The next morning, Jo wakes up happy. Feeling rested and like she belongs. She gets ready quickly, before walking downstairs to look for Jake. She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a cup of coffee and a newspaper. He looks up at her with sleepy eyes and his hair all messy. She can't help but giggle at seeing him like that. The guy that seems in control at all times, turns out to be a simple mortal like everyone else.
He lifts an eyebrow and asks: "Are you laughing at me, missy?" She pretends to look shocked and says: "Me? I wouldn't dare." She winks at him and walks away giggling to get herself a coffee. As she walks back in and sits down at the table, he folds the newspaper up and puts it away. He looks at her, while deep in thought and she doesn't dare to speak. It is probably better to wait, until he is ready to speak on his own. After a while he starts: "Eh...I think I need to tell you something about myself. But I am not really sure how to start. And I haven't talked about it much with anyone..." He runs his fingers through his hair, suddenly looking very insecure. She is not sure what to say or do, not even sure she wants to hear what he has to tell her. She can clearly see the pain behind his eyes, it must be something bad. He takes a deep breath and starts talking, avoiding eye contact. "I think you noticed yesterday...I was a little emotional when you told me about your day and how you felt like you were meant to end up here... I was. Emotional I mean. There was such a big change in you, compared to when you stumbled in here for the first time. I was so scared for you when I saw you the first time. And I thought I recognized something. Which made me even more worried...."
He takes a sip from his coffee and looks up at her, to see how she is handling his story so far. She looks at him with soft eyes and nods at him, trying to get him to tell her more about himself. He starts talking again, making sure he doesn't stop, she needs to hear this. And he sure as hell needs to talk to someone about it. "I had a sister, Jenny. She was seventeen when she died." He hears Jo holding her breath, he stares at the table, afraid of breaking if he looks into her eyes. "She ran away from home when she was sixteen. Well...she ran to a guy when she was sixteen. I had a really bad feeling about this guy. But I was already working and living on my own at the time. And our mother.. well they weren't getting along. To be honest I wasn't the best brother I could have been, around that time of my life. Very busy doing my own thing. Not realizing what was happening until it was too late." He takes a sip of his coffee and Jo can see a lot of the emotion in his eyes. She would like to hug him tightly, but she is afraid that it will stop him from talking. And he really looks like he needs to talk about this.
His voice is a bit cracked as he continues his story: "My mother called me a few times. Telling me she was worried about Jenny. But I wasn't really listening to her. Then one night when I was about to leave the house for a drink at a bar with my friends, my phone rang. It was Jenny. She whispered an address and told me to hurry. I felt my heart go cold within seconds. I just knew she was in serious trouble. I raced over there and when I arrived...." A tear rolls down his cheek. "I found her laying on the floor of her apartment. She was gone. My little sister was gone. I was too late." His shoulders start shaking as he covers his face with his hands. Jo gets up quickly and wraps her arms around him, planting a kiss on his hair. This big strong man, looks so lost, that all she can think of is holding him tight. She rubs his back as he cries for a long time, before taking a jagged breath. He tries to say something, but fails. Jo lets go of him and grabs a glass to fill it with water, handing it to him while looking him over. She sits down next to him and places her hand on his. He looks at her with his eyes still filled with tears and takes a few sips of water. He whispers: "Thank you. But there's more..." Jo squeezes his hand and says: "I think I know. It was the guy she ran to, right? He wasn't good to her..." Her own eyes start to fill with tears as well and her throat closes from all the emotions rushing through her. With one swift move, Jake pulls her onto his lap and holds her tight. They both cry silently, comforted by each others company. Slowly they both calm down and realize how they are sitting. Jake clears his throat and Jo gets up quickly with an embarrassed smile. To find something to do, she grabs both coffee mugs to refill them. Jake thanks her with a soft smile as she hands him his mug. They drink coffee in silence, both lost in their own thoughts.
YOU ARE READING
Fight Left In MeRomance
Jo runs from her abusive boyfriend in The Netherlands and ends up on Venice Beach. She eventually finds real love, in various ways and finds her own strength and self worth. But there are a few hurdles to take and as life should be, it's not easy.