117. Schoolgirl with a Bag

Outside Charing X station I check the Nightbus timetable.

The signs are digital now.

Red.

The first N9 goes at 12.10.

I ask someone the time.

Only 10.50.

A girl walks past.

She’s got a backback on.

I break down.

One big silent sob, then lots of short, sharp jabs of intake.

I can’t breathe.

I double up.

I’m screaming.

In silence.

No tears.

Like being back on the stairwell of Knowles House.

Wandsworth.

London.

Sw18.

19 floors up.

When my council flat was one, long, permanent party.

When the apartment was full of ravers all week.

For 6 months.

When Amelia lived with me.

25 years ago.

I’d done acid.

Amelia stood in front of me.

17.

Slight.

Petite.

Pretty.

So beautiful.

So young.

Yet so smart.

The daughter of a Doctor of Philosophy.

Her mother an expert in the work of William Blake.

Her sister a Hollywood movie star.

Amelia, she put the backpack on, turned to me, smiled so sweetly, and said:

14. On my way to school.

I go to the stairwell.

Wail like an animal.

Like a beast.

For hours.

Breathless, stomach-cramping howls.

Like a wolf.

Animalistic.

Disbelief.

Intelligent.

Beautiful.

Perfect.

Attacked by two monsters on the way to school.

Purity-ravaging monsters.

And now, outside Charing X station, I howl again.

Silent.

The sharp inhale a tsunami punch to my gut.

My head thrusts forward.

Breath like a steel fist.

I double up.

But I compose myself.

Sudden.

Straighten.

Control.

Fierce.

Savage.

Brute rage.

Composed.

You learn.

In time.

Your body learns.

The rage never leaves.

You carry it.

In your heart.

Rage / Pain.

You cover it.

Hide it.

Keep it there.

Deep.

But then, it rises like a Phoenix from the ashes of your memory.

Sinking back to sleep as quick as it rises.

A passing storm.

A sudden earthquake.

An explosion of emotion.

A bomb of buried pain.

I met Amelia again a few weeks ago in Phnom Penh.

Or was that the psychosis?

Was she just a dream?

I walk up to MacD to buy a tea.

 

Author: Mark Dark

Actor turned Christian missionary turns his back on his Hollywood dreams to combat sex trafficking in Cambodia – and finds himself tangled up in gang culture and a surreal internal world of drugs psychosis. Based on true events.