Hits 3360 | Created 2007-06-13 | Modified 2007-06-13
Eventually I decided to escape from everything that was happening around me - one of my own little credos:
If you are unhappy it's because of where you are, who you are with or what you are doing.
Simply change each one until you find yourself happy again. I decided to change where I was, the most drastic of the options and head back to 'home' and England
Jacqueline once again declared solemnly, 'You can't leave.' Which filled me momentarily with dread, then moments later with determination to go, whatever the cost. Dan and James decided to stay and wait for Big Patrick, so it was I alone who waved at the remains of our little group as I walked away and down the road that led out of Dusseldorf and to the west.
I walked for about an hour, hitchhiking, thankful for the distance I was putting between Jacqueline and myself. Still, all I could think about was her, I could feel her presence, watching me, weighing me down, making my legs heavy. Her words kept on rattling around my mind, over and over again - You can't leave.
I stopped hiking and started hitching instead. I stood for four hours without any luck at all. I steeled myself and waited for another two. I began to get really worried, the skies looked black, the wind was starting to rise and the sun was going down. I gritted my teeth and determined not to admit defeat. I was rewarded a few minutes later by a ride in a white van.
The man was uncommunicative but drove me in the right direction. I stared out of the window at the passing countryside, pleased to have won and made the break properly. I settled back and an hour passed quickly.
'I have to drop you here,' the van driver said in broken English.
I thanked him and got out, he drove away in the same direction. He had dropped me at a point in the road where it split into two directions, in a 'V' shape. There was no sign to indicate which direction led west and it was now also dark. I chose the right hand fork, simply a guess. As I stood there in the dark, occasionally blinded by the lights of a speeding car, I took in my surroundings - no signs of life, forest on one side, kept behind a wooden fence; lonely fields on the other. I wondered if I should set up camp for the night nearby, perhaps in the forest or continue some more. It was still early, despite the dark, so I decided to hitch a little longer.
After about half an hour I decided that the woods were threatening and the fields were gloomy. I looked forward to a ride. Jacqueline still oppressed me, her image floated in my mind. It began to get a little chilly.
Suddenly my prayers were answered and a red car pulled up close by, I ran up and jumped in. He was a cheerful man and, yes, he was going west. I settled back into the seat and relaxed as we climbed a hill, which had been out of site from my hitching spot. A large city swung into view, a thousand lights sprawling over the plain ahead.
'What is the city?' I asked.
'Dusseldorf.' He replied.
I was struck cold - the last driver had driven me in a huge circle and dropped me almost where I had started. I must have looked shaken as the driver asked me if I was okay.
'Yeah, yes.' I said and told him the story of the last driver.
He expressed surprise but I think he thought that I was simply mistaken. He assured me with a laugh that he really was going west and I settled down. I imagined I could hear Jacqueline laughing.
About an hour later the red car dropped me off. The driver had shown me on a map where I was to prove that we had indeed travelled a good distance west this time. I thanked him and he drove away. I spotted a less threatening, fenced in woodland, headed in that direction, jumped the fence and walked inside. I walked far enough so that the noise of the traffic was a distant murmur.
I collected firewood in the moonlight, quietly, listening for evidence of nearby life. I heard none so lit a fire inside a circle of rocks and put a little water on to boil for tea. The fire was cheerful, chasing away the shadows of the trees, cheerfully crackling. I stared into the flames touching a racial memory of man stretching back thousands of years. In the silence of the woods Jacqueline came creeping back into my mind, touching my thoughts, whispering to me. She told me I would never escape her. I was haunted.
I shook my head and reasoned that I was tired but she reasoned that I wasn't. I suddenly became conscious of the fact that I was linked to her somehow, by something that she had given me. This thought was given away by her own whispering, unintentionally perhaps. I took my backpack and began to empty it out onto the floor. She had given me only two objects that I could see, one was the book which was already a cursed weight around me neck, and the other was a hand-written note, an address in England - the address she told me that I was to keep in contact with her through. Just holding the paper in my hand made me shiver and I knew that it was this that linked us together.
A thought crept into my mind from where I do not know. I masturbated onto the paper, and threw it onto the fire. At once the woods felt silent and a great peace descended and settled upon me. I was free of Jacqueline, for good.
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