With trembling hands Jennifer picked up the divorce papers William had left on the table. It all seemed so unreal. Hadn’t they vowed to be together for the rest of their lives? For better or for worse? And in a few moments all of that was coming to an end. According to the divorce terms, William was ready to pay for everything and all the medical care I would need. Kind of him? Or was he doing this out of guilt?
Jenny signed the papers and it wasn’t what she had expected it to be. She didn’t feel any different. It was just a little weird because this was the first time she’d been alone in 7 years. But now she was free. Although she hadn’t asked or even wanted this freedom.
Pamela had been calling her non-stop. William had probably called Daniel up. Jenny didn’t feel like talking to her or anyone for that matter. They would all be saying that everything would be okay and trying to comfort her. But she didn’t want that. She just wanted to be alone and figure out what to do next.
The phone rang. It was Dr. Waters. Jennifer’s obstetrician.
“hello Mrs. King”
Mrs. King… if only.
“yes. Is everything okay?”
“yes don’t worry. We just want you to come in for a few more tests”
“but I just had a blood test yesterday. No one told me about any more tests. Are you sure everthing’s fine?”
“yes absolutely. Come in the afternoon. We’ll talk then.”
Pamela called again. She had called nearly twenty times in the last couple of hours. Jenny quickly texted her, “I’m fine. I just don’t feel like talking. When I do, I’ll call you.”
Funny. Jennifer hadn’t slept last night but she wasn’t even tired now. She picked up her phone and dialed the number she almost knew by heart. It went straight to voicemail.
“hey you’ve reached Jamie. Please leave a message after the tone.”
Jamie had been one of her best friends in college. They had been inseparable until Jamie told her he loved her the day they graduated. He had always understood her in a way no one else did and he was always there for her. But Jennifer loved William and chose to be with him. They decided to remain friends but things had become awkward between them now. In the past four years they had hardly talked. Jenny needed someone like that now. She needed someone to just listen. Also, Jamie himself had gotten divorced last year.
Five minutes later, Jamie called back.
“James Douglas! How have you been?”
“Jenny! It has been…what..three years since we last talked?”
“indeed it has. I heard you’re back in town now.”
“yeah actually. I’m just a few blocks down as a matter of fact. How is pregnancy treating you?”
“oh its hard. Jamie … ?”
“William left me. And I didn’t know who else to call.”
“wait. What? He left you? While you’re pregnant? I’ll be down there in twenty minutes.”
He was here in ten. Jenny was seeing him after ages. He looked good…happy. Jenny realized how much she’d missed seeing that face. He came in and wrapped his arms around her.
She was a little taken aback. He held on to her. He didn’t say a word. And in that moment of silence, Jenny felt an unfamiliar sense of comfort and security.
Their friendship had been a beautiful one. They understood each other without having to explain. He always knew exactly what to say and that helped Jennifer now. He didn’t say much. He just listened. Jenny had forgotten how good a listener he was. She just kept babbling on and half of what she said didn’t even make sense. But he understood. He always did. When she was done, he took both her hands in his and just said, “you should have called me sooner.”
After a while, they were laughing and giggling just like the old times. He had a kind of soothing effect on her. And for a while, she forgot about all her troubles. He didn’t say that it was going to be okay or look at her with pity in his eyes. But strangely, for the first time since William had walked out, Jennifer knew that it would be okay. She would get through this. She knew it. She looked at him playing with Gigi and smiled. With friends like Jamie and Pamela, she would do just fine without William. He made her coffee and a little breakfast. He got rid of the shattered vase and straightened the table. Jenny remembered that he had always been a neat freak.
Jamie had changed since they’d last met. Even though he went to law school, it wasn’t his passion. His passion was cooking. After working at a law firm for three years, he decided to follow his dream. He opened a small restaurant with his friend…”Marie’s” named after his mother. He was actually doing quite well for himself and Jenny couldn’t help admiring him for following his dreams. His wife…ex-wife, Anna didn’t support his decision. They had been married for two years and according to Jamie he knew almost immediately that they didn’t belong together. They got divorced in December last year.
Before she knew it, it was time for her appointment. Jamie offered to drive her to the hospital. It was on his way to the restaurant. But first he made her promise something.
“Jennifer. This time I’m not letting you go. You’re going to call me after you get home. I want to be a part of your life. Don’t shut your friends out. I’m still the same guy I was in college.”
“I will. I’ll call you and we’ll just hang out.”
“I’d like that.”
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