Tammy was quiet on the way home to Reva’s. Not saying a word, she looked out the window with a depressed look upon her face. Her tears had stopped, but her eyes were red and blood-shot. She had tear-stains on her cheeks. Sure-fire proof that she had been crying.
Reva looked over at Tammy with concern. She understood better than anyone — what Tammy was feeling right at that moment. It felt like a piece of you had been ripped out of your body. Reva tried to speed home. She didn’t know how much longer she could hold on with her own self-control. Reva wanted to be strong for Tammy, but she needed to do her own share of mourning. But she vowed that she would try to be there for Tammy because it would be what Jonathan would want her to do.
They pulled up the driveway. The car came to a stop. “Are you coming in?” Reva asked, after they had sat in the car for a few minutes. “Come, I’ll fix you up some warm soup and hot chocolate.” Reva tried to pry Tammy out of her reverie.
Tammy looked at Reva, then towards the front door. She didn’t know how she would be able to walk in to the house, knowing that Jonathan wouldn’t be joining them. And not for a very long time too. She had so many memories of him in this house.
Tammy opened her car door and slid out of the seat, slowly. Her feet and her body seemed to be moving in slow motion. When Reva and she walked into the house, Tammy was immediately assaulted by her memories.
Memories of their kiss…when she had told Reva and Josh about his stealing money from Lewis Industries. Then, she remembered how he had tried to kick her out of his life, after Alfred had died. Joining their families at Christmas, where Jon had met his granddad, Hawk and Uncle Rusty for the first time — it all assailed her at once. She became overwhelmed.
Why must it be this way? She wondered. Why couldn’t they just be happy? Why hadn’t they have just called the fire department, like she had wanted to? Why?…Why?…Why?
Tammy slowly moved to the couch, where she sat down, completely exhausted. She was tired, but knew that she wouldn’t be able to sleep. Not without Jonathan around to make things okay again. They had been so happy! Why did her mom hate him so? Why couldn’t she just forgive him? She had…he had hurt her most of all!
Reva had gone into the kitchen and had fixed up some soup and some hot chocolate, but Tammy hadn’t been aware of it. She was too lost in her own thoughts to be aware of anything going on around her.
“Tammy…honey…” Reva said, as she sat down next to her, after setting a tray out on the coffee table. “Eat, it will make you feel better.”
“I’m not hungry,” Tammy replied.
Reva looked at Tammy closely. She could see the dark circles under Tammy’s eyes. Reva wished that she knew what to say that would make her feel better. It was especially hard because she was feeling the same exact way. What could she say that would make her feel better, when she could hardly feel herself?
“Tammy, please you have to eat something…you have to try,” Reva tried to convince Tammy. “Please…Jonathan wouldn’t want you to starve.”
“Well, Jonathan isn’t here now is he?!” Tammy shouted. Tammy immediately regretted her harsh words. Reva was only trying to help. Tammy couldn’t understand how Reva was coping. She wanted to ask her, but she couldn’t get the words out. “I’m sorry,” Tammy apologized. “I know you’re feeling the same way.”
“I am,” Reva agreed. “But that’s okay.” Reva waved off Tammy’s apology. “I know that you’re feeling so much pain and anguish. I am too.” Reva laid a comforting hand on Tammy’s shoulder. “Maybe we can…get through it together?” She suggested, hopefully.
Tammy nodded her head. “I’m tired. I think I’m going up to bed,” Tammy told her, leaving her soup and hot chocolate behind untouched.
“Sure, honey,” Reva replied. She watched as Tammy stood up and headed for the stairs.
Tammy turned around, just as she reached the bottom step. “I’d like that,” Tammy said.
“Like what?” Reva asked, puzzled and confused.
“I’d like to get through this together,” Tammy replied, then turned and headed up the stairs.
Jonathan had been “processed” and escorted to his jail cell. He was now wearing an ugly orange jumpsuit and was carrying his pillow and blanket.
The guards led him into his cell and Jonathan looked around. Bunk beds with mattresses so thin, you’d need ten of them to make them any good. A toilet was in the corner and a window, on the far wall. Jonathan thought that it he must’ve gotten the “wedding” suite. It at least had a window. Not that you could see anything out of it, of course. But he’d at least be able to look up at the stars, wishing that he could be reunited with Tammy.
Jon took the top bunk. He had nobody in the cell with him. He was glad for that. He wasn’t in the mood for any kind of company.
The guards closed the bars and locked him in his cell, as the metal clanged loudly closed. It really made it seem much more real to him. He was locked up with no freedom and no Tammy.
What was she doing? Was she with Reva? Jon hoped that she would be okay. That she would get over this and over him. It has to be this way, he thought to himself. She had to get on with her life. He could only be a memory now. It was the only way it would work, the only way for her to be happy. Tears started to roll down his cheeks. The thought of living without her…it broke his heart. He rubbed his chest, where it hurt the most, hoping that would ease his pain. “I’m sorry, Tammy,” He whispered. “If I had listened to you…we wouldn’t be in this mess.” He shook his head, and laid down on the cot.
Jon couldn’t stop it. The tears just kept on coming. He tried to take a deep breath, but it was hard to do. He felt like a part of him was missing. The best part. He felt like a light had gone out inside of him. It was dark and gloomy. He felt his anger boil to the surface. Why must he destroy the things he loves most dearly? Alfred was right…he will never be a better man and this proves it! Jon stood up, and started throwing the mattresses off of the beds and tearing at his hair.
The guards shouted down the hallway for him to quiet down. Jon got control of his anger, and put the mattresses back on the metal bunks. It had helped, relieving his anger and frustrations like that.
Jon could hear some of the other inmates call out wondering what had happened. Jon chose to ignore them and laid back down on the bunk.
From now on…he was going to do what Tammy asked of him. If it means to behave? Then he will do so. Never again, would he choose to ignore what she said. Tammy was always right.
Tammy tried to lay down to sleep…she really did. She just didn’t know how she was supposed to do it. Knowing Jonathan wasn’t coming back to her, not for many years. How could she go on? How do you get over the love of your life? Tammy knew that Jonathan wanted her to be happy, but Tammy didn’t think she would ever be that way again. Not until Jonathan came back into her life. Until then she would…just exist.
Tammy climbed out of bed. She opened the door, and noticed the light was on downstairs. She wondered if Reva was still up. She must be…the light was still on. Tammy turned in the opposite direction of the stairs, and walked to another bedroom door.
She opened the door, the darkness making her afraid for a moment. She turned on the lightswitch, located just inside the door. There, she looked around.
Jonathan’s things were strewn around. He still had clothes laying on the floor. There were posters on the walls of his favorite metal bands. The bed was unmade and the covers thrown halfway off the bed. It seemed like Jonathan had just left — that he was coming back soon. She noticed the aquarium on top of his dresser. Lou, his pet snake.
Did Lou know that Jonathan was away and that he wouldn’t be back for a long time? Tammy didn’t know much about snakes, and what she did know, she had learned from Jonathan. She knew that they had long lives. Would Lou still be alive when Jonathan got out of prison?
Tammy turned on the light that was on the night stand. She turned around and turned off the ceiling light that she had turned on when she had entered the room. She closed the door. Behind it, she noticed his patched leather jacket hanging on a hook. She grabbed it, and wrapped it around herself, pulled her arms through the holes, so that she was wearing it just like Jonathan did.
Tammy breathed in. It smelled just like his after-shave and of leather. It brought tears to her eyes. She missed the smell of him already! How would she be able to go on?
Tammy walked to the bed, fixed up the covers and climbed into it. She laid there and imagined how it would feel to have Jonathan’s arms wrapped around her. Making her feel warm and safe. She could smell Jonathan’s scent on his pillow. She closed her eyes and breathed in. She sighed.
What would it have been like to sleep with him again? She wondered. She could kick herself, for not doing it sooner and for putting it off before now. Why had they waited? Now they would never know what it felt like when it was really real and to know what it meant to really make love! Tammy knew the reasons why, but she was full of too much remorse for a lot of things. Why hadn’t she just told Sandy that she had been in love with Jonathan? They would’ve had so much more time to be together!
Her regrets made her feel sad. They could never change the past and would just have to deal with it the best way that they could. Fresh tears started to roll out of Tammy’s eyes. Tammy felt that now she was finally free to cry all that she wanted to. Tammy gave in and cried…until she eventually fell asleep, wrapped in Jonathan’s jacket and curled up into a little ball.