A LOVE FROM THE PAST
Just For You
A LOVE FROM THE PAST BY ANNA GORMAN
☆ character ☆
Jasmine Swanson had been my friend since the first day of Kindergarten. We have been through everything together . . . learning to ride our bikes without training wheels, braces, and even our first broken hearts. We were inseparable until we graduated college and settled down with guys who we thought would be our forever . . . She went back to our hometown, and well, I thought Edwin would be my forever and let him move me three hours from home . . . And I was wrong. He was everything except my forever; a liar, a cheater, and a narcissistic asshole.
I thought going through a messy divorce would prepare me for anything that would happen next in my life, but nothing could prepare for Jasmine’s husband, Ted Stokes, telling me that Jasmine had passed away from a heart failure caused from the pregnancy of their only child . . . No, nothing could have ever prepared me for that news.
After my devorce was finalized, I had been thinking about moving back home to spend time with my parents, who were getting older and were on the verge of retirement. They had talked about selling the house I grew up in and buying an RV to travel the country. I could buy the house from them and set up my counseling business in the office. My father was a counselor too . . . so there could be an opportunity there to work in his practice.
I called my work, and let them know I would be taking a leave of absence, explaining what had happened and needing to be there for Ted and Harper . . . I promised Ted and Jasmine I would be there for Harper always when they made me her Godmother. My employer didn’t have an issue with my taking off and I packed my bags and headed home.
I’ve been home several times over the past ten years; when Jasmine got married, her baby shower and when Harper was born. Mom and Dad wanted to visit me so they could get out of Kinnley Falls. It’s a smalltown with most of the amenities of a large town, but it’s nice to get out and explore.
My parents were waiting for me when I pulled up. Both walking out to embrace me when I exited the car and to help me get my things inside of the house. I sat and visited with them for a bit then told them I needed to see Ted and Jasmine. I texted Ted and told him I was on my way over and he responded thank you.
Jasmine and Ted’s house was in the town where my parents lived in the country. I drove through town and all the memories Jas and I had together came rushing back, tears streamed down my face as I took in face that Jasmine was gone. I tried to pull myself together when I pulled up in front of the house. Other cars filled the driveway, and I assumed that it was Ted’s family.
I knocked on the door and opened it. As I pushed it open, it swung open, someone had opened it but I held onto the door and went face first into the chest of someone who was holding me up. I steadied myself and looked up at the person holding onto me: Brad Swanson. I closed my eyes and wished it wasn’t him that was in front of me.
The one person who utterly destroyed me was holding onto me in my friend’s house . . . and she wasn’t there to save me from him again.
I stepped backwards, excusing myself. I needed to find Ted and check on Harper. Harper and I talk on video daily. I’m her Auntie Lee-lee, because she can’t say Haley. I walked into the living room and Jasmine and Ted’s parents are in there, making sure Ted is doing okay and comforting each other. Harper is busy coloring a picture and she looked up and yelled out Aunt Lee-lee. She came running up to me and I bent down so I could pick her up and hold her . . .
The rest of my time there was a blur. I prayed that Jasmine would jump out and tell us all that this was one of her pranks . . . but by the time I decided to leave, I knew it was reality that she wasn’t coming back.
I took the long way home, passing Jasmine’s house on my way back, and the memories of Brad and me came rushing back . . . He was my first everything: first kiss, first love, first person I gave myself too . . . and he left me. I had to find out from Jasmine that he met someone in the Army and they ended up getting married. I’ve pined over him most of my life, and just when I thought I was over him and ready to find someone who loved all of me, all of this had to happen and throw Brad back into my life.
Frustration radiated through my body as I pulled into the driveway. There was an unfamiliar car sitting there. I get out of my car and make my way to the front door and someone is sitting on the steps; Brad.
He said that he was wanting to talk to me at Jasmine’s but I did a good job of avoiding him . . . and he said that he didn’t blame me but there was a lot that we needed to talk about. Maybe he was right, maybe we did need to talk about everything so I can finally move on from Brad Swanson . . . but why does he have to look so damn good. It had to be exhaustion taking over.
I agree to talk to him . . . tomorrow at the cafe in town that has the best biscuits and gravy at 8 am. He chuckled and asked if that was still my favorite food group. I half heartedly smiled and told him absolutely. I gave him my cell number to call or text if anything changed.
He got up from the steps and gave me a big hug . . . “She loved you so much, Hal, so much.” And he walked to his car and drove off.
Oh, Jasmine . . . why now?
How am I going to get through this life without you?