aradescent

Chapter 6

In Uncategorized on November 5, 2010 at 11:32 pm

The week flew by and before she knew it Jessica was standing at the altar taking pictures of Jen and her groom-of-the-week Isaac.

Jessica followed all of Jen’s requests and even caught the perfect shot of Isaac twirling his new bride in front of the ocean.  It was without a doubt the most beautiful thing that Jessica had ever seen…well, except for the Jen part.

Jessica didn’t stay for the reception because oddly enough Jen didn’t want any pictures of it.  She wanted the actual wedding and could care less if any of her relatives were in them. 

Jessica rushed home to find Monica and Delilah playing a game of Monopoly. 

“You would make a good mom Monica.”  Jessica commented as she sat her camera down on the kitchen counter.

Monica scoffed.  “Uh, no.  I only like to watch yours.” 

Jessica laughed and gave Delilah a hug before sending her upstairs to take a quick bath.

“I thought you were leaving as soon as you got home.  I made sure to pack Delilah some clothes for you.”

Jessica yanked open the refrigerator door, searching for something to drink.  She pulled out a can of Sprite and flicked the top open.

“I decided to take a morning flight.  I have to get started on these pictures.”

“You don’t have a laptop?”  Monica asked, surprised.

Jessica shook her head and let the carbonated liquid fall down her tongue and cling to the sides of her throat.  “Nope.  I should get one though.”

“I could let you use mine.”

“Can’t do that.  I wouldn’t want to infect your computer with numerous files.”

“Infect?”

Jessica emptied the can and tossed it into a separate bag than her trash can.  She would try the whole recycling thing again.

“It’s not going to harm your computer but the software I have downloaded on mine is huge.  It’s necessary for work, and I wouldn’t want to download it onto yours and then delete it.  Besides, I’m going to be more focused on other things when I get to Texas.”

Jessica cringed at the thought.  She did not want the last image of her mother to be one where she convinced everyone she was peacefully sleeping.  She didn’t want to cry and knew she would.  As soon as Monica left she would cry herself to sleep and talk to her mother that she knew couldn’t hear her. 

Jessica believed that once you died that was it.  More than likely this was the culprit that made her afraid of death.  She wanted there to be an afterlife but highly doubted it.  There were no such thing as souls.  Only the network of blood vessels and a beating heart. 

“I guess I’ll be going.  I’ve got a new client.  I’m meeting with him at 9 a.m. for coffee.” 

Jessica could read the excitement in Monica’s voice.  Her calendar had been empty since Jessica arrived in California, and she was starting to believe she was a bad luck charm.

“You can’t mix work with pleasure Monica.”  Jessica warned.

Monica gave her a devilish grin.  “Oh but I can.  One day when you own your own business you won’t have to answer to anyone.”

Jessica shrugged her shoulders.  She couldn’t disagree with that.  She hesitantly made her way to her own bedroom, peeking into Delilah’s room first.  She needed something to get her mind away from this weekend.  She would much rather spend it with Cade.  She chucked her cell phone on the bed, hoping he would call her.  He knew she had a lot going on but she didn’t care.  Hearing his voice would make this weekend bearable. 

 Cade was standing above her, bare-chested.  Jessica felt her pulse quicken as he started unzipping his pants.  He shoved her legs apart an evil look on his face.  She pulled him down with both hands, spreading her legs further to allow him to dip into her.       

 

“Mom.  Mom!”

 Why was Cade calling her mom?

“Momma!!!” 

Jessica shook her head and sat straight up.  Delilah’s right hand was on her shoulder, shaking her.

“Your alarm has been going off for a while.”  Delilah had a bag over her shoulder.  She was obviously ready to go.

Jessica groaned and rolled out of bed.  “Ten minutes Deli.”

Delilah gave her a goofy look before retreating downstairs. 

 The water felt exceptional against her skin.  She made sure to turn the temperature up after she lathered up and rinsed out the shampoo in her hair.  She could go back to sleep.  She had set her alarm for five thirty a.m. so she knew it had to be closer to six.  They didn’t have much time.

Jessica rolled her suitcase down the stairs to find Delilah eating a bowl of cereal.  She saw Jessica staring at her with her mouth wide open.

Delilah forced her mouth shut.  “What?  I was hungry.”

Jessica laughed.  “We’ve got to go or we’re going to be late.”

There was an airport thirty minutes from where they lived and Jessica had scheduled their flight for seven.  With traffic and checking in at the airport it would be closer to seven by the time they would be able to board the flight.  She had already arranged for her brother to pick them up at the airport in Texas.  Everything was good to go and they would even make it to the viewing.

Delilah hadn’t acted too sad when she heard the news.  A smile had spread across her face when Jessica relayed to her that her grandmother went to visit her daddy. 

“Now daddy has someone to keep him company.”  Delilah had said before running off to her room.

Before bed Jessica heard the sobs coming from her daughter’s room.  She wasn’t too concerned and knew that she liked to be alone when she was upset.  The next morning it was like it never happened.  Although surprised by Delilah’s reaction, Jessica was kind of relieved about it as well.  She didn’t want to fall apart, and if Delilah fell apart she knew she would too.

Justin met them at the airport as promised.  “Have a good flight?”  He asked as soon as he saw them.

Jessica smiled briefly and yawned.  “It was okay, I don’t care much for airplanes.”

Delilah jumped into Justin’s arms.  “Uncle Justin do we get to go see grandma before she goes back to visit daddy?”

Jessica saw Justin struggling with an answer.  “Honey, grandma is already gone to see daddy.  She can’t come back.”  She took Delilah from Justin and they went to search for their luggage.

“You actually know how to pack light.”  Justin joked.

Jessica gave him a playful shove.  “We’re only here until Sunday.  I didn’t think I would need a lot.”

“No, it’s a good thing.  Really.  If I could find a chick to pack as light as you I’d be in heaven.”

Jessica laughed as they located Justin’s car and stuffed their luggage into the very small compartment the car company would rather call a trunk. 

Delilah shoved her ear buds into her ears and cranked up the music.  Jessica waited until she heard the music in the silence of the car and then turned Justin’s stereo up a little.

“You never told me what they found.”  Jessica said, glancing back a few times to make sure Delilah couldn’t hear her.

Justin held both hands on the wheel, griping it tightly as he weaved in and out of traffic at the airport.  He avoided pedestrians that didn’t seem to be paying attention.

“Aneurysm.”  He said in a whisper.

Jessica nodded.  There was no way that could have been prevented.  Up until her death their mother had been healthier than any of them.  Justin battled asthma, Jessica herself had battled bouts of depression and Jasmine had her sessions with anorexia. 

Jessica tightened her jaw.  She hoped the next time she saw Jasmine it would be better than the last.  Jasmine was a couple of inches taller than herself and weighed twenty pounds lighter.  It made Jessica feel like a whale, though knowing she wasn’t. 

 Justin didn’t say much, his mind focusing on the funeral.  Jessica could tell by the frequent rubbing of his temples as he drove back to their mother’s house.  Janine.  Janine Wiler would be written on the headstone.  Jessica had never called her mother by her name.  She wasn’t sure if it was because she could never remember it or because it was never okay to call your mother by her first name.  No, she remembered.  She always knew.  It was her father’s name she could never remember and that was his own damn fault. 

 Jessica couldn’t understand it.  The man chose to be away from his family after blessing her mother with Justin and Jasmine as twins and Jessica as a third child.  He left out of the blue.  No note.  Nothing.  Jessica had heard from a local newspaper he had a heart attack.

It didn’t matter.  Death was death.  It came just as being born came.  It would always happen, and Jessica convinced herself the end of the world would happen if she went one day without hearing of someone passing or someone being birthed into the world. 

Jessica stared out the window, listening to the soft country tunes seeping from her brother’s stereo.  He wasn’t going to talk.  Not until the viewing and the funeral itself were over.  She was thankful he had the funeral home arrange the viewing after her plane touched down.  Not that she really wanted to see her mother in that state.

 Sleeping.  That’s all she had to think about.  Her mother would look as though she were sleeping.  Tears started running down her cheeks, jumping off onto the front of her shirt at her chin.  She didn’t want to think about it anymore.

*** 

 Forty-five minutes later and they were turning into the funeral home.  Jessica felt her whole body cover with goose bumps and felt a tingling sensation that she couldn’t control.  She helped Delilah from the backseat, really regretting bringing her here.

 “You okay?”  Justin rubbed her arm.

 Jessica nodded forcefully.  “I’m fine.”  She felt as though her whole body were touching an ice-cube though the weather would prove otherwise.

 Justin shook his head.  He knew she wasn’t.  Fine was a word when you weren’t okay and he couldn’t understand why anyone used it anymore.

 “Hello Mr. Wiler.  I suppose you are here for your mother’s viewing.”

 Justin nodded.  “Mrs. Jasten this is my sister Jessica and her daughter Delilah.”

 “Uncle Justin!”  Delilah protested, plucking the ear buds from her ears.

 Justin threw both hands in the air as if he were surrendering.  “Sorry, sorry.  My niece Delilah.”  He pat her on her shoulders.

 “Are we going to see grandma?” 

 Delilah held hope in her eyes that Jessica couldn’t match.  She kneeled down to Delilah’s level.  “We’re going to see grandma sleeping.  She’s already gone to see daddy okay?” 

 She had to make Delilah understand that her grandmother wouldn’t be able to respond to her in any way.  She had to make her understand without it sounding too graphic.

There she was.  They were taken into another room by Mrs. Jaston to join Jasmine.  No one else in the family bothered to come because they were busy making arrangements just so they could be at the funeral itself.

She wore her favorite shirt.  A light blue denim button up shirt.  It had a picture of a horse painted across the left side. 

Jessica couldn’t see much else, not that she wanted to.  She felt the vomit circling in the pit of her stomach, threatening to climb into her throat.  She held a hand to her head and steadied herself.

“Jessica, you’re not okay.”  Justin placed both his arms on her shoulders to keep her from fainting.

 She did anyway.

Chapter 7>>>>

  1. good story proud of you.

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