This summer, on a cold, windy evening in Athens, Greece, I jumped into a pond. I found myself slide along the bottom of the small pond, stomach being torn by gravel and rocks. I finally came to a stop 5 feet from where I entered. All this happened in the small garden of a house I used to love, a quaint, small, house in Kifissia, greece, a block away from Kefalari Park. It was a Kifissia House. It was my Kifissia House.

A friend of mine who had moved back to Canada from Greece a year before owned this house. For the past year it had been silent, except for the drunken sounds of his father, who still lived there alone. But now Liam, along with 7 others were back for two weeks in early August. This house was our homes, and we knew we would never see each other together again.

The house sits in the heart of the city, and once your there, you just need to walk, or take a train, to get to anywhere in all of Athens. This is the house that was lost when he moved away one and a half years ago, and this is the house that was reborn when four Canadian guys, an Aussie surfer, and two Brits who lived in 3 continents and four countries got together one last time. This is the place where the memories happen that never leave, and this is the place where anything goes, and nobody cares, because the people who should care would rather not.

As I walked there, for the first time this past summer, I got nervous, I felt like I was going back to something and I didn't deserve it, 'Had I been good enough this year to get such a great thing, to be with the guy who I will never forget again?' I walked in through the street, where his father's car sat by the door, I was nervous, and my hand shook as I pressed the buzzer to open the security door. A woman (who I found out later to be the reason for his father's divorce and his subsequent move from Greece to Canada) answered and let me in. Through the doors was a great yard, where there lay a small pond where hundreds of goldfish and a turtle lived, in one corner was a small hut let out loud music, and with Placebo in the background, I ran to the main entrance and hugged Liam, who stood at the door.

The house looked the same as it always had. The kitchen was clean, and uncluttered, as was the main bar and living room. Bass and electric guitars were plugged in and his father was playing 'Black' by Pearl Jam, and singing. Liam was playing on the electric, and I took up a drum roil. We all sat there for a while, just playing around, sitting on two old brown sofas, with a antique coffee table from England in the center. The 5-foot bass amps and electric amp filled one whole wall, while the guitars themselves, and the drum kit sat on the opposite wall, looking out at the yard. Finally, when some more old friends from school came to greet Liam, I broke off upstairs, where I found Liam and his brother Luke's rooms completely preserved. I had a tear in my eye when I saw how much Mr. Smith must have missed his children when they were so far away for so long. He had kept everything the way it was when they were home. The Playstation in Luke's room sat there, and the X-Box in Liam's, the incense was in the same position, and the CD cases and stereos sat as they did a year and a half before, when I had thought this house had died.

The rooms were beautiful in their upkeep, but still busy, cluttered and dirty. I even found a folded up picture of an old crush of Liam's, in the bottom of one of his drawers, and when questioned him about it, even he had not realized it was there. The upstairs living rooms was cluttered and dirty as usually, with bowls, forks, knives and plates lining the table so you could not put a thing on it. Outside, on the upstairs balcony, there were two new deck chairs, and I could see down to the yard where there were seven or eight people all gathered in the hut. Quickly running down there, I saw that the room there, too, was the same as the before, with pictures Luke had drawn of faceless girls, and posters of hard-rock bands. We all lay on one small bed listening to music in that small room for a few hours. Staring up into the roof of the hut, I noticed strains in the wood, and words carved into the walls. Words I recognized, and words that forced Liam and Luke to leave Greece prematurely a year and a half before. Words that Luke had cut into his arms, legs, and chest with the schools knives. This, along with a few other ‘questionable actions’ forced the school to expel Luke, and both Luke and Liam were sent to boarding schools in eastern Canada. Those scars had healed long ago, but in this room, they still lay upon the wooden hut, showing the pain of a kid who no one would help.

The rest of the night, we just lay on the grass, looking up at the sky in the dark, while Justin and one of the girls were together in one of the bedrooms. Justin had been the one who started Luke cutting. Justin had been depressed, and looked to the masochistic act as a way out. Luke had been depressed, and deprived of a kind childhood, and saw Justin cutting, and had followed.

We just sat there, knowing that this would come again, next year. We all promised we would be there again, and we would do this again, and we would all have fun again, but one of us didn’t keep that promise. A month after he got back from that trip, only two weeks into school, Luke slit his wrists, and he will never be there to have fun with us again.


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