past lives disclaimer
my own personal time capsule of lives

i'm coming to find you, my son.
my charles, i'm so sorry.
i'm looking for you now, my little one.
i don't know if i can find you. but i'm going to try

Chicago, i'm almost fairly certain. from 1944/1947 until 1979/1980 or thereabouts. the slums of the city, the dark and vile underbelly. i don't know why i was there. i have no memories of myself before i was 20, 22. i don't know if i grew up here, or landed here thru some series of events. doesn't matter. it's where i was, then. i was there, and couldn't get out.

i was out for the day. running errands probably. maybe grocery shopping? (damn, i have a bad track record with errands.) that's when you, whoever the hell you were, found me. and dragged me into the nearest slime hole of an alley you could find. not like finding one was a problem. they were everywhere.
and you dragged me by my collar into that alley.
and then you raped me.
it took you four minutes.
you had a knife at my throat the entire time. you were never caught.
of course you weren't caught. people didn't get caught, not there. not if you had the right "connections". with connections, you could get away with anything. and you did.

you got away with it. i wish i had.
it took you four minutes.
it took me a lifetime.

the bruises and the soreness subsided after a week or so. mostly. it still hurt randomly from time to time, for much longer.

the scrapes and burn on my back from the rough, poorly constructed brick of the alleyway you forced me against were mostly healed in two weeks, except one band on my left shoulder which got infected and took over a month to vanish.

i *always* carried a small scar on my neck from that blade. you didn't mean to leave it there, just you were over-anxious in your "passions" and paid less attention than you should have, and did leave a mark there.

you left other pains though, not physical, that never healed. and in the end those hurt me the most.

you don't know it, but you were the first and only man to ever know me that way in that life. before you, i'd just not met a man i cared enough about, yet, to sleep with. after you... well you ruined sex for me. after you, after that pain and fear, i was too terrified of it to ever consider it again.

i've also just always sucked at statistics.

once, ever. ONE time. but it was enough. about nine months later--nine months in which i'm sure you never even remembered my existence, so busy doing the same to other women as you were, because i was just one of the many you'd done this to, you told me so, gloating. but three seasons later, i had a son. Charles.

the first two years or so, i was still bitter and hateful and in pain. i was torn, loving him as my child but hating him for what he reminded me of. i both hated and loved this small creature that was both mine and not-mine.

he *always* reminded me of the pain of you. but after a time, there was no hate, at least not towards him. he was merely my son, and my sole joy in life.

he was a lively child, never sat still at all, ever. his hair was that odd shade *right* between blonde and brown, that color you really cannot tell which. he said he had brown hair. but it was always blonde to me, like my own. *you* had brown hair. but he was MY child, not yours. his hair was blonde. and his eyes were the most amazing, amazing blue. they were the clearest, deepest crystal blue eyes i've EVER seen. they were so intense, but so deep and so clear. they seemed to look through and see the souls of things. they were that kind of eyes. and he was mischievous as all get-out. he loved to laugh, he loved jokes, and he loved tricks. but never harmful ones, he just loved to tease and joke.

that's what made the illness all the worse. he was still. he was STILL. bedridden and listless. to this day i don't know what it was. something easily curable, where good healthcare was *available*. in the "civilized" parts of the city, charles, you would have been ok. maybe it was measles. or influenza. or something. i don't know. all i know is it ate you alive from the inside.

you were EIGHT, son. you should have been outside playing with the other children and running and laughing. if there had been a kind and gentle outside, or other children to play with, instead of fear them running in packs that in later years of their lives would be gangs. you should NOT have been wasting away in a bed in our tiny apartment, hurting all the while.

you shouldn't have died so young.

it's as the song says... "only the good die young". you were good, dearest. you were sweet and innocent in a world of corruption and hate. and you were taken from me far, far too soon.

that's the only way i remember your name, really. for i never recall names from lives. i'm not sure why i don't. but i remember yours... from touch. from tracing it out with my fingers. from tracing the letters on the headstone of your grave. i went there, often, to leave yellow daffodils on your grave.

you always loved yellow. it was cheerful, it made you happy. this is why i painted one wall in the kitchen a bright yellow, and painted yellow designs all over the bedroom. watching me paint the bedroom walls was one of the only things that brought you joy when you were sick.

i only wish i could have done more

i did everything i could, dear heart. i tried SO hard to be a proper mother to you, even though i never expected to be a mother at all. i did everything i could. i painted. i tried to make the little hole we called an apartment into a HOME. a place where people lived instead of existed. i have a particularly vivid memory of chasing a huge rat out of the kitchen, because it was our HOME! no rats allowed there! the rest of the building was a slum, but THAT space was OURS, dammit, and there would be none of the filth of the world if i could help it.

i did what i could in little ways, my son. i did everything i knew how. but it wasn't enough. i couldn't get us out of there... and in the end, i couldn't help you live either. you deserved better than that... you didn't deserve those slums or that pain. i wish i could have given you more. i wish i could have given you more.

and now i'm looking for you. looking so i can apologize. i need to say "i'm sorry". i don't expect to find your grave of course, not really. it's a wild wild chance. and if i found it i'd only find your body. your soul has moved on already, Charles. your soul is either resting now in the otherworld before it goes on again, or your soul is walking around in another body now. it would only be your bones, and your memory. and i don't think to find the bones either, really. but i need to try. i need to at least try. i need to at least try to find you. i have a city, and a name, and dates of your life.

i need to *try* to find you, my dearest. and if i do... on the wild chance i do... if i find you... i will leave yellow daffodils on your grave... as i did, not that many years ago, when you were my son by flesh and not just a child of my memory. if i find you, i promise that. i will leave you the flowers you loved so dearly. and i will whisper, to the wind and to the stone and to the grass... i will whisper to you... "i'm sorry, my son. please forgive me. i love you."

as insane this request sounds, i actually *am* attempting to find this grave. this is a heartfelt and honest request.

if you know of any graveyards in chicago that are primarily for children, or were run by charity orginizations, or if you are in a graveyard in chicago and come across a grave with the name charles and a birth/death range *ANYWHERE* close to this: born: 1965 at the EARLIEST. died: 1976 at the LATEST. i do not know the surname, and am not sure in fact one appeared on the headstone. i know it is a nearly hopeless chance, but if you do find any information at all close to this, PLEASE contact me via any of the methods in my home node and let me know what you found so i can investigate further. my heartfelt and most grateful thanks to anyone who can assist me with this.

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