Chapter 3

In Uncategorized on October 20, 2010 at 12:28 am

Jessica couldn’t believe she had laid it all out there.  She somehow managed to fight back the tears while they sat and ate.  Monica talked to her as though she were extremely fragile which was what Jessica was trying to avoid all along.

The ride home was quiet.  She thought of the details and hoped that by letting Monica in it wouldn’t backfire on her.  God the nightmares.  Would they start again?  She could only hope that this was the closing chapter in that part of her life.  She had loved Matt, unlike she would ever love another person.  And he was gone.  Permanently gone.  She could only talk to him at his gravesite, and even then she wasn’t sure he was listening.

And then the horrid story of how Delilah fell into a coma at the age of two upon arrival at the hospital.  She stayed that way for nearly a year before Jessica had made the hardest decision of her life.  To take her off life support and let her go.  He had changed her plans that day.  God decided it wasn’t time for Delilah to go.  Or that’s what Jessica’s mother kept telling her.  That woman.  Always praying about something.  Delilah miraculously recovered from the comma and no longer needed life support a week after waking. 

“Thanks for dinner Monica.”  Jessica offered before getting out of the car. 

In the backseat Delilah was fast asleep.  It had been an exhausting day. 

“You’re welcome.”  Monica’s voice cracked a little. 

Jessica suspected she wasn’t quite sure what to say.  They had talked a little throughout dinner after Jessica revealed the entire story of why she was still single. 

Over the phone before her move Monica had told her of a few eligible men in the area, and Jessica had declined saying she would be too busy for a relationship.  Now it was evident she was a liar.

Jessica carried Delilah into the house, making sure to engage the lock behind her.  She hadn’t thought to put an alarm in, but with money still in the bank it was a phone call away and she’d probably have one installed by the end of the week.

That night after placing Delilah beneath her comforter Jessica retired to her own bedroom.  She hadn’t seen it except through pictures in her email from Monica.  No, she had been way too busy setting up her computer and going to the grocery store.  She plopped down on the king sized bed, not bothering to do anything more but kick off her shoes.  If only they made clothes to feel like pajamas.  She sighed and pushed herself from the mattress.  Her nightly ritual consisted of a quick face wash, a few brush strokes through her tangled brown hair, and a change of clothing.  Her favorite pajamas were silk bottoms with circles in a variety of colors and a plain white silk shirt to go with them.  Thankfully they were silk because the house was hot.

Jessica positioned herself on the center of her bed and turned off the light that sat on a night stand beside her.  She had made plans to fantasize about Greg, at least until she ran into someone else who caught her eye, but sharing her life story with Monica had ruined it.  Her thoughts went back to Matt and she wondered what tomorrow would bring.  She felt for a brief moment as though a huge burden was lifted off of her and the shadows she’d been hiding under would release themselves and allow her to see the world.  It was funny when she thought of it like that.  Up until her sporadic move to California she hadn’t been able to smell the rain or feel the sun beat it’s rays upon her skin.  It was as though her life without Matt haunted her rather than let her live. 

She didn’t notice it until now that she could actually smell the potted plants.  It was something that brought an enormous smile to her lips.  She was going to feel all of her senses again.  Maybe letting Monica in wouldn’t be such a bad thing.

Sleep came without hesitation and soon Jessica found herself being prodded by Delilah.

“I’m hungry.”  The little girl frowned.

Jessica wiped the hair away from her face.  “Okay.  Meet me downstairs.” 

Coffee.  She needed coffee.  She would make a pot with her newly purchased coffee pot while she scrambled up Delilah some eggs.

She shuffled her feet down the stairs, yawning and stretching out her arms.  She didn’t know what time it was but it had to be early.  They were going to have to get use to being two hours behind their normal time. 

Jessica checked her cell phone before pulling the required pans for her task from their hiding places.  No missed calls.  She wondered why her mother hadn’t called her yet.  Surely she was wanting to know how their first day went. 

She shrugged it off and retrieved eggs and bacon from the refrigerator.  She could hear the cartoons in the background as she listened to the butter melt against the pan. 

Jessica finished cooking and sat a plate down on the table.  She wasn’t hungry yet so she let Delilah eat alone.  She considered going back to bed since there was absolutely nothing to do except sit in front of the television.  A split thought of editing the photos she had taken of Delilah slipped through her mind before she rejected it.  The clock read six a.m.  She wasn’t about to try to edit photos.  She was sure it would be the worst work ever if she did.  She would have to shred the photos.

Bed.  Her nice warm bed.  She wanted the covers to devour her and the fantasies she forced away last night to wind themselves up.  Bedtime fantasies.  They were hers and they were safe. 

“Mom can we go to a library today?”  Delilah’s eyes were wide open.  She was alert as ever.

Jessica didn’t feed into the enthusiasm.  She was too exhausted.  And her mother wasn’t here to watch Delilah while she crawled back into bed.  Screw it.  She cursed in her thoughts and plopped down on the couch.

“I’ll have to find one but we can go if I do.” 

Google search would be her new friend.  She glanced at her cell phone again.  That would be something she would do.  Go get an upgrade to her plan so she could search things without having to sit in front of a computer screen to do it.  Her mother had scolded her when she had mentioned it before but now that she was away from her wing she could do it. 

She just hated to hear her mother bitch.  The words about not being able to be a father and a mother to Delilah just pissed her off.  They were uncalled for.  Jessica was damn sure she was doing a great job with her daughter.

At 9 a.m. Jessica received a call from Monica. 


“Hey Jessica it’s Monica.  I know you might be completely objective to this, but I have this friend who would like to meet you.  I figured after our conversation last night you might be open to the idea.”

Jessica paused and reflected on last night.  Had she left that impression?  God she hoped not.  She couldn’t go for a repeat of blind dates.  She hoped by leaving Texas she would never have to endure another one of those again.

“Monica that’s nice of you and all but…”

“Oh no, I didn’t suggest it.  He saw the email of you and Delilah that you sent me a while back and asked me about you.”

‘Good’      Jessica thought.  At least Monica wasn’t giving her a dose of Texas. 

“I’ll think about it.” 

“Great.  Just give me a call.  I’ll just give him your number when you decide if that’s okay.”

By the sound of Monica’s voice she had been afraid to ask her in the first place.  What would it hurt?  She was trying to flee away from the past wasn’t she?  She didn’t want to drown in it forever did she?

‘It’s what Matt would want.’ Her mother’s words echoed in her ear.  She hated when her mother was right. 

Matt had always wanted the best for her and Delilah.  He told her once that they were his world and he only wanted them to be happy.

She was happy, wasn’t she?  No.  Hell no.  She was miserable and lonely.  She enjoyed her outings with Delilah, enjoyed having her all to herself but a companion would be a breath of fresh air.  As cliché as it sounded it was right on target. 

She would do it.  Indulge in a dinner date with what’s his face.  She might even try to like it. 

Jessica hesitated before dialing Monica back.

Friday came quicker than she had hoped.  Jessica wasn’t even sure she could go through with the date but just as she was about to reach for her phone to dial Laurie she heard the doorbell.  There she was.

Monica had promised to help Jessica with the date.  She wouldn’t disappoint, much to Jessica’s disapproval.  If only she was one of the people who forgot what day it was.

“Where’s your bedroom?” 

“Not suttle are we?”  Jessica joked leading Monica up to the master bedroom.  “You should know anyhow, you did design it.”

Monica rolled her eyes as she climbed the stairs.  “Yes but I’ve slept since then.”

Monica gave Jessica a once over and shook her head.  “For living in Texas you sure don’t have any sun on you.”

Jessica shrugged.  It wasn’t like it made a difference.  Not everyone could have the tanned skin and blond hair as Monica did.

“If you want to change that I can get you a discount at the place where I tan.”

Jessica shook her head quickly, almost too quickly.  “Not for me.”  She stated trying her best not to offend Monica. 

Monica pulled out Jessica’s make up bag from the bathroom and dumped all the contents onto the bed.  Jessica hardly wore make up so the amount she had surprised her. 

“We always start with make up first and then do the hair.”  Monica instructed, shoving Jessica onto the bed.

Monica went to work applying foundation and a light powder.  She then moved onto the eyelids applying a soft brown color and lined Jessica’s eyes with a midnight black eyeliner.  Mascara and a light blush were the last items to complete the look.

“I don’t do lipstick.”  Monica admitted.  “I use a soft pink lip gloss on my own lips so I’m not sure what you like.”

Jessica didn’t know either.  For the past six years she’d worn nothing but carmex.  It lightened up her lips and created a smooth texture to them.  Perhaps she would wear the carmex under the lip gloss.  Jessica dug in the bag and pulled out a fairly medium shade of pink lip gloss. 

“Next the hair.”  Monica moved her hands when she talked.  Jessica hadn’t noticed it before.  She did a lot of hand movements.  “I think we should add slight curls to it and let it stay a little natural.” 

Jessica could hear Monica even after she had disappeared into the bathroom. 

When Monica was finished it had taken her a total of forty-five minutes.  Jessica was able to view her reflection in the mirror.  She looked like she had six years ago with slight improvement.  But, it was much more appealing than the nonexistent make up and rat’s nest she called hair.  Even without a hair color touch up or a facial Jessica couldn’t believe Monica could deliver these results.  She was an interior designer not a make up artist.  Then again her own make up was flawless so she shouldn’t have expected anything less.

“His name is Cade.  He comes from a semi wealthy family.  He is a lawyer so if that tells you anything.”  Monica pulled out a picture of him. 

From what Jessica had been told Monica and he went to school together.  Strange he would show interest in her and not Monica.  Or maybe they had dated. 

Jessica took the picture and stared at it.  He was a little pale with light brown hair and green eyes.  He was standing in the picture with Monica and at that moment Jessica knew they were good friends.  Monica wouldn’t let him hurt her.  A white t-shirt clung to his body.  He was muscular but not too much that would lead anyone to think he was a wrestler or even close to being in that range of careers.  He had a square jaw and a long nose.  His smile was refreshing. 

Laurie laughed when Jessica griped the picture tighter.

“What?  I mean it is only fair you showed him a picture of me.”  Jessica glared and reluctantly handed the picture back. 

Monica laughed again and checked her watch.  “Shit, he’s going to be here in thirty minutes.  Okay, so I’m taking Delilah to my house and you can pick her up in the morning.  Don’t rush.  I don’t mind.”

“Do you even have the slightest clue what to do with her?”  Jessica teased checking her reflection in the mirror before taking the lead down the stairs into the living room.

Monica sneered.  “My sister has kids remember?  Don’t underestimate me.  I have a few games and we’re going to make smores.”

“I’m impressed.” 

Jessica surprised herself with how much tension had been relieved between her and Monica after Wednesday night.  She felt comfortable being around Monica.  She said her goodbyes to both of them and began pacing in her living room. 

An actual date.  Not one where she was going to intentionally run the guy off.  It was one she was going to try to impress him instead.  Could it be done?  Afterall he was a lawyer and she was just a photographer. 

A knock at the door jolted her from her thoughts.  He was there.  She peeked through the peephole and noticed he was holding a dozen flowers.  Lilies.  Her favorite flower.  She gasped unsure of how he found out.  Monica.  It had to be.  They might have had a conversation once about flowers. 

“Hi.”  Cade stood on the porch.  He seemed confident and even more sexy in person. 

Jessica drew in a breath.  Could she do this?  Probably not but she would try. 

As if the date wasn’t awkward enough all Jessica could think when he drove her home was him naked on her bed.  Another bedtime fantasy she realized with a sigh.  The date was a disaster and there would be no recovery.

“Are you okay?”  Cade asked as he placed the vehicle in park and unfastened his seatbelt.

“Oh, yeah.” 

“Let me walk you to your door.”  Cade got out of his seat and opened the door for her.  He offered a hand to help her step on the curb.

No, Cade was a gentleman.  He wouldn’t make a move and if she wanted anything more than a peck on the cheek she would have to initiate it herself.



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