I have a rule – one that’s been firmly in place ever since I decided I wanted to write, no matter what, no matter how, no matter what anyone said, one I’ve repeated over and over, regardless of whether I’m believed or not:
I rarely, if ever, publish anything that is currently affecting me.
I know that, due to the descriptive words I use, and often the painful, emotive subjects I cover, it’s easy to assume differently. If the shoes were reversed, I doubt I’d believe the other person either.
Except, for the most part, I can’t write (and then publish) something that is hurting me deeply. I write things (for publishing) after I’ve processed what has happened.
But so much is happening, and a certain person is causing unbelievable anguish, and while it’s never simple or easy, I want to write about them, about what they’ve done.
When I’ve written about people who I’ve believed have wronged or hurt me, I’ve been vastly removed from the subject content at the time, able to reflect, see my flaws, and then turn it into something that will hopefully help another person.
This is not that.
This is current, real, raw; because I can’t breathe.
But this is for me, not for You, because I want to breathe again.
*Names, locations, etc, will be changed to obscure particular events, making the person(s) harder to identify.
I remember that day that I discovered the mini Harry Potter candy store; my excitement was over-the-top. Despite the ludicrous amount the Chocolate Frogs and Bertie Botts Every Flavour Jellybeans were selling for, I didn’t give a fuck.
I love everything Harry Potter, and, for a time, I really, really wanted to try and collect the Chocolate Frog cards.
I was eating the Bertie Botts when You sauntered in from work. I was so excited; You loved pranks. Your entire life was telling everyone the best pranks you’d done to someone else.
I asked if You wanted a jelly bean; not hiding the Bertie Botts, but relying on the fact that I wasn’t alone, sitting and eating the jellybeans, and even if You got a shit one, you’d realise what we were doing (trying carefully to eat the not terrible ones, and laughing when we got something booger-flavoured), before joining in.
You took a jelly bean, and were horrified by whatever flavour You took. I have no idea what it tasted like; it could’ve been something as innocuous as pepper, or the dreaded vomit-flavoured one that I have, fortunately, not had the chance to try (thank god. I’ve had some awful flavoured jelly beans, but vomit seems extreme).
What I do know was Your reaction following it.
What kind of evil person does such a thing, You screamed at me.
I was shocked: It was a jelly bean. No matter what disgusting flavour jelly bean You had picked, it was still a jelly bean. The pranks You’d told me about referred to harm to people.
I was offering a jelly bean as something that was fun, something we were all enjoying, until You said, “Only a truly evil person would do something so horrible.”
And then You repeated it, over and over again, until I crumbled, waiting to hear from someone that Your reaction was just a touch over the top.
But You didn’t stop.
You told me I was evil.
You said only a truly heinous person would offer such a jelly bean.
I tried pleading with You, tried to make it clear we were all eating them, that the risk was what made Bertie Botts fun. That You liked pranks, and I was trying so hard to “lighten up”, to give You an afternoon You would enjoy.
But You didn’t care to listen.
I learnt that day, like with any bully, You did like pranks. You loved them no matter the obvious distress You caused others, dismissing their pleas as being “overly sensitive” and “not seeing the joke”.
You loved pranks, just not if You were on the receiving end.
I learnt that very quickly.
I just wish I’d seen how cruel You really were, and really could be, before now.