Like most teens, I was troubled. Why is it growing up so difficult? I thought about taking my life on more than one occasion, feeling like no one understood me, or cared about me. I’m lucky to still be here, believe me. I was a teen in the late sixties, early seventies, when temptation was abundant, drugs, rock concerts, free love. So many things to temp a teenager to take the wrong path. I strayed to the dark side a couple of times, but always came back.
One chilly September evening I had the biggest row with my mother and I ran out of the house, slamming the back door behind me. The sun was setting as I walked down the back lane to the banks of the River Swale. My intention was to walk into the cold water and end my misery.
I found a comfortable rock to sit on, pulled out a pack of cigarettes (players no. 6) and inhaled the killer smoke deeply. It felt good. I sat and smoked what I thought may be my last cigarette as I watched the dark deep waters of the Swale beckon to me as they slid by. I finished my cigarette and looked at the smooth surface of the river as though hypnotized. It looked like oil, dark and smooth. I imagined myself walking slowly into the darkness. I would disappear without a trace. I didn’t think of the bloated body that may turn up a few miles downstream after a couple of days. I didn’t think of how it would hurt my parents.
I lit another cigarette and thought of the David Bowie song ‘Rock and Roll Suicide’. I could hear him singing it in my head. The words SUICIDE echoed loudly.
Time takes a cigarette, puts it in your mouth
You pull on your finger, then another finger, then your cigarette
The wall-to-wall is calling, it lingers, then you forget
Ohhh how how how, you’re a rock n roll suicide
I stood up and walked to the edge of the water. It beckoned me.
‘It’s a god awful small affair, to the girl with the mousey hair’
Another Bowie song, my song, but this time it wasn’t playing in my head. It was real. I looked around. “Hello” I shouted “Who’s out there?”
No one answered, but a new song started.
“Will you stay in my lovers story? If you stay you won’t be sorry, cos we believe in you”
“Hello”. I shouted again. “I know you are there. I like David Bowie too. You are playing all of my favorite songs”
I saw a light in the bushes behind me. Should I be scared? All thoughts of suicide were forgotten. My head was full of David Bowie and the light in the bushes. I walked towards it. It was a flashlight. I couldn’t see who was holding it because it was shining in my eyes. I prepared to turn and run when a voice said “Sandra, come home, lets talk”
It was my mum. I was glad to see her. “Sorry mum” I said “I didn’t want to fight”
“I know honey” she replied “It’s what families do”
We walked back up the dark unlit lane together, glad of the flashlight.
“Mum, did you hear music?” I asked.
“Yes it was that awful Bowie noise. Your friend Bobbie was sitting on a stone by the river with his transistor radio. Is he Okay? Do you want to bring him home?”
I stopped and looked at her “Mum, Bobbie’s is dead, he jumped out of a window last week, it can’t have been Bobbie” I said.
She looked at me, shining the flashlight in my face almost blinding me. “Why did he jump out of a window, he was such a nice boy. It certainly looked like him.”
“LSD” I answered.
We carried on walking. I am not sure if she knew what LSD was.
“With your long blonde hair and your eyes of blue, the only thing I ever got from you was sorrow……sorrow”
I looked at my mum to see if she heard this, she didn’t.
Sitting on the stone wall, in the shadows was Bobbie, transistor radio in his hand. He had a sad look on his face. I was still alive. I survived another traumatic teenage episode. Bobbie had saved me. It was too late for him though.
Life is never so bad that you should end it, especially when you are young.
Watch out for my upcoming novel ‘Dead of July’, which will be released later this year. (Preview) Dead of July
My first short stories are available on Amazon. I believe you can get them for free. They aren’t perfect, but have received enough good reviews to encourage me to continue writing…..’Dead of July’ is currently with my editor and will be my debut novel. I am extremely excited about this one.
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Girl on the Beach (UK)
Girl on the Beach (US)
Guy at the Bar Amazon
Guy at the Bar Amazon UK