Denver Cereal Denver Cereal

Chapter Five Hundred and Sixty-six : "The plan" (part four)

CHAPTER FIVE HUNDRED and SIXTY-SIX

(part four)

“Because of how I felt,” John said.

“How did you feel?” Nash asked.

“Whole,” John said. “Complete. Like this missing hole that I knew nothing about had suddenly been filled. I met her and suddenly …”

“You felt the hole,” Nash said.

The empty space, my empty space,” John said. “It was a space that the plan had filled and suddenly …”

Nash nodded.

“Yes, I thought you knew what I was talking about,” John said.

Nash grunted.

“I spent the entire day talking myself out of having anything to do with her,” John said. “She wasn’t very fond of me either. Oh, she knew all about my ‘slutty ways.’ That’s what she calls it. She didn’t like the fact that I was not an American, either. I was off limits as far as she was concerned.”

“What did you do?” Nash asked.

“You mean how did we end up married the first night after we met?” John asked.

“Really?” Nash asked. “The first night?”

“I’d known her for twelve hours.” John nodded. “And no, we hadn’t gone to bed together.”

“What? Really? How?” Nash asked, not hiding his disbelief.

“It just happened,” John said. “It wasn’t even a conscious thought. I just knew that I couldn’t survive without her.”

Nash made a kind of “tsk” sound. The boy looked down to cover his emotions.

“We were married and then shared this intensely glorious week,” John said. “And then she left.”

Nash snuck a glance at John. He was so caught up in his thoughts that he didn’t notice Nash’s look.

“It was awful,” John said. “For me. I was alone again. My plan was broken. My voicemail filled up with women who wanted a date. I couldn’t go out. I couldn’t party. My workouts were messed up because I knew a lot of women at the gym. I …”

John looked at Nash and saw that he was privately weeping. John put his arm around Nash’s shoulders.

“I was angry,” John said. “Really. Truly. Deeply angry. My life was finally my own and this person came and …”

“Fucked it up,” Nash choked out.

“Exactly,” John said.

They walked under the highway and continued along in silence. After a while, John tugged on Nash and they turned around to go back. They’d made it to the spot across from St. Jude’s lair when Nash wiped his eyes. He looked at John.

“What did you do?” Nash asked.

“I was an asshole,” John said. “For more years than I’d like to admit. I probably would be still if Alex hadn’t almost died. I mean, have you seen the men she spends her days with?”

Nash nodded.

“But when she was shot …” John sighed. “I don’t know. I guess I just got over it. She lost her team. I lost these men who were … You never met them but they were truly the best human beings I had ever met. Funny. Friendly. So smart. They were such a great support to me in my schooling and in my life. Me. The husband. They were family. My family. And then they were gone. Alex was so broken that …”

Denver Cereal continues tomorrow…

Next: Chapter Five Hundred and Sixty-six : "The plan" (part five)

Previous: Chapter Five Hundred and Sixty-six : "The plan" (part three)

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