His name was Christopher Gordon Rayment. Born July 2nd he grew into the Rayment regime History Background
and was lively full of soul and passion for helping those around him those who needed to laugh, those who needed support and encouragement, those who needed a cheeky grin to stare back at them!
Though I was never around to witness my brother grow until his early teens I was a baby in arms and it’s funny I was happy… I wasn’t worried about the forth-coming future ahead of me neither the fear of growing into an atrophic society. I was brought into this world by sheer coincidental on January 19th I was moderately chubby which still to this very day I find hard to believe.
Then there was Mandy Jane Rayment she was born first into this horrific place and she was as any young baby should be cute, irristable to the eye. Mandy oldest of the nestle egg was born January 11th and being the first was lucky to have all and on the other hand protected by the newly inexperienced parents…at the time!
But not forgetting the creators of this pack my mum and dad Pamela, Rosa, Rayment and Gordon Rayment. Both very different individuals who had unique, realistic upbringings.The true meaning of this novel is not the history but the up and coming of the future this novel is here to give hope to those who have lost their faith in life or lost a soul which shan’t be forgotten. Many never get over losing a close relative for example a mother, father, brother, sister! Any one who can move on has courage and sheer determination to say I will meet that person someday. I try so intensely to believe that one day when I die I shall meet my brother PTE Christopher Gordon Rayment who unfortunately on august 4th died in the war of Iraq. And this is where the real novel begins…
On March the month of my younger nieces birthday Jessica Louise Taylor my brother and me were in the living room watching the intense, dramatic “ when we were soldiers”. Today was the day of all days the day since I was nine years old I grew to dread. The day I knew my brother’s life was going to be in danger in a war zone country where Iraq’s had huge faith that if they killed themselves they would go to a better world. This wasn’t a country this was a place where sheer evil laid where god tried to protect the innocent and evil trying to destroy them. That day for me was horrific inside I was unaware of what the months ahead would be like. I have flashbacks now of when my brother stood in our living room I refused to prepare myself for the worst I showed no facial, physical or mental emotion during those last hours I spent with my brother I only wished now that I spoke to him more that I engaged and took every detail of his face. That I shared a conversation one that I would refuse to forget. Instead I maintained looking towards the television my pupils going smaller and more minuet and I could fill a tense emotion building up around my eyes I knew at any brief moment I would turn and plead and beg for mercy for him to tell me why that career. I knew it was a destiny a dream all his own I had mine he had his. My brother left the house for a brief moment as soon as I heard the reassuring door I gathered my tears and only let a few disappear down my cheek I locked the rest away as if for safe keeping.
Now looking at the carpet floor in dismay and the bag my brother possessed. I stared at him then at the bag and thought here’s my brother all to his name is a bag. The living room walls enclosed on me trapping me into a tearful goodbye I could not embrace. In this room and this room alone stood my brother wearing camouflaged gear. For a split second I had a flashback of when I was still a child and my brother 16 at the train station, there he was with my mum, dad, Mandy, his girlfriend at that time an there was me a girl of nine. Now returning to reality I stared back and saw not a 16 year old boy but a 21 year old man who now serves and protects his fellow soldiers and others but his baby sister…ME who was no longer a little girl but a young women. My brother standing at the living room door stared back at us with a lasting tearful look. And for the first time in my life I saw my uncle George stand with his glasses in one hand and using his other hand to wipe the excessive tears. My dad a man who rarely shows his emotion stood and shook my brother’s hand it was a tight grip a grip that reads to anyone several messages. A grip that says be brave and return me with all your limbs and your soul.
My mum who refuses to hide let out a river of crystal tears. With each sigh she took another tear arose and they kept arriving on signal an time. My sister stood cried and poured her heart and soul into my brother’s chest he said to my sister “I promise I’ll come back”. I looked at them both and almost felt I should wonder of into a secret garden and return when they had their moment. It was sacred and true but when it came to my goodbye I shed no tears, no fears I hid them inside my heart I walked up to him gave him one kiss on the left cheek it felt soft and protective and warm. The goodbye was never the same emotion I didn’t have his arms around me I didn’t hear him speak a word I can’t even remember him looking towards me. I got nothing from him I felt nothing. My mum clutched his broad shoulders and with her face in a dark rouged colouring she walked him to the car my brother was walking arched and the children on the pan stood on and stared for he had now become A SOLIDER!
This was now a journey a forever-winding journey that my brother had been deployed to. I no longer thought of future arrangements but then on saying this I never assumed my nightmares would become reality right before my eyes. I stood amongst my family in the kitchen when my brother descended. I heard my sister whisper in a very moving tone “the problem is they don’t come back “ how right my sister was to say these words. Mandy was flustered, red eyed she looked helpless If I had tried to reach out to her I would imagine she would crumble to dust. My mum returned and enclosed herself into a tight space. My dad an me stood in silence what could I say there was only faith by our side through those moving months alone. Gradually as the months went by sadly to say I got caught up in my G.C.S.E. exams through every pause in the exams I stared and thought of what my brother was doing. Each day became a little bit easier. When the phone went in our house it was an anticipation of whether it was him, my brother, Christopher. I stood in my tracks when the phone went or sometimes I’d rush in excitement though when I heard Chris say hi down the phone “is mum there “ I knew he was safe, well and most importantly of all alive. Deep down in my heart I wanted to say so many things to Chris but when I heard his deepened voice in minor key I just passed right through to my mum.
My mum could chat for hours with Chris I realised over the years that my mum and brother had an interesting relationship they clashed when put together but separated they were blissful. My mum’s face lit up with intense joy never once did her smile fade or erase during that 20 minute phone call permitted. As months continued we, as a family lived life as normally as we could at times we’d have a gaze, a thought one of many but we never got downhearted by those thoughts. Me not choosing to believe the worst chose to see the advantage that my brother would walk through those doors or I could hear his screams shriek through the walls of our house. My brother celebrated his 22nd birthday out in Iraq, Allamarah July 2nd we sent some gifts and cards were sent except it wasn’t the same. My exams were a constant strain and the thought of sitting there through the hour exams or as some were two just seemed like hell now I see that sitting exams are not hell, that having to go to auditions was not a nuisance that was heaven compared to my emotions now. During the time that I was at school I just wanted to scream out to society and say support me “help me”. No one in school really took a keen interest in my brother being deployed out to Iraq the scary point about it was that when I told people they acted so ordinary they were so unaware of how this was going to change the person I was. Through the months there was no escaping the war and stories of troops some were to bold and unpleasant. The days became unbearable as it was coming nearer to him coming home. I had constant nerves evolving inside I was building myself up for his return. I had a sense of fear inside what if he came home and he had lost his soul that what he had seen out there was so deceiving and blind evil just what if? We as a family counted down the days till he was home little did we realise we were counting down the days until god was to take our hero: a son, brother, nephew, cousin and a dear friend. Christopher was due home the 10th August 2004 we had prepared so much banners, balloons everyone was to know that PTE Christopher Gordon Rayment had served his duty not only for Iraq but for England to. I wanted to share with Christopher all the latest news and that I had a boyfriend named Ben and that he was really sensitive and a good person. I suppose you could say it was a private prey, a wish. I come to see that my brother was a well-known person even to my friends Vikki, Mona, Chelsea, and Lorrie at that time all a part of the cadets. At first I felt shocked at the revelation the fact that they knew the hero just as I did. Then when shock wore away I felt invaded I no longer could say an do what I wanted in school because my every movement would be reported back. This concerned me at the time and I thought my only place of freedom to be me was snatched. This may seem a little incorrect and over the top but it was my emotion at that moment. Whenever I saw my friends Mona an Vikki I could hear them tremble his nickname to me Ray this never concerned me because I now saw that to them my brother was humorous and a very brave solider with extraordinary qualities ones that stood out to people who knew him. My brother was gifted with a talent this talent was basic when he walked in a room he could of lit it up so brightly. He smiled through his problems and laughed at those who disliked him but there weren’t many who had a sense of hatred towards my brother. My brother was more then what we saw enclosed in our house, he had hidden his personality, which so many become to love and know.
When examinations ended anticipation begun of what they were how I had done. And my whole five years of schooling came flooding back and tears formed in my eyes for I now knew my real challenge had begun… LIFE!
End of an era!
End of an era well at least this was what I thought of my life. My years of primary school seemed so distant and so long ago for once I learned that life was going to move on for me no matter what I thought of the outcome. I couldn’t refuse what god was offering me and this left my mind confused for years about faith. What was faith? Was it to believe in god, was it to believe that you will meet loved ones again or was it just a word with no relevant meaning to me. I guess inside I never knew what I needed or required in life. A very wise friend, Kaylea who I lived next door to for thirteen years once said you couldn’t change the hand that god dealt you and this friend was correct. No matter how much I questioned about faith and god I still believe he made a plot to change my hand. In other words to change my luck.
Through my last weeks at school I rehearsed over my solo which was to be performed at the Greenwich University I was to sing “ Everything I do I do it for you “ by Bryan Adams. I was never nervous but deeply concerned about my forgetful mind of words. I decided that weekend to go on a hunt for my graduation outfit I wanted to be brave and bold to be different from the Ruth they knew. The night of a all nights had come it’s a scary thought because when I started primary I never thought I would make it to secondary but now as I have come to realise I’m aware that things do come to you even if you don’t want them to. Almost like death isn’t it when you least expect things to arrive they come without warning without a signal to any one. But why? Why is it the greatest day of your life is dying? Returning back to my graduation I had arrived early for rehearsal that day and the tension was beginning to build and for a split second I sat and wished my brother was there just to feel his closeness towards me to know he was there beside me. I performed that night with great emotion part disappointment and happiness. I had all these people look upon me but none were my brother I felt almost selfish all I wanted was him. This one single human noone famous but it would have been the most proud thing to of done. A moment to remember. Having received a red leather folder enclosed of pictures and certificates I felt so relieved but at the same time heart broken here it was the end of five years. This was now my only connection and achievement from Eltham Green Secondary School I wasn’t apart of them no more. These teachers were going to represent other years and years after that I was just another in there memory span but at least my year 11, my friends were there in the teachers memories to. Over the five years of my life these faces before me were my second family. Just as Christopher had another family!
A couple of days on from the graduation after shredding tears with friends it was the big night. My very own prom I was set to have a fantastic time that night I had slipped Christopher from my memory but did feel gutted inside here was the moment of my life. The day I ‘d wish that all my family could witness but once again Chris wasn’t there to witness nor shall he ever be here to witness my successes. My brother made his choice of life now I had to make mine.
News has come
I continued to question my exam results and had a boycott method no one was to mention exams I had come to a solution that until that day I refused to worry or panic but inside I had convinced myself that my grades would never match to the standards of what North West Kent wanted. But at the back of mind I preyed to god me, Ruth preyed for god to help me and guide me not knowing I would need his support a lot more during the months ahead. At times when exam result day was arriving I never initially gave a thought for Chris.
The night before the exam results I lay in bed motionless not knowing whether to sit and shred tears now over my grades or leave it until further notice… till tomorrow. Whether I chose to like the situation my future lied in the hands of a sheet of paper stating my grades. This was my final, overall jump to make. That day I walked to school in a daze and I stared and looked at every detail of the trees the sky and it was at that point I knew I was unprotected in the world evil could harm me now. When I found out my grades I cried and stared at my deputy head and said why? Why? He didn’t see me do anything in life. My brother had been taken. My brother died in Iraq where evil lies and god tries to protect. My brother had been taken and he wasn’t gong to return.
We heard the news from two soldiers from Woolwich Barracks it was the 4th August 2004 at precisely 5:30 and me and my mum had our hair done previously before and the adrenalin rush of Chris coming home was overwhelming inside I had a sense of fear that Chris would have changed. But then my fears changed when two people a women and a man stood in smart suits I thought they were salespeople and I was going to say in a polite tone were not interested. That was when they looked at me with such sympathetic eyes and asked for a Mr George Rayment I claimed that Mr George Rayment lived down the road now in a complete confusion I said Mr Gordon Rayment you sure you don’t mean him he lives at this address. They claimed once again that they wanted a Mr George Rayment. My mum overhearing walked downstairs and asked what the problem was now the soldiers gave another sympathetic glare my mum invited them in and acting in a sincere manner offered t