Jacob's diary

How can I go on with my world when my boy is no longer here? I wake up everyday and the first thing I do is feel like I can't face the day ahead without my son. I had to keep him alive and the only way I could do that was to make sure he lived his life through my diary. What did he do when he grew up? who did he fall in love with? I was going to give him the life that was taken so he would still be with me.

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6. I FACE THE OTHER WOMAN

Mother was in the hallway on the home telephone, she was talking to one of her friends about the events that had been going on. I was standing at the backdoor looking out into garden as the birds flew down to the table and begun to pick out the bits of food I had taken out earlier for them. I wanted to leave the house and go someplace where nobody would know where I was. Maybe that was what I should do. I could think of plenty of places I wanted to see that I had never gained the opportunity to go and see. I could find work in some places for a while until it was time to move on.

Darren had decided that he life was better with another woman it seemed. If he wasn't interested in my help then I didn't see what little I could do. I couldn't help but wonder what she looked like. I could hear that tiny voice inside telling me that I should also go and wait outside and see who she was, where had he met her? was it a work thing? had it been going on even before we lost Jacob? I wondered if maybe she was stronger than I. Maybe she would be the one to bring him out of his dependency on drink. Maybe she WAS the better woman.

"Maybe she is a prostitute!" Mother said as we walked into the kitchen to find me at the back door.

"What?" I said breaking my thoughts.

"Maybe he picked her picked her up in some bar or on the street corner."

"NO, Darren wouldn't go that low, would he?"

"Right now he would do things you wouldn't believe. He isn't in his right mind."

Maybe my mother was right. Had Darren reached such a low point in his life that he had picked up a woman for sex. Was it my fault for denying him his needs? I just had not felt like making love, it would change in time I was sure but I just wasn't in that place now. Every time I thought about him touching another woman I wanted to go away and wash. It strange how it made me feel. I wasn't sure If I'd be able to let him touch me ever again. This really could be the end of the dream for us both. My heart sank at the thought and it was such a strange mix of emotion and anger inside of me. Something was going to change and as for the house, it could burn for all I cared. I didn't want to go back to that place, not now. I was going to have to go with my heart and my mind and just get away from this world I was living in. I would have to reach deep inside and find the woman who was brave and could start again. Darren would be taking his new woman but I would be taking Jacob, he was going with me and nothing anyone could do would take away the life that I was now giving him. Little by little I felt I was getting better. As I wrote the words that gave him life, Jacob was healing me. We were there for each other, nobody could ever separate us again.

I told mother that I was going out to just get some air and have some thinking time. I found my self at the café in the high street. It was a small place filled with old furniture that needed replacing and painting on the wall that looked like they had faded with the sunlight coming in from the glass front. It was clean and had character though. I can remember my mother taking me here when I was small and seeing a big ice bun in the counter. The owner at the time had seen the look on my small face and told my mother that I should have it, to keep such a sweet smile.

I wondered what life would have been like if I had had my sister or brother? I would have got on great with them I'm sure of that. The waiter broke my thoughts and asked me what I would like and I laughed to myself and ordered a coffee and the biggest ice bun that he could find me. It was then that the door opened and a woman walked in with tears in her eyes and her make up running down her face. She threw herself down at a table and the waiter looked up at her with a worried look on his face. I looked at the cut on her hand. It was a small cut but was bleeding anyway. I picked up a napkin from my table and handed it to her. she smiled at me and said thanks.

"Bad day?" I smiled back. "Man trouble?"

"The bastard told me that he was seeing someone else!"

"Did he hot you?"

"No I hit him, right in the face. She wont think him so pretty when she sees him tonight."

"why do we bother?" I moved across to join her. " my name is Judy!" I shook her hand gently.

"You look like a woman with troubles herself." The young woman placed her order as the waiter brought mine over. He still had a look as if he was expecting trouble.

"My world has kind of fallen apart at the moment." I told the girl as I put sugar into my coffee.

"Did he hit you?"

"No! I lost my little boy, he was killed. My husband has taken to drink and now another woman."

"My God! How could the bastard do that to you. How could you go through all of that to only end up here?"

"Well I am at a crossroad now. I don't know if I should go back or run for the hills?"

"Greif can play out on people in such strange ways. When my dad passed away my mum was fine. Three years down the line and she started to get depression. When she went on meds there wasn't anything of the mother that I knew left."

"Did she make it through?"

"She got better over time. It took many years but she gained back some of what she had lost."

"Life! it's ever easy!" I drank up my coffee and started to eat my ice bun.

"Thanks for this talk. I really feel better, although I still want to go and punch his lights out even more!"

"Its been good talking to someone outside of this all. I hope things work out better for you."

"Thanks." The young woman picked up her coffee to go and headed for the door. "My name is, Sara by the way." She said and walked out of the café leaving me stunned.

As I walked around the high street I kept on thinking about the young woman I had spoken to in the café. I couldn't believe she had the same name as Jacobs friend and she seemed in every way to me to be a older version of her. They say there are no coincidences but that was uncanny. I walked across the road and into the car park. As I walked up to my car my phone started to ring. I took it out of my bag and noticed the number had been Darren. I went to put the phone back in my bag and open the car when the phone started to ring again. I sighed and answered the call.

"Darren, I am busy right now. Can you call me in an hour?"

"I just wanted to talk to you, to explain things."

"Look, I need to get going I will call you later."

"I want to meet you, please."

"I will call you back when I get home, speak to you soon." I cut him off before he could speak anymore. Did he want to talk to me or was guilt that wanted to bring its friend excuse along to the party to tell me why he had done the things he had been doing? I got into the car and sat for a moment fighting off my own guilt that was trying to tell me I had been a bitch just then. I pushed all thought from my mind and pulled out of the car park. I pressed play on favourite cd and turned it up. I wasn't going to worry about this until I called Darren back, if I called him back at all!

When I got back I found a not on the board by the front door. My mother had told me that she had a phone call from a friend at her art class and that she had to go out. I didn't mind because I had decided that I did want to hear what Darren had to say. I picked up the phone and dialled the number and after a few rings the phone was answered.

"It's me!" I said in a tone to show him it was a bit of an inconvenience.

"I just wanted to talk to you. Meet you and explain who that was."

"I would have thought that it was obvious. What's her name?"

"Cindy! She works at one of the bars I have been going to."

"Well at least you can admit that you have be frequenting bars, well done!"

"I had too much to drink. She brought me home and things got out of control."

"Spare me the details, please!"

"I need someone! Needed Someone that night!"

"Well now you can have her any night you want."

"I wanted you, I NEED you."

"Has she gone?"

"She is working tonight. I'm going to meet her at Ricks Bar at ten. I am going to tell her then that it shouldn't have happened. Why don't you come home?"

"Look I have to go, I will call you in the morning. We still have things to sort out."

"OK, I'm sor..." I cut him off I didn't want to hear that word.

I turned off the television at eight thirty as I wasn't into the programme I was watching. I kept on thinking about CINDY, why that name? I had all sorts of images in my mind of what she looked like. Now I knew where she worked I was going to go to that bar. I wasn't going to go and shout at her and cause a scene I just wanted to see what she looked like, I needed to see what she looked like and I wanted to observe how she was around people. You could learn a lot more about someone that way. So many people just go running in with all guns blazing. If you want to find the truth of a person, who they really are,  you observe.

I don't know what time my mother got home but I woke up to find myself still in the chair I had been sitting in with a blanket placed over me. My mother must have placed it on me when she got in. I looked over at the clock and noticed it was about 5am. I pulled the blanket aside and headed out into the kitchen. As I put the kettle on I saw my mother was sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of tea. She looked up at me and half smiled. I sat down at the kitchen table and asked her what was wrong?

"My friend I had to go and see. Her husband has just passed away after a short illness. He was a good a friend."

"I'm so sorry." I reached out and rubbed her hand gently. "Do you want a top up?"

"No, love. I think I will just run a nice hot bubble bath and relax for a while. I told my friend I'd go and stay for a couple of days but you can stay here as long as you want."

"thanks but I want to head back to sort things out with Darren about the house and what we are going to do. I can't put this off forever."

"Well come back here as soon as you are done. This is your home as well."

As I drove I phoned Darren on the hands free kit. He answered and I could hear someone talking in the background. I guessed it was Cindy on her own phone to someone else. I asked Darren if he was at our home and he told me that he had spent the night with Cindy as she had come to see him only to find him with a bottle of drink in tears. I told him that he needed to get the doctor to get him onto a rehab programme. Cindy should go with him and help him through. Darren had gone silent when I told him that. I guess that he still wanted me to go with him. It was strange because even if he sorted himself out and got off of the drink I would still have the issue to deal with that he had betrayed me, was there a way back from that? Could I ever love that man again? If the trust is broken can it ever be repaired?

As I go to the corner of the street I pulled the car over and parked up. I had told Darren that I wanted Cindy gone from the house before I got there. I had plans for our first meeting and It wasn't today. I walked over to the turning where our house was and I called again. Darren assured me that Cindy was gone and that she had even made the house tidy for me. That only made me angry. I didn't want some other woman going through my home and touching my things. I told Darren to meet me outside as we had to get to the bank. I just wanted to get this over with so I could put my plan into action of facing Cindy at the bar. When that was done I just wanted to get home and spend some more time with Jacob. I wanted to see what my son was up to today!

The meeting at the bank went as well as one could expect. They were not very happy and gave us all of the warnings speech. We were given options and told that they would help in anyway that they can, which meant GET IT SORTED FAST!  When we left the bank I told Darren we should get something to eat. I wanted to talk to him and I knew he had a lot to say to me.

"I am going to look for work myself. I don't want us to lose the house."

"I need to see the Doctor and get into a programme. I will get myself sorted, Judy."

"It isn't just the drink. You have slept with someone else, betrayed me. I am not so sure that we have a way back from that, Darren."

"It was a mistake!"

"That keeps on happening. You are letting her back into our home time and again. She is taking over the role that was mine. Can't you see how that feels to me as a person? How do you think that makes me feel as a Woman?"

"I just needed someone. I can't do this on my own and she was there. She WANTS to help me."

"I WANTED to help!" I snapped. "You just couldn't wait until I had time to sort my own issues out. I would have taken you to meetings and been there through every step of the healing process."

"Every time I close my eyes I see him, Judy! I see Jacob our little boy."

I felt the tears filling up in my eyes. "Don't you think I see him? I see him when I look around myself. I see him in in the little children on the street. I feel him in my heart every moment of every day. Sometimes I swear I hear him call me. I miss him as much as you."

Darren let his tears fall. "How do you cope? How do you push his image from your mind? The only way I can is to drink it away."

"I don't want to push it away. I let him come into my mind and I find a way to cope, no matter how hard that is, no matter how much it knocks me off of my feet, I find a way."

Darren reached for my hand but I pulled away. "Will you help me?"

"I'm not sure if I am the one who can do that now."

"Will you at least come home, be there in the house. Help me get to the Doctor."

"Make the call, here and now! Make the call and I promise you I will think about it."

"thank - you" Darren took his phone out of his coat and dialled the Doctors number.

That night I sat in the bar looking at the bar staff and trying to work out which one was Cindy. I sat and watched each one as they worked. One of the woman was busy taking trays of drinks over to a young lad. She bend down low so her breasts were on show for the lads as she placed the tray on the table. She gave a wink and walked off in her little short denim shorts. I shook my head at the young woman who didn't see just what she was doing to herself. I looked around again and then I noticed a woman behind the bar who had shoulder length brown hair. She looked about my age and she seemed like she didn't want to be here. She had bright red lipstick and the same denim shorts and bra top as the other bar tenders. I walked over to the bar and she came over to me.

"Can I get you anything?" She asked me.

"I was looking for someone."

"Take you pick, honey. There are plenty of hungry dogs out there tonight."

"NO, it was a woman."

"Well your in the wrong bar for that, honey."

"No, I'm looking for, Cindy."

"Well you found her. How can I help?"

"Are you due a break? We need to talk. I am Darren's wife!"

"Take a table, Ill be right over." Cindy didn't even flinch but she called out to Someone to take over the bar and sat down at the table with me.

AS Cindy sat down she put a drink down in front of me. I said thanks but I didn't pick it up to drink. She looked like a woman with sorrow in her eyes. She wasn't afraid of me in anyway and I had no fear of her. She looked so young. I took a deep breath and spoke.

"I don't want to cause a scene. I just want to ask you something."

"Look, Darren was at his lowest. We get guys like that in here all the time but he seemed different. he seemed like he was about to go under."

"So you thought you would sleep with him and help him out."

"NO, it wasn't like that at first. We got talking he told me about your son. I told him that this bar was the last place he needed to be. He was going to drive home and I wasn't about to let him do that so I gave him a lift. I made sure he got inside the house and I left that night, I swear."

"SO when did you sleep with him?" A simple question I thought.

"It was a while after. He kept on coming back to the bar and I would always take him home. One night he made a pass and I didn't say no. I  SHOULD have, I know that! I should have left the house knowing he wasn't in his right mind but I didn't. I am sorry. I just wanted to help him and then I found the feelings creeping in."

"You are so young, why would you want to take on someone with a drink problem?"

"I told you, I just wanted to help him at first. That was all I wanted to do."

"So what are your plans? Are you staying with him? He told me he wants me back home, that he made a mistake."

Cindy looked hurt and I did feel for her. "Then it looks like he has made his mind up."

"You need to tell him he is bared and you can't see him. I'm sorry but it has to be this way if I am the one who is going to help him."

"I understand." Cindy stood up. "He should see what a great woman he has in you, I'm so sorry for what I have done." She walked away and I knew that she was in tears.

As I walked up to the front door I was thinking about what was ahead for us both. This wasn't us getting back together, I had to make Darren see that but I would do all that I could to help him. I opened the door and found Darren standing there with tears in his eyes. He looked at me as if he couldn't believe that I was there. I knew I had to tell him about my meeting with Cindy and I had to lay down what the rules were going to be if I was to stay in the house.

"Come into the kitchen!" Darren took my hand and led me into the room.

When I walked into the kitchen I saw the table had been laid out as if for a romantic meal. Darren had taken the chance that I was coming back to the house and had been preparing us a meal together. I sat down at the table a little bit stunned. I hoped that he didn't think that we were back together because it was far from the case at the moment.

"Darren this doesn't mean..."

"I know! I just wanted to do this to say thank you."

"I need to tell you something?"

"go on." He said as he say down and lit the candles on the table.

"I have been to see, Cindy. I told her she needs to stay away if this is too work. The same goes for you."

"I guessed you would." Darren picked up a bottle of water and poured it into our glasses.

"I thought under the circumstances, water would be better."

I smiled at that. "Water is fine." I could smell something cooking. "That does smell good."

"It's that chicken dish you order when we go out. I have never made it before so I just hope this doesn't go horribly wrong."

"I don't think you ever did a home meal like this for me."

"I was thinking about the time Jacob asked us if he could help cook the dinner."

"He got so angry when I wouldn't let him use the cooker." I smiled at the thought.

"I think we need to empty the room. Still keep his memory in it but change it."

I went silent for a moment and them I looked at Darren. "Together!" I told him.

Jacobs diary

Jacob walked into the kitchen to see me and Darren arm in arm and kissing and he looked horrified and told us we should go to our room and do that stuff. We both laughed and kissed some more until Jacob just shook his head and went into the living room. I followed him in and sat down in my chair as he sat down with his home work book on the table. I was so pleased that he was taking an interest in his studies. I didn't want him to be one of those kids who spent all day and night out on the streets in gangs. I was so proud of him and I always told him so.

"Can Sara come over at the weekend?" Jacob asked me not even turning around from his work.

"Sure. Is she staying for her tea?"

"I think she will be. We are working on a project together in English."

"It's good that she is taking an interest in her school work."

"She has been in school a lot more lately. Mr Marking told me that I was a good friend to her and that she looked up to me."

I smiled. "You are a good friend. You should ask her if she wants to stay!"

"MUM!" Jacob was shocked and turned around to look at me.

"NOT LIKE THAT!" I said and laughed. "I mean in the spare room. Give her a break from home for the weekend."

"I will ask her. I'm sure she would like that."

"Do you want me to phone her mother?"

"No it's not worth it. She wouldn't care if she was at home or here. She doesn't even remember she has a daughter half of the time."

"That is so shocking. Do you think she even cares about Sara?"

"That is why Sara has had the amount of problems that she has had." Jacob turned back to his homework.

Darren and Jacob were sitting together playing a x-box game when the phone rang. I picked it up in the kitchen to hear a upset girl on the other end of the phone. She seemed in state and I wasn't sure at first who it was but Then I knew it was Sara. I got her to calm down a little.

"whatever is wrong?" I asked her.

"It's my mum. I got home to find her on the floor with a needle still in her arm!"

"Oh my God!" I couldn't believe it. "Is she alive?"

"They have taken her to the hospital. They said I need to get there. I don't know what to do?"

"Look stay where you are. I will come and pick you up and take you there."

"Thank you, please hurry!"

Jacob was standing in the kitchen doorway with Darren when I got off of the phone. I told them what had happened and Darren told me that I needed to get to Sara. Jacob was upset for his friend and insisted that he came with me. At first Darren wasn't sure but then he said ok as she might need her best friend around her right now. I grabbed the car keys and rushed out of the house with Jacob in tow. I could see on Jacobs face that he upset and just wanted to get to his friend. I was thinking to myself about what was going to happen to the girl if her mother didn't make it through.

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