We had Chipotle for lunch. Coach actually got us each two burritos. I was amazed that Jeremy actually ate both; since my throat was still sore I decided to pace myself and eat more later. Once we returned back to the house, Coach was treating me like I was a child; like I couldn’t function on my own. To make him stop, I decided
to go lay down for a bit to help ease the pressure on my chest, but also put Coach at ease.
I finally woke up and checked the clock, it was now one o’clock in the afternoon. I must have been asleep for almost two hours. I am starving again. I ventured down the stairs to the kitchen to find my burrito. ‘Jeremy had better not have eaten it.’ I came around the corner and ran straight into Jenny. I was unable to catch us, and I toppled over her and we both fell to the floor. ‘I tried to do the catch and roll action that most guys do in the movies, but that is only something that happens if the girl knows as well.’ But I still attempted it and instead she ended up landing on my wrist. ‘Pain.’
We just laid there on the kitchen floor for a quick minute. I got the wind kick out of me; probably because my lunges were still pressured from this morning. I still laid there, whereas Jenny slowly began to pry herself up from the floor.
“Sorry for running into you,” I said still sprawled out on the floor. I was waiting for the heaviness of my chest to be gone before moving. “I attempted to catch you, but of course I failed,” I tried to keep it light hearted, because there seemed to be tension in the air.
“No problem,” Jenny responded as she was fully standing now.
At first, I thought she was just going to walk off.
“Do you need some help, George?” Jenny turned and looked down at me.
Thankfully the heaviness was gone, at that moment, because I was able to start trying to get up. “No. I’m good. Just waiting for my chest to stop feeling pressured. You good?”
“Yep,” was all the response Jenny was going to give me.
I was once again on my feet and she started to walk away; I didn’t want to miss this chance, so I reached out and grabbed her hand. She didn’t respond. She just stood with her back to me. “Jenny?” Still no response, “Do you think we can talk now?” I thought she was going to keep ignoring me, but finally she turned to face me.
“Sure. Let’s talk,” her face showed no expression.
We had returned to the guest bedroom; we did not want to be disturbed by anyone; everyone was outside hanging out. I sat down on one corner of the bed, thinking she would sit on the other, but instead she took her spot in the office chair in the corner of the room.
Silence again filled the room. Seeing as she was not about to start the conversation I took the initiative, “How is school in Europe?”
That must have been the right question to start things off, because her face seemed to light up the room. She told me all about the school, her new friends, her new lifestyle, and her new discoveries in art. It didn’t seem like she would be stopping anytime soon, but she started to slow down. Finally to the point where silence had returned. I had hoped she would have asked me a question in return, but since that seemed like it would not happen, I once again emptied the silence.
“Montana is also a new lifestyle. Even though I’ve been swimming non-stop since Juinor year, the lifestyle up there is more slow paced. Thanks to school, I was able to know what day of the week it was,” Jenny was listening, but her expression seemed forced.
Silence once again.
‘I guess I’ll start the talk.’ “Jenny…”
“George…” Jenny said at the same moment as me.
She looked uncomfortable. I waved at her to continue. I was not about to stop her.
Jenny seemed to hesitate before continuing, “I… Why?… How?…Why?” Jenny seemed to be confused of where to start.
“Just go through everything one at a time. I will respond if you need me to, but if not, I will let you get it all out first.” I needed her to speak her mind first. So that I knew what her feelings were before I said the wrong thing.
Jenny looked at me and saw my honest acceptence; she nodded to herself and leaned towards me, “I’m better than I was. Juinor year was unbearable. I am surprised I survived as long as I did,” Jenny shivered and leaned back into the chair.
I offered her a blanket, but she declined it.
“I’m good,” she said relaxing once again, “I actually am good. Thanks to your dad, my transition was easy and painless. You will have to thank him for me. The pain and mental breakdown is still there, but I’ve been trying to work threw it. I have to,” Jenny seemed to squeeze the life out of her hand as she made a fist.
I know she must be in so much pain, but the look of determination on her face was vibrant and beautiful.
“But why…?” Jenny whispered.
Thankfully I had not stopped listening or I would have missed the whisper. I focused once again on Jenny’s face and there were tears starting to trickled down her cheeks. “Jenny,” I leaped up from the bed.
“No, George,” Jenny stopped me, “you befriend him. He ruined my life,” Jenny wiped away tears. “How could you?”
As I looked at Jenny I could see the anger growing. At first, I thought she was saying why did I leave her. Instead she was angry at me for befriending her enemy.
“Jenny. He is not the guy you think he is anymore. He has matured,” I said those words knowing they were not the right words but I needed to defend Jeremy.
Jenny, tears still falling, looked up at me. Her expression showed anger and sadness. “Even so. He ruined my life. I had to leave home. Yes, I’m in a better mental state, but how could you,” Jenny’s voice was getting louder and louder as she continued.
“Jenny. I don’t want to spend our entire time talking about Jeremy. We are, sadly, going to have to agree to disagree on this topic,” I stopped her from continuing. I saw no end to this conversation. “Tell me more about you these last two years?”
Jenny didn’t answer at first; I thought I had lost her completly from the conversation, but at last she turned her attention back to me and answered, “I can’t tell you about myself because it all revolves around your new best friend. So I believe there is nothing left to discuss,” Jenny got up from her chair.
“Jenny,” I reached out to try and stop her. I was not done talking to her.
She smacked my hand off of her, “No George. You have changed. Have a safe trip home. Goodbye,” and Jenny was out the door and gone.
I just stood there unable to move. This time she has left my world, and sadly I knew that it was not going to change.