For almost as long as I can remember John Lennon has been in my life. He has been my rock, my consoler but most of all my brother at heart.
I was born in a average house with a average family but most of all a happy one in Ohio, USA. When I was five my mother was killed in a car accident leaving me and my father on our own. I remember the devastation and weeping for days once it really sunk in. My father was strong for a month or two then he turned to drink. He started drinking so much there wasn't a minute when he wasn't drunk out of his mind. Which resulted in him getting fired from his job within six months.
For about a month or two we lived on the streets with a bucket and cardboard sign reading "Out of Work, Out of Food and a child to care for". With seeing a small and at that point extremely skinny five year old with big doe eyes we got lots of donations. Which of course my dad spent almost all on his whiskey and would get a loaf of bread once a week and a bottle of water every day for us to share.
Finally after those horrible months my dad found work as a engineer in Liverpool, England. My dad actually managed to cut back on drinking for awhile so we could save enough money to ride the plane there. I remember thinking, "This will be just like starting over for both of us.
Daddy will stop drinking and we will be very happy." In my naive mind I thought since it was a new place and dad seemed to be getting better once we step off the plane it will be all hunky dory. I was far from the truth.
When we got there my dad found out that he had to work at night only on Monday-Thursday. So my dad poured as much whiskey down his throat as he could during the day time and when he got off work on Thursdays he would come home grab something out of shoe box and a hunk of cash. And stay out for hours and hours.
One day, my father had come home drunk (nothing out of the usual) and I had run up to hug him but I had tripped on my shoelace resulting in knocking over two or three bottles of whiskey and brandy. My father immediately raced over to me and gave me a incredibly hard slap across the face and being only five or six and very tiny I flew across the room, hitting my head on a cabinet and then he proceeded to kick me for what must have been hours yelling a string of curses. He then stopped in absolute exhaustion spit on me and raced out the door. It was at that moment, while lying on the kitchen floor unable to move that I realized I needed to fear my father.
God knows how long after I managed to get myself up and clean all of the cuts and observe the forming bruises. I got very angry so I ran outside and just kept running until I was drawn to a place. It was a fence with "Strawberry Fields" written on it. I hesitantly walked through the gates and just soaked in the utter beauty of it. I had just positioned myself under a tree and closed my eyes when I heard a voice.
"Hello," a boy said.
"Hi," I responded with a curious look on my face.
"My names John, and yours?"
"Claire" I said with a smile
"How old are you Claire?" the boy asked
"I am six years old" I muttered shyly
"I am eight years old." he said with confidence
There was a long pause I did not know what to say, I have always been shy around people I don't know which is a characteristic that I still have and dread to this day.
"Well," John said "what are you doing here all alone?"
I panicked completely I had to pick something fast I figured I could just tell the half truth.
"I was um...exploring," I said with great uneasiness
"That's fun! I go here when I get angry," John said
"Why are you angry?"
" My aunt punished me," John responded suddenly loosing his confidence
I was going to ask why is aunt punished him not his mom or dad. I then remembered that I did not have a mom and I would not want anyone asking me about that so I decided against it.
"You can sit next to me here if you like," I said with a smile
He then smiled and came and sat down. We then talked about our favorite books and I told him what life was like in America (leaving out a few key details of course).
That was the beginning of an extremely special relationship.