The Story of John and Jane

Here's something written many moons ago. It was meant to be a song, explaining the rhythm.

John had a nice new Maxima. He had tact but a few social issues. Jane was a school girl. She did the right thing. She had glasses and liked fashion, but not too much. She was always studying while John was out partying. Then high school comes to an end, and one gets a job, one goes to school. One loses a friend and the other a relationship. The partying is over and now he's a cashier. High school is over and now she's doing her thing in college.

No more friends, just a friend to work, he daydreams of the past and what the present could be like. He's almost to the point where he's had enough, until, until one day she crosses his path. He rings her up, and it slows like a waltz for a moment. And their eyes dance together and they turn into spotlights. John tries to smile but his jaw is to the floor, and Jane bats her eyelashes and gives a disconcerting look. He gives her the receipt, "JOHN has served you today." She goes on her merry way, and for many months he thinks of her, but the memory fades.

And by December 12th, 2002, Jane's made a new friend, a girl named [mute]. The same girl 6 months to the day whose kinship with John had been lost. John parks his now old car in the garage and Jane has faded from his memory. He kills time and boredom by looking at the brake light's reflection on the garage door through the rear-view mirror. The reflection's bright red through a filter of fumes. He puts on his favorite song. He rolls down the window. There's a recent picture and a letter in the passenger's seat.

The next day the girls are at breakfast together enjoying their winter break. Jane thinks of the time she spent with her ex a year ago to the day. She tries to suppress the thought. She picks up thelocal newspaper. She flips through and in it is a photograph, printed just like the family who found it requested it to be.

Jane shows her new friend. "This guy killed himself. He looks familiar, but I don't remember."

And the girl named [mute] says, "Oh, yeah? I didn't know him..."

Jane jokes, "Oh, he's so cute. I would've fucked him," and turns the page.

Jane's new acquaintance holds a deep secret. She recognized the picture immediately but tried to hide her feelings. She ran to the bathroom holding her face after Jane turned the page and was followed. Her eyes still shining and cloudy from sobbing.

"What's wrong?"

"That boy, 6 months ago..." She told her they spiraled out of control. Their affinity played as a chess match with pawns played by well-hidden longing. For him, the need for acceptance, the pressure to fit in, the tension of friendship led him to some bad decisions. "I loved him, but I left him before I became second to a substance." But it was never that bad before she left him.

Things get a little silent and it's time for Jane thinks of heading home. Her friend [mute] mentions she still has some pictures and old love letters. So they park, and walk, reach her room and lock the door. Open the closet and take out a box full of papers, pictures, trinkets and tiny figures.

After shuffling through the photographs the reality dawns. Jane notices him as John. Distraught, confused, and weeping, she says, "I knew him, I knew him. Can I borrow a few pictures, some letters to read?"

"Take them all, just treat them with caution," [mute] says to put her mind at ease.

Jane drives home and runs to her room. She pulls a paper from her drawer, and puts John's picture right next to the receipt that marks the day that they met. The day she met the boy she couldn't evict from her head. The day after her close friend had left.

Things start to change. Jane and her now old friend are barely on speaking terms. Things are going well, she has a new car, those it's old, and no Toyota. Over only a few months, Jane falls in love again, lassoed by the rope of cliche words and poems John wrote. They were trite and stupid yet fascinating and human, and sounded like all she felt for him, before she had forgotten.

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