Over You(4)

By: Christine Kersey

“Oh, I know you made a mistake.” Jessica held her purse in her lap, ready to bolt as soon as she could. “But that doesn’t make everything okay. We’re done, Alex.” She stood, thinking that would convey the finality of her words.

He jumped up and came towards her. “Please, Jessica. Don’t do this. You’re making a mistake.”

Putting her purse over her shoulder, she put her hands out to stop his approach. “No, the mistake would be staying with you when I can’t trust if you’ll be faithful.” She paused, watching the words sink in. When it seemed he was finally getting it, she said, “Good bye, Alex.” Then she turned and walked out of the restaurant, and to her car.

As she slid behind the wheel she looked over her shoulder to make sure he hadn’t followed her. Relieved that he hadn’t, she felt tears form in her eyes as she pictured the fun times the two of them had enjoyed together. Forcing those thoughts away, she wiped at her eyes and started her car. Heading home, she wondered how she was going to tell her parents she’d broken up with Alex, the man they had hoped would become the son they’d never had.

Chapter Two

Once home, Jessica worked on her programming project, but found her mind turning to Alex and her now broken future. This all feels so familiar, she thought, remembering past relationships. Am I ever going to find happiness, or am I destined to pick the wrong man, time after time?

Despite the dispiriting direction her mind insisted on following, she managed to get some work done before it was time to go to her parents’ house for dinner. When she pulled up in front of her childhood home, she braced herself for the disappointment her parents were sure to have over her break-up with Alex. As Jessica walked in the house, wonderful smells wafted toward her and she felt her stomach rumble. She hadn’t eaten since breakfast and was now famished.

“Mom?” she called out, not seeing anyone in the living room.

“In here,” a voice answered from the kitchen.

Forcing a smile, Jessica went toward the familiar room and found her mother putting the finishing touches on a green salad. “Hi, Mom.” Jessica hugged her mother. “Where’s Dad? I didn’t see him when I came in.”

“Oh, he must be upstairs. He got home from work late and wanted to put on something more casual.”

“How was your day?” Jessica asked.

“Not bad. I signed a new client today. A family selling their house. And they were willing to price it to sell, so I’m hopeful it won’t sit on the market too long.”

“Yeah, this is definitely a buyer’s market.”

Jessica’s mother nodded as she carried the salad to the table in the adjacent dining room. “Can you grab the rolls? Then I think we’ll be ready to eat.”

A few minutes later Jessica sat at the dining room table with her parents. She didn’t look forward to telling them she had broken up with Alex and hoped she could put it off. As the main meal came to a close she began to think she might be able to get through the evening without mentioning it, but then as her mother set dessert on the table, her father asked the dreaded question.

“So Jessica, what’s going on with you and Alex? Has he brought up the ‘M’ word yet?”

“Now, Jack. I don’t think Jessica needs any more pressure.”

Jessica smiled at her mom, thankful for her intervention.

“I’m her father. It’s my job to ask these things.”

Deciding to get it over with, Jessica turned to her dad. “I have some bad news.”

“What?” her mom asked, alarm in her voice.

“I broke up with Alex today.”

“Why?” her mom asked.

Jessica hadn’t finished processing her conversation with Alex yet, and didn’t want to tell her parents all the gory details. “I don’t really want to get into it, but I decided it wasn’t going to work out.”

“Oh, Jessica. I’m so sorry to hear that,” her mom said. “It’s too bad though. I thought he was such a good catch.”

“You and me both.” Afraid to say anything that would get her parents digging into the specifics, she left it at that and hoped they would too.