Author's note: This isn't the complete book, but I am too excited to wait until it's done to submit it! Be prepared, it's intense.
WHAT am I doing?By the time I got home I was hyperventilating. I wish Joe were here. Or Todd. They were the only ones who knew, much less understand. I wanted someone to hold me and tell me it’s okay. Why is it that if the touch casual I freak, but I seem to always want to be held if I’m the least bit distressed? I curl up on the couch and cry. I have never been close to anyone but my brother and Todd. And not even that close to Todd. I was never close to my mom, first, because she never understood, and now she’s a workaholic. I drown myself in self-pity until the doorbell rings. I wipe my eyes and go to the door. It’s HIM. I freeze. If I stand very very still he wont see me though the semi see-through door.
“Hello? You know, I can see you.” HE bends down to look though the panel that’s completely clear. “Oh, Jenna. Please let me in. I just want to talk.” I get a surge of confidence I speak in a clear, firm voice. Who knew I had it in me?
“Go. Away.” Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
“Come on Jenna. I was… not right. Joe got me to go to rehab and I’m all okay now. Please let me in?”
“I will not let you in.”
“Fine we’ll talk like this. Do you like the car?”
Yes, but I’m not giving you that satisfaction. I stay silent.
“I hear from your mother you’re in a band. Using the guitar I gave you.”
“Stay away from my mother.”
“She was my wife. I loved her. I still do. Now that I’m thinking straight.”
“Stay away from my mother.”
“I love you Jennavieve. So much. I’m so sorry. You have no idea. I am so sorry. Please forgive me.”
“No.” I was numb. His pleas had no effect on me, the same way mine didn’t, so long ago.
“Please I didn’t mean to do it. I was sick. But I’m all better now. Please let me come in there and talk to you.”
I said nothing.
“Fine. I’ll go.” I watched him leave.
The next thing I knew was that I was calling Todd. I don’t know why. But Joe had said he was sleeping over at somebody’s house (what do guys do at sleepovers?) and I didn’t want to be alone.
“Hello?” He said on the other end.
“Hi, Todd? It’s me, Jenna.” I said tentatively.
“Oh, hey Jenna. What’s up?”
“Can you come over?” What a stupid question of course he can’t come over.
“Sure. You sound kind of choked up, what’s wrong?” He sounded really concerned.
“You-know-who came back. He’s gone now. But I’m home alone and I… I… I don’t… I’m scared.”
“I’m on my way.” Dial tone.
Why was I calling him? He made it clear he didn’t want to come over. You don’t even know him anymore! What are you doing? Stop being such an idiot! He’s going to be here… alone… what if he does… He’s Todd! He would never do that. But you never know. Call him back tell him to – Ding-dong.
“Hi.” I said.
“Hi.” Todd said. “Are you okay?”
“Yes. I’m sorry I called you over. I just didn’t want to bring anyone else into this and I didn’t want to interrupt my brother so… Wanna come in?” Awkward.
“It’s okay. I just want to make sure that bastard doesn’t come over here anymore. I’ll always be here for you Jen, you know that.”
“Let me get this straight. And I don’t want to sound mean but I’m on like a confidence high so deal with it. I should know, from the guy, my only best friend, that didn’t talk to me for four years, that he’ll always be there for me? Yeah, no. Not happening.” It was good to get that out.
“I’m sorry, but I… Well… I mean… I have no excuse. But I want to make it up to you. Can I do that? Will you forgive me for not talking to you for four years? Wow. That sounds… really bad.” Forgiveness? Honesty? Wow.
“Yes. I can forgive you. I just wanted you to understand.”
“Yeah.” Awkward. “So? What do you want to do? Watch TV, play a game, talk, or rather, me listen?”
“How about we talk. About stuff.”
“What you been up to?”
“Nothin’ much. Football.”
“One, like two years ago. It was too much work that it was worth.”
“Oh really? That’s nice. I think…”
“Yeah. So this band, are they nice guys?” I knew he was worried about me.
“You go to our church, James? He’s the lead singer.” Get raped once and everyone thinks it’s gunna happen again. Geeze.
“Oh yeah, I know him. He’s a nice guy. Although, I think I’ve only talked to him once in my life… Doesn’t he have a sister?”
“No, he’s an only child.”
“Oh, wrong guy.”
“I’m sorry I asked you to come over. You didn’t have to. I… I…” I’m crying.
“It’s okay. I just want to make sure you’re safe. You’re the closest thing I have to a sister. Hey, come here.” He tilted up my chin to make me look up at him and held open his arms.
“I – I – I’m ruining your shirt.” I laughed a little.
“Your in luck, I’ve been needing a reason to get rid of this shirt.” He pressed his face into my hair and it felt good. It felt good to be protected in his arms. I wanted to melt into him. I was falling in love with him. Me, broken little me was falling in love. How was this happening? I was broken the past of brokenness, I was ripped and torn, I had the unthinkable done to me and now I was taking a risk and falling in love and trusting someone.
This was evil and selfish of me. I could never have a healthy relationship with him. I doubt he even felt the same way. It was so selfish of me to love Todd. I don’t think I could ever give him what he wanted. Did he feel the same way? I was looking for love in all the wrong places.