A Letter From Julien

Hello Out there,

My name is Julien Hill.  If you’ve read KJ’s book, False Hope, you would know who I am.  KJ wanted me to write a little bit about myself to give you ‘insights’ into my behavior in the book.  Frankly, I think it’s a big waste of time, but she can get a bit whiney and this was the only way I could shut her up. 

Like I said, my name is Julien and before I went working undercover at that sorry excuse for a law office of Upshall’s, I worked on the Vice squad for about five years.  Most of my policing experience comes from dealing with drug dealers and low-lifes, so this new gig was one I wasn’t looking forward to.  I regret the whole thing.  The only light in the entire operation was Ashley.  She’s an angel.  It’s no secret I had a thing for that girl, but she only had eyes for Jamie, or Jax, as you all would know him.  Trust me, that guy has some secrets he wouldn’t like to get out.  But this is about me.

I grew up just outside of Toronto.  I was an only child.  My parents were teachers and are retired, now living in Hamilton.  Linda and Brian were always worried about my tendencies to be alone instead of hanging with a bunch of kids from school, but I just never found my group.  I stayed locked up in my room reading comic books.  They suited me better.  I was never good at sports and the geeks were too brainy for me, so I fell somewhere in the middle.  I got my first good camera in grade 10 and taught myself how to take cool shots and develop them myself.  I started spending a lot of time in my darkroom I had set up in the basement.  Again, Linda and Brian weren’t too pleased with my ‘obsessive’ tendency to take ‘pictures’ and suggested I spend more time with my studies.  This led to a lot of arguments with my parents and I ended up storming out a few times.  I needed to get my own place, I knew that. 

After high school, I really didn’t know what to do with myself.  I knew a guy who had applied to the police department for kicks, so I thought I’d apply.  I wrote on the application I was handy with a camera and they seemed interested by that.  I showed them the portfolio I threw together along with the dark room I had and they sent me to the academy.  I hated that too, but I made it through.  They sent me directly to Vice and I was set up to do surveillance.  Apparently, my eye for detail and awesome photography skills came in handy.  I got great shots that handed guys some hefty sentences in Kingston.  I was feeling useful in that gig.  I got my own place and set up my darkroom off of my bedroom.  And then, they sent me to Organized Crime with the pretty boys like Jamie.  Adrian had strict rules about who I was to ‘associate’ with, so no buddies at Vice for me, anymore.  I hated undercover.  The only thing that suited me was the fact I got to be alone and take some shots.  I guess you know by now, that I had some photos of Ashley and some women.  It wasn’t a pervy thing.  I just appreciate a beautiful form.  Call it art. That’s all I’m going to say about it.  The secret compartment under my desk was supposed to be private.  The fact that Ashley found it and it wasn’t discovered by the guys in OC was more awesome than I could have ever imagined. 

I know I’m dead, now.  You don’t have to pretend that I’m alive and kicking and will be magically reappearing in another of KJ’s books.  I know it ain’t happenin’ but I couldn’t have imagined any better way of dying.  All for Ashley.  Those idiots couldn’t save a raccoon from a tree, let alone a beauty like Ashley.  That’s why I had to dive in.  I had to make sure she got away from the goons charging into the apartment and I thought I had a good shot at getting her away from Jamie and his gang of merry men, but that didn’t work out as well as I had planned.  But, she did good in my opinion. 

She was innocent in all of this.  She wasn’t supposed to be in any of the operation until Jamie got his hooks into her and made her a part of this mess.  It’s his fault she had to run from murderous bastards and his fault she had to move away.  I could see how hurt she was when her friend was killed and I could see he left her in the middle of the whole ordeal.  I didn’t bail on her like Jamie did.  I was behind the scenes watching like always.  And I was there when it counted, in the end.  That’s what’s important.

I don’t know what they did with all of my stuff.  My apartment is empty so I assume Linda and Brian cleaned it up.  I know Ashley asked that my pictures be taken away.  I only hope she has a few to remember me by.   Her savior.  Her hero.  I loved her the most.  You can tell her I said that.

Always,

Julien

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An Open Letter To Humanity

Dear Fellow Human Beings,
I know the past week has been a shithole of nonsense, lies and outrageous tweets. I know that most of us are sitting here questioning the future of the human race. I know that the new leader of one of the biggest nations in the free world is a royal butthole and insistent on remaining narcissistic, misogynistic and racist. I know. I see it too. Let’s all just take a deep breath and ponder the other side.

Yes, the other side. The other side of negative-hate-spewing-nonsense. The side that is clinging to righteousness, decency, compassion and kindness. The side that still champions the underdog, encourages forward thinking and values intelligent dialogue. The side that recognizes the value of a diverse culture, freedom of thought and expression, and the ability to accept the worthy differences in other human beings. This is the side of which I’m choosing to remain a big part, because this is the side that will always win.

I know it doesn’t seem like it now. I know that dark days are ahead of us and the knee-jerk reaction is to duck under the covers and hide until it’s over, but we can’t do that. We need to be the light. We need to guide the way. We need to be the strong ones. We need to take back the human race for the next generation.  

All the light people, stand up. If you can’t stand up, that’s okay. Raise up something…a hand, a foot, a finger an eyebrow, anything. Do it. Remain the positive force that I know you all are. Smile at people. Remind them we are all in this together and one asshole does not have the right to make our lives become a shitty existence. Show some compassion when you can, help a neighbour when he needs it and be there for a friend when she calls. Human decency and kindness is all around us, we just need to take a closer look and shout it for the world to see.

The other night, I was in the line-up at Walmart. I didn’t have a cart thinking I only needed a few things, but overloaded myself with stuff. I didn’t mind. It wasn’t that heavy. I was number ten in a long line, but just ahead of me was a woman in a wheelchair. I knew this woman since I worked with her when I first moved to St. John’s. I was her PCA. She would curse and swear at me. Throw food at my face. Call me down for hurting her and all the while, I would smile and say ‘sorry’, not because I did anything wrong, but because she had so much more going on and she was bitter about it. I got that. So that night as I stood in line at Walmart and watched the cashier help her with her groceries, load them in bags and attach them gently to her chair, assist her with her debit card and make sure she had the correct cash back she needed, and make sure she is okay, I remember the bitter woman and smiled at the cashier. She was calm and courteous and respectful. She didn’t rush her or roll her eyes. She didn’t make her feel any less of a person for being in a wheelchair. She treated her the same as everyone else…A HUMAN BEING.  

No matter what some orange guy with a personality disorder spews over Twitter or says in a news conference, we are all valuable worthy human beings and deserve respect and decency. We are all capable of spreading a little compassion and kindness instead of revelling in dark hate mongering. We need to be the bigger force, the better people the stronger team for those who can’t; for those whose voices get drowned out by all the yelling and hateful speech. Take a breath, remember the light and concentrate on battling the dark side with humour, kindness and warmth. It’s a little thing, but in the bigger picture will make a difference to someone and that’s what we’re here for.  

Stay positive. Smile. Laugh. Walk your damn dog. Buy your kid a cookie. Carry someone’s groceries. Tell someone you love him. It’s all enough, even if it doesn’t feel like it.  

I’ll be over here in the light with the rest of the human beings if you need me…

Thanks for reading and listening and smiling. Carry on, Light People.  

Carry. The Fuck. On.

KJ xo