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by Jazmine

Jack Ellen was a quiet man who often kept to himself, all his life he'd been called a freak. No-one knew the real man behind the mask. He was a very sad and trouble man. He got bullied all his life, his family rejected him. He had to cope on his own. Then one day something happened.

On a walk by the pond, he'd noticed a girl crouching down feeding bread to the ducks. She noticed him and gave a friendly smile. He smiled back not knowing what she wanted.

'Who in their right mind would smile at me?' he thought as he slowly went a bit shy. He plucked up courage to say hello and asked her her name.

"I'm Sarah, what's your name?" she asked. He moved closer and sat bedside her.

"I'm Jack, may I have some bread?" he said and the two shared a loaf between them.

They talked about films, music, poetry and so on, and found they had a lot of things in common. Jack realised the time and said he had to go and swapped phone numbers. "I'll call." he said as he ran home.

When he got home, his Dad was in the sitting room not looking very happy. "Where the hell have you been?" he yelled. Jack was a bit nerved by his reaction, but kept calm. "I met a girl, by the pond, she's really nice, friendly." he said, making sure not to go on about her in case she may not liked being talked about. "Hmmm, a girl? Is it serious, you haven't been up to anything I hope? You're only twenty-three."

"Dad no, will you listen? I like her, we're alike and have the same things in common, and I'm seeing her tomorrow, whether you and Mom like it or not. I'm going to bed."

Next day at 10:15am, they met at the same spot by the pond and talked. He told her about his family and the loneliness and the depression he went through. She felt for him and held out her hand as they walked by the pond.

A few months past, Jack and Sarah were by now seeing each other every day. She took him to meet her parents, Ian and Irene, whom he liked from the start. They spent most of the time at her house or down town buying CD's. They both liked Bowie, among other rock music.

Then one day she wanted to talk, this time about their relationship. "Look Jack, we've been real great friends for sometime now, maybe it's time we slowed down a bit, yeah?" she said, trying not to hurt him. "I do like you, you're not mad are you?" Jack just shrugged with a tear in his eye, but understood the situation and agreed to take it one day at a time. He told her how much he loved her and that he didn't want to loose her. She smiled and said: "Oh darling. I'm not going anywhere." Which made him cheer up a bit.

The weekend had past and Monday morning he went to meet her at the pond, but she wasn't there, even though he waited two hours for her, but there was no sign. He went to her house to see if she was in, but the house had been sold. He asked a neighbour who was washing his car, if he'd seen her.

"Oh, you're that lad who keeps coming round." he said. Jack was a bit nerved but was prepared to defend himself. "Well?" he said, "If you're looking for the girl, she's gone," the neighbour said trying to be nice. Jack was really heart-broken. "Gone? Where?" The neighbour was now getting irritated and started to wash his car for the second time. "I don't know, don't ask me, either Scotland or somewhere near the sea." Jack fled back home, packed his bag, left a note for Mom and caught the train to Scotland.

He wondered around Scotland, with only enough money for food and sleeping rough on the street. He got a coach to Edinburgh with some of his money for food. He went into a cafe for something to eat. He was about to order when he recognised the girl who was serving him.

"Sarah?" he said with a grin. She recognised him straight away. "Jack, you look awful." she said. Jack sniffed and said: "Yeah, I have no money." She reached for her handbag - "here take these." He took the keys and made his way to her flat. "I'll be home later." she called.

He got to her flat and opened the door. It was a nice little flat with two bedrooms. Jack took a shower and made himself at home.

An hour later, Sarah came home and they both talked, mainly about their relationship. They'd agreed to give it another go and take it slow and she said that he could stay as long as he wanted to.

Jack was finally happy again and was free from his parents, and to do what he wanted. He was no longer depressed or lonely and he was no longer the freak that people thought.

The pair lived happily forever, and it wasn't long before it all started again.

Written by Jazmine
24th January 2003.

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Created: Feb 2003 © Paul Kinder Last Updated: 16/2/03