Jess spills her heart out to Frank
And that’s it. That’s all she said before walking away. I’m left standing on the side of the road, lost in my own thoughts. Six little words and she’s fucking with my head again. I’m more confused than ever. I watch her retreating form as long as I can as she fades into the darkness. She’s walking very slowly or I’m thinking very quickly but either way it seems like a lifetime goes by but still she’s only gone a couple dozen feet from me.
Do you believe in second chances?
And I had said no. I don’t. The way I see it there’s no such thing as a second chance. Because whatever happened to ruin the first chance is still out there, and you can claim that you’re over it and that it doesn’t matter but you’re lying. It does matter. If it didn’t matter then there would be no need for a second chance, now would there? And so you say there’s a clean slate and you’re willing to try again, and for a while you are. But no matter how hard you try to ignore it, every time you try to start again you remember why you’re back at the beginning, starting over. And every time you take another step forward you remember where that step led you last time. And you’re doomed from the start.
I stand there, remembering the day I had figured that out. It was the day she left the tour. She had begged me to take her back, to give her a second chance. And that’s what went through my head.
I watch her walk away from me. Again. Just like she did that day. Briefly I wonder what my life would be right now if I had given her a second chance. Would we be here now?
What the hell is she on about second chances for anyway?
I am broken out of my thoughts by a quiet noise, like a small squeal, behind me. Startled, I turn around. Something is moving in the distance, down the road. I can’t make out what it is, it’s too dark. The movement continues, getting closer. At least I think it’s getting closer. Suddenly my vision adjusts and I can just barely make out a car, speeding towards me, headlights off. It’s swerving dangerously, giving me the impression that the driver is beyond drunk.
He’s going too fast, he’s driving without lights. The dumb ass is going to kill someone! Then something connects in my brain, and although I have no idea how, I know he’s going to hit Jess. Call it an instinct, a premonition, whatever you want but I know it’s true.
“Jess!” I call out. She doesn’t hear me, or she ignores me. I start running towards her. I hate her guts, but I loved her once, and that’s not something a heart forgets very quickly. And either way I am not going to stand here and watch her die. No matter who she is, or what she’s done. “Jess, get out of the road!”
She stops and spins to face me, glaring. Her face lights up in fear as she sees the car behind me. From her expression, I’m guessing I don’t have as much time as I’d like. I sprint the remaining distance and grab her roughly by the arm, yanking her out of the way as the car races past into the night, oblivious, passing right over the spot Jess and I had occupied just moment before.
Once the danger is past I become aware of what I’m doing, of how close we are. Quickly I release her arm and step back from her. She is shaking and looks as though she’s about to fall over so I put my hand on her arm again, to steady her. She looks up at me as though seeing me for the first time. Then she falls into my arms sobbing.
I am shocked for a moment, then I return the embrace. I get it, suddenly. Jess is proud, she’d never let anyone see that they hurt her. The hate, the malice, the threats. They were all a front to keep me from seeing how close she was to falling apart. I let her sob for several minutes before pulling back from her. Her eyes are red and puffy, but the coldness is gone from them and that alone is enough to make her beautiful again. I step back but keep my hand on her arm.
“I couldn’t do it,” she whispers, but in the absolute silence that surrounds us she might as well have shouted it. “I thought I could, but I was wrong.”
I don’t answer. What do you say to something like that? I could ask her what she’s talking about, but I already know, she’s talking about murder. The murder of my friends. So I just wait, letting her continue when she’s ready.
“I haven’t been ok since I lost you, Frank.”
Suddenly I’m numb. For months I’ve been confused about my feelings for Jess. I hate her, obviously, for what she’s done to my friends, and to me. But a part of me still loves her, even wanted her back. But now, seeing her like this, I don’t care. I don’t feel anything for her anymore. Not love, not hate. Just apathy. I just want her out of my life.
“I wasn’t the one who killed us, Jess. You chose him, remember? I may have said goodbye first, but I didn’t end it. You did that all on your own.”
She nods and for a moment I think she’s going to start sobbing again. “I know. And I hated myself for it. I couldn’t deal with it, so I convinced myself it wasn’t my fault. I told myself it was you enough times that I actually started to believe it.”
She doesn’t meet my eye. She pauses to sniff and wipe her nose before continuing. “I know you won’t believe it, not with how I’ve been treating you, but I loved you more than anything in the world, Frank. I still do. You are everything to me, and that scared me. I was terrified by how much I needed you. I hated being that dependant. Knowing you had that much control over me. That you could break me with one word. So I ran to him to convince myself I didn’t need you that much. That I could be happy with someone else, in case you ever left. But I was wrong. And then you found out and I lost you. I couldn’t figure out how to live without you and I just couldn’t handle the idea that it was my fault you were gone. So I convinced myself it was your fault. And I hated you for it. And I thought if I made you hurt as much as I was hurting then maybe I would feel better. But I didn’t. I’ve never felt so awful in my life.”
“You were going to kill my friends because you’re too weak to handle your own imperfections.” I am seething by this point, my voice so full of hate I surprise even myself.
I don’t understand why I am so angry. A minute ago I was marveling at how beautiful her eyes look, now I want her dead. I guess I wanted to believe there was a good reason for her to do this and that somehow she wasn’t the monster that she appeared to be, that it was just an act for some reason. Like what I did to the guys when I had to leave months ago. I wanted to believe that she was still the girl I loved. But now that I have her reasons I can’t stop the rage flowing inside me. Insecure bitch! Nobody hurts my friends and gets away with it. Nobody. No matter how much I loved her.
She looks down. “I couldn’t do it, Frank.”
“And that’s supposed to make it ok?” I scream at her. “You were going to fucking kill my best friends, but you couldn’t so we should just forget about it and go back to our happy lives, is that it?”
She looks ready to cry again but I don’t care. Fucking bitch has had me on an emotional roller coaster for long enough and I’m done. She thinks she can just come in here and do whatever she damn well pleases. Ruin whatever lives get in her way just to make herself feel better about fucking up the best thing she had going for her. Well I'm not playing along with her games anymore.
“You think you can just explain away these past months and I’ll take you back with open arms?”
She reaches out to touch my arm but I swat her away. “Don’t you touch me,” I growl at her. Finally she looks at me and there is nothing in her eyes. I stumble back a step. I was expecting pain, or regret. Hate maybe. But there’s nothing. It’s like she is completely defeated.
Slowly she nods. “I’ll leave then,” she says, her voice as empty as her eyes.
“I think that would be best.” I try to soften my voice. She’s leaving, I can at least let her go with some amount of grace.
She turns and walks back towards the bus. Then she stops and looks at me one more time. “Frankie,” she whispers and I cringe at the pet name. “For what it’s worth, I’m sorry. For everything. Everything I’ve done and everything I might do that hurts you. I never wanted it to be this way. I just don’t know what else to do.”
I don’t answer. I have nothing to say to her. I stay where I am for several more minutes, processing what just happened. She went from controlling my life, to cowering out of it, in a matter of minutes. In a way I understand. She was never an evil person, just a lost one, in over her head, forced to live with things she couldn’t cope with. So she did the only thing that promised to make it better. She took control of the situation in the only way she could think of. She was desperate, and maybe just a bit insane.
Wait, if she was desperate before, and that led her to cause total hell these past months, how must she feel now? After what I said to her, I took her last hope. She has nothing left to lose now. She’s more desperate than ever. And the last thing she said, ‘everything I might do.’ That’s not past tense. I feel fear rising in my chest.
As if on cue I hear shouts from the bus. I run back up the driveway. The bus is the only vehicle left in the lot, everyone else went on to the next venue while they were waiting for us. There’s no one else around to hear the screams. Panicked, I run to the bus as fast as I can. Bursting through the doors I come face to face with my worst nightmare.
Ray, Bob, and Gerard are standing near the front of the bus, fear evident on their faces. Further back, near the bunks, Jess is standing, a horrible, reckless gleam in her eyes.
In her right hand is a pistol, and she’s holding it to Mikey’s head.
Wow. Jess actually is human. Who'da thunk it? Yay, a quicker update, that's chummy. And sorry about the cliff hanger, but I couldn't help myself. Messing with you guys is so much fun! To all of you who were freaking out about the Frank/Jess relationship, or lack there of, you should know there was no way in hell I'd let Frank get back together with her. Sillys! Hope this cleared up any confusion about how Frank feels.
Anywho, I'm about to be lame and plug another story here, but it's in original and nobody reads that, so if y'all could be so awesome as to read my original piece called 'Bitter' I'd be much obliged. It's for my drama club auditions and I'd really like some input from you wonderful people.
Kk, you know what to do now! Love you to pieces (don't make me make that literal).