Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Chapter Seventy-Eight: A Change is Going to Come
“Are you sure about this?” Jon asked her as he picked his wallet and phone and slid them into his back jeans pocket.
She nodded. “I am. I’ll be fine.”
He leaned over and kissed her on the cheek. “I can stay and go with you for a little while?” She gently pushed against his chest as his lips tickled hers for a longer kiss.
She smiled against his mouth. “I’m ok - I need to do it. I’m ready.” She straightened herself and pressed down her skirt. It had been a couple of days since her Dad had gone home and Jon had been working every day at the studio with Richie. She’d been ok being alone in the apartment. She’d cleaned it from top to bottom, done her nails and given herself a glycolic peel. Jonathan had popped up and seen her and she’d sat on the roof with him for a couple of hours.
She missed her salon so much after he’d left that she’d decided she had to try and get back to normal. Somehow. Everyone else was moving on and she wanted to, badly.
“You call me if you need me though, right?” He asked as he stroked her hair. She would but she’d make damn sure it was the last option as Jon had become so focused since he’d been writing seriously. It wasn’t in a terrible way but she finally got to see the art bleed from him as he tinkered with the acoustic guitar at night while she prepared dinner.
“I will. I’m looking forward to seeing every one again. Jonathan said they’ve all been worried.”
“And you need to work - you love that place. I get it.” Jon said.
She half smiled. She did love it. But was it the same after all this? Could she really just go back to her life knowing how lucky she truly was? It didn’t feel right. “I do.” She stroked his cheek. “You should come in for a treatment soon, your skin is drying out again.”
He grabbed his scarf. “That’s because pre-winter winds are sanding it off but an excuse to come and be pampered by you, I can do.”
She snorted. “Because I don’t look after you any other time do I?”
He wiggled his eyebrows and grinned sheepishly. “Wanna remind me.” He hovered closer linking his hands around her waist but she pushed him back.
“I know you’re bluffing. Richie will be waiting!” She exclaimed with a giggle as his lips brushed down over her neck.
He snorted. “Ruchie will be just fine.” He said imitating her accent as she slapped him playfully.
“You are in trouble mister.” She drilled a hard finger into his chest but he nipped at her chin.
She eased in his arms and it took her mind off venturing outside for a moment.
“I like being in trouble with you.” He whispered as he kissed her once more and stood back. “But you are right, I do have to go.”
She folded her arms and swung back on her heels. “I know its ok. You need to go and do what you do best.”
“As do you.” He winked. “Call me but good luck and I’ll see you tonight. We can celebrate.”
“That we lived a day in a normal life.” He beamed as he left the apartment. She blew out her breath and stood for a moment. Life. This was it and it was pretty awesome. She grabbed her keys and stuffed what she needed in her purse, checked herself over in the mirror and headed for the door. Her heart hammered into her chest as she took the first steps into the lobby and clicked the door shut behind her.
It still didn’t make sense why she was so afraid, the threat of Jared was gone and everyone was safe. She could do this. God damn just do it! She stepped into the elevator and closed her eyes as the doors did. She jammed the stop button and heaved for a breath. The quick thought of calling Jon vanished, it had been barely a minute for god’s sake.
She took the elevator back to her floor and sat on the chair that was outside in Jon’s lobby. She missed her salon and she missed Jonathan and the girls. She wiped a lone tear away and cursed how pathetic this was. She wanted to go, she knew it was safe so why couldn’t she leave without anybody?
Just two days ago she strolled the streets of New York with her father to a favourite deli of her and Jon’s down the road. God damn it, she had to do it. Her phone vibrated in her purse and she snatched it cursing when the number wasn’t Jon’s.
“Hey baby girl.” A familiar drawled Jersey accent came down the phone.
“Patti? Oh, Patti!” She exclaimed in relief.
“Are you ok? I was just calling you to see how things are. I didn’t want to impose but of course we’ve been worried about you guys.”
She relaxed and sunk down further in between the leather arms. “Thank you and I’m doing ok thank you so much for the flowers you and Bruce sent a long. They were beautiful.” She’d made a mental note to call herself but she’d been distracted.
“You’re welcome. I can’t imagine what it’s been like for you with your father coming back and that awful man. Are you sure you’re doing ok?”
She rubbed her temples. “I don’t honestly know. Jon’s gone to the studio and I was going to go out today but...” She sighed. “I’m still in the lobby.”
“Uh huh. Oh, darlin. Why don’t you come out to Jersey for the day? Catch the train out to Redbank and I’ll meet you.”
She bit her lip. “I don’t know.” She looked around her. “I’m supposed to be going into work and I haven’t been there for weeks.”
“One more day won’t hurt. Come on. I bet it’s just what you need. I’ll meet you at the train station here. That way you’ll have to leave the apartment.”
It made sense and she wanted to go. “Ok. I’ll do it. Redbank, you say?”
Patti rattled off the train and how to get it and Devon hung up. It would be good to see Patti and it felt good to think she could do it. Get out of here for a day. And that a change of scenery never hurt anyone.
After an apologetic call to Jonathan and a text to Jon to tell him what she was doing she made her way downstairs. She walked the cobblestones down to Spring Street to connect to Grand central and then she’d transit to Jersey.
It was easier in the end that she expected, the crowded streets provided her comfort instead of fear as she pushed her way through and onto the train safely. The train to Redbank wasn’t full so she snuggled into a seat down the back and breathed a sigh of relief they pushed off on their way.
Her phone rang about ten minutes into the journey and it was Jon.
“Hey yourself, where are you?”
“On the train to Redbank.”
“You are huh? Well look at you. There’s something I didn’t expect to see in your text. I could have got you a car you know.”
She shrugged. “It’s ok it felt right and seeing Patti will be good.”
“Girl gossip good?” He teased.
“Ha! Maybe. But I’m ok Jon honestly - you can get on with your day.” She didn’t tell him she stalled when she first left the apartment but she would later.
“Ok but if you get stuck Dorothea’s up that way so you can call her.”
“I’m not calling your ex-wife Jon. I’m fine, honestly.”
“Ok, ok. Well have a good day and text me later and let me know what time you’ll be home.”
“I will. I promise. I’ll be fine.”
He grudgingly accepted it and let her go. She watched the Jersey towns fly past as they went through each stop. She was good. She had done it and she was out here in the world again. She’d lie if she said she was completely at ease but as the train rolled into Redbank she relaxed.
“Devon!” She shaded her eyes as she stepped outside and saw Patti wrapped in a red woolen coat waiting for her. Her flame red hair spiled loosely on her shoulders and her green eyes sparkled under the sunshine.
The warmth against her face was awesome, being in the city the skyscrapers made it hard for the heat to hit the ground. The wind whipped around her but the sun was glorious on her skin. “Patti.” They embraced and then strolled into the main street down to the diner.
“I’m so glad I came.” Devon said as she slid into the booth. “I do love this town.”
Patti chuckled. “So does your boyfriend.” She squeezed Devon’s hand. “So, how are you?”
Devon sighed and the waitress poured them some coffee. “I’m doing ok. I just feel like nothing is the same even though it’s pretty much back to the way it was before it all happened. And it’s bugging me why I think that.”
“Well, it’s not the way it was. You have your father now, you know you survived something potentially horrific. I don’t see how anything would be the same.”
She shrugged. “Well when you put it like that, I guess you’re right. Dad called it survivor’s guilt as well. And I kind of ran with that.”
“Why you got away and Jared didn’t?”
Her lashes lowered. “Well he is dead.”
“Honey. I know and I’m sorry it had to come to that. But you’re not so what are you going to do about it?”
She tipped her head back up and met Patti’s gaze. “What do you mean?”
She rested her cup down and grinned. “Nothing’s the same, but you’re alive and you’re lucky. So, what are you going to do about it?”
“I-I never really thought of it that way. I really hate that I still have all the money I mean it’s running a business and I love my business...” she trailed off.
“So do something with the money, don’t give it away. Do something with it make what you did count.”
“Wow-I-don’t know-” She paused and glanced outside. “I could teach.”
“Teach?” Patti asked.
“Jon’s always talking about jobs in the community and especially in Jersey. What if I opened a Beauty School? But made the training affordable? We could train them - help them get jobs...they could start out and work in a salon here...”
“There you go.” Patti said quietly.
“Oh my god. That’s what I want to do. How did you know?” Devon asked excitedly. It was a far cry from the gamlour of New York City but she was ready for the change.
“Oh I’ve had my fair share of guilts and life changing moments. When I met my husband is one of them as you know. That’s why I got into the work we do with the horses.”
Devon ripped off a napkin and took out a sharpie from her purse. She scribbled ideas down. Her crew in New York could help her, she’d run that business to make the money that would subsidise the school. And the salon within the school would meet overheads. It was perfect. She’d need some support from the community and probably a few sponsors but Jon would be able to help her with that for ideas.
“I think we need to go shopping. For real estate.” Patti beamed. “Oh and I can tell you about the concert Bruce is doing in a couple of weeks up here. You and Jon will have to bring yourselves down.”
“Of course.” She excitedly said. She wanted to text Jon but she didn’t. She decided this one would be a surprise for him. “Let’s do this!”
Posted by Super_Kiwi