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  • Writer's pictureStefan Neff

From Zero To Hero Chapter 8

The Day After Brings Sorrow

As I awoke the day after she left my life, there was a silent word that was spoken within my heart. I wondered to myself, “How am I going to live alone with this emptiness?” She seemed to try too hard to win my affections or that’s what I felt from her. The only one that knew the truth was her. My love meter was bouncing all over the place from the left to the right up and down. I knew that she was hunting for something more from me but I couldn’t give in return.

I looked out at the world with my eyes wide open and exposed to the universe saying, “Please bring her back into my life. Please show me her face once again.”

I made myself a cup of energy coffee and sat at the kitchen table watching my son eat his breakfast and get ready for school. I wondered, “Is he going to have the new mother that he so deserved with all the love that goes with the feeling of being loved forever?” As he walked out the door to catch the bus there was a feeling of emptiness in the house. I didn’t want to do anything that day except wallow in self-pity.

I tried to go outside and all I could see was her face in everything that I gazed my lonely eyes upon. With every moment a feeling of emptiness filled my heart. I didn’t want to face the truth about the pain that was overwhelming me and filling my stomach with fear. I thought to myself, “What can I do to muffle the anxiety?” The only way I knew was to run to the one thing that numbed the pain so I rolled up the biggest marijuana joint that I have ever smoked and found a dark spot in the barn.

I sat down and lit up my magic pain relief. There was a darkness that came over my closed eyes as I thought dark thoughts about my life. In a few moments, my mind wasn’t cleared of all that was a deep-rooted anxiousness and I feared that I couldn’t stop it from taking over my days in an endless stream of unfortunate events.

The night was approaching and the thought of being alone opened up ready to chew me up. I had a strong urge to vomit but instead, I reverted to liquor and went to the store to buy a twelve-pack of beer. This was sure to numb the pain of her leaving. I drank two bottles as I sat in the parking lot of the liquor store, crying my whole life away. I felt as if there was nothing

left to do except sink into the bottom of an ocean of beer.

As I was driving home a thought occurred to me, “Why is life so hard?” I imagined turning the car into oncoming traffic because I was ready to die. Then a little voice within me said, “This isn’t the time to end your suffering. Why would you want to pay for your life’s anguish with a moment of death? There are more important things to do with your life. There are great things ahead of you.” I stopped the car, my heart racing up and down my chest, dreaming about seeing her face once again. I felt frozen in place. I didn’t want to move, like a child who feels lost in the woods. I felt a profound feeling of loneliness as I sat there pondering whether or not I could even drive home.

I finally got the strength to turn the key and grab hold of the steering wheel for the ride home. When I got home I wanted to make a big fire outside. When I say a big fire, I meant huge. I drank about ten beers and built up a huge fire, but still felt the pain, so I rolled up another big marijuana joint. That pushed me over the edge of no return. Now I was feeling no pain, as a matter of fact, I felt nothing. I finished the beer and put the fire out knowing that it was time to escape to my empty bed. I looked at the bed with tears in my eyes and once again the pain hit me like a fist. I couldn’t get her voice out of my head. Then I had a thought, “Maybe I could phone her tomorrow. YES, that’s a great idea!” I felt a warm feeling come over my soul.

The next day the sun rose up from the eastern sky as I faced a new day of opportunity to live again. I had planned to call her on the phone that evening. I remembered that the time was much different than ours. There was a seventeen-hour time difference so I had to plan carefully.

The day seemed to go so quickly as if time was racing forward at incredible speed. All I could think about was her voice calling deep into my heart and soul. There was a fleeting moment of joy that I would get from calling her. The clock was showing 4:00 pm but in Japan, it was the next morning. I really wanted to talk to her but I had to get rid of the anxious feeling, so I decided to go to the liquor store, once again, to get some liquid courage.

I raced quickly there and back, and thankfully no more than an hour had passed. I started to make the call from the privacy of my room. I dialled the number that she had given me, but for some reason, there was something wrong... No answer on the other side. I tried over and over again and it seemed like forever to me. I promised myself I would call one more final time. The phone started to ring on the other line, There was an interruption in the phone with a voice saying MOSHI, MOSHI, I wondered, “What the heck is this all about?” I said, “Hello?”

Her voice in return said, “Hello Stefan.” My heart burst with love and happiness at that moment and tears started to run down my cheeks. She said, “What’s wrong?”

I said, “I am so happy to hear your voice, Tomoko.” Everything after that was a blurry memory. I can only describe the feelings that were in my soul. The feeling of pure satisfaction from deep within my heart exploded upon the impact that was my life.

When I started to talk to her there was a pleasurable feeling of peace that fulfilled my purpose in life, like I had found the only friend in the world.

We talked for an hour or it seemed like. I didn’t want to let her end the phone call. I missed the love and I didn’t want it to be over. I knew at that moment when we said goodbye, that I would talk to her again.

After the call ended there was a feeling of total emptiness that all of sudden came over me in a wave. I can’t explain it. As soon as we finished, I felt emotionally drained, with a heavy dose of passion all over again.

I looked outside into the evening sky searching for a glimpse of inspiration. I cracked open a can of beer with a vengeance like I really needed it to relieve the pain.

The phone calls went on for months but always left me wondering if she was true to me and if she really cared for me. I was so damaged from my past experiences that it tainted my heart. Then one day I remember she called me and said, “I will be coming back in the next few months.” My heartfelt like it had just been opened up and the sun was shining through. This was the best feeling I’d ever felt.

I started counting down the days until she...chapter 9

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