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Jack & Joelle – Chapter 8

Rays of sunlight danced and sprinted across the crests of Elliot Bay’s waves, as light poured in through the apartment’s massive, master-bedroom skylight. To the east, Seattle concaved around the Bay which rounded to the tip of Alki neighborhood. The long-awaited summer season had made the bed too hot to sleep in, regardless of how many windows they would spread open before climbing under the covers together. Now, Igor was digging himself a nest and building a fort out of the blankets that were kicked off of the mattress during the night. An intoxicating aroma of sea-salt from the ocean and fresh gardenia deriving from the rooftop garden flooded into their senses, lulling her mind back to rest.

He awoke an hour later in the same bed with no head to hold or hand to kiss. His head was still fuzzed-over after slumbering in a now-sold apartment in San Francisco, California, the familiarity of waking alone remaining. Sizzling eggs scrambling and the scent of bacon confused Jack for a second as he had been living alone for a while now, yet he was still in bed. His return to Seattle the previous night prompted a 14-hour nap in Joelle’s bed, and had finally awoken to a decadent breakfast with his one, true love. They had the rest of the day, the weekend, their lives to do whatever they felt like doing.

Joelle cleared the used dishes into the small kitchen after they were done eating. The small, decorative table she had found at the local, Sunday market on the deck had fitted snugly into the corner, allotting the ideal amount of space for two people to sit at the same time while a cat sleeps atop the railing. Jack freshened himself up and went into their bedroom to grab a small box from his nightstand drawer. A few minutes later, they were off and out the door.

Volleyball players were grunting and playing their game while Jack and Joelle were laying out their towels atop the endlessly-deep sands of Alki Beach. The definition of the waves blurred into a blue mass when Jack pretended to drop his eye contacts. They flipped their towels, dug through the sand, and peered into shells until she finally found what he was hiding. A small, silver, sparkly piece of metal shimmered in the light and fell into her hands. When she turned around to face Jack, he was down on one knee, asking her to marry him. He had planted the ring on the beach while Joelle wasn’t looking. She couldn’t possibly have been happier. The decades of love that she could foreseer with Jack were never-ending and took up her future time with ideas on how they would spend each and every day together until they were gone for eternity.

 

 

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 7

Their months apart passed as slowly as the fog rolled in over San Francisco bay, as slowly as the night crawled in over the Seattle, summer sky. Quarters ended after every 2 1/2 months with a two-week gap in which they would alternate visits to each other’s cities. Summers would be spent in his California and winters on her occasionally snowy Alki beach.

Both of them changed during their time apart from one another. Neither of them cheated, heck, they couldn’t even begin to fathom that either one of them would find somebody else to love as well as they loved each other. Their winter visits in Seattle were magical: snow as light as powdered sugar fell over the bay, slowly but surely replacing the sandy shore with flakes of the solidified rain. Joelle found great pleasure in her trips down to San Francisco; her hours alone listening to Lana del Rey albums in her car was a personalized getaway to a nirvana of relaxation which could only come when alone in one’s presence. Hearing another person’s voice when she was by herself made her feel less alone, as though she was with someone comforting without worrying about being judged for being herself.

As the years went on, Jack eventually graduated from FIDM with a degree in men’s fashion. A few months earlier, Joelle had graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor in journalism. He had made the car journey to the Seattle campus to see her graduate and grasp her diploma in her impeccably manicured hands, wearing his favorite dress. Passing through Oregon state on I-5, she felt different this time although she had made this same trip several times over the past several years. She didn’t want to listen to music. She didn’t want to be alone but she also didn’t want to with somebody else. A tingle crept over her spine and up into her neck as she clasped the steering wheel with her dominant hand and sped off into the distance.

He finally had it. He could see it. He had it in his hands. Seconds ago, the dean of FIDM had handed Jack his diploma, a piece of paper he had been busting himself over for the past six years. He never wore suits; if was going to class, which he never missed, he would be wearing jeans and a t-shirt; if he was at home, he was in a pair of sweatpants and old t-shirt. In the back of her car she had secretly packed all of Igor’s things and Igor himself in his crate in order to surprise Jack with the greatest animal ever. Slight meows every now and again from the sleeping feline in the back of the car gave Joelle the company that she wanted for the long, lonely, journey to northern California.

They awoke in his bed, in an apartment which overlooked the fog-covered bay region. An hour ago, Joelle had snuck out to her car to grab Igor, bring him back to his condo, and pretend to fall asleep into Jack’s arms again. Something scratched his legs and he couldn’t have been more pleasantly surprised to feel the soft cuddles of his little, baby cheetah.

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 5

Endless hours of sunlight and millions of stars by night filled their summer. Every morning they would wake up in Jack’s bed and pile their way out over the hard-wood flooring to catch a glimpse of the beach at sunrise. His entire self was accommodating, most evidently in the extensive time he would spend with Joelle on a daily basis, taking care of her when she felt stupid and speaking in whispers to each other when the days would come to a close. It was the most memorable summer of their lives because neither of them had ever felt so close to another person before.

In July, Jack had been accepted to the school of Fashion Design and Marketing in San Francisco. He had done everything from spending his Saturday nights studying for his AP classes to writing endless college application essays to get into school. He didn’t have money, he depended on his GPA to get himself into the best of the best. In the meanwhile, Joelle was accepted to the University of Washington to progress her studies in journalism. Her dream was to eventually have her own magazine. There was this fear in the back of Joelle’s mind that her relationship, a perfect relationship, would crumble away and disintegrate without reason while Jack was away for the four years it would take him to get his degree. Jack was afraid that Joelle would find someone else while he was away, because she was the most special girl anyone could think of.

On an afternoon in the last few weeks of August, Joelle returned to her penthouse apartment to gather her things in uncountable boxes to be moved into Jack’s vacant loft. After all, Jack couldn’t take Igor with him and somebody had to be there to feed, bath, and study on the floor with. Although she knew that she would see Jack in 2 1/2 months, one day without him felt like a year. Jack had already left for California a few days earlier, of course only after giving Joelle cuddles for hours and kisses for days. While he was settling into his new dorm, Jack felt empty even though he knew that this was a step in the right direction. He was following his dreams but at the same time he wanted Joelle. He needed her as much as she needed him.

Jack & Joelle – Chapter 4

Golden sunlight crashed in through the white linen sheers as daylight arose over the city. “Where am I?”, was her first conscious thought, blonde waves strewn across the pillow. All that she could see was white. Out of the abyss of covers she felt something wriggle her way up through her legs and onto her abdomen. Gently peeking up the blanket she saw a speckled, Serval kitten napping beneath her bust-line. “His name’s ‘Igor'”, Jack’s voice enchanting Joelle as she laid in bed relaxed yet awake. It was the day of their senior graduation, but right now all that Joelle wanted to do was play ‘hide-and-seek’ with Igor throughout the loft.

Several hours later, Joelle was slipping her small frame into an emerald-green silk dress to later be paired with her white, Chandler Academy, graduation cap & gown. Meanwhile, Jack was doing up his torso into a mint-green button up and slacks for his lower half. He loved her more than the rainy days of Seattle, more than the amount of droplets of water in the Pacific ocean. She breathed him, as though she couldn’t live without him if her survival depended on it. He saved her life the instant she came into his.

Immediately after the fire grew into the parking lot, the oxygen line beneath the street exploded. Jack was leading her away to the safety of his loft when the fireball burst and Joelle was only multiple feet away from the flaming inferno. The next thing she could remember were masked faces asking her to wiggle her toes and look into a bright light. Her dress had been cut off of her and a gown placed on while she was unconscious. Out of the haze of gloved hands and syringes she saw Jack’s face: scared, apologetic, and overwhelmed. He had never meant to hurt her, in fact he was trying to save her from the scare of the fire by leading her away to the safety of his home. They wanted to be in each other’s company and nothing less.

In the afternoon they ate lunch at the Space Needle’s restaurant and subsequently went on to Chandler Academy to graduate on to college. Jack’s only supporter was Joelle while Joelle had her father, mother, and brother clapping for her in the stands. Her memory was still a bit fuzzy but a growing feeling crawled over her with discern. She thought: “Will Jack and I go separate ways?”. She knew in her heart that there was something gripping her to Jack’s wrist but there was no way to know for sure.