Part 33 Free At Last?
Gia flicked through the remainder of her journal. Whirlwind of exams, gigs, trips, occasional flings, revising, and more gigs occupied Gia for the next few months leading up the the graduation. She kept her promise, and never looked at Lokie’s eyes again, she closed her heart, and doused her feelings for him, using sheer will power.
She remembered the last time she saw him on the day of their final exam. After they received the results, most of the students went to a local pub afterwards to celebrate. Not Lokie. Gia remembered glancing at his disappearing back, as he walked away for the very last time. What a relief! But also regret, sadness, but mostly happiness, and a quiet resolve, that it was finally over.
In her head Lokie equaled pain, Lokie was a pain personified, and now he was finally gone. Gia would not have to see him ever again, and be constantly reminded of the pain, shame, and a failure to communicate. And mostly of the stupidity of it all, the craziness, and the utter waste of her energy, and emotion for nothing. Perhaps it was the same for Lokie, it looked like, he couldn’t get away fast enough, and close the door on this chapter of his life. A loner artist that he was, leaving everyone forever without a goodbye, or a backward glance.
The next several years were a roller coaster of life events for Gia, as she finally found some sort of peace in her soul for a while. Lokie firmly pushed away deep into subconscious mind. Gia departed for England soon after. At first, she became a nanny for a London family, and after she met some friends, life became amazing. Going to gigs, learning to speak English, meeting new people. Gia absorbed everything like a sponge. The people, sounds, smells and colors of the foreign city, her new home for now, were so different, exciting, and intriguing to Gia. She was busier and happier, than she’s ever been when growing up.
She moved frequently, even lived in a squat briefly, started and stopped jobs. And learned how to be truly independent, and rely on herself for survival. Survival in not only an adult world, but also foreign world, with different culture. So even though there were periods of hunger, almost homelessness, and sometimes even danger to her life, she never felt so much alive. Not to say, that it was easy, far from it, but Gia was determined to endure, and learn English, and whatever lesson life threw at her. There were times when it would have been easier to go back home, but she couldn’t do that. She was not going to fail, and she would never give up.
Gia enjoyed the speed and unpredictability of her new life, because it kept her mind occupied and firmly in the now and here, but she also craved a more stable existence of having a job, and staying put for a while. She embarked on a few relationships with guys, but it never really worked out. Gia was fascinated and drawn to men, that were somehow different than others, or very different to her. The stranger they were, the better. However the very thing that first drew Gia to a certain guy, became the very obstacle in their relationship. But mostly her male friends fell for her, and she didn’t really know how to deal with that. She didn’t want to hurt anybody, she was still confused how relationships are supposed to work.
Gia also met her best friend in London, another Czech girl on a journey, and they hit it off immediately. It was not an easy friendship, but it made them both transform. Dana was a quirky girl, with a great sense of humor, difficult at times, almost like a little sister, Gia never had. They went through many trials together, and in time learned everything about the other.
By then Gia never thought about Lokie any more, but once in a while and completely out of blue, she dreamt about him. The emotions in the dream felt so real, so powerful, that she mostly woke up almost immediately, heart pounding, disturbed, and annoyed. Annoyed at herself for feeling like this, angry with Lokie getting into her dreams. The dreams usually had the same scenario. Lokie was trying to tell her something, and there were always obstacles, for example too much noise, so Gia couldn’t hear what he was saying, or he gave her a note, that she couldn’t decifer, or worse, when she was just about to find out what he wanted to tell her, she woke up. Damn! Those dreams always stirred something unconscious in Gia.
One morning after such a dream, she told Dana the whole story about Lokie, and she felt good, that she could tell somebody, and not be judged. Her feelings were now less intense, less urgent, and less angry about the whole thing. He was no longer pain personified to her, she wondered where he was, and what he might be doing, but not in an obsessive kind of way. Last she heard, he was studying some obscure subject at Uni. Peter told her, when she met him on a bus one time. He was a little annoyed, that Luke kept it a secret, but it didn’t surprise Gia. She also wondered, what he would think of Gia and her English adventures, and she also started thinking around this time, that it would be alright to meet him again one day. She would be able to handle it easily, now that she was all grown up.
Dana was a great friend and support to Gia, and she was very happy, when Gia finally met an amazing guy. Drew was an artist. Quite an infamous, even controversial artist. Gia knew his work and liked it very much. She once saw his exhibition in Prague. And she quite couldn’t believe it when, she bumped into him at one of his exhibitions, and they hit it off. He was so unlike other guys, that Gia met before.
He was dark and handsome, intriguing and accomplished, and they had so much in common despite being from different countries and cultures. So for a while Gia was very, very happy. Some things remained the same for Gia though, even though she found the love of her life, they didn’t see each other all that often, as he traveled a lot because of his shows. At first Gia missed him like hell, then she got used to it, and then she started to like it. Even after they moved in together their relationship remained ideal, almost unreal, every time he came home from a far away land, they were so happy together, living through a pro longed honeymoon period for years. Never the less, she was convinced, that he was the one, the one and only person who got her, and loved her openly and unconditionally. Who satisfied her love starved soul, and healed her childhood wounds. Gia felt happy and secure enough to open up to him about her upbringing, past relationships, troubles and triumphs.
Lokie was now very far from her heart and mind, she sometimes played with the idea, of having a choice between them. And in her heart she always knew, that Drew would always win. She would always choose Drew over Lokie, because he was real, and never hurt her, and loved her openly without playing stupid games. Gia tried once telling Drew about Lokie, but the look in his eyes stopped her. There was one side to Drew, that was quite dark, and slightly annoying to Gia, and it was his jealousy and possessiveness. So she never mentioned Lokie again, and lived happily with Drew for the next few years.
They loved, traveled, laughed, created, listened to music, decorated their first house together, got a cat and much more. When they argued, they always made sure they said sorry before going to bed, and they talked about everything. And despite his frequent absences, they fell in a comfortable routine. They were very happy. Gia started her studies again, and worked part time. Life slowed down, and Gia’s melancholic moods returned, usually in early autumn or in the winter, like there was something missing. An empty spot in her heart, a dull ache she couldn’t explain.
It was around this time, that Gia found her old journal in her parents attic, and read it all. It was a big, big mistake. All these powerful emotions rushed back to the surface. It was now obvious to Gia, that Lokie must have felt something for her too, and that they were too young and stupid, and didn’t know how to talk to each other. She felt such pain, that it was such a waste. She also felt deeply sorry for hurting Lokie that one time. She was convinced, that if she had a chance to meet him again, now as adults, they would be able to talk about it. She imagined how they would admit to each other, that they had feelings for each other then, and they would laugh how stupid they were. Gia would be able to find out what the whole thing was about between them, because there was something strange going on for sure, and finally get a closure. But where was Lokie now? Was he even still alive?
Photo by Gia.