1 September 2011

This is who I am – Keirnan McGrory-Perich

This is who I am

Things hadn’t always been this way. There had been a time when Jamie lived an ordinary life. School, annoying siblings, unremarkable pets, all that sort of thing. Just your everyday life in mainstream suburbia. Sometimes, on days like today, that old life seemed almost attractive.

Hell, it always seemed to be more attractive but I knew that it could never be achieved again. I watched as Jamie slowly trudged his way across the park grounds, before slowly dropping himself onto the cold wooden bench, which still had water droplets from last night’s downpour. He lowered his head into his hands, his shoulders began to shake, gulps of air were heard being taken and large tears silently fell onto his knees. It was happening all over again. Nothing had changed. Mum was dead. It was untimely. It was unfair. Even though it had happened over twelve months ago, it still hit him. At the start, we had both been sympathetic but then days had turned into weeks, and weeks into months. After 6 months his Dad decided to send him to see a shrink, but that wasn’t working and no progress was being made. His school grades had dropped dramatically. He lost contact with all his friends. Now, he was just like a shell of the old Jamie. It still acted like him- it ate like him, spoke like him, and walked like him- but it just wasn’t him. Something had died inside him, and now he was just some useless automaton going through the motions. I sometimes just want to grab him by the shoulders, slap him around a bit and yell at him: “Snap out of it! I’m sick of this new you, I want the old one back!” But I don’t ‘cos I know that there is no point. There is no point to anything anymore.

As if admitting to this reality Jamie slowly rose and attempted to compose himself. He wiped his eyes with his grubby hands that left smudged traces of dirt smeared over his cheeks. He ran his hands through his hair and ended up looking like a spiky porcupine. He began to meander along the unkempt pathway with his feet sliding as they tried to find a grip. His already dirty, grimy boots were soon covered in a thick layer of brown mud, and they squelched with every step. The air was cool and the surroundings quiet. The sound of his breath going in and out dominated his hearing and he watched the smoky haze leave his mouth with each exhalation. His nose was red rimmed and it felt like he had icicles dripping from it. At last he reached his destination, a magnificent lake situated in the middle of the park. Today, it was a dazzling shade of turquoise blue, and it reflected like a giant mirror so that there was a duplicate of everything: the shining sun, the fluffy white clouds, the huge expanse of blue sky and many one hundred year old oak trees. In the clearing birds chirped in the trees and a slow fog clawed its way across the breadth of the water. Anybody would have thought it was a beautiful, midwinter’s day. But Jamie knew better, he knew how life sucked and, as he stared into the lake, all he could see mirrored back at him were my red-rimmed, desperate and desolate eyes. Who was this loser?

Keirnan McGrory-Perich, Year 9 (Male), Suzanne Cory High School