Is This Called Love?

I had to leave my job at the music studio.  It was not possible to juggle the show and teach at the same time. I had been teaching for 5 years straight. I needed to take a break. My students were so distraught. They didn’t want me to leave. I felt so bad. Some of them had grown so close to me. I was not just a teacher but you could also say I was a therapist as well. My students would come to me with so many problems. Either bullying or parental issues. It didn’t matter. They opened up about whatever was bothering them and I helped as much as I could. I knew I always had great advise to give. Some students begged to follow me and to continue teaching them at home. I accepted and taught them whenever I could. I had three blind students and no one else could teach them the way I could. I developed a way to teach any kind of student. From the age of 5 to 95. I could teach them how to play the piano professionally within three months. I taught them blindfolded so they were forced to train their ear. Inspired by my Russian teacher when I was younger. I loved her. She moved to Montreal for her famous husband who had to go. We still keep in touch today. 

I began getting close to one of my security who was always so overwhelmingly concerned about me. He had a girlfriend but she was not very good to him. When we worked together, he would talk to me and tell me many stories. My heart started to grow for him. His name was Dave. He was built tough, blonde spiky hair and a square defined jaw. He was so good looking and had a French accent. When ever I was out with him, he made heads turn. He was such a gentleman to an extreme and spoiled me when we were out. He started asking for more shifts with me and we truly had a good time. I would think of things to do that were unnecessary but as long as I could spend time with him. I was happy. I found myself creating music and writing lyrics of our relationship.  He became the inspiration to some of my songs. After completing my first album, I asked him if he would like to be on the cover of it. He was so excited and agreed. Together alone, we decided to take a trip to Victoria. Vancouver Island. We were to meet up with a photographer there that would work with us to get some good shots for the cover album. Our trip was 3 days long. It was actually nice to not have security hounding me all day and night. Technically, I was with security so all was fine. We spent the first day all over Victoria taking all kinds of pictures. It is a beautiful city surrounded by ocean. Our last stop of the day was at an abandoned railway site. It had numerous tracks everywhere and then this lone track next to a shed looking type building. The shed had nothing on it except a sign that said “No Smoking”. It looked so perfect. We had him leaned up on it with one leg crossed over the other, looking into the sun with a cigarette in his hand. It was cliche. The contradicted sign with the cigarette and his sexy looks. The shot was perfect. We loved it. That was the one I wanted to use. The album was called “On Heavens Edge”. With special effects, it looked like Dave was standing at the gates of heaven with pathways and railways all around him into a distance that goes as far as the eye can see having his last cigarette before entering. It was a classic shot. 

Dave and I stayed at a beautiful hotel called the Empress. Covered by moss and overlooking a large marina and the ocean. Our room was just as beautiful. One king sized bed. We didn’t even really care. We just wanted to change and get ready to go out on the town. We were starving so we went to a restaurant on the dock. A long dock that seemed to go forever. We got to catch our own lobster and crab. They would cook it however we wanted them to. After a beautiful dinner, we went to a nightclub. He never let go of my hand. My heart skipped beats for him. I was falling head over heals. We went to a great bar that played all our favorite songs. We danced and drank the night away. He loved tequila so I had the waitress bring shots every 20 minutes. The last song of the night was “Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel . We slow danced together and I waited for a kiss. I knew it was coming. We took a cab and went back to our hotel. While he was in the bathroom I remember trying to get my hair and makeup touched up rather quickly! I had to have that “Wow you look good even when you should look like a mess” look. When he came out we started play fighting. He liked to tease me with how strong his muscles were. He was extremely muscular. We play fought right to the bed. I ended up getting on top of him and holding him down. That didn’t last long. His strength was amazing. He had me flipped in no time. His kiss was beautiful. I was covered in goose bumps. I had just shaved my legs that day and the goosebumps made them stubble again! It was intense. 

My father’s face kept playing in my head. I pulled back from Dave and I tried to hide how scared I had just become. I was so happy! Why was this happening so suddenly? He was such a gentleman. He could see my face and know for whatever reason HE thought, that I was not ready for sexual intimacy. I layed in his arms and fell right asleep having some of the worst dreams ever. Yet every time I woke up and was in his arms, I fell right back asleep. It sure was a nice feeling. His embrace was large and warming and overpowering and I felt so safe. I don’t know if I will ever forget that feeling. I hope not.

Security? Oh La La!

My brother In law flew to California to meet with our laser company. It was October and everything was on schedule. They turned out to be an amazing laser company that was able to not only do everything necessary for this extravaganza but they would be willing to work with me to create lasers that holographically would do what I wanted. What MY vision was. I wanted to make it rain lasers drops. Using mirrors on buildings and mountains to bounce off of. I wanted to design lasers that were playable by hand on stage. For our sponsors for example, if Coke was going to sign, I wanted to be able to have lasers in the sky showing cartoon like images of a hand opening a bottle of coke and pouring it into a glass then have it being drunk by a character quenching their thirst. I wanted an eagle with an 18 foot wing span to fly across the crowd into the sky and over the event. I wanted many things and they were able to pull it all off for me! They appreciated my creativity. The owner of the company offered me a creative position as a job. He was fascinated with my ideas. He knew I would never accept his offer. The firework company was next. We found a great one in Vancouver. They seemed to have the best track record and unbelievable event experience. The more experienced our venue staff were, the better. Things just went more smoothly when everyone just knew what they were doing. Last on my checklist before we were to begin signing sponsorship contracts was insurance. They needed insurance for many reasons but the main one was to ensure that during the event, if anyone got injured for any reason, we would be insured. The meeting lasted three hours. I never knew how meticulous the process would be. The rules were somewhat difficult to follow. So many things to remember. The paperwork ended in an 80 page contract. The magnitude of a multi million dollar show needed to be insured for not only the safety of the staff and the public but also for the sponsors and myself. I played a key role in the event not only creating it but organising it where the entire album of music I created for the show would align with the visual effects, the lasers and fireworks. With each key I hit on certain keyboards, it would trigger a laser or a firework to go off formulated to the song. I would run the entire show from the stage and from my fingers. All the extra stuff would be set off by the professionals on site and off stage. I was the only one capable of performing on the stage on that very day. If I was to become ill or unable to perform for any reason, no one could take my place. The event would not happen and the monies paid thus far from sponsors would be gone. Many vendors new there were no refunds as part of their working contracts. It was a little scary knowing if anything happened to me, the entire show would fall and be cancelled with sponsors losing there money. The insurance company put a clause on me. They told me the only way they would accept the insurance plan was if I was insured as well. This would help the sponsors putting up big amounts of money, knowing they were insured as well incase the event did not happen because of me or the weather. The show could go on even if it rained, only severe winds would be detrimental. I was to have body guards with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The insurance would be less expensive if it was on my dime for the security. They would compensate me only 20% of what I paid to them. I had to agree to this if the show was to go on. Of course I would. I began advertising for personal security guards. It had to all be in place at least eight months prior to the event. I began getting calls and more calls…then before I new it I had to interview over 100 applicants. I do have to say as a gal at the age of nineteen, it was pretty fun! Wow they were cute. Some a little more cuter than others. If course, if they were around me all the time, they would have to be as cute as ever according to me. Muscular, cute and caring were important but also their personalities were to somewhat match mine. Extremely outgoing and know how to have fun yet being professional and serious if they needed to be. I narrowed my numbers down to 8. It was tough as so many were perfect for the job but 8 would be just right. Two at a time split into three shifts with a standby shift. Beginning January, this security team would be in place and ready to go. It was weird having them go wherever I went. It sure did attract attention. People thought I was important but I really wasn’t. All my security were in their own relationships but being out in public, seen with two intimidating men all the time made my love life non existant. If I was to go to a night club, four security were mandatory. They did make sure I had fun as no one would really come up to me and ask me to dance. Dancing with me or just chatting up some pretty hilarious conversations. When we finished certain appointments I had to attend, we always went out and had fun lunches and dinners afterwards. They became my close friends. They did a great job always making sure I was ok. Happy. Content. Deep down I new a lot of the kindness was only because they were getting paid yet for a few, they really appreciated my friendship. It was nice looking at beautiful men all day whether they were taken or not. This made my job a little nicer. <insert wink>

Let The War Begin!

One intriguing special to the sponsorship packages was whomever signed on would be exclusive. That would mean if we had a soda company, or a beauty product company and so forth, no other company in their marketing field would be accepted. This began to cause bidding wars. We had so much interest from some big named companies for sponsorship. Realistically, it was a great form of advertising for them. The media was going crazy with my event which excited the sponsors as well. Wherever our name was, there’s would be with it. That was huge for them. I discovered how marketing worked by starting from scratch and building this business. It was hard work and you always have to be on the ball in this business but I loved it! I had not collected any sponsorship money yet but had many clients finalizing the contracts and committing to the event. Within 4 months, in had raised  $800,000 in sponsor commitments. More interest was coming in almost daily. I was still teaching at the music studio all day. If I had more time, I would have been able to hit my mark much sooner than that. Eventually the day was going to come where I would get back to Michael and turn his offer down. I really had high dreams for these shows that were about to happen. This company I was building would be unique. I would eventually become famous on my own with no one placing rules on me of what was allowed, how much work, effort or time that was expected of me, basically telling me what I was to do. I wanted to handle my own life the way I wanted for a change. It was enough I was still under my parents wings and no matter how old you are in our family, our strict parents still told us what we could and could not do. They would also never let me move to California which is what the contract Michael gave me demanded to go. In the back of my heart, I also would never leave my sister’s or help protect them from the devil of my father. I couldn’t do that to them. When he was with us, he behaved himself a little more. The only reason for that was his love for fishing. Living in a resort city surrounded by lakes, he always kept busy. He would leave at the wee hours of the morning and head for the marina where his big boat was waiting for him. He would come back in the evening with nothing or sometimes a few fish. He was gone all day which is all we wanted. Every now and then on weekends, I would get in the car and make the trip home to see the rest of the family. It was always the most beautiful drive. Mountains, trees, waterfalls, rivers, wild animals such as bears, goats, cougars, cariboo galore. A beautiful road with a beautiful scenery was always calming and so nurturing to the soul. I got to visit mainly with my mother and older sisters. The eldest sisters family as well as my cute nieces and nephew. Those kids where my life! I truly loved them a lot. My brother also had two kids but they lived so far away it was hard to stay close. I was also pretty close in age with them being the youngest sibling, I became an auntie very young. We were only a few years apart. There was 16 years between myself and my brother. The only time we got to be together with the kids was over the summer holidays. That was pretty much it. Then turning 18 and leaving to a different city, it was hard to see them at all. I was home for a few days before leaving back to Kelowna. Moms cooking was always best. I learned so much from her but just never had time to actually cook. While visiting my family, my mother had an important paper that needed to be faxed. Those days, you would place the paper into the fax machine and watch it go down and come out the bottom end. Apparently this paper that my mother needed faxed was super important. I took the medical paper and went down to fax it. When i was done I brought the paper upstairs and put it back on the table. The following day, my mother started yelling and was so upset. I could hear her upstairs getting very angry. I came up half asleep and asked her what was wrong? I had no idea that what she was about to tell me was going to give me the laugh of my life. Until today, I still smile and laugh when I remember. My mother explained to me what her anger issue was. She asked me why the paper was still here, shaking it in front of my face. She went on to explain to me how important this paper was that was to be faxed yesterday and why it was still sitting on the table? My mother thought that when a paper is faxed and is placed into the machine, it slowly goes downwards and miraculously shriveles itself up and shoots itself through the telephone wires until it arrives at it’s destination. Yes, my mother was still in the olden golden ages and did not understand technology whatsoever. I had to explain to her the fax situation and that it comes out of the bottom like so. I had to explain that the machine simply copies like a photocopy sending the message in print form at its destination. I have still continued to bug her about that story today. It sure was funny.

Finally Something Positive!

I decided to begin marketing the laser event. I needed to raise 2.5 million dollars over one year. Impossible? Not at all. I knew what I wanted, needed and how to get it. Creativity was my forte`. I named the event “Fantasy ’93”. I began doing up the sponsorship portfolio explaining what investors and businesses would get to sponsor and advertise with us. My corporation was set up and we were ready for business. The sponsor package was amazing. Unbelievable. I was super impressed by it. Our largest sponsorship price was $500,000 to have the companies name and a holographic commerical in laser lights in the sky as well as a banner on the stage. They would be exclusive and also be able to sell their product at the event. The smallest package was $1000.00 for a corporate name mention in radio and newspaper media. This show was to be free to the public. There was no way of charging tickets to such an event because all you had to do was look up. The entire sky would be filled with lasers and fireworks. Millions of people would be able to watch the show. Not only was I responsible for attaining the staff and companies we needed to put on the event such as the firework company, laser company, staging companies and so on… I was also responsible to gather the sponsorship money to pay for it all. My brother in law was able to help as much as he could and he did assist me in marketing but was not very experienced. He was a geophysicist and an accountant. Things were going great. I was getting a lot of attention from big time sponsors. My timing must have been perfect within the season of when companies allot the percentages of monies paid for sponsorships and charities. Just before their new year cycle. I was able to market the show smoothly. I learned much along the way from so many excited businesses hoping to see this show become very successful. My goal was to have Fantasy ’93 a first annual. Then Fantasy ’94 and so on so people would get use to the name and the event. I wanted the whole world to know about it! I sure was heading in the right direction. The excitement from people was terrific. I purchased my first computer for the event and I was so impressed at how much easier everything was with a computer. I had set up my first email and found business to be so much easier so I purchased two computers.  One morning, I woke up to a fax coming through. It took a while with the machine singing and beeping, as slow as they were those days. Prior to beginning the show business I was still persistent in reaching the band Chicago but six months into getting busy with the show, I forgot all about it. The fax was from the manager of the record label the band was with. The letter stated that they were very interested in meeting me. They told me they also managed other artists such as Lionel Ritchie and Madonna.  They told me they were very impressed with my demo and wanted to meet me. To please contact them at my earliest convenience.  My heart started racing and I remember feeling elevator drops of excitment. How could I do that? My parents would never let me. I really didn’t care what my parents thought and Jessica still worked for me. She still aided me in lying to my parents so I could get away and do whatever I want or needed to do, for me! Why were things finally going right for me? Strange but I’ll take It! I sure did need it. I remember going to bed that night after speaking to them and thinking ” wow, I have been lying about this my entire senior year until today and now it is actually happening for real”! What luck is that! I had arranged to meet with an associate in the far western side of Canada. They flew to come see me. With other business in tow, the closest they could get to me was about a 4 hour drive away. No problem! I wanted to see what this was all about. Thanks to Jessica, I was able to get away for 3 days. I met with Michael at a posh studio in Vancouver.  We hit it off quite well. He sure wined and dined me and we landed at the most beautiful studio I had ever seen. Everyone there knew Michael. He was like a local celebrity but he wasn’t local. I was asked to play some songs for him that he requested. Then he asked me to sing and harmonize with other vocalists. I had so much fun! Apparently I did a great job. The enthusiasm and excitement from the staff and Michael was so great. They loved my music, my style and my personality was what I was told. We jammed again the next night and stayed up until 5am. It was great. I informed them all of the annual show I was involved in and creating. They were amazed and happy for me. The last morning before we parted, Michael told me he was going to put a little package together for me and let me think about it. He really wanted to work with me. For some reason, I was not as excited as he was. On the contrary, I was excited about my show. If things weren’t taking off as well as they were it would he different. I arrived home to a message from Coca Cola and a message from Pepsi fighting over sponsor rights and packages. It was to turn into a bidding war and I was shocked. All this excitement was getting to my blood pressure. It was pounding out of my chest. God was finally opening some doors for me. He was allowing me to experience life by cutting my father’s fingers off firstly, and now all this. My faith was slowly coming back.

A Whole New World

My brother in law introduced me to an entertainer by the name of Jean Michel Jarre on video. He was well known for his laser and firework shows around the world. He was also a keyboardist writing his own songs to play alongside the spectacular shows of lights. I watched the making of one of his shows in 1991. I was fascinated and hooked. I became determined to find and research the channels to having a show of that magnitude produced by myself. I would create it and write the music for it with a goal being to stage “The World’s Largest Laser & Fireworks Event” in Canadian history. My way of doing things was to go big or go home. Nothing at this point was normal for me. I began analyzing and pricing out the cost for a show. It was time consuming but it sure kept me busy. I began writing classical music to inspire me for a great show. Tunes would come to me in my dreams and I would know I was dreaming. When I woke up I would quickly get on my keyboards and write them down. Play the jingles and record them before I forgot them. Eating toast and playing music one morning I heard a ruckus. Everyone upstairs was in a panic. I went up to find out what was going on. My father apparently cut off his thumb and finger on his miter saw. He was cutting a piece of wood and the saw caught his fingers accidentally sending them flying. One of his workers gathered his finger and thumb and took him to the emergency. At the time of the accident he was at my brothers home about six hours away from where we lived. He was transferred to Calgary to meet up with a special hand surgeon to sew his fingers back on and see if he could keep them. The surgery was successful and his missing limbs were to one day down the road, work again. His construction business was on the line. With his accident, he was unable to work. Money would stop coming in and losing the house was slowly becoming a reality. A few months passed and the home was in foreclosure. We just walked away from it. It was almost paid off and it didn’t matter. We had to leave. My father decided to strip it from everything that they put in it. The window covers, shutters, the mirrored walls and ceilings, even the front screen doors. We moved in with my eldest sister, her husband and their 3 children. As a family, we came up with a plan to move to the western side of Canada where we would go on holidays every year. It was a plan that half of us would go there and start building our future while the other half stayed behind and waited. My third eldest sister, myself, my father and my brother in law would go first to find our jobs and settle. We rented a two bedroom apartment. We would not always all be there at the same time. My sister and I would stay and my father and brother in law would be in between. At least the sisters would sometimes get a break. Growing older I was able to hide better and make myself unavailable better. The sexual episodes were becoming more scarce. I worried about what the jerk would do if he didn’t have us at his disposal. All I new was that I was beginning to learn how to avoid him. I was always very observant how he handled my nieces and nephews. All of us sisters were on guard always. You would think things would slow down as we got older but he was the devil in disguise. I found a job at a music school teaching music privately. I liked it very much. Living in a resort town was great! You work and when your done, you got the lake or beach or go boating or seadooing. Always fun times to be had. We made new and exciting friends. We were beginning to feel free. The laser show once again would consume me and I loved it!

Now What!?

So nice to add more to my anxiety and depression list. Why was I being punished? Was it for my previous lies? They were lies intended to save me, to help me and to not hurt anyone. The few weeks that followed, I stayed hidden as much as I could. I was being very anti social which was not like me. My family began to notice. Then anger and hatred set it big time. I was so angry at my father and I hated him so much. I loathed him. Despised him. I would cringe in his presence.  Jessica told me about a place where I could go to have the baby removed. It would cost me $800 cash. I made the call and was scheduled on the coming Saturday. Two days away. I was scared but ready to have this taken care of. There was no way I could go through with this one. The day finally came when this problem was tonne removed from me. I attended the appointment, paid my money and waited in a room on a massage type bed. Jessica came with me and waited in the little waiting area. The place looked cheesy. Old furniture and a ripped looking couch. The room was small and had nothing on the walls. A very small counter with medical tools on it. A man entered the room and introduces himself as David. No doctor or medical title at all. For the next hour I would endure the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life.  I felt so much wetness coming out and was not sure what it was. I was not urinating. When he was done, the pool of blood on the table and the floor was about an inch deep and four feet round. I was so dizzy and in so much pain. He had butchered my insides. When my monthly cycle arrived the next month, chunks of my uterus were coming out of me. I had to go see a doctor to send me to a specialist. After leaving, I could not get my bleeding to stop. I was so weak and dizzy. After a few more days passed, it was my turn to continue getting molested nightly. No matter how much pain I was in or how much I cried and told him to stop, it didn’t matter. I would just close my eyes and try to think of something good. “Try” being the keyword. Nothing good was in my life at that time. I spoke with God. During all of it I just spoke to God. I asked him why he was allowing this to happen to me. Was he watching? Did he know? I fell in love with a song by a band named Depeche Mode. The song was called Blasphemous Rumors. I would listen and believe that song everyday. The key sentence in that song went like this,

I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumors but I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor and when I die, I expect to find him laughing”.

Paranoia For Real…. Sets In

I was beginning to forget who knew the truth and who didn’t. I found myself telling people I thought had already known and when they started to question me, I would have to tell them. This band story became larger everyday and it was spreading. I started to wonder how I was to ever get out of it. It got so uncontrollable. I began working with some local musicians. Extremely talented ones. I was introduced to a gentleman named Ted. He was so similar to me in my musical talents. He could play seven to eight keyboards at the same time while singing and not really looking at his hands. All the same things I do. Getting to know him and attending all the venues he preformed at, we became friends. We were both very interested in the KORG keyboard brand. The best sound performance in synthesized sounds. I could play drums, electric guitar, strings, acoustics, whatever instrument you wanted to hear and play them where you could never tell the difference if it was a keyboard playing it or the real actual instrument. I learned so much about synthesis and becoming a one man band or an entire orchestra all at the same time. I could recreate my favorite songs and you could not tell the difference between them other than the singer singing the lyrics. At one event I attended, Ted came to my table during his break and told me a fascinating story. Sworn truth to this. He told me that the keyboardist for the band Chicago was moving on and the band was looking for a replacement. He told me that he was asked to take on that part and that he turned them down. He didn’t want to do it. What??? Are you absolutely kidding me right now? I felt like I was in the twilight zone. For real! Then I wondered if he knew about my lie because it was so wide spread but the way he was explaining it to me, was not hypothetical or joking like. He was down right serious. I never said a word to him about my fairy tale story. I think I was too shocked. I couldn’t wait to go home and write to the band. Ask them if I could send in a demo or if they could listen to my music. Maybe consider me. Over the next few days I became so sick. Very nauseated. It wouldn’t go away. It was a horrible feeling but for some reason after throwing up, I felt better. It seemed to only happen in the mornings. I seemed fine all day but as the night approached or into the early hours in the morning, I would get sick. I didn’t bother going to see a doctor about it. Probably something I was eating. Jessica who was still a paid friend and big part of my life got me a pregnancy test. I looked at her like she was from mars. Definitely from another planet. We did the test that night and it showed positive. My life was about to change once again.  I was eighteen years old.