Monday, July 18, 2016

New Beginnings - Chapter 15


Chapter 15

Sitting there on the ground the cool of the grass and soil crept through my jeans.
I looked up to Shane, “I’m getting a little cold sitting on the ground. I think I’m going to try to find a chair.”
“Okay.”

In search of an empty chair I walked around the yard when Jenny came up to me, “Hey Anna! You’re doing okay?”
“Oh yes, thanks Jenny. Just looking for an empty chair.”
“I’ll find one for you. Are you enjoying yourself though?”
“I am, thanks.”

We walked together and Jenny asked, “So how long have you worked as a dancer?”
I told Jenny about my time at the club and she was surprised, “Wow, that’s quite some time. How does Shane feel about your job?”
“It’s not all the way easy for him but I showed him the place and he met the people there. I think that helped a little. It’s still difficult for him.”
Jenny stammered, “So do you have….so with the customers at the club do you have…have sex...”
“No, I don’t have sex with customers.”
Jenny seemed embarrassed, “I’m sorry I asked such a dumb question.”
I smiled, “It’s fine. It’s not a dumb question. Lots of people assume that in a gentleman’s club there is sex but it’s not always the case. We dance and we strip, we do private dances.”
Jenny nodded, “So you and Shane are going to make this work then?”
“Yes, I love him very much.”



Jenny stopped as we were away from the crowds, “Did he tell you about his life before the accident and all?”
I nodded and answered softly, “Yes, I know about the drugs, his time in prison and I know he’s out on probation.”
She seemed sincerely surprised now, “He told you all that? Wow, he must be serious then.”
I sighed, “I hope so.”
“He was a wild one you know…but they all had a shitty childhood. It’s no wonder that he messed up.”
I nodded again, “Mine wasn’t great either.
“Really, mine wasn’t either. I want to give my kids a better life than what I had. I met Jordan when he was 17, I’m two years older than him. We moved in together back then. He needed to get out of the environment he lived in.”

Jenny looked at me with her piercing green eyes, lit a cigarette, and took a deep inhale, then blowing out the smoke, “Jordan's a good, hard working guy, a good husband. Never gives up, never been without a job. We’re making it okay but I know he always felt responsible for the younger brothers but couldn’t stop some of the stuff that happened like with Shane and Nick…sometimes he feels like he failed.”
I asked her, “Does Jordan talk to his father?”
“No, he has no idea where his father is. The same with Nick’s and Shane’s father, we don’t know if he’s still alive or where he is. Those men caused a lot of grieve for those boys and for their mother. She was an alcoholic and a drug addict, always had these violent men in her life. She got beat up all the time, the boys were getting beaten, neglected and all. They’ve been through a lot as kids. Jordan has never laid a hand on me though…never.”
“Shane hasn’t told me anything about their childhood really.”
“He probably won’t. Jordan doesn’t really talk about it, I only know some things. Some stuff was pretty bad. The worst happened when their mom met this dude Cal. She met him when Jared was about two years old. When that guy Cal came into the picture he made sure those boys were scared of him in any way.”
“Maybe Shane will tell me one day, I won’t push it.”
Jenny nodded and inhaled another puff from her cigarette, “He’ll tell you when he’s ready. I’m really glad you guys met though. Shane needs to settle down sometime.”
“Thanks, I care a lot about him and I want to make this work.”
Jenny nodded, “It’ll work. We’ll help you guys. Let’s find a chair for you now.”
We smiled at each other and kept on walking.

Since we didn’t find a chair outside in the yard Jenny suggested, “You can just go in and get one of the kitchen chairs, it’s all right.”
“Thanks Jenny.”

I walked over to the trailer and went inside, just about to grab a chair in the kitchen when a guy appeared from the back hallway. I was startled some seeing him as I had assumed I was by myself in the trailer.
He smiled, “Hi, can I help you with something? I see you’re trying to steal a chair.”
I answered a little nervous, “There are no more free chairs outside and Jenny said I can get one from in here.”
He came over, “I’m Brian.”
I smiled, “Anna.”
“Hi Anna.”

Brian was a nice looking and attractive guy, with dark blonde hair, light blue eyes, nicely built, wearing a T-Shirt and shorts with sneakers.
He asked “You’re not from around here, are you?”
“No, I’m from New Orleans.”
He tilted his head some, “What brings you to this little corner of the world?”
“I’m here with Shane, Jordan’s brother.”
Brian smiled, “Oh, I see, you’re Shane’s girl. I figured a nice looking lady as yourself wouldn’t be single.”
I lowered my eyes, “Thanks.”
I grabbed the chair and Brian took it from me, “Here, I’ll get this for you.”

I thanked him but at the same time was a little worried at what Shane would think if Brian would be bringing my chair over to him. We walked toward the door when just at that moment Becky had to come in.
She looked at us strangely, “Brian…Anna?”
Brian explained, “I’m getting the chair outside for Anna.”
Becky added, “Oh okay, that’s very nice of you since Shane can’t help her and he’s occupied anyhow.”

We passed Becky and when I got outside I glanced over toward Shane and I saw a girl actually sitting very closely next to him. For some reason she had a chair.
 
I walked through the crowd, Brian coming behind me with the kitchen chair. When we got there, Shane turned to look at me and Brian. The girl glanced up too and I noticed her hand on Shane’s knee. I wondered if she knew that he couldn’t feel her hand there but right away I felt jealousy. I saw Shane move his leg away with his hand and her hand slipped off his knee.

I gestured Brian to set the chair down next to Shane on the other side, “Thanks so much Brian.”
Brian greeted Shane, “Good to see you back home Shane.”
Shane greeted him and Brian said, “I already met Anna inside.”
I could see a flicker in Shane’s dark eyes, “Oh yeah! Hey Brian.”  
Brian must have sensed the tension and said friendly, “Well, I helped Anna with the chair. Are you all right with it right there Anna?”
“Yes, thank you Brian.”
Brian turned to Shane once again, “Again, welcome back Shane.”

Now I glanced at the girl. She had very long dark hair and was very attractive in a wild way.
Shane turned to me, “Anna, this is Rachelle, an old friend of mine.”

I wondered what kind of old friend because it had definitely looked like a very close old friend with her hand on his knee and I had a real problem with that. I wanted to be the only person who touched his legs and his braces anywhere and anytime.

Rachelle only nodded at me and then looked back at Shane while I sat down. I looked into the fire and Rachelle couldn’t care less about me right there and kept talking to Shane like I wasn’t even there.

She giggled and continued with her previous story, “…so Galveston was crazy in the spring. We really got so stupid there…”
I heard her voice trailing off, telling Shane something about her and her friends during a spring break at Galveston, then rambling on about college classes and I caught on again when she seemed to reminisce about a time a while back, “…you and Nick were idiots when you did that. Remember when you ended up climbing through that back window with me and we totally made out…”

I was boiling inside now. She kept going and I was pretty sure now that Rachelle and Shane had had some kind of very close history together and even though I wasn’t in the picture then, now I was and it was just plain rude of her to sit there and talk to him about whatever they had had together. I was thinking about getting up and leaving. I looked over and Shane’s eyes met mine. He reached  his hand over to me but I wasn’t as close to him as Rachelle was and I didn’t take his hand.

She giggled and when I saw her hand back on Shane’s thigh feeling along his brace cuff I couldn’t hold back anymore.
I cleared my throat noticeably, “Do you mind?”
My voice was sharp and loud and it startled Rachelle.
She looked over at me with dark eyes, “What?”
I stood up from my kitchen chair, “Do you mind keeping your bony fingers off my boyfriend’s leg?”
She looked very surprised at my outburst but said with a mean grin, “Okay…just for your info little lady, Shane and I go back a long way. I haven’t seen him in a while. We’ve got lots of catching up to do.”
I hissed, “Well, the catching up is over now.”
Shane looked at me nervously, “Anna...baby…”
Our tense interaction had caught the attention of people near us.
“Don’t you “baby” me, Shane!”
I turned to Rachelle again, “You just need to back off right now or we’re going to have a serious problem.”

I was surprised at myself and the outburst of such jealousy. I had never experienced a situation like this and now I felt like a complete idiot in front of everyone who witnessed this. My whole body was shaking, the hair on my arms was standing on ends.
I kept on with a trembling voice, “Whatever you two had, it’s over and it better be over, Shane…”
I shot an angry look at him, “Whenever you’re done reminiscing about your past with that bitch you better find me…and you…”
I pierced at Rachelle full of anger, “Just so you know, I’m the only one that touches that, this is mine.”
I made a hand gesture over Shane and stomped off.

People were staring after me and I heard someone call out among laughter, “Girl fight, girl fight.”
I saw Jordan and Jenny come over toward Shane and I saw Becky up on the back porch of the trailer looking at me and I started crying, walking very quickly around the trailer to my car.
I heard Shane calling after me from a distance, “Anna!”
I didn’t stop, instead I almost ran and after a moment I heard Jenny’s voice behind me, “Anna, wait up girl.”
I ran to my car, breathing heavily and jumping into the driver’s seat.

Realizing my doors had been unlocked I was very surprised when Jenny jumped into the passenger seat, “Girl, don’t you drive off…what the hell was all that about?”
I cried now, “I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to cause problems at your party but whoever she is, she was a little bit too much all over him and she didn’t even care about me there.”
Jenny leaned over and put her hand on my shoulder, “Well, she is an ex, simple as that, but she’s an insignificant ex, because she happens to be the ex of many-a-guys around here and Shane is just one of ‘em. It was never anything serious between them, Anna.”
I said under tears, “She was all over him.”
Jenny sighed, “Yeah, that’s Rachelle for you, she’s all over every guy in this town…you did the right thing but she doesn’t care.”
Jenny looked out through the windshield, “Here comes your boyfriend, don’t be too hard on him.”
She got out of the car and I heard her muffled voice talking to Shane.
 
With the all familiar rustle and bustle Shane was getting into the car. I didn’t look over to him but kept my eyes down. I heard Shane unlock his braces and from the corner of my eyes I saw him lift his legs into the car. He was gasping as he was finally in the car and had his crutches next to him.
He pulled the door shut, “Baby?”
I didn’t look up, I cried silently and thought about what had just happened and how I had probably overreacted. I had never acted that way with any guy.

I felt Shane’s hand on my arm and he apologized softly, “Anna, I’m sorry.”
I shook my head, “I’m the one that should be sorry. I don’t know what overcame me. I acted like an idiot. I just…she really…”
My voice trembled and Shane said softly, “You don’t have to explain why, I get it.”
I looked over to him and only a distant light from the lantern in the front yard fell into the car from outside.
“You’ve been with her?”
Shane answered lowly, “Yes, on and off since we were teenagers and a couple of months before the accident. I’ve known her since we were kids. It was never anything deep, only about…”

He stopped and I knew just what he meant to say.
“Rachelle is only about that. You can ask other guys in this town.”
He took a breath, “I was hoping she’d be gone before you got there but she just sat down and that was that. Then you came back and I knew it wasn’t going to be good. For once because Rachelle was there and then I saw you come back with Brian.”
“He only helped me with the chair.”

Shane shifted some and leaned over closer, “Baby, I only want to be with you. I love you and I can’t even imagine not having you around all the time. You being here with me tonight means so much to me. It’s one thing being back here but it makes it easier that you’re here with me. I see everyone looking at you, checking you out and I know they all wonder about us. I feel like…” He paused and took a deep breath, “I just know that I’m so glad that I don’t have to be here by myself. I’m not exactly crazy about all these people here, staring at me and my legs and all the guys checking you out and wondering why you’re with me. We’re like from another planet to them. I don’t know how everything is going to be for me back here. Being in New Orleans for the past couple of months really sucked under the circumstances of why I was there but it also took me away from all of this here and all the memories these people and these places hold for me. But being in New Orleans also made it possible for me to meet you. I don’t want to be here anymore with all these people, nothing has changed here. I need to move on, I don’t want to be here Anna.”
His voice was shaky.

I took his hand in mine and looked over at him, “Aren’t you glad to see your brothers again?”
“In a way I am but at the same time it brings back all those old painful memories and it’s difficult for me. The one person I kept looking for all night isn’t here, no one has said anything about him and it kind of pisses me off you know. Why aren’t they saying anything?”
I held Shane’s hand in mine, “I know it’s difficult for you and I know they haven’t talked about Nick.”
“It’s lingering like the elephant in the room but we haven’t had a chance to talk about him.”
I stroked my fingers over Shane’s hand and I really didn’t know what to tell him.

After a moment I asked, “Should we go back there now? I’m so embarrassed about my outburst and I really don’t want to see that girl again.”
“Don’t worry about her.”
He then took my face in between in his hands and came close to my face, “I love you so much Anna.”
“I love you too.”
Shane smiled in the dimness, “Hey, I’ve seen the feisty side of you twice already today…I think I like it.”
I smiled and he moved over some and kissed me long and hard.
 
We went back to the others. The party was becoming less crowded but still random people welcomed Shane back, patted him on the back and greeted me. He smiled, he explained and I smiled. I didn’t see Rachelle anymore. Everyone was still sitting around the fire.

When Jenny spotted us making our way over she came toward me and wrapped her arm around me, “Are you all right again?”
I nodded shyly, “Yes, thanks Jenny.”
We walked over where the others were sitting.
Jared got up from his chair when we came closer, “Here you go Shane. You can have my chair.”
“Thanks man.”

He lowered himself onto the chair and unlocked his braces.
Candace watched him curiously and asked bluntly, “You have to pull this thing up in the back of your knee to bend your legs?”
Shane nodded, “Yes.”
Candace wasn’t done yet, she seemed sincerely interested in Shane’s situation, “Do they hurt?”
Shane shook his head, “No, they don’t hurt.”
Candace asked, “And you’re paraplegic, right?”
“Yes, incomplete paraplegic, T-12, L-1.”
“What does that mean?”

Jordan interfered with the interrogation now, “Candace, I think you asked enough questions for today.”
Shane looked over at his brother, “No, it’s cool...”
He turned his eyes to Candace again, “It means that my spinal cord didn’t get completely severed but just partly which left me with some sensation in my left foot but not enough to walk anymore without help. I also dealt with a lot of other injuries beside the Spinal Cord Injury. My legs were crushed with broken bones, and causing nerve and muscle damage which added to the whole thing. So I’m depending on the braces and the crutches to walk.”
“From where on do you not feel anything anymore?”
Shane showed Candace the area on his lower belly where his paraplegia started.
Candace nodded, “Wow, that’s crazy, I’m sorry Shane but I’m so interested in that stuff because I want to go to school for nursing.”
“That’s cool, I hope it’ll work out for you.”

Everyone had been sitting there listening to Shane but feeling uncomfortable. Only Candace didn’t think anything about her questioning Shane.
Now Scott asked lowly, “So there was really no way they could fix you all the way?”
Shane shook his head, looking over to Scott, “No, the Spinal Cord Injury fucked things up and that’s just how it’s going to be.”
I heard some tension in Shane’s statement, almost like he was done explaining and done talking about his situation.
Scott sighed, “Well, all that matters is that you’re back home again where you belong!”

Shane didn’t say anything else. Scott and the others had no idea how Shane felt about being back in Morgan City but I knew his brothers only meant well and tried to make him feel all right. Jordan looked somewhat weary at Shane and I sensed that the situation with Shane was harder on him.

I stayed mostly quiet, just listening. I felt I had to stay out of the conversations since I was only Shane’s fairly new girlfriend. The sensitive topic which still hung like a dark cloud over the guys was Nick. No one had mentioned him and I knew being back home Shane had thought about him all night. Maybe this painful topic had to wait until the next day. I was sure Shane would want to go to the cemetery to see Nick’s grave.

All the conversations about Shane had everyone forget about my outburst of jealousy earlier and I was glad about that. This feeling of relief was rudely interrupted when Rachelle appeared in our midst again and positioned herself in front of me, her long dark hair flowing in the breeze and her fierce dark eyes on me, “So did you calm down sweetie and get it out of your system?”

I was dumb founded and didn’t know what to reply.
Shane took the word, “Just leave Anna alone Rachelle, you don’t need to start anything here so just back off, all right?”
Rachelle grinned at me with an evil expression, “That’s so sweet that he takes up for you like that. I don’t think he would’ve ever done that for me. I was always just good enough for a quick fuck…many times when he felt like it.”
She looked over at Shane who shifted some in his chair and she asked in the same cold tone so everyone could hear it, “Can you still get it up like you used to? I heard paraplegics sometimes can’t get it up anymore….”
Shane was just about to reply something when Jordan got up and demanded angrily, “Rachelle, shut the fuck up and leave. You weren’t exactly invited tonight anyways. Just get out of here before I drag your ass off my property.”
Rachelle laughed now, “Oh my, you’re scaring me now, Jordan baby, but I know you’re just pissed off because you never had a piece of this.” She gestured over herself.

At that moment Jenny got up and lunged at Rachelle.
Without wasting any time she slapped Rachelle in the face, “Get out of here you fucking bitch.” 
Jordan quickly put his arm around Jenny protectively just in case Rachelle was about to revenge. 
Rachelle held her composure though and grinned fiercely gazing at Jordan, “That wife of yours got a strong hand. No wonder you’re scared to fuck around on her.”
Jordan was about to lash out but Scott got in the middle, held Jordan back and told Rachelle, “Just get out of here okay.”

Rachelle turned to me once more, “Well then, I’ll get out of here. Have fun with that fucked up piece of trash then honey. You can have him.”
She turned toward Shane and laughed, “Shane, baby, you know where I live. Come and find me if you want to give it to me cripple style.”
Shane seemed like he was about to blow up from anger but kept it in and we all watched Rachelle proudly trot away, throwing her head back with her long black hair flowing.

I was speechless and I looked over at Shane, who didn’t meet my eyes. Instead he shifted and was about to grab his crutches.
Jordan pulled Jenny closer to his side. She was shaken up from the slap she had inflicted on Rachelle, “Babe, are you all right?”
He took the hand Jenny had slapped Rachelle with in his and inspected it, “I can’t believe you did that.”
Jenny snuggled up into her husband’s embrace, “She just pissed me off.”

Candace remarked, “Oh my God, that Rachelle woman is evil. What’s her deal?”
Becky who had come over answered that question dryly, “She’s the town whore and we just can’t get rid of her. She sleeps her way around this town like a stray cat looking for a home, doesn’t she?”
With the end of her statement she glanced at Scott and Shane. Scott didn’t say anything, Shane was avoiding Becky’s glance as well and I sensed that Scott probably had had a history with Rachelle at some time as well.

I remembered how Rachelle had said “many times” when referring to herself and Shane and it hurt me some. I glanced over at Shane and he actually looked up at me and said tensely, “It was before your time, all right?”
I realized he was annoyed with the whole situation but I knew he was right. He had a past in which I didn’t exist and I had a past in which Shane didn’t exist. I had slept with other guys, he had probably slept with other girls besides the town whore Rachelle. I really had no right to be angry at him.

Rachelle’s description of Shane though built on what Jeff had said the night before about him and it made me wonder what kind of guy Shane really was before and more and more I felt that I had met a very different version of the guy he used to be. Even though I loved him, now I wondered just a little bit if maybe now being back home would bring on some kind of transformation and he could change back to that guy he apparently used to be. I was worried that his being back home, falling into his old ways, being around old friends and people like Rachelle could maybe threaten our relationship in the long run. I would leave and go back to New Orleans and I would have no control over what would be going on in his life.  
 
My thoughts drifted back to how Shane had said that he needed me to help him cope with his disability, the accident, the death of his brother. More and more I got the feeling that he really needed me to get through a whole lot of other issues, the things that had apparently happened to him in his childhood, the drugs, the crimes, his time in prison, and the people who were no good for him. Then there were the unspoken emotions among the brothers, the broken home they all had shared and I also worried about keeping Shane out of trouble, which in his case he was still walking the thin line of probation. Could his coming back to Morgan City cause things to turn bad once again?
 
I looked at Shane and was surprised to find his gaze on me. Everyone was talking about Rachelle still and Shane was just sitting there looking at me with dark eyes. The fire was throwing shadows on his face, the flames flickering in his eyes, and he held his hand out to me. I hesitated for a moment, then got up and walked over to him. I kneeled down in front of him, wriggling my body between his legs and moving up close to his face. His arms were on my shoulders and he pulled me right up to his face.

For a moment he just scanned my face and I saw a tiny dot reflecting the fire in his eyes.
His voice sounded questioning and slightly tense as he asked lowly, “You were actually thinking about all the stuff she had said? She got in your head, didn’t she?”

I nodded and he pulled me closer and almost whispered so no one could hear him, “You’re my one and only, you hear. I don’t care about anyone else, the stuff she said is in the past. It means nothing to me, nothing at all. The only person I care about is you and you just have to take my word for it.”

He sounded almost like he was lecturing me, “Anna, it’s you and I only, okay? Nothing else matters and nothing will come between us, nothing at all. I love you and I don’t know what else to tell you. I hope you trust me and don’t doubt what we have. I’m getting really tired of assholes coming in between us and causing problems.”

The way he said it and the way he held me tightly to him gave me chills. He meant what he said and he was getting angry with all the things that were coming between us. I had to not let my doubtful thoughts take over what I felt in my heart. Shane had felt it and he wasn’t happy about it. Seemingly to make a point he pulled me to him and with his arms around me, he kissed me hard and demanding, not caring about anyone around us but almost as to make a serious point so I would get it.
 
Everyone else was occupied and talking about things. Becky and Scott were gathering their kids to get ready to leave and Jared and Candace were doing the same thing we were doing, kissing passionately leaning on a large tree trunk nearby.
When we let go off each other I saw Jordan and Jenny standing in an embrace away from us and I could see even from where I was that there was a lot of love between them.

4 comments:

  1. Wow, she can't leave Shane there!

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  2. There will have to be lots of trust between them for this to work out well. I liked the tension in this chapter.

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  3. fighting in the bayou! Nope he needs to go with her. This place is only going to get him depressed and slow down his progress.

    Shane has a past. Like a PAST.
    Tc

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  4. Intense!
    Thank you!

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