Losing The Hate (7)

STRAIGHT FROM THE HEART

So far I’ve found this extremely hard emotionally. As well as reliving my ordeal, I’ve also been remembering certain episodes which are yet to come. Pictures have been popping into my head at random, in no particular order whatsoever. It is a part of my life I never dreamed would be purposely re-visited, but I am truly pleased by my decision to do so.
Due to the nature of what you are about to read, I have opted to write in “head speak.” My mind is awash with images and conversations, all of which entwine together with no beginning or end, and for that reason, I would like to write this section exactly as it appears to me.
I think, in all honesty, if I don’t write it straight from the head, directly as it comes, then it may not ever find its end, which is something I need to reach , the end. For maybe then I will be able to move on, in search of the happiness I desperately crave.





BREAKER ONE-FOUR

I can’t altogether clearly remember how I came to meet up with Flower Queen and Secret Squirrel, or when the first introductions took place for that matter.
I do recall speaking to them over the CB on a fairly regular basis and together with my mate Peter, began to visit their house on quite a number of occasions, generally having a bit of a laugh and sponging cigarettes.
Both Flower Queen and Secret Squirrel, (who will be known as Karen and Stuart), would often invite people from the CB radio to their house for an “eyeball,” (slang for meet), and I’m pretty sure that’s how I first came to go there myself.
Karen was in her mid forties, with long flowing black hair. She stood about 5’4” (ish) and dressed more like she was in her early twenties. Stuart on the other hand was closer to his mid fifties and looked as though he’d had a real rough upbringing, a collage of home-made tattoos spread across both arms, his face covered with a mixture of wrinkles and scars.

Peter and I had gone to their house and the only place for me to sit was on a small footstall close to the open fire, which dominated the room. It was a full house, with many people I’d never met before and the cigarettes were being passed around like sweets in a playground.
I remember we had to suffer cups of tea made with sterilised milk. One by one, as the time ticked by, people made their pleasantries and left. Before long it was just Peter and I who were still eager for idle chat. For some reason every time I tried to move from the foot stool to an empty seat, Stuart told me to stay where I was. Apart from seeming a little strange, I thought nothing more of it.
Karen, who was sitting directly opposite me on the sofa, said that my image would look a lot better if my hair was bleached blond. I explained my pocket money wouldn’t stretch for a visit to the hairdressers, when Stuart piped up, “Karen’ll do it for ya. She used to do mine.”
She nodded in agreement and before long I was making arrangements to go back around alone.
Peter and I announced our intention to leave, and when we stood, I noticed Stuart giving me a strange sort of smile.

The next time I saw them was a few days later. I’d been to the chemist, bought some hair dye, and headed out for my transformation.
Sitting on the sofa, and with Karen busy making a pot of tea in the kitchen, Stuart began talking to me in a way that left me feeling frightened and embarrassed.
He told me he’d noticed me looking up Karen’s skirt the last time I was there. I told him I wasn’t doing anything of the sort and he just laughed, “I really don’t blame you looking,” he said, “After all, she’s horny as hell aint she?”
Before I had a chance to answer the lounge door opened, there stood Karen. I could feel myself shaking and all of the recent past with Ropeman came flooding back. The fear I’d felt was suddenly very fresh in my young mind. Karen poured me a cuppa and told Stu to stop trying to embarrass me.
And then it started.
Karen sat beside me and offered a cigarette. When I reached for it, Stu told her not to give it to me, unless she had a “feel” first. It was all done in a very humorous way, but that didn't stop my fear from mounting. The same sickly feelings were resurfacing. I wanted to tell them both to **** off, run from their house and tell my parents everything, but I didn’t.
Instead I played along with the joke. Before I knew what was happening Karen’s hand was between my legs, she was squeezing me. I noticed Stu watching and realised he’d started to rub himself, and his grin made me shudder. It was the same disgusting expression I was trying so hard to forget; it was like seeing Ropeman’s grin plastered on Stuart’s face.
Karen finally removed her hand and gave me the cigarette. My nerves calmed a little, thinking the “joke” was over, when quick as a flash, Stu was kneeling between my legs. He asked me if I wanted to **** Karen.
I said nothing.

Stuart then explained that Karen had been told by the doctor it was only a matter of a year or so before she’d be confined to a wheelchair, due to an arthritic spine. He claimed the doctor suggested she be allowed to “enjoy herself” as much as possible before that time came.
He tugged at my wrist, encouraging me to the floor, and then forced Karen’s legs open, telling me to have a look, “Wouldn’t you just love to shove your d*** up there right now?”

I didn’t answer.

Karen was telling him to stop, but she was giggling as she said it, claiming to be embarrassed.

Stu didn't force me to have sex with Karen that day, but it ended with me putting myself away after he’d taken my young manhood into his mouth in an attempt to arouse me.
An hour later I was having my hair washed. Once the peroxide was rinsed away, and I'd wiped the surplus water from my eyes, Karen asked me for a kiss to say thank you. Before I could respond her mouth was connecting with mine.
I followed her back into the lounge feeling a bit disorientated. Stu immediately asked if she’d managed to scrounge a kiss. The smile on her face embarrassed me, but it answered his question. I wanted to leave, but I thought it rude, since Karen had just finished with my hair. I fidgeted, the knot in my stomach making it difficult to sit still. Before long, Stu had managed to shift the conversation; the subject naturally centred on sex. He asked me if I’d had a w**k before coming to their house. When I told him I hadn’t, he questioned me as to why I never got aroused earlier. Because you’re a disgusting man and I’m a kid was what I felt like shouting, but I didn’t answer.
Eventually, when I announced it was time for me to go home for tea, Karen asked if I’d be popping around to see them the next day. Once again, for reasons I do not understand to this day, why I said yes.





THE SECOND VISIT

I hadn’t made any arrangements for the following day, and as I took the short walk from my front door to Stuart and Karen’s house, the apprehension that swept over me was almost suffocating, as was the fear that violently churned in the pit of my stomach.
Sleep had, surprisingly, greeted me fairly quickly the night before; my mind had not yet fully digested what had happened. But as I neared the destination, inching my way forward, my head became awash with the frightening details of the encounters I'd had over the last couple of years.
The photo sessions with Ropeman, the sexual contact Stu had subjected me to; I began to wonder if it was all part and parcel of normal adult life. But mostly, I was scared of them. Afraid that if I didn't show up, one of them would say something to my parents about what had taken place. And truth be told, I was terrified. Stu frightened me more than anyone I'd ever met.
Karen opened the door and gave me a warm smile. It wasn’t the sickly smile of Ropeman, nor was it the twisted grin I’d seen on Stu’s face the previous day, but I still felt an almost irrepressible urge to smack the smile clean off her face. She was evil; not nearly as intimidating as Stu, but evil just the same.
I walked past her and strutted into the lounge, my blond spikes erupting from my skull in all their glory. “Alright Stu.” he looked up from his paper, his bright blue eyes seemed to sparkle, and for the first time I noticed just how scarred his face actually was.
Karen came up behind me, I felt her hand on my shoulder, and “Don't I get a kiss then"?
I didn’t know where to look, much less what to say. I’m not sure if it was visible, but my whole body felt as though it was physically shaking. I tried to make a joke of it and simply kissed her on the cheek, quickly rubbing my lips with the back of my hand and pretending to be sick, mimicking the actions of a four or five year old child.
After sitting on the sofa, I asked Stuart if it was okay to turn on the CB, which was on a small table between where I was sitting and his armchair. “Leave it off for the minute,” he replied, “maybe we’ll put it on after a cuppa.”
Before I could do or say anything else he told me to stand in front of him, telling me I was wearing my studded belt all wrong. I did as was asked, and he began rubbing my crutch.
Like the day before, he asked if I’d had a w**k before coming round. I nodded, hoping it would keep things from going further, but it just made him all the more eager to try and get me aroused. Karen, who was once again standing behind me, placed her hand on my bum. Within seconds her hand had moved down and was easing my legs apart from behind, moving ever closer to my testicles. Before I knew what was happening, Stu was massaging my penis with both hands.
“Surely you must be able to get an h**d on with a gorgeous woman like that standing behind you?”
He looked up at me with that all too familiar sickly smile I’d become so accustomed to, before shifting me around to face Karen. It was now her turn. The fear inside me was worse than ever, and I honestly thought I was going to die; my heart beating so fast I expected it to explode at any second.
Stuart stood up and started to push himself into my rear and I immediately felt his arousal. He instructed Karen to take me to the sofa, as he made his way over to the table by the bay windows.
“You two enjoy yourselves, an’ I’ll sit here, make sure no one looks in or anything.” He was still rubbing himself.
Karen sat on the sofa, parted her legs, and told me to kneel in front of her. And as repulsive as the idea was, my body betrayed me, and I became aroused.
After hitching her skirt up, she gave me instructions . . . but I couldn’t, instead I just knelt there, absolutely frozen. I guess Stuart was becoming impatient; he began making a joke of things as was his way, and came up behind me. He gave me a gentle shove in the hopes of my finding the unwanted destination eagerly awaiting me.

Eventually, the goal was indeed found.

I was thirteen by this time.

Once I had satisfied her, and the ordeal was over, Stuart abruptly told Karen to take me in the bathroom and give me a “wash”, saying that it was "important to keep clean."
Looking back, I fully understand the real reason for this. It was done to wash away the physical evidence.
After making sure I was thoroughly “clean,” Karen pushed me against the bathroom wall, and stared into my eyes, “Don’t lead me on will you. If you want it to stop don’t go and start seeing someone else behind my back, just tell me first,” she said, as if we were a couple of love struck teenagers, her eyes seemed to be lost in mine.
All I wanted at that moment was to get away from her, from them, but I was too scared to say so. I was so confused, so utterly befuddled. Why was this happening to me? Why couldn't I just tell them to **** off, and be done with it?
The sight of Stuart smiling once we made our way back into the front room only served to humiliate me further.

I truly wanted my life to end.





ONGOING EVENTS

After that incident, I should have run, hit the pavement and screamed from the rooftops. I should have told anyone willing to listen what they had done to me. Most especially my parents, I should have gone to them, but I couldn't help thinking that if no one believed me, it would only make things worse. I’d inevitably have to disclose the past events with Ropeman, and coupled with the way I’d been behaving over the last few years, I was sure I’d be looked upon as a fantasist; just another lie from the strange mind of Simon Palmer.
What's worse, I was utterly convinced if I continued to keep my silence, and refrained from going back to Stu and Karen’s, they would almost certainly come looking, and that thought terrified me most of all.
Apart from keeping all this to myself, I was confronted with another dilemma. What was I supposed to tell my friends? They were used to my being around and to suddenly disappear without a trace, how was I supposed to deal with that?
Confusion was rapidly seeping into my world; and combined with the fear which was paramount within me; my behaviour at home fell to an all time low, school remaining a complete non event. The truancy became so much of an issue that the authorities assigned me a social worker, who in turn, suggested my parents agree to me seeing a child psychologist.

Numerous opportunities to tell the official bodies presented themselves, but I steadfastly remained silent. The lies continued, and so did the abuse.
Peter Simpson, along with Mark Milner, two of the greatest friends anyone could have asked for, began to see less and less of me. On the rare occasion when I did see them, it felt like something had changed, like our friendship was over; we no longer had anything in common, or so it seemed.
Besides I didn't have time for them anymore, not really; Stu and Karen had taken over my life; and as soon as the day’s truancy was completed I headed straight for their house, but I truly missed hanging out with my mates.
I remember an occasion when Peter and I cycled to Mark’s, getting completely drenched in a heavy downpour of rain. As always, upon arriving, his mother Doreen welcomed us as if we were her own, slaving over a stove to cook a piping hot meal. Not because she felt obliged to, it was just the way things had always been between us. There were many other occasions when I’d bound into the kitchen and tell my mum that Mark was staying for Sunday lunch, “Ok, but if he don’t wash his hands he’ll be eating bread an’ drippin',” she'd say. Mark and Peter were almost family, and I missed them with all my heart, but mostly I missed being a boy.
As the weeks turned to months, my daily visits became nothing more than routine, as did the abuse, which was happening on an equally regular basis.
Stuart had gradually become physically more and more involved, and even made some security measures; doctoring the front gate so we’d hear their son Julian if he happened to arrive home earlier than expected.
It was not uncommon for Stuart to be the one to start the touching and kissing, and when it came to other “oral activities” he was always more than eager to get the ball rolling, often leaving Karen on the sidelines to watch.
I remember the suppressed anger bubbling away inside me, the same anger which dwells within me today, like a wild animal tearing at the ground beneath the bars of a cage, desperately trying to free itself from the boundaries of confinement.
It was a totally different and more intense form of abuse, far removed from the scenarios Ropeman subjected me to. I felt deeply afraid of Stuart and what he might do if I were to refuse them. As well as being a monster, Stu was clever, and he was by all accounts a master manipulator. I’d often been told stories of how he’d beaten, even killed people while allegedly serving in the army. And from the looks of him, it was easy to picture him doing it. Sometimes I even imagined him beating me to a bloody pulp.

It was clear he had no conscience, and I was only as safe as I was useful. As long as I continued to perform, all was well. After all, Simon was Stuart's favourite plaything, a toy, one with a very specific purpose.
One evening, in the early part of 1983, I was struck with a sudden wave of bravery. On impulse, I decided against showing up at their house, instead walking about two or three miles in no particular direction. It was exhilarating; I hadn't had any "Simon time," for ages. For those fleeting hours, I had my freedom back. It even felt as though my mind was becoming clearer, the confusion lifting temporarily as I bumbled about aimlessly. And to some degree, there was a certain amount of pride simmering below the surface of my newly found sense of well-being.
I was at last standing up to him, up to them. And boy was I going to regret it.
It must have been at least eleven o’clock as I rounded the corner and heard my name being called. Half expecting to see my father, I turned, my stomach dropped. My worst fears were now confirmed, they were standing in the shadows, just out of view from my house. Although I had always suspected they would come for me, I was taken off guard by how brash they were about it. In front of my home, my family just yards away, there they were, both of their faces filled with so much rage, I honestly thought that I was about to get a bloody good hiding.
"Where've you been then?"
Without thinking, I lied, telling them my cousin had just dropped me off down the road, explaining he’d come over earlier and taken me for a spin in his car.
Stuart was having none of it; he was convinced I’d been with a girl and that I was taking the **** out of him.
Desperate not to be discovered by any family members, and scared of being beaten to death, I told them I needed to get indoors, otherwise my father would soon be looking for me, adding that I'd come around straight after school (truanting). Stuart shot me a look, one that indicated I’d better be there or else.
I gave him my word, promising faithfully to come around, before I stammered away, my legs wobbly and weak from the confrontation.
At a quarter to four the following day I was absolutely terrified, to the point of nausea, sure I was going to be sick at any moment. The front door opened before my hand even managed to reach for the brass door knocker. Karen was standing in front of me, “You made it then. Come on, in you come.”
Country and western music was playing and I could hear Stuart trying his best to sing along, and failing miserably. Walking as slowly as I possibly could, I entered the lounge. To my surprise the greeting was by no means what I’d expected. A can of lager was shoved into my hand and Karen told me to help myself to a ***. Far from the bollocking I was expecting, they were treating me as if it were my birthday, and I thought the evening might turn out okay for a change.
After some heavy drinking, Stuart asked me why I had chosen to stay away the night before, “I can’t believe you’d rather spend the night with yer cousin than to be cocking Karen.”

He gestured me over, “Let’s see if I can’t get yer going.”
Yet again I found myself standing in front of his armchair, not knowing where to look as he rubbed my penis through the fabric of my jeans. Karen was sprawled on the sofa, her legs apart and touching herself; looking at me as she did so.
After what seemed like hours, I was told to sit at the table and “get myself out”. Stu was kneeling on the floor in front of Karen by this time and they had sex right there in front of me.
I was fourteen years old.
When they had finished I was ordered, literally, to give Karen oral satisfaction, and Stuart got on his knees beside me, aiming a torch between her legs, making sure it was done properly.





BACK TO SCHOOL

Following a court case at Camberwell Juvenile Court for truanting, the judge informed me, along with my parents, that if I persisted with my refusal to attend school, then he’d have no hesitation in placing me in an assessment centre, at which time my fate would be decided. He added that a boarding school would not be ruled out of the equation.
My parents were far from happy; apart from the fact their daughters were not nearly the burden I was proving to be. Neither of them had ever been inside a courtroom in their lives, and I had brought shame and embarrassment crashing down on their shoulders, as well as my own.
In fact, they’d gone so far as to pay a visit to Stuart and Karen, hoping they could throw some light on why I was behaving in such an unacceptable manner. My parents were under the impression my afternoon visits were with Julian, Stuart and Karen's son. They were attempting to reach out to fellow parents for help, desperate to figure out the cause of my behaviour. If only they knew, but they didn't . . . I made very sure of that.

Being as frightened of going “away,” as disclosing my secrets, I reluctantly began to attend school. It wasn’t too bad settling back into the mundane regime of the education system, but although I was in attendance every day, it didn’t stop me from being as disruptive as ever. Due to the disruption I was causing, and coupled with the amount of learning I’d missed out on, a lot of the teachers were reluctant to have me included within the class. A relatively new member of the teaching team was a Mr. Jenkins; he ran the remedial classes, which is where I was sent during the periods of exclusion from some of my lessons.
In the beginning my attitude towards Jenkins was no different to any of the other teachers, but that soon changed. He was an exceptionally good man, who treated me like a human being, and I respected him, my admiration growing as the time we spent together increased. We’d sit and debate almost everything; he'd try to warn me about the complexities of life, things which I would inevitably have to face. But he was not condescending about it, asking for my opinions, rather than telling me his. In effect, Mr. Jenkins treated me as an equal.
I'm not sure what the man saw in me, but I'm certain he didn't see me as the rogue others portrayed me to be. I was born of my circumstances; forces beyond my control had created me.
He was one of the few people who could see through my armour, and it was nice to view myself through his eyes. Moreover, for this reason alone, whenever I think back to my brief times in his presence, I have nothing but admiration for him.





A TRIP TO THE SEASIDE

I was desperate to get a tattoo, it became an obsession, but even creatures like Stuart and Karen were not very forthcoming in helping me achieve this goal.
It occurred to me, there was another creature in my life, one I hadn't seen in some time, and I didn't relish seeing him again, not by any means, but I was determined, and as far as I was concerned, he owed me.
I instinctively knew if I hung around long enough it would only be a matter of time before I came face to face with the man who had already played a big part in ******* my life up.
And just as expected, it only took twenty minutes of patience before I spied the chubby ***** walking towards his car.
“Hello Sir,” I called. The sickly smile I was accustomed to Stuart wearing now, suddenly returned to the face of its original master.
“Hello stranger, how the devil are you?” he seemed genuinely pleased to see me.
“Yeah, I’m cool ta.”
“Haven’t seen you for ages, how’s it all going?” he asked.

I dangled the carrot.
“School’s ****, they stopped the band ‘cause of me makin’ trouble all the time.”
A look of dissatisfaction replaced his grin, but before he had a chance to comment, I continued my campaign on behalf of the body art I so desperately craved.
“I, I was err, wondering if you wanted to do some more photos?”





SELLING MY SOUL

The last thing I had expected was to put myself in yet another precarious position. But I wasn't a young lad anymore, I was now close to Ropeman in size, and he was far too physically unfit to actually threaten me.
Besides, in my mind, I was a thug, a real tough guy, so I hadn't counted on reverting back to being a ten year old in his presence, but that's exactly what happened. Insecurities flooded my mind as the memories mercilessly taunted me. It was almost impossible for me to look at the man's face; but the die had been cast.
And for some reason, I couldn't bring myself to call it off. It seems incomprehensible now, but I still wanted that damn tattoo, eventually selling my soul to the devil to get it.

The events resulting from my actions that day are among my most difficult memories to deal with. For the large part because it was my own doing, I have no excuses, and I could not offer up an explanation if I tried.

I instigated it, and that shame will follow me to the grave.
There are times when my heart is riddled with hatred and utter contempt, when I want to strike out and get my revenge. I crave that retribution, and pity myself for the lack thereof. But there have also been many dark, very drunken nights when I detest the face staring back at me from the mirror, knowing, that at least in my view, the reflection is not completely innocent.





THE MOUSETRAP

The look on Ropeman’s face was one of utter surprise, but I could see he was eager to take me up on my offer, and so I jumped straight in with my request, “I don’t s’pose you know where I might be able to get a tattoo done do ya?”
"Nah wouldn't have the foggiest," his response was immediate. Knowing he was suspicious, I shrugged and turned to walk away.
"Wait!"
I hesitated before facing him again, already thinking better of my proposal. My jaws tensed, and it took a conscious effort to keep from clenching my fists. Maybe it was the slightly frantic tone in his voice, I was reacting to?
He was sick a bastard.
"Yeah?"
"Meet me outside the swimming baths."
He must have picked up on my hesitance, I was having second thoughts.
"I'll make some inquiries," he said, his turn to dangle the carrot.

After making the arrangements, I set out for my usual appointment.
When I arrived, Karen was alone. My encounter with Ropeman still fresh in mind, this was the last thing I needed.
As afraid as I was of Stuart, the thought of being alone with her made me shudder, literally. Although thankfully, our being together without Stuart around was a rare occurrence, but her demeanour changed dramatically when it did happen. It was as if she thought of me as her lover, as if I were deriving just as much pleasure from the arrangement.
Sometimes I wondered if she realized that from my perspective it was a chore, a repulsive one at that. There was nothing about her I felt attracted to. I just did what I was told, functioning like a machine, somehow detaching myself from reality; completely unaware that their perversions would pollute the very essence of my being. She was my capture, and if I felt anything for her at all, it certainly wasn't love.

"Stuart wants us to meet him at the park," she announced, her face bitter with resentment, but it was music to my ears. I would have been happy if she were delivering me to the devil himself, anything was better than being stuck alone in the house with her.
As we made our way towards the park where Stuart gardened, I casually mentioned it would be difficult for me to visit on Sunday, claiming relatives were invited for dinner. She wasn't pleased by any means, but agreed to square it with Stu.

The rest of the way I spoke mainly about what it was going to be like when I became a famous punk star. Anyone passing by would never have guessed that Karen was party to sexually abusing me. I could have easily been her son.
She kept her word, and Stuart agreed to give me the day off. Ironically, I was actually looking forward to seeing Ropeman. My encounters with Stuart and Karen were becoming increasingly depraved, and I would recently begin to wonder if Stuart sensed that his wife's interest in me was not purely sexual.
Given the complexities at play in my young life, I reasoned Ropeman wasn't much of a threat after all. Another photo shoot was the least of my concerns.

"Alright fella?" he asked as I slid into the front seat and fastened my safety belt. His smile seemed almost natural, as if he was genuinely pleased to see me.
As we headed towards the High Street, Ropeman mentioned he’d found a studio that might be willing to do the work on me, but it was in Southend on Sea. I told him time wasn’t a problem; it didn’t matter how far away it was.

And so the journey began.

I was still in a very young and impressionable stage of life, probably more so due to the abuse. It was, looking back; extremely naïve of me to believe there would be anyone stupid enough to put their livelihood on the line by tattooing a minor. But I did believe it and
Ropeman knew that.

An awful lot of the outward journey is locked away, and try as I might, I cannot recall what the two of us spoke about. I’m assuming it’s locked away due to its total insignificance, devoured by the haunting memories of the homeward bound drive.
As the car came to a halt on the seafront, Ropeman thrust a ten pound note into my hand, telling me the three pounds I’d brought was by no means enough.
It was planned, once I had finished at the studio, I was to hang around the entrance to the pier. This is where Ropeman would catch up with me.

My adrenaline pumping I made my way along the esplanade, visions of body art fuelling my excitement. After climbing a few steps, my hand grasped the door handle and I thrust myself into the unknown, expecting to be confronted by a motley crew of heavily tattooed biker types.
But the shop was empty.
Seeing another doorway at the far end of the shop, I pigeon stepped towards it, stopping briefly to look at the pictures adorning the walls of what appeared to be a waiting room. I was suddenly startled by a menacing looking man sporting a ZZ Top style beard. It was apparent from the expression on the guy’s face that my wishful thinking was in no way going to be honoured. I didn't even bother asking, lying instead by claiming my brother had sent me down with a price enquiry.
“How much for a small eagle?” I asked to make my claim appear legitimate.
“Bout twenty five quid," he said, his stare unwavering as I sheepishly tried to keep my eyes locked to his.

Spinning on my heels, I exited the shop as quickly as my legs would carry me, fearing the man would surely eat me alive at any moment.
It was only a matter of minutes before I found myself waiting for Ropeman to appear at the designated spot, and as if by some strange form of magic, he seemed to pop up from nowhere.
“How’d you get on?” he enquired.
Keeping the truth to myself, I claimed that a biker bloke told me I was too young and threw me out. It was clear by the look on Ropeman’s face he was fully expecting me to say something along those lines.
“Tell you what Si, how’d you fancy taking a look at the fairground? We may as well make the journey a bit more worthwhile for you.”
I jumped at the suggestion, a fresh wave of adrenaline coursing through my veins, “Yeah, cool!”
We silently walked along the promenade and all manner of questions were flitting around inside my head. How could this man have possibly meant to cause me so much pain? Why did I fear him so much? Perhaps what he’s said and done to me was just his way of being nice. Maybe it was just the way adults did things? After all, Stuart and Karen were doing far worse than this man had ever done. I was so lost within my thoughts it took Ropeman several attempts to bring me back to Earth. “Simon. Si’, are you alright?”
“Oh, err, yeah. Sorry, I was miles away.”

Once inside the amusement park I made a bee line for the Mouse Trap, a rickety old rollercoaster, and I’m sure Ropeman had to break into a trot to keep up with me.
Anyone who happened to pay us even the slightest of a sideways glance would have surely thought we were father and son, enjoying a grand day out.
Ropeman sat behind me in the brightly coloured car made to look like a mouse.
He laughed.
And I screamed, having more fun than I'd had in ages.
The pain this man had caused me, the pain which was presently being intensified by Stuart and Karen was for the moment gone. I was happy, genuinely thrilled to be alive.
And I liked him.
He’d turned out to be a good man after all, not the monster I once imagined him to be.

He was indeed a good man, I think.





MY WORLD CAME TUMBLING DOWN (AGAIN)

For a fleeting moment I felt alive, and strangely hopeful, somehow managing to surface from the murky abyss I had come to know as my existence. The sensation of feeling carefree was foreign to me; in fact, feeling any emotion was a rarity. With exception to the rage which seemed to be an almost constant companion, as much a part of me now as my own shadow.
Ropeman had not even mentioned the photo shoot, which only added to my euphoric stupor. But letting down my guard always had its consequences, and as it turned out, this day would not prove to be an exception.
Feeling at ease, and having somehow bonded with my molester, I thought about breaking my silence. The situation with Stuart and Karen was unbearable. It was an absolute nightmare; I was filled with shame and ready to reach out for help. Why I would choose this man to confide in is beyond me, but I suppose it's just another example of what a truly damaged young man I was.
Being naïve I actually believed he could be of help. After all, he was a teacher, a well respected member of the community. He could certainly give me some guidance in the matter?
I didn't get a chance to voice my misguided plea for help. Once again, he tore my world apart, pushing me even closer to the end of my tether when he began bombarding me with questions; inquiries which not only made me uncomfortable, but embarrassed me terribly.
“Have you got a girlfriend yet?” he asked.
"Yeah," I lied.
"What's her name?"
Already expecting him to ask, I blurted a made up name, “Debbie, Debbie Kent.”
"Have you had her yet?" I didn't know what he meant and told him so.
"Has she let you **** her yet?" The fear suddenly erupted, exploding from the top of my head. I couldn't even put the words together to respond.
"She must have let you touch her?"
"Yeah . . . yeah course she has!” The silence in the car was deafening. I could hear nothing but my heart beat.
"Have you seen inside her knickers?”

In hindsight, it’s clear he was probing my sexual awareness, trying to get a gage on how sexually experienced I had become; but my youth combined with a complete lack of understanding blinded me from recognizing the manipulation for what it was.

The subject of my imaginary girlfriend was dropped, and the rest of the trip back to London was one of few words. Focusing all my attention on passing images, I tried to ignore his presence, only honouring him with an occasional one word response.
Once the car came to a halt a few hundred yards from my front door, I relaxed, somewhat, but there was something on his mind, so letting down my guard was out of the question.
“Here we are then, back all safe and sound,” he said, the tone of his voice artificially kind.
“Cheers for takin’ me.”
“The pleasure was all mine, I’m only sorry it didn’t turn out better for you.”
I unclipped my safety belt and tried hard not to look at him, “Don’t matter, s’pose I’ll get one done somewhere else.”
Ropeman was shifting in his seat, tapping a tuneless rhythm on the steering wheel.
Before I could make an escape, he said, "Listen, before you go, did you; I mean were you serious the other day?”
Now it was my turn to shift uncomfortably, “what about? D’you mean the tattoo?”
I tried to play dumb, knowing what was coming next, or at least that's what I thought.
“No, no I know you want one, no I, I meant about doing some more pics?”
Before I had a chance to answer he hit me with both barrels.
“I know this bloke who, well he publishes photographs in a magazine, and I, well, I just wondered if you fancied making a bit of extra cash?”
“What, what sort of photos? You mean like last time?”
“Well, yeah, sort of. We’d probably have to jazz them up a bit. I could get you about twenty quid a time out of it.”
“Yeah, alright then,” I answered, ignoring the "cat that got the cream," expression crossing over his flushed face.
“Ok, if you’re sure?”
I nodded, and made a clumsy exit from the confined space.
We arranged for me to wag off school the following Tuesday.

SyeP SyeP
41-45, M
1 Response Jan 13, 2013

I see that this was your last "ENTRY";any reason why it's been 2 an half years?? Like to know how your doing and if you have been to see your MOM & DAD?? JOHN B.