25 August 2011

Have You Ever


... had an epiphany? 

It has been another night in a long list of nights where I just can't seem to fall asleep, my head touches the pillow but I just lie there with my mind racing, going through the motions.  I know enough to know the reason behind this and it's Jack.  I miss him.  He's called once or twice but it hasn't been a long conversation, his excuse has been work but I know that it has to be more then that.  Call it a gut feeling but he's slowly withdrawing from me and I don't know what's worse, the fact that I'm far away from him and we can't have a face to face conversation or the fact that he doesn't really want to move on from this.  The worse thing is, when you start analyzing your life, you realise what's missing and you try every ounce of your being to somehow find something to fill that void and I think that Jack is definitely the man to fill that emptiness.  I have been an independent woman for as long as I can remember and by independent I mean, work has always been my first love and I can't seem to locate that in a man before, let alone a man like Jack. 

I've been over analyzing again, but what do you do when work is on hold and you're here, sat each and everyday with one of your parents, having discussions about life, it can only lead you to think about it.  I'm coming to my thirties and of course, I want some things that most of my friends and family my age have already got; marriage and kids.  Who doesn't want that? Err, I can't take another night like this.  I have to go back to London.  It's almost midnight, I doubt there is anything running at this time of day but if there's a will, there bloody better be a way.

I don't bother about waking my parents, they'd only be shocked at my sudden departure in sweat pants, trainers and a woolly jumper but I have to go back to London.  It's like a life and death mission, something is definitely spurring me on but I don't know quite what it is.  I just have to go.  I leave a note for my parents beside the tea pot because that is where they go regardless of the time they wake up, because they both are tea drinkers and I silently make my way- whichever way back home to London.


"Aww mate you've been working way too long at this, why don't you go home and take a shower, you're really stinking up the place,"  Nate says, leaning against the work top.

"I'm fine, just leave me alone, I'm getting things done, isn't that what you pay me for?"  Jack says, shaping the wood with a bit of sand paper.  

"Yeah, but neglecting your personal hygiene, not seeing grandma... y'know she's been asking about you, why the heck haven't you gone to see her?"  Jack's other brother Michael says.  Michael is tall, broad and is dressed in a tailored suit.

"Look guys, just leave me alone, would ya?" Jack says exasperated.

"Do you know what I think, I think you have issues mate," Nate said.

"My issue here is for the both of you to piss off and leave me alone,"  Jack says.

"Nasty! Let's go grab a beer and you can tell me all about it?" Michael volunteers, he hasn't seen his brother like this since the episode involving Tanya and Nate. 

"Look guys, really, I'm fine, would you just leave me alone please," Jack says.

In surrender Nate shakes his head and leaves, as does Michael before he stops at the door, "Whatever reason it is Jack, you better sort it out before it gets you into trouble."

Jack rolls his eyes and carries on with his work.

"Honestly, out of all us brothers, he's the most stubborn," Nate shakes his head towards Michael.

"Y'know Nate, you really ought to cut him some slack," Michael says, as he walks into the street.

"What does that mean?"

"I don't want to bring back stuff from the past..." Michael starts.

"Not this thing with the girlfriend and two brothers- for fuck's sake, am I always going to be butchered for that?" Nate says in distaste.

"Well, you knew he was happy to begin with... why ruin things for him?" Michael said, as they both stand in the street.

"I don't want to get into this right now Michael,"  Nate said, staring at the floor.

"You bloody better deal with this now- I don't want to see my brothers arguing, been through that enough to know it doesn't always end well."

"The man of wisdom speaks- have you looked in the mirror lately and seen yourself? I mean look at you, you're the oldest out of us brothers but you haven't settled down, you work too much and you're married to your job.  Don't fucking start with me,"  Nate calmly spoke to him.

"I'll tell you why that is, because I haven't met anyone that has struck me in that way."

"No, you haven't met anyone full stop because you're glued to that bloody desk,"

"At least I'm making a living but you... you're sponging off Jack, he's the one's who's making that company soar, of course you like to think you're helping but you're obviously not,"  Michael spoke truthfully, he could see that Nate was getting angry and proceeded, "I see it in a better light now actually, you always made Jack feel like the black sheep in the family, but you're really the black sheep in disguise, aren't you brother?  Maybe it's a good thing that you bullied him, not that much can come from bullying.  Jack is obviously proving himself - and you, well, you're still -"

Nate's fist connected with Michael's jaw and he felt his face fall back.  It felt like the world had slowed down and as Michael regained his composure, the pain rocketed all around his face.  His lip was busted and he really wanted to pummel his brother but he would only sink down to his level.

"Just leave me the fuck alone," Nate said, glaring at Michael as he stormed off.

"Thanks for answering my question," Michael said, more for himself then anyone else.

Frederica crept into the house she shared with her three flat mates, it was six thirty in the morning and she had gotten lucky with transportation and made it home in one piece. She was strangely full of energy but dishevelled and couldn't wait to jump into the shower and make a go of the day ahead.  After her shower, she had decided to dress up to the weather, it was cold, wet and cloudy so she decided on jeans and a knitted jumper.  She hand towelled her hair dry and made her way out, first things first, she was going to see Jack. 

She took a taxi towards his workshop and knocked on the door, she knew it was early but he worked long hours and wouldn't be surprised he was working now.  The door opened and Frederica put on her best smile, an old lady answered the door.

"Can I help you dear?" she spoke softly.  She was dressed immaculately in a long tea dress and a beige cardigan with a necklace adorned around her neck.  Frederica knew those pearls were real, you could tell.

"Yes, hi, is Jack here?"

"Oh dear, no he isn't... he's in hospital," the old lady spoke.

"Hospital?" Frederica said, "What happened?"

"May I ask who-?" the old lady asked.

"I'm sorry, silly of me not to make introductions... I'm Frederica St. Claire," Frederica said, stumbling over her own words.

"Ah, my grandson has spoken very often of you," she smiled, "Come on, I'll give you a lift to the hospital and you can see him."

Frederica sat in the passenger seat of Jack's grandmother's Fiat Punto, it was the colour of the morning sky, grey.  She was definitely a sharp driver and was very chatty.

"What happened to him?" Frederica asked, clutching her hands together.

"Dear boy was overworked and ended up slicing his hand, lost a bit of blood, but thankfully Nate found him before it was too late,"

"Oh no, poor Jack," Frederica exclaimed.

"Don't worry pet, he will be okay.  He would be happy to see you, he's missed you very much,"  his grandmother said.

"I've missed him too,"  Frederica said, wanting to confide to his grandma, "That's the reason I came back,"

"I know dear, I know," his grandmother put her hand on her lap as if to say she understood.  She parked the car and they both made their way into the hospital.

She understood now, why Jack spent many of his weekends with his grandmother, she was charming, endearing and so easy to talk to.  It almost felt like they had known each other their whole lives, even though they had barely known each other an hour.  In the space of half an hour, she had learnt first hand about Grandma McCalister, the woman she was and how much she loved her her grand sons. Frederica opened the door and saw Jack instantly. He was propped up in bed, the pallor of his skin resembled the hospital sheets he was lying on. Frederica noticed his arm was bandaged heavily, she took the seat closest to him and sat down.  She wouldn't wake him, she would wait.  His grandmother smiled and whispered into her ear, that she would be back later and Frederica thanked her for the lift and the conversation.

Frederica sat in silence.  Her eyes taking in the scene before her, there were no flowers yet, no well wishers as he was admitted only a few hours ago.  He had been bandaged up and put on a drip because he had lost a few pints of blood.  He would need to stop working until his arm had healed up and that could take a couple of weeks, even a a couple months depending on the tissue damage, that would mean work stopped.  And Frederica knew how much work meant to Jack, but it didn't matter, she loved him and she was going to take care of him. 


Jack prised his eyes open, sleep came easy to him, especially when he had woken up dazed to a pool of his own blood.  That's what he remembered anyway. He hadn't known how long he had been out of it, but he was awake now, he couldn't quite believe who was sitting in front of him either, it was Frederica.  She was asleep in the arm chair, her head propped up against the side and her hair falling haphazardly around her shoulders.  She was dressed up simply.  How long had she been here?  It was four o'clock in the afternoon.  He wanted her to join him in bed but his arm was sore and he still felt mildly dizzy.  And on cue, as if she sensed his awakening, she stretched, yawned and woke up.  They sat in silence for what felt like a lifetime, when Jack spoke up,

"How long have you been here?"

Frederica looked at her watch, "A couple of hours, how are you feeling?"

"Like crap, my arm is sore and I feel like I have a massive hangover," Jack replied.

"You poor thing," Frederica said, "How did it happen? I mean, did you look away? Were you distracted?"

Frederica's questions were met with silence.

"Why do I get this feeling that you're not telling me something,"  Frederica said.  She watched as he closed his eyes and tried to avoid answering her questions, "What's going on?"

Jack exhaled, "My brothers were pissing me off, I was in a mood because I was tired, missing you and I just wanted to get on with it- I had one drink but afterwards I couldn't concentrate and I ended up colliding with the blade along my arm- the doctors said I was lucky to not have torn any ligaments or even worse, the bones.  Did Nate call you?"

"No, he didn't," Frederica replied, "So, what's gonna happen with you?"

"I would be discharged soon, but I'm not allowed to touch any machinery until this is all healed.  It's mostly tissue damage but I've gotta take it easy."

"Who's going to handle the making part of the business?"  Frederica asked.

"Nate's gonna have to take over, otherwise we'll definitely be behind," Jack said.

"And what are your plans when you get out of here?" Frederica tentatively asked.

"That all depends on you," Jack said seriously.

"Me? What do you mean?" Frederica knew what Jack wanted to hear but she wanted him to properly ask.

"If Nate didn't call you and no one else did, why are you here?" Jack asked.

"I went to see you at your studio and your grandmother opened the door, it didn't even click to think it was her because I was expecting to see you.  She kinda filled me in on what happened and then drove me here and she's lovely, she's so caring, so sweet, so endearing... reminds me of my grandmother too, before she passed away," Frederica said, "I'm here because I couldn't function after you left, I tried to go about life normally, but I couldn't sleep, I was the worse kind of company for conversation, I was just boring... so I left at the crack of midnight to come and see you, and trust me, I hitch-hiked which my mum would be very appalled to know, just to get here."

"And why the sudden urgency?" Jack asked.

"I'm in love with you and no matter what I try to do to avoid it, that's the most solid thing there is to me," Frederica announced, "I know enough that I want to marry you, to love you, to take care of you."

Jack loved hearing those beautiful words but he hadn't bargained on her proposing, "Don't you think I should be the one going down on bended knees?"

Frederica laughed as she went down on her knees, "I don't think you're in any state to be kneeing down, you can barely move. I'm sorry, I don't have a ring, everything has been done in glorified haste, I'm still getting my bearings in check."

"Frederica get off the floor and give me a kiss," Jack demanded.

"Not until you tell me whether you accept or not," Frederica teased.

"Well, I'm kissing you, aren't I?" Jack smiled and Frederica kissed him and they held on to each other.

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