Chapter 13: Together, not Alone
The next morning over breakfast Jennifer was already on her third cup of coffee as she related her dream to Yehleen. “It really felt so real, we were flying. Over the city and over the clouds, I tell you Yehleen it felt so real” Jennifer excitedly said. “It was just a dream so why are so happy about it, is there something else that happened in that dream that you are not sharing?” Yehleen teased her and Jennifer suddenly laughed and giggled.
Jennifer blushed and she moved closer to Yehleen, “We embraced and just floated on the clouds…then we kissed” she said and they both giggled. “Who did you kiss?” Frank suddenly asked. The two were surprised to see him standing beside them; John was seen likewise wheeling his way towards the table. “Who kissed who?” John asked. The two ladies just looked at each other and laughed. “It’s nothing, Jen had this weird dream she says” Yehleen said and Frank sat down. Erick likewise took a seat massaging his head, “What dream, I was so drunk I don’t remember how I got in my room” he said.
“Well what was the dream about?” John asked and Jennifer pinched Yehleen. “Well you see Jennifer dreamt of Frank and they were flying” Yehleen said as Jennifer tried to cover her mouth from saying more. “Me and Jen flying?” Frank asked and Yehleen nodded with Jen’s hands covering her mouth. “It was just a dream okay” Jennifer said. “Actually there’s more!” Yehleen said as Jennifer hugged her and pleaded not to say more. “Oh well it’s just a dream, and when you say you were flying so I guess that dream will never come true” Erick said. “But if felt so real!” Jennifer said loudly.
“Well there are dreams that are like that, even when you wake up you still feel it is real but when you realize it never happened” John said and Jennifer pouted. “But the kissing part could come true” Yehleen said and Jennifer blushed and again covered her mouth. “So in your dream you two kissed, well that could come true” Erick teased as he elbowed Frank. Jennifer looked away as she felt embarrassed. “Like I said it was just a dream, I had no control over it” she murmured and everyone laughed.
“Frank why don’t you be a good man and make her wish come true…come on kiss her” John teased Frank as Erick continued elbowing him. “Keep on teasing me and I won’t give your presents” Frank said and everyone fell silent and looked at Frank. “Wow, I guess that’s the magic word. I think I shall ask Santa first if you have been good” Frank joked and they smiled innocently.
“So Frank what did you get me?” Erick asked as he put his arm over Frank’s shoulders. “Well you see I heard you are going mountain climbing with the boys this vacation so I got you a toy” Frank said and everyone started laughing. Erick looked at Frank curiously and smirked, “A toy? What toy?” he asked.
“Well when you get on top of the mountain you can use this toy to glide down” Frank said and Erick eyes grew bigger with excitement. “A glider!!!” he exclaimed and Frank shook his head. “A parachute” Frank said and again the others laughed loudly. “A parachute!? I can get lots of parachutes anytime” Erick said. “I know that’s why this parachute came with a glider” Frank added and Erick hugged him tight. “Wait, it’s not just a simple glider, I made some modifications and its quite heavy since it something with gas on it” Frank teased and Erick stood up and jumped like a kid. “Where is it?” he asked.
“On the roof, I wanted to test it first but maybe later” Frank said an immediately Erick rushed towards the elevator. “Thank you Frank! I will go and test it” Erick said as the doors closed.
“Let’s go outside and watch Erick kill himself shall we?” Frank suggested and they agreed. Once they were outside Erick immediately tested his modified glider as he flew around the vicinity. “Wow it’s just like a small plane right?” Yehleen commented. “Not really, it’s a prototype, I actually earned money by selling the design and I got that too” Frank said.
Frank could see the jealousy on the three’s eyes as they watched Erick glide his way over them. “Well now for your gift John and Yehleen, sorry I just got you both one” Frank said and they smiled at him. They walked towards the back of the warehouse and there was a brand new SUV parked with a giant ribbon on top. “Wow! That looks very expensive” Yehleen said. “Very expensive indeed” Frank said as Yehleen ran towards the car. Frank deactivated the locks and Yehleen opened the door. She turned around and looked worried.
“Well? Is there a problem?” Frank asked and John wheeled closer to Yehleen and took a peek. “Frank how am I going to drive this thing if it has no pedals?” Yehleen said and Jennifer rushed to look. “Who said you will be driving it anyway?” Frank said and John and Yehleen look at him. “Don’t tell me John is going to drive this. Is this another prank of yours?” Yehleen asked and Frank suddenly lifted John out of his wheelchair and placed him on the driver’s seat.
“Now everyone get inside, Yehleen you stay in front, me and Jen will stay at the back” Frank said and they all looked at him. “Please trust me” Frank said and they all got in. “Okay now John you remember us playing games on the consoles right, you have your driving controller. I designed this in the same manner” Frank said as John noticed lots of buttons on the wheel. “Seriously?” John asked in amazement. “Yup, this is another prototype of course. I sold the design, so your hands work fine right?” Frank said and John was so excited.
“You will drive this with your hands. Just like in the games we play. Of course you have to turn the key first, then on your left there are two buttons, speed up and speed down. On your right is the brake button, don’t press them hard or else you know what happens” Frank explained and John immediately turned on the engine.
John had his hands on the wheel as everyone waited for him to drive. For ten seconds they waited until Yehleen noticed that John was crying. “Oh, look he is crying Frank” she said. “Come on John no time for that, drive the damn car will you” Frank said and John wiped his tears and laughed. “Okay here we go” John said and the car started to move. John drove the car around the vicinity, slowly at first as he was getting accustomed to the buttons. After ten minutes they were going faster and faster as John was already living in his dream.
“Yehleen I’m sorry I didn’t get you anything, but if there is something you like you can tell me” Frank said. Yehleen looked at him and he saw her crying, “Frank you already gave it to me” and she turned to look at John who was so happy. “This is more than enough Frank, thank you” she said.
Frank sat back and looked at Jennifer, he held her hand and she smiled. “I didn’t know what to get you too, so if you could just wait a little longer for your gift” Frank said. “I really am not fond of gifts you know, so there is no need for you to give me one” she said. “Don’t say that, I will give you one, but not yet because I am still thinking of the perfect gift” he told her. Jennifer leaned on his shoulders and gripped his hands tightly.
Later that day Jennifer finished packing her bag. She grabbed the keys of the SUV and did one final check on everyone’s room. John and Yehleen were already gone but they left their lights open so she shut them off. Erick’s room was likewise empty and so she walked towards Frank’s room and walked inside. She was surprised to see Frank lying on the bed listening to his music player with his eyes closed. Jennifer pulled one ear plug out; Frank opened his eyes and smiled at her.
“You haven’t packed?” she asked. “I am bored, maybe later” Frank said. Jennifer then suddenly realized the lie behind his answer. According to the file Frank’s parents were killed in an accident. There were no listings of a sibling or any other relative. Now with Hannah gone she understood his dilemma. “So where will you be spending Christmas?” Jennifer asked him as she sat on his bed.
“Oh I have a friend who invited me over to his place” Frank again lied and Jennifer could tell. “Tell the truth Frank” she said. “Here…alone” he whispered and Jennifer bowed her head and took a deep breath. “Together” she uttered and Frank looked at her. “Together, not alone” she again said and Frank laughed. “You are going to spend Christmas with me here?” he asked and she shook her head and looked at him.
“You’re coming with me. You are spending Christmas with me at my parent’s place” she said. “Together? Me and you?” Frank said and Jennifer looked at him and smiled. “Yes, together, you and me” she said and she pulled his hand. “So start packing or else I am leaving without you” she said and Frank sat down in bed and bowed his head. “Together…not alone...I really was starting to plan my alone time you know…buy my own little tree and stuff it with bullets and our pictures. I really thought it would be a sad Christmas” Frank said with a soft voice and Jennifer started laughing.
“Acting doesn’t suit you, hurry and pack” she said and they both laughed. “How did you know I was acting?” Frank asked and Jennifer was still laughing. “I can tell when you are serious and when you are not” Jennifer answered. “Really?” Frank asked as he started putting clothes in a bad but Jennifer took them out and folded them properly. “You told me to pack but you take them out and you fold them, so you pack my bags. Hurry or I will leave without you” Frank joked her and Jennifer just nodded and kept folding more clothes.
“Again you are lying” she said and Frank stood up, “Oh so you think I am joking?” Frank said and Jennifer laughed at him. “I know you can’t leave me, because you have nowhere to go” she countered and smiled at him. “Wrong answer!” Frank said. “What do you mean wrong answer?” she asked.
“I can’t leave you because I love you” Frank said and Jennifer quickly bowed her head and tried to hide her smile. Jennifer zipped the bag and stood up; she looked at Frank in the eyes. “Did you mean what you said?” she asked and Frank grinned at her. “You tell me, you told me you know if I am serious or not. Well? Did I mean what I said?” he shot back and she just shook her head and handed him his bag. “Let’s go, we still have a long drive ahead of us” she said.
They arrive at Jennifer’s home the next day after a grueling eighteen hour drive. Frank got out of the car and was marveled by the wonderful scenery. “You didn’t tell me you grew up on a farm” he said and Jennifer laughed. “I don’t sound like a country girl right?” she said.
Jennifer’s parents came running out of the house and Jennifer ran towards them. “Mom, dad, I would like you to meet Frank” she said and the two were somewhat frozen staring at him. Frank smiled and scratched his head, “Hello, is there something wrong with my face?” he said and they all laughed. Jennifer’s mother smiled and elbowed her husband, “Will you be spending Christmas with us?” she asked. “If you would let me” Frank said. “Oh of course, come inside. I wasn’t expecting you two but don’t worry I am going to cook a feast for dinner” she said.
Frank and Jennifer walked around the field towards a barn. “Is it okay if you sleep here? Our house is small and we don’t have an extra room” she told him. “Oh no problem, just like Clark who sleeps in the barn. We are both superheroes anyway” he said. As they entered the barn Frank was surprised to see that it was actually a room. “I was expecting hay, horses and crops, wow this is weird” he said and Jennifer laughed. “Actually we did have horses but they all died. So I converted this place to a room. You have a bed, a small dining table and some old furniture” she told him.
“Mom and dad own a small grocery store in town, the fields that you see are ours but we let our neighbors do the work now. They have wanted to retire in the city, you know to experience what it’s like, but I don’t have enough money to buy them a house. Maybe one day their dream will come true that is why I am working so hard for them” she explained.
“So what do you think about sleeping here?” she asked him and Frank looked around and smiled. “Together?” Frank asked and she giggled and pinched him. Frank embraced her and her heart beat rose, their faces came closer and their lips almost touched. Frank released her and walked towards a picture frame, “Papo is horse?” he asked and Jennifer grabbed the picture and laughed. “I can’t believe you saw this, I was only nine years old in this picture” she said.
“You named me after a horse?” Frank repeated and Jennifer laughed. “Why did you name me after a horse? I don’t have long hair, I don’t have a tail…and…” Frank said and paused as he looked down to his groin. Jennifer slapped him in the arm and laughed louder, “What about me is horse-like?” he asked and Jennifer ran out. Frank chased her and they ran around the field just like children. “So you didn’t like me calling you Ice Queen. You retaliated and named me after a horse!!” Frank yelled and Jennifer ran around avoiding him. “Not true!” she said. “So do I smell like a horse?” Frank asked and Jennifer kept laughing.
Frank was able to pin Jennifer down on the ground and they both lay there breathing heavily. “Everything here is so green, the air is so fresh” Frank said as he tried to relax and closed his eyes. “You know if I had lots of money I would put up a Ferris wheel right here. I love to ride the Ferris wheel especially at night. Then we just sit there for hours as it turns and turns” she related.
“Yeah you and a horse” Frank said and again Jennifer started laughing. Jennifer stood up and looked down at Frank, “I was talking about me and you silly” she said. “Together?” Frank playfully asked and again she giggled. “Yes together” she replied. “How about in the barn, together?” he again said and Jennifer started swaying like a child and pretended to be thinking. “Maybe” she said and Frank smiled, “Maybe later?” he teased and Jennifer raised her eyebrow, “Maybe never” she said.
“Hey Jen I was just kidding you about the sleeping together thing” Frank said as he again closed his eyes. “Together, you and me” she said softly and Frank looked at her. “You mean it?” he asked and she nodded. She extended her hand and he grabbed it, slowly Frank stood up. “Really?” he asked and Jennifer nodded but she was about to burst into laughter any minute.
“Who told you to stand up? Get on your knees!” Jennifer commanded and Frank obediently followed her. Jennifer rode on his back and she started laughing. “I knew this would happen” Frank uttered and Jennifer held on to his shirt, “Now, towards the house Papo! Go!” she shouted and laughed louder.
Just like two kids they acted to cover up for the real feelings they had for each other.
Friday, January 9, 2009
Chapter 13: Together, not Alone