Loose talk makes everyone famous in a small town. I was born
in a small town, claim an even small one as home and have transferred my home
to an even smaller and gossiper town. And I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I
love it, love knowing your neighbors and everyone you meet.
Problem is when
everyone thinks they know the truth, thinks they know your story, and they think they have some kind of right to
draw their own conclusion. That’s not the always the case, especially when your
life has been broadcasted and exposed.
You would think I was in magazines the way I talk, but that’s
not the case. Tragedy has always been a great interest in human nature and my
life was scared by such at a young age. Soon after the dust settled down
everyone seemed to think they had a better way to direct my life, and most
importantly they seemed to think they have a right to.
But enough time has passed that it is now time to tell my side.
Not to cause pain or anger to anyone but to simply tell my story.
November 15th 2012. Very few people I know will
ever forget this date. I won’t forget the sound of my own screams, the
nightmares, even now do not allow that memory to fade. Like the memory of my
heart breaking the memory of the man who so unintentionally caused it to do so
will also never be forgotten, no matter what others may say. Jason Timothy
Sagez. I met him at a fish fry at Cole Sibley’s house in August of 2011, it was
a Sunday and I was not pleased havening been drug to Calhoun but would forever
be grateful for that displeasing day.
Although we had ignored each other during the few hours in each
other’s presence it would not take long in the coming weeks for me to fall
completely for him. Although it still bewilders me why one of the most beloved
people I knew chose me as well.
Months passed and shortly after my nineteenth birthday and
seven months of being together we started making serious plans for our future
together. But job market placed that on hold that summer and forced us to be
kids for just a little longer.
As things fell back into place the early fall of 2012 we had
picked a little starter home, an ancient trailer down along the banks of the
Illinois, I figured something would go terribly wrong. But never in my worst
dreams could I imagine the reality.
The nightmare of such reality was unimaginable. The screams.
The pleading with God. Convinced that they were wrong, they had told the wrong
family, that he was coming home….
But it was real. I spent the next several days surrounded by
family, friends, and new friends and associates whom I had never met or heard
of in the 15 months Jason and I had been together. I was spoiled by the fact I did
not have to be alone. These people loved Jason, didn’t they? They flocked
together like a family and I felt way safer around them than I had being alone
in my miserly. I never was forced to face myself in the beginning.
I was sheltered at first by the cruel things people would
say. Although I originally had thought it to be months before the comments
started to float about in reality the funeral hadn’t even taken place. But
others who felt more loyal to me, or perhaps were just more decent of people,
kept me from it.
Friends and associates always seen to it I had something to
fill my weekends especially so that I was not to be home with my pain. Yet if I was
at bars someone thought it was insensitive of me. But if I was home I was too
weak and lost in my pity party.
Course then started to rumors. Whom I was sleeping with
although it was not true. Jason hadn’t been gone three months. But it is always
something in a small town.
Over the months I have been told I have no right to mourn.
After all I wasn’t with him near as long as his high school girlfriend.
Accusing of holding on to long, moving on to fast, told even to have my tattoo
removed that is my memorial to him. Some of these people say it to my face,
others pretend they love me, are good friends to me, yet I hear it from people I
trust more than them.
Hearing such from two separate groups, Calhoun and
non-Calhoun, AKA Jerseyville, made things worse. Especially since Jerseyville
had no freaking clue what the hell was going on. They had long not associated
with me and had not known Jason more than to pass by if that.
I could not please everyone as it is impossible to do so,
even if I had wanted to. I would wonder if any of these people knew Jason
really, especially the one I knew. If they had surely I would know them, and
know them a lot better if that was the case. But if in 15 months I knew you
that little and heard of you that little, your opinion of course will mean not
a damn to me.
I wanted to scream at people. Ask why they had such a right
to tell me how to act, how to mourn. They claimed they knew him better than me
as they had been in his life more than I had been. But they hadn’t been there
in the time we were together. And it made me angry and jealous that they did
have more memories with him than I did.
But I wouldn’t sink to their level. I wouldn’t pretend to
know who could and couldn’t mourn.
I became so bitter in life. I know that. Dropping out of
school twice, desperately trying to find a safe and happy place again.
I know I lashed out, I know I hurt people I shouldn’t have.
No matter the hell the put me through, two wrongs do make a right no matter how
much hell raged in my own heart, mind, body and soul. I apologize for that but
offer no more than those words. I am human, I admit if I could do some things
differently, I would have pissed a few more people off in a few more…
interestingly of ways. But have fun figuring out which ones I have not totally
forgiven and vice versa.
Pain broke me, I know that. I ended up alone and it was my
own doing. This I expected but I didn’t care. I was tired of constantly being
judged. I felt nothing outside of my numb misery. I could of moved anywhere when I left home. Instead I came
to Hardin. Moved right into the heart my fiery dungeon of hell. I desperate
attempt to make claim to it as my home. A desperate attempt to hold on and to
prove myself. Of what I still wonder at.
Finally Halloween rolled around. I had stopped caring what
others though but would still sink into corners when the ones who had offended
me most walked in. But even in this personal battle I made my presence, for the
third year in a row to Big Johns and Mainstreet. No one can say God doesn’t interfere
the most even in the midst of sin. Through shots and Jack Daniels mixed with Coke
I ended with my saving grace, Frankie Witt.
The funny thing about Frankie is, he had been around through
everything. I seen him constantly and he was always good to buy me a drink and
a chat at the bar whenever I saw him. But most importantly he did his own thing
and didn’t give a damn about what people thought. This also meant the only
rumors he heard about me came from my once former best friend and his very
pissed little sister. (I am pleased to say this has been remedied and I am
excited to have one of my earliest friends in the county is now to be my sister
and she seems pretty pleased about it too).
But Frankie like I said is his own person and does his own
thing and doesn’t listen to what people say. He was the perfect getaway and the
new beginning in the same setting.
Everyone has their own opinion on the both of us. Together
and obviously separately. But it doesn’t matter, it didn’t matter last fall and
it doesn’t matter now. And trust me there were plenty of people trying to say
otherwise and come in between of that.
But I felt for the first time since the accident, whole and
alive and free. And it was real and not the false security I had searched for
that summer. I was alive.
Guilty yes. That guilt still rakes me. My feelings for Jason
and Frankie fought inside me. Feeling of betrayal was high for both the men in
my life. The ache for Jason alive and well and the knowing that Frankie didn’t
deserve a woman in love with someone beyond her control.
Time has subdued those feelings only justly. My life hasn’t
turned out as planned and I would like to think of myself as a stronger and
better woman for surviving it. I could be drunk every second of the day.
Shooting up my veins and snorting drugs but I’m not.
I could of died but I didn’t. I’m still standing here.
I survived because of friends and in spite of others. I
offer no apologies for who I am now. For my engagement and the surprise of the
baby Frankie and I have created. For this I offer no apologizes for the
condition of my heart and soul.
I know a little more each day who I am. Pain will never
cease and I will never entirely be whole.
Nothing I could ever do would of pleased the lot. But that
is the way of small towns.
I am who I am. I have been lucky enough to have been loved
by two great men and to have loved and love them both as much as I do. I offer
no heartache for that.
Every mile is a memory for me. Ever tear falls for a reason
and ever person has molded me and shaped my life in some way.
Love has no boundaries, weather or not we would like it to.
Love is the greatest medicine and enemy of pain and heartache. Love is
self-mending and soothing if strong enough.
The screams and ache inside of me have faded but my memory
holds strong. Legends never die and love won’t let them. That’s how I know
Jason will always live on.
Even with each miserable tear that falls as I type this I know
I am finally happy. As sick as that sounds. I know I have caused much pain and
discomfort in being happy to many people. People that I love. But had it not
come across Frankie that night at Big Johns, I don’t dare wonder what would
have happened to me. I know the route I was on and know that I would not be
breathing today had it not been for a friend turned fiancée telling me I was
going to learn to drink like a big girl.