After a few minutes into some documentary about a famous Hollywood starlet, I lost it. Scooting over to the centre with the comforter still secured around me, I poked Jensen’s shoulder to get his attention.
“What, Roxanne?” He didn’t sound angry, or annoyed. Just…tired, like he didn’t want to argue anymore.
“Jensen, I just want to ask you something.”
He turned his head to look at me, his eyes baring into mine. With a nervous gulp, I decided to go through with it and quickly asked, “Why did you move away?”
Jensen blinked like that’s not what he’d been expecting to hear. “Why did I move away?” He repeated.
“Is this something Lea or Drew or Nancy want to know? Because if it is–”
“I want to know.” There was not even a hint of a lie. I sounded so sincere, so very honest…because I really did feel that way. “You just left. Just like that. And you never even told us you’d be going till a few days before you moved.”
He licked his lips nervously then looked away, his eyes fixing on the television screen. “I had my reasons.”
“Well now I want to hear them.”
Jensen remained still for a while. His lips were pursed and he refused to look at me. For a second, I thought that maybe he wasn’t going to say anything. Maybe he was just back to giving me the cold shoulder but then his outstretched legs caved in so he could turn to face me. There was an intensity in his eyes that I hadn’t seen there before, and I suddenly felt a wave of nervousness come over me.
“I didn’t want to leave. But things were just falling apart in my family…I mean I’d expected the move but I just didn’t think it would be so soon.”
“What happened?” I asked, moving a little closer towards him.
“My mom was battling cancer for a number of years. And at one point while we’d been here, the doctors had cured it. I thought she’d be okay but…” His voice shook, and with or without meaning to, I reached over and took hold of his hand, squeezing it.
“It came back,” he whispered. “And they said that she wouldn’t be able to make it, that she had little time left.” Taking in a deep and shuddering breath, he said, trying to sound calmer, “That’s why we moved. Because she wanted to spend the few days she had left back in her hometown, with her parents, sisters and other relatives. With the people who mattered the most.”