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Someone very close to me passed away. It was a long, drawn out death.

So much that it was a relief when they finally found peace. I had been at their bedside for four days, with my family. We sang songs and told ancient family tales as that person slipped away in front of us. It was a beautiful moment. To watch someone you love finally being set free.

Their last seventeen years of life had been a tragedy unfolding at an excruciatingly slow pace. Watching them suffer made me suffer.

With pride I helped carry them to their final resting place. I stood in front of everyone at the crematorium, my body physically trembling. “C’mon Aidan, compose yourself” I was saying internally. My hands were shaking uncontrollably as I looked down at the poem I had written for them. It was their eulogy. I had been known to pen some poignant poems.

Some even told me I had a knack for writing.

After a sip of water I spoke the words I had written down. Tears tried to escape from my eyes, but I dared them to stay where they were. At least let me finish.
With only a couple of mistakes – words mispronounced under emotional pressure – I got through it. I looked up at the crowd gathered before me. My words had done their job. I honoured the person we were there for.
My final gift to them. To a person who gave me so much. It was the least I could do.

From the moment I stepped away from the podium the strangest thing began to happen. It was a feeling. Like someone speaking to me. In that moment everything in my life made sense. All the trauma. All the suffering. All the years of addiction. I translated the feeling into English to understand the message I was receiving over and over.

“Write a book. Write a book. Write a book”.

So I went home and sat at my PC desk. I started to type. It was my story coming out. As terrifying as it was, I knew there was only one place the story could start.

Chapter One. Groomed.