It was a warm day, that third week of June when someone knocked at my door. Curious, I peeked out from between the blinds that hung in my front window and was very surprised to see Davis on my porch.
Opening the door, I felt a flood of emotions. “What do you want?” I asked none too friendly.
Davis pleaded with me through his eyes. “I need you to come with me, Ruby.”
I laughed at him. “Really? Well, I think not. Have a good one.”
I shut the door and he slid his foot in the way. “Please, Ruby. I need you to come with me.”
His insistence made me stop to wonder what was so important.
“Give me one good reason why,” I challenged.
“Well, I don’t have one. I have just been ordered to deliver you somewhere,” he said evasively.
I closed my eyes and rested my forehead on the edge of the front door. “I can’t bear it, Davis. This last year has been torture for me. I can’t go through all that again.”
“Come out of your cocoon, Ruby. Time to spread those wings wide and fly. Take a chance and get in the car…or do I have to put you there myself?” he added with a nostalgic grin.
I sighed and grabbed my purse shouting out to the boys that I would be back in a while. All I heard in reply was some noise that came out of their mouths mixed with the sounds of video games.
I found myself in the back seat once again. The car looked the same and it smelled the same. We drove through town and got onto the freeway that took us into the very outdoorsy town of Eagle. Taking the busy thoroughfare north, we pulled into the parking lot of a hotel by the river. I could see dozens of people poised with their cameras and ready to strike, as Jack had put it once. Davis came around and let me out and I just stood there not knowing where to go or what to do.
The cameras all clicked and flashed around me. Jack came out through the doors of the hotel. He smiled at me with that relaxed smile of his.
“Ruby!” he greeted pulling me into his embrace.
Shocked, I hugged him back but not knowing what to say or how to feel. I was shocked, to say the very least.
“What are you doing here?” I asked feeling breathless.
“Look. I have missed you and have thought of you many, many times over the last year. I came back here to take my stand against anyone who wants to tell me otherwise. You can see the art of me just as I can see the art of you. You taught me that. You have shown me that there aren’t many people who will ever just love you for who you are. And I know you don’t care about the fame or the money or you wouldn’t have been real with me last year. You are the one I want and you are just as pretty as the day I dropped you off…but I never said goodbye. You did, but not me. I didn’t want that to be the end. I’ve had my struggles as I am sure you have, but it is time I claimed my freedom too. Can you forgive me for how I handled ‘us’ last year and start again?” he asked me in front of all those cameras.
“I thought I hated you. I mean really hated you. I still want to hate you,” I started.
“Okay, I know you hate me. But think of what I was dealing with at the same time. You of all people should be able to understand all those emotions,” he defended himself.
I fluttered my eyelashes in irritation. “Let me finish. While I still want to hate you, I just found out that I forgave you a long time ago. I could never hate you because…well, because I love you too much. Maybe you don’t really want to hear that, but there it is.”
Jack laughed at my sentiment and hugged me tight again. I had found the door to save him when he cried for help and he led me from the darkness and into the light. We were there for each other when we needed each other the very most.
“For old time’s sake,” he said smiling huge and a sparkle in his eye.
Before I knew what was happening, he drew me up into his arms as he had the day we went for pancakes. The day his wife died. The day my dreams came to a screeching halt.
I squealed in surprise. “You still have those strong arms,” I remarked.
“All the better to carry you with. I plan to carry you anytime you need me to, Ruby.”
And then the prince took me into his castle where we would plot out the rest of our lives together. You notice I didn’t say “happily ever after”? Well, that’s because it is impossible to be normal people and not disagree ever, so I thought that politically incorrect to say. But I will say that he has made me very happy and I soar with those big butterfly wings from my cocoon, the very one he coaxed me out of knowing I was ready to fly.