“I’ve never felt as valuable as I did that night. It stayed with me. I mean it’s stupid,” Jill said. “One night stand and all. But after that night, I felt alive and…”
“Free,” he said. “Me too.”
“I’ve prayed that my wizard – that’s what I called you – was happy somewhere. I pray for my wizard every day. Because you healed my heart. No matter what Trevor did… no matter what, I could handle it.”
“And this ring is perfect.” Jill spun in place. “Every little thing is perfect. I keep thinking things will get hard. I mean, I know you’re still healing. And my apartment’s a mess. Hell, my life’s a mess. But I’m afraid it will get really hard. Because life can’t always be a fairy tale but… I don’t care. If I can be this happy, I’m okay to deal with whatever life has to offer. As long as I can do it with you.”
“Together. Yes, I feel like I can do anything when you’re around. Whole.”
She kissed his lips.
“We talked about me, you know, after that night,” Jill said. “What happened to you?”
“I stayed in the room… thinking… until I had to check out,” he said. “I felt that for the first time ever, my entire life opened before me. I flew back to Maine ready to resign from the stupid rehab, close my business, packing my house and get off the fence with my girlfriend. I bought a ticket to fly around the world at LAX. As long as I kept going in one direction, I could travel for two years. I planned to leave in three months.”
“Travel the world. That was your dream,” she said. “What happened?”
“My father arrived about two weeks later,” he said. “I hadn’t seen him in a year… or more, probably. He was a wreck. It took him a day to get around to what he wanted. And…”
“I had always done what I was supposed to do. Always,” Jacob said. “For those two weeks? The ‘supposed to-s’ disappeared and I was free. Because of you. It was the greatest feeling.”
“Your father took it away from you,” she said.
Jacob was silent for a moment.
“Come see the bathroom.”
He led her into a large spa bathroom. A modern claw foot tub, large enough for two, took up one side of the room. A two-person spa shower filled a corner. The toilet was tucked away in a vented closet. Jacob pressed open the French doors to a small balcony over looking the garden.
“Wow,” she said.
Coming out onto the balcony, she slipped her arm around him. They looked out over Delphie’s bountiful vegetable gardens and dwarf fruit trees heavy with ripening fruit. Delphie’s bees happily danced near the back privacy fence. The balcony had a small metal table, two chairs and a small metal bench.
The retelling of Celia’s Puppies, Denver Cereal Volume 2, continues tomorrow…
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