I released Teardrop Road on June 23, 2021. I think it was a Thursday. It was pretty devastating to put it out in the world on the big stage. Having your secrets on a blog is one thing. The worldwide stage opens up doubts and fears that I expected but could never prepare myself for. However, this release is a win. It’s a win for me. It’s a win for my family. For mental health in general. And I hope if you’re in pain and you’re going through anything, any kind of abuse, any kind of loss, I hope this book can help you and that you can see it as a win. I’m celebrating the release of Teardrop with another blog blast. These are chapters of the second volume of Reality of the Unreal Mind, called Normal Street. I’m releasing a chapter from that book every two hours and fifteen minutes. This is the story of Hollow Man. This is the story of how I figured out love through a series of heartaches and confusing episodes. Because love is not easy to navigate for anyone, and it’s almost impossible for a shattered mind to prepare for their soulmate. Here is Hollow Man 13: Destiny Part 2.
I don’t remember how me and Destiny got back together. I’m sure that Chanel came to tell me Hunter didn’t care anymore, and I could date Destiny if I wanted. I’m sure Guardian lost his mind and went straight to her. He would have gotten down on a knee and proposed if he could have. But that was not possible.
When the twins were the right age for high school, they were given the choice to go to Waynesville, and they jumped on it. One minute, there was no Destiny in my life. The next day, I was filled with her.
Rose erupted when we got back together. She lost her mind. Said this right here was God’s will. Said this was the Lord and his “mysterious ways” coming to us. It had been a good thing that we had broken up the first time, she said. Now we knew how much we meant to each other. Now we knew what life was like without the other one and now we knew to appreciate each other. “God is good,” was trumpeted through the house, and Rose grabbed Servant and kissed his forehead.
“You’re a good boy, Jesse, and this is the right thing.” She hugged him again, held us out at arm’s length and smiled. “Your girl is back. Now your life can begin.”
Destiny started her freshman year when I was a junior, and we were happy for a while. I know we were. Her eyes drew me in, and her mouth begged to be kissed. If Guardian had done it, things would have turned out differently. If Servant had been able to kiss those lips, my entire life would be fire now. But thankfully, he could not. Guardian could not bring himself to debase her enough to involve himself in anyway with her physically. She was a thing to be treasured. Taken by the hand. Spoken to. Hugged. Whispered to. Looked at. And more than anything, the all-consuming desire he held for this girl was to keep her safe. Keep her safe from him.
Guardian had an enemy now. He had felt Shadow moving against him. See, I can’t truly capture what it was like having a mind full of people. At times I was able to shift in the middle of a sentence. My entire body would change, and I would stand differently. My entire body would change, and I would speak with a different voice. Things within me would change in the span of a sentence and I could keep going. I could keep up the conversation, finish the sentence as a different alter, and not look back. That was a reality for sure.
But also, there were times when I would shift into control of the body and get lost. I would not know what part of the building I was in, what time it was. I would not know who I was talking to, or what was being done in the room. Things were coming up missing. People were becoming friends with me who I did not even remember. They would walk right up to me and start running their mouth and I would not know who they were.
Guardian had seen Shadow’s work of lust and physicality in the back of that business and had been unable to stop it. He had seen what Artist had done, had seen Shadow thrust and rub his crotch between Fit’s legs, and if they had not been wearing clothes, Guardian would have watched, horrified, as the two of them had fucked and there was nothing he could have done to stop it.
Now, Guardian was watchful for the overcoming lust and the hands that moved without his bidding. Now, Guardian kept an eye out for the dark moments, and he was finding them everywhere.
Shadow was becoming sexual, and with that came utter deviance. The darkest parts of us wanted to fuck. But our better angels had a different plan.
Servant was saving himself for marriage. He was not interested in sex at all. At all. He wanted a pure girl he could do pure things with. He wanted to honor her in every way. Romance that led to a kind of flirty, plutonic state was his only desire.
Guardian was different. He wanted to make love to a woman when he found her. But he had to find her. No one could have him without a few things in place. They had to be in a romantic setting. He saw this as the most sacred gift a girl could give a guy. He wanted her to look back on it and feel loved by everything that had led up to it. He wanted her to feel as though he was being given this gift. This meant he would never ask for it. He would never hint that he wanted to have sex with a girl, do nothing that led her to that conclusion. Let nothing pass between them that even slightly gave the impression she was desired, so she felt no pressure whatsoever.
Guardian did not kiss Destiny. He protected her. If she was ever kissed, it was Shadow who did it, but he can’t remember. He has shoved her so far from his mind that most of this is conjecture at this point. She committed an act so vile, he threw her from his mind forever and never looked back. So, it is hard to say if they ever kissed. But I do know that when he loved her, Shadow did not grab her passionately. He may have kissed her, but he did not press into her. He may have kissed her, but he was not physically sated by her.
Artist wrote her notes. He ate with her and stared into her eyes. He spoke to her and he made her smile. He can see that smile now but he does not feel the way he used to about it. When he looked at her smile, back then, he felt peace. He felt power. He felt love.
Guardian held her close. He gave her his coat. He held her hand. He spoke to her.
But for the most part, she was worshiped, not dated. They did not fight because there was no passion any deeper than looking into her eyes. She was pure. And nothing would pull at that.
Then, Shadow dropped. We had been diagnosed as Bipolar the year before. See how I slipped that one past you. The Bipolar, I just dealt that from the bottom of the deck, mentioning it in passing and moving on. I’m shuffling that back into the deck. I don’t want to talk about that. Don’t want it to be an excuse or in any way muddy up the DID. So, I can say, when I was diagnosed, my mother told me she would not let them medicate me and I needed more prayer and positivity. No more moping. No more dark music and sad songs. Get it together, she said. Look to God and this Bipolar thing will go away.
What do you have to be so depressed about? You have a family that loves you and the precious love of the Christ to hold you up. These meds were the Devil’s tools. They allowed the depressed patient to focus on other things when they should be turning to God.
Shit, that is annoying to talk about even now that I am medicated and cared for. Basically, during my Junior year, the depression started to win, and I started to plan my big death.
Now, we need to talk for a minute about Dracula. I have mentioned it in passing but it was a thing. I had an after-school activity. I had a project, and I had an identity. There were a group of people I began to call family. People started moving into that group, people like Ty, Teddy, Josh, Bootheel and Blemish, and Droll. Hardly was in the performance but moved above it. She did not let herself get pulled into the drama crowd. She hovered above it and did her job.
But the rest of us got dirty. This was a cast who let their emotions fall everywhere. They rose with a swell if hearsay and rumor and everyone got involved. Everyone had something to say, about everything that everyone did. We were a tight little unit of howling and weeping lunatics. We were in our feelings all the time, and Shadow and Artist were captivated. They were carried away by it.
Bootheel decided he wanted to do Jonathan Harker method. If you know what Method Acting is, then you know how annoying that was. Especially for a character as dry as Jonathan Harker. But he did it. He was Harker all the time. Lived and breathed it. We called him Jon. About halfway through the production, he stopped worrying about it so much, and he just started listening to a lot of Jim Morrison and reading a lot of dark poetry.
We worked the play pretty hard, and play life became our only concern. Destiny was not in that, and she began to fall away. As the play madness ramped up, the depression and the darkness rose. Soon, more and more darkness, until I am scraping skin with a blade I carried on me at all times. I dreamt of the cut. I begged for it, and through it all we never talked to Destiny about it. I never talked to anyone about it.
A thought hit me, and it stuck. To this day, this one thought haunts me: “If I kill myself now, would they ever have expected it? Or would everyone be shocked?”
My plan was opening night. A swift stab to the jugular on stage in front of everyone. I had the plan. I even decided at what point in the production I would be at. I used to go to that spot before and during practice. I used to stand there, close my eyes, and imagine how I would fall. Would I scream? Would my hand shake? Would someone save me?
I thought of Hardly having to watch me die and it broke my heart. I thought of Teddy carrying with him the last living moments of my life forever and I felt comforted. Would Ty come hold me as I bled out?
I knew he would. Ty would come on stage and hold my dying body. He was strong enough to do it when everyone else ran. Ty’s would be the last face I would ever see. I loved the idea. To this day every time I get suicidal, I think of that man’s face. It calms me. The thought of dying in Ty’s arms has always brought me peace. I will to this day go into my room at night when I am near the point of committing the act, and I will close my eyes, picture myself on that lit stage, and see his face. It calms me and puts me to sleep.
It has never happened. But it was planned. And when it was planned, I was dating Destiny. I knew she would not ever recover from it. She would blame herself for years. She would never be the same if her boyfriend killed himself.
So, I broke up with her. I don’t remember all of it. I know Guardian did it. Every day he met her and the rest of the Church Girls at the bottom of the ramp between two buildings. That day he did not. He went to the library, stood at the window, and stared down at the girl he loved that he was leaving. And he wept. It was better for her, he promised himself. She looked up and saw him staring at her. She watched for a long time and when the bell rang, she met him in the library. I don’t remember what was said. He may have had a note. He may have told her to her face. I know that when he walked away, he wept. He went to the bathroom and wept all through the first hour class.
Our Destiny was gone.
But we were going to follow very shortly.