A short story:
Jackson was always known for his smile. Not that it was a particularly spectacular smile, just that he was always smiling. Always wanting to wear a face that reflected her love for people, there was always an attempt to follow up the smile with an attitude of light demeanor, but always coupled with silliness and love. It was not easy, but nor was it ever fake. Caroline would always have a reason to want to be there and if he didn’t, he’d simply leave. Why stay somewhere you don’t want to be for a single reason? He had always been said to be thoughtful, caring, and sweet. Generally, however, an endless barrage of questions and critical thinking would flood Jackson’s essence. Like many of the people that surrounded him, there was never a full story or history explored, prompted often by a phrase ever so present in Jackson’s life. But here is where this story becomes a story.
Caroline began to notice, at some point, that there were certain external trends that occurred as he internally navigated life. It would always start from a singular point: Jackson was smiling. It would then move to Jackson being lost in thought, and let me just say that it could happen anywhere, in which the smile wouldn’t fade away but be tucked away temporarily. It was at this moment that two phrases emerged:
1) Jackson, you think too much.
2) Caroline, you just need _________ and things will get better.
She never knew why folks insisted on these things, but he did at least understand where it was coming from. Caroline would look in the mirror and say, “Jackson, just breathe…” and for a short while he felt better, and yet she couldn’t evacuate the recognition that it was only a temporary solution. Something was wrong and endless. I suppose we’ll never know what happened that night when he didn’t leave, just standing by the door as the rain poured in; dripping. he stepped back, socks damp on the cold hard linoleum floor as her tows squished together between the water and the cloth. She sighed. Jackson couldn’t believe it, cleansed and free, caroline turned around and screamed, “My name is Jackson, let these bonds release.” Sertainly this must be a revelation, right? An enlightening moment for Caroline as he finally saw the mental shackles that she’d always feel. Definitely.
We never expected for that dash up the stairs to the apartment outside with the double wide glass door with only 1 screen. Bugs were a problem, but not for Jackson. Into her room, Caroline wept with a rather sweet laugh, scanning his room for the mistake that was left by an accidental gift. Broom closet or clothing pantry? Neither. Jackson stood in front of the mirror glistening with madness and rage, and Caroline reflected on this moment as it passed. He was happy she was happy. Time disappeared, and without a trace, leaving one wish and a bleeding pen for a phrase of Jackson’s own: “They are no more.” Happiness found with transparent dreams and a sense of self that lost all need. Caroline loves. With all his heart. Hello.