Closure

Over the first few weeks they exchanged a few random messages still on her face book page. But eventually moved to emails mainly because she just didn’t think that everyone that viewed her page needed to read their messages. Not because they had anything to hide. They’d been keeping the messages short and sweet and pretty stiff. Though, joking here and there. His corny sense of humor  made her smile when he’d shyly kid with her about something. She tried to picture him as he typed back  and the feelings caught her off guard and confused her but she felt that she was just feeling natural curiosity and feeling the relief of forgiveness after feeling the anger for so long.

 

computer man looking

When Tim came home later that week, Keri told him about the contact and he didn’t seem too concerned. Keri was the jealous one. Tim had never done anything to ever cause her to be the least bit jealous but she couldn’t help it. She’d always attributed her insecurities to her experiences with Jack, and Tim jokingly said he found it flattering and ridiculous when she’d pout about “something mainly all in your head.” He’d point out. Keri knew that Tim was faithful and Tim never had a reason to ever doubt Keri because she’d always been so disgusted with cheaters. So the news about Jack’s recent contact did not seem to distress him in the least, and he didn’t mention it again and neither did Keri as she snuggled next to him and watched his favorite shows with him.

older couple snuggling

Tim’s news of another business trip made Keri groan a bit but she was used to them and ever since Brynne moved out to go to school, Keri planned as many visits down South as possible and Tim would try to join her as much as his work allowed, he always tried to make it to all of his daughter’s performances. They’d planned a trip down South to visit her that next week, she was performing in a show that following weekend at her school. Usually they’d stay in a hotel or if Tim didn’t go too, she stayed at her best friend Jamie’s house who was Keri’s confidant; they’d known each other since before Brynne was born and she was like an Aunt to her. Sometimes Brynne would also stay over and the three of them would stay up late talking and laughing all night long. “So I guess you are going to miss next Saturday night?” Keri asked. “What’s Saturday Tim asked absent mindedly as he clicked the keys on his laptop trying to read a new email that had just beeped him. He looked up and seemed to remember and said, “Oh yeah hon, sorry I guess I will.” Keri sighed. She was disappointed but excited to see her baby and looking forward to some “girl time” knowing that they’d have a good time catching up at Jamie’s.

man on laptop2

Saturday night after a successful performance, they were all lying around, eating munchies and chatting when Keri said light heartedly, “You guys are never going to believe who Friend Requested me on face book. Both Brynne and Jamie looked up and asked “who?” “Jack!” Keri answered, waiting for their shock. Brynne was the first to respond, “Jack? The guy in the journal?” She looked horrified. Before Keri had a chance to reply she asked “Does Dad knooow?” “Yes, of course your dad knows.” Keri said quickly. He’s fine with it and he trusts me. He has always known I never got closure.” Brynne jumped up and turned on her laptop that she’d brought with her. “What’s your password?” she asked as Keri typed it in, Brynne pulled up her mom’s face book page and read the recent exchange between her and Jack. Keri knew that the conversations on her Face book page were all pretty generic and mostly just catching up. They’d just talked about their families and careers. Keri knew that everything that her daughter was reading was perfectly benign. Or at least she thought. “It sure doesn’t look like he is looking for closure mom.” Brynne said looking incredulous.

girl on laptop

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#58 The Storm

journals

Dear Journal,

You are my witness that I tried. I tried so hard. You were the ONLY one that I ever told ANYTHING to! I wanted to protect Jack from himself. And I was embarrassed. So embarrassed that anyone would ever know any of what I have put up with. I never wanted to tell anyone because what if we got back together and all of it was out there? Well, there is NO chance of that NOW. I know that Jack thinks that I talk to people too much and try to get everyone’s advice. I never talked about our fights or Jack’s temper. EVER! But this time, I’m not sure what happened. I guess I kind of feel like if I tell someone what has been going on, I won’t go back. And Oh my dear friend, my faithful little journal, I KNOW I won’t go back this time. Are you applauding me?

So much has happened since I last wrote in you.  I think that anger is a kind of a key that has allowed me to shut that door. Instead of mourning what I have lost and all those broken promises, I feel a relief that I never felt before. I used to sit home and cry after a fight and think about all of our  plans.  NOW you better believe me, he is begging me to set a date. He said that any day would be fine with him. Even Tommorow! It has been exactly one month since he threw me out of “his” house. He has been sitting outside of the entrance to my neighborhood almost every night the last two weeks since school started again. He has parked next to my car at the school where I work so I had to talk to him and after my classes at night at Harbor College. I can’t tell my dad because he would kill him and I don’t want my dad to go crazy because he would if he knew what has been happening. I am protecting my dad. Not Jack.

steering wheel shot

The other day I was at Lindsey’s house and Jack called me there. He told me to go look in my car. I didn’t know what to expect. Even though it was sunny, it was freezing. I ran out with my barefeet because I didn’t know what he might have done. Well, he showed me his true colors. I found Switezer meowing inside my cold car. He said “I don’t want him.” That was the first time that I have cried since I stopped crying after the first week. I didn’t know what to do. Larry ended up calling right when I was having a melt down and Lindsey told him what Jack had just done and Larry asked for my phone number and told me that he might know someone that will take him because I know that my mom won’t let me have him. This is just like Jack. Begging me to take him back and then getting mad and doing something like this when he doesn’t get his own way. I haven’t softened at all. I am glad that he keeps getting mad and doing stupid things because it just reminds me that I deserve better.  I can’t believe that I ever loved him. The thing that surprises me, is that no one was surprised. They knew what was happing all along. I thought that I was fooling everyone.  I’m pretty sure that I hate him now. THIS was the last straw. But it’s not just about the cat. There are so many other things that happened besides the obvious; literally THROWING me out of the house. It is so over.

cat in car

 

#57 The Beginning of the End… Happy New Year

 

pie crust2

 

Dear Journal,

We planned our party for the night after New Years Eve.  I told my parents that I had to get ready for the party that we were having the next day and I didn’t want to drive home with all of the drunks and they actually were okay with me staying at Jack’s.  He came and picked me up and brought me over to his place and we stayed up late enough to welcome in the New Year all by ourselves instead of going out to one of the parties we were invited to, cuz Jack wanted it that way. We kissed at midnight and started messing around all the way to bed and welcomed in the new year some more.

young happy couple

 

In the morning, it was overcast and looked as if it might rain.  I got up early and Jack rolled over and said that he was going to take down the Christmas lights. I really didn’t want him to because he’d already taken down the tree the day after Christmas and he knew I wanted it up for the party. So when he mentioned the lights I asked him if he could just wait until after the party because I wanted it to still look at least a little  festive.  But he refused it was as if he wanted to take away any signs of it having been Christmas.  And so our morning didn’t start out too great.

arguing couples

I know that he is still dealing with stuff about his mom this time of year, so I tried to be understanding but I must say that I was not happy that he wouldn’t wait just one day since he knew that it was important to me for our house to look pretty for the party. It was just the wrong day to take on that project! Especially since we talked about our list of things we needed to get done before the party and taking down the Christmas lights was not one of them.  I needed him to help me with so many  other things and I knew that it was going to take all morning to just do that. But you know how stubborn he is, so he got the ladder out and climbed up on the roof and did what he wanted.

Christmas lights ladder2

 I got dressed and started baking. I’d planned on making a few pies and some horderves for the party. Pie crusts are kind of touchy, if you knead them too much, they get tough. If you let them sit too long they get crumbly and you have to start all over again.  I have to admit I was already frustrated but I really did try to snap out of it because I knew that it would not end well if I stayed mad. I never seem to win our fights. I heard Jack swearing on top of the roof and for whatever reason, he needed my help. Though he put them up all by himself. He called me up there twice. The first time I went up and handed him something and tried to be pleasant and willing about it, but just as I was ready to roll the dough out for the second pie,  he called me again.

ROLLING DOUGH

This time I called back and told him to hold on. I was so surprised when he snapped at me and yelled “NOW!”  I didn’t like his tone of voice and had not heard it since that horrible day at the glider port over a year earlier. I wasn’t too happy as I climbed up the ladder and saw him untangling the strings of lights. I  asked him to please hurry so that my dough wouldn’t get ruined and he threw them at me and told me to untangle them.

Christmas lightsAnd before I could object, he lost it. He got mad and told me that he didn’t want to have the dumb party anyway, how it was all my idea and “my party” and that I was “using” him to play house in “his” house. Those words really hurt. Especially the part about it being his house.  After he put the ladder away, and did whatever he did with the string of light I left lying on the walkway,  he came in and saw that I was crying and got even more upset at me. I’d already made one pie crust perfectly before he called me up. But the second time, I left the last one  in a ball and it felt too dried out when I started rolling it.

dough balll

Everything kept crumbling and falling apart. The thing that made me so mad was that Jack started laughing at me and told me that I couldn’t do anything right. I think maybe he was trying to lighten the mood and just joke around because everytime I tried to roll out the dough it just got worse and he may have realized that he’d just gone a little too far.

CINNAMON ROLLING DOUGH

But by that time I’d lost my temper and had stopped crying. Things just got out of hand. Looking back, I wish that ‘dI just let it go. But for the last three years I have let “IT” go and I am just tired. Anyway,  I was still hurt and angry about what he’d said about it being his house, and instead of saying that he was sorry he just kept following me around egging me on, laughing in my face. He followed me right into the living room as I tried to get away, brushing my floured hands on my apron and just kept laughing at me and my “pathetic excuse for pie crust.” THAT is what he said! He kept at it  until he had me cornered in the living room and I hit the wall of the bay window and to my surprise my fist went right through the paper thin wall! Just punched a hole right into it! I didn’t realize how those walls were made back in those days and well it just surpised me. I started laughing hoping that Jack would start laughing too and we would just see how stupid this fight was and fall down on the floor and make up. I was laughing saying that” I really didn’t mean to do that” and he got that look and said; “yeah, I  can really tell.” And then he started getting all of my stuff and throwing it out of the house in a wild rage and telling me that I needed to “call all of my little friends and call off the party” as he started throwing my books and my purse and my sweat jacket and all of Annie’s letters  out into the front yard. The ribbons slipped and they lay there strewn all over the wet grass.

old letters

He was so out of control I thought he was going to hit me but he didn’t. He just picked me up and threw me off of his front porch and into the yard. I was numb. I don’t remember if I was really hurt. I know later that I’d skinned my elbow being thrown like that but I just picked up my purse and jacket and left everything else and ran out of the front gate.

abuse

I didn’t even stop to think. I just ran. Right past Jess and Louise’s and down Pacific Coast Highway and all the way to a phone booth and called Lindsey. She and Larry came and picked me up. They were supposed to come to the party that night. I think they may have called everyone. I don’t even know. I didn’t care. I just let Jack deal with it. I was so mad. I never wanted to see him again. Happy New Year.

 

sad girl in hood b&w

 

 

 

#52 Dear Journal – House Sitting

front porch
Dear Journal,
I’ve been house sitting for Jess and Louise a couple of times over the last few months. It’s been kind of nice because it’s like I have my own place. It has been so nice sitting on that wonderful porch after work with a glass of iced tea writing. I like to imagine that it is my house. I used to like to imagine that it was Jack and my place but it’s funny, now I pretend that it is all just mine.

mopsy and kitten

My parents are okay with me staying there alone.  When Jess and Louise go farm hunting in Missouri, they go for weeks at a time. At first I’d just go and feed Mopsy and come back over to Jack’s and bring her with me. It’s funny because Switze and her get along. You wouldn’t expect to see a dog and a cat playing so well. It’s very entertaining. Some nights, I just stay at Jack’s. But I told him that I’d rather sleep over there even though he wasn’t happy about it, because my parents are trusting me and I didn’t want to ruin things since this might be going on for quite a while.

 

 cocktailcouple on couch

One night I had Jack over for dinner and he stayed the night. But most nights, he goes home to his own place and I stay at Jess and Louise’s. On those mornings I don’t see him at all until we both get home from work.  A few times, I had Jack and Larry and Lindsey over for a barbecue during the week  and one weekend after we’d gone out dancing we’d all come back to the house and stayed up really late. We’d had a bottle of cab and Jack had just gone home when I was just cleaning up and  Larry came back over cuz, he’d forgotten his sunglasses. He ended up staying really late talking. And we really were just talking.  He  is a nice guy. But I’m not stupid.  I’ve said before, I know he likes me. I almost wish that Jack would have looked out and seen his truck and confronted him. But he didn’t.

engament ring

I still guess we are engaged. I still wear my ring. I think that Jack feels that engaged means forever. I do too. But I feel that engaged means setting a date to get married. I wonder if I took off my ring or gave it back and told him to keep it until he was ready to set a date what he would do? It is hard to believe that in a couple of months it will have been a year since we have been engaged.

 

 

#51 The Calm Before The Storm

 

Dear Journal,

I think it must be that I have never had someone I loved die before. Or maybe I just don’t know what to do with the feelings of guilt that I feel. I want to ask Jack if he blames me for not letting him go see his mom when she called. I want to talk about it with him but I don’t want to make him talk about it if he doesn’t want to because after all, it has been months now. But I just can’t seem to move on inside and I still feel like I want to cry all the time.. When I wake up, I sometimes forget at first what has happened, and then I remember. I can’t stop remembering. My mom even said that maybe I need to see someone. I told her no way! That I was okay. That I would write it out. So here I am again. You know, maybe I should start praying more. I feel like this journal thing is kind of like talking to God in a way.

writingggg

I spend the night at Jack’s house a lot. I say I’m at a friend’s and they don’t ask anymore. I think they know that I’m with Jack. I’m not proud of it. The lying that is. Jack says it’s not lying. But who am I trying to fool?  Since his mom has died, everything has changed.  His house is ours  except that we  just aren’t married so I still have my bedroom at home and when summer is over I will have to go home again and sleep in my own room. But for now it is nice. We can do anything we want, anytime we want. It is so much better than sneaking around at his dad’s or at my house after my parent’s have gone to bed.  I have all my stuff, or a lot of  it at his house. Jack said that I am using him to play house and I told him that he is using me to have his way with me. He laughed and thought I was trying to be cute. I wasn’t.

  making out on top of bed

Larry kept coming around a lot when he knew Jack wouldn’t be home. I finally told Jack but he didn’t seem bothered by it. Funny, I may be young but I am not stupid. Larry is very good-looking. Did I mention that? I mean Disney Movie  Prince cute. And he knows it.  Much cuter than Jack if you liked that kind of thing. But I am attracted to the personality more than anything first and hitting on a friend’s girlfriend is not attractive to me.  I just find it strange that Jack has  been so jealous about every other guy that was doing nothing and yet when it is happening right in front of his face, he doesn’t seem to care.

Larry look alike

I introduced Larry to my friend Lindsay and they have been dating for a while now but Larry’s made it clear when they are not around that he wishes we were together. We hung out at the beach together a few weeks ago and in the waves, he was all over me. I am not sure how Jack missed it.

ocean playing

 

#49

Dear Journal,

It has been a while since I last wrote in you. And it is hard to believe that it is almost summer again! I got Jack a little kitten for Easter. When I was doing our laundry at the laundromat around the corner a little girl and her dad had a box out front with four kittens in them. There was one boy left so I got him and named him Schweitzer after the kind of Sail Plane that Jack has.

kittennn

Jack loves him and calls him Schwites. He is a funny little kitty and sometimes it seems as if he is trying to make us laugh. Jack let me invite Jess and Louise over for strawberry shortcake and it was a nice evening so we served it out on the patio. Jack took Jess into his shed to show him his workshop while Louise and I chatted. It was a nice night and as I was doing the dishes Jack said something about using HIM to play house. I was so hurt I just stood their washing dishes crying. I don’t even think he knew he’d hurt my feelings cuz later he grabbed my hand and said “lets take a walk” and everything was okay. We still haven’t set a date and it’s been almost six months since he proposed. I think that he really just wanted to make sure that I was not going anywhere but maybe he doesn’t really want to get married.

I had Finals last week and Jack was so proud of me. Even my dad joked about how he was glad that he wasn’t still paying me for my As! I now have a 3.8 average and I am so proud. I think that my dad thinks that Jack is good for me in that way because I never really got interested in school except for writing and my dental assisting classes helped boost up my GPA. Though that was all it was good for since I obviously have not done much with dental assisting.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the summer. The Center is trying to talk me into going to camp again but Jack does not want me to go at all this year. Everyone at the school goes on unemployment but they pay $100 for the week at camp so I told him I wanted to go and he told me that he’d pay me $100 not to. I think he is joking but he sounded kind of serious. He really likes to mess around and so do I but he seems to need it and in a way I am feeling a little used. I sometimes feel that maybe he would have set the date if I’d not given in to so much so fast. He is always jumping all over me and touching me and I love it because I love him but it bothers me sometimes that he doesn’t like me to say no.

couples kissing on bed

Anyway, Jack said I should work on my modeling and stay home and take care of him. (What do you suppose that means?) He is doing well at work. Did I tell you that Jack got promoted and switched to the day shift at work?  My dad was pretty impressed because I know he had nothing to do with it and Jack got a raise all on his own merits.

Lori is coming home for the summer and a few of my other friends have been asking me to do things again so I am glad that I will have my days free for them. They have been kind of annoyed that Jack consumed so much of my time the last couple years. But I was going to school and working and barely saw Jack as it was so it really was my choice and not his fault like they seem to make it out to be. But I think that this may be my last year to just be a kid and I am going to take it and enjoy it.

 

#47 Dear Journal Suicide

ironing board waiting

Dear Journal,

I know it’s been a few weeks since I posted after I told you that Jack and I got engaged and I am sorry but it’s been hard to sit down to even think or gather my thoughts like I like to when I write to you. But let me explain…

I guess there is just NO way to say it but     bluntly.

I am not sure how such joy can turn into such sadness in just the blink of an eye. Like I said, it’s been a few weeks since the funeral and I am not sure how to even begin. I know I need to, because writing in you has become my soft place to fall, a place to perhaps even help me remember someday. But this is something that I don’t need to write down because I know I will never forget these last few days.

I don’t know how to even write it except to just say it. Liz is dead.

We were going to tell her about our being engaged that night of the day that they found her. I guess Rachel had been keeping in touch with her. The pattern usually was Jack would run to her from wherever he was. Even another state going to school. But I was the one who’d stopped him from doing that. I thought I was protecting him. I thought that I was helping them break a bad habit and to stop the madness. I didn’t expect her to kll herself.

I was ironing what I was going to wear that night. I was so happy. I was suprised that a lot of my friends were not thrilled about my news about being engaged, including my mom who kept saying that we should have a LONG engagement. I just knew that Liz would be happy for us. But I wanted to be firm with her and set up boundaries. I kept thinking about if we had babies how I would feel uncomfortable leaving them with her and how I didn’t want to feel that way about my own mother in law and now I didn’t have to worry. She was gone. I would never have to worry about that again.

I kept looking at the clock. Jack was over an hour late. Finally his dad called me and said “Keri honey, I am sorry to have to tell you this over the phone, but Jack’s mom died, he will call you as soon as he can.” At first I thought something had happened to Jack but his dad is a man of few words and cut to the chase. I just hung up the phone and crumpled to the floor and stayed that way sobbing and remembering Liz from the beginnng, the fun times, and the long talks and then the not so good times and the times Jack had shared and wondered what I was thinking butting in. I just hated myself for a while and was feeling so guilty.

crying on the phone

In the days that followed Jack was stoic. We’d learned that she’d taken a lot of valium but not a lethal dose so we don’t think that this was another actual suicide attempt. The findings were that the combination of alcohol and valium is what caused her to die. But I couldn’t help but think if I had just stayed out of it and let Jack go when he wanted to, and bring her the stupid cat food she might still be here. No. She would still be here. I wonder if Jack felt the same. He was being so sweet to me but I couldn’t help it. I truly felt that I killed her and Oh Dear Journal, I am just so sad for Jack and for me and for Liz and for everyone. I can’t stop crying.

sad woman2

 

 

 

 

 

#45 New Year’s Eve

Sorry, I have been away for a while. This has been pretty exhausting to have to go back and remember, almost like walking through all the old doors. Thank you for following and commenting… it is motivating me to finish!

Dear Journal,

fireplace beanbag under Christmast tree

My dad was not too happy when he came down  the next morning and found Jack and I asleep in the living room together. Though he knows I’m at Jack’s a lot now, I know he just doesn’t want us to throw it in his face in his own house. So when I heard him get up, I slipped away and caught him walking out the door on his way to work. He saw that I was still wearing my long dress I’d been wearing the day before and I could tell that at first he looked upset and then confused.  But after I told him what had transpired. He sat down in his suit on the front porch step with me and listened. Then he told me to run up and tell my mom before Jack woke up because he didn’t want her to get upset  in front of Jack. Sometimes my dad just blows me away by being sooo great and understanding!

french toast

The rest of the day I was pretty proud of my parents. My dad was right. I was glad I’d told my mom right away. I guess my dad had mentioned before he went downstairs that he’d thought Jack had stayed over and they both weren’t happy about it. But my mom was just as great about it as my dad and made us french toast and was so sweet to Jack. I kind of think maybe I should have told them more about Jack’s childhood because it seemed to really touch them. My dad even called a couple hours later and told Jack that he’d arranged a few days off for him so he didn’t have to go in that night or the rest of the week until January 2nd!

Jack had been prepared for the worst reaction from my parents I think. I told him last night that I’d explain to them but he’d been worried. Later he told me that he couldn’t believe how wonderful they were and I just couldn’t bring myself to tell him that most parents would have understood. It really has begun to hit me that he has never really ever experienced what normal parents are supposed to be like.

It didn’t take long. Liz has been calling poor Jack none stop. And my mom has even talked to her a few times. I finally put my foot down and told him that he needs to let her think about it a while longer and then we need to figure out a place for her to go get treatment. Not just a hospital with a sitter after the fact but some place to help her really get better.

catfood in cupboard

She keeps calling saying that her cat, Bootsie needs cat food and I told Jack that her cupboard was filled when we’d helped her move in a few weeks earlier,  I lined her cupboards myself and told him that there was absolutely no way she was OUT!  I think that in the past, Jack has never had anyone to help keep him strong. His mom has selfishly called him home from two different schools twice in the middle of semesters and totally messed his education up. I told him ENOUGH and that if he let her yank him around again, I wouldn’t be there to watch it. He has stayed strong so far.

#42 A Change Of Plans

 perinos menu

Dear Journal,

So Jack wandered into the spotless kitchen. And looked concerned when he didn’t find a turkey in the oven or the dining room table set for a holiday meal or anything. Rachel was showing me a mother of pearl necklace that her boyfriend had gotten her when Jack came out and eyed an opened bottle of wine and looked at Rachel who shrugged and told us that it was opened when she got there. Jack’s smile vanished and he looked  worried. I felt so sorry for him. The whole way to her house he talked about his mother’s great cooking.

Finally Liz came floating into the room with a long black velvet skirt and cashmere sweater smelling like cigarettes and chanel #5. She kissed us all on the cheek and poured herself another glass of wine before sitting next to Rachel and said “Lets get this party started.” Poor Jack bless his heart, dutifully began distributing all the gifts in front of the recipents. Rachel and Liz loved their gold crosses and Jack had snuck and bought me one too. We all had to stop and put them on and he helped each one of us with the clasp and then sat smiling as we admired each other’s.

Rachel and Liz loved the Bibles. I’d snuck and gotten one for Jack with his name on it too that he seemed to love. Then I fished out the gift I’d been saving. He thought I’d just gotten him the Bible but I’d also put a digital gold watch he’d eyed at Zales on layaway one of the times we’d been looking for rings. I even had it engraved with “forever K” He was so surprised,  I thought he was going to cry for a minute but he said he loved it and put it on and then made everyone admire it.  Then he began piling presents around me after that. I was so embarrassed. He’d bought me an Elna Sewing machine  and  cross country skiis and his mom bought me a beautiful camel colored coat with a fur collar. And said “You can wear it tonight because I am taking you all to Perinos!”

Wben I heard Rachel say… “Mom I thought that the plan was, that you were cooking?” I was so grateful that she took the lead on that one because I just know Liz would have been on the defense if Jack had asked the same question. But she just lit another cigarette and explained, “Oh no! I want to treat you all to a REAL Christmas Dinner.” And looked at me and said “Keri honey, you wanna hand me that little bottle of merlot sweetie?” I just smiled and poured her some more as Jack looked miserable and Rachel asked, “What time are reservations?” Liz lit another cigarette and told her six thirty. Jack looked at his new watch and said “it’s almost six now.” So we all begain getting up and getting our coats on.  Liz saw Jack’s coat and asked him if he was going to wear THAT and pointed to it as if it were a rag. I saw Jack’s face turn red as he took the keys from his mom’s hand and said “I’ll drive.” As we all walked out the door.

#41

Christmas apartment

Dear Journal

Christmas Eve was wonderful. My parents bought Jack a rawhide suede jacket with a fleece lining and he bought my dad his favorite wine and this book on sail planes and a wine opener that works with helium or something but he loved it. He bought my mom a set of new acrylic paints and Winsor  brushes that she loved. I was kind of hoping that he’d get me a ring because we’d been looking but I really think that we were looking just for fun.Though it was weird because we even went in one store and had my finger sized.

After we opened all our gifts my parents went up to bed and Lonnie was playing with his race car set that Jack bought him. They’d set it up in his room and I think Jack enjoyed it as much as my little brother. But he finally came back downstairs. I made us hot chocolate with marshmallows (his favorite) and we sat in front of the fire kissing.  I don’t think that I will ever grow tired of kissing Jack.  And I think that this was one of his happiest Christmases ever! He didn’t stop smiling all night even when he kissed me goodnight, he stepped off the porch whistling.

He came early to pick me up on Christmas morning and we took his dad his presents. His dad gave me a book of poetry written by Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Did I tell you that she is supposed to be my ancestor? Well, anyway,  I thought it was very thoughtful!

And then we went to Liz’s. I helped Jack carry in our gifts to his mom and sister and I had mine to him hidden in my purse. He had obviously been there earlier in the week because my presents were all wrapped and under the tree. He seemed so excited for me to see all the gifts because he knew my dad did that for me but if the truth was really known, I would have been happier if he had just one little present in his pocket maybe…. But I am glad he didn’t choose last night to give it to me. For reasons you will soon understand.

When we arrived, his sister Rachel answered the door. It was about 3PM. The plan was that we were going to open our presents and then have dinner that Liz was supposed to be making. Rachel hugged me and we both laughed because we’d worn very similar long velveteen Christmas dresses with black ballet slippers. “Great minds think a like.” She laughed. Then  took Jack’s new  jacket  and admired it. Jack was all proud and told her that my  parents had given it to him. After all the greetings, Jack asked “where’s mom and why am I not smelling the turkey?” Rachel looked stressed and gave him a long worried sideways glance and told us that plans had been changed.