Saturday, 10 December 2016

Forrest 4a


Mercy ....

As me and Caramel lie on the sun lounger together, enjoying the warm sunshine, I can not help but feel really happy and content, finally, for the first time, probably ever.

Even though me and Caramel have been seeing each other on the sly for over twenty years, our relationship has always been very dysfunctional, because I have had to hide myself away from all the kids, as well as everyone else.  Our time together has only ever been snatched and sneaked hours and half days, we didn't even know if we could actually live together, as a couple, day in and day out, without getting on each others nerves.  It worried me especially, because I am so used to having my own space and living my life so totally alone.

You've got a hold on me, don't even know your power

I am really enjoying not being constantly alone, and even the simple things are making me smile, like having someone to cuddle up to whenever I feel like it and not waking up alone to a cold empty bed.  So far it is working out a lot better than I imagined it would, however, I have always been told I am very hard to live with, so it does not stop me from quietly worrying and wandering how long it will be before I start getting on Caramel's nerves, just like I used to get on Granites.

Sometimes I used to drive Granite to distraction with all my irritating ways due to my obsessive and compulsive disorder.  So far Caramel seems to be coping with it okay, and has even found some of the things I do amusing at times, but then I guess she has already had years of practice living with Bayleaf, who unfortunately has inherited the condition partly from me.

Even though I am still a psychological mess underneath, on the surface, suddenly I almost feel normal, which is something that I have never really felt before, I have a chance of a normal life and relationship just like everyone, instead of a dysfunctional one.  Right now I am enjoying my life, and just hope it can last, but doubt that I could ever be that lucky.

We have been out in Sandy Shores for a week, the last week has blissfully flown by, and I know the next week is going to fly by even quicker, because right at this moment, I really don't want to go home.  I have always loved this place, and never enjoyed the journey back to Sugar Valley, but this time it is going to be different, I am seriously not looking forward to what we have coming to us.

I stand a hundred feet, but I fall when I'm around you

      "You be careful, you don't catch the sun, the last thing we need is you going home a different shade of green, or they will know you have been out here with me."  Caramel mumbles
      "Does it really matter now, when we are going to come clean when we get home."
      "Yes, because we don't want them starting on us the minute we get off the plane!!"  she mumbles   "Don't forget, we might not be able to do it straight away, we have to make sure Alpine is having a good day mentally remember, and you did say you wanted to explain it all to Mango first before he has to hear it from gossip!!"
      "I guess."  I mumble  "Talking about Alpine, it's your turn to check on him today."  I laugh  "Ask him if he has finished the scarf he told me he was knitting for me yesterday."  I start howling  "Seriously, I still can't believe they have got him knitting, or that he is actually enjoying it!!  I am going to rip him something chronic when we get him home!!"

Carmel laughs at me lying there having hysterics as she gets up off the lounger and goes into the beach house to get her phone, so that she can call the hospice.

Now that I am alone, I stare out over the beach, taking in a sight that I have seen a million times, but one that I can never get tired of.  Suddenly I realise something for the first time since we arrived here, I haven't seen any of my normal ghosts.  The number of times over the past twenty years, that I've sat here watching Granites ghost, as an adult, toddler or child, sat playing in the sand or in the sea, is ridiculous.  Usually he haunts me constantly here, because I usually get flashbacks of memories of us being here together ...  but suddenly he has gone.

I think about that for a moment - these flashbacks are a big part of my problem, a problem that has had me seeing a psychiatrist for nearly twenty years.  I have been so preoccupied with Caramel, and trying to make the most of our sneaked two weeks out here, I haven't even noticed that Granite and his ghosts have actually gone, and he's hardly crossed my mind this past week either, when normally he is constantly in my thoughts!!

Finally I can see ... I am letting it go!!

Show me an open door, then you go and slam it on me

I suddenly remember something that Granite had told me months ago.  I jump up off the lounger and go into the beach house, heading for the bookcase.  I search the row of books and pull out my favourite book.  I smile at Caramel who is nattering away to Alpine on the phone and go back out onto the deck.

I sit down at the table, opening the book, and start to search the middle of the book, where the story is split into two parts.  I catch my breath suddenly.

Just as Granite said, on the first blank page between the two parts there are a load of short messages, that he has left me over the years.  They are all dated, and started from the year that he left prison and stop 5 years ago ... I see his phone number and his Mint and Cherry address in amongst the messages which all end with I love you and forever.

I'm so stupid, if I had picked up this book once during those years, I would have known where he was, all that time wasted because I tried to do things that did not remind me of him, reading this book every time I came out here was just one of them.  It is hard now knowing that this book has been sat there all this time containing the answers to a question that I asked myself a million times over the years ... where is he?"

I can't take any more, I'm saying baby ...

I think about the letter that he said he left in this book over ten years ago.  I shake the book just holding the cover and amazingly - an envelope does fall out of the books pages.  I watch it fall onto the deck and just stare numbly down at it for a while.  My name is clearly written on the envelope in Granites neat elegant handwriting that I recognise instantly.  This amuses me for a moment, remembering how I always used to rib him over his perfect girly gay handwriting. 

I pick up the envelope, and stare at it while my stomach ties itself up into painful knots.  I automatically smell  the envelope, which is one of my irritating bad habits.  The envelope has that old musty smell, I should imagine from sitting in this book for ten years, and I know it has been over twenty years since I opened this book, and I doubt anyone else has over the years or would this letter still be in here?!

I continue to stare at it while I wander if I should even be reading the letter inside.  I turn over the envelope, now very curious to know what he actually wrote in it.  I am planning to rip it open to see, but the writing on the back of the envelope stops me.

He has written 'LOST RIVER ELF' in capitals.  I stare at it for a moment, and the only word ringing in my head is 'BULLSHIT!!"

We used to play an anagram game, 'Lost River Elf' being the anagram for 'Still Forever'.  He always used to say he would love me forever.  I can hear him saying it now in my head, he used to say it to me all the time.  He doesn't love me any more, not that he ever did according to him, it was emotional attachment not love.  There is no forever, so saying still forever is bullshit!!  The words on the outside of the envelope are bullshit, so what is written in this letter is now going to be total bullshit!!

Please have mercy on me, take it easy on my heart

I get angry, I now have no intention of reading the letter inside, and without even thinking about it, I start to tear the envelope and its contents into shreds, letting it fall onto the table.  I don't stop until it is all torn up into tiny pieces.  I can't help but think that if I had found the messages or this letter any time over the past ten years up to about eight months ago, I would have cried myself stupid over the missed opportunities and the wasted years, but now I can't cry.  I'm angry, especially with myself because I know I have needlessly driven myself half crazy because of loving him, my head is totally messed up psychologically because of him, and everything he has ever said to me was all bullshit!!

Caramel runs out of the beach house laughing, then stops and frowns at me as she stands watching me tearing at the paper like a maniac.

     "What are you doing?"
     "I'm exorcising my ghosts!!"  I mumble as I start to scoop all the pieces of paper up into my hands.  "Can you fetch me the lighter, so I can light a fire."

Caramel laughs even though she is confused, and runs into the beach house while I finish picking up every single piece of scrap paper off the table and floor, careful not to leave a single piece remaining.  She passes me the lighter which I take over to the pit fire.

      "Have you gone mad?"  she laughs
      "I've always been mad, I thought you knew that!"  I laugh at her
      "What are you burning?"  she asks as she watches me throwing the paper onto the burning fire.
      "A letter.  I'm burning Granite and forty seven years of bullshit!!"  I laugh sarcastically at her  "He has gone, and its about time I started to make some better memories to replace the old ones that haunt me!!"


Even though you don't mean to hurt me, you keep tearing me apart

I grab Mel's hand and start to lead her down onto the beach.  She is now highly confused and I have no intention of explaining to her what I'm intending to do.

Every spot on this beach where I have seen Granites ghost, I am going to wipe the memory away by make a different memory there.

The first new memory is an easy one to make.

I stop when I have reached the spot where I always used to see him laughing and building sandcastle.  I'm not sure why but when he was a child and adult, he always used to sit in the same place to build sandcastles.

Mel runs into me quite forcefully, because I stopped suddenly.  I spin round and put my arms around her before I start to kiss her.

      "So how do you fancy getting sand in places you didn't think possible?"  I smirk at her
      "What are you planning to do, bury me up to my neck?"  she frowns at me
      "No stupid!!"  I laugh for a moment
      "Then what?!"  she laughs at me
      "The sun must have gone to your head, your dirty mind isn't working very fast today!"  I smirk at her "I have never actually done it on the beach, have you?"
      "No I haven't!"  she giggles

She doesn't argue when I pull her down onto the sand.

Could you  please have mercy, mercy on my heart

After taking our time over making love on the beach we put our clothes back on and just sit there quietly, happily satisfied and enjoying the warm sun.  I doubt that is a memory that I could ever forget, that was definitely the most erotic moment I've ever had in my life.

I also can't help but think about how stupid I've just been.  Even though this is a private beach, and nobody should be trespassing on it, there are still parts of the beach, especially where we are now, that can be seen from the public water or road.  We are still out in the colour coded world and still could get arrested for colour mixing, or indecent exposure and whatever else they could do us for.  I was really stupid to not think about what we were doing so openly.

I am beginning to think that Caramel has fallen asleep, until she speaks. 

      "I could quite happily stay here forever."  she laughs quietly
      "Me too, I always imagined I would live here one day."
      "Would you live here, in the beach house?"
      "Yeah, that's what I imagined when I bought the place.  I had basically given up on Granite ever coming back six years ago when I started to nag you about changing things, and this place was somewhere for me to be if you never came to your senses and I walked." 
      "So now I know, where to find you if you do a runner on me again." she laughs quietly
      "Drat, me and my big mouth!!"  we both laugh at each other for a moment  "Of course to live here permanently it needs a lot of work doing to it, it needs to be completely renovated, even ripped down and rebuilt from scratch.  I have been meaning to do it since I bought it, but I've just never got round to it."
      "It's not really possible now though is it?"  she opens her eyes and looks up at me  "Now that we are sorting our lives out ... Alpine and the kids?"
      "No not really, but we can still keep it as a holiday house and come out here while Alpine is in respite.  We will still need breaks once in a while, and I never get sick of this place, and everyone here are used to me and my ears."  I smile down at her as she starts laughing.  "Besides I think if we lived here permanently they might just clock on to us colour mixing.  So Berry Shores will have to do instead."

I run my hand across her stomach and I can't help but notice, how bloated her stomach feels to normal.  A few times I've noticed she appears to have put weight on, her stomach showing in her clothes, when it normally doesn't.


I drive through the night, just to be near you baby

      "Your stomach is bloated ... "  I mumble  "You don't have any stomach or bowel problems do you?"
      "No doctor."  she laughs quietly

She moves my hand off her stomach and snaps at me not to mess.  I frown at her for a moment, but she doesn't see because she has her eyes closed again.  I run my hand over her stomach again, and she moves my hand again.

     "Someone is touchy!!"  I laugh at her  "Are you scared I might notice you've put weight on?"  I mumble against her neck, which I start kissing.  "You know I'm not shallow, I don't give a shit about how fat or thin you are!"
      "Oh you will be!"  she laughs sarcastically
      "You are getting a right podge. " I laugh  "It must be all the crab you've been eating!!"
      "Its not crab."   she mumbles  "You are observant ... this time."
      "You've eaten enough to sink a ship so far, you've hardly eaten anything else since we got her!!"  I laugh at her  "Every time I turn round, I'm tripping over an empty crab shell.  The way you are going at it anybody would think you are craving ... it ...."  I say it, then the penny drops and I think about her observant ... this time comment.  I frown at her as I quickly take my hand off her stomach, I suddenly get a feeling of fear wash over me, knowing what I might be touching.  "Mel Please tell me you are NOT .... "  I can't even say the last word.

She just stares back at me sheepishly saying nothing.  I know that look.

      "You are aren't you!!"  I snap at her
      "Yes"  she mumbles
      "No! ... NO! ... NO!!!  You are NOT doing this to us again Mel!!" I snap at her  "Well how stupid am I!!  This is the reason why you are so ratty, tired and run down - because that's not crab, it's a bloody ... brat!!"  I point at her stomach in shock.
      "I didn't plan it!!"
      "Oh I've heard that one before, and more than once, I'm getting tired of hearing you say it!!"  I jump up onto my feet  "This is why you are suddenly 'off'' alcohol isn't it?!"
      "Yes."  she mumbles
      "How stupid am I to not realise what has been going on with you!!  I should have guessed when you started to get so ratty!!"  I snap at myself  "How far gone are you?"
      "13 weeks." she mumbles

Heart old and testified, tell me that I'm not crazy

      "Well you can forget it!!  As soon as we get home, you can get rid of it!!"
      "NO!!"
      "YES!!  You know how I feel about it ... I really don't understand WHY, after everything we have been through, WHY you would do this AGAIN!!"
      "It's not like I planned it!!"
       "Its a joke I didn't want ANY kids, let alone how many I've actually got!!  You know I can't hack them until they are teenagers!!  You've seen how I get around small children!!  I've even had to move out of my own house because there are two babies and a child in it for berry's sake!!  Me having kids ... It's not fair on them, because I'm a useless Father, who can't give them what they need, not that I need to tell you that, so why would you want to put yet another one through it!!"
      "IVE TOLD YOU ... IT WAS NOT PLANNED." she yells at me  "This is actually the last thing I want or need right now, or ever!!  Just when we are getting our lives sorted out, this happens!!"  she snaps  "IT JUST HAPPENED!!"
      "So why not tell me the truth before you let me think we were finally getting somewhere?!  I finally thought I was getting a normal life!!  Why let me sit there and make all those plans for our future when you knew the minute I found out about the brat - it would change everything!!"
      "I was too scared to tell you ...."  I don't even let her finish because my head is going.
      "What doctor did you see, because you haven't seen me, or are you being stupid again and not seeing a doctor?!"  I frown at her  "Tell me you still have the coil fitted and didn't have it removed on the sly, just so we could create yet another brat!?"
      "I went to see Ice, when I realised I was pregnant, because I knew you would kick off!!"   she mumbles  "She removed the coil, she said it had slipped and come out of place and that is why I am pregnant ... I don't know how it happened, it shouldn't have, but it did!!"
      "Great so I guess the whole extended family know now ... so it looks like Alpine will be getting another one of my brats to look after - which is not going to impress him very much, not that he is mentally stable enough to do this again, it's not like when the others were little!!"

I'm not asking for a lot, just that you're honest with me

      "No, Ice said she wouldn't say anything, patient confidentiality, she can't can she."
      "I knew I should have had the snip after the last time, I half expected you might do this again, and I was right!!  Berry I'm so stupid!!!  You PROMISED me this would never happen again!!"  I snap at her  "For berry's sake Mel - you are in your mid forties, its too late for you to be having babies now, especially with the risk factors because of your age, and you know what this is going to do to me ... to us!!"
      "Don't keep shouting!!  I didn't plan this to happen!!"
      "When did you plan to tell me?  I guess after you dumped me for a while then come crawling back when it was too late to do anything about it like last time!!"  she just looks down and says nothing.   "Well it isn't too late this time, and you said its the last thing you want or need - so you won't have a problem getting rid of it, will you!!"
      "You know how I feel about that, I won't do it ... but how can you ask me to do that after the miscarriage and Cinnamon!!  I've already lost three babies - I am not losing any more!!"   
      "You lost the first one by choice Mel, you gave him up remember ..."
      "That is not fair and you know it!!"  she slaps me
      "Okay, I'm sorry, I know your parents didn't give you the choice, but you have known where he is for the past two years, it's not like you can't get him back, you just don't want anything to do with him, because you can't face him!!"  I snap at her  "If you are trying to replace Cinnamon with another baby, like Mint was a replacement for the miscarriage, why bother putting us through hell and all that shit again to do it ... when all you need to do is pick up the phone to Shale or Turmeric and sort out getting to know your oldest son!!"  I yell at her  "You haven't even given a thought to what this might do to Alpine either have you!!  He has lost his son remember, which nearly broke him, you having another baby might unhinge him, and berry knows what the other three will think about it!  It is not like it is even safe to have a baby in the same house with Alpine now!!"  I snap  "Here you go again, Mel you are always so damn selfish, you should have just put me out of my misery and let me walk!!"
       "You are the selfish one!!"
       "I am not like I am on purpose, where as what you do is intentional!!"  I almost yell at her  "I can just see what is going to happen here, I'll have to move Alpine in with me and you are just going to have to stay where you are and sort your own mess out alone.  Thanks by the way for wrecking any chance of the kids accepting me, they are going to hate me more now, this is just going to make me look like an even bigger asshole than I look already!!"  I yell at her as I start to choke   "I am having nothing to do with this one, just like I had nothing to do with the others!!"  I snap  "So I guess that is us over and done with, because I warned you any more after Mint and I am gone for good!!"

Caramel burst into tears and runs into the beach house.   I stay where I am, I stand and watch her run off, I have no intention of and following her because I know we will only end up arguing.

My pride is all I've got, I'm saying baby ...

My mind is now doing somersaults and in turmoil, trying to process the thoughts of having yet another child.  I did not think it was possible for this to happen again, and I can already feel all my unwanted thoughts and feelings creeping back.  Just when I thought we were free of the crap and sorting out our life, suddenly it has all rolled back to square one again, and I'm not sure I can mentally take it!!

I flip open my phone.

        "Gran ... "  I stutter trying to choke back my tears.  "Are you at work?"
        "Yeah I am ... what's up Leafy, you sound upset!"
        "Mel's pregnant again."  I mumble
        "Oh hell!!  Not again!!"  he mumbles  "Why does she keep doing this to you?"
        "She said she didn't plan this one, it was an accident, which is why I'm phoning, can you pull up her medical records and tell me what it says, I need to double check for my own piece of mind."
         "Yeah just hang on a sec."  he mumbles as I hear him moving about a bit.  I stand waiting for a while, I guess while the computer is loading up and he is reading.  I keep hearing him laughing to himself quietly, yeah I guessed this would amuse him!!   "Mmmm according to her notes, her coil moved out of place, so yes it is an accidental pregnancy.  The coil was removed after the pregnancy was confirmed."  I start swearing because I can't actually blame her for the pregnancy this time.  "She has had her 12 week scan, has she shown you the scan pic?"
        "No?  Why?" 
        "OH FUDGE!!"  he starts howling almost uncontrollably for a moment and I don't know why
        "What's so funny Gran?"
        "YOU!!!  How many kids do you need!!"  he laughs.  "You should ask to see the scan pic!"  he starts laughing mischievously, so I know he is hiding something.
        "Is there something wrong with the foetus?"
        "No.  Everything looks perfectly peachy!!"  he laughs  "So I guess you'll be wanting a termination."
         "I wished!!  She won't even consider it, and I'm just wasting my breath trying - we argued tooth and nail over two of the pregnancies and I couldn't budge her.  Regardless of what it does to me, I guess now looking back, it was okay back then under the circumstances, but not this time,  its not safe to have a baby around Alpine now, her age and the risk factor, it is seriously a stupid age for us to be having any more kids, for fudge sake I'll be nearly sixty before I can even talk to the brat!! ... I can't do this again, it is going to crack me up completely!!"  I start choking as I start to cry  " Meadow is seriously going to be gunning for Mel when she finds out this has happened again."
       
Would you please have mercy on me, I'm a puppet on your string

         "Leafy, don't upset yourself!!  Do you want me to try and talk to Mel?"
         "You can try but I know it won't make any difference ... she would rather lose me than terminate the pregnancy, so I may as well just walk now!!"
         "Don't you even think about it!!"  he snaps   "I know this one was an accidental coil malfunction, but you are both responsible for it, you more so, because contraception isn't just her responsibility you know!!  It's all well and good you keep saying you should have had the snip after Bay, but you haven't have you!!  So Leafy this is just as much your fault as hers!!"  he tuts  "If I was in your shoes and had your condition, I would have had the snip and she would have been sterilised to make sure this never happened once, let alone how many times you've managed to knock her up ... this is the fifth time isn't it!!  Why haven't you had the snip Forrest?"
        "I hoped one day I could get over my problem and do it right."  I snap  "And you can shut up!! I do not need a lecture from you of all people, especially when you are starting to sound just like Mango!!"  I snap 
        "That stung you didn't it!!"  he starts laughing  "Leafy, for someone so intelligent, you aren't half stupid sometimes!"
        "YOU are the reason why I am a mental case and so stupid half the time!!"
        "Awww baby, it's time you let it go!!"  he laughs  "You will feel a whole lot better for it.  I do."
        "What the hell do you think I'm doing, or trying to do, now this goes and bloody happens!!
        "You can try to talk her into a termination, although I can understand why she might not want to this time."  he laughs quietly  "She is not at a good age to be having babies, she's seen what it does to you, she knows about your medical condition, it's not like you don't already have a tonne of kids, it's going to cause complications because of Alpine, so why would she be so selfish to put you through that again and not have a termination when the pregnancy was an unplanned accident?"
         "Hhmmm ... she doesn't really know, not completely ..."  I mumble
         "WHAT!?"  he snaps  "Please tell me you have never told her!!"
         "Not properly."
         "What the hell Forrest!!"  he snaps  "What exactly have you told her for berry's sake!?"
         "She's always accepted me just saying I hate children - she's seen exactly what it does to me being around them, so what else does she need to know?  She didn't believe me when I told her about the psychiatrist, so I just didn't bother to explain the rest, because I didn't think she would believe that either."

and even though you got good intentions, I need you to set me free

         "YOU IDIOT!!!"  he snaps then laughs  "In a way you are kind of asking for it!!  I'm sorry, but if you haven't told her about this phobia properly then she isn't going to even consider a termination is she, because she doesn't actually know what she is doing to you does she!!"  he laughs quietly   "That has always been one of your problems hasn't it Leafy, keeping yourself shut off.  I'm surprised she hasn't got frost bite off your cold front like I used to get!!"  he starts really laughing  "When you get back I'm getting a pair of scissors on your tubes, Snip, Snip, I'll make sure it never happens again!!"
        "Don't start turning it into a joke Gran, I am really not in the mood to be laughing right now!!"
        "I'm sorry, but you are your own worst enemy sometimes Leafy!!"  he tuts  "I just don't get why you don't manipulate and control her like you did me?  She is the one wearing the trousers in your two's relationship not you!"  he laughs quietly  "Maybe I should have worn a skirt, then I might have got somewhere with you!!"
         "Shut up you idiot!!"  I snap  "I burnt your letter by the way."
         "What letter?"
         "The one you left in my favourite book."  I laugh  "I did not read it because it would have just been bullshit  ... because you wrote  Lost river elf  on the envelope, which is bullshit!!"
         "That's not strictly true, I will always love you, but not in the way it matters!  I love you like my brother and you will always be my best mate and soul mate, so it is still forever."
         "If you say so ... bro!"  I laugh  "You don't want to let Mace hear you saying that, or he'll have a hissy fit!!"
         "He knows how I feel about you, we don't have any more secrets, unlike you and Mel, who you seriously need to talk to because I think you are both holding out on each other!!"  he laughs
         "Why do you say that?"
         "Just!!  Speak to her about the scan."  he laughs and I start to get a really nasty feeling that he is hinting at something, and if there is nothing wrong with the baby, the only other thing I can think is that there is more than one.  "Soooo, you are in Sandy with Mel aren't you, you sneak!!" 
         "Yeah."  I mumble
         "I knew it!!  I told Mace you would be, we had bets on where you had sloped off to.  Meadow told me Coconut Island - yeah my ass - I know you hate the place with a passion!!  Mace thinks you are in Berry Shores visiting Gravel trying to get him to nail Mace completely so he spends forever inside, so you can pounce on me."
         "Tell your drama queen he is a twat!!  I've got better things to do with my life and he is welcome to your gay ass with my blessing, it's no good to me is it, I'm straight!!"  he starts laughing
          "Woohoo, finally he admits it out loud!!"  he laughs when I call him a twat  "Yeah obviously you have something better to do ... making babies!!"  he starts howling
          "Hell Gran ... do you ever give up!!"  I snap  "Babies ... you keep going on about the scan ... babies ... please tell me there is not more than one brat!!"

would you please have mercy, mercy on my heart

         "Finally!!"  he laughs quietly  "Sorry Leafy ... there are two."
         "NO!!  NO!!"  I start yelling  "I can't do this!!"  I crack up as I can feel myself starting to panic.
         "You need to calm down Leafy, take deep breaths, breath through your nose!!"  he mumbles as I stand there doing just that, trying to calm myself down.  "You need to tell her the truth about your medical condition properly ... and see how it goes from there."  he signs  "Please ... DO NOT do anything stupid - just hang in there till you get home and I will help you deal with it.  I'm warning you Leafy, if I find out you've done another runner, I'm going to find you and drag you back!!  You need to deal with this, you can't leave her to cope with this on her own, like you've said Alpine is not mentally capable of helping her this time, and how is she going to manage Alpine and two babies??!!"
         "Seriously, I can't help it when my head goes - I'll be gone before I know what I've done."
         "Look, have you not thought yet, this pregnancy might actually be a good thing, and your only chance to do it right this time.  I know you hate how you have had to be with Bay, Fudge and Mint, but with these two it could be different!!"
         "Yeah right, like I would be that lucky!!"  I laugh at him  "Gran, if you have got an instant cure for my phobia, then you bring it on, but I'll tell you now, I've been suffering for far too long to ever think that I'm ever going to be cured of this problem!!"  I snap  "I can't deal with one brat, let alone two!!" 
         "I think you are wrong!!  You now have the chance to resolve and put to bed all your mental issues over me, which is the trigger for your condition.  Think about it, after your initial craziness when I first returned, your mind set has changed drastically!!  I know you are letting it go and have accepted we are over and we were never right for each other in the first place.   We both have been living a life that was better for us, you with Mel, me with Mace, but we just couldn't see it, because we were too busy holding onto our emotional attachment.   You are starting to see all that now, aren't you?"
        "You know I am."
        "See .. you are halfway there already, you have already started moving away and living your own life without me and by the time this baby comes, you could well be completely over it.  You can't tell me you are not already happier now than you have been for a very long time!!"
        "Yeah I am but ..."
        "No buts!!  Can you believe, this is the first time you've phoned me in over a week, and I hope that means that you have hardly been thinking about me either because you are too wrapped up in Mel.  Just like I hardly think about you these days because of Mace.  Trust me in nine months time when you are holding those new born babies and have a smile on your face, you will wander what all the fuss has been about all these years!!  I will be completely out of your system and your phobia should go with it, because your psychological issues involving me should be dead and buried and not there any more to screw you up!!"
      

Consuming all the air inside my lungs

        "Six months - she's already gone three."
        "You know what I mean you twat!!"  he laughs  "Just do me a favour Leafy, think about what I've just said ... you have screwed yourself up because I haven't been here, you have been clinging onto our happy past, like I was, but we can both  make our futures happier!!  I needed to come back so that we could both resolve our issues, and now I am back, we are doing it."  he laughs quietly  "You know what they say, you never beat your fears unless you face them head on, so you need to try and turn this into a positive, something for you to aim for ... finally beating your phobia and being a Dad to those babies!!"
       "That is a lot easier said than done!"  I mumble
       "Yes if you stay defeatist, you need to snap out of it!!  You are in the perfect place to make a fresh start and you need to grab it with both hands!!   Twelve months ago we were a pair of idiots still holding onto each other ... Did you ever think we would move away and get over it?"
       "No!"
       "Exactly, we have moved away and we are getting over it.  You just need to realise you love Mel and are happier now than you have ever been, and the past was a bad place and is over and gone!!  You need to bury it!!  You have the chance here to make a much better and happier future, and be a proper Dad to these babies like you always wanted to be for Bay, Fudge and Mint.  You can get over this phobia Leafy, I know you can, just like you are getting over me!!"

After our call is finished, I move to a different part of the beach and sit down alone just staring out at the sea while my mind is now in turmoil and totally torn again.

I glance over to the spot on the beach where we had made love, and I can not help but think, way to kill a perfectly nice memory and replace it with a hell of a one!!  I went from feeling ecstasy to despair in a blink of a moment, finding out she is pregnant again.  Here was me thinking we would just be making one memory, but instead we made two and I am definitely not going to forget either in a hurry!!

ripping all the skin from off my bones

What Granite has said to me is now really playing on my mind.

I am letting it go ... his ghosts have gone and I don't think about him constantly any more.  I know we were never right for each other with our different sexual preferences, we were just kidding ourselves.  I know we never really made each other happy after we crossed the line from being mates to lovers, which was disastrous in itself.  He always said I screwed myself up trying to play gay, and I think now he might have been right and that's when my problems actually started.  I am already a lot happier now with Mel, and it doesn't bother me any more that he is moving on and with Mace, in a way it is a relief!!  I can finally be who I am meant to be, now that he is no longer weighing me down mentally and emotionally.

So why does it still have a hold of me, why is it still screwing me up enough to trigger my condition?!

Like he said, realistically all of the psychological issues that are screwing me up, causing and triggering my condition ... should ... be going with him ... so logically, I should be able to beat my phobia before this baby is born ...  babies I am stupid enough to keep making.  I am an idiot, because, it is my own fault, I do keep doing this to myself!!

All I want to do now is let the panic take over and run, but I know if I do run it won't take me long to come crawling back to my dysfunctional life, which I can see is never going to end now!!  I've already done it twice before, I can't help it.  Just knowing that the baby is mine tears me in two ... I can't keep away even though it is the best thing for me mentally.  One thing that has always been stronger than my phobia, I have always wanted to be something and someone my phobia won't let me be ... a proper Father to my children!!

Hell!!  This time there are two babies!!

It hits me again quite hard and I start to feel the panic welling up inside me again.  I now can't think straight about anything, because I can not get past the two babies, I can't cope with one baby at a time, how the hell I am supposed to cope with two??!!

I have to stop thinking about it for a while, before I loose it.  I can already feel an anxiety attack coming on, so I lie down on the sand and stare up at the sky while I am taking deep breaths to try and calm myself down to stop it from taking over me.

I'm prepared to sacrifice my life ... I will gladly do it twice

I know I have got to stay and face this somehow!!

What the hell did I do to deserve my life??!!


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Song = "Mercy" ~ Shawn Mendes 

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