“Will you stay here?” her mother asked tentatively. She was nervously ringing a napkin with her hands.
“I hadn’t planned to.” Seeing the look of despair cross her mothers face she quickly added. “But I haven’t found a hotel yet either. Maybe I could stay here while I find a house to rent?” She sat next to her mother. “I just want to be on my own. I mean, really on my own.” She smiled and took the napkin from her mothers hands. “I want to see if I can make it on my own." She thought about adding that she was afraid they would fall back into where they were when they left off ten years ago, with all the fighting, screaming, and slamming doors. Things seemed so nice right now, tense, but... nice. She wanted it to stay that way.
"I'm not sure being handed a job at the diner is what I meant by making it on my own, but... Yes daddy. I'll take you up on that offer. I'll even start tomorrow if that's alright with you." She grinned. Maybe things were going to be ok. Maybe her heart would continue to beat without Jason and maybe she wouldn't forget to breath. And with those two tiny thoughts the bubble burst and her stomach dropped making her feel empty inside all over again. She faked a smile as she helped her father lug suitcases into her old bedroom which was amazingly the same as the day she'd left it. The pink flowery bedspread had been replaced with a patchwork quilt and there were white lacy curtains, she didn’t remember those.
There was a bulletin board that had movie ticket stubs and some photographs. Ribbons from 4-H shows lined the walls and there was a poster of a boy band that had long since broken up. She picked up a tiny glass figurine and ran her finger over it. It was a fat little dapple gray pony. Jason had given it to her. She set it down and smiled at her father who had been watching her silently.
He opened his mouth as if he wanted to say something but instead he just smiled and patted her arm before leaving the room and shutting the door behind him.
"Be a best friend, tell the truth, and overuse I love you
Go to work, do your best, don't outsmart your common sense
Never let your prayin knees get lazy
And love like crazy"