I WAS A TEENAGER LIVING AT HOME WITH MY PARENTS. There were lots of Jehovah’s Witnesses staying with us. I was in my bedroom. There was no bed, just a mattress on the floor. The shelving next to my matress had been dismantled and there was an old white wardrobe with a mirror in the corner of the room. My sister came into my room. I told her I was going to paint my bedroom light grey. She told me she had been keeping a record of all the foreign people in our congregation. I looked out of my bedroom window expecting to see my dad’s workshop at the end of the garden but it was gone. There was just a muddy lawn.
Everyone was getting ready to go to the Kingdom Hall for a meeting. I didn’t want to go. I felt tired of being a Jehovah’s Witness. I took my old, grey overcoat off. Underneath I was wearing a grey suit and a pair of worn-out shoes. Hanging in the corner of my room was another overcoat—a bright orange one. I stared at myself in the mirror. I didn’t recognise myself.
Then I was grown up and married, living at Canterbury Terrace in Wirksworth, Matlock. I went next door to see a young man called Luke. He told me he wanted to be a Jehovah’s Witness. I tried to convince him it was a bad idea but he insisted so I started a Bible study with him. Next I was in my little red Yugo driving to a meeting for field ministry. Luke was with me. After the meeting an elder called Nigel asked me if I was ok. I told him I didn’t want to be a Jehovah’s Witness anymore. He told me he already knew this, and it was ok.
I drove home in my Yugo. It was snowing heavily. I couldn’t see in front of me so my mum and (now ex) wife got out and walked in front of the car. We reached a steep hill. A passerby told me to go up the hill in fourth gear. Just then, my mum slipped on the snow and fell off the road down a bank. She only just avoided falling into an icy lake and drowning. I helped her back onto the road and we carried on up the hill.