Thinking About Then, Now 

Time & Date: 6 am Sunday 5th February 2017

Location: UALAccommodation, Whitechapel, London.

Have you listened to Joanne yet Yasmin? There’s a song I want to play for you.

– thinking back, we have multiple of songs that relate to times in our lives. Times we spent together growing up that we’re special to only him and I. Songs that instantly bring me back to that moment, what we were doing, what we were wearing. Happy memories. I hadn’t listened to Joanne, his idol Lady Gaga’s newest album. I hadn’t thought much of it at the time.

6 am – he had risen to walk me to the bus station so I could catch my flight home, getting ready he got out his phone and started to play the title song on the album. It related to me then, as I was leaving and neither he or I wanted to that moment. The weekend we spent together was something special. A weekend that had me doing something that was completely out of the ordinary for me, I was relaxed and calm. I was relaxed knowing he was safe with me, I was happy that it was one of the few times I was certain my mum and dad were sleeping sound without a worry in the world because we were together and I would never let any harm come to him.

On the upcoming to this trip, he wasn’t sleeping, having a hard time focusing and couldn’t battle with his mind for weeks previous. He was tired. That weekend I fought his demons with him, side by side he told me his feelings on Friday when I arrived, staring out the tube window he tells me he is just feeling ‘weird’ and just wants to sleep. 10 pm that night I hold my 20-year-old brother’s hand from the floor until I hear his breathing get heavier and he falls asleep. I then get myself ready for bed, before settling into my makeshift bed, under his desk with his duvet and fur coat, I take a quick picture of him wrapped in Mr Snuggles fast asleep and send it to my mum and dad for a quick piece of mind.

IMG_0574

I pray that he sleeps soundly, that I can take his troubles away. I have a nightmare that night and one of the worst periods of sleep I have had in a long while. He awakens 12 hours later, refreshed with a cheeky grin, I had accomplished what I planned to do that weekend.

Joanne, at the time, was a lovely song for him to play for me as he was singing away whilst I shed a tear that I was leaving, belting out ‘Girl, Where do you think you’re going?’ with relation to me making my trip home smiling as he sings and bounces at 6 am.

5 months on, it means even more – was it a subconscious plan to say goodbye? Unknown to us both my mum was bringing him back home for Valentines Day the following week, but on this date, we only knew this would be the last time I saw him until March 20th which he ultimately didn’t make it too.

On the second last time, I would see my brother alive, the last time I would ever wake up in the same vicinity as him after spending 20.5 years with only a plasterboard separating us, he sings a song, to say goodbye.

“Joanne”

Take my hand, stay Joanne
Heaven’s not
Ready for you
Every part
Of my aching heart
Needs you more
Than the angels do

Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?
Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?

If you could
I know that you’d stay
We both know
Things don’t work that way
I promised I
Wouldn’t say goodbye
So I grin
And my voice gets thin

Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?
Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?

Honestly, I know where you’re goin’
And baby, you’re just movin’ on
And I’ll still love you even if I can’t
See you anymore
Can’t wait to see you soar

Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?
Girl
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Where do you think you’re goin’?
Goin’, girl?

 

Instead of Zachary singing Joanne to me, it is now me singing Joanne to him.

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