This story is dedicated to everyone who has been there for Kim since the beginning. May this chapter answer all the questions you have and the closure that you all deserve.
And to Kim...may you finally find the peace that you've been looking for.
I heard a voice call for me through my headphones. I turned off my walkman and removed the headphones from my ears and rested them on my neck. I looked up to see my mom standing in the doorway of my room.
"Yes?" I answered as I reached off to my right and grabbed a bookmark for the book I was reading along with the music.
"Are you ok? How are you doing?"
"I'm doing fine." I said bluntly, looking back at my book. It was a science fiction novel that I was forced to read back in high school. I decided to give the book a second chance, but it has yet to redeem itself from my personal list of boring books.
"Oh. Well, do you want to come with me to the nursery? We're going to pick out a tree for the backyard." I heard her say, but I was already reopening my book and picking up from where I left off.
"No, thank you…" I said mindlessly as I continued to read, slowly shifting my attention from my mom to the book.
"Well, we're also going to the mall afterwards. Do you want to go pick out a new sweater or something?" I heard her said. I didn't respond. I just shook my head as I continued to read. "Maybe we'll get lunch as well. Find a nice Italian restaurant. You like Italian right?" But again, I shook my head. I heard her sigh and I looked up just in time to catch her turn around to leave my room. "…it's been four months Kim. Four months. Please go out and meet people…" She said, in a worried tone as she left and closed my door.
It's been four months already…and all I've done was finish eight books, listen to the same CD over and over, and gone on nature walks. I guess this is me. The true me…a boring, uneventful girl. But I guess it's a good trade off. No drama, no problems, no worries. Best of all…I haven't heard her voice in a long time…
I turned on my walkman again and placed the headphones on my ears as I began to indulge in the music and the book. The only thing that was missing was drum practice. But I knew that once I call Stephen Stills for my drums, all those problems will slowly come back. I didn't want to cut all of my friends off like this…but it's the only way I could completely forget the past…and him.
"Kim! We're leaving! Are you sure you don't want-"
"I'm sure!" I yelled as I removed my headphones and placed them on the bed. I listen for the front door to close before jumping out of bed and looking outside.
Looks cold outside…but at least it's a clear day. I guess I should go out for a walk. Clear my head a bit… I walked over to my closest and put on my heavy coat and pants. It was a mind grinding routine that I did day after day that I didn't want to break. Things were simple this way…read my book, listen to music, go out and walk around a bit, sleep. My days were predictable…no surprises…no problems. As I left my room, I still could still hear the music playing from my walkman. I would have gone back to turn it off, but the batteries were about to die anyways. I might as well let them run out of juice…
…let it play that last Sex Bob-omb song.
Voice4TheMute Proudly Presents…
It's hard to believe that I left Toronto four months ago. I guess it's amazing how time flies when life isn't throwing curve balls at you every day. It's a nice change of pace from the hectic life I lived for eight straight years but some days it feels mundane…but I'll gladly accept monotonous routine than behind haunted by my own self every day.
…still…I do miss those guys…
"What am I thinking?" I said to myself as I continued to walk the same path I walked everyday that lead up to a forested area where I came to sit and think. It wasn't too deep in the forest, but it was deep enough and high enough for people not to find. I don't know why I keep coming to this spot. Maybe I thought inspiration will hit me or I'll have an epiphany of what my true calling is in life… either way, I came here every clear day to just sit and watch the time go I got to my plot of land, I sat down and looked outward deeper into the forest.
Four months…I wonder how they're doing. I hope Hollie and Joseph are doing alright with the rent. If Hollie had to sell the couch, who knows what else she sold. Maybe they found a third roommate already. Maybe its Stephen Stills…no. Then what will Young Neil do? Maybe Scott can move in with-
I stopped my train of thought as soon my mind came across his name.
"What am I thinking…" I said to myself, rubbing my eyes. "I came here to get away from all of them, not to reminisce. Stupid mom…telling me how long it's been. It's none of her business what I'm doing with my life." I sighed and looked at the ground. "But still…it has been awhile. I wonder how they're doing. I wonder how he's doing…"
Why not call him?
That voice sent chills down my spine. I haven't heard that voice in four months. I knew that once I start thinking about them…more specifically, about him…she would return.
I mean…he's just a phone call away. All you need to do is pick up your cellphone, dial the number, and hit send.
"I knew you'd be back…" I said aloud as I looked over my shoulder. There, leaning up against the trees was my darker self. Her eyes were still blood red as I remembered them and a mischievous smile was spreading across her face.
You can never get rid of me Kim…
"I wouldn't say that. Afterall, I had the most peaceful four months of my life."
But your life is booooorinnnnng. She stretched out as she came over to where I saw sitting and sat down next to me. I looked away from her and averted my attention to the grass on the ground. It's the same thing over and over and over again. Wake up, eat, read, listen to music…
"My life finally has order…"
…you would listen to the same CD over and over again. The last remnants of your life back in Toronto. Surely you could have picked another CD to listen to. But no…you've been listening to the Sex Bob-omb album for over four months. Here you said you were going to forget the past, but I know you…you couldn't escape.
"My life was fine until YOU showed up!"
You can't escape the life that you made in Toronto. No matter what you do, no matter what you say, you can't escape.
"Just leave me alone already. Go back to what you were doing for four month will you?"
Ever since you got back to your parent's place, you WANTED to come back. You wanted to return to Toronto and see him again. The anger that you had for him…the hatred that you felt for him…it no longer exist, right Kim?
I didn't say anything. What she was saying was true. After his apology at the bus station, my feelings for Scott and my grudge against him was gone. I was able to move on and see Scott as a friend…maybe even see him as one of my best friends. Though he is still dumb and dense…I would still consider him one of my best friends I have.
He probably misses you Kim. He ran all the way from the wrong station to see you off at the station. He watched your bus leave…you should really give him a call.
"How am I going to give him a call if he DOESN'T have a phone?" I yelled at my darker counterpart. "If you were paying attention, Ramona LEFT him and he MOVED out of Wallace's place! There's no way to call him! …I'm not even sure where he's living. Maybe's he's living on the streets…"
There is one person that knows… I heard her voice trail as she slowly disappeared. I watch her vanish in plain sight and reached into my pockets for my phone. I took it out and flipped it open.
"Great…now I'm worried if that idiot is still alive…" I said to myself as I opened my address book and started to look through the list of names. "I know I ignored all your calls before, but I pray that you'll answer your phone now." I said to myself as I found the name I was looking for. I press the send button and placed the receiver to my ear.
Come on….Come on…answer…
"Kim? Wow. It's been awhile. So you're finally returning my ten calls?" I heard Stephen Stills voice on the receiver end of my phone.
"I'm sorry Stephen. I just wanted to stay in a Toronto blackout. No contact from Toronto, no contact to Toronto. So I apologize." I said to him, bringing my legs close to my body to keep warm.
"I guess I understand. So what's up Kim?"
"…I was wondering if you know where Scott is. Is he living somewhere?" I asked, a bit unsure if I really wanted to ask that question.
"You want to know where Scott is?" Stephen asked, a bit surprised by my question. "Well…he actually has his own place now."
"He has his own place?" I said, no expecting that from Scott Pilgrim. I know he had a job…but to afford his own place? That was mind blowing.
"Well, his parents help pay for it…or all of it. I don't remember."
"Oh…that makes more sense…"
"Either way, I have his home phone number. You know, if you want it." He said. I stayed silent. I wasn't sure if I really wanted to open the door I closed four months ago. Do I really want to go back and open communicates with him again? "Kim? You still there?"
"Huh? Sorry. I got distracted. What did you say?"
"Do you want his home phone number?" Again, I paused, but I manage to squeak out a 'yes' at the last second. "Alright Kim, but I gotta tell you, he's still depressed about the whole 'Ramona' thing. Not sure he'll be willing to talk, but I'll text you the number."
"Thank you Stephen…"
"…and Kim? Please take care of yourself." He said to me as I said bye and hung up the phone. Within seconds, my phone vibrated, indicated I got a text message. I flipped it open and saw the seven digit phone number on my screen.
This is it…Am I really going to call him and essentially void the whole reason why I came back home in the first place? I wanted to get away from my life in Toronto. I wanted to get away from Sex Bob-omb, my friends, my crappy job…from Scott. I wanted to discover who I was outside from all that.
I slowly redialed the number that Stephen texted me and hovered my thumb over the call button.
Maybe this is who I am outside of Toronto…A boring, monotonous girl who doesn't think about the future and fails to acknowledge the past.
My thumb rested on the call button, but no pressure was made to press down.
My life IS boring without those guys…
...without my friends…
I pressed the button and quickly pressed the phone against my ear. The phone rang. It rang again. Each of those rings got me more anxious and more worried that Scott could answer at any moment. As the phone continued the ring, I could feel the stress and anxiousness pile up, shortening my life for each second that pass. But then, the ringing stopped. My eyes widen. My grip on my phone tightened as there was a moment of silence. Then I heard it…
"Ok…let's see. Press the 'outgoing message' button and wait for the red blinking light. Where the hell is…oh, is it recording now? Dang it!"
I felt myself relax as the voice coming out of my phone was a recording of Scott's voice. Scott didn't answer. I got his answering machine.
"Uh. You reach Scott Pilgrim's..um place? Please leave your…uh. Shoot. What was my line? Where is that piece of paper? There it is! Let's start that again. You reach Scott Pilgrim's…"
The recording was cut off and there was a tone that followed the message.
"Hey, it's Kim." I said, hesitating a bit as I tried to think of something to say. But no matter how hard I thought, I couldn't think of anything appropriate to say without sounding sad or desperate for his company. "I just saw a guy with a parka exactly like your stupid parka you've had since you were twelve." I said, recalling an incident where I though Scott came to Northern Ontario. When I approached the guy, it was someone completely different. But it was a memory that stuck with me for awhile. "That's literally the most interesting thing that happened all week." I said, feeling more anxious and more frustrated at Scott. "It friggin' sucks up here." I said to the phone in one breath. "Get over your extremely boring depression and come visit me sometime, assclown." I said as I closed my phone and looked at the front display. The number on the display said that the call lasted one minute and ten seconds. I continued to stare at my phone long after the blinking message went away.
Oh God...I hope I didn't do something I'm going to regret later…I don't know what I would do if he DID show up…
A story based on Bryan Lee O'Malley's "Scott Pilgrim"…
"Thank you for the food…" I mindlessly said to my parents as I got up from dinner the dinner table and brought my plate to the sink. It's been over twenty-four hours since I called Scott and I have yet to get a response from him.
Maybe the number Stephen gave me was wrong? …No. Scott's outgoing message said he was Scott Pilgrim. Maybe it's a different Scott Pilgrim? Probably not. What the hell am I thinking? Why would I want him to respond? It's not like I asked him to call me back. I just asked him to come visit me sometime… that assclown.
I washed my dishes and went back to my room. I sighed and walked to my computer and turned it on.
I got e-mails from Stephen, Hollie, Jason sometimes, even one from Knives…but so far no e-mails from Scott or the missing Ramona. What did this all mean? Do they even care? Ramona I can understand. She doesn't even know I left Toronto…but at least one e-mail from Scott. I guess Scott really don't care…
I heard loud knocking from the front door, but I figured mom or dad were going to answer it.
For all the years I known him, this is how he shows concern for my well-being…
The knocking persists but I ignored it again.
…a farewell at the bus station and I'm out of his mind forever. I guess I was hoping too much…
Again, the knocking continued and it was starting to annoy me.
…I guess I should have known Scott wouldn't try to stay in contact with me…
The knocking became more rapid and louder that I turned my head and yelled through my room, "WILL SOMEONE ANSWER THAT!" There was no response from my parents. They were probably watching movie after dinner. They like to do that every Friday night. I sighed as I got up from my chair and walked out of my room, heading towards the door.
I swear…if this is a solicitor or some traveling salesman, I'm going to shove whatever they're trying to sell right up their…
"Hello?" I said in an annoyed voice as I opened the door. There, standing in the doorway with his fist in the air from knocking, was Scott Pilgrim in his blue parka with a big backpack on his pack. My eyes widen as Scott stared right into my eyes. I wasn't sure what to do. I wasn't sure what to say. I just stared back at him as he lowered his hand.
"H-Hey there Kim…"
Through My Eyes 006
"Hey Scott…" I said back to him as we continued to stare at each other. "Um, do you want to come in?" I said, finally moving away so that Scott could walk into the house. He nodded as he walked in and looked around.
"Thanks Kim. Wow…this place hasn't changed much since high school." He said as he continued to rotate in place and look at every corner of the house and hallways. I slowly closed the door and locked it.
"Scott…what are you doing here?" I asked at my gaze was still fixed at the front door.
"Um…I came here for you."
"What?" I said, a bit surprised by his answer.
"Uhhh…I mean Wallace Wells sent me here. He put me on a bus and told me to go on a wilderness sabbatical or something…" He said, scratching his cheek. I raised an eyebrow at him.
"Why do you need a wilderness sabbatical?"
"I don't know. Wallace forced me on the bus. I didn't want to go. I mean, I don't want to fight him! I have no reason to!" Scott said, waving his arms around. I gestured him to calm down.
"Ok! Ok! Calm down. Fight who, Scott?"
"Gideon? Ramona's last ex?" I asked. Scott didn't answer. He just looked down at the ground, almost in shame. I couldn't believe what I was seeing. "Scott…did you run away from the fight?" Scott looked up at me and we made eye contact. And I could see everything that was running through Scott's head.
Oh my God…he did run…
"Scott? Scott Pilgrim is that you?"
Both Scott and I turned our heads to see my mom standing at the end of the hallway. I closed my eyes and slapped my hand on my forehead.
"Oh no…" I sighed as my mom, and soon my dad walked over to Scott and started to engage him in conversation.
"Hi Scott! It's been awhile. How are you?"
"Yes. How are things back home?"
"How's Stacy? How old is she now, like 21?"
"Uh, I think she's-"
"Good lord, my boy, it's late. What are you doing here at such a late hour?"
"I was hoping I could say here for a night!" Scott yelled out fast so that he couldn't get cut off by my parents. My parents, even I, were staring at Scott in disbelief. Was that the real reason why he's here? He wasn't going to sleep at a motel or anything like that? He's here to crash here?
"…or two." Scott continued. I looked over at my parents, but they were already looking at me then at each other.
"Of course, Scott. The only available space is in the basement though. It does get a bit cold down there. Kim will bring down blankets for you." I heard my mom said but I stared at her with cold eyes.
"Come with me Scott, I'll show you the way. Kim, go get the blankets in our room. You must be tired from your trip." My dad said to me as I shook my head in disbelief.
"I am a little tired…" Scott replied.
"I can't believe this is happening…" I said as I walked in the opposite direction of where my dad and Scott were going. I mean, for the love of God, he's my ex, mom and dad! This isn't weird at all! I turned around to catch a glimpse of Scott walking with my parents, bombarding him with questions that he couldn't answer fast enough. I didn't feel spiteful of Scott or angry at him like I did back in Toronto. Maybe it's because of his apology or his spontaneous act of showing up in the middle of the night but I was actually happy that he's here.
…of course I would never admit it out loud.
The Next Morning…
"That's one hell of a basement, eh?"
"Um…" Scott muttered as we all sat at the dinner table eating breakfast. The barrage of questions didn't stop from last night. They literally walked down to the basement with him and kept asking him questions all night until he fell asleep. I couldn't even get a chance to talk to him.
"More coffee? How's your mother?"
"Mom stop…" I finally spoke up, but they just kept asking questions.
"So are you seeing anyone, Scotty?" My mom asked as I stared at her. How she thought that was an appropriate question to ask was WAY beyond me. Especially since she knows about our past relationship and how it ended.
"Jesus mom. Let him eat his eggs." I quickly said to her, now being the one that cut off people before they can answer.
"Don't mouth off to your mother, Kim. That's my job." My dad replied. I sighed and took a sip of my coffee.
"Please excuse my parents. I don't think they were born morons, but…"
"Look at her. Ask her what she's doing here Scott." My dad interjected again. I guess this family is famous for just cutting people off in conversations.
"Um…" Scott mindlessly replied as he continued to eat his eggs. I finished the rest of my breakfast and stood up.
"Thank you for breakfast mom. If you will excuse me, I'm going to go for a morning walk." I said aloud, hopefully Scott will pick up on my hint. Scott looked down at his full plate then back at me. I stared right back at him as he finally took the hint and scarfed down the rest of this food.
"Thak ou fo the food misr Pine." Scott said, mouth full of eggs and coffee as he got up and followed me out of the kitchen.
"Meet me outside. I'm just going to change to something a lot warmer."
I quickly went to my room to grab my coat, boots, and sunglasses. It wasn't sunny outside but the old saying goes that the eyes are the windows to a person's soul…and the last thing I want to do is let Scott peer into my soul. I walked out of the house and locked the front door.
"Yeah, so, life. This is it." I said to him as I started to walk towards the forest. "Amazing I know." Scott quickly followed right beside me as we followed the path that I've been walking for the past four months. After five minutes of walking, Scott finally broke the silence.
"So what are you doing up here?"
"Scott," I started, not wanting to look at him, "Last I checked, you continued to not be my mom."
"I mean, are you going to school, or…?" Scott started but I shot him a glare, reemphasizing that he is STILL not my mom so it was none of his business. "Wait, what is this? Where are we going?" Scott asked me as he looked around. I guess he finally noticed that the concrete path that we were walking on turned into a dirt path away from the houses.
"You want a wilderness sabbatical, you're gonna get the real thing." I said to him. I knew where I wanted to take him. If he wanted to get emerged in all of nature, then there is no better place than my special clearing in the forest. Besides…it's not like he'll remember where it's located. His short term and long term memory is terrible. I'm surprised he remembers his own birthday. As we walked off the dirt trail and now following my own path, I occasionally looked back and saw Scott looking around at all the trees and bushes. There was a level of fascination and curiosity in his eyes…almost as if he's never gone hiking before…
"Up the rocks Scott, let's go." I said to him as I climbed up a rock formation and looked back, seeing that he was struggling to pull himself up. I sighed and turn around, kneeling down and extending an arm to help pull him up. "Come on Scott. For the best fighter in the providence, you're lack upper body strength."
"Don't blame me. I never played any rock climbing games!" He said to me.
"What?" I said, very confused.
"Nevermind." I pulled Scott up and we continued on. We leaped over a river and weaved through the trees until we hit the part where the path started to incline slowly. As we started to climb up, I could hear Scott's footsteps get louder and more frequent. It indicated that he was getting excited.
"It feels like we're alone in the world!" Scott yelled really loud. His voice carried and echoed throughout the forest. "No grown-ups! It's like 'The Tribe'!"
"Scott we are grown-ups". I reminded him, suddenly feeling how old I really am. "And I have no idea what 'The Tribe' is."
"I don't think I'm ready to be a grown-up." Scott said to me as I started to get winded.
"I don't think you are either, buddy. But hey, you'll get it." I said to him as we both climbed up the final rock face. "It just takes practice." We finally made it to my secret spot and I sat down.
Here we are… this is the spot. I don't know why Scott is on this wilderness sabbatical…I don't even know why Scott is really here. He said he ran away from Gideon. Does that mean that he's still fighting for Ramona? It's been months Scott…you can't tell me that you're still fighting for her love. She's no longer with you…
"Thanks for coming." I said to him as I reached up and took off my sunglasses. "I've been going a little bit crazy up here." I said to him, summing of all of what happened two days ago when my mom mentioned how long it's been since I moved back. And truthfully I was going a bit crazy. I did the same routine over and over like clockwork. The thing that was crazy was that I was ok with it.
"What are you doing here, Kim?" Scott asked me again. I sighed as I thought about it. The truth was…I wasn't really sure WHAT was I doing here.
"I'll let you know when I figure it out." I said to him as we both sat there in silence. This was nice. It's been a long time since Scott and I spent time together. Sure, there were those times back before Knives came where we would chat about stuff, but nothing compared to this. It was just him and me, alone in the forest. It was nice just sitting here, even if neither of us was talking. I missed his company, even more now that I didn't hold a grudge against him. Hell, I maybe miss his company even more now that I know Ramona left him. I looked over and gave him a small smile, something I haven't done in a long time. And it was a genuine smile. No sinister motives…no plotting of revenge…just a smile of appreciation.
What happened next was something I was not expecting…
Scott leaned over to me and kissed me.
My eyes shot open as I felt his lips pressed up against mine. My mind went blank. I was unable to think. All I know is Scott is kissing me and he didn't pull away. He slowly started to give me soft, tender kisses. The look of shock that was on my face…
…the feeling of being taken by surprise…
…slowly melted away.
My eyes drooped as I felt a surge of emotion and affection fill my body like a tidal wave as I started to return Scott's soft kisses. Each one of his kisses made my body feel warm and for every kiss I returned, he gave me three more. I leaned into him as our small kisses turned into a passionate making out session that I never wanted to end. For once, in a long time…I felt at peace. I reached up and grab hold of his blue parka as I pulled him closer to me. Each second I was with him…
…each kiss he gave me…
…each kiss I returned…
…it made me want him more.
It made me want to start things over with Scott. Rekindle the relationship that we had. Rekindle the life that I had when I was back in high school. Rekindle the time in my life where being with Scott made me happy…
…and then it all came back.
…the troubles we faced, the obstacles we had to overcome, the people that we hurt, the pain we put our friends through, the drama that we caused between us…it all came back to me.
No…what are you doing Kim? This isn't going to work! Stop kissing him! PLEASE! STOP KISSING HIM!
"NO, Scott!" I yelled as I shoved Scott away from me. It was Scott's turn to have the look of surprise on his face.
"…we can't." I said to him as I stared right into his eyes. My heart was pounding and I was still trying to catch my breath and calm myself down.
"Why not? Why about-" Scott started as he stared right back into my eyes. I couldn't handle it. I could feel my soul cringing in pain as he kept eye contact with me. I quickly reached for my sunglasses and put them on. Even though I had my glasses on and was looking away from him, I could still feel his gaze on me. His painful gaze…his longing gaze… "Haven't you been there for me this whole time?"
"What? Excuse me?" I said a bit confused.
"Things were always so complicated with Ramona. You're so, like, uncomplicated…you've been the one constant in my life." He said to me as I continued to look away from him, "Doesn't it make sense?"
"Uncomplicated?" I said, rather annoyed by that word. "Don't you remember high school? It wasn't all cute move-romance junk, Scott." I said to him as the vivid images of high school were now filing my mind...and they weren't the good kind of images…they were bad ones that you wanted to forget. I tried to think of the good times that we had…but all that was coming to mind were the drama-filled, hate-filled moments. No relationship is perfect…and we were no exception.
"We were high school sweethearts. But I had to move away."
"Are you kidding? You didn't even tell me you were leaving!" I yelled at him, gripping the top of my head in frustration. "I heard it from Lisa! I didn't talk to her for a month after that!" I sighed as I took off my glasses and rubbed my eyes. "Not to mention you screwed over poor Simon Lee…" I said as the horrible images of Scott beating Simon into the ground popped in my head. My back was turned away from the fight so I didn't see it, but hearing it from behind…it's probably a lot worse than actually seeing it.
"Simon I want to break up. It's not going to work out…"
"There's another guy…"
"Kim! Let her go, Simon. I've defeated all your evil bosses. You're finished!"
"Took you long enough…"
Then the image of Simon's face flooded my mind. The expression of sorrow….lost of hope…the will to live…forever burned in my memory. I caused that. That was all my fault. And there was nothing I could do to make that memory go away.
"…well we both did, but the look on his face…"
"Simon Lee?" Scott said. "But…he was a bad guy."
"Simon Lee? The Chinese kid? I was dating him, Scott. I think he hugged me once." I said, recalling my entire relationship with Simon. Truthfully, the relationship wasn't really based on physical attraction. Maybe it was all academics. It made perfect sense that the two smartest in the class would end up together. But there was no real physical relationship. It is why I found myself being attracted to Scott in the first place. He paid real attention to me…even after geography class and beyond. I curled up in a ball, feeling very exposed at the moment. I just opened my heart and soul to a guy that I thought, back then, I was going to spend the rest of my life with…only to realize that I really didn't want that after all. All I really wanted was someone to care about me. I glanced over to Scott, hoping to continue the conversation but then I saw it.
Scott's head was glowing.
"Scott…" I said, very surprised that his head was glowing just as bright as Ramona's head four or five months ago.
"Forget it, okay? Forget I said anything" He said, almost mindlessly. "Let's forget the whole thing." As he said that, his head began to radiate more light. It was so bright that I put my hand up to block some of the light.
"Y-your head…" I said as I reached for his head, seeing if it's a physical glow or some kind of spiritual glow.
"I'm fine! Let's move on, already!" Scott shouted as he jumped on his feet. I pulled my hand away from him as I continue to stare at his glowing head. "Let's go!"
"Scott, I'm sorry." I apologized, hoping that the glow would die, but nothing I said to him was getting through. "Calm down." Suddenly, Scott's oblivious gaze turned into a glare as he stared directly at me.
"Dude…" I said, slowly getting up, almost ready to run away if he were to come at me. Whatever was happening to him, whatever was possessing him right now…I didn't want to be in the way. His glare intensified as he started to charge at me.
Oh God! Scott! Don't…!
But he didn't charge at me. He actually charged passed, heading towards the tress behind me. He was running at something. He wasn't just running at a tree, but at someone else…something that has caught his attention.
"It's the NegaScott!" Scott yelled as I looked over to see who he's yelling at. To much of my horror, I saw a figured that looked like Scott, but a darker version of him…a version that I'm too familiar with. It looked exactly like Scott: same clothes, same hair, same wristbands, the only difference was the blood red eyes that he possessed.
It can't be. Is that MY darker self as Scott? Or is Scott being haunted by his own dark self. What does this mean? Who are these people? Why are they always out to make out lives difficult?
But what surprised me more was what came next. A Scott charged at his darker self, the NegaScott manage to land an elbow to the jaw of Scott, sending him flying back in the direction he came. My eyes widen as I realized that HIS darker self is able to hurt him…KILL him even.
Why is he here? He's here for a reason right? My darker self comes whenever I think about Scott…maybe it's the same for him. Think Kimberly! What happened before he starting charging at…
"Forget it, okay? Forget I said anything. Let's forget the whole thing."
Oh my God…is that it? Are you trying to forget something Scott? Are you trying to forget the past?
"You can't keep living like this, Scott!" I yelled at him, hoping he would come to terms with his past. If he does that, maybe that dark presence goes away. It was a long shot, but it was better than nothing.
"Leave me alone!" Scott yelled at me as he got back up and charged again. "I just need to kill him…so I can forget her…" He closed the distance between him and NegaScott and threw a wide right hook. "…and move on!" But his wide right hook was way too wide. NegaScott skillfully countered his attack with an uppercut that sent him flying in the air.
Is that what it is? You're trying to forget about Ramona? Ramona is part of the past now. Whether you like it or not, she is now a part of your past. You can't simply erase that from your mind! You can't just pretend that never happened!
"But if you keep forgetting your mistakes, you'll just keep making them again!" I shouted at Scott as he flipped himself around in midair and sent a flying downward kick to his dark self.
"I don't care! It's better than having to live with myself!"
It is then I realized that Scott and I had something in common with our darker selves. We are both haunted by the past.
His is more recent and is more of a physical ghost where mine has been manifesting over the years and has taking a mental form. They pester, bug, and even taunt at us, gently reminding ourselves of the things we want to forget. For Scott, it's Ramona…for me…
"Everything you've done wrong is just gonna keep following you around, Scott!" I shouted at him, trying to get him to realize that what's he's doing…forgetting Ramona, forgetting the past…is wrong. Scott landed the kick to the sternum of NegaScott and they both got knocked off the high ground and started rolling down the hill. I did my best to navigate down the hillside without completely falling down it. "You've got to hold on!" I yelled as I watched the two continue to roll down the hill. They finally met at the bottom, but NegaScott was the one that pinned Scott down.
Come on Scott! Fight! You have to win! You have to show me it's possible to win! This isn't just your fight that you're fighting for! This is my fight as well! You have to show me that I, too, can fight my ghost!
NegaScott held Scott down with his left hand and rose his right hand in the air, ready to deliver a devastating blow.
The grin on NegaScott's face grew as he held Scott down. He knew he had him pinned. It was all over for Scott. This blow NegaScott was about to deliver….he knew it would be the last.
"I DON'T KNOW!"
I saw the punch head towards Scott's body in slow motion, almost as if time was slowing down at this point. I could feel my eyes slowly shoot open and my mouth opening up in a form of a scream. But I couldn't scream. My voice was not able to. That punch was going to end Scott's life…and there was nothing I could do…not even scream before his death.
…but the punch didn't land.
Right before it hit Scott, NegaScott's punch stopped in mid-travel. Scott and NegaScott were now staring at each other, their eyes locked at each other. I wasn't sure what was going on…but it seems that they stopped fighting and somehow synced with one another. Their expressions matched and NegaScott's arms drooped back to his side as they continued to stare at each other.
"R-Ramona…" I heard Scott softly say. NegaScott just continued to stare as his counterpart. And then, in one brief moment, NegaScott merged with Scott. I felt a sigh of relief as I saw him merge with the real Scott. It was a breath of fresh air, for more than one reason. I was glad that Scott is still alive, and I am relieved that it is, indeed, POSSIBLE to defeat your darker half. Only difference is that he was physically able to harm him where mine is an image of my own subconscious. There was no way to harm her…not that Scott used physical damage to harm his dark self. I made my way to Scott and knelt down. He placed his hands against his eyes and rubbed them as he tried to deal what just happened.
"I remember everything." He said as I continued to look at him.
"Everything." He said as he sat up. "High School…college…Sex Bob-omb…Ramona…I remember it all."
"Do you?" I asked, curious if he does remember everything.
"Your name is Kimberly Pine. We dated in high school until our senior year." He started. "…when my parents decided to move to Toronto, I wasn't sure how to break the news to you because I knew it would break your heart so…I didn't tell you." Hearing Scott say that to me wasn't hurtful, but relieving. It means he finally knows. "…instead I told Lisa Millar. I knew she would tell you eventually. But until then, I couldn't see or talk to you those next couple of weeks. I couldn't…I just…couldn't-" He said as he rubbed his eyes again. "I couldn't bear the thought or the image of your sad face when I told you that I was breaking up with you Kim. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for everything…I'm sorry for me!"
I wrapped my arms around him and gave him a hug. It was all I ever wanted to hear from him…and more…but this time, I was able to properly return the favor.
"I told you already…apology accepted…"
"I don't deserve to get her back." Scott said to me as we stood at the bus station near my house. I looked over at Scott and saw the uncertainty in his eyes. His will to fight for Ramona was back, but he looked unsure if it will be worth it.
"So FIGHT for her. Earn her back." I said to him as he continued to stare right at me.
I wish I could go with you Scott…I really do. But I still have things I need to do here. Things that I need to do alone. I have to face my own ghost like you did. I wish you the best of luck Scott, not that you need it. Afterall, you're Scott Pilgrim.
I walked close to him and placed my hands against his chest. I felt him leaned back a bit but I continued to pressed against him as I leaned up and gave him a soft kiss.
I know I'm stealing a kiss from him, and I know that this relationship can never work…but this is what I needed. This was the closure that I've been searching for…for almost eight years…
I slowly broke away from Scott as I looked down at my hands which were still pressed up against his chest. Scott didn't move after the kiss. He was still stunned that I made that move on him.
"That's for luck." I softly said to him.
I took a deep breath and regained my composure. "And it'll never happen again."
"All aboard!" We heard the conductor yell as Scott and I looked over at the bus Scott was about to board.
"You better get going. Find Ramona. Defeat Gideon. WIN Ramona's heart back!" I said to him as I saw the fire in his eyes rekindle. What was weird was that I also felt the fire in my own eyes. I felt Scott's determination. I felt Scott's desire to win.
"What about you Kim? What are you doing to do now?"
"I have my own things I need to work out. Just get going already." I said, mentioning him to get to the bus. I saw him look over his shoulder and then back at me.
"This isn't good-bye, stupid."
"Does that mean you're coming back to Toronto?" Scott said surprised as the conduction was now calling final boarding.
"…we'll see." I said to him as I saw a smile spread across his face.
"…then I'll see you later Kim." He said as he turned around and walked to the conductor. Scott was the last person the board the bus, and by the sound of the conversation he was having with the conductor, it would seem that the bus was overbooked. Scott made a motion that everything will be fine and looked up at the top of the bus. In one leap, Scott jumped up and landed on top of the bus and grab hold of the roof of the bus.
"You show off!" I yelled at him as he waved bye to me. The bus pulled out of the station and started to head towards Toronto, with Scott Pilgrim riding on top. I could feel Scott's determination grow as the bus gained speed and soon out of my sight. I wasn't sure why…but everything that Scott is feeling right now I felt it too. He wanted to win. He wanted to find Ramona and beat the crap out of Gideon. Maybe it was because of the kiss, but I felt a link to Scott. Kinda like a soul link. Maybe not…afterall we're not soul mates. But there was a connection between me and Scott now. I couldn't be there physically for him, but I now can be there in spirit, literally.
…but I had no time to dwell on my new mental link to Scott…I had things to do. Ghost to face…shadows to chase away.
Scott was able to defeat his darker self from self realization…and Scott and my darker self had one thing in common…we were both haunted by our past. I learned a lot from the fight. And I finally knew what I had to do to finally banish my ghost forever…the only problem now is to find out where he is…
…where in the world could he be after all these years?
"Alright everyone. That's it for class. I'll see you all on Monday." I heard a voice call as I walked down the hallways of St. Joel's Catholic High School. I saw a group of students walk out of the classroom I was about to enter so I was forced to wait until everyone left. As I looked up and down the halls, many fond memories filled my head of my time in high school: conversations about class, hot gossip about the popular couples on campus, what the lunch lady was serving that day…they were indeed good times. I peeked inside the classroom to see that all the students have left the room. The only person that was left was the teacher, who was busy scribbling something in his notebook on his desk.
"It's been awhile Simon. Or should I say, Professor Lee." I said to the teacher as he turned around to look at me. He was a slim Chinese man…Ray Ban black frames, blue collared shirt with a purple tie and black dress pants on. As soon as he turned his head to see me, I raised an eyebrow, as if he wasn't sure who I was. But I couldn't blame him. It's definitely been awhile…
"Um…can I help you?"
I got off the doorframe I was leaning on and walked over to him. I reached up to my hair and pulled it all back to form a small ponytail. I made sure that my bangs weren't covering my freckles or my eyes.
"Does that help?" I asked as I saw his face turn from daze and confused to alert and surprised.
"Oh my God…Kim? Kim Pine is that you?" He asked as I released my hair, allowing it to fall back to place.
"Yeah it's me. It's great to see you again, Simon." I said to him as he got up and hugged me. Truthfully, I didn't think he would hug me. After what I did to him, it was the second to last thing I expected him to do. Last thing, of course, is kiss me. But I returned his hug with my own nevertheless.
"It's so good to see you, too, Kim. It really is. Please! Please sit down! We have a lot to catch up on!" He said as he broke away and motioned me to see down. I looked around and found the same table that I sat down eight years ago…the same table that I first met Simon…and the first time I met Scott. I walked over to my table and sat in my old seat. I could feel the memories come back again.
"Holy cow Kim. It's been awhile huh? Eight years I think?" He said to me as he took his chair from his desk and brought it to the opposite side of my desk.
"Indeed. Eight years. So what have you been up to? Teaching Geography at St. Joel's? Really? Isn't teaching high school the place where education degrees come to die?" I said jokingly as he shook his head.
"Hey! This was actually my first job alright! I actually wanted to work here, thank you very much."
"But why?" I said, crossing my arms and raising an eyebrow at him.
"I don't know…I guess this place is special to me. A lot of good times here…I guess in the back of my mind I wanted to give back to the place that was the most influential part of my life." He said to me.
"I guess it's true what they say then. Your high school years are the best years of your life." I said as he laughed at my statement.
"I wouldn't say that. High school was terrible. I mean I learned a lot during those high school years…especially from this place. Academics were easy…life lessons were hard to learn. And this is where I learned them" He said, gesturing the whole room, but most likely talking about the whole school.
"Wow…that's pretty deep there Simon. I forgot how soulful you can be." I said to him as he looked back at me.
"So how are you Kim? What have you been up to? And how did you find me? After high school you kinda fell off the map." Simon said to me as I reached into my jacket pocket and pulled out a piece of paper that's been folded in fours. I unfolded it to reveal the St. Joel's alumni newsletter.
"The alumni newsletter. You're quite active in it." I said to him as I tossed it on the desk. "Kinda weird, considering that you didn't graduate with us and therefore NOT an alumni. But I guess our school is very desperate in knowing whatever happen to their students, alumni or not." I said to him as he picked up the newsletter and looked at it.
"Very true. I think they just assumed I'm an alumni since I was a student here and I'm an actual teacher here."
"Here I thought it would be hard to find you. When I asked my parents if they know about your whereabouts they automatically turned me to St. Joel's." I said, leaning back in my chair. "But to answer your previous question. I've been doing…" I started but hesitated. "…good. Stressed, but who isn't, right?" I said to him as he laughed.
"As far as what I've been up to…I honestly don't know."
"What do you mean?"
"I guess my life has been in aloof right now. I actually moved back from Toronto."
"…trying to escape?" I admitted to him. He tilted his head in confusion. "Actually…the reason why I'm here is to talk to you about…'us'." Now if my last statement didn't confuse him, I'm pretty sure that statement definitely took the cake.
"I…I don't know what to say to that. What do you mean 'us'?" Simon asked as I scratched my head in hesitation.
"I mean 'us' in the past. You know…sophomore year and junior year…" I said to him. We both sat there in silence for awhile.
"Oh…Well, before you speak any further. I have to tell you that…" He started as he raised the back of his left hand to me. On his ring finger was a solid gold ring around it. "…I'm married."
"Whoa…I mean, congratulations Simon! I mean…wow. I…" I stammered as I saw the ring. "I…I'm actually surprised. You've come quite along since high school…even college! You have a solid job, a wife, probably a house…as for me…" I said as I felt myself getting depressed. "…I'm back to square one." I let out a sigh as I could no longer look at Simon. I was too ashamed to look at him. I graduated top of my class and my life hasn't come together as well as him.
"Hey. Come on Kim. My life was basically revolved around studying and working hard to get my teaching degree." He said to me, I guess trying to make me feel better, but it didn't help.
"I guess we all know who was the better student in the end…"
"Kim stop. Yes, I did work hard for what I have now…but it did come with a price. I mean…I wasn't involved in school clubs…never went out with friends to go drinking…hell, didn't have that many friends to begin with. I was so determined to get what I set my mind to that…well, had to sacrifice a lot of my social life. I guess I was lucky that in college I found a girl that was willing to stay with me throughout college." He said to me as he sighed as well. "I guess what I'm saying is that there are things that you've done that I WISH I could have done and vice versa."
"I guess you're right…" I said to him as we both sat in silence again.
"So…what did you want to talk about? Something about 'us'?" He said to me, motioning back and forth between us.
"Oh right. 'Us' in the past." I started as I took a deep breath. "I guess what I wanted to talk about…no…what I wanted to say to you was that I'm sorry."
"Sorry? Sorry for what?" Simon said, rather confused.
"I'm sorry for being the world's crappiest girlfriend. And breaking up with you in the crappiest way possible…" I said to him, not looking at him again out of shame.
"Oh…you mean with the whole 'Scott coming to kick my ass' thing?" He said to me as I felt more embarrassed as he mentioned it. "Look…I'll admit. That did suck. A lot…but truthfully, I wasn't that good of a boyfriend to you in the first place. Our relationship…I guess it was purely academics. I guess I just wanted someone that I can compete with and at the same time have someone that shared the same passion of studying like I did. I guess that's why I was attracted to you in the first place, Kim. You were a fighter. You were always trying to one up me everytime and it motivated me to work harder. Soon, I guess that's what the relationship turned into. I swear to you though, I thought you were one of the cutest girls in our class…but that physical attraction just turned into a competition. So really…I guess I should be the one apologizing to you." I raised my eyebrow at him as he said that to me.
"I'm sorry that I was a crappy boyfriend and didn't pay that much attention to you in high school. I'm sorry that I used you as a motivational ploy than someone that I should have cared about with all my heart. I'm sorry." I smiled at his apology.
"Thanks Simon. I guess we both took our relationship for granted then, huh?"
"Yeah…I guess so…"
"…but that won't put my ghost to rest." I said as I got up and walked over to where he was.
"What? What ghost? What are you doing Kim?" He asked as I looked down at him. He took the hint and stood up so we were looking at each other in equal height.
"Simon. I'm sorry. But I want to break up with you." I said to him. I saw his eyes widen but then they relaxed again. "I feel that this long distance relationship isn't working out. We hardly have time to see each other since you move…you fail to hold up your promise of meeting at the Dufferin Mall every weekend…and I can't wait around forever until you decide to come see me. I'm sorry." I said to him as he gave me a small smile.
"I understand Kim. I'm sorry that I've wasted so much of your time. I'm sorry that I strung you along like that…I really am." Simon replied, playing along. I really appreciated that he was playing along…it made it feel more real. "…is there someone else? I know it's none of my business…but I just…I just gotta know."
I slowly nodded my head. "…yeah. There is. His name is Scott. He's not the smartest…not by a long shot but…he's a good guy."
Simon didn't say anything for awhile. I guess it was starting to feel real for him as well. "…does he make you happy?"
"…yeah. He does." I admitted to him. Simon let out a loud sigh as he placed his hands on his hips.
"…well, if he makes you happy, then he's ok in my book." He said to me.
"I'm sorry that this isn't going to work out Simon. You're a good guy…you really are. I'm sorry." I finished. I felt my soul feel lighter by this. It felt really good to finally give Simon an appropriate breakup…rather than the crappy one I gave him eight years ago. Simon continued to look at me as he crossed his arms.
"So do you feel better now?" He asked me as I nodded.
"Yeah. Loads. Thank you Simon. I needed that…I just felt that you deserve an appropriate breakup…you know, minus the beat up from Scott."
"I always though Scott was divine retribution for me being a horrible boyfriend…but I will admit that it did hurt to see you hook up with him right after he was doing beating me up. So thank you for the apology."
"Sorry…" I repeated like a broken record. I looked at the time on the clock and sighed. "Well, I gotta get going Simon. I need to thank you for listening to me Simon. I really needed to get that off my chest."
"No problem Kim. I know that we have history with each other but it's great to see you again after all these years."
"Yeah…it is. Well, I know where to find you now. Educate these kids Simon…I mean, Professor Lee. They are our future." I said to him as she smiled at me.
"I'll do my best, Ms. Pine. I will." I turned around and headed for the door. "Oh! And Kim?" I stopped at the door and turned around to look at Simon Lee one more time.
"Whatever 'ghost' is haunting you…I hope you're able to banish it back to where it came."
"…thank you Simon. Maybe I'll swing by again."
"Don't be a stranger. And thank you again Kim."
I nodded my head as I walked out of the classroom and down the familiar hallway out the double doors that lead outside.
It was getting dark outside. And when you're out in the forest and it starts to get dark, it really becomes noticeable. I went back to my home and got my walkman and headed back to my special clearing where I saw Scott and NegaScott fight each other. Ever since that battle, I wanted to head back there alone and see if I could face my own darker self in the same way Scott did. But as I sat here, listening to my music, there was no sign of my darker self. I even through about Scott for the longest time but still no sign of her.
"I don't get it…" I said to myself as I continued to listen to my music. "Now that I want her to show up she doesn't…and when I don't want her to show up she appears." I sighed as I tapped my foot to the rhythm of the music.
Suddenly, I felt my body receive a surge of strength. I wasn't why I was feeling like that, but I felt myself suddenly feel like I was ready to fight.
What's going on? It feels like…it feels like I wanna fight. Why am I feeling…
I looked around my surroundings and then I remembered what happen earlier.
It's Scott…that's right. Ever since that kiss at the bus station…I guess I've been feeling what he's been feeling. He must have found Gideon…he must be fight him now. Give him hell Scott! Give him hell!
"GIVE HIM HELL!" I yelled out loud, clenching my fist with all of the energy that I was receiving from him. The energy slowly faded away after I yelled that. Maybe Scott was concentrating hard on the fight….maybe he already defeated him. But I was no longer feeling the strength that Scott was channeling through his body. I sighed again as I continued to listen to the music.
I hope you're doing alright Scott…
Then I felt something. Something strong. Something horrible. It felt like a serrated knife being driven into my heart and being pulled out, only to be stabbed again. The pain was excruciating. I had to reach up and hold my own chest to make sure the pain wasn't really happening to me. It was hard to breath…it was hard to think. I wasn't sure what to make of the sudden pain. As I patted my chest to make sure that the pain wasn't real, I looked over in the direction of Toronto and took off my headphones.
"Oh God…what happened? Scott? SCOTT!" I yelled, hoping my voice would carry all the way to Toronto…but even I knew that was not possible. I continued to breathe hard. The pain was still there and it didn't go away.
Scott…please. Please tell me that you didn't get defeated. Tell me that you're ok. Tell me that you didn't die!
Oh, he's dead Kimberly. He's very much dead…
I narrowed my eyes and looked behind me to see my darker self standing there, her blood red eyes straight right into mine.
"I've been waiting for you…" I said as I clench my fist and raised them up. "…and I'm ready to finally banish you from my mind forever!" I yelled as I threw a punch at my darker self. I saw my fist went straight through her and I fell forwards with my own power that I put behind that punch. I fell on my stomach and looked behind me, seeing her laughing at my failed attempt to harm her.
What a show! Did you think you could physically touch me, Kimberly? You even knew it from the start that I'm a mental shadow…not a physical one like Scott's. But let me break it to you now so you don't waste your time thinking about it…I'm NOTHING like Scott's darker self. She said to me as she disappeared from sight.
"Where did you…"
I'm MUCH deadlier! I heard her say from behind me as I felt something…or someone's hand penetrate my head from behind and squeezed my brain. I let out a terrified yell as it felt like something was probing by brain. I fell to my knees and down on my hands as I breathed hard, trying to regain my strength.
"I told you Kim! Lisa and I never went out!"
My eyes shot open as I heard Scott's voice. I looked in front of me to see Scott…a younger version of Scott talking to what appears to be a younger version of me.
"Are you sure? You two seem very cozy with one another at the Valentine's day dance."
"But you said that it was ok that I danced with her!"
"But not like that!"
"God! You're so confusing sometimes Kim!" I heard the young Scott yell at me. "If you're feeling that this now then I…!"
"You what? Huh? What are you going to say?"
"…nevermind. I'm going home."
"…that was our first big fight…" I said to myself as I saw the image of Scott walk away and me. As I saw them leave, I felt the pain of someone probing my head again. I let out another painful scream as I collapsed on my stomach.
"Kim…? Can I ask you something?"
I looked up again to see a younger version of me again sitting at a lunch table with a blond girl sitting right next to me. I instantly recognized that girl. It was Lisa Millar. My best friend.
"Are you serious with Scott?"
"…um, yes? We've been dating for almost half a year now. I'm pretty serious about him."
"Do you love him?"
"I told you already…I'm not sure…"
"Why do you ask Lisa?"
"…maybe you should make up your mind. And soon Kim. I mean…the worst thing you can do to a guy is string him along and waste his time."
"What's that suppose to mean?"
"I guess what' I'm saying is…you better make up your mind. Or else someone might steal Scott away from underneath you."
I watched as Lisa picked up her tray and walked away. I saw the look on my younger face. A mixture of confusion and worry took over as she slowly continued to eat her lunch, but in a much more distressed state.
"…the first time I felt insecure about my relationship with Scott…" I muttered. The pain came back once more, the feeling of someone probing my head for more terrible memories. I screamed again as I felt my body curl up again in defense, but no matter what I did, the pain didn't go away.
My eyes shot open. In front of my line of vision were Scott and me standing with a good distance between each other.
"Lisa said you were moving away…Is it true?" I watch Scott no respond to my question. Everytime I see this memory I always wish he would…but he never does. Even though I forgave Scott for this…it was still painful to watch. "Scott…please talk to me. Tell me."
Still no response.
"Scott Pilgrim! Tell me you're not moving away! Tell me that I wasn't going to be the LAST to know about this! TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO TELL ME!"
You cannot banish me Kimberly. I conquer your mind. You can go out and seek forgiveness from people of your past, but no matter how many people forgive you, you cannot get rid of me. I will forever be in your head…
I closed my eyes as I felt tears start to form in my eyes.
Maybe she's right. I'm not strong. I'm definitively not as strong as Scott. There is no way I can defeat my darker self. I'll forever be haunted by her…
…no matter what I do…
…I'm too weak…
My eyes shot open. I felt a sudden surge of energy fill my body. My energy was restored and felt my strength return…maybe even more than what I'm use to. I wasn't sure why I was getting so much energy all of a sudden, but I was going to use. I quickly got up and looked over at my darker self, surprised to see me get up.
"I'm not through yet!" I said to her, my fist clenched again.
How are you up?
I wasn't sure at first, but then it hit me.
Scott….Scott is alive! And he's fighting again…but this time it's different. He has more confidence. He has more determination. I can feel it…afterall, it's coursing through my veins as well. I can do this. I know what I must do. I know how to defeat her!
"I know I can't physically hurt you...and you're nothing like Scott's dark self. But you both have something in common." I said to her as she raised her eyebrow at me. "You're a link to my past…the ghost of everyone and everything that I tried to block out in the past eight years. And in reality…" I said as I dropped my hands and relaxed a bit. "…you're not real." This made my darker self smile, not in her usual mischievous way, but in a sincere way.
So you know who I am? She said to me. There was movement right behind her. I saw two little hand grip the pants of my darker self and a little girl's head poked out from behind her. It was my younger self peeking out, looking at me. And you know who she is as well?
"…I do." I sighed. "It took me awhile to figure it out. At first, I believe that you were a manifestation of my desire to be with Scott. But you said it before, that's not true. So I continued to try to figure out what you are, and why you follow me around, especially when times got really hard for me. You followed me around when I was battling with my feelings for Scott, whether or not I was really using Jason Kim, if my decision to move back home was a good idea…" I saw my younger self walk out from hiding and stood right behind my darker self. "They say that the truth hurts…and you know what? You do hurt. A lot."
I saw the eyes of my darker self go from blood red to a different eye color. My eye color. Her dark clothes, skin, and hair were slowly turning back to its original colors. Soon…I was looking right at myself, as if I was looking right into a mirror.
"I'm proud of you Kim." She said to me as I sighed, walking up to her.
"You represent the truth. You're the real Kim Pine. I'm the dark presence." I said, looking at my hands. "I did have feelings for Scott. But I was too stubborn to realize it. I did use Jason Kim for the physical relationship. I knew that it wasn't going to go any farther than sex. But I didn't want to face the truth that I was just using him…I mean, who would admit that? And why I came home…I came home because I couldn't face the problems I was facing back in Toronto. I was running away from my life. My real life. I came home thinking I can start new…but I knew that couldn't happen. All the times where you came to pester me, mess with my mind, emotionally destroy me…you were just telling me what my TRUE feelings were. I was the one that was dismissing them as lies and slander. I couldn't face the truth, and I didn't want to believe it. I'm my own worst enemy." I looked up from my hands to look at my true self and my younger self.
"As for her…" I said, looking at my younger self. "She represents my soul…" I said as she smiled at me when I said that. There was only one chain left on her leg and it trailed behind her out of sight. "She's my inner child, I guess you can say. But the weight of all of my past mistakes were holding her down…holding me down. It made me spiteful…made me slow to trust people…made me a dark person. But there is only one chain left from the original four that were on her.
"Entertain me Kim…what were the chains?" I heard my true self say to me.
"It's not what…but who." I said as I knelt down and physically touched the chain, lifting it up. "Each of these chains represented someone that bear weight on my soul. Someone that held me down for all these years. "The first chain was Lisa Millar."
"Shut up you…you…WHORE!" I heard the voice of myself echoing through my head. "I…I loathe you! I…I never want to see you or hear from you ever again!"
"I blamed her for the break up between Scott and me. All my hate, frustration, and jealously of Lisa all came to a climax on that day. I hated her…and I was thoroughly convinced that she was just trying to take Scott away from me. But when I realized that what she was saying was true, it made me hate Scott more…but my feeling towards Lisa was one of regret. I knew what I said to her was wrong…she was trying to be a friend and I couldn't see that. I was blinded by jealously. So when I finally gave her the apology that she deserved, I felt my soul feel better. That leads me to the second chain…Scott Pilgrim."
"Scott Pilgrim! Tell me you're not moving away! Tell me that I wasn't going to be the LAST to know about this! TELL ME YOU WERE GOING TO TELL ME!"
"Scott Pilgrim…probably the darkest and heaviest chain that was shackled to my soul. I…" I started as I paused for a minute. I wasn't sure before, but now I was certain. "I loved him. I always have. But for now for different reasons. Scott was my life back in high school. Before he came, it was just academics. Strive to be the best…get the praise of people that don't really know me. But when Scott came…when he started paying attention to me…it made me feel good. I wanted more and he wasn't afraid to give me more. Sure, we had our problems, but no relationship is perfect. I honestly thought that we had a future though. I saw us growing old together..sitting on a porch…holding each other's hands as the sunset. So when he broke up with me…no…when he left me…it destroyed me. It hurt me so bad that I thought no one like him will ever come along. I felt so alone without him…but at the same time I hated him for leaving me like that. I hated his guts for just leaving me to hang. We were together for almost two years and to be left to find out the truth from your best friend? That's…that took a toll on my soul."
I found myself smiling as I remembered Scott's apology. "But when he apologized…it was what I wanted to hear. It's all I ever wanted to hear. Scott's a very proud guy…so for him to open up to me like that…exposing that side to himself to me from underneath all that armor of strength and stupidity…it made me feel good. It made me feel like I can trust him again. It made me feel like I can finally be friends with him once more…without the hate…without the grudge…without the past coming back and reminding me of what happened. My relationship with Scott finally got the closure it deserved and it's only until then the shackle was removed. The third shackle…" I said as I took deep breath. "…was Simon Lee."
"Simon Lee?" My true self asked as I nodded.
"Simon Lee. My first boyfriend. This is the shackle that I made myself. The way I treated Simon…the way I broke up with him…and what happened to him afterwards…I blamed myself for it. There were other ways I could have done that. But I decided that talking to him about it face to face was the best way…but I couldn't collect my thoughts in a nice way to break up with him. I basically told him that everything he was doing to keep the relationship alive was useless. He put a lot of effort to keep it alive too…the letters he sent me were soulful…and thoughtful…but the truth was…I never read a single one. I couldn't read them. They weren't real. I wanted him to be there for me…physically be there for me. So when Scott came around and started to give the attention that I wanted…I knew that I wanted to break up with Simon. But what I blame myself on is stringing him for so long." I rubbed my eyes as I continued to think about it. "Not to mention that Scott followed me to Benvie Tech…Scott was under the assumption that Simon was preventing me from leaving the school. So he went and beat the crap out of him. Not to mention…that afterwards Scott and I shared our first kiss on that roof…the same roof where Simon's heart and body got broken. I blame myself for that. It could have gone better…it shouldn't have been like that…it shouldn't…
I wiped away a tear for my eye. "So when I found Simon Lee again, I gave him the break up speech that I wanted to give him after all these years…in the way that I wanted to say it. What made me break from that shackle was Simon playing along…as if we traveled back in time eight years. It felt good…and I knew that I would create real closure for him as well."
"That's great Kimberly…but there is still one more shackle left…" She said to me as I held the chain in my hand.
"Yeah…and the last shackle…" I started as I gave the chain a hard pull towards me. I watched as it whipped forward towards me and around, only to see it come back at my ankle where the other end of the shackle was. "…is mine."
I saw my younger self get excited as I said that. I smiled right back at her and reached over to give her a hug.
"I'm the last shackle on my own soul. And you're the key of finally freeing myself from these chains." I said to her as I got up. "The constant lies I've been feeding myself…the stories I told myself to put myself to sleep at night…the grudge, the hatred, the jealously…it was unhealthy. So I tried to dismiss it. I tried to leave it all behind me and forget about it. I thought by leaving it behind, I could move on and be happy. But that didn't work. You're proof that it didn't work. My past will always be there, whether I like it or not. And your constant taunting and harassment made me realize that I cannot run away from it. No one can. Scott tried, but only when he realizes he couldn't forget Ramona, he was able to banish his ghost. And so…" I started as I squared off with my other self and stared at her straight in the eyes.
"…I don't need you. I accept everything about myself. My strengths, my weaknesses, my flaws, and my past. It's what makes me whole…it's what makes me a person…" I said as I took a deep breath.
"IT'S WHAT MAKES ME KIMBERLY PINE!" I yelled, closing my eyes as I did. I panted as I used all of my energy in that yell. As I opened my eyes, I was alone. My other self was gone…my younger self was gone…I was standing in my special clearing alone. I looked around and saw that they were nowhere in sight. I couldn't believe it…I couldn't believe that I was able to banish my own ghost. It was over…and I felt great. Ecstatic even! I felt like I could run around all of Canada. And it wasn't because of the soul link I had with Scott. For the first time…
…in eight years…
…I finally felt…
"So you're going back to Toronto Kimmy?" I heard my mom say as I hauled my luggage to the front door. I placed it down and let out a sigh of relief.
"For the last time mom, yeah. I know how much it pains to you see your little girl go off to the real world." I said sarcastically. It's been a day days since I last went to my special clearing in the forest and banished my ghost forever…and I felt that it was time to return home…my second home away from home…in Toronto.
"Don't say things like that Kim." She said to me as she pulled me into a hug. "No matter how old you get you'll always be my little girl." I smiled as I returned the hug.
"That goes double for you, mom. No matter how old you get, I know that you'll always be my mom…and this place will always be my home." I said as I heard the door open. My dad was standing in the doorway as he looked at my mom and me.
"Ready to go?" He said as he held the keys to the car with his other hand. I gave a small smile to my dad as I picked up my luggage again. "Here, I'll get it." He said as I took the luggage from me and made his way to the car. I turned around and looked at my mom, who seems to be smiling at me for some reason.
"What?" I asked.
"I don't know…you seem…different. You seem…cheerful."
"…I guess I haven't noticed." I shrugged as my mom gave me one more hug before I walked out the house.
"Got everything?" My dad asked as I nodded. We both got in the car and pulled out of the driveway and headed towards the bus station.
"Call us when you get to Toronto, ok?" He said to me as I nodded. "So you said you already made living arrangements with someone? How much do you have to pay?"
"Yeah. I made arrangements. I'm going to be living in an apartment with a good friend of mine. And I was able to get my old job back…not that anyone wanted that old job in the first place." I chuckled at my old job as a clerk at No-Account. "I'll probably use my degree to actually find a real job though…I'll let you guys know…" I said to my dad. We made it to the station after a couple of minutes of travel. As we got out, my dad helped me carry my stuff to the bus.
"Be good ok? If there are any problems, don't be afraid to call home." He said to me as I looked over at the bus that will take me back to my life. My real life.
"I will dad." I said to him as I gave him a hug. "Thanks dad…for everything." I could tell my dad was a little thrown by my act of affection, but he hugged me back.
"Anytime Kimberly. You know you're my world." We both heard the conductor saying it's boarding time so I gave my dad one final hug before getting on the bus. As I made it to the back of the bus, I looked out the window and at the surroundings of Northern Ontario.
This is the place where my life started. This place is part of my past…
…and this place will always be my home no matter what.
A long trip later…
I was woken up by the sound of the bus engine dying down. I looked out the window and saw that I was back at the Dundas Street coach Terminal. I was back in Toronto…and it was very very late. As I left the bus, I looked around, trying to find the person that I was going to be living with for who-knows-how-long. As I continued to look around, I realize that the person wasn't there. But I didn't fret. I knew he was going to be late…he's probably running from the wrong bus station again...
I turned around to see a guy with light brown hair coming towards me. He was wearing an aged blue parka with an old iron-on X on the sleeve. I crossed my arms as he got close to me. He bent over and started to pant, trying to catch his breath.
"Sorry I'm late. I went to the wrong station again…"
"Don't sweat it Scott…" I said, shaking my head. "I was actually expecting it. Just help me grab my stuff. We have a long walk ahead of us." I said to him as I picked up one of my luggage while Scott grabbed the other one. "So you're really ok with me staying at your place?" I asked as he nodded.
"Of course it is!"
"And I won't be intruding between you and Ramona?" I asked as I looked over at him. He shook his head. "No way. She's really likes you Kim! She's actually likes the idea of you moving in. Though there will be times where…"
"…don't say another word Scott! It's bad enough that I feel it sometimes…" I said, looking away from him.
"W-What do you mean?" Scott said confused.
"Nothing…" I said as we walked down the sidewalk. "So what do you want to do when we reach your place?"
"Actually…I was wondering…do you wanna join a band?"
And so…the next day…
"WE ARE SHATTERBAND! ONE TWO THREE FOUR!"
"I thought love was somethin' somethinnn' faaaairy tails…" Scott sang as he played guitar while I handled the drum line for 'I'm a Believer' by The Monkees. But the truth was I wasn't sure how the beat went…and worse Scott didn't know what the tabs were, let alone the words to the song. We were just playing the best to our ability…and we both really didn't care. We were having fun. And really…why play if you don't have fun?
"Then I saw her face! Now I'm a bee-leavah!" Scott and I both sang as Knives Chau and Neil listened to us. After we finished our song, we both looked at Knives and Neil for constructive criticism.
"You guys are, um…you guys have so much potential!" Knives said, trying not to make eye contact with us. What she really meant to say was:
"You guys suck, um…you guys suck so much….potential!" Or something along those lines. Neil was much more honest…and brutal.
"That was an extremely bad cover of 'I'm a Believer' by the Monkees." Neil said as I looked over at Scott.
"Bad news, Scott. The only two people who could ever be our fans have developed taste."
"Hell, who needs 'em?" He said to me as I raised my drum sticks in the air, smiling.
"We'll just keep playing to your cat." I said as I saw Scott's cat, Gideon, looking out the window. "Want to do it again?"
"Let's do it again."
I looked out the window to see Scott and Knives talking to each other. I learned from Scott that she was actually going away to college so we won't be seeing her as often as we use to. But she did promise that she would try to visit as much as possible. I felt my heart get warm as I saw her hug Scott.
Good for her…I hope she finally got the closure she was looking for…
I pushed off the window sill and walked over to the couch where Gideon lounged. I sat down and picked up Gideon and placed him on my lap, petting him gently.
I can't believe where my life has taken me after all these years. Here I thought I was so much along in life…but now that I took the time and really evaluate all the events that have happen…I'm actually happy on where I am right now. If I had a time machine and was able to go back in time, I wouldn't change anything. All the mistakes, decisions, and choices I had to make that lead up to this point in my life…I'm proud that I made them. Past Kim…if you can somehow here this…great job.
I felt Gideon get up, hop off my lap, and walk into the kitchen. I also got up and walked to the window just in time to see Scott walking up a wooden staircase that led up to the top of a hill. At the top stood Ramona, waiting outside a subspace door. They paused for a minute, staring at each other. Then…Ramona offered her hand to him. Scott hesitated for a minute, but he took her hand and they walk to the subspace door and opened it. After sharing one more moment looking into each other's eyes, they jumped in. To where it lead, I don't know…and I'm sure they didn't know where it lead either…but they knew that wherever they ended up going, they will get there together.
Everyone is looking for 'happily ever after'. Two people meet, there is an instant connection, and then fireworks. Unfortunately only one story will end up like that. The others will end in disaster, tragedy, heartbreak. To the victor go the spoils. For everyone else, the shattered remains of what is left of themselves and their heart. Now do not get me wrong, I'm not pessimistic. I do believe that there is hope and love in the world. Afterall, I would not do what I am doing now if I did not believe that. But what can you do…what can you think when you know your actions will never be repaid? That the battle you are fighting and the sacrifices you made will not bring you any satisfaction…
…well the truth is you do receive satisfaction. You learn a lot about yourself as you go through the trouble. I know I have. I am twenty-four years old and quite frankly, I have learned a lot. They always say that life is a journey and you should enjoy it as much as you can before you reach the end. As for me…I would say I learned A LOT about myself in the last eight years. Trust yourself, never be ashamed of your faults and decision… for they are what they makes you who you are today. Never lie to yourself either. It's the worst thing you can do.
What scares me the most is that I still have a long journey ahead of me. The future is always uncertain, and I'm scared of what's to come…but I know that I'll learn from the experience. Afterall, I have friends to help me along the way. The world is a dark, scary place where everyone and everything is trying to get you…hell, you're not even safe from yourself. But with the right friends…and the right state of mind, there is no obstacle too big or too small for you to overcome…
My name is Kimberly Pine…
…and this is my story…
…through my eyes.