When I moved abroad, I took all my writings with me, except for one journal. It was for the best really, because rereading it was dangerous. I found it again, semi forgotten with the rest of my teenage stuff, in my parents’ loft.
I paused for a moment before sitting down next to the boxes just below the solitary light bulb, and as I opened the tattered notebook, I was nauseated by an artificial apple fragrance. I smiled. Thanks Grandma!
I flicked through the first few yellowed pages full of angry poems ‘inspired’ by my father. I frowned and skipped to the next entry. Read More…
Rain, rain and nothing but rain. All day grey. No sun. No hope. Gia’s soul seemed trapped under the damp ground in the ancient garden of the old house. Surrounded by mud and stones, worms and slugs, and roots like tentacles holding her firmly in the place. She didn’t fight it. Her separated body enchanted nearby…stuck, raw and exposed to the elements. Her stiff limbs were bending painfully in the wind. Sometimes they snapped. She didn’t fight it, but she longed to understand it, to understand and know everything. She stared wide eyed at everything as if for the first time, noticing even the minute details. What is this? What does it all mean? Read More…
The old desire to solve the Lokie mystery was back. A nagging feeling, the familiar inner urge to heal the old wound was growing stronger. Gia sensed a possibility, a big probability, that it could happen, and just the thought of it caused currents of excitement wash over her. The only obstacle was Read More…
Confused and distraught Gia returned to the cottage. Lokie’s tapes under her pillow. His tapes. Lokie’s. Something he touched. Something that embodied him.
She touched them tenderly with her fingertips, then held them close to her heart, and bathed them in giant tears. The only thing she had left of him, something she could hold and posses for a few more moments. Something that still connected them somehow. She held it so tightly, as if she could merge with the object, that will be in his possession soon after. He hated her now, all was ruined.
“Why? Why? Why? Why was I so horrible to him? I love him! I love you Lokie, I am crazy about you, or maybe I am just going crazy!”
“I was shocked when you turned up like you did, and I guess I just wanted you to hold me, but you just stood there, staring, unsure what to do.”
Outside. Dark, damp and windy. Gia shivered, and with a heavy heart, walked slowly to his cottage. Stillness and semi darkness. Lokie on his bed. Headphones on. Looking right through her. Standing right beside his bed, she handed him the tapes together with her soul imprinted into them. She couldn’t speak. And neither did he.
Sleepless night. Rain drumming on the rooftop, as if the whole of Nature grieved with Gia. Foggy morning, foggy head. In the usual drawing spot, Gia was waiting. As the day went by, the other side of the road remained abandoned. A constant reminder of how much she messed up.
Long day drew to a close. No sign of Lokie. Torture and turmoil. Party in the girls’ place. Jokes and laughter. Gia’s body joined in like a robot.
The next morning, their bags packed and ready to go home. Still hours to kill till the departure, a group of them went to one of the local town pubs.
The atmosphere was quite lively as the students recounted the events of the past few days. Nobody mentioned Gia’s meltdown, and she was grateful. She felt slightly better.
All of a sudden Lokie walked in, and ordered a pint of lager at the bar. “What? Lokie in a pub? Where is Peter?” He proceeded to sit by himself.
“Hey Luke, you wanna sit with us?” asked Leni.
And he did. He sat at the head of the table, next to Gia. Gia was flabbergasted. That was so unlike him! The conversation picked up again amongst the classmates, and Gia glanced at Lokie from time to time trying to figure him out, but she could not read him.
Suddenly he touched her foot with his under the table. “What? Is it an accident?” Gia froze momentarily. He kept his foot on top of hers. Definitely not an accident. After a while she tried to move her foot out, he pressed harder. When she finally managed to free her foot, she placed it on top of his, and he didn’t move either.
So, they sat there touching their feet without anybody noticing anything. And Gia’s heart grew lighter again. Maybe all is not lost, he definitely doesn’t hate her! Maybe Lokie still cares! Maybe he loves her too.
28th September 1993
Back home, in my room. Music blasting. Unstoppable tears. Doubts again. Sadness.
I didn’t see you yesterday Lokie, nor today, Maybe you still hate me afterall. I am so stupid, when something could have happened, I just totally ruined it! It’s my own fault, I am such an idiot.
3rd October 1993
I just can’t get you out of my head Lokie, it’s starting to really annoy me now. Tomorrow is Monday, and I hope you will come to school again. I am dying to see you.
I feel so stupid and ashamed now. I disappointed you, but please believe me, I don’t usually behave like that at all! That was not me. It must be you, you are causing me to act all crazy.
I’d like to know what you think off me, and I would like to know all kinds of things about you. I just want you, Luke. I love you, I love you, I love you…I just love you so much and I want…Nevermind.
Words can’t express how I feel right now, about you and all of this. Good night Lokie.
5th October 1993
Gia felt ill, she surely must be going crazy. She can’t stop thinking about Lokie at all. She can’t eat or sleep, she daydreams, listens to music, writes and paints. Anything to keep sane.
Everything reminds her of Lokie. Signs everywhere. She finds significant meanings in insignificant things. Like the other day, she was playing a board game with her brother, and when it was time to roll the dice, she held them like a sacred possession, clearly like a crazed person. Why? Lokie seems to have an obsession with dice. He keeps drawing and painting them in every size and colour.
The dice from their board game were especially beautiful. Large in size, one is see through and the other sporting a metallic finish, that sparkles in the sun light. Lokie would love them.
Today she and Leni encountered Lokie sitting on a bench during their lunch break outside the school.
“Hey.” said Gia.
“Um, I have something, you might like, Lokie.”
said Gia and handed him the beautiful dice.
“What is it?” asked Lokie, not amused.
“I found this, and I thought, you might like them!”
“What am I gonna do with it?”
“I don’t know, keep it.”
“I don’t want it.”
“Okay, throw them away then.” said Gia, feeling disappointed.
“Maybe I will.”
“Ah, don’t be so mean! That’s so lovely of Gia. Ah that’s so cute, you guys are so cute.” cooed Leni.
“Oh, shut up, Leni!” said Gia.
“Whatever, do what you like, Lokie, I don’t care.” she added and started to walk away. Gia was crushed, again, and hated herself. Why, why, why is he so mean?
“What was I thinking doing this when Leni was around? Another Gia’s genius idea! Why do I always get it wrong? He definitely hates me after all! But why does he keep staring at me then?”
Gia didn’t expect that reaction from him. Why does it always turn out differently, than what she imagines?
In her head she saw it clearly, how she was going to give him the dice, and he would smile and be happy about it. and maybe they’d start talking. Really talking. And then they’d became real friends and live happily ever after. Yeah, right! As if! Gia knew, she hurt him and this was her lame attempt of saying sorry.
Gia put the journal down for a moment. Disbelief. What the f***k was she thinking? It was so obvious to her now!
All she had to do was to say sorry to him. Such a simple and obvious solution. She could just talk to him the next day after her meltdown and say sorry. But that didn’t occur to the young Gia then.
If she ever met him again, she could say sorry and explain. Yes she had to find him, so she could tell him sorry and how dumb she was. And they would laugh about it.
Oh Lokie! I wish I knew where you are, and whether you are still alive and well! I just need to talk to you about all of this, you know, not only to say sorry, but also to finally make some sort of sense of this craziness.
Photo by Gia. Video Carola M & youtube
There are certain moments in life that represent a turning point. These events just happen without a warning, and within a matter of seconds your life changes forever. Just like that. You can´t undo. The worst part is, you are totally unaware, that something extremely important is taking place in the very moment.
Where is your guardian angel when you need him? Couldn’t he say “Hey Gia, beware, something will happen tonight with Lokie. Two outcomes. One: your wish is granted, and you get what you´ve been dreaming of all these months. Two: you don´t want to know, but it´s not good. Good news is, that it is in your power to choose the outcome. It all depends on what you say and do, and especially what you don´t say and don´t do. Remember Gia, tonight is the night!”
“Gee, thanks a bunch my guardian angel! Not…” I guess, there are certain lessons in life, we are supposed to live through and figure out on our own.
24th September 1993
It was Friday evening, and the class has been on their annual Autumn painting expedition for two days already. The students travelled almost half a day by train to a tiny picturesque town in southern Bohemia, near the mountains, that form a natural border with Germany. A perfect setting to practice landscape painting.
The mood of this trip was very different to their spring adventure. With October just around a corner, there was not that much time in a day to work during natural daylight, gone were the hot summer days and warm evenings. The girls were forced to wear several layers of warm jumpers and sweaters to keep warm, the chill pinching their cheeks on the way back from a drawing site to the camp. The colours of the land were breathtaking though. Gia´s favourite visual feast and food for her soul.
The students were accommodated in a camping site, a few kilometres out of the town. There are about twenty small cottages surrounded by a dense woodland, and a tiny shop, a pub and a kiosk short walk away.
Gia shared a cottage with Anna and Leni, and Silvia joined them as planned, much to Gia´s delight. They quickly settled into a routine. After breakfast, if they had any, they walked through the forest up the hill, all the way to a nearby village. They chose to paint a road, weaving its way to the village, to practice perspective. Gia also liked how the roofs in the background seemed to reflect the colours of the nature around them, with rusty browns, dark reds and burnt orange tints.
Lokie and Peter broke camp on the other side of the road in the field. Gia was happy, Lokie was nearby, and she could still lock eyes with him. He soon started to come up to Gia just like he did at the Spring trip, as if he just picked up where he left off. It made Gia all fuzzy and warm inside, however all of this still confused the hell out of her.
The teacher assigned a large, five bed cottage for all the boys, so Lokie and Peter ended up sharing with Ozz, Kai and Tiny. Lokie obviously hated it. Gia was thrilled at first, because it meant they could go visit the other boys and be in Lokie´s place at the same time. However, it soon proved to be unfortunate, because no matter what the girls did, Lokie was not interacting with them much. He mostly laid on his bed, with his headphones on, and he had almost permanent expression of annoyance on his face. The others were having fun teasing each other and playing drinking games. Even Peter joined in.
Someone brought a bottle of vodka, and the girls were taking little sips followed by a gulp of water, but Peter really impressed them by almost guzzling the whole bottle straight, if they hadn´t stopped him. Sylvia was trying to help Gia by encouraging her to behave kind of crazy, like taking Lokie´s stuff and teasing him. That evening was particularly crazy, because the boys from a graphic studio, that were on the same trip, purchased a keg of lager and invited the painters over to share it.
So they were spending their evening moving between the two cottages, staying a little while here and a while there. Until suddenly Gia´s mood shifted, she started to feel the effects of the alcohol, and she wasn´t enjoying the “games”, they were playing with the boys any more. She could sense, that Lokie didn´t approve, he still seemed annoyed, and Gia felt so frustrated and sad, that it was going nowhere. She had enough and headed back to her cottage.
It was situated halfway a long hill in the middle row of cottages. The building itself was a simple wooden structure with three steps leading up to a porch. The main door opened directly into the only room that contained only basic furniture. The girls pushed all tree beds together to accommodate the four of them.
Nobody was in, and Gia was happy for that, she wasn´t in the mood to talk to anybody, not even Sylvia. She laid in darkness, and she felt a familiar dull pain in her chest, an invisible hand squeezing her throat. She didn´t even try to stop the flood of tears that followed. She was not sure exactly, why she was so sad. It was a mixture of everything, her parents, Lokie, and probably the drinks she had that evening. Then there was also this time of the year, Autumn had always had a strange effect on Gia. Autumn was beautiful with all its glorious colour, but also incredibly sad and melancholic.
All of a sudden the door opened, all the girls barged in, and put the light on. Gia felt disturbed, she desperately needed to be alone. She hid under the covers, hoping in vain they wouldn´t notice her and leave her alone.
“Hey Gia, there you are!” Sylvia sat on the edge of the bed, and put her hand on Gia´s back.
“You won´t belive what we took from the boys!” squealed over excited Leni.
“I don´t care, leave me alone!” screamed Gia inside her head.
“Are you OK?” asked Sylvia.
Gia shook her head, and when she thought the situation couldn´t get any worse, the door opened and in walked Peter and Lokie. For the first time on that entire trip, they chose that moment to walk in, just like that. Gia couldn´t believe it, all the time she wanted to hang out with Lokie in the evenings, and he didn´t and now at the worst possible moment, he turns up?! He would see her all broken and crying and weird. She squeezed her eyes shut and just willed herself to teleport somewhere far, far away, but of course it didn´t happen.
“What do you two want?” asked Leni.
“We just came to get our stuff, you girls stole from our cottage!” replied Peter.
Suddenly, it got all too much for Gia, the tiny cottage was full of people, intrusive sounds and light. Her mind screaming go, run, escape! She jumped up and picked up a first thing she saw, that looked like a boy´s shoe. She threw it in the direction of the boys, and shouted, “Here, here is your stuff, and now get out of here!”
Silence. Everyone stared at her in disbelief, Gia felt like a trapped animal. She turned around, and jumped out of the only clear escape route, the window by the bed. A voice echoing in her head “Just get away, get away, get away…” The wet grass was soaking her feet, but she didn´t care. She run past the cottages, then stopped by the last one. Her back pressing against the damp wood, she slowly slid down, breathing heavily, feeling momentarily relieved. She pulled her knees up to her chest and hugged them. Tears running down her face. “What the hell happened there?” she was so confused, but she didn´t have much time to think about it, because she heard footsteps coming closer.
What the heck? She stilled, held her breath. “Oh, shit it´s Lokie!”
He just stood there looking at Gia for a while, and then he asked quietly, “What´s going on?”
Gia didn´t answer, she just kept staring into the darkness, still hugging her knees.
“What´s wrong, Gia?” he asked again.
And before she could think about it, she heard her voice, as if it didn´t even belong to her, it was strangely coarse. “F*** off, Lokie!”
Lokie looked utterly shocked, as if he got hit by something. She could see the hurt in his eyes. She could literally see his eyes breaking, even through the veil of the darkness, she could see it clearly, she hurt him. He took a step back.
“Why are you so pissed off, it should be me, not you! I didn´t do anything to you!” and he started to walk away. “I want all my stuff back tonight!”
“No! What have I done!” Gia finally came to her senses. “Why did I say that to him? I love you, Lokie, I love you, I love you!” her mind was screaming inside, but her mouth was mute, and she saw his back disappearing in the distance. “That´s it, he must think I am a complete lunatic, he hates me now, I ruined it! I f****** ruined it! The worst thing is, that there was a perfect opportunity to talk to him, really talk to him. He cares, he followed me….Well he doesn´t care anymore! He hates me, he hates me, I ruined it….”
Photo by Gia