose. I was born Stephen Michael Jamison, but I guess you could say that my mother had some difficulty sticking to any one particular marital vow. Because of that, I went through a few different last names before landing with my current one. I've also been an Arnold, a Jefferson, and an Eddings along the way. The last sucker to adopt me and force a name change left me Stephen Michael Hobbs, but everyone has always called me Stevie for as far back as I can remember. I never liked being called Stevie. Never. It sounds like such a baby name. Nobody ever asked me what I ought to be called though, so Stevie it was. Still is.

Her name is Meredith Lane Watson. I don't know if she ever had any other names, but I don't think so. Her mother is one ugly cow, so it's hard to imagine more than one man being willing to marry her. I guess Meredith picked up some recessive traits or something, cause she doesn't look anything like her mom, thank the good Lord in heaven. We learned about recessive traits in biology class. I always liked my science classes back when I was in school. At one point I wanted to be a scientist, but that never happened. I guess you could say a lot of things didn't happen. I guess a lot of things never will happen. That's just the way things go. "The Lord's will" they say. They're always saying some junk like that. As if God really cared if I was gonna be a scientist or not. I figure God has a lot more important things to think about than my career plans. But I guess neither God or I have to worry much about that any more. I think it's safe to say I'm pretty set in my current path at this point.

I don't think you ever get over your first real and only love. No matter how much time goes by and what happens along the way. You keep right on loving them until the day you die. I don't know. Maybe you keep on loving them after that. I like to think so.

That's all I got for tonight. Looking back at the page it looks pitiful compared to how much time it took to scratch all of this out. I would have thought it would be a lot longer. Tomorrow I'll tell you about how we first met.