Saturday, July 7, 2018

A Summer Love, Chapter 5, by Christina Rich


Everything in Jake wanted to reach out to her, to sit beside her and hold her hand, but his gut warned him to tread lightly. Especially with the way she’d reacted to his touch when she ushered him out on the patio. “You didn’t know?”

Jenny looked up at him, her blue eyes glimmering in the waning sun. Her mouth opened and closed. She shook her head. “No. She never said a word. Not even—” 

“Not,” he hesitated, unsure if he wanted to know, but he’d already jumped, and it was too late to retract the question. “Even what, Jenny?”

Her lids slid shut as she toyed with a pendant around her neck. A necklace he’d recognized as his mother’s. A soft pink pearl nestled inside a half seashell.

“Jenny?”

“I’m sorry, Jake. I was there the day she died, delivering a bowl of Maria’s chicken and noodles.” She stammered as tears welled. “She was weak and frail, but I didn’t know. We sat on the deck for hours, talking and listening to the waves. Like old times.”



He could see them huddled beneath the heavy quilts his mother and Jenny had made together. When Jake refused home economic lessons from his mother, she’d taken a willing Jenny under her wing. He’d often come in from crabbing with his dad to find his mom and Jenny huddled over a sewing machine, or at the stove cooking up chowder. 

“Not once did I realize—l” Jenny crossed her arms. “It wasn’t until a nurse came over and checked on her that I realized how sick she was. I didn’t know about the house.” 

Emotions warred within Jake. He missed his mom. He missed waking up to her humming. He missed the scent of fresh baked biscuits in the morning. He tamped down the jealousy bubbling in his chest and allowed himself to feel hurt on Jenny’s behalf. He should have been there. He should have had those last moments, not Jenny. If he had he could have saved Jenny the grief. “Thank you. For being there with her.” 

“I don’t have to tell you she loved you. You were her world, and she was very proud of you.” Jenny pulled her bottom lip between her teeth and rose from the bench on shaky legs. “I can sign my half over to you if you’d like but promise me if you sell you’ll allow me to purchase it.”

“Not an option,” he said as she brushed by him. 

She glanced over her shoulder. “What do you mean?”

7 comments:

  1. Great, emotional post, Christina! This is such a sweet moment!

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  2. Beautiful, Christina! I'm hoping for a HEA!!! And a house shared by the new Mr and Mrs! If only!

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  3. Wow, this had some powerful emotions. Great chapter, Christina!

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    1. Thank you. I can't wait to see what happens next.

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  4. Just catching up. This was terrific, Christina. :)

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