I was all business now, ready to tackle my past with my sweatpants and an old t-shirt. My hair was swept up into a messy bun on the top of my head. I walked with purpose to my stash of journals and whipped open the ottoman. The journals stared up at me. I hesitated. I was so gung-ho just moments before but now I paused. Do I really want to know? Yes, yes I do. I was sick of others knowing about what happened to me.
I bent down and pulled a stack of journals that started with ones I know were the ones I last wrote in ten years ago and tossed them onto my bed. I sat down next to them and stared back.
I took a deep breath and picked up Jennifer from ten years ago and began to read.
November 15, 2006
Why cannot I save money for that pair of Uggs already!? I was so close then I got distracted by Ben and bought way too many drinks, now I’m back to zero saved. Friggin Ben.
December 26, 2006
I GOT THE UGGS! My mom got them for me!
February 2, 2007
I think something is up with Ben, he’s acting weird. We went from talking all the time to him barely IMing me back. Should I be worried?
February 15, 2007
Ben was sooooo sweet for V-day! He got me roses and took me out to an amazing restaurant. We both got steak. The mashed potatoes were to die for. I hope we go there again. Can’t talk too much now, will fill you in more with details later.
February 20, 2007
Ben is an asshole. We hate him now with. That fucker led me on to believe we had a future on V-day, and now he’s telling me we aren’t even exclusive!? I just happened to be the lucky one who got him on V-day, while SHE got him the day before. Who the fuck is Emma!? I didn’t even like Ben that much, but still, he … ug.. That fucker… I can’t even right now.
February 25, 2007
After some online stalking I managed to figure out who the hell Emma is. Its he-who-shall-not-be-named’s high school girlfriend. Apparently they saw each other when he went back home for the holidays and ‘reconnected’.
That fucking bastard. He wasn’t even that good in bed, why did I waste so much time on him? I’ve been asked out by other guys you know, right? But noooooo, I just had to have that jerk. That’s it not wasting anymore time on him, not going to think about him anymore.
March 1, 2007
He called me.
I may have agreed to see him.
What is wrong with me? Here is what I wished I had said. “Go to hell, you fucking asshole! I committed to you and you said you committed to me but you lied. Don’t speak to me ever again, have a nice life with your EMMA.” then I’d angrily slam the phone down because in my head I’m using an old rotary phone that you actually have to slam down to hang up.
What I actually said however was, “Oh hi, Ben. Yeah, I guess we can meet up and talk.” I’m such a chicken shit.
March 2, 2007
I saw him. Apparently he misses me. I have to say I miss him too. What is wrong with me? Why did I say that to him? Why did I say I’d give him another chance? I kinda hate myself right now.
March 4, 2007
Nope, I’m officially done with that douchebag.
Yup, nope, it’s over. He missed me, but didn’t bother to tell Emma that he and I were going out again. What a fucktard.
I said something to him like, “It’s nice to be back together with you.” which would imply that we were in fact dating again, like boyfriend and girlfriend. His response?! “Oh well, we aren’t exclusive, we discussed this.”
WE FUCKING DISCUSSED THIS?!
When the fuck did we did discuss this you may ask?
Oh back after Valentine’s day when I found out I was no longer the only one. You’d think he knew how bad of a reaction I had last time for him to think I’d be anywhere cool with not being exclusive.
I really wish I had a drink in my hand to throw in his face, or done something super dramatic like kick him in the balls. Instead I just walked out. Please don’t let him convince me to get back with him.
I seconded the thought of past me, that I wish I had kicked him in the balls. And when I just saw him he acted like nothing ever happened. I remember Ben, since in my memories that I still had, I was still dating him. No wonder Innanna said he was no good.
Maybe I should show up at his ‘fixed gear cycle shop’ and kick him in the balls, I feel like I could get Eloise on board to help me. She seemed like the type to have kicked some balls in her day.
I couldn’t read Jennifer anymore, I was too angry. No, actually, I was pissed. I knew it technically happened nearly ten years ago, but the wounds were fresh especially since I literally just saw him. Was he there hoping to see me? Was it just coincidence that he was there? Did he Facebook stalk me and realize I may not remember the break up? Why would he even want to when it’s been ten years?
I trusted him, how could he put me through that!? I wish I had at least dumped him in some sort of epic fashion. Why did I have to be so wishy-washy? Why couldn’t I have thrown a drink in face and stormed out, or something equally dramatic?
I paused for a bit to let being dumped sink in. I just kept reminding myself it didn’t just happen, but it really felt like it did. I had a pit in my stomach and my eyes watered as I tried to hold back tears. I got up and washed my face with cold water.
I needed a drink. I left my room and only Eloise was home. She saw my face as I poured an extra large goblet of wine.
“What’s wrong?” she asked.
“You fucked Ben? When?” She said actually concerned. Her normal snark missing from her voice.
“Noooo. I saw him at Innanna’s. He came over and talked to me after I recognized him. I gave him my number. Then Innanna told me he was no good. So I decided to read my journals to see if I wrote why he was no good.”
“So you know about him already.”
“He cheated on you and tried to play it as you weren’t exclusive but you had been dating for a while. Then he tried to weasel back into your life a few times over the years by pretty much stalking you. He got a little obsessed. You eventually had to change your number, but he kept randomly finding you.”
“Fuck. I gave him my number. Is it like restraining order level?”
“Nah it’s not like scary or anything, more just super annoying. He tries to take advantage, usually appears out of nowhere like twice a year or so. Usually a booty call if anything.”
“Please tell me I didn’t agree to booty calls with him.” I desperately asked.
“Well…” Eloise dragged out and looked away. I closed my eyes in disappointment with my old self. I took a deep drink of my wine.
“He said he heard I was in an accident.’
“Well you do have a couple friends in common still. At least online. Ignore him or tell him to fuck off, but he’ll eventually leave you alone if you don’t give in to his puppy dog eyes.”
“That I think I can do.” I downed the remainder of my wine and went back to my room.
I took a deep breath and picked up Teddy for a change of pace. Teddy was a bit easier to read. The entire journal that I looked at covered the span of about two years and for the most part just talked about movies and television shows I wanted to watch or had just watched and wrote some sort of review.
I started dog earing pages for things I thought I should watch. Then I just pulled a blank notepad and started writing a To-Do list. At least I don’t have to watch anything I gave a bad review to.
I also had a few pictures of my cosplaying at comic-con with my friend from high school, Raina, in Teddy. I should connect with her again. I added her to my To-Do list. Though I do remember seeing her on my Facebook page so I may not be as out of touch with her as I thought but I still should check.
I’m glad I did put some mementos inside my journals over the years. I did notice when I had a cursory glance at my journals many had random candid shots, though as the years went on it appeared I relied more on digital social media for my photographic evidence of life.
I felt I was mentally appeased enough to actually dive back into one of my journals that might hold a bit more hard hitting stuff, including the mysterious Cole.
I picked up Thomas again, and stroked his cover before opening the first page.
April 28, 2013
My name is Sarah, we’re new to each other. I needed a new confidant. My normal journals I didn’t feel comfortable speaking to. I have mentioned this to the others but it just felt off.
All the weird stuff happened a few weeks ago when I was coming home from a bar. I met a random guy from Tinder for a quick drink. Let’s call him The Asshat. I wasn’t too enthused to go out with him to begin with. Plus, he showed up 45 minutes late.
The only reason I stayed was because I ordered food and it had just gotten to me when The Asshat finally showed up. Stupid stomach wanting food.
Anyway, pretty sure he was late because he was coming from a different date before me. He smelled like J’Adore perfume, which last I checked men didn’t usually wear as cologne.
But I digress, I really couldn’t duck out of this date. Well I could, but I didn’t want to waste my food. So once I finished eating, I started to plan my escape, since it was pretty clear he wanted a one-nighter.
I managed to escape, leaving my bill on his tab, only to discover it was raining. I would have called an uber but I was afraid if I lingered outside he’d come looking for me. Kinda a dick move, I know, but trust me it was necessary.
So I decided I would just walk home since it was only about a half mile away and I was wearing flats. I moved pretty fast and the streets were empty. I was halfway home when I realized something was following me. Something, not someone. I began to wish my date had followed me out.
When I looked behind me it appeared to be a dog, but not a normal dog, a really BIG dog. It was raining so hard that it was getting difficult to see, so I tried to walk as fast a possible without actually running. I knew dogs would chase anything that runs from being a dog walker for a few years. I think the dog read my mind and came after me.
I made my first mistake when I was an idiot and turned the wrong corner thinking I was going down a side street but it was actually a dead end alley. This city literally has two dead end alleys and I managed to go down one of them.
The dog, it was bigger than anything I’ve seen. It was bigger than a mastiff and was jet black with gleaming orange eyes. I’ve never been so scared in my life, I couldn’t even scream for help. I was paralyzed in fear. I now know what the deer in headlights feels like.
He lept for me, I know he bit my arm, it felt like he tore it off, but my arm is still somehow attached even though there are nasty scars. When I woke up in the hospital the police mentioned there was so much blood they were surprised it hadn’t killed me.
A man saved me. Cole. I know his name from the police who talked to me when I woke up. I don’t remember him at all except for a glimpse as I passed out. He was tall, or seemed tall since I was laying on the gross alley ground. He looked Indian, he was sexy. I do remember that he was sexy. It’s crazy what you remember as you are about to die.
I don’t know if he scared the dog away or what. But suddenly the dog was gone and he was carrying me to an ER only a few blocks from my apartment.
I just was released from the hospital. I’m still trying to process what I remember seeing. It really felt as though my arm was torn off, the dog didn’t look natural, but what other explanation can there be? And Cole, he seemed to glow when he carried me, but it was raining and dark with random street lights. So maybe it was that? I don’t know. I have to think about this some more.
Thanks for listening.
So, that was the dog attack. I looked down at my arm that still had a light bandage and brace on and tore it off. I didn’t really need the bandage and brace as it was mostly healed, the doctors just strongly suggested I have it to protect it for a little while longer to avoid any long term damage.
I examined my arm. I had looked at my arm while showering when I had taken the brace and bandages off before but now I really looked at it. Knowing the dog had nearly ripped off my arm made me see the jagged scar above my elbow in a new light. I had previously thought it was part of my more recent accident but now I saw it was fully healed and much older. My newer scars were still pink and slightly swollen, but this one was a silvery scar.
I traced the scar around the circumference of my arm. It was jagged in some areas where the skin tore but overall pretty straight around my bicep. I looked for more, older scars on my body. I pulled my shirt off and turned to look in the mirror. I saw more silvery scars laced across my back, some looked like claw marks, others on my stomach and legs were smaller points like something had pierced the skin. They must have also been from the dog attack.
I pulled my shirt back on and replaced the brace on my arm. I sat back down and picked up Thomas.
March 1, 2013
I feel like I’m going a bit crazy. What I remember from that night, and what people tell me what happened just don’t add up. I know I’m not a doctor or anything, but my wounds seem far more healed than they should be. My mother just chalks it up to good genes, but its not that.
I have full use of my arm, despite it being nearly ripped off. It’s been just about 3 weeks from the attack. My arm doesn’t even hurt, it’s healed and scarred, the bones don’t appear to be even broken.
When I broke my arm in fifth grade, it took a good 6 weeks before I got the all clear by my doctors. And my doctors are acting like my seemingly miraculous healing is nothing. Why is no one else thinking this is strange!?
Eloise and Claire seem to keep forgetting I was even attacked by a dog. How can they forget that? It literally just happened. I mentioned how fast my arm healed to them and they were like “oh you hurt it?”
I took pictures of my injury and I made sure to print them out and label them to track the healing progress just in case I start forgetting myself.
This was getting weirder and weirder. Eloise and Claire did seem to forget I was attacked by a dog until they really thought about it. They didn’t recognize Cole until the next day when I mentioned him to them.
Based on what I read in Thomas it seemed like it was a pretty awful and gruesome attack. At first I thought their lack of recollection meant it wasn’t that bad. But now I’m thinking something else was going on.
March 5, 2013
I think I’m going to have to find Cole. The guy who saved me. I vaguely remember what he looks like, I think. Maybe the hospital could help me out finding him. He was there so he could tell me what happened better than anyone else.
March 8, 2013
Well the hospital was a waste of time. They literally had no record of Cole bringing me in. No one on that night remembers him either. How the F is that possible? I somehow carried myself to the ER on my own? And they gave me a “this chick is crazy” look when I asked to look at the camera footage from that night.
Apparently you need things like a “court order” or something in order to request such things.
So, I went to the police, they at least had a police report that mentioned Cole, but the police officer who questioned Cole didn’t think it necessary to get any of his contact information or last name. Isn’t that required or something?
At least he sort of remembered him, and agreed that Cole looked Indian, though his description didn’t involve my pain addled description of sexy. The cop did tell me where exactly it happened since I can’t quite remember myself. It was down the alley between a Food Mart and a closed bakery on 2nd Street.
I went there next, during the day, don’t worry. No need to get attacked again in the middle of the night. Despite the rain from the night of the attack weeks ago, I could still see blood stains on the ground. A LOT of blood stains.
I’m wondering if some of it was the dog’s because if I had lost that much blood I should be dead. I took some pictures, then walked the direction the cop said Cole said he was coming from just because. I didn’t spot anything strange, though I wasn’t really sure what I’d expect to see.
I looked for my crime scene and injury pictures but didn’t see them inside the journal anywhere. I must have put them somewhere else. I tried to think of a place I might have stashed them. What would old Sarah do? I glanced around the room but nothing really stood out. There were a couple shoe boxes that had pictures in them that I knew of already when I ransacked my room, but I went through them when I found them and think I would have remembered seeing pictures of bloodstained pavement.
I picked up Thomas again and did a quick flip through the pages to see if any pictures fell out. One did. It fell face down and I picked it up. The back had my handwriting saying “Me and Cole”. I turned it over quickly. My face stared back at me along with a beautiful Indian man.
“There you are.” I whispered.
This was the mysterious Cole. I, of course, saw him at the coffee shop but it was only for less than a minute and he had been just another stranger in the crowd.
Cole, the man who saved my life and who was a large portion of my life for the past few years but disappeared without a word. I clearly found him before without many clues, so maybe I can find him again. I already knew he went to Innanna’s. It was becoming pretty evident that he was the only person I could answers from. Hopefully I put some details in my journals about how I found him in the first place.