Life Starts After Death

February 20, 2009
By
More by this author
James:

I never done much right in my life. Grew up in this here small town. Plan to die here. And the way things are moving now, shouldn?t be much longer. But I can except that, since I never did nothing great, I never expected nothing great. When I was younger, I went to school in the morning and worked in the farm with my brother in the afternoon just like everybody else. Nothing special.
Met her when I was 3 years old. Not many people in this town, so it was hard to ignore her. Now I?m not saying she the prettiest thing, but she?s beautiful enough in her own way and Gloria?s always been there for me.
I played football in high school, I pretty good at it. A few colleges came to see me play; I?ll admit I got excited. Last time I did that till Lorena came along.
But when the colleges stopped coming my senior year when I broke my arm down at the lake that summer, Gloria was there for me. Suppose that?s how we ended up with Jenny. Can?t say it was my idea. Can?t even say at the time I even liked it. But I am man. Simple as I may be. And I know my responsibilities. So I married her.
Now most would say that marriage needs love from the beginning, but me and Gloria made our own love. Not what you hear about in them there books. No, nothing like it. We came dependent on each other. Grew old together and built a life together.
After Jenny came, I went to work at the factory. Hard work, but it didn?t require much thinking, and I was never the brightest bulb, so it worked just right for me. I worked for there for 50 years. Never took a day off. Never got sick. Healthy as a ox. Well that is till she left. After she left. My heart gave up, and I began to die.
She?s always been my favorite. Hard as I tried to hide it. Didn?t wanna hurt her mama?s feelings, but she always was. Left without telling a soul. Just woke up one morning and found her bed empty with a letter on the fridge.

Love you daddy, but I gotta leave to follow my dreams
How could a father argue that? Every daddy wants there little girl to be happy, so if being gone makes her happy I?ll die knowing that she?s happy. And that there?s enough for me to rest in peace.


Gloria:

He?s dead.

After spending my whole life with the man. He?s dead. James was always a good man. A good husband. He put food on the table for the girls, made it so I never had to work a day in my life. Left me well too. Makin sure the house was paid for and all the debts repaid. Loved him with my whole heart. He was truly a beautiful man. Was ever since we were younger. His face was something that should?ve been a movie star. A jaw of marble and eyes so blue I some times swore I could dive right in a find myself right down at the bottom of the lake over on the other side of town.
Oh and that blonde hair, even down to his last minute, glittered in a way that put the sun to shame. I was lucky to get him, plain as I was, and he gave me everything I ever asked. Lucky I was.


Lorena:

?Who the hell calls people at 8 in the morning?? I groggily muttered as I reached across William, careful not to bother him. We had just gotten in about 4 hours ago, and I hated to wake him, he looked so perfect. I still couldn?t believe he was my future husband
?What? I snapped into the phone.
?Is that how you fancy movie stars answer that phone, over there in Los Annggeellleess??
My mouth dropped. We had gone 10 years without speaking, why was she calling now. What could possibly be that important that she would call me?
?What is it Jenny?? I asked as I carefully leaped out of bed out of the bed into the bathroom.
?Is that anyway to speak to your big sister? she retorted, emphasizing the fact that she was older. Like she always did.
Jenny always tried to shove her age in my face. When there was something she wanted, she always claimed she deserved it because she was older. From the last cookie in the jar all the way to her reasoning to why Johnny Wilts couldn?t be my boyfriend in 6th grade because she was older and ?younger sisters aren?t supposed to get a boyfriend before the older sister did.? But I guess I always knew why she did it though, so I just let it go.
We both new I was daddy?s favorite. It was hard to ignore, the way he always did better for me than her or my mother. He always gave me the better presents, always remembered to get my favorite flavor ice cream on Friday nights on his way home from work. We all knew I was the favorite, and it always bugged Jenny. She could never let it go, no matter how old we got.
?What is it jenny? I repeated, ignoring her last comment.
For a long time there was just silence, and I was beginning to get irritated because of it. I mean who calls someone at eight in the morning, and then doesn?t say anything.
?Well it was nice hearing from you Jen as usual, but I?m human and I?ve got some sleep to get. So I look forward to speaking to you in another ten years.?
?You?re so friggin selfish,? She yelled into the phone ?you just left, and never came back for him, you killed him! You broke his heart, and it killed him. You killed him?
?What are you talking about?? I demand, initially genuinely interested. I mean who did I have that much control over, that I could kill them with the lack of my presence.
Until I remembered, that Jenny has a tendency to like to start drama with her lies. She did it before and I am sure this just another one of her stunts.
?You know what, never mind I don?t have time for you?
I hung up the phone, and opened the door to the bedroom. He was still laying there fast asleep. I snuck back around to my side of the bed and slipped back into my favorite nook between his arms.
When the phone began to ring, ten minutes later, I refused to be stirred from my haven, and just let it ring. Whoever it was, left a message and I decided that I would check it later, when I felt like it.


Jenny:

?Ok so maybe I didn?t handle that the best way I should have,? I muttered as walked back into the kitchen.
Glen was sitting at the kitchen table laughing with Mary and Alice, doing a puzzle. I understood being strong in front of the girls, they just lost their grandpa, but it just seemed like he wasn?t concerned that my dad was gone. When Lorena was here, Glen did stuff with my dad all he time, they went fishing, hunting and he even came over every Sunday for dinner and football. But after she left, Glen didn?t really come around anymore, and when we started dating, he always seemed so uncomfortable around the family.
?Well what?d she say?? Glen asked, not even looking up from helping Alice fit a puzzle piece in.
?She hung up?

?Wow, I know yall aren?t the best of friends, but I was sure that hearing about your dad, would bring her to at least talk to you?

?Yea I know but you know how selfish she can be. But I tried.?
Ok so maybe it wasn?t the whole story. I technically didn?t get to actually tell her what happened. I kinda just yelled. But if she hadn?t hung up on me maybe I would?ve told her. So as far as I?m concerned this is her fault too. She always caused trouble with
Lorena and me always functioned like this though. Ever since we were little, we never really did the picture perfect sister relationship. We didn?t play together, we never talked. And when she left, our relationship got even more strained. I didn?t even invite her to my wedding. I hated her for just leaving. Daddy needed her. She always knew that; and she was so selfish, she just left. And after that her was never the same. He never smiled the same, never laughed the same and in the back of his eyes, when you really stopped to look, you could see the pain he felt. I honest believe she killed him. Not literally, I mean that would have required her to actually come home, but being apart from her for so long, it killed him and I?ll always hate her for it.


William:

Bored. That perfectly explains how I feel about this whole relationship. I mean I wont lie when I first met her Lorena, was cute. She has this little accent that no, matter how hard she tries to hide, still emerges when she uses words like ?baby?, she was so innocent and naﶥ. I mean I introduced her to sushi for heaven?s sake. But now, it was just dull. I would love to just walk out at this point. But it would ruin my ?good boy? appearance, I mean what kind of guy walks out on some on they claimed to want to spend the rest of their life with, all because they?re boring.
In my defense when I proposed to her it seemed like a good idea. She was a cool girlfriend then. We went out to all the parties together and stayed out till 4 in the morning just talking. She was my best friend. But now all she wants to do is stay at home and have people come over. Which would be fine if it wasn?t dinner and wine with a bunch old people. It?s like all of a sudden just because we?re engaged we have to act like an old couple.
I hear a shuffle sound coming from the hallway, I know she?s about to come in the room, so I brace myself to deal and put a smile on her face, Eyes red, face whiter than porcelain, Lorena comes into the room with dime-sized tears running down her face. What could possible be wrong now. It was always something with Lorena.
?My dad?s dead?
?You have a dad??
I guess it was a dumb question to ask, obviously, she has a dad. But we never talked about her family, so it caught me off guard to suddenly hear about them. Especially, accompanied by this type of reaction. Most of the time, if people care enough about something to have this type of reaction, you hear about it at least once before.
Lorena fell on the floor by my feet and I have no idea how to react. Normally I?m so good at consoling and sympathizing with people. Its one of the things girls love about me. But right now, I can?t tell if this is another one of Lorena?s acting stunts or if she really is upset. If it?s another one of the stunts, I can save my energy; she never cares how I react to her acting. She?s always too impressed with herself to care what I think. But if she?s actually upset. I really need to do something, because she hates when I ?ignore her emotions.? Like last week she actually got upset about a bad review, and when I didn?t sit down to listen to her thirty-minute tirade, about people?s inability to recognize her ?innate great acting skills?, she locked me out the house when I went for my after noon jog. I have to say she is spoiled rotten.
Finally I decided to be on the safe side, considering I was going out later on tonight for drink, and didn?t want to have to worry about climbing over the balcony edge at 3 in the morning.
?Well was he sick?? I asked cautiously
She mumbled something incoherent through the crying, pushing me to finally believe that this whole thing was real. Having dealt with a situation like this before, I knew exactly what to do.
No amount of talking would fix this. All girls are the same deep down, so I knew exactly what she wanted.
I walked over to where she was collapsed on the floor. I picked Lorena up and brought her back over to the bed. I laid her down, walked over to turn off the light and quickly returned to the bed. Carefully, I got in and rapped my arms around her curled up body and kissed her forehead. Her body started to shake, she was crying so hard, and I just held her tighter.
This is exactly what I did with my mom. It had worked then, seemed to be working now.
After about 15 minutes of unruly sobbing, shaking and heavy breathing, Lorena began to calm down a little. The tears were reduced from douses of water, to simple streams down the side of her face and her breathing began to even out. I didn?t let go though, I knew she wouldn?t have wanted me too. Right now, she all she wanted was for
Someone to hold her, and I was going to do just that.


Glen:

She got the call today. She seemed unfazed. I have no idea how that?s possible. Because me, I?m freaking out COMPLETELY.

She?s gonna be here in 2 days. After 10 friggin years. She thinks she can just come back and the drop of a hat. Come back and mess everybody?s lives up. That?s what she?s gon? do. Just like she did when she left. That?s the problem with Lo? is she?s selfish. Dumb as the back of a milk carton, and selfish and that don?t make a good combination.

When she left, the whole town was devastated. There community angel gone to the big city. They all thought she was coming back. But I knew better.
Even though she promised me that night down by the lake that she would come back for me, I knew. I could see in her eyes, and in the way she kissed me when I dropped her off at her door that list time. The kiss felt forced and her eyes-not in the front of course, but deep down in the back, where she thought I never looked?but always did- looked like what you would expect on a inmate, that was about to get out of jail after years of imprisonment. She seemed so excited and hopeful.
I mean Lorena always had big dreams, its part of the reason I took that big step senior year. I knew she was too good for me, and I thought by doing what I did, it would make us equal. Like with that one gesture, we would become one unity; her less or me more. She went along with it of course; i mean we were young and dumb. Plus, growing up in a small town it was expected, it?s what you did after high school, if you didn?t get expected to a college.
But the moment she told me she was leaving I knew it was the end of us. Didn?t like it. But I excepted it. But even though I knew it I still waited. Was out of respect I told myself. But truly it was because I was still hopeful. Like I said I was young and dumb.
But after 2 years, all that dumb hope was gone. And one day I was in the grocery store and ran into Jen. We didn?t date long. I guess it?s because we already knew a lot about each other. The only reason we waited so long was because it was expected. I guess.
We got married a year after we started dating, and some how ended with two little girls. Not that I?m complaining. The girls are the best thing I?ve ever done.
I can tell the fact that I?m not getting all emotional is hurting Jen. But that?s not me. Plus I knew when James died that she would be back, and I am not looking forward to that.
Its going to be like seeing that cousin you hate at the family reunion. You cant be mean because they?re family, but at the same time you wouldn?t willingly spend time with them.
?Glenn!? Jenny said, seemingly annoyed. She was standing in the middle of the kitchen with her hands on her hips. Guess she?d been standing there for a while.
I hadn?t noticed she?d come in. I was sitting at the table with the girls doing a puzzle, to pass time until we left for Gloria?s.
?Yeah babe?? I asked, trying my best not to laugh at Jen. She was so funny when she was annoyed, and she was obviously not happy right now. This was the kind of relationship we have. I guess because since for the longest time, she was like a little sister to me, its hard for me to shake the little ?brotherly? habits I have. But I try because they really piss her off. She?s always looking for the type of relationship me and Lorena had, but it?s just never been like that. I mean I love her. I really do. But it?s a different kind of love. Never understood why she was always trying to compete with Lo?. At school, at home, and now were, even though she?s been gone for 10 years.
?Did you hear me?? She asked eyes squinted, ready to pounce.
?Of course, babe?
Oh, crap! What did she say? Since I had no idea, I decided it would be best to avoid the subject, so I pulled the most common sense thing out from my brain and changed the subject.
?Do you want me to put the girls in the car, so that we can head to your parent?s??
Wearily, she looked at me, before she gave up and simply said ?yeah? before she went to the back to get her purse.
Glad I?d dodged that fight. I packed the girls up with a few toys and put them in the back seat of the Toyota and got in on the other side to wait for Jen. A few minutes later she came out and we drove the few blocks down the street to her old house.
It was always weird to be here after Lo? left. Kinda why I tried to limit the time, I spent here after she did. I always hoped no one noticed? I don?t think I was successful. It wasn?t that I didn?t love Lorena?s family; it was just once she left it was kind of painful to be in a place with so many great memories. The time we had the soap fight in the kitchen, and when her mom asked up blamed it on the kids Lo? was supposed to be watching, or the time when he dad walked in on us basement-
?What?? Jen asked
?What?? I asked back. What was she talking about?
?You have this dumb smile on your face, like you?re having the best time ever. What could be that great? My dad is dead!? Jen screamed at me before she ran out the room.
Suddenly I realized, what had just happened. And I realized that Jen knew too. And I also knew how much trouble I was in. Jen hated when I ?dozed off,? because she recognized the smile that was on my face when it happened. It was smile I always got, when I was with Lorena.
It wasn?t that I liked thinking about Lorena, I actually hated it. But it happened and I knew it hurt Jen. It made her think she wasn?t as good as her. And that wasn?t true; she was just as good, if not better. Jen was loving, dependable and loyal. All things that I couldn?t always say about Lorena.
I could never figure out why my brain always did this though. As hard as I tried. Daydreaming about Jenny was never as fun, and it certainly did not bring the same smile to my face. Guess I haven?t changed much. Not so young, but still pretty dumb.


Gloria:

I heard yelling and then someone ran down the hallway and out the back door.

?I can?t do this James. I can?t do it without you,? I muttered half to myself, half to his picture on that was sitting on the dresser.
It had been 2 days since he?d died but it felt so much longer. The planning was all taken care of; James had the plot paid for and the coffin picked out and even the flowers paid for down at Dora?s flower shop, long before he passed. So after, I reserved the church and put dates on the program I had nothing to left to do, and I was forced to sit with myself and think.
Thinking was all I seemed to be able to do now. Think and cry.
?Ahem? It was Glen at the door.
I really couldn?t say how I felt about Glen, when he was with Lorena I really like him. But after he married jenny, he became a different person to me and I never saw him the same way again. Its not that he was mean to Jenny, never did wrong by her a day in her life. But I just always felt they both settled into their marriage. He was always meant for Lorena and she was meant for?well I don?t know that part, but I know they don?t work right.
Not the way James and me do. Did.
Suddenly Glen was sitting by my side, holding me and pushing my head towards his chest. Although I couldn?t understand why, I let my head fall to his chest. They were so similar, same body, same eyes, same smell of laundry detergent and sweat. It was all strangely comforting.
Finally, I realized the reason for the sudden burst of compassion from the normally surly Glen. I was laying across his lap in fetal position crying my eyes out.
After allowing myself to cry it out for a while, I sat up and wiped off my face.
?Go find Jenny, I?ll start supper?
?Not necessary, peoples? been dropping off food all day?
?I don?t trust nobody else food,? I said standing up and trying to save face ?never know what people are gonna try to put in it?
??Gloria I don?t think that would try and poison you at a time likes this?
I looked at Glen laughed. Might not have been the nicest thing I ever did. But way I saw it was my husband?s dead and I don?t have to be nice.
?Not poison Glen, I was talking bout? taste. Food is my only comfort right now, and I don?t want to have to deal with Dina?s over salted mashed potatoes.?
With this, I walked out the bedroom and down the hall to the kitchen. Jenny was already sitting in the kitchen seasoning the chicken.

?you heard bout? Looorrreeennnaaa. Mrs. Superstar?? Jenny barked as I walked in the door

Lorena and Jenny never got along very well. Since they were little. They always were arguing about little things. Never got it. Didn?t get it from her daddy or me. We?re both the calmest people.
One night, after a little too much jack, glen said he reckoned it was because James always loved Lorena the most. I was shocked. After 40 years of marriage I?d never noticed it. But after he said it, front of James no less, I knew it was true.
Didn?t bother me none though. I knew marrying James that it wouldn?t be perfect. And I can except that I wasn?t the favorite as long as I got some of his heart, I was fine.
?No I didn?t but I spect? I should make up the guest room?
?No use mama, you know she won?t stay here, she?s ?too good?
?Well ill be making it anyway plenty of family coming in for the funeral?
?Plenty? Mama everyone in the family lives in this town?the only ones that don?t are Lorena and Uncle Mars, and since Mars is in an old folk?s home in North Dakota, I?m thinking Lorena will be the only one ?coming in? from out of town?
?Well you never know?
Glen walked through the kitchen into the living room, and sat in James? chair. It was strange to see someone else in that chair. After 40 years, of seeing the same person in that chair, I have to say it kinda hurt to see someone else there. Guess that was obvious on my face because no sooner than my heart began to sting, I heard a screaming in the background of my mind, that I knew had to be Jenny.
?Get your a** out that chair, Glen. Why is so flipping selfish. You know what I don?t even want to see your face right now. Get out!?
My heart began to sting even more, as Glen looked up with the same look James wore on the few accounts we did fight. A look of defeat, and unwillingness to fight.
?Jenny-" I started, but glen cut me off before I could try to come to his defense
?Its fine Gloria, I know she doesn?t mean it like that?
?Like hell I don?t, Glen move your a** out now. You make me sick,? Jenny barked before she stormed to the back.
?Jenny!? I yelled preparing once again to defend glen. I mean what did he do? But it was too late. He was already half way down the hall, walking towards the front door.
I couldn?t deal with them right now. I was trying to hard to keep myself together, to deal with these two.
The was a gasp at the door at I knew I want ready for what ever it was
?Jen, Gloria?? Glen?s voice was something I had never heard before. It was fear, it was hope, it was happiness, but most of all it was shock.
?What Glen what?? Jenny screamed as she stormed past me and down the hallway towards the place Glen?s shaky voice was coming from.
I heard a scream, and I finally realized that I was going to have to go and see what all the commotion was about. As I picked up my foot to take the first step, I heard a voice that was strangely familiar. I couldn?t put my finger on it exactly. Like d骠 vu from a dream, but with a strange twist.
When I first saw her, I didn?t recognizer her. He hair, her body even the way she smiled where all different. She looked nothing like the little girl I?d raised for 18 years.
?Hi momma!? she ran past jenny and Glen and into my arms ?I?m so sorry!?
Lorena was back.


Lorena:

Wow, it?s really strange to be back. It seems like everything and nothing is the name. I mean physically, it seems like nothing has changed, it?s exactly the same as when I left. But how I feel is different.
I remember when nothing was easier than being in the same room as glen. But at dinner tonight I felt like was walking on hot glass every time one of us opened our mouth to speak.
?I feel like I behaved myself tonight considering how bad dinner was? I remarked to William as I combed my hair out, leaning back on the headboard. The same way I did when I was 17 with Glen.
?I guess,? William responded lazily.
Just like this town, something that I couldn?t quite explain had changed about William. We used to be so instinct. We did everything together. We partied together, we lived together, and we even finished working together on out last film. It was the closest thing I?d come to the relationship since Glen to dating my best friend. But lately he?d been distant. He?s only around me when he has to be, and even then he always acts as if I?m performing some kind of Chinese torture ritual on him. Glen never did that. When we were together, every moment we spent together was the most natural thing in the world. Every kiss, every touch, every late night conversation felt like it was the easiest, most natural thing in the world
But that was then I?d grown up since then. I was different. Classier. Not that Glen was ever really good enough for me, but it was especially clear after I left. I was destined for greatness, and Glen was?well destined to work in his father?s car garage. But no need to bother with any of that past stuff now. Just get through the funeral and go back to normal life. I was a little annoyed that we were even here now. Not that I didn?t need to be here. I should?ve come home at least to visit and set things straight years ago. But the time was never right. Whenever I began to thing about coming home something would come up. A premiere, an important meeting, a charity event. I love my family, but I?ve worked to hard to get to this in my career, to just stop now. I?ve got to continue to push the envelope and myself, or I?ll be old news. And that will not happen.
That?s mainly why I agreed to marry William. I mean its not that I don?t love him. But he?s more for the press time, than for me to spend the rest of my life with. I care about him a lot, he?s a great friend. I just look for more when it comes to a life partner. A person who is there for me through all my bad hair days, and would make a good dad. A person who doesn?t care about how well my last movie did, or whether or not they made the front page of some trashy tabloid. I had that once but now-

?Well are you getting in the bed or not because I?m ready to turn off the lights?
I realized I was just standing in the middle of the room, like a complete freak. I quickly pulled myself together; put on my pj?s and got in the bed.

?Could you scoot over?? I snapped before I knew what I was doing. William never responded when I yelled, and I really needed him to scoot over or I was going to be sleeping on the floor.

?No? he said resolutely
I turned to him to argue him, but quickly realized I didn?t have the energy. I got out the bed, and pulled a blanket out the closet hallway before I wandered down the hall to my old favorite spot in the house, the living room.
I remember when I was younger I used to sit in the living room with my dad and watch the basketball games. I used to be such a tomboy. I played football with all the guys at thanksgiving dinner and refused to wear all those frilly dresses my mom bought. I always had dirt underneath my nails and I constantly came home with frogs in my pocket? That was at least until I met-
?Ok this is a little awkward? I heard his mumbling before I actually saw him. He was stretched in my dad?s chair. If I had turned around too quick I would have swore it was him. I?d seen the pictures of him and momma from when Jenny was a baby. He was gorgeous.
?Yeah,? I turned around quickly to leave. I hated being in the same room with Glen alone. I hated him for so many reasons; first off he married my sister! After a 6-year relationship, he turns around and marries the person that used to hide outside my room and listen to us make-out. It was creepy!
But even worse, he makes me feel like a terrible person. I know I told him I?d come back. But how could I, my career was finally taking off when he called that night. He made me choose, and chose what seemed smart. But sometimes I wondered?
?No I?m not leaving?
?I didn?t ask you to? Glen responded lazily not even opening his eyes to look at me
?Well there?s not exactly any space in here?
?Well why don?t you go sleep in your room then??
?No space?
?Lo,? he paused for a second; it felt good to hear his old nick name for me. It took me back. ?Lorena I?ve been in your room, um? wait that didn?t come out right, I mean obviously we both know I?ve been in your room but I didn?t mean it in an a**hole kind of way. I just meant that you bed has plenty of space for two in your bed, so why are you sneaking out to the living room in the middle of the night??
?Oh, William takes up a lot of space, why are you here on the couch, when you have a whole house??
?Jenny kicked me out, says I?m insensitive?
I laughed, ?She?d be right?.
It slipped out before I knew it again. It was just too easy with Glen we had so much history.
?Sorry? I blurted less than a second later
Glen stared at me for a second, the hurt and disgust in his eyes killed me. Was it too the point where we couldn?t even be friends now?
?Well I guess sometimes we all make decisions don?t we?


Glen

Being in this house with the crazy twins is driving me insane. I can?t win with either of them. Last nigh, Jenny decided it was best for us to spend the night at her mothers and leave all together for the funeral in the morning. Everything was going fine at first. Lorena put her bags in her old room with William and played with the girls while Gloria and Jenny made dinner,
When Lorena arrived, I knew that there was going to be some tension. The history we all have guarantees that. I was ready for it to be a little weird, but to be honest, dinner was awful.
All of us sat down at the big table in the dinning room. Gloria put fried chicken and biscuits on the table; Jenny, the string beans and mashed potatoes. My favorite meal. I turned to Jenny and smiled. She didn?t return it.
?You all sure do know ho make a girl feel welcome. Must be a special occasion me coming home, for us to be eating in here? Lorena remarked before she began to fill her plate
I laughed under my breath. She was right. Gloria never let anyone in the dinning unless it was a holiday or a special occasion.
?Actually I think the occasion would be that my father is dead,? Jenny snapped across the table ?and what was even funny about that Glen??
I said nothing, simply continued to fill the girls? plates and then my own. I had no answer for her, not one she would understand at least. And there was no point in her getting upset trying to explain.
Even after all these years and even though I didn?t understand a lot of the choices she?s made. I understand the way Lorena thinks.
? No we?re eating in the dinning room because there?s not enough space in the kitchen for all of us,? Gloria stated mater of factly without a smile on her face, not looking up from her plate ? Not that I don?t love having you home.? She finished off finally looking up at Lorena and I with a smile.
Dinner continued just the same. Every time Lorena said something, Jenny said something back, something rude and cutting. It was clear that Jenny was only trying to hurt her. I looked over at Lorena and saw the hurt in her eyes. Even though what she?d done to all of us was wrong, it wasn?t Jenny?s place to try and get revenge all in one night.
Lorena laughed, at something the girls said and I looked to see what was causing it. Alice had gotten up and was playing with Lorena?s hair.
?I like your hair, its very straight and pretty. Can you make my hair look like that?? Alice said through her thumb in her mouth.
?Why honey,? Lorena started pulling her chair out and putting Alice on her lap. ?I like your hair better. It?s bouncy and curly, the way a little girls hair should be. You are the way a little girl should be. You did a beautiful job Jenny?. She looked up at Jenny with a smile. The look in her eyes made I obvious she loved Alice even though she just met her. I laughed again, remembering how hard and quick Lorena could love.
Jenny shot me a glance, that silenced the whole room.
?Yea I did. After you left, a lot was in a shamble but a few people finally got what they deserved. Something that never happened while you were around; you were too selfish to share anything. That?s why you are who you are now. You never learned any better? Jenny retorted
The look on Lorena?s face hurt me. She looked so unsure of herself, and defeated. A look, that through all the years I?ve known her I?d never seen.
?That?s not true or necessary Jenny. Lorena is who she wants to be, and that makes her happy?. I don?t know how or why I did it. But I did. Even though I knew it would cause drama, so I guess I brought the rest of it upon myself.
? Doesn?t mean much to anybody else though? She mumbled just loud enough for us to hear, before she got up from the table, stomped back to her room and slammed the door.

I looked over to Lorena, and she was still looking away out the window, ashamed.

?You didn?t have to do that? she said, still not looking directly at me, or anyone else, kind of just into space.
? I think I better go check on her? I said quickly removing myself from the table, making sure not to make eye contact with anyone. Especially Lorena. I didn?t want to embarrass her anymore, and though it was best to just act like the whole thing didn?t happened.

I began to walk down the hall to the back. The usually long walk seemed to take no time at all; all before I knew it or liked it, I was at the door to the bedroom. I knocked twice, and with still no answer, I decided not to wait anymore, and simply opened the door.

Jenny was sitting on the bed. Indian style, with her high school photo album on her lap. That?s when I knew it was really bad. Anytime Jenny reminisces on the times when Lorena and I were together, I know she?s looking for a fight.

?Why did u stick up for her?? Jenny began with tears in her eyes.
?Because you were taking it too far Jen,? I started wearily, sticking to the door because I knew what was coming ? I know yall aren?t best friends. But yall are sisters and you shouldn?t be trying to intentionally hurt her.?
?Why she hurt you??
?that?s none of your business?
I ducked just in time to miss the alarm clock that came flying towards my head two seconds later.
?What the f*** do you mean you?re not my business? I?m your wife not her!?
We argued for 2 hours over this. Well she argued. I stood at the door, ducking anything that came flying towards my head and telling her she was over reacting.
And she was. I didn?t defend Lorena because she was anything more than a sister in-law being unfairly attacked.
Eventually, I gave up trying to make sense with her and went to sleep on the couch in the living room. Everyone seemed to be asleep. I laid there in the dark for what seemed like it could?ve only been a few minutes, before I heard someone come in.
The person paused once they noticed I was her, mumbled something inaudible, and turned around to leave. That?s when I knew it was Lorena. I remembered the mumbling from her times of arguing with her mom about her curfew. I laughed underneath my breath. Suddenly I realized how tired I was. Jenny was really tiring me out.
?I?m not leaving? Lorena whispered under her breath. I could tell she was thinking about something. Trying to decide whether or not to do something. The question was what.
?I didn?t ask you too? I retorted, hoping to persuade her to stay. As much as I hated to admit it, I wanted Lorena to stay so that we could talk about everything that happened. Talk it all through and make it water under the bridge.
?Well there?s not exactly any space in here?
She was right. I was laid out on the couch and there was no other place for anyone else. As much as I wanted to talk, I needed a place to sleep tonight, and going home wasn?t an option, because Jenny had the keys.
?Well why don?t you sleep go sleep in your room?? I asked, I wanted to find out what was wrong but I could feel myself slowly slipping into sleep.
?No space? she mumbled again. . but this time it wasn?t the sassy mumble I was used to it was a new, sad mumble. Something from a Lorena I?d never known a defeated Lorena. I can?t say that I liked this very much. It made something in the pit of my stomach ache-
?Glen! Where are you! This is not funny!?
I suddenly realized I wasn?t in the living room with Lorena anymore. I was sitting in the car in front of the church, and apparently my review of the past evening, had taken the ten minutes Gloria had given me to hide from Jenny before I would be needed again to start the service.
?Sorry honey, I didn?t hear you. I?m right here.? I shouted hurrying out of my hiding spot laying in the cab of James? pick up truck.
? Oh shut up you were hiding,? yelled from the top steps of the church walkway ? this isn?t the time for your childish games, come on its time to start!?


Jenny

I can?t stand the way he looks at her. The look in his eyes literally makes me sick. The admiration, the love. I?ve had the argument with him so many times I damn near have it with myself. But the problem still persists.
I stood on the steps of the church, waiting for him to get out the back of the truck. It seemed to take him forever, and the service was about to start.
?Come on Glen!?
?I?m coming Jen there?s only so fast I can go in this suit?
?Yea whatever? I mumbled underneath my breath as I turned to go back inside. He was at the stairs, he?d make it in. And I couldn?t walk in with him anymore. I couldn?t be around him anymore.
I walked through the doors and nearly had a heart attack.
?My lord, what are you doing standing there.? I said through my giggles. It was strange to be able to stand so close to him. He was famous. And realisticly so. Not like Lorena who had been in a few movies as a cute schoolgirl. But William was a ligit star. He was gorgeous.
?Haha? I don?t know. I don?t really fit in here,? he took a pause ?which is weird because I can usually act my way through any situation. But I don?t even know where to start here.?
? You don?t need to act to fit in here, just be yourself, from what I?ve seen, your a pretty?ehem?decent person? I gave him ?the look? (also known as the reason I ended up with two kids) and walked away without saying anything else.
Ok so maybe it was flirting. And maybe that would be wrong because I?m married. But maybe I don?t care anymore.



?Momma and Pastor Dan, Me, Alice, Mary and?ugh Glen, Lorena and William,? I was going over the order for line since we were about to start.
I walked over to momma and the girls and told them it was time to start. I turned around to face the door and visualize us walking in, when I saw it. They were both walking towards that door, and almost ran into each other. I guess they didn?t see one another coming (but knowing Lorena, this was probably another one of her acting stunts) and they ran into each other. They stood there for a second just nervously looking at each other before Glen laughed his stupid laugh and stepped aside from her. It made me so mad. The look in his eyes, the blush in her cheeks. I can?t for the life of me understand why she has this stupid hold on him. Even when they were younger, she always had the ability to make this gorgeous 200-pound god, blush and giggle like a little girl. They were always around each other, always laughing over inside jokes, always??
?Momma??
?Yea baby? I looked down at Alice and Her sweet little face. She had her thumb in her mouth. Barely audible, I laughed a little.
?Mimaw, said its time to start?
?Ok baby? I picked her up, gave her a kiss on the cheek and walked over to the door and began to ask people to get in line.
It took a few minutes, but after a little work everyone was perfectly lined up and ready to go. The music began to start and my whole body began to feel full. Like all the emotions from the week came in through the gates of my heart and created a flood and I was drowning in my own body. I began to feel my body shake and I had no idea if I was going to make it down that isle to my seat.
The music started and we began to walk down the isle of the church. I looked over at Glen and he was looking over at me. The look wasn?t the same as the one that Lorena got when we were younger. Her?s was always full of love and appreciation. The one I was getting was nothing close. His eyes were cold and loveless. Full of resentment, and I thought I even detected a bit of hate. How could this happen? How could I not be better than her? Better than that. I was nicer, I was funnier. I could cook!
The tears began to stream down my face. And by the time we hit the middle of the isle, I felt like my oxygen was being drained out of my body. I wasn?t good enough for my dad, I wasn?t good enough for the kids back at school, I know my mom preferred her. And now I knew it.
I wasn?t good enough for him. And he still loved her.


Gloria

What the heck is she doing?!

Walking down the isle of what has been the hardest day of my life and Jenny is having what most definitely sounds like a panic attack behind me. I know that this is hard for her. I really do but cant she hold it in. I ?

There he is. My beautiful James. He looks so peaceful. They did a wonderful job. He looks so realistic, his smile, the way his hands are laying on his chest. Even the color of his skin was the same. I leaned down to kiss him.

That wasn?t the same. He was cold now. The warmth from his lips that I remembered oh so well, was no longer there. And then it suddenly hit me. This was not my James. The man I?d been married to for 50 year was gone. I was by myself now. To care for myself. To love myself. Things I?ve never had to do before. My daddy provided for me all that I?d needed. Then James did it. I never had to do nothing for myself. Now I?m alone.

But this body I?m standing over. The one that looks so real, that I would swear whose chest would move and whose heart would start again was gone. This was just a casing. A holding to my own personal second salvation that is nothing but gone now.

I realized all of this in the minute span I was standing over the body. The fastest thinking I?d done in a while, maybe in my whole life. But I knew I wanted to get away from it. From this. But I also knew I had to sit down and suffer through this. It was my duty to James. The last thing I?d ever do for him.

With that lost thought, a single tear ran down my face and made my way to the pew, with a sort of smile in my heart.

Lorena was next at the casket. She laid her head on his chest, like she did when she was little and in a second I could see that she had the same revelation I had just had by the small smile that came into her eyes. Holding William?s hand, she made her way to the pew and sat down next to me and placed Mary on her lap.

A moment later Alice gave off a short gasp and Lorena leapt back up, nearly throwing Mary off her lap to do so. When I looked over to where all the commotion what was happening. I saw Jenny.

She was strewn across the casket whispering something under her breath into his ear. She looked dumb to say the least.

Lorena finally reached her and began to stroke her hair. Just like she did when they were younger.

Lorena continued to do this until suddenly Jenny screamed, ?Get off me! This is your fault. All of this is your fault. You knew what you mean to him, you knew he would die. But you still left. You left because you didn?t care. You didn?t care about him and you don?t cared about us. But here?s the news flash Lorena,? each word cutting Lorena like I knife ?we don?t care about you. No one does. So why don?t you just leave??

When she was done. No one in the church moved. No one knew what to say. Even as her mother, I couldn?t exactly come to her defense, because I couldn?t stand in the lord?s house and lie. Not saying it was all true. Not saying it was all wrong. Plus, the girls were older now. I can?t go around all the time making sure they?re not fighting. So yes, Jenny was wrong, but Lorena?s a big girl, she can defend herself.

But no amount of acting classes or any other fancy Hollywood experience could have prepared her for this. This was something I knew she was thinking herself; I could see it in the fear of her face. This was the blatant, one-sided honesty that she?d been getting doses of since she arrived at the house. Something no matter how hard she?d tried, she could no longer run from. In all honesty, I felt bad for the girl. Having to deal with a subconscious question that she would never truly have an answer to. That was The problem with living a big life, comes with big problems.

Done with my own personal brand of psycho analyzation, I turned my attention back to the scene in front of me. Lorena?s face began to melt as no one came to her aid. Her eyes began to fill with tears, and before the first one could finish coming down her face, she began to run. She ran back up the isle of the church, through the front doors. And as far as I could hear she didn?t stop there. She ran down the cobble steps, and the clink of her heals against the hot pavement could be heard for at least a minute after she left. I wouldn?t be surprised if the girl had run clear out of town.


William

I didn?t know where to go, what to say, or how to act before. Now I am seriously just f***ed. After that scene at the funeral, I seriously doubt that Lorena went back to the house. But I have no idea where she might be. So then where do I go, what do I do?
I was sitting outside in my car with all the doors open. The funeral had just ended, and as soon as I did I rocketed out of my seat and out to the car. Lorena had never returned after the smack down with Jenny, and I personally don?t exactly blame her. Jenny was tough on her, but there was just something about her.
I was still trying to decide whether to go back to the house and grab my stuff and skip town ( Lorena was probably half way back to LA by now) or head on over to Austin and chill in the city till the repast was over, then get my things and leave. I was almost certain the foremost idea was the better when there was a tap on my window. It was Jenny.
She put one leg through the door, and then swung the rest of her body through, still holding the roof of the car for support. A maneuver -though I?d seen a million guys before duplicate exactly- that sent shivers down my spine to see such a wildly beautiful woman do. She was nothing like Lorena. I mean yeah Lorena had her moments when I could see that underneath she wasn?t the dainty perfect little country girl, that she always pretended to be. But it was shocking it see this type inhabitation. Not slutty like you?d find with most girls that type in LA. No an inhibition that instead is filled with confidence, yet not arrogance. The perfect balance to what if I ever had to name would be the perfect woman. This is something that I could definitely see myself being with the rest of my life, never knowing what?s next but in a way that was comforting because you know what ever it is, was going to be amazing. Lorena needed to pick this up?or maybe I could-
?Please tell me you have a cigarette,? she commanded with her hand already reached out toward my coat?s breast pocket.
?Yeah they?re in the glove compartment,? I reached across her legs and unlocked to keypad to open it. Inches from her thigh I could smell her perfume. Or was it soap. Whatever it was, was driving me insane. This was not good. I quickly shuffled the stuff around looking for the box of Camel?s I had hidden in here. Once I found them I slammed the little door closed again, filled with frustration ?don?t tell your sister about these, she?s been on my a** to quit for months.?
?Does it really look like we?re the secret sharing type?? she said, still holding the cigarette with the tips of her lip as she waited looking at me expectantly.
?Oh!? I quickly figured out that she was waiting for a liter, and I quickly grabbed the lighter out of my cup holder and lit the cigarette for her.
?She rides in the car, see?s the lighter in the cup holder, but doesn?t guess that you have cigarettes?? She asked me confused.
?She thinks it?s just out of habit?
?Idiot? she muttered under her breath, just barely audible
Ok her being a b**** to Lorena was one thing. But she most definitely didn?t know me well enough to b**** at me. I made a face ready to tell her to get her?amazing?a** out the car, when suddenly she giggled and blew a smoke ring above my head.
?Not you, her obviously. Who calls some one they barely know an idiot while sitting in their car,? she laughed again ?plus I?d venture to guess you?re far from an idiot?. Her eyes stared deep into mine again, just like they did when we talked in the church.
There?s that look again! Lorena had given in to me before, but from Jenny it was ten times stronger.
?So I?m guessing your not going back to the house,? she claimed, finally breaking eye contact.
?Well I?ve got to go back for my stuff?? I left the statement open, because even though it was true it also didn?t show her I was planning on doing that very soon.
?What?s the rush?? her head was knelt back on the headrest, and her eyes closed. She looked perfect. Her blonde hair hung down past her breasts. Her lips were a beautiful shade of pink that could only be seen in crushed madder roots. Her skin looked smooth and warm like fresh baked bread. It took all my strength no to reach and stroke her face. It was obvious she didn?t have a bra on.
I didn?t understand all this rivalry between her and Lorena, they were both beautiful, but differently so. Lorena was more of a good girl beauty. The girl you died to date in high school and married when you were older for the perfect mom and wife. But Jenny?s beauty perfectly described her personality. Wild, rough and raw. The girlfriend you would never forget no matter how many years passed and if you were lucky enough you could tame and make yours forever.
?So what?s you deal with my sister. We can all tell you don?t lover her. So why are you all together. Is she pregnant?? She laughed, but still didn?t open her eyes.
? No she?s not,? I caught myself laughing at the thought of Lorena as a mom. That would be funny
?Well then what is it then,? she paused for a second I guess she was thinking. Finally that same smug look she got right before she said something smart to Lorena spread across her face, still not opening up her mouth she said ?publicity stunt?.
The way she said it made me feel like I could tell her anything. I knew I she wouldn?t believe me even if I said no so there was really no point.
?I?m guessing from that defining silence that I got it. But don?t worry your secrets safe with me?. With the last word, she opened her eyes and the smile on her face threw away the last of my memories of being happy with Lorena. I was in love.


Lorena

?Another one Ardy please?

I hiccupped. This would be my 10 beer since I got her. Ardy was used to seeing my dad in here. And he knew I could hold my liquor for at least another 10.
The scene from the church continued to play in my head. Jenny hated me. And apparently so did everyone else. Except for him. The look on his face. It hurt me even more than her words. I was wrong I had to fix it all. I needed him for me to work right.

When I left the church, sure I?ll admit that my plan was to pack my s*** up and get the hell out of this town. I ran into the house and went to mom and started slamming my clothes into my suit case. William would know what I was going to do.
I was almost done packing when I remembered this yellow t-shirt I had from high school that went perfectly with these jeans I just got. I went over to the dresser hoping that momma hadn?t moved my stuff since I left. She hadn?t. And it was sitting on top of all my clothes, right where I left it. The ring.
I could remember that night like it was yesterday. We were sitting on the old tire swing down by the lake. It had always been our spot. I was wrapped in his arms and one of those random cold breezes blew past us and I pushed my face further down into his chest. I loved just laying with him. We could talk without even saying a word. I loved that about us, its how I truly knew our love was real. We could communicate without saying a single word.
Randomly he grabbed me hand and began to talk about us, as friends, as a couple, as lovers. He started at the very beginning.
I never would have guessed he would remember when we met.
I was 5, he was 7. Me and momma were dropping Jenny off at school. I demanded to be able to get out the car that day (usually I just sat and waited according to momma). I guess it was fate because as soon as I walked in holding the back of momma?s jean pocket I got battered in the face by a ball. The ball hit me so hard I fell and hit the ground. My head hit the floor with such a force that my skull split right at the top. When I woke up 2 days later, I was in the hospital in a room full of I?m sorry cards from a Glen Roberts. He came with his mom everyday I was in the hospital and brought me flowers. He said he was sorry and promised to make it up to me by being my boyfriend.
Glen and I had been inseparable since.
At the end of Glen?s recall, he pulled a box (that I had felt at the time, but chalked up to nothing but another box of his cigarette) and pulled out this ring. Its wasn?t anything big. Just a gold band with a setting and no stone. He promised to put something in it as soon as he was recruited by the minor league baseball team in Austin.
But for me then and now, it wasn?t the ring, it was the fact that at 19 he knew. Glen was never a person to make decisions with any kind of rush. I remember we missed a whole movie once because Glen couldn?t decide on what to get from the burger place over by the school. But the flip side of that was when Glen made a decision he stuck to it. Heart and Soul. So it meant something to me that at 19, Glen knew he wanted to be with me for the rest of it.


I sat in the stool at the bar just smiling for at least thirty minutes before I realized someone was sitting next to me. I knew without looking who is was. But I didn?t know what to say. It was just too much.


Jenny

I suggested Ardy?s because they had the best drinks in town, which really just meant least watered down here. I love this town. But I also know that William?s used to much better than our little town. He suggested going to Austin, but I didn?t trust myself in the car with him for 2 unsupervised hours. He parked in the front, and everyone?s heads turned when ME, normal boring jenny and not the fabulous Lorena stepped out the shiny Mercedes. We walked up the stairs together laughing about his last movie. I had told it was terrible and he seemed to really appreciate the honesty (he agreed with me). We were in sync with step and some might say we even looked like a couple the way our bodies angled toward each other as we walked. I went in first, he didn?t open the door for me, which I loved. I scanned the busy bar for an open booth.
At first, I didn?t see them, to anyone else they were absolutely unremarkable. But for me, when ever they?re together, and I don?t mean just in the same room together but sharing that disgusting not talking love thing they share I get this nauseous feeling in the pit of my stomach. It starts of small and then builds till I just have to leave. So seconds after I started my second round of scanning the feeling began to swell in my stomach and I knew that she was here and he?d followed her.
I finally found them at the bar. Perfectly placed in the middle of it, like they were purposefully placed there for every one to see and envy. I stopped to dead in my tracks.
I didn?t know how to respond. I mean technically I was here to William too. My brain began to fill with all the things I could say to him. I could scream, I could cuss, I could throw things. Because as long as it didn?t look like I was here exclusively with William doing the same thing he was doing, I was fine.
I took one-step forward fully prepared to start WW3, before I realized what the most important part of that thought was. I was here with William! I was here with my sister?s superstar fiancé¡ He could have followed her when she left the church. He could have said no when I suggestively hinted that maybe we should grab some drinks. But he didn?t. For once Lorena didn?t get the prize, for one I was the winner. The attraction was obviously there between us. It?d been radiating off our skin when we were around each other since earlier in the church today. The lure was there for both of us, so maybe at least for a little I could be happy like Lorena always was. Maybe happier.
But only if I let her have it. Something I?d never done before. I?d have to let her and Glen work whatever needed to be worked out between them to get it. I?d have to let him go.
I looked over to see William?s face. It was blank, and uncaring. He was looking in the same direction I was, so I know he saw it. Saw them. But he didn?t care. He didn?t love her. Suddenly he looked over at me, and his face lit up. And I knew it. I could see the smug look on my face when I said it just like her face said it every time she was around me. ?Sorry sis but he loves me.?


William

They were sitting there together at the bar, and honestly, I couldn?t have been happier. It made me feel better, less sleazy about the thoughts I?d been having all day. Because fiancé³ don?t have thoughts like that about their sister in law. But now I felt better because fiancé³ also don?t sit a bar alone with their ex?s without telling anyone when less that 3 hours ago that ran crying out a church.
This was too good to be true.
But then it hit me. Even though I was free, she was still married. She might love him. The high that I had felt just a few seconds ago depleted to a blank nothingness. I was going home alone, when it looked like Lorena was going to be none the lesser.
I turned to leave before that wonderful blew past my news but in the opposite way. My instincts told me to follow the smell and turn me around immediately.
I couldn?t turn, even though I knew what was about to happen would hurt, I couldn?t do it.
She walked over to them. The walk seemed to take forever. Like she was purposely torturing me by circling every table from here to there that she could. When she finally got there she tapped him on the shoulder. He turned around and I couldn?t help but laugh at the look on his face. It was the look you find in the cartoons on little kids when the teacher taps their desk to wake them up from sleeping in their class. Awe and surprise. But what I wouldn?t give for her to be my teacher.
What happened next surprised me so much that in that moment I knew that it was all gonna work for everyone. Jenny smiled at Lorena and said something, and turned to Glen and did the same. She walked back to me with a new air. A new confidence, a new freedom. Whatever it was she grabbed my hand, led me out to the car.

Glen

?What was that about? was all she?d said. I?d been sitting here for about 10 minutes and she doesn?t say anything to me until my wife storms in classic Lorena. No need to deal with you until you?re already f***ed over. I turned to her to try and tell to piss off like Jenny did earlier today, I came to comfort her but if it jenny was right and it was a game for her then I didn?t care anymore. Suddenly out the corners of my eye, I noticed that she was already looking at me. Why in the world after everything we?d said to each other the past two days would she pick now to actually give me eye contact.
I turned to face her, and when I looked into her eyes, and she didn?t turn away like she?d been doing for the past few days. She looked straight into my eyes and what I saw kind of shocked me. If I had only seen the eyes, the face, her. Without speaking (because her accent was gone) or moving (because something was off about that too) I would have sworn it was the same Lorena, and we were back at the lake on the tire swing.
I laughed remembering that night. I was so nervous. I had brought the ring 2 weeks earlier at the antique shop on Smith Street. I?d picked that night because momma had just told me the story of the first time me and Lorena met that morning at breakfast because my cousin from Delanor was visiting, and that story seemed like something important to add to what I wanted to say.
I knew I wanted to go over the big stuff from our relationship, but we?d been together so long I didn?t know where to begin. I?d been writing it all out in the computer up stairs to keep it in order and try and memorize. But when momma told that story I knew where I?d start and I knew all the points I?d make before I hit the end with my perfect finishing line. ?I leave this setting in the band open because I want to add to it because I want to add to our relationship Lorena. And take that next step?.
I didn?t know from the beginning that I was gonna do it that night. I was just keeping the ring with me so my brother wouldn?t find it and pawn it. I also knew she wouldn?t think much of me having a box in my pocket because I usually kept my cigarettes in that?s pocket. It was my idea to go out to the lake. It was a nice night and its seemed like a great idea to fool around in the grass under the stars. But when we got there Lorena insisted on sitting in the swing together like we always did. We were sitting there when a cool breeze blew past us and because Lorena had just shorts and a tank top on as usual, she snuggled into my chest. That?s when I knew. I knew it was the time because I knew this is how I always wanted to be with her. I always wanted to her to feel like she could ?snuggle? up to me for protection, whether it be from the wind or life greater problems.


The shatter of glass brought me back to reality. I could feel that the smile on my face had gone way past discreet. And when Lorena noticed that I was back she laughed.
?Which one was it?? she asked me with a smile that put mine to shame spread across her face.
?Which one was it what?? I asked back, trying to play dumb not quite sure if I could trust her again after all this time.
? Oh sorry,? she began to mumble and look away ? I just assumed that you were thinking about me. You had this look on your face that you always used to get when we were younger when you were remembering something we did together. I guess after all these years I?m no longer the expert on reading your facial expressions.?
She didn?t look back at me this time and I didn?t blame her. She thought she had an in, and I?d basically shot her down. I know how that feels and I didn?t want her to feel anything close to it.
?it was the night at the lake? I said giving in.
She turned back towards me, eyes glassy as if she were about to cry. But not the tears you get when your sad, no these where tears of relief and joy.
I looked down to get away for the her expecting gaze. A gaze I had no definite answers for yet, because no matter what I was feeling right now, I knew I couldn?t rush into this decision. Because apparently there were now some decisions to make. The biggest decision I?d ever had to make. Bigger than that night at the lake, bigger than the day I decided to marry jenny even though I still loved Lorena. I looked down because I was afraid of what I would do if I didn?t. And then I saw it, on her left hand ring finger, just the same as he night I?d placed it there at the lake, was the ring.
?Whe?where?.? I stammered, searching for the right words to express all the shock, joy and hope I was feeling right now
?I found it in the drawer in my room today?
A loud noise erupted behind us. We both turned around to find what looked like the beginning of a classic Saturday night bar fight.
?Can we go some where and talk?? she asked, the twang of her accent slowly starting to creep back into her words.
?Definitely?


Lorena

I suggested the Lake. I knew it was cliché ¡nd very teenage romance movie to ?end it where it all started?. But I kn





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