After writing about the night in question a lot of your comments helped convince me to maybe see what Tommy is doing, maybe reminisce a little bit, talk about the old times….and maybe the creature. For all I know the creature was put out of his mind and I’d be happy for it, but I needed to ask the questions I was afraid to ask; Did he ever see it again? Did he ever think about it? Was it all a bad dream? I spoke to my Wife about what I should do and she convinced me that seeing this thing through might be for the best, at the very least I should check up on him and see where it leads. She’s beyond understanding and I couldn’t go through this without her.
The last I heard he had moved downtown with his girlfriend. I didn’t have his number or address or anything like that, in truth we weren’t even acquaintances anymore; I didn’t even have him on Facebook. He got really weird after high school, big into drugs and became a bit of a recluse. So after sitting on it for a bit I thought maybe the best way to get a hold of him was to go through his Mom.
His Mom and I were close (as childhood friends and their parents usually are), when you grow up spending every weekend or even the occasional weekday dinner at their house, you naturally get close. Tommy’s Mom worked at Home Depot, my Wife & I had run into her a few years ago and had some simple chit chat – this is where I learnt about where Tommy…err “Tom” was now. I often forget that the names we call each other when we’re younger usually fade away when we grow up. Hearing his Mom call him “Tom” was a sad awakening to the amount of time that had passed since I last spoken to him.
She told me about what was going on in his life, how he didn’t talk to them much anymore, that he’d shied away from being as outgoing and social as he was when we were younger and I appreciated her talking about him, at that time I remember not being concerned with the fact that Tommy had changed because, well, people change. But this was years ago, he may not even be living in the Country anymore, let alone still downtown with his Girlfriend.
So yesterday after work I stopped by Home Depot in hopes that she was working; I think part of me hoped that she wasn’t working. I know this sound shitty of me, but put yourself in my shoes. This way I could use it as an excuse to myself….tell myself that I tried, and just go back home and forget this whole thing ever happened.
Sadly she was working.
When I approached her I knew something was immediately wrong. We had known each other for over 15 years and every time I had seen her in those 15 years I was greeted with a hug, a smile or at least a polite nod but today all I saw on her face was immense sadness.
I don’t want to go through the exact scene play by play….I’m going to get straight to the point.
Tom is dead. He passed away early this year….we’re talking months ago.
I don’t have details on how he died, I didn’t ask for obvious reasons. I didn’t do her the injustice of rushing her through her grief to fulfill my questions. Regardless of the fact that Tom and I hadn’t spoken in years, he was still my best friend for a good portion of my life, some would say the most important years of my life. I may be married now and have moved on with my life but I can’t help but feel that I left Tommy behind, that I ran away and he got was left to deal with his own pain by himself.
She took her dinner break we sat in the parking lot talking about Tommy and how amazing he was. I apologized about not being to the funeral explaining that I wasn’t aware and that I had no idea and she just kindly brushed it off, telling me that they didn’t hold a big ceremony, just the family and his girlfriend he had been living with attended.
I still felt awful for not going regardless of her exoneration for not attending. I think I ended up apologizing for a lot, I just remember saying, “I’m so sorry, I’m sorry,” after everything she said. I’m sure to her it was annoying but to me it was just my immense guilt seeping out.
We sat in silence a long time after before she had to get back to work. She asked me to come by the house more often as Tommy’s Dad would like to see me to catch up as well. She said she didn’t know why Tom and I stopped talking all those years ago but she wanted to catch up and have it like old times. I promised her I would stop by and catch up….and that was it.
She left and I just sat in my car for a long while.
Now I want to talk about the part that is really bothering me.
How all this started…
…and why this all came out now of all times…why I wrote my first memory in the first place and what’s going on in my life and what happened that night at the cottage.
See: there was no reason for me to drudge up the past, I’m happily married now, fulfilled at work and I experience nothing but joy here in my own little world. Why bring up something, post it online & stir up all this mess?
I had suppressed this memory of the cottage and Tommy and I was happier for it.
Until last month.
When I started having these dreams….really vivid dreams…
You can even see I posted about the first dream I had; the night my Grandfather passed away back in February.
You can read it and see for yourself.
After that dream I started remembering what happened at the cottage and what happened to Tommy & myself because…..
…because I started seeing the creature again.