John’s parents had him on a grey October day in 1986.
They had him when they were too young and too scared, and most importantly for John, they had him against their wishes.
John’s parents had him, but he never had them.
The orphanage that John called home until his 16th birthday had four large external walls and three caring matrons. It had barred windows, creaky ceiling fans and loose floor tiles. In the main hall where meals were served, a large clock tick-tick-tocked the days away.
“What’s that expression? ‘Time heals all wounds’? Yeah, well it doesn’t,” he tells The Sunday Times of Malta.
While he has mostly fond childhood memories of his time at the orphanage, feelings of abandonment and worthlessness from never knowing his parents have haunted his adult life.
“It defined me. I was someone not even my mother wanted to know. I didn’t want to know me,” he says.
When John first attempted suicide, adrenaline took over his senses but not the sour scraping of bone-on-bone.
Reaching for a lighter, John’s arm breaks the beam of pale yellow sunlight through the pall of cigarette smoke in his Floriana bedroom.
He explains how somewhere between his last leg leaving the table, and…