October 23, 2014 by bck1402
A few people who have picked up The Syndi-Jean Journal have asked the same question. “Who is Jennifer?”
I’m being dragged out of my fourth decade kicking and screaming – and very much single – and there had never been an open mention of anyone named Jennifer in my personal life as far as anyone around me has known.
We met just as I closed out my first decade, having moved vertically across the country. When you’re about ten and moving in that fashion, you’re leaving a life of friends behind. Not to be utterly dramatic about it, but making friends was never an easy thing for me. So Jennifer became my friend and we hung out, riding bikes, playing about and basically exploring the neighbourhood. It didn’t take too long from then before she became an inspiration, a source, a sounding-board… a muse.
Stories were formed around her, and some even had her as a heroine.
She remained there whenever I needed someone to talk to, to share ideas with or just to be there in times of need through years!
She grew with me and even taught me a few things, strange as it may sound. And it was an almost odd conscious thing when she knew she had to leave. Not straight away either, but she knew she had to step back and let me go on alone, but she would drop by from time to time, and we would still chat.
… she never came back. As with Jeannie in the sense of growing up, the way I had put it, I was becoming aware of ‘reality’s rules’ except that I was well into the mid twenties by then.
I still think about Jennifer. I wonder what she would be like if she had stayed.
About ten years back, I was so overcome by some odd sense of loss in the middle of the night, I wrote out a short story for her on a piece of paper in the dark. Somehow, I felt she was still watching over me then and the words flowed. That paper – that story – is tucked away in a folder, in a cupboard. Maybe I’ll dig it out sometime, try to make some kind of book out of it.
In the meantime, I’ve got Jeannie’s story out, and the dedication there is to her. She was there when it all started. She was the inspiration for Eriel’s guardian too in those early stories, which in a way would make her a foster grandmother to Jeannie.
I’d like to think she’s out there, probably befriending another lonely kid and inspiring him or her to create more stories that will be told someday. It’s what she did for me and that’s why she’s still in my mind and always in my heart.