Coping with Pain

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Young Adult  |  House: Booksie Classic
JJ has been having trouble dealing with her father's death that happened 10 years ago.

Submitted: March 17, 2019

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Submitted: March 17, 2019

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Jason and JJ were at the Golden Pizza having lunch. Their friend Richard Waters came into the restaurant and sat down with them. ‘’How was your date yesterday  with ummmm. What’s her name Jason?’’ asked JJ. ‘’I know who you are talking about. I just can’t think of what her name is,’’ said Jason. ‘’Her name is Rilee Bridges. Ruth Ann Miller’s granddaughter,’’ said Richard with a disgusted look on his face. ‘’Who is Ruth Ann Miller?’’ asked Jason trying to annoy Richard. ‘’You know who Ruth Ann Miller is! She is an active member in the Dockside Baptist Church. What is wrong with you!’’ shouted Richard. ‘’Oh, we were just picking on you. If we didn’t, you would think we didn’t like you, said JJ with a smile on her face. ‘’What are we going to do tonight, eat and go to the movies?’’ asked Richard. “I can’t, I have to help mom at the Dockside Family Restaurant,’’ said JJ with a disgusted look on her face. ‘’I take it you don’t like helping out,’’ said Richard. “No, I don’t. That was mom and dad’s project. As far as I am concerned that piece of crap can burn to the ground,’’ said JJ bitterly. “ Sorry, I didn’t mean to upset you,’’ said Richard. ‘’You didn’t,’’ said JJ getting up and leaving the table.

 

JJ was standing at the counter while her pregnant sister Ashley sat in a chair at the cash register. ‘’Why didn’t you didn’t come home last night?  asked Ashley. ‘’I didn’t want to give that sob that mom is dating anymore opportunities,’’ said JJ. ‘’Jayden, he is not an sob. He is a sweet and loving man,’’said Ashley. ‘’Right, that is why mom is dating him and you are carrying his child,’’ said JJ with a disgusted look on her face. ‘’If he was the animal you make him out to be I would not have been sleeping with him. Besides I am surprised you are not carrying Jason’s baby since you go over to his house and make out,’’ said Ashley. ‘’First of all Jason makes me happy and second of all we have never done it,’’ said JJ.

 

JJ thought for a moment about what Ashley had just said and decided to confront her. ‘’Why did you say if that sob was an animal you would have not slept with him? I thought you slept with him to protect me,’’ said JJ. ‘’Are you kidding? We had already been sleeping together. The night he came into your room it was to let me know that mom was gone and it was safe,’’ said Ashley. ‘’You freaking whore,’’ shouted JJ angrily. She picked up a plate and threw it at Ashley. “Is everything okay out there?’’ asked JJ and Ashley’s mother from the kitchen when she heard the plate break. ‘’Yes, I accidentally dropped a plate,’’ said JJ picking up the broken pieces.

 

JJ was sitting on her bed looking at a picture of her mother and father. ‘’Why did you have to leave us? Why did you have to die?’’ asked JJ as tears rolled down her cheek. ‘’I always dreamed of growing up as your little princess and you walking me down the on my wedding day. Why did you have to die? Why!’’  exclaimed JJ starting to cry. ‘’Jayden, I am sorry about what happened last night. Is everything ok?’’ asked Ashley after knocking on the locked bedroom door. ‘’Everything is ok,’’ said JJ putting the picture under her pillow and walking towards the bedroom window. ‘’If you need to talk, I will be in my room,’’ said Ashley. ‘’Ok’’ said JJ trying to be polite. ‘’Like hell, I would talk to you,’’ thought JJ as she climbed out the bedroom window.

 

Jason and Richard was watching a movie. ‘’What was that?’’ asked Jason pausing the movie after he heard a noise. ‘’I don’t know but it sounded like something in the bushes,’’ said Richard. Jason got up and went outside. ‘’Hello, who’s there?’’ asked Jason. ‘’It’s just little ole me,’’ said JJ with a nervous chuckle. ‘’Why were you hiding in the bushes,’’ asked Jason. ‘’Oh, I didn’t see your bedroom light on. Thought you  had already gone to sleep,’’ said JJ nervously. ‘’Are you ok?’’ asked Jason. ‘’Yeah, I am ok. Could not be any better,’’ said JJ. In his mind Jason knew something was eating away at JJ, but decided for the time being not to pursue the issue. ‘’Me and Richard are watching a movie. Please join us,’’ said Jason. ‘Watch a movie with my boyfriend and my favorite bud. This is going to be so much fun,’’ said JJ walking towards Jason  trying to hide her emotions.

 

JJ was walking out the front door after the movie. She heard a clap of thunder. ‘’I hope I get home before it starts raining,’’ thought JJ. The skies opened up and the rain began to pour down. ‘’Just great,’’ thought JJ walking in the rain and getting soaked. She stopped and looked back. She saw Jason’s bedroom light on. Cold and wet she thought about turning around but decided to try and make it home. The rain began to fall harder and lightning flashed across the sky. JJ turned around and started walking back toward Jason parent’s house.

 

Jason was pulling the covers back when he heard JJ tapping on the bedroom window.  Jason opened the window and JJ climbed in. Jason went and got a towel when he saw JJ wet and shivering. He handed her the towel and one of his sweat shirts. ‘’I am going to give you a few minutes,’’ said Jason leaving the bedroom. JJ locked the door, took off her wet clothes, dried off with the towel, and slipped on the sweatshirt. JJ smelled the sleeve of the shirt. ‘’This is going to become my favorite shirt and I am never going to wash it. What am I thinking,’’ thought JJ as she unlocked the bedroom door.

 

The next morning Sue Calloway came into Jason’s bedroom to change the bed sheets. She saw JJ wearing Jason’s sweatshirt and her clothes laying on the floor. “Nothing happened last night, Mrs. Calloway,’’ said JJ with her face starting to turn red. ‘’She’s telling the truth mom. Me, Richard, and JJ watched a movie and it started raining right after JJ left. She got soaking wet and I gave her one of my sweatshirts,’’ said Jason. ‘’That is what happened Mrs. Calloway, honestly,’’ said JJ nervously. ‘’I believe you,’’ said Sue as she picked up JJ’s tee shirt, jeans, and socks that were laying on the floor. ‘’Really mom nothing happened,’’ said Jason. ‘’I told you,  I believe you. The muddy shoe prints from the window to the bedroom door is enough proof to backup your story,’’ said Sue. ‘’Oh my gosh! I didn’t mean to make a mess,’’ said JJ. ‘’It’s ok. Coffee is ready downstairs and granny came for a visit,’’ said Sue leaving the bedroom with sheets, pillow cases, and JJ’s clothes.

 

JJ went down to the kitchen and poured a cup of coffee. She noticed that Jason’s grandmother Sofia was staring at her. ‘’It’s not what you think,’’ said JJ realizing Sophia was staring at her because she was still wearing Jason’s sweatshirt. ‘’Come over here and sit down, sweet heart,’’ said Sofia motioning JJ to come over to the dinner table. JJ sat down at the table beside Sophia. ‘’Sweetheart, your relationship with my grandson is none of my business. The two of you are happy and that is all that matters. What  anybody else thinks is not important,’’ said Sophia. ‘’I do love him,’’said JJ with a smile on her face. ‘’I can tell. Unless you are blind you can’t miss it. Your eyes gives it away,’’ said Sophia. ‘’My eyes,’’ said JJ with a puzzled look on her face. ‘’Yes, just the thought of him puts a sparkle in your eyes. Besides the look in your eyes the way the you wear his shirt gives it away,’’ said Sophia. ‘’What?’’ asked JJ. ‘’When you wear his shirt you feel love, warm, and secure,’’ said Sophia. ‘’How do you know?’’ asked JJ. ‘’Sweetheart, I maybe 81 years old but I was once your age and I remember how it felt when Harold gave me his sweater when I was cold,’’ said Sophia. JJ put a smile on her face. ‘’I just wished my dad was still around to see how happy I am with Jason,’’ said JJ. ‘’You were your dad’s pride and joy, not because he loved you more than Ashley, but because you were his only biological daughter,’’ said Sophia. ‘’What’’ exclaimed JJ. ‘’It is time for you to know the painful truth. Your mother had an affair with Earl and got pregnant with Ashley. Shortly after the affair Earl went to prison. Your dad loved your mom so much that even though she cheated on him. He still raised Ashley as his daughter,’’ said Sofia. JJ sat there in disbelief.

 

JJ went to her father’s grave with flowers and knelled down at the headstone. ‘’It has taken me 10 years to find the courage to do this,’’ said JJ with tears rolling down her cheek.’’I have felt so lost, confused, and angry. Sometimes I feel like it is because of the family restaurant you and mom started that you never saw me grow up, will never walk me down the aisle on my wedding day, or be there to hold your grandchild. In my mind I think if you had not been at that restaurant you would have never been shot,’’ said JJ crying. She sat down beside the grave and started crying.

 

JJ felt a tap on her shoulder. She looked up and saw an African man in his mid 40’s and his wife holding flowers. “Who are you?’’ asked JJ standing up and wiping her eyes. “Name is Lamont James and this is my wife Maxine,’’ said Lamont shaking JJ’s hand. ‘’I am Jayden Jolene Tanner,’’ said JJ. ‘’It is nice to meet you Jayden are you related to Mr. Tanner,’’ said Lamont. ‘’Yes, I am his daughter,’’ said JJ trying to keep from crying. ‘’I don’t know what me and my family would have done if it had not been for your father. I lost my job and had no income coming in. I went by the restaurant to see if I get a job to support my family. I explained my situation to your father. He apologized said he didn’t have an opening but not to leave. He came back with several to go boxes, it was on the house, and come back tomorrow. Until I found a job your father provided me and family food. When I got on my feet, I asked him how much I owed him. He told me nothing that when I had the opportunity to pay it forward and help someone else who was down on their luck,’’ said Lamont. ‘’Oh my gosh,’ said JJ starting to cry. Lamont and Maxine hugged her.,

JJ was standing at the dock looking at the water. Jason walked up and stood beside her. ‘’I visited my father’s grave today,’’ said JJ. ‘’Did it help?’’ ask Jason. ‘’I think it helped me find some peace. There is always going to be an empty place in my heart,’’ said JJ. Jason hugged JJ.  

 


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