The Book Of My Life

Written in inspiration of the song by Sting - The Book Of My Life. I heard it once, singing along to the lyrics, and hidden behind those letters, are the carefully written words of a poet, with experiences, good and bad, that shaped his life. But doesn't that happen to all of us? Once your life is over, all the small decisions you made, all the fights you had, all the mistakes you gave in to, they create your path, past and present. Would you have ended up exactly where you are right this moment, if it wasn't for a reason? This song writes about it all, and I hope to do so as well.
A tribute to a highly beloved performer - Sting.

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3. Chapter One

I was born on the 25h of October, 1927 in a small rural city of Kentucky - Lynch. During the first World War, there had been a crucial need for steel, and Lynch had the biggest factory that supplied it, created by the U.S Steel Corporation. The city has grown since then, with the population of 820 citizens residing there. That is a lot more than when I lived there.

Our house was placed on the outskirts of Lynch, making it cheaper than the apartments in the 'city'. It took about ten minutes to bike over there, and it was the main supplier of our groceries. Sure, we grew our own food in our garden such as tomatoes, okra, beans, onions and squash, but what good did that do us in the winter? It all ripened in the summer and we gorged ourselves in the delicious vegetables. We also had a few strawberry bushes, along with some apple trees. 

I remember a time when everything was fine. I was happy. I think I was a child, no more then eight years old. My mother and father had three children; Mary the eldest, Charles who was a year younger than she, and I, Walter. My siblings were three and four years older than I, but they took great care of me. We played in the yard, ran errands for our family, and had a great time together. My mind wanders back to the summers we spent, working in the fields, singing, laughing and playing tag together. Mary spent more time with our mother, since she had to learn the means of a young lady, and how to maintain a household, while Charles and I were spending our time outside, learning how to grow crops and other things a farmer should know.

My father was a special man. Henry, was his name. He worked all day in the fields of Lynch, but in his spare time, he taught us youngsters how to do the same. When I was seven, in 1934 he showed me how to shoot with a rifle. It was my most prized possession, when he one day gave it to me. I treated it as my baby. 

With precaution, he told me three simple rules, that would allow me to claim it as my own. 

"Three rules Walter," he held up three of his fingers as he looked into my eyes. He was crouched down, so he was my height, as he looked at me with a growing seriousness on his face. "First rule. You must always assume that it is loaded. Second rule. Never ever point at something or someone, that you do not want to shoot, because accidents happen, and that would be a really stupid one. And third, never fire the gun, inside the house. You got it?" He smiled, and adjusted his hat, shielding his eyes from the glaring sun. We were standing on the porch and I clearly remember his eyes clearing up when I answered with a sharp nod. 

"Okay son. Now go have fun." He ruffled my hair, and stepped inside the old creaky house. The screen door slammed shut behind him and I was momentarily unable to move, since the happiness inside me was boiling over. With the rifle in hand I ran over to the grass, on the other side of our garden, and aimed at a tree with a red and ripe apple. I remember carefully positioning the end of the shaft on my shoulder, and finally pulling the trigger. I was in awe as I saw the bullet move through the air. I was imagining it moving in slow motion, and in a burst, the apple fell to the ground. I ran over there, picked it up, and sunk my teeth deep into it, letting the sweet taste explode all over my taste buds. I sat down in the shade of the leaves, against the tree trunk and ate the whole apple until only the core remained. I threw it behind my shoulder and ran back to my rifle I had placed on the ground. I picked it up, aimed on another apple, and waited in anticipation as my fingers readied the machine. The trigger was pulled and my stomach lurched in glee. For no reason though. Nothing had happened. I eyed it and realized that there had only been one bullet. Frustrated over my new found revelation I ran inside the house and yelled after my father.

"Dad?" I heard a muffled answer, and then the sound of footsteps walking down the stairs. He raised his eyebrows at me, asking a question with the gesture. I only pointed at the gun in my hand and looked at him with wide eyes. He smiled at me.

"Oh. I see you found out there were no more than one, 'eh?" He walked toward me. 

"Yes, and may I ask why?" I replied, the annoyance etched in my voice.

"Well, I gave you a rifle, son. Can't you pay for the ammunition yourself?" 

"I see. Okay, well thanks dad." I gave him a quick hug, and searched my pocket. I found a quarter and quickly I raced outside, found my bike, and rode into the city to get some more bullets. 

...

An involuntary smile is cracking on my parched lips as I write this. These are probably the oldest, and sweetest memories of my life. My father was the most generous man you would ever meet. Everyone in town knew who he was and respected him. He had helped build many things, improving the city's welfare.

 

In that period of time, I never thought a time would come, where I wasn't happy. It was far away from my reality that something could ever go wrong. That is, until it was torn apart.

I scold myself for my stupidity. How could I have been that naive? 

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