Unraveling Broken Threads: Chapter 10

Chapter 10

A long chapter guys, after quite some time now. Hope it is worth the while. In case you aren’t sure where to begin, here is the first chapter. If you would like to refresh your minds in what happened last, the previous chapter is here. So here it goes…..

*

That was the first time Jennifer visited Nick’s house and she was sure it was love at first sight. It was located on the boundaries amongst some high standing trees. The house was large, the white exterior made it look larger. The ground floor had a glass wall facing the driveway, which held two SUV’s there. Beyond the driveway was a majestic garden, which had a dining table set in the centre. She felt that she was living a life of simplicity when compared to his, as a result of which she shuffled her legs consciously and slowed down.

‘Come on in, Jen!’ he called out, marching ahead, followed by Alex whose jaw had dropped down.

‘Why can’t we just sit here in the lawn and work? It’s nice outside,’ she suggested, the volume decreasing every word. She was thrilled and wanted to see more, making her statement unheard. As she entered the house, she saw a fiftyish bald man, with a solid paunch sitting on the sofa, alongside a pretty blonde woman with heavy makeup. They appeared to be arguing. On the table in front of them lay a tab.

‘Adam, you don’t get it, the system needs to be updated. Besides, this is so 2010. I need something-’ the woman saw Nick, Alex, Jennifer, and said, ‘Hi kids! Nick, these are your friends?’

‘Hey Mrs, um, uh’ Jennifer cut off. She realized she had never got Nick’s last name. He, however, realized it and muttered, ‘Jones.’

‘Hey Mrs. Jones,’ Alex said confidently, ‘Mr. Jones. I am Alexandra, Alex and this is Jennifer,’ she flicked her hand towards Jenny. ‘We are Nick’s friends. You do have a lovely house.’

‘Thanks Alex. So, you and Nick are friends for a long time? You see, we don’t really get to see Nick’s friends as we travel a lot. We have shifted here for a one-year trial to see if the job suits us. I really miss my little boy sometimes.’ She gazes fondly and Nick who had turned crimson red.

Just somewhere in between a cough and a snort, he said, ‘Mom!’

‘No Mrs. Jones. We just met about a week ago. Actually, Jennifer here is standing the election and we had to plan something, but unfortunately, her sister is throwing a party, and my dad doesn’t like my friends over, so Nick invited us. I hope that’s okay with you?’ Alex replied.

‘No, of course not. Don’t worry Nick, you can go to your bedroom, we’ll have snacks sent over,’ Mr. Jones suggested, his voice very gruff.

‘Thank dad. Listen I’ll have two-three more people coming over, so just send them up, okay?’ he said, already moving toward the stairs.

Jennifer felt stupid. She hadn’t even bothered to find out Nick’s full name. And she was his friend. She felt idiotic. Yet she moved upstairs, sometimes pausing to marvel the house. Finally she reached his room, impeccably clean, everything right where it should be. She was shocked.

‘Listen,’ he switched on his computer, ‘I saw some designs for the posters on the net and they are pretty awesome. I bet Lindsey can make some changes and make them even better. Oh, here they are,’ he said as the butler, as his own private assistant showed three people in his room. She recognised them. There were two boys and a girl. All were tall, slender, and whitish. The girl and one of the boys had strikingly similar features. A straight set nose, and a haughty, arrogant jaw, whose looks were compromised by surprisingly soft brown eyes. They were Lindsey and Lucas. The third boy with them was Al, Lucas’ buddy, she was certain.

‘Hey guys. Thanks for coming.’ All three of them stood up as they wished the newcomers. There were slight murmurs after which an awkward silence spread over the room. Nick stood up and said, ‘Lucas, Lindsey and Al. This is Jennifer, Alex, and they are Lucas, Lindsey and Al. I’ve known them for quite some time now.’

‘Thanks guys, it really means a lot to me,’ Jennifer smiled at them. Lindsey’s face held the same bored look that her brother’s face had. ‘I am contesting the elections this year, all thanks to him,’ she teased, beckoning with her head to Nick. ‘Since I moved to the school only three years ago, I don’t know many people. So, it’d be, um, great if you could, um, help us with that,’ she said with a pause, ‘if you don’t mind.’

Alex responded to their curious eyes, ‘She was at the Open Minds until then,’ referring to the other school in their vicinity.

‘So what do you want us to do?’ Lucas asked broodingly.

‘It’d be great if you could campaign with us,’ Alex volunteered.

‘Why should we?’ Al asked, ‘It’s not like you started talking to us because you suddenly became our friends, right? It’s because you needed our assistance.’

‘It’s not like that-’

‘What do you know of us? There were so many times Lindsey tried talking to you. Like you, she had trouble adjusting. But what did you do? You just ignored her for all you could,’ Lucas accused.

Jennifer turned to Lindsey, who was staring at the floor, a cautious expression on her face. ‘I’m so sorry Lindsey! I’m a stupid person. I don’t know what I do-‘

Lucas interrupted her and said, ‘Sorry Nick, but I can’t help you or your friends. I’m going to just go.’ He turned to Al and Lindsey who stood side by side. ‘You guys coming?’

Lindsey didn’t look up but Al nodded, and they both left and turned. Lindsey held back at moment and then, crossed the thresh hold and left. Jennifer stared at the empty door. Nick slumped down on the chair and closed his eyes. Alex looked out of the window, for once speechless.

Jennifer looked at them and felt that she had led them down. She rushed out the door after the three of them. She met them at the stairs. She tapped Lucas. Momentarily surprised, he recovered his expression, as Al and Lindsey turned. Alex and Nick stood on the door.

‘I know I’m an extremely rude and a mean person. But these guys behind me,’ she pointed at her friends, ‘are great! They’ve worked so hard for me. I may be cruel and cold hearted but I love my friends. Please Lucas, ask me to do anything, but don’t leave. I won’t forgive myself if I let them down. Please, give me a chance to earn your trust.’

She looked at him expectantly. They were surprised at her challenge. Yet, Lucas said, ‘Tell me something about yourself that you want to keep hidden for the rest of your life.’

She took a deep breath. There was something that she didn’t want anyone to know, something she had found out just the same morning. She didn’t want to tell them. But she knew the very things that a person regrets are not what they had done, but what they hadn’t. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life imagining what her life would have been if she had just told them. This moment.

She answered, ‘I loved my dad a lot. I miss him a lot. I miss those Sundays when we would visit the forest and spend the day there, have picnics and enjoy. I miss how we always stood there for me, whenever I needed a friend. He always said that it was him and me against the world. My mom told me that she kicked him out because he had a girlfriend. She lied. I hate her for that every moment. I saw some documents today morning. They were of my mom’s and dad’s divorce.’ She waited a moment before saying, ‘they were of my and Jules custody. It said that my mom and her boyfriend were perfectly capable of taking care of me without the need for my dad to see me. And the court ordered dad to stay away from me as far away as possible.’

A stunned silence followed. ‘My mom had been lying to me this whole time. It wasn’t my dad who left her for another girl, but my mom who left him,’ she sighed, ‘Does that convince you to not go? Because I’ve got nothing apart from this,’ she said.

‘Yes. That does,’ he nodded, then with a slightly pleased look, he questioned, ‘So, what’s the plan?’

That was the first time Jennifer visited Nick’s house and she was sure it was love at first sight. It was located on the boundaries amongst some high standing trees. The house was large, the white exterior made it look larger. The ground floor had a glass wall facing the driveway, which held two SUV’s there. Beyond the driveway was a majestic garden, which had a dining table set in the centre. She felt that she was living a life of simplicity when compared to his, as a result of which she shuffled her legs consciously and slowed down.

‘Come on in, Jen!’ he called out, marching ahead, followed by Alex whose jaw had dropped down.

‘Why can’t we just sit here in the lawn and work? It’s nice outside,’ she suggested, the volume decreasing every word. She was thrilled and wanted to see more, making her statement unheard. As she entered the house, she saw a fiftyish bald man, with a solid paunch sitting on the sofa, alongside a pretty blonde woman with heavy makeup. They appeared to be arguing. On the table in front of them lay a tab.

‘Adam, you don’t get it, the system needs to be updated. Besides, this is so 2010. I need something-’ the woman saw Nick, Alex, Jennifer, and said, ‘Hi kids! Nick, these are your friends?’

‘Hey Mrs, um, uh’ Jennifer cut off. She realized she had never got Nick’s last name. He, however, realized it and muttered, ‘Jones.’

‘Hey Mrs. Jones,’ Alex said confidently, ‘Mr. Jones. I am Alexandra, Alex and this is Jennifer,’ she flicked her hand towards Jenny. ‘We are Nick’s friends. You do have a lovely house.’

‘Thanks Alex. So, you and Nick are friends for a long time? You see, we don’t really get to see Nick’s friends as we travel a lot. We have shifted here for a one-year trial to see if the job suits us. I really miss my little boy sometimes.’ She gazes fondly and Nick who had turned crimson red.

Just somewhere in between a cough and a snort, he said, ‘Mom!’

‘No Mrs. Jones. We just met about a week ago. Actually, Jennifer here is standing the election and we had to plan something, but unfortunately, her sister is throwing a party, and my dad doesn’t like my friends over, so Nick invited us. I hope that’s okay with you?’ Alex replied.

‘No, of course not. Don’t worry Nick, you can go to your bedroom, we’ll have snacks sent over,’ Mr. Jones suggested, his voice very gruff.

‘Thank dad. Listen I’ll have two-three more people coming over, so just send them up, okay?’ he said, already moving toward the stairs.

Jennifer felt stupid. She hadn’t even bothered to find out Nick’s full name. And she was his friend. She felt idiotic. Yet she moved upstairs, sometimes pausing to marvel the house. Finally she reached his room, impeccably clean, everything right where it should be. She was shocked.

‘Listen,’ he switched on his computer, ‘I saw some designs for the posters on the net and they are pretty awesome. I bet Lindsey can make some changes and make them even better. Oh, here they are,’ he said as the butler, as his own private assistant showed three people in his room. She recognised them. There were two boys and a girl. All were tall, slender, and whitish. The girl and one of the boys had strikingly similar features. A straight set nose, and a haughty, arrogant jaw, whose looks were compromised by surprisingly soft brown eyes. They were Lindsey and Lucas. The third boy with them was Al, Lucas’ buddy, she was certain.

‘Hey guys. Thanks for coming.’ All three of them stood up as they wished the newcomers. There were slight murmurs after which an awkward silence spread over the room. Nick stood up and said, ‘Lucas, Lindsey and Al. This is Jennifer, Alex, and they are Lucas, Lindsey and Al. I’ve known them for quite some time now.’

‘Thanks guys, it really means a lot to me,’ Jennifer smiled at them. Lindsey’s face held the same bored look that her brother’s face had. ‘I am contesting the elections this year, all thanks to him,’ she teased, beckoning with her head to Nick. ‘Since I moved to the school only three years ago, I don’t know many people. So, it’d be, um, great if you could, um, help us with that,’ she said with a pause, ‘if you don’t mind.’

Alex responded to their curious eyes, ‘She was at the Open Minds until then,’ referring to the other school in their vicinity.

‘So what do you want us to do?’ Lucas asked broodingly.

‘It’d be great if you could campaign with us,’ Alex volunteered.

‘Why should we?’ Al asked, ‘It’s not like you started talking to us because you suddenly became our friends, right? It’s because you needed our assistance.’

‘It’s not like that-’

‘What do you know of us? There were so many times Lindsey tried talking to you. Like you, she had trouble adjusting. But what did you do? You just ignored her for all you could,’ Lucas accused.

Jennifer turned to Lindsey, who was staring at the floor, a cautious expression on her face. ‘I’m so sorry Lindsey! I’m a stupid person. I don’t know what I do-‘

Lucas interrupted her and said, ‘Sorry Nick, but I can’t help you or your friends. I’m going to just go.’ He turned to Al and Lindsey who stood side by side. ‘You guys coming?’

Lindsey didn’t look up but Al nodded, and they both left and turned. Lindsey held back at moment and then, crossed the thresh hold and left. Jennifer stared at the empty door. Nick slumped down on the chair and closed his eyes. Alex looked out of the window, for once speechless.

Jennifer looked at them and felt that she had led them down. She rushed out the door after the three of them. She met them at the stairs. She tapped Lucas. Momentarily surprised, he recovered his expression, as Al and Lindsey turned. Alex and Nick stood on the door.

‘I know I’m an extremely rude and a mean person. But these guys behind me,’ she pointed at her friends, ‘are great! They’ve worked so hard for me. I may be cruel and cold hearted but I love my friends. Please Lucas, ask me to do anything, but don’t leave. I won’t forgive myself if I let them down. Please, give me a chance to earn your trust.’

She looked at him expectantly. They were surprised at her challenge. Yet, Lucas said, ‘Tell me something about yourself that you want to keep hidden for the rest of your life.’

She took a deep breath. There was something that she didn’t want anyone to know, something she had found out just the same morning. She didn’t want to tell them. But she knew the very things that a person regrets are not what they had done, but what they hadn’t. She didn’t want to spend the rest of her life imagining what her life would have been if she had just told them. This moment.

She answered, ‘I loved my dad a lot. I miss him a lot. I miss those Sundays when we would visit the forest and spend the day there, have picnics and enjoy. I miss how we always stood there for me, whenever I needed a friend. He always said that it was him and me against the world. My mom told me that she kicked him out because he had a girlfriend. She lied. I hate her for that every moment. I saw some documents today morning. They were of my mom’s and dad’s divorce.’ She waited a moment before saying, ‘they were of my and Jules custody. It said that my mom and her boyfriend were perfectly capable of taking care of me without the need for my dad to see me. And the court ordered dad to stay away from me as far away as possible.’

A stunned silence followed. ‘My mom had been lying to me this whole time. It wasn’t my dad who left her for another girl, but my mom who left him,’ she sighed, ‘Does that convince you to not go? Because I’ve got nothing apart from this,’ she said.

‘Yes. That does,’ he nodded, then with a slightly pleased look, he questioned, ‘So, what’s the plan?’

*

How’d you like it? Is it what you had expected? Like, comment and share to let me know! I hope you look forward to the next chapter. 

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