As a note of caution this chapter gets unusually distressing. Depression affects different people in different ways. As is most often the case it can completely reverse the minds thinking. This chapter hinges on the maximum limit that depression can cause.
David lay on his bed contemplating his existence. Now on the verge of tranquillity, it seemed his being around again only caused suffering. Though the joy he had received from this man they call John was better than anything he could have possibly asked for, he could see again the trouble it was causing. John had without concern or cause treated him like a son, part of a family, not as it was with his father, always on the outside. The man had said himself he was not sure if he had any future. A past he had, a past he would like to have never had at all. Fate seemed to be conspiring to reverse his happiness again and that was again cruelty.
John, after he had tried to reassure David, walked straight to his room to contemplate what was to be done and how. David seemed to be caught in the middle of a battle. Good and bad. That may sound a strange conclusion, but when you see what alternatives David had before what was his resurrection, the comparison gives a double edged sword. Now on the light of what should be his good fortune is now turning into a battle with his past again.
David shuddered as the memory of his father came into his mind. "Why does he want me. Why, when he humiliated ME, cast ME out, even forbid me any type of life without distress. The fear and the thought now came all the time. Now being associated again with the living, his father visited him at night ... every night.
"YOU ARE MINE, I'M THY KEEPER, YOU WILL RETURN, YOU WILL OBEY THINE ONLY FLESH AND BLOOD, I DEMAND IT."
David trembled, jumping to his feet as the words gnawed deep into his very soul. He cried silently at all the words spoken. "You never called me SON! WHY? Am I not worthy? Am I not worthy of being wanted?... loved?... or being around?" Falling back on his bed, he lay his head face down on his pillow and cried. David was a child alone. His thoughts now distorted to what was the truth. In truth, David was a child in need of security, security if in mind only, security that he didn't possess. To David he was a burden, in the way, causing problems it seems wherever he went. Within that few hours, David was catapulted into a deep depression. He was alone, hated by everyone, despised for his father's actions. It seemed that at night even sleep disowned him.
The weekend came around. To David everyday wasn't a day. Time had stood still. He was at an end - an end to the torture that his mind could take.
The week seemed to race past. John was a little short on ideas on what activities to prescribe for the weekend. Mary suggested he take the boat out and do some fishing. Mary of course was commandeered. "So, sport, what you say we go do some fishing?" The response was nonplus. Walking over to David, he raised him as the child he was. "Son, please tell me what's wrong? I, we are really worried about you." David wriggled free saying he didn't feel well, asking if he could stay home. Not waiting for an answer he ran to his room.
To David, he completely missed all of their sentiment and replaced it with how much they wanted him to be gone. It seemed, if only to David, how much they had ignored him, in his mind he was in the way. "Why can't they just tell me to go, instead of just hinting at the fact." Not talking to him, shunning him, were all ways, to David, to getting rid of him. Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and even Tuesday went by with David being silent, except to answer in single words, yes and no being those words. David had locked himself away... not only in his room.
"Jack, I need some help for David."
"Anyway I can, my friend."
"I need him to see a doctor, but not sure how I can? If I can get him medical help it will have to be off the books. I don't know what's wrong with him, but he's always in his room, never speaks, the happy child as gone."
"I'm sorry I don't know anyone I can ask my friend. Try Tony, he knows a lot of folks around this area."
"I will, Jack. Thanks." Flipping the number up on his phone, he rang Tony. With no time for him to ask who was calling, John set straight into Tony for info. Tony explained that one of his son's was a GP, so would ask if and when he could see David. John replied with all the concern of a mother hen, describing everything he could about the change in David.
Not seen, Tony smiled at what came to mind, an expectant father pacing up and down the corridor waiting for news. "Don't worry, John, we'll cure him. I will get Andy to call you back, okay?"
"Thanks, Tony," he said before he ended the call.
David, up in his room, just stood, staring out the window. There was nothing he hadn't seen before, but there again he wasn't looking at anything. Setting foot out of his room, sneaking out of the house with no more than a whisper, David walked along the shore making his way towards the trees ahead. Out of sight, he found the biggest tree and sat down below it, head in hands. Thoughts again entered his head, all untrue thoughts of being banished and wanted to be gotten rid of. David had now dragged himself into an all out depression. The thoughts went through his head telling him how much he was wanted and loved. Then it seemed he was being told how much they hated having him around. David shook his head trying to clear his thoughts, but the words went over, and over, and over, and over again. "THEY... DON'T... WANT... YOU! THEY... DON'T... WANT... YOU! THEY... DON'T... WANT... YOU!" David knew that he had to get away.
John called for David to come for dinner, again after waiting he went to hopefully get him to come and eat. Entering his room he found the bed covers disturbed, but no David. Cursing, he made his way out onto the porch. "David, dinner." Again no sight nor sound of the boy. Mary of course hadn't seen David as she had gone out for supplies. Panic was now overtaking logic. Going back inside, he told Mary where he was going and went to search for David. Staying close to the house he searched the shore, the cove, and within the trees. He took paths he hadn't ever explored in an attempt to find the boy. Some ninety minutes later he returned. David was nowhere to be seen.
It was now getting late with no sign of David anywhere. If there is another emotion after panic... John had it. He called Jack and Tony for help. They searched all night which got no success, even with the boats. "God, where could he have gotten too?" Now 5 a.m. and still no sign. Daylight sprung its merry tune, but no one listened. As a last resort, more of an after thought, John went to the old caves, the caves being on the other side of the island. It was told that escaped convicts used to hide out in the caves as a way to rest to help during their escape.
The walk would be short in distance, but would feel like walking a hundred miles. There were two caves some twenty feet apart. Choosing the first, John started to clear the fallen trees and greenery that had collected over the years. The ground was uneven and with little or no light illuminating the cave, safety was paramount. As he got deeper into the cave, John shone his torch farther ahead. A moving shadow caught his eye, hoping it was David he quickened his pace. What he saw made his blood curdle. Hanging from the rocks was David. He got him down as quickly as he could and laid him at his feet, putting his ear close to his mouth to check his breathing. No pulse, no movement. His face stern, a whitish/grey. David had again succumbed to this world. Raising his head to look to the heavens, "NOOOO." John positioned himself on one side of the rocks and pulled David onto his lap, caressing the boy's cheek as if trying to get a response. His mind was blank, without thought. He was staring, but not seeing anything. Coming from his daze, which was some hours later, he lifted David into his arms and carried him back home. The trip was slow but accurate. He climbed the steps to the house, laying David gently on the settee. Tony and Jack thought to say something, but backed away from the idea.
Walking back out onto the porch, his head up, he yelled, "You call yourself a God! You gave a boy hope then, well, you've done your part. He was 10... 10 years old... a mere child. He called you his second father. FATHER ... you have no more right to be his father than Edward Hartman. A father, especially a god would protect his children, not leave them to, to..." Mary came over, taking John into a hug. Pulling away he went over to David, picking him up he cradled him in his arms, rocking him gently from side to side.
Jack and Tony went home with the promise to come back later that day. Hours passed before John asked Mary for help to lay David back onto the settee. He covered the boy up, as if tucking him in for the night. Mary brought a pot of tea outside and sat on the bench opposite her boss, pouring them both a drink. With tension in the air, Mary spoke softly to try and gain the mood. If the mood changed then her boss may want to talk. So putting her hand on his, "John, please..."
"Why didn't we see this coming? He was depressed and I did nothing."
"You couldn't have known. He was happy, you know that. What could you have done? With the way things were, a right word could just as easily have been the wrong word." Silence again.
"I know what you're saying, Mary, but it doesn't make it right. The child went through hell and back, and now, for whatever reason, he was forced to re-live the same anguish."
Moving inside, the silence was painful. So with little conversation they both retired. John lay down on his bed fully clothed, not thinking of anything apart from what had happened during the day. He looked out to what was a calm sea. Sometimes as grief takes hold, thoughts can be delusional. Stress can stop a functioning being to over ride logical thought.
As earlier, John looked up to the heavens. "You will never get your hands on David again. I would, without hesitation, keep David as he is right now. His spirit, as with the happiness he acquired, will be free to roam this island for the peace he gained. And with hope he will be in peace."
God the father knew of the anguish, but could not stop it. David's soul still wandered on a lonely path. But as in humanity, David had to find his place. God as on earth cannot compel humankind.
David sat on the rocks surrounding the cove. The same cove where he'd had laughter and joy just a few days ago. What was he to do now? David in spirit was now alone again, he had again given up his life, but not as before for cruelty, but what was no more than stupidity. A second chance already gained and lost. Sadness was now a burden. A life thrown away because of thoughts, anguish even, but thrown away. As in life, he watched as the waves gently caressed the shore. The tranquil sound giving sweetness to his mind. Leaving peace behind, he walked nervously back to the home that had been filled with laughter. Sitting down on the bench swing he slowly drifted as the breeze gently caressed the swing into a relaxing movement. No movement from David was made until Mary came and sat on the swing, rubbing shoulders with David. He sighed as the touch seemed real.
Mary mourned the boy. Heartfelt as tears ran down her face hitting the ground. As if hearing the sound as it hit, she looked down to see the flower like shape as it spread on the wooden flooring.
John walked out and sat at the wooden bench, setting down to his usual morning tea. He looked over at Mary without even contemplating a word. Words were a possible distraction to the loss they were both feeling.
David watched as John came out, he could see the anguish. He felt ashamed at what he had put these two kind people through. His thoughts drifted to how he felt after his father's abuse. The torment, the silence, the hurt, the tears. Was he any better than his father? Had he not caused the same suffering to these two kind people as he himself felt bitter about? "I'm sorry. I didn't deserve the kindness and loyalty you gave me. Please understand, I didn't know. I didn't know! Please, God, forgive me..." That sentiment was all it took for his second father to open the door to calm his troubled his soul.
David's body still lay motionless, a blanket covered him as if in sleep. As John walked back into the house, David followed. Seeing himself made the guilt stronger. With tears ready to fall, he walked over to what looked like a sleeping David. Spreading himself, he lay within his mortal self, his outer shell, his mind drifted back with thoughts of the laughter that overtook his life of loneliness, now it was gone. Tears were the sadness that poured out of him.
As day became night, sleep would not come for John. His thoughts were of David's island, or more precisely, his first sight of it. He never regretted having David around, just the fact of all the trouble the late and despised Edward Hartman had caused, even after his demise. Maybe the thought that the despicable man had caused them to vacate his island was more due to shock rather than common sense.
Going downstairs, he rang Jack, then Tony, to apologise to both for not being available if and when they came earlier. Indeed, both had travelled to his home only to find the house in darkness. With concern for their friend, they had returned home waiting for him to contact them.
Mary made supper to at least have one meal of the day. John, after eating, went to sit in one of the comfortable chairs that adorned a place in front of the open fire. Mary, taking the other, was the first to speak. "John, you know you can't leave the boy here like this, it's degrading for the boy, even in death."
"I know. We'll leave him here for tonight, that way if he wanders, he'll be at home. Whatever possessed him to do what he did, he needs to be where he was happy at least for a little while."
David listened to John as he spoke. Again he was overwhelmed by what he was hearing. Even after death, their concern was for him and him alone. Now depression was returning, but with concern for the people he had left behind, not himself. Before slipping back into silence, he asked for forgiveness for being so selfish and disloyal.
"Be patient, my son, pain is never easily understood." David could not hear his second father, so his own pain continued.
Somewhere during the night, Mary pulled a blanket over John before slipping off to gain some valuable rest herself.
With pain still raw, John set about trying to find a spot that would best adorn what David had brought with him to this place of peace and tranquillity. We'll lay him to rest above the spring looking down into the cove. Nature's beauty, his own little piece of heaven. This was the one place that brought so much joy to David. Jack and Tony were involved, at least in some part, when it came to David, but they both felt this was a private affair involving just Mary and John.
David was wrapped in plastic, after a sheet was laid over him, to try and contain the smell of death. David still looked on at the care taken with his remains, even after death.
David's path followed no logic, he just put one foot in front of the other and strode on to wherever his destination took him. He stopped, wearily falling to the ground, still in a haze, he saw an opening within the rock. Stepping inside the cave, the silence and the darkness giving more credence to his feelings, his mood. He stumbled farther into the cave, falling a few times before he again fell to the floor, laying his head on the fallen rocks, he tried to suppress and understand all the thoughts that were flashing through his mind, but all were of how he wasn't wanted or needed. His head was ringing, his ears buzzing from all the thoughts going around in his head. Not with any thought or judgement, he walked out of the cave to make what would be his executioner. Taking the leaves from the native Cabbage tree as he had been taught by the workers on what was his home island he started to make a rope, a chore that had no consequence at the time. Only when he was taking his life did he realise and understand the mistake he was making. He immediately tried to gain a hold to alleviate the tension, the pressure on his neck....
A bridge between two worlds can be a blessing, especially if you have an end with a new beginning....