When Jack and I broke up, I thought I was going to stop needing you. But I think I need you more than ever now. I want to remember everything so I don’t slip and go back to my old ways and give in one more time. Just because I still really want to believe in all of his promises. He has not stopped trying to talk to me. I am so tired of finding him at my work or outside of my neighborhood.
So much has happened. I did go back. But not the way that you might think. I went back to get my things when I knew Jack would not be home. I told him that I was going to come and pick up my stuff when he would be at work and would leave my key. He told me to keep it and I told him I that I had no reason to keep it and really didn’t want it. I got there and tried to get everything fast. I knew he was at work and he promised not to show up. But I never know with him. All of my stuff was neatly piled in the living room waiting for me. I could still picture it all over the lawn and it helped me to stay strong and not feel sad. Though… It was a strange hollow feeling knowing that it would be the last time that I would ever be using “my key” to walk through that door again.
When I was walking back from the last trip, Jess called out from his screen door and he and Louise came out on their porch and called me over, I went through their gate and they hugged me really tight. I sat on their porch with them and they told me that they knew everything. I wondered if Jack told them and then I realized that they’d heard and I was embarrassed. So embarrassed. I told them about Switzer and they looked sorry for me and then told me that they would be glad to adopt him. I looked up and asked “Really?” Oh, I was so happy, I started crying and began telling them the whole story. I’d never told anyone everything. Even recently, just bits and pieces. But I sat there and shared about the time on the sailboat and the time we went soaring and well, I guess they witnessed the New Year’s scene firsthand. They were so great. They told me that they were proud of me and how strong I was. They told me that they were “my” friends and anything that they could do, they would. I gave them my parent’s phone number since they only had the one from next door. Louise told me that I could still house sit since Jack was leaving. I guess looked pretty surprised when they told me that he was moving out.
I guess that I looked a little taken aback finding out that he was moving out. I am not sure why I cared. But I did. They were very apologetic, though obviously thought that I knew. “That was not a great way for you to find out.” Louise said. But I said it was okay and asked what they knew. They told me that the little house was already rented out or that actually our Landlord’s daughter was moving in. Jess said that the other day Jack told him that he was moving to Cerritos for a new job offer. I thought that was weird since Buena Park, is right next to Cerritos and was hoping that he wasn’t moving to be near my work. But I didn’t mention anything. I guess I still wanted to believe that he wouldn’t do anything that crazy. I told them that I’d be over to bring Switzer by later that afternoon before Jack got home from work and they said Mopsy would be happy to have the company.
As I stood at the front door I looked back and surveyed the little house that once held so many dreams and now just held so many memories for me. I slipped my ring out of my pocket and left it on the table in the entry way along with the key and noticed a small box sitting by the door where all my stuff had been. It was a little set aside so I almost missed it. It held all of Annie’s letters, I thought Jack threw them away in a fit of rage. But he hadn’t. They were all neatly placed in the box with the ribbon carefully re-tied around them. I picked them up and walked out the door.