Jack realizes he’s falling in love with Donna – Part 10

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She grew quiet and then said, “Thank you Jack. I feel a little better but I’m still hoping for you.” I smiled as I thought, ‘Not very long ago, I was hoping the same thing. I hadn’t even realized it, but I had given up on that hope.’ I knew I was careening off in another direction.

Divi got up and turned toward the slider. I got up and followed her. At the door she turned and pushed herself to me and hugged me and kissed me. I kissed her back without passion. She hugged up to me and spoke into my chest, “If Mom doesn’t want you. I do.”


I chuckled and said, “Divi, I’m honored but that’s not going to happen. You’re leaving for college in a few weeks. Your life starts there. Don’t look back. Always go forward. I kissed her forehead and she pulled back. She had tears in her eyes but she wasn’t crying. She gave a half-hearted smile and she was gone. I stood by the door for a while until I was sure she was back in her own yard and then I shut off the deck light and returned to my seat. The ballgame was still on but I couldn’t concentrate on it. I was thinking about how doors of opportunity open and shut. One door had apparently just shut and I was strangely feeling okay with it. My thoughts turned away from Priya to Donna.

I heard foot scuff sounds on the deck and then the slider slid open. It was Divi again. She stepped inside and closed the door behind her. She didn’t move any further. I stood up and said, “What’s up?”

She said, “I just wanted to tell you that I’m having my friends for an end of the summer sleep over before we all go our own ways. I don’t know when exactly but you have to be here. You just have to. Okay?” I didn’t respond right away and she repeated her statement, “You have to be here. Please?” In the flickering light from the TV I could see her eyes glistening as they brimmed with tears.

I felt bad for her. She was trying desperately to hold her current life together; with her friends and with me. From our earlier conversation, I could tell that she was afraid of the pending transition to college and whatever lay beyond. She was overwhelmed. She’d be on her own, which excited her like it does all teenagers, but she was afraid too. She was afraid of making bad choices. She had giggled when she’d said that and followed that up with, ‘It seems that making bad choices are in my genes.’ I told her that if she was living her life, she’d make good and bad choices. We all did.

Regarding her sleep-over party, I knew what she had in mind and I had to admit that I was aroused by it. I told her that I wouldn’t miss it. She grinned so hard that the tears in her eyes broke free and rolled down her cheeks. She wiped her cheeks with her sleeve and said, “I love you Jack.”

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