Jonathan squirmed in his seat, as he awaited to hear the judge’s decision in the arson case against him. Jonathan was thankful that Reva had managed to convince Jeffrey not to prosecute Tammy. Now Tammy was free. Now…it was his turn to find out what the future held in store.
Tammy sat next to him at the defendant’s table. Mel was their lawyer. Jonathan was relieved that Tammy was free to go. Jail was no place for someone as pure and as loving as she was. Jonathan was sure that it was something that he would be able to deal with, if he had to. Having grown up with Alfred…everything else was somehow easier. He just didn’t like the part of having to be away from Tammy for however long it takes. He would gladly do whatever he had to make sure that Tammy was safe. Even if it meant that he would go away to prison.
“In the matter of the state vs. Jonathan Randall…” The judge began, after entering the courtroom and everyone had taken their seats, “…you have been found guilty in the first degree, for committing arson. You have been sentenced to ten years behind bars. As you are a flight risk, you have no possibility of parole,” the judge continued. Jonathan could hear some gasps and cries in the courtroom. He held Tammy’s hand. “You will be transfered to the state prison…until then, you will be held at the county jail.”
Jonathan looked over at Reva, who was seated on a bench close by. She was crying. It broke Jonathan’s heart to see his mother crying. For being such a major disappointment to her. He turned his attentions on to Tammy.
Tammy looked at him, with tears in her eyes as well. She wrapped her arms around him, hugging him close. She could smell his after-shave. Jon gathered her closer to him, and kissed the top of her head. “Everything’s going to be okay,” Tammy told him. “I know that Mel will appeal this, and we’ll win.” Jonathan hoped that she was right. He could feel his shirt getting wet from Tammy’s tears.
“Shhh, Tammy,” Jonathan tried to reassure her. “It’s okay. I know what I did…now I have to pay for it.”
“That’s bull!” Tammy exclaimed. “This is only because my mom hates it that I love you and want to be with you! She’s the reason why you’re here!” Tammy cried. “I don’t know how I’m going to get through this without you. You need me and I need you.”
“Tammy, it’s okay. Really it is. I messed up. I know what I did. I can live with it. What I can’t live with is…knowing that you’ll put your life and happiness on hold for me. I want you to go on with your life. I want you to be happy. Don’t wait for me,” Jonathan explained, softly. “Please…will you do this for me? I can’t bear the thought of you out here on your own all alone. I want you to find a nice man, fall in love with him, and have children like you had planned all along. I want you to move on. Forget about me…” Jonathan pleaded with her, tears in his eyes. It broke his heart, knowing that they couldn’t be together. It broke his heart — knowing that he was forced to give her up — for something stupid that he had done.
Tammy acted like she ignored what he had just told her. “Promise me…that you’ll stay out of trouble, while in jail,” Tammy told him. “I want you to come out early on good behavior. I’ll write you, call you and visit you, everyday.” Tammy couldn’t believe what was happening. How could she move on? He was her soul! She couldn’t imagine her life without him in it.
“Tammy…” Jonathan gently scolded. “I’m serious. I want you to forget about me. This is what’s best.”
“Best?” Tammy repeated. “What about this whole entire thing is for the best? I will not move on, Jonathan! I won’t! You have shown me what love is all about. You want me to give up on us now? After everything that we’ve been through?” She shrieked at him. Tammy couldn’t believe that Jonathan was saying these things. That he was giving up.
“I want you to be happy, Tammy. Yes, I’d prefer it if it were with me…but now we know that it can’t be. It’s over. I’ll always love you…forever and ever. We can’t fight this anymore, Tammy. This is for the best. In the long run…you’ll see,” Jonathan kissed her forehead, tenderly.
Tears were rolling down both of their cheeks. Jonathan couldn’t bear the thought of letting her go. To go to jail, where he’d be locked up for the better part of ten years. That was a very long time. How will he ever get through it? Together, they stood up. Their legs feeling shaky.
“Jonathan…” Tammy cried, into his chest. Jon wrapped his arms around her and gathered her close. This is going to be the last time that they would be able to hold each other like this. “I don’t want you to go…”
“I know, Tammy,” Jonathan replied. “I don’t want to go either…but this is the way it has to be.” Jonathan knew that Mel and Reva would do anything in their power to get him out, but Jon wasn’t that confident. He knew when to call it quits.
Jonathan looked above Tammy’s head. His eyes connected to his mother’s, Reva Shayne. Reva would take care of Tammy, he was sure of it. He looked over to the other side of the courtroom. There, his eyes narrowed and he gave Sandy a dirty look. Sandy Foster. What the hell is he doing here? Did he come here to gloat? Jon asked himself. Jon turned his attentions away from Sandy and on to Tammy. She was the person who needed him, who he needed the most. The love of his life. “Tammy, go with Reva. There’s nothing more you can do for me. Reva will take care of you.”
“The only person I want to take care of me is you,” Tammy cried.
“Tammy…it can’t be that way any more. It’s time for you to go,” Jonathan told her. “I want you to remember the good times…not the bad. Like the time we broke into the storeroom, remember?”
“How could I ever forget?” Tammy answered, with a slight smile on her tear-stained face. “That’s where we first told each other how we felt about each other.”
“And there’s many more good things to remember,” Jon replied. “I want you to think of those, whenever you feel lost or alone or afraid. Just remember…you are loved and you will be forever.”
“Forever,” Tammy repeated. She decided to lighten the mood somewhat. She knew that she would be mourning Jonathan for awhile, and wanted to end this on a happier note. “Who’s going to take me to the Caribbean?” She asked, with a smile on her face.
“Ugh! That’s one thing I wish that we could’ve done!” Jonathan groaned. “I would’ve liked to have see you in your bikini…”
“And I would’ve liked to have seen you in yours,” Tammy replied back, teasingly. Her blood-shot eyes, sparkling. “Hubba…hubba,” She said, raising her eyebrows. Jon laughed.
“Why thank you…but I want you to take your mother instead,” Jon told her.
“Why?” Tammy asked, angrily. “She’s the reason why we’re here in the first place!”
“Tammy…you can’t keep hating your mother like this.”
“Because it’s not healthy, and you need her…especially now,” Jon explained.
“Whatever!” Tammy waved her hand, and rolled her eyes.
Two bailiffs approached them and told them it was time for Jon to go. Jon wanted one last goodbye with her. Tammy and he leaned in for one sweet kiss, before Jon would be taken away.
The kiss was gentle. It spoke to both of them — the power of what they felt for each other. It was bittersweet, sad, frustrated, and full of angst. It would have to last until they’d be able to be this way together once again. Both of them thought, how will I be able to get through tomorrow? How will I live without you? How can I let you go? Jon and Tammy both didn’t want the kiss to end. But it did…it had to.
The bailiffs roughly pulled Jon out of Tammy’s arms, handcuffing him behind his back. Jon’s eyes were full of tears as he was half-dragged from the courtroom, like some stray animal. It broke Tammy’s heart. He’s no animal! She wanted to shout. Their eyes stayed connected…until Jon was pulled through the side door.
As soon as Jon had disappeared, was when Tammy couldn’t hold on anymore. She collapsed down on to her knees. She cried out for Jonathan to come back, but she knew that he wouldn’t. Fresh tears rolled down her face. Her gulps gasping for air. Tammy wrapped her arms around her body, harsh tremors shaking it violently.
Mel had watched the whole scene with sadness. She wished that things would’ve been different for them. Anyone could see that the love that they shared was the real thing. It broke her heart that she couldn’t have done anything more than she had already done. She walked over to her and knelt down beside her. She tried to comfort her, by running her hand up and down Tammy’s back.
“I’m sorry, Tammy,” Mel apologized, softly. “I’ll appeal this as soon as possible. He’ll come back to you soon. I promise.”
Tammy didn’t respond, just kept crying silently. Reva came up to them and tried to take Tammy’s hand. “Tammy, let’s go home. Mel will get him free. I promise you and you’ll see. You have to believe.”
“I don’t know if I can believe in anything without him,” Tammy cried. “Aunt Reva, I want to go home. I want to be alone.”
“Sure, Tammy,” Reva helped her up to her feet. Exchanging a glance between herself and Mel. Together, the two of them walked out of the courtroom.
Sandy had watched the display with a mixture of sadness…for Tammy, and pleasure…for Jonathan. Someday soon, Tammy. You’ll forget about him, and come back to me. He thought to himself.