Freedom 11

It was clear from the smells wafting and the “invisible” hand that had opened the door that her siblings were sure she was awake. Had sufficed it somehow. So Jessica sighed and stood up, glad she did not have to pretend anymore.
“Hi”, they chorused. Jennifer was staring pointedly at the food and a grin was escaping her lips. She turned her eyes to the bearded man with their mother’s eyes. He smiled, then stood up and made to hug her. She pushed him aside, grabbed the plate of toast and ran back to the room where she was rewarded by another spasm of pain.
Alex looked as pretty as he always did. She told him that when she saw him and he laughed nervously. He obviously had something on his mind and her jokes weren’t helping.
He told her that he was going abroad for school. He had been offered a scholarship to an Ivy League school abroad and while he adored the opportunity, he was desperately afraid that this meant the end of his relationship with Jessica.
He remembered that she had told him they would probably be going to a University here and he was so worried about the distance. About the fact that she was beautiful, presumably available and he wasn’t sure she would wait if he asked.
Jennifer smiled. She truly admired how much he seemed to love her sister but the clock was ticking and she was hungry.
“Get to the point”, she willed him with her mind. Get to the point.
He grabbed her hands, clasping them with his. She immediately removed them. They were sweaty.
“I won’t be here to remind her of what we share. I won’t be a short distance away from her. I need you to be my mouth when she needs me. I know it’s odd. By the look on your face, I know it’s quite odd, this request. How can I know that she and I will be together forever? How is it possible to be so sure that this one person is the one I want to spend eternity with? I don’t. But she makes me feel light. Like I could fly. We make each other happy. If for nothing else, I want to preserve that. Help me. Please”
She laid her hand on top of his. Neither of them looked up. Neither saw Jessica hovering at the entrance. Neither saw the tears on Jessica’s face.
Johnson smiled to relieve the tension of Jessica’s dramatic exit. She had always been too dramatic, that girl. He kissed Jennifer on her stunned cheek and picked up his keys.
She turned a questioning look upon him. He reminded her; he was going to see some friends. She waved a distracted hand and he saw the sheen of tears in her eyes. He was going to talk to Jessica before he left.
And then, he would try to explain to Jennifer why he was meeting Uncle Monday.


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