The months had gone by slowly and David was still on the island. As was the case with where he originally came from, this island was now part of his abode. He would spend his time with his new friends or, as he liked to think, his family. During the day he would spend his waking hours watching over them. At night he would sit at what was now his special place admiring the ocean and sunset. As with the other island, he was alone, but invariably in a different way. This time he had people, even if he was again invisible. He now again had time on his hands, but being with people, their company was a blessing, it could even be described as feeling alive.
His second father had now set in motion a new existence for David. His soul now in a place where it would be safe. David would not live in this world again, except in a spiritual sense with an open mind that would allow him to live amongst the living. He would give the child a different kind of life, a life that would mean he could, as should be the case, make a living decision for himself.
David woke to the sunlight giving a glare that afflicted his sight. His final memory was to see the sun dip over the horizon. How could he possibly forget the in-between? He was a spirit, spirits do not sleep, they transfer from day to day watching as time goes by... slowly.
"My son." David was taken from his reverie and back to reality.
"Father! Where have you been?"
"We have a lot to talk about, son, but first I must take you home, home where the grass is greener." The light shone, taking David in its grasp. David smiled when picked up and given a long lasting embrace to welcome him home. "Son, you have a journey, a journey to embrace. A new life that can give you everything and more of your expectations. This new beginning will let you, as you choose, be part of a world that gives you control. Control of your surroundings."
"With the Sir and the lady?"
"If you so choose, but that will come later. John was a good man, he took what he saw and embraced it to its limit. You were the limit. He saw a child that needed comfort, happiness, a home - even a family."
"There are many reasons, son, he was just a being who thought no more of his actions as you yourself."
"I hurt them didn't I? I didn't mean too..." With eyes watering...
"I know, son, I know. He does not blame you, son, and neither should you blame yourself." David held the father with guilt, even though being told no blame was attached.
"David, a family will be yours, be patient."
"Are you sending me away?"
"Yes, son, I am. Son, you will be given the ability to be seen by anyone you choose, or not at all. I ask that you would consider consequences before making choices."
"I was selfish and hurt the people who cared, but you again bestow upon me an existence?"
"The fault lies with me, son. I should have watched over you as I do with all my children."
David knew a life would emerge again, but how he had not been told. He went to his spot at the cove looking out over the ocean, it spread farther than the eye could see.
"Mary, I'm going to the Hartman island. I've stayed away long enough." John had decided to hold on to the place. "I need to let the past go, move on."
With deep thought, he hoped that David would show himself again. That again brought feelings about the boy and the island. Whatever in consequence had happened, it seemed unfair to take away the only thing David had left to associate with his short life.
David hearing this wanted to go with him, but didn't know if he could leave this island.
Mary declined to go with him as the memory was still raw from the last time of being there. John didn't want to go, but memories can, if allowed, get in the way of living.
It was eight o'clock Saturday morning. After breakfast Mary made a packed lunch with extra iced tea in the cooler, so lunch would be one less thing added to his problems. With trepidation, John made his way to his new boat.
More out of necessity than need, David went aboard and waited, hoping he could go and see his original home.
On board, they set sail. John again put his new cruiser into full swing. She held the water with such precision. David closed his eyes as they pulled away from the harbour, praying he wouldn't be hitting an imaginary wall that stopped him from leaving with John. After a few minutes he opened his eyes, then smiled to himself. The journey went smoothly, but took what seemed an eternity to arrive.
John docked and slowly walked the path to the house. What he saw shocked him. Even though he was in the house during the storm, it never occurred to him how bad the damage really was till he now saw it.
David too looked pale as he scanned his former home. He walked up to the house gingerly, as he came closer to the back of the residence he automatically looked up to his own private spot, the balcony. Holding on by a thread would best describe its condition. He drifted further, silently towards the rear of the house, trying to get a feel of his past. Walking towards what was once the cottages he stopped, what was nearly his destruction, or was that what was in the end his saviour. The trees still stood proud, giving some effect of a garden, even if the greenery was overgrown. Towards the tree line debris was strewn everywhere. The front porch stood at nearly full glory leaning halfway up one of the cabbage trees, looking as though you were entering another world with all the green that came through what would have been a door.
John, in the meantime, was stunned at the sight that lay before him. The thought of survival is a strong instinct, thoughts he'd had as the island disintegrated right in front of his eyes. John was convinced that he who was the original owner, Edward Hartman, putting claim didn't ring true. No, there was, as they say, more things in heaven and earth in this destruction. As he walked towards the cottages a feeling of dread entered his thoughts, as close to shear panic as he could be, he just wanted to leave. Thinking of his surroundings, he knew the island could be rebuilt, but the memories, even the good ones, could never be retrieved. The idea of living here again being another one to think on... a child had appeared at that time from the depths of this place, which now reminded him of Christmas. It seemed that a child had been given to him as a gift. The gift received, he had as would many decent human beings treated the child with the love that can only be bestowed on children of fewer years.
Walking into the trees he found a calmness long since forgotten. He saw the line to the sky and followed it along its horizon. The sea was calm as the waves made their way up to the shore. Turning, he walked up the small ridge making his way back to the house. Absently he looked around, maybe in the hope of seeing the boy, David, again. The balcony the boy had loved hung by a thread, seeing not the beauty ever again. He watched the calmness in front of him as he walked back to his boat with a sense of loss.
David, not realising he was now alone, came around to the front of the house, not seeing John he walked towards where the boat was moored. Gone! Fear started to sink in. Running to all parts of the island, trying to find the man that was as close to any family he'd ever had. Not in any conscious mind he shouted "FATHER." Realising the words that had been said by his own lips, not being anything that could prevent it, he sobbed again at what he had done. For the first time in his short life he had a man, a father that really cared, no deals made, just an honest to goodness man who cared about him, wanted him for who he was, not as someone to turn into a double of himself.
As he walked back down to the ocean he looked at the sea and how calm it lay. Glancing out over the horizon gave him the inner peace he had so longingly left behind him. Sitting under the shade of the trees, his loneliness came to the fore. He grieved at his attempts at living. A life, a family, and even friends were within his grasp, but he had deduced that playing mind games had readily reduced what was certain happiness.
"Was I ever going to live a life without my soul living in peace? Or had my time again been wasted?" As a tear washed down his cheek, out in the open a whisper broke what was a tense silence. Shock and a sense of peace came over David as the one he knew as his second father let himself be known.
"That is for you alone to know, son. I can but guarantee you to become a living spirit, though as you are now is a blessing, you need to be at peace with your past before you can have a future." Thoughts went though David's mind at what had just been spoken. "Be patient, son, be patient." With that said, he hugged the boy with all the love and concern he possessed. "I will be with you, son, I give you my word." The light appeared and he was gone. As the silence returned, David again felt alone, a lonely figure with memories of a past to be forgotten.
John made slow progress of his return home. Mary made sandwiches and his customary cup of tea as he entered the house. Time it seems had now drifted close to what would soon be dinner, time had gone so quick... yet so slow. The evening became dark, sleep for John came slowly. The island needed to be cleaned, cleaned in the sense of re-writing all its past failures and the evil, yes, evil that was and may still be occupying what was in truth a beautiful place with all the peace and tranquillity, that if repaired, all the world could see.
David watched as the sun rose over the horizon still in awe of its beauty. Today, with little else to do, he explored the house. The porch having been washed away, would now take more time for him to get inside. Climbing where once stood an entrance was difficult. Once inside, he tread carefully. As he walked into what was once the kitchen, his thoughts drifted to all the new things he'd seen. The lady who kept the man away, "Out of my kitchen," she would say with a not too pleasant tone. He smiled. Leaving the stairs he walked into the living room. Still above on the wall looking out was the contraption that made pictures. Some of the sounds even now sent a shiver down his back as the noises he'd heard beat away in his head. Oh, how he wished that those pictures and noises would return. He missed the lady, Mary. John, the man, was nice, he never wanted him to feel alone. He never did, so why did he want to get away... leave? There was a pain, a pain of loss, which was made worse as he was the one that made it so.
John had months ago decided to keep ownership of the island as a way of making sure no one darkened its doors again. But with his thoughts overnight, why should such beauty go to waste. The rest of the day his thoughts tendered on what to do with the island, as with improvements. During lunch he spoke to Mary and asked her for her thoughts. "I care little about the island, only the child that came from it."
That surprised John, not of the words, but of the severity in her tone. John not even guarding his own tone, "I care little for the island too, and as for David... David is here, I know he is, watching over us and this island. It became his home and, if only temporarily, his life. I am sorry he has gone, but I am also glad, and so should you be that he was happy at least for a short time." Feeling herself told, she raised her hand in defeat.
The Father was in truth bemused as to how David was thinking. Yes, David had caused his own downfall. Given the life he had inherited, the people, his surroundings, things could not have been better. In truth there didn't seem a reason for his mind set. Since his being had been back on this spiritual plain, David's thoughts ran free. The hurt, the loss, even the people he referred to as family were now known, but why did stability still elude him? Understanding the human mind was and could be unpredictable.
The day gone, David watched as the night started to make an appearance. The orange sky adding little peace to his tortured thoughts. "Why father, why was it you had to treat me as a stranger, a being with little more than the bug that gets under foot and is squashed. Did I not try hard enough? Did I not deserve the attention I needed? I loved you so much. Why did you not love me?" David hung his head as if in shame, tears of plenty fell at the feeling of being a nobody, a thing to be dismissed. Being loved was a fault he knew not why. Though he cried, he was silent, a silence where no one could make him disappear as troublesomely in the way.
If his father Edward Hartman had been in a position to look at his son, take in his thoughts and listen to his words, he would have mocked the boy for acting in what in truth he was, a child.
Depression was again taking over the boy's thoughts. To be wanted is to feel alive, no care in the world. To be thrown aside as if a nobody is guilt, a feeling that I am the one whose being is wrong. In truth, by feeling the guilt, he carried it for everyone else, not knowing it or realising it.
The night disappeared as quickly as it arrived. David feeling again to be some kind of menace, a nuisance, he wanted his pain to go away, but would that be the end of it? "Son, why do you torment yourself to such ends?"
"I am sorry Father, but what does my life mean, even if in spirit? Did I do so badly, has my life meant so little?"
The Father was now beginning to see and understand why! Everything about the boy was now in decline. His spirit, his self belief, his self esteem, all now on the edge of causing damage that would be un-repairable. "Son, you made mistakes, but not enough to lead you to this. Son, your father was the fault, not yourself. The man you looked up to, John, was something that all at once may have been too great, too big for you to adjust to after so many years. Your mind is sick and will be until you realise in your heart that you did no wrong. You were a son to be proud of. You were abused by hate, by a selfish man whose only thought was for himself and his wealth. Son, did you not, even under fear, not help those less fortunate than yourself, even as the wrath of your father lay over you? Child, release all the feelings you have. The blame, the burden, the guilt that you have put upon yourself. Your actions were loyal, they came from the heart of someone true."
Nothing but silence invaded his thoughts. David stood on the sand with concern. The Father left to let David contemplate whatever thoughts he had.
The words spoken were a truth, but David didn't seem ready to hear them, he was caught in the trap of what his head wanted to hear. David was not part of the equation. David was lost in the middle of all that was transpiring. His inner self tormented him for being no good, being bad... a burden.
John deep in thought was shaken by a voice that roared, bringing him back into some kind of awareness. "John, the child needs you." John, shocked, looked in every direction to try and fathom where the voice came from. Shaking his head to clear it, he again looked around.
"The child needs me?" Repeating the statement. With bated breath he waited for an answer.
"Yes. The child David. Guilt is taking the child into new depths, torturing him beyond where he may never return. A father who gave life is now the one ready to take it. He needs to feel that someone cares, that he's wanted for who he is. You gave him hope, a place, the love of a stranger; the kind he desperately needs right now. I ask you, as a father of many children, to give that one child hope. He can never return to a life of human emotion, but he can as a spirit of humanity."
"You are the one who put a defenceless child out to pasture before he was ready to be left alone?"
The voice roared back, "I did not keep my responsibility for the child, and from that, as you, I will learn."
He walked up to the house to get a drink... a stiff drink.
Mary watched as he walked into the house. "You okay?"
After pouring a scotch, he gave a reply, "If you call hearing voices, talking to myself, then yes, I'm okay."
"Voices?" She said with concern.
"Voices telling me that the child needs me." He sat near the fireplace explaining his conversation, then said nothing, at least nothing that could be repeated. He drank the contents of the whole glass straight back. "I'm going insane, voices talking to me from the sky... God, I even answered back." Getting another drink he walked outside with a great deal of apprehension. Looked up to the sky, glass in hand, he raised his drink to make a toast. I am going insane he thought with the action.
Following him outside, Mary asked, if anything, what he was going to do, which seemed to raise even more questions.
"Go to the island, at least it will put your mind at rest. John, it seems there is more at work here. There is more to this than we know. Was it not you who told God himself he was not fit to have David call him his father? David may need help? He needed it once before, and as you said, why didn't you see it? Maybe now you're being given help to look and see. Maybe He is righting a wrong."
Staring off into the distance, seeing nothing, he then turned to Mary, "I've known you at times to trust nothing more than your instincts," he said, walking slowly into the house to get the keys to the boat.
Sitting on a lonely beach, David was on the brink of despair. In life he would have ended his torment, that was not possible now. Without intervention of some proportion, David was going over the edge, never to return.
John noticed a figure sitting against one of the trees, he moored the boat and walked towards the figure. "David!"
to be continued...
It is said: "In the throes of depression, one reaches a strange point at which it is impossible to see the line between one's own self and the reality of madness." So in the strongest possible terms; Depression is a depravity, a rape of the mind.