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[story] Adventures of Hannah episode 14

Episode 14

She woke feeling heavy and puffy-eyed. She

stared at the wall and took a deep breath. If

ever there was a day to stay in bed and hide

from the word, it was today.

She thought about Ben and Ruby as she

showered. She ‘d do her best to hide her illness

from them, but it was inevitable that they

But hopefully by then Hannah would have had

the time to create some distance between

them. No more watching the kids or them

staying over at her place. The kids would think

she and Joe had simply broken up. They’d be

hurt for a while, but a little hurt now was

preferable to a lot of hurt later .

And Joe….. Joe will move on too. He might be

angry with her for a while, and sad, but she

knew he would eventually understand she’d

done the best thing for him and his children.

She’d never thought she could love anyone so

much that she would be able to let them go

when everything in her screamed for her to

cling fast. But she wasn’t free to love them.

She

had nothing to offer. It was as simple and as

painful as that.

She looked in the mirror as she dried off after

her shower, her gaze dropping to her b0s0m.

Slowly she cupped them in her hands, feeling

the weight of them, the shape of them, trying

to imagine what it would be like to have a scar

instead of rounded flesh. She dressed in jeans

and a t shirt and wandered out to the kitchen.

Her mother was busy juicing oranges.

“Lots of fresh fruits from now on, she said.

“There ‘s a cookbook I ‘ve seen about positive

eating.”

“That sounds good,” Hannah said.

There was a knock at the door. Hannah glanced

at her mother. Her mother simply looked at her

and Hannah sighed.

“Would you mind? In case its Joe.” She’d

always

known it would take more than one

conversation to convince a man as loyal and

loving as Joe to protect himself.

“Okay, I ‘ll get it,” Hannah said with a firm and

straight face.

She took a deep breadth, with shaking hands

went to open the door.

She retreated a step when she saw he wasn’t

alone. He was standing hand in hand with his

children, Ben on his left, Ruby on his right.

Ruby’s eyes were puffy from tears and Ben

looked as though he’d been crying too. Joe

held

her gaze steadily when she looked at him. He

was pale, his gaze was very direct as he said

“I

‘ve come to give you our answer.”

“I didn’t ask for one ”

There was a hardness to his face, he said with

fierceness that she’d never seen there before.

“I

don’t care. The kids and I have been talking. I

told them your news. ”

Ruby sniffed and wiped her nose with the back

of her hand. Hannah looked at her small,

pinched face, her heart aching.

“You shouldn’t have ” she said in misery.

“They deserve to know, the least you could do

is hear them out.”

Ruby stepped forward and said:

I haven’t said it to you before because I was

too

shy, but I want you to know that I love you.

And I want you to get better and I ‘ll do

whatever I can to help you. Keep my room

clean and help with the cooking and go to bed

on time without being asked. Anything you

need.

It was Ben’s turn. He took a step forward, his

hands clutched together in front of him :

I know I was mean at the start, I really want

you to come to Queensland with us, I don’t

care

if you’re sick. I love you too…..he said rapidly

the words almost ran together. He stepped

back by his fathers side.

Hannah closed her eyes and tears spilled out.

She heard Joe murmur something, and when

she opened her eyes again it was just him

standing there. She stared at him, her chest

aching with sadness. She whispered “I don’t

want to hurt you. Can’t you understand that?”

Joe closed the distance between them. He

wiped away her tears with his thumbs. Joe

dropped down to one knee and said the words

that brought more tears to Hannah’s eyes…….

“I know you don’t want to hurt me, and its one

of the many reasons I love you. But you’re not

doing this without us, Hannah. No way. That’s

our choice, and we’ve made it freely, and we’ll

camp out on your doorstep if that’s what it

takes to make you see sense. But I’m kind of

hoping it won’t come to that. He reached out

and took one of her cold, trembling hands in

his. I know I love you, even though I never

thought I ‘d feel this way or even want to feel

this way again. I know I want to fight over the

remote control with you and make pizzas with

you. I know I want to make love to you and

wake up with you in my bed each and

everyday. I know I want to stand by yourside

while you fight this battle so we can grow old

together.

“Hannah Napier, will you marry me? ”

She stared into his face, taking in the

proudness of his nose, the strength of his jaw.

“What if I loose? ”

He didn’t break eye contact for a second.

“Then

I ‘ll be with you till the end. I ‘ll take whatever

chance I can get, Hannah. If the past two years

have taught me anything, its that happiness

and love are too bloody precious to walk away

from, no matter how fleeting they might be.”

“I love you, ” she said.

“I know. Say yes.”

“Its crazy. We should wait till we know more.”

“Until when? I love you now. I want you to be

my wife now.”

He was too strong. Too sure. Too compelling.

And it was too close to what her heart craved.

“Joe……”

“Just say yes ”

The word seemed to form itself on her lips all

on

its own.

“Yes.”

Joe leaned forward from his kneeling position

and wrapped his arms around her waist, his

head coming to rest against her belly.

She couldn’t believe how brave he was, how

determined. And how brave his kids were, how

generous. She remembered the way they had

stepped up and said their piece and her heart

swolled in her chest.

After a long moment Joe pushed himself to his

feet.

“Let’s go tell the kids you’ve come to your

senses. Then we need to go buy you a ring.

Ruby offered her Barbie ring, but I figured you

might like to choose your own.”

“You told the kids you were going to propose

to

me? ”

“Of course. Its their family, too, you know.

They

have minds of their own, in case you hadn’t

noticed. ”

“I noticed. ”

He slid a hand along her jaw and into her hair.

“I love you, Hannah. We’re going to get through

this. ”

“I hope so.”

He kissed her. “I know so.”

Then he led her out into the street to find the

children.

Tbc

Posted by on February 16, 2019.

Categories: /Literature/Stories

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