TRIGGER WARNING: This post mentions scenes of domestic violence. If this subject matter is likely to cause upset or distress please do not read on
Jessica 6 Weeks Later is part 2 in my new series following Jessica as she navigates through a new part of her life after making some pretty big decisions. What has happened to her since that day on the prom? Did she make her decision and was it the right one? Jessica is embarking on a new time in her life and has some tough choices to make ahead but can she make the right ones and will she regain control of her life?
Jessica 6 Weeks Later
Lying there in the bath, Jessica closed her eyes as she lowered her head under the water. Still, being careful not to move, she held her breath until it hurt before resurfacing. There was just something so soothing and relaxing about being underwater. It helped clear her head when the craziness got too much.
Glancing up at the showerhead on the ceiling, Jessica still couldn’t believe she was here. It had been 6 weeks since that fateful day on the promenade as things with Steve finally came to a head. The pinnacle of their relationship was long behind them and the descent from the amazing to rock bottom was a fast, slippery slope.
Putting the key in the door that day had confirmed what she already knew. She couldn’t, wouldn’t go back to him. Touching her head and the now fading red welt next to her hairline was a painful reminder that that chapter in her history was finished.
Two nights in the hospital and countless police interviews later, the court date had been set and she would make sure Steve was sorry for laying a finger on her like that and hopefully stop him doing it to many other women too.
She since heard Susie had given him more than a shoulder to cry on, but she was pretty sure she had been doing long before the day he slammed her face into the corner of the glass table. Wincing as she remembered the force of her head connecting with the sharp corner, Jessica became aware that the bath water was no longer hot, tepid at best and she should top it up or get out.
But despite the pain and throbbing having subsided, her heart still ached not only for the loss of her life but for the loss of her friend too.
The nondescript, bland white hotel room was small enough to be cosy, but it wasn’t very welcoming and definitely not a place you could call home. Jessica lifted her body out of the cold water and stepped onto the beige tiled floor. She had another meeting with her liaison officer that afternoon and hopefully, he had some good news for her this time.
Shrugging the soft white robe on her shoulder Jessica plodded to her bed and back to the warm away from the cold tiled floor. The white bedsheets had been turned down by housekeeping earlier on and it always seemed a shame to Jessica to have to undo it all so she could snuggle into bed. Her afternoon naps had increased in frequency as insomnia wreaked havoc on her nighttime attempts at a peaceful slumber. In the dark, alone, her mind raced with thoughts of what could, what might, will things happen and as she lies there flitting from side to side she knows, time is running out to make her mind up. Nothing could take away the memories or the nightmares that ravaged her mind in the dead of night.
But one thing she was sure about she thought as her hand instinctively enveloped her still flat stomach was that Steve would never know her secret. That day on the prom, she was there to clear her head. She had never wanted to get pregnant. Girls like her didn’t do things like that. She was happy as she was. She wasn’t really the maternal girl. If she was American she would be voted least likely to have kids. She loved both of her godchildren and would do absolutely anything for them. But reproducing herself? “No thanks”, she always told people. “It’s not for me.”
But nothing could have prepared her for what was to come later that day.
She was going to tell him that she was leaving. She knew the relationship was toxic and if she was going to have this baby, she needed to move away and start afresh. She and Steve could then discuss the future as parents but not a couple.
Her mind was made up before knocking, quite literally, the owner of the most dangerously delicious chocolate brown eyes she had ever seen, off his feet on her way back to her car. She remembered thinking, as he caught her that day, “if eyes were chocolate then this man would most definitely be red Lindt balls delectably irresistible.” It made her realise that she hadn’t felt that way about Steve for a long time. And if another man could stir up that kind of emotion in her, then maybe it was time to re-evaluate what she and Steve had and venture off into the world for new adventures!
She had met him again, the handsome stranger. She now knew him as Jamie, PC Jamie McDonald, The man who had made her cheeks flush and stomach flip as he caught her and stopped her falling that day was one of the responding officers to her frantic and terrified 999 call. And now he knew all her secrets. He knew about Steve, the baby, and her lonely existence as she holed herself up in the hotel room day after day. Terrified to leave in case Steve found her like he threatened he would. Jamie had quickly become her rock, despite the rules. Jessica couldn’t help herself. He knew her pain, her fears and apart from her mum, he was one of the five people who knew where she was.