I was known as quite the shy introvert back then. You know the type – always sitting at the back, barely able to get out a boo, the loner type who stuck to herself and preferred to prowl the school halls alone. So not many of my friends, or even family, knew that I had a thing for females. Back in the day, experimenting and ahhh ‘getting down’ with females was sort of like a hobby to me. And I’m not gonna lie, it was a hobby I enjoyed immensely. I can count on two hands the number of females I’ve hopped into bed with, and have no fingers left over. That’s just how I use to roll back in the old days.
When I think about it, it had nothing to do with being fiddled with when I was younger (another story for another day) nor was it some kind of sinister hatred against men. To put it bluntly, I just found the female form more attractive than a male’s. Even now, when I see a beautiful woman walk by, I’m more likely to be staring along with my man rather than slapping him on the back of the head. I hold fond memories of these years, even though this phase was probably the most craziest period of my entire life.
Anyway, this post is all about my first girlfriend, and her name was KC.
For those who didn’t know, there was a time back then where I considered myself a hearty cow cocky. I started my farming career in a small rural town called Ngakuru, and this is where I met KC. Every Friday, our Agriculture Course met up in a small building near our farming quarters for units and assignments. On one of these days, it was lunch break, and I went doodling to a nearby shop alone, mainly because I was hungry, and mainly because, of all the guys on my farming course, I didn’t get on with a single one of them. I sat in the takeaway store, waiting for fish and chips and pretending to text someone on my phone, when I heard a voice say, “Is this yours aye?”
I looked up and KC stood before me. The first thing I remember thinking was that that soft, melodic tone of a voice didn’t seem to suit the person it belonged to. The second thing I noticed was the chinese symbols tattooed on her wrists and the multiple piercings she had embedded in her lips, chin, her cheeks and all up her ear lobes. And the third thing I noticed was that, despite the fact that she looked for all the world like a child that belonged to Ozzy Osbourne, she was very attractive. Maybe a bit too slim, though. Jet black hair that was mainly slicked to one side, fair skin and deep green eyes that seemed haunted and dark, despite the friendliness in there. I’d seen that look before. Ages ago. It was the look I use to see every time I looked into the mirror. Dead eyes. Eyes looking for a way out because life, this life, was just too hard to hold onto.
She held a crumpled twenty-dollar in her hand. Someone must have dropped it on the concrete outside. I shook my head and remember saying to her “your shout?” to which she threw back her head and laughed. She placed an order, sat down opposite me, and began talking. Which was kind of embarrassing, as being partially deaf, and not having my ears on me meant I could barely hear what she was saying.
“Oh shit sorry,” she said, practically yelling it out when I told her about my hearing issues. Then she said, just as loud “I have borderline disorder, so we’re even huh?” And I remember thinking to myself how is it that you compare borderline disorders to being deaf? I didn’t say it out loud though, only because the ching behind the counter was staring at us oddly, as if we were two aliens from another planet.
She paid for my fish and chips with the lost and found twenty-dollar note, and we swapped numbers. I waltzed back into class where the boys were having a debate about heifer cows and how to best avoid being kicked. I hadn’t even sat down when my phone went off. I jabbed the message button. It was KC. Just a simple ‘BOO.’ I remember smiling to myself, and texting her back a quick ‘Who?’
And that was the start of it. We spent a whole week sending messages back and forth. They started out innocent at first, then quickly escalated into saucy messages filled with sexual suggestions that would have me blushing scarlet red. It was kind of exhilarating for me because, even though I’d had plenty of one-night stands with women, they were mostly always drunken trysts that were never talked about again. But here was one chick who was chasing me down and seemed intent on getting it on with me, drunk or not. I knew, right from the start, that the girl was trouble. Sometimes her messages veered on the edge of plain crazy. I remember her begging me to stay up and text her one night, even though I was hell tired and had to get up in two more hours to milk cows.
‘I feel like I’ve known you my all my life. Don’t go to bed yet. Stay with me. Please, stay with me.’
I picked her up the following week, and took her down to the lakefront. I’m not gonna even be evasive about it, either. She knew what she was doing when we eventually got it on.
We lasted for almost a year. As the months passed, I got to know her more and realised that she was, as I’d first suspected, very suicidal indeed. She had jagged scars up her arms from where she’d cut herself up. One night, we were parked outside the lake front. The rain was pounding down hard. The windows were all fogged up, and we just sat there puffing on a joint when suddenly, she was grabbing me by the hand, and asking me if I wanted to go ‘home’ with her. I knew what she was on about, but pulled my hand away and tried to laugh it off. She then jumped out of the car and I remember watching in horror as her skinny little white form drifted towards the water. I jumped out and, while the rain was pounding us both, struggled to hold her back when she would heedlessly throw herself in the water. I yanked at her arm, yelled at her, slapped her face a couple of times, and in the end, just held her as she collapsed in my arms and cried.
She wanted to die. She’d said it enough times before, but it was only on that rainy night when I realised just how much. She wasn’t just talking crap. She was dead serious.
To be honest, dealing with her was very emotionally draining. I tried so hard to help her turn her life around. Her father sexually abused her constantly when she was a little girl, and her mother sent her to her uncles here in Perth – because she didn’t believe her own daughter. I told KC her mother was an idiot and I was constantly at her to report her bastard of a father. I encouraged her to jump on my farming course when she expressed an interest in it. I told her that she was beautiful because, when she wasn’t acting all crazy and hyper, she was. I tried with her, I really did, but it was like talking to a brick wall. I’d been there and done that, so what did I expect? Seriously…how do you talk to someone like that? What would I have said to my younger self when I was going through all that shit that could have lifted me out of that buzz? What are you meant to say to people these days, people that can’t handle life and feel like they don’t deserve to be here? Back then, when I had KC in my life, I was at a loss as to what to do to help her. Because the truth was, I didn’t know how to help her anymore than I knew how to help myself.
In the end, I had to pull myself away from her. It was either that – or go down with her, and I wasn’t ready to go down. But I did manage to pull myself up again. There are days when that same old depression comes creeping up on me, but the suicidal buzz – that’s long gone. I’m strong enough to deal with it now, and I say that with absolute conviction. As for KC, I heard, through an old friend of mine that she finally got her wish. She died sometime in 2011. She would have been 27 that year. I’m not sure exactly how she died, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it was by her own hand. Of course, there’s that part of me that accepts some of the guilt. I could have done more to help her. But I can confidently say that the guilt is only minimal now. Because if there’s one thing I’ve realised in this life, it’s that you just can’t help people who can’t help themselves. No matter how hard you try.
The world can be a cold, harsh place to some, but I’m living proof that it can – and it does get better. The main regret I have when it comes to my friend – and to all the people out there who have succeeded in taking their own life – is that they didn’t live long enough to realise just how beautiful life can be. All you have to do is hang on to it. Firmly and tightly and with both hands.
I think about her now and then, even though I am a hell of a lot more settled now than what I was then. I believe KC was bought to me as a lesson, you know, and may have even been partly responsible for the deep changes that I underwent after associating with her, because there is nothing more frightening than seeing someone so very much like you. It forces you to face the mirror, to face your own truth, and this is what she made me do. This is probably going to be a selfish thing to say, but I totally believe that, wherever she is now, she is probably far better off. I say that because some people are just too good for this world that can, at times, show you no mercy.
I don’t believe in suicide. But I do believe that KC is in a better place, even if she did die by her own hand. Make of that what you will, but this is my opinion that I’m gonna hold, no matter what anybody says. So…from me to a very dear friend – I just want to say R.I.P beautiful girl. I wish I had the chance to speak with you before you passed on. I wish I could have known what to say or do that could have helped ease, or even erase all your pain. But…it all worked out for you in the end, didn’t it? No more heavy burdens on your shoulders. In the end, you got your wish to be free …