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Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com • Jane : Write It Your Way • Writing Forum | WritersDigest.com
Page 1 of 1

Jane

PostPosted: Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:48 pm
by TheIntern
Jane

The last thing you expect to find in a swimming pool is Neil Young. But
there he was. Staring up at me bleary eyed from the bottom of the little inflatable
pool I'd picked out with Jane just last month. It had been so hot and we had been
looking for any way to cool down we could find. I fished him out, cringing as the
cardboard flaked apart in my hand, his sprawling signature tearing in half, the
vinyl falling out and slicing the water. There goes my only real “collector's item” I
thought with surprising equanimity, wondering what else Jane had in store for
me. She was prone to tantrums and I had been gone nearly a week now. I could
only imagine what she thought of my sudden trip, my abandoning her out of the
blue. I continued up the walkway,wondering if Jane would be inside waiting for
me, or if she had gone to her cousin's again. There had been tears at the airport.

I slipped as my foot landed on a bottle of sunscreen, squeezed dry, its
contents dried and painting the once yellow and pink chrysanthemum flowers a
less flattering chalky white. I balled up Neil and tossed him beside the bottle,
clearly I was going to have some cleaning up to do later, and right then all I
wanted was to climb into my bed and sleep. Jet lagged they call it. Tired and
cranky, I found myself hoping that I wouldn't find Jane inside. I also hoped her
path of destruction ended at the front door where my umbrella rested between
the slats on the iron handrail. Had she put it through, opened it, and then pulled it
back out? The skeleton bent, poking through the torn fabric indicated that she
had, and then dropped it to move on to something else. What went through
Jane's head, I never knew. Oh well, it was just “stuff” - an album, flowers, my
umbrella, all just things. My attachment to things seemed to have lessened since
Jane. Jane had put things into perspective. I didn't seem to care so much about
material things anymore I mused as I put my key in and turned the knob. But still,
I steeled myself as I stepped into the foyer.

Nothing on fire; that was good. I poked my head into the living room. No
Jane. But, was that stuffing bleeding out of the gash in the leather couch? That
would be fun to repair. And there was Neil's former home on the entertainment
center beside the sound system, seemingly still intact, his neighbors pulled out
and scattered across the carpet. How had she honed in on my most precious
one? It was a gift really. I dropped my suitcase and kicked off my shoes.

Literally,the shoes flew from my feet, I didn't think Jane would mind my addition
to her handiwork. I got one to hit the armrest on the couch. Ten points. The other
landed on “Let it Bleed,” sorry Mick. Twenty points. I walked softly down the hall
to the kitchen.

Pages ran along the hardwood like stepping stones. Not my manuscript! I
said it aloud to no one in particular. It couldn't be. I had had enough foresight to
lock that one in the desk drawer, in my locked home office. Jane didn't know
where the key for that was. Did she? Upon closer inspection, they were pages
ripped from the wall calendar that had hung beside the phone. I made it from
Groundhog Day to Thanksgiving without spotting any other damage. I landed on
Christmas at the threshold to the kitchen. New Year's was resting in a puddle of
pink dish soap pooled up on the floor in front of the sink; the bottle on the
counter, the soap level below the point of dripping out. So, making me slip and
break my neck, that was Jane's M.O. I turned back to go up the stairs.

On the fourth step, my foot landed on a star. A charm from a bracelet Jane
had given me as a “just because” gift. I winced as I dug it out from my sole. I
scooped up the chain, the heart and remaining charms from the step above and
put them in my pocket. Had she been upset that I wasn't wearing it anymore?
Maybe I could fix it and start wearing it again. I found myself trying harder with
Jane. But maybe that's what I needed. Two years ago - had it been that long
already - I would be fuming by now. But today, despite the long flight and cab ride
home, the hot July sun that had me staining the underarms of my shirt with
sweat, and the general exhaustion that seemed to come with living with Jane, I
wanted nothing more than to see her right at that moment, to hold her in my arms
and kiss her on her beautiful forehead. I hoped she was home.

Upstairs, the hallway was empty; the bathroom unoccupied. The door to
my office was shut, presumably still locked, but the door to my bedroom was
open just a crack. I could hear the soft whir of the air conditioner inside. I
cautiously entered.

“Shhhh,” Rebecca looked at me from under a Dora the Explorer fleece
blanket, Jane cradled in her arms. “She just fell asleep.”

My wife brushed the fine blonde hair back from Jane's eyes, as my
daughter sucked her thumb, murmuring in her sleep. Rebecca could barely keep
her eyes open herself.

“Tough week?” I asked, carefully climbing in beside Jane.
Rebecca nodded, let out a tired sigh.

“Why are you smiling like that?” she asked unable to keep a smile from
breaking across her own face.

“I'm just glad to be home.”

Re: Jane

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:39 am
by publicdefender
Positively lovely. Great descriptions and the heart-warming twist at the end. Keep up the good work!

Re: Jane

PostPosted: Wed Aug 22, 2012 9:55 am
by Elibet1
Absolutely brilliant! Loved the twist :mrgreen:

Re: Jane

PostPosted: Thu Aug 23, 2012 11:56 pm
by My4Ms
Beautiful descriptions. You had me wondering and anticipating right until the truly lovely twist at the end. What havoc a a wrathful toddler can wreak! Nicely done.

Re: Jane

PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 6:46 am
by Grumpy Mike