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She was collapsed on the bathroom floor, sobbing, shaking, soaked, naked. She threw the radio at the wall, but it landed in the shower, fizzled, and the sparks flew and hit her hand. “Damn it!” she screamed. Frank came flying into the bathroom and when he swung the door forward he hit Jess in the head. “Ow!” she cried, still on the floor. Frank quickly knelt to her and lifted her off the floor. He walked down the dark hall to the bedroom and gently put Jess on the soft blue comforter. He rubbed her back until she calmed down.
A half hour found Jess dressed, her hair whipped into a bun, and in an old t-shirt. Some tears still wanted to fall down her face, but she was holding them back. Frank walked back into the room and sat beside Jess. But when he tried to put his arm around Jess, she shrugged away her fiancée’s and moved ever so slightly over. She looked Frank right in the eye and stated, clearly, minus any tears,” I can’t do this.” Frank shook his head. “Jessica, what are you talking about?” “I can’t marry you Frank. I don’t love you like..” and her voice trailed off. “Jess, please tell me what’s going on with you. Love me like what… who? I thought… I thought everything was okay.” Frank looked hurt, shattered, and confused, but right now, it wasn’t affecting Jess. She looked away. She was more ashamed then upset. That damn radio. She was so so close.
“Frank there’s something I never told you. I thought I was just protecting you. But really I was just being selfish and foolish. Frank, I was in love. I was so in love. Frank, this is going to take awhile.” “I don’t care how long it takes Jess. Just tell me.” And so Jess fell back 3 years previous, to the fateful day, the day she had blocked from her mind so carefully, she wasn’t sure if she could even remember it all.
3 years previous.
Jess and Andy were walking down the sidewalk in June, a day before graduation. Andy and Jess were hand in hand, and sat on a bench not far from their school. Andy put his arm around Jess, and she kissed him, tenderly, on the lips. Andy kissed her, but pulled back, staring into the clouds. “I love you,” Jess said to him. It brought him out of his reverie. “ I love you too, Jess.” He kissed her again. But he continued to stare into the sky. “Hey, Andy, what’s up?” “It’s just…I wonder what we’re really doing sometimes Jess. I mean, our parents forbid us to see each other, we’ve been doing this in secret for 3 years now… and Jess I just don’t know. What are we going to do, hide our marriage too? I mean, I want my parents, and yours, at the ceremony. I want to see you walk down the aisle with your father. I want my mother to cry. If its me and you…. Well, how we going to do that? Our parents are going to hate us.” He continued to stare off. “But Andy, were adults now. I thought we decided that once two semesters of college were over, we go to our parents and tell them we’re in love. If they ask, well I guess we’ll have to tell them we lied to them and about 10 girls and guys over the last three years. If they really love us, they’ll get over it. Then when both sides seem to have calmed down, well, we get married. End of story.” “But Jess, what if it doesn’t work. What if they never forgive us?” “They’ll forgive us. I jus know it.” Andy sighed, but he took Jess’s hand as they walked away.
Well months passed and April came, and Andy still didn’t want to talk. Jess was getting annoyed. “Andy ,why wont you tell them!” she finally exploded over dinner one night.” Because their never going to let me live!” “Fine. Whatever. We’ll live in secret for the rest of our lives. Is that what you want?” “Jess, no I just.. I need more time.” “ Well you can take all the time you want.” Jess took her ring off her finger and threw it on the floor. She walked out the door, and she never saw Andy again.
“Jess, I don’t get it. What’s wrong then. So you loved him…I thought you love me too. “ The entire conversation hadn’t solved anything for Frank. “I still love him Frank. Don’t get me wrong, you’re an amazing guy… But Frank, he was the love of my life. I…. don’t love you. I love the idea of you.” Frank just shook his head. Unfortunately, Jess had nothing to drink all day. “ When did this lovely conclusion come to you.” “When our song came on the radio, and I saw your ring, and I realized it wasn’t his… and I fell apart. Frank… I’m so sorry.” I love her, he thought. Why can’t she love me? “Well… I mean, what are you going to do? Jess, how do we fix this? Because I still want to marry you.” Jess chuckled. “Oh come on Jess. This isn’t funny. I ….” “Don’t say it Frank. I’m sorry, but I don’t love you, and I don’t want to marry you.” “And what am I going to tell my parents?” “Tell them I’m a cheater. It’ll make them hate me.” “But Jess” “I’m serious. I have to go Frank.” “Go where?” She laughed again.” I have to go find him.”
The next morning, Jess packed everything into her CRV. She had started to walk down the sidewalk, but she quickly jogged back. She removed the ring from her left hand and placed it in Frank’s. Then she drove away from her delusional happiness, and Frank. Frank stood on his porch and watched her go. Tears marked his curves and he wiped them away. He walked back into his house, but it seemed so much quieter now.
It was a year and a half after Jess had left Frank. As he walked out of the house to get the mail, he found an interesting letter in the pile. He picked it up, and saw the return address. Andy and Jess Phillips. He almost cried.
Frank walked back into his house and put the rest of the jumbled mail onto the coffee table. He ripped open the letter and saw Jess’s fancy scrawl. The first paper simply said if the person wasn’t Frank Sanders that would they please do everything they could to find him. The third was a picture. The second piece of paper was a letter, written on beautiful stationary. Frank read the scrawl.
Dear my lovely Frank,
I am still so sorry I had to leave you. I just wanted you know, I found Andy. We are now married. I sent you a picture. I hope you sold the ring, cause you deserve our money, and your heart back. Please try to forget about me. I know it must be hard, because I certainly tried. I just want you to know, I’m so happy. Thank you for everything you did for me Frank. I’ll never forget you. You’ll find your soul mate. I certainly found mine. Goodbye Frank Sanders.
- Jessica Phillips.
The page was splotched with tear marks. Some of Frank’s joined his ex-fiancée’s. He then pulled the picture out and looked at a glowing bride in the arms of whom he supposed must be Andy. They were perfect for each other, and now Frank saw why Jess needed to try and find him.
Frank was later found to have sold an engagement ring, for a large sum of money, and then seen at a fancy restaurant with one of his old friends. A girl.
You can’t fight soul attraction.