Jenna’s Christmas/Setting #writephoto

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Photo by Sue Vincent

 

She was sitting on the sofa, hugging the cushion, watching Hallmark Christmas romance movies, feeling sorry for herself when her friend and former co-worker, Kim stopped by.  She took one look at the place and her face and said, “Oh, Honey” before hugging her tightly.  “I don’t have to ask how you’re doing.  I wanted to come by and see you before but I wanted to give you your space.  I was shocked when I found out that you resigned.  What happened?  Why did you leave a job you loved so much?”

She reached for a tissue as she felt the tears coming.  “Bo broke up with me.”

“When?”

“Last week Tuesday.”

Kim studied her.  “Jenna, I think I know why he broke up with you.”

“He told me why he was breaking up with me.  He said and I quote, ‘I like you but I’m not in love with you.  If we stay together, you will be happy at first but then miserable later on.  You deserve to be with a guy who will love you as much as you love me.’”

“Jenna, Bo found out on Monday that he has Lou Gehrig’s Disease.”

Jenna stared at her, stunned.  “What?”

“Yes.  He had been experiencing the early signs of the disease for a while and finally decided to go to the doctor to confirm what he suspected.  When you were together, didn’t you notice anything?”

“He seemed a bit clumsy at times and other times, his speech seemed a bit slurred.  I asked him about it but he always brushed it off, saying that it wasn’t anything to worry about.”

“Bo broke up with you because of the disease and no other reason.”

“I want to believe that but I can’t forget the look on his face when he told me that he didn’t love me.”

“He had to be convincing.  You have no idea how much it must have pained him to lie to you like that.   One evening when I went into the office the day before he left the company, I saw him staring at a photo of you which he kept in his wallet.  Jenna, Bo loves you.  What he did was not to hurt you but to spare you the heartache of seeing him deteriorate as the disease becomes more progressive.  He felt that you shouldn’t be burdened with it and him.  It isn’t what he wanted for you.  That’s how much he loves you.  He was thinking of you, not himself when he ended your relationship.”

The tears were streaming down her face now.  “You said he left the company.”

“Yes.  He didn’t think he could function any longer so he passed the reins over to George, packed up and left.”

“I should go and see him.”

“He’s not in the city.”

“Do you know where he is?”

“I think he went to the cabin to celebrate Christmas with his sister and her family.”

Jenna wiped away the tears.  “I’ll get dressed now and head up there.  Thanks, Kim, for stopping by.”

Kim hugged.  “I’m happy I did.  Now, go and straighten things with Bo.  Have a Merry Christmas, Jenna.”

Jenna smiled for the first time.  “I will,” she said.  “And I hope you do too.”

After Kim, left,she called Rebecca, Bo’s sister and apologized to her for not returning her call.  They spoke for a while and then, she cleaned up the apartment, showered, got dressed, packed an overnight bag and left.

Bo stood watching the sun setting.  He inhaled deeply, savoring the crisp, fresh air.  The mountains stood majestically before him.  Walking up here had been a bit difficult but he was determined to do it.  He didn’t know how much time he had before he could no longer be mobile.  This disease had blindsided him although he recognized the symptoms.  He had hoped that he was wrong because he had such plans.  He had wanted to ask Jenna to marry him but after the diagnosis, he decided that she would be better off with someone else.

Jenna.  He missed her terribly.  That day when he broke up with her, it was the worst and most painful one in his entire life.  It took every ounce of strength not to go after her when she ran away.  Several times, he wanted to call her but common sense prevailed.  When he saw her letter of resignation, he was relieved but regretful at the same time.  It was for the best, he told himself but his heart said differently.

“Bo.”

He turned around and his heart began to pound when he saw her standing there.  He hadn’t heard her.  He had been so absorbed in his thoughts.  “Hello, Jenna,” he said as she drew closer.  “What are you doing here?”

“I know why you broke up with me.”

He swallowed hard.  “What do you mean?” he asked.  “I told you the reason–”

“I know what you told me but now I know what the real reason is.”

“The real reason?  Jenna, I don’t…”

“I know about the disease.”

He raked his fingers through his hair.  “Who told you?”

“It doesn’t matter who told me. The important thing is that I know.”

“Nothing has changed, Jenna.  We still can’t be together.”

She moved closer.  “Bo, I love you and I know you love me too.  We can face this together.  Please don’t shut me out.”

“Jenna, you deserve better.”

“I think I deserve to be happy, don’t you and that will only be possible with you.  Now, please stop trying to push me out of your life.  I’m here to stay, Bo, whether you like it or not.”

Bo stared at her, his heart bursting.  “Are you sure that this is what you want?” he asked tautly.

“Yes!  I love you and I want to be with you, for better and for worse.”

“Oh, Jenna.”  He pulled her against him and buried his face in her hair.  “I love you so much.”

She smiled and put her arms round him.  “I know,” she murmured.  “You and I are going to spend this Christmas and the rest of our lives together.”

 

This was written for the #writephoto Prompt – Setting at Sue Vincent’s Daily Echo.

10 comments

    • Yes, it’s a terrible disease. I watched the movie, The Pride of the Yankees and was touched by the love story of Lou Gehrig and his wife. Thanks, Trent. After writing “Not a Jolly Christmas” I thought I would do a follow up. I wanted Jenna to have her guy and a good Christmas too.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I missed the original story, so I just went back and read it.

        I have a cousin whose husband died of ALS. I only met him once (my cousin is closer to my parent’s generation than mine), but I did get to see it up close. Of course my cousin stuck with him until the end. Anyway, glad you decided to make the story a “happy” ending.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I’m happy you went back and read the original story. I’m sorry to hear about your cousin’s husband. You’re right, based on what I’ve seen, it looks like a terrible disease. And it’s so wonderful and heartwarming that your cousin and Lou Gehrig’s wife stuck with their husbands until the end. Yes, I had to give the story a “happy” ending. Jenna is going to stick with Bo until the end. Hope you had a Merry Christmas, Trent 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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