Second Chance for Love(6)

By: Leona Jackson

Chase pulled me to him and kissed me hard. For a moment, I thought I’d finally gotten through to him. I believed that he was coming with me. After all, it didn't matter where we were as long as we were together. I allowed myself to believe that he still loved me, but all of my illusions were shattered when the kiss broke.

“Jetta, you know I can't. She's pregnant. I've got to do right by her,” Chase said, holding my face in his hands.

“She’s really pregnant?” I stared at him in disbelief. “What about us?”

“Jetta, we both knew it couldn't work,” he said, turning away. “I've got to go.”

I managed to make it back to my car before I dissolved into sobs that shook my whole body. I was still crying an hour later when his father came out and threatened to call the police if I didn't leave. I drove away, looking back in the rear-view mirror. Part of me believed that Chase would run out to stop me, but he didn't.

As the depressing memories played through my mind, I sped up, pulling Bosco alongside me. I power walked until we were out of his sight, then I sat down on the bench in front of the new strip-mall and cried. Bosco climbed up on the bench next to me and I held him close. How pathetic was my life? That I had to cry on a dog's shoulder?

That night Bosco and I slept in the car because there weren't any hotels in town that accepted pets.

“Looks like it's just me and you after all,” I said as we settled down in the backseat for the night.

Chapter 6: Chase

I took the long way to Abby's school the next morning, just so I could drive by Jetta's mother's house to see if she was still there. I frowned when I saw that she was asleep in the backseat of her car. It was the same car she had when we were kids, and we had spent more than one night together in it parked in the woods. Knowing Jetta, she’d most likely got into an argument with her mother over the dog.

When we were younger, I’d gotten her a puppy for her birthday because she talked about how much she’d wanted one. Her mother threw him out in the rain, forcing me to take him back. Thankfully, my own mother fell in love with him and said we could keep him. The dog still lives with her. To this day, I can't look at him without being reminded of everything I gave up.

After I dropped Abby off at school, I made my normal stop at the diner. It was more out of habit than hunger. I hadn't had much of an appetite since I’d seen Jetta the day before. I hadn't slept much the night before either, so I sat by myself drinking black coffee trying to clear my mind. The caffeine burned away the morning fog, making the thoughts of Jetta more vivid than ever. I was worried about her now that I’d seen her sleeping in her car.

Old habits die hard. That was the excuse I gave myself when I ordered what had once been Jetta's favorite breakfast. People change, taste changes, so for all I knew she now hated pancakes and sausage. Maybe she didn't drink soda any more either. I’d already made up my mind though and planned to follow through.

It was my intention to leave the food on the hood of her car and be gone before she ever woke up. Maybe her mother or one of her sisters would take credit for it. That would be fine with me. It would be easier for both of us that way.

I might have succeeded, except the Golden Retriever spotted me. He sat up and began to thump his tail against the seat. I sat the bag on the hood and tried to leave quickly, before Jetta woke up. It almost worked then I heard the engine come on and the window roll down.

“What the hell are you doing, Chase?” she called out when I was almost to my truck.

I yelled back without turning around. “Just bringing you breakfast.”

“And how is Melissa going to feel about that?” she asked.

My back was to her, but I knew she would be shaking her head and arching her brows, like she always did when she was angry with me. Under different circumstances, knowing her so well would have made me grin. Today it only stung.

“Have no idea. Probably wouldn’t give a shit! If you ever run into her in the big city, why don’t you ask her for yourself?” I opened the door of the truck.

I was pulling out of the drive when Jetta hopped out of the car.

“You know,” she said. “You have some fucking nerve, Chase! Coming here at all.”

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