Weeks passed after the day that forever changed my life, and yet nothing else had happened. Jenna was still a silent figure in my life and no one else knew of what we had done.
If anything Jenna had become more quiet and distant. Every time she saw me her face would turn to a mask of torture and she would turn the other way. Each and every time she did this my heart would thud painfully and I would pray for another glance at her.
Winter was coming and fall was making its exit so the winds were a bit colder and the trees were a bit barer. I love this time of year, the time when change and new are in between. It is where the past still has a fighting chance to overtake your future… but only for just a while, a week or so to make or break what you expect your future to be.
Jesse and I walk down the leaf covered street towards our houses and I barely listen as he talks about his football game that he won last Friday. He asks me whether I thought if that game had been his best yet or not and I grunt in agreement. We pass Jenna’s house and I instinctively look up at it. Jesse follows my gaze and pats my shoulder.
“She’s hot man, but seriously, she has some problems.” Jesse says, his hand still on my shoulder.
I shrug him off and give him a cold stare, looking at him for the first time. “You don’t know anything about her.”
Jesse puts up his hands in defense and takes a step back. “All right man, easy. I just meant that if you ever want to get with that then good luck.” He puts down his hands and looks at me tentatively. “Listen man, you have a good thing with Sammy, are you seriously willing to endanger it with a girl like Jenna?”
I don’t answer for a few minutes and Jesse starts to walk away, towards his house, returning to his previous mood.
“Yes I would.” I say in a whisper that is stolen by the cold wind.
After saying bye to Jesse I drop off my stuff at home and grab a photo album that I had been working on for almost my whole life. I know she will think of it as being corny, but I want her to see what my life is like, what I have seen, and perhaps what I have felt. Maybe if she knew a bit about me, she would show me a bit about her.
I knock on her door and Pamela answers. Her hair is frizzled and in a messy bun on her head and her eyes are red. She has blotches on her face which show to me that she was crying and that perhaps she is still upset.
“Are you all right Pam?” I ask, out of politeness more than anything, I really want to talk to Jenna.
She nods, but then shakes her head, tears coming out at rapid speed down her high cheekbones. “It’s about Jenna.”
My interest in the crying Pamela is suddenly greater and I earnestly want to hear what she has to say. “All right, do you want to talk about it?”
She nods and ushers me into her home. She goes to the living room and I follow, noting that Jenna’s shoes were not by the door signifying that she was not home yet.
“What happened?” I ask, feeling myself getting nervous, hopefully nothing had happened.
She shook her head and quietly started talking, in between sobs. “When Jenna was a little girl her father and I divorced, she was very young and I had been a stay at home mom, so I didn’t have a job let alone any money. So, in the side-effect of it all, the judge awarded custody to her father. Since that moment Jenna and I seized to be close.” She grabs a Kleenex from the coffee table and continues, while dabbing at her eyes. “Her father adored her and she in turn loved him to the point of which I would start feeling jealous. She never wanted to stay a weekend with me, even though I had finally found a home for us, and she never allowed me to be beside her at her most important moments.”
I nod and take these tidbits of Jenna’s past in. “Go on.”
“Five months ago, she and her father were driving down a high way in the New York State and a drunk driver swerved into their convertible. Robert, her father, was found dead on the scene and poor Jenna was found semi-conscious still whispering for her dad beside him.” She stops and stares straight into my shocked eyes. “That day, Jenna stopped being Jenna. And all she has to show for that horrible, life altering day is the small scar on her cheek. Everything else, you would have never known. But if you would have seen my Jenna before, you would know that this Jenna is a complete stranger.”
“Mom?” Jenna’s voice comes from behind us and I turn faster than I intended to and now face a slightly angered Jenna. “What are you talking about?”
Pamela is quiet and I know that she told him. I heard her call me a stranger and I instantly knew. She stutters and the Mike guy stands up. “Jenna,” he says quietly and takes a step towards me.
I take a step back and shake my head. “There you go, you finally know why I am like this.” I turn to go up the stairs and Mike grabs my arm.
“Please Jenna, let me talk to you, please let me in!”
I pull my arm away from his grasp and feel tears welling up in my eyes. “Why would you want in? I am nothing to explore, I am just a waste of imperfection!” I yell at him and run up the stairs, knowing that he will not follow.