Dear Jenn

Though conjured up from one writer’s imagination you’d since been dumped along with cinema’s greatest villains,
No, you never shared their dark intentions, never was bent on domination and mass murdering,
Rather, they deemed you guilty of manipulation and deception towards the one that loved you come hell or high water,
By all appearances you were the girl-next-door, the type guys take home to Mom,
On the surface beautiful and glowing, sadly, your journey nothing short of tragic,
Wounds may heal but scars never fade, if they only knew, if they walked in your shoes, how would they handle the pain?

Boy gets on school bus, an instant victim of hazing,
Girl offers him a seat, a godsend among bullies, brats and the indifferent,
Thus began a friendship, like peas and carrots as he put it,
Found out soon enough she was born into darkness,
Pops was bitter, drunk and a pervert, preyed upon her and her sisters,
His reign of terror blunted by coppers while she was saved by social services,
Should have been new beginnings but began a prolonged period of suffering,
Self-destruction, vices and toxic entanglements your main means of coping with the shame and self-loathing that comes with a childhood taken, by he who was supposed to keep you sheltered from the monsters and trappings life hurls large doses,
Feeling dirty day by day, no amount of washing can wipe away the shame,
If he should get a glimpse, what would he say?

Maybe he’s different, might still deem you a worthy companion,
But a closer look could send him off and running, his rejection akin to a death sentence,
Can’t risk that last rope, somewhere deep inside you remains a flickering hope,
With him the main source, his mere presence your own safe zone,
And so you build barriers, can’t let him get close,
Fearful of his rejection, for he’s too pure a soul,
And so they call you the villain and abuser, ironic given how you came up,
Can’t stop, won’t stop leaving him wanting, they’re saying, his heart you’re constantly breaking,
He took on the Vietcong, won the Medal of Honor, became a champ at ping pong, got rich off of shrimping, cleaned up thanks to Apple,
While you set out drifting, finding new synthetic ways to go flying, hooked up with one lowlife after another, ending up bruised and battered, even considered ending matters,
Reunited every once in a while, your paths at times intertwined, but whenever he made a play you somehow always slipped away,
Soon he popped the question, said he’d make a good hubby, you cautioned him against it, fearful that he’d regret it,
Came back for good only after you’d had his kid, never even called him, hit him with the news from out the damn blue, how messed-up are you?

He must be blinded or a simp to take you back, he always was naïve,
They claim to see the real you, their vitriol rather hard to believe.
But they can’t or won’t see your side of the story,
Yours was hardly sunshine and rainbows, a horror show even if not as gory,
Low self-worth and a fear of abandonment conspiring to leave you ill-equipped to open up, trust and truly love another
They say you played him like a fiddle, but in truth your heart been kicked and busted once too often,
Left battered and burned by former flames, Pops was far from the only culprit,
Later the film got you both running, but for different reasons,
He’s running to gain clarity and a search for answers, you’re running for self-preservation and a need to escape demons,
But not before you both popped the cherry, finally, from there created life,
A bouncing baby boy born to y’all, only, the father was out accruing miles,
And so you raised him alone, until he was five or four,
Daddy finally home, found your letter, off he went to your humble abode,
They say you should have called him sooner, but forget that he was lapping the country several times over,
Took him three years, in the 1980s, when connections were limited, no smartphones, social media, facetime or any advanced technologies,
At least you let him know, eventually, became a family, effortlessly,
Finally exchanged ‘I do’s’, a happy ending achieved, living and loving life together until you became a precious memory,
Best friends-turned-star-crossed lovers, a charmed life and a cursed one colliding, both paths eventually merging, Mr. Groom couldn’t have penned it better,
Spawned a classic film, one of the most iconic, a story of hope, fortitude and determination, and a simple box of chocolates.

So that’s about it, Dear Jenn, sorry they treated you this way,
Not sure if you were written to be the villain or the victim of a gross misunderstanding,
Shows the hazards of a wretched upbringing, how trauma leads to destruction,
The avoidant tendencies of the broken, even towards loved ones,
But in the end you’re merely fictional, conjured up from the mind of some writer,
Though yours is a story all too familiar for some real-life individuals,
Not all are privileged to have come up unscathed and injury-free,
To be born into love and stability, granted a childhood both complete and nostalgic,
If they only viewed it through the lenses you’re wearing, what would they say?
Walked a mile in your shoes, would they feel the same way?

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