Chapter 139

“I hope you know what you’re doing,” Richie said softly.

Tessa looked up from her notebook. Her To Do list was more than half a page long. She had to get her life back, and Jon’s life back. “I’m just getting back to normal, Richie.” She looked down at her notebook and checked off the first on her list.

Talk to Jon.

Now he knew she was doing all right. He could stop feeling so responsible for her. Things would get better now that she was up and moving. It was going to take some time to get back to 100% but she was well on her way. “I wanted to thank you for being there for Jon. I know he was worried about me.”

Richie frowned down at her. “He was devastated. He almost lost you, darlin’.”

She smiled at him. “I know, but everything’s okay now. We can get back to our life and that life is a busy one that’s for sure. I know Jon’s given up so much to be here with—“

“Are you even listening to yourself?” Richie pressed a hand into her bed and leaned down. “Jon needs to be here with you, needs to see for himself that you’re all right. Sending him off to work and do Soul stuff is not the way to reassure him, you know.”

She sighed. “You’re right. I’ll talk to him when he picks me up tomorrow, I promise.”

“Why don’t I go get him—“

“No, Richie. He should get some stuff out of the way so that I won’t be cutting into his life too much tomorrow. I mean it’s going to take a few hours to get out of here and the paperwork done.” Right, paperwork. She replaced the first thing on her list with hospital paperwork. “I know what a busy man he is and I’m sure he’s put a lot of things on hold while I was…sick.”

“Sick? Tessa you lost a baby and almost died! That’s not sick. That’s life changing.”

She looked up at him, his dark eyes were heated and his normally serene face set in a frown. “But I’m okay.” She patted his hand, curling around his large fist. “I’m okay, Richie.”

He stared her dead in the eye, quiet for a long time. “You keep telling yourself that while I go make sure my friend really is.” He stood up and walked to the door. “He lost a baby too you know. Maybe he’s not fine.”

Her heart throbbed for a moment before she cleared her throat. There was no way she could make him see that normalcy was just what they needed now. “Richie!” She called out as he walked through the door. He turned back to her, but those sympathetic dark eyes had gone flat. “I promise we’ll be okay. It’s just going to take some time.”

Without another word he left the room. She rubbed the ach low in her gut. She couldn’t wait to get rid of the stitches. The pain would go away with the stitches, she was sure of it.

She pushed the make-shift desk away from herself and stood up. Restless energy ate at her and the pull of her body did nothing to ease her anxiety. She needed to get away from the hospital and back to her life.

“Oh my God, you’re up!”

Tessa turned around and smiled. “Hey, Nic.”

“Don’t hey, Nic me!” She rushed into the room. “Oh, I missed you so much!” Nic wrapped her arms around her neck and held on. “Are you sure you should be up?”

Tessa patted her back. “I’m fine. I’ve been horizontal for way too long anyway.” She slid away from her. “I talked to the doctor and she seems to think I should be able to go home tomorrow.”

Nic frowned at her, spinning away to come around to face her again. “Are you sure you’re ready to go home?”

She snorted. “Darlin’ I’m so ready I’d walk out today if they didn’t sick Janet on me every three hours like clockwork.”

“Tessa, you were flat on your back two days ago with no signs of recovery and now you’re running around here like nothing happened.”

“Of course something happened, I had surgery.” She reached for her notebook and the reach was too long, she hissed and curled into herself as her body reminded her just how soon it had been.

“Christ, woman.” Nic rushed around to help her back into bed. “You don’t have to be strong.” She smoothed her hand over her hair. “It’s okay to lean on us.”

She slid back on the bed. “I’m okay, just moved too fast.”

“You are not even listening to me.”

She looked up at Nic’s sharp tone. “I am listening.” She sighed. “C’mon, Nic, you know I suck at asking for help. I do things on my own, that’s what I do.” She folded her blankets over her legs and eased back on the pillow. “I’m not going to be happy until I can get around on my own.”

“Well, you don’t have to do it on your own. That’s what I’m trying to get at. Too bad whatever anesthetic they used made you stupid.” Nic folded her arms and kicked the rolling tray.

“I doubt it was the anesthesia.”

“No, you’re right. You’re always stupid when it comes to help.” Nic sighed, dropping arms to her sides. “Honey, you need time to heal from the surgery and the loss of the—“

“What I need is everyone to stop treating me like I’m broken!” Tessa swiped her hand through the air and hissed as her fragile, useless body reminded her that she was broken and she hated it. “I need to get back to normal. That’s all.” She closed her eyes and dragged a shaky hand through her hair. “That’s all.”

“Hey, I’m sorry.” Nic wrapped her fingers around her hand. “Shh. Don’t get upset.”

She gripped her fingers back and forced her breathing to even. “I just want my life back.”

“I know, baby.” Nic tucked a lock of her hair behind her ear. “I know.”


The Goddess Hathor said...

Hey Tara! I know I told you this already, but.... I can't ignore a new chapter on the blog :)

Tessa's clearly in denial about the baby. She doesn't mention it, doesn't want to talk about it, and steers the conversation away when someone else does. It makes her seem like she doesn't care that she lost the baby; that she just wants to get on w/her life. And it sounds like she's gonna do that w/out Jon. At least for now.

"She had to get her life back, and Jon’s life back."

I notice you didn't say "their" life.... She's already thinking of them separately instead of as a unit. The signs are all there - gently pushing Richie away, pushing Jon to go back and do some of the things he put aside as less important that she...the signs are all there for her to try to ease back from him. Poor Jon.

She's doing that push back thing w/Nic, too, and I hope she can make Tessa see what she's doing.

I don't envy you the continuing emotional drama you're gonna have to go through with these characters in the coming months. That being said, very nicely done!

~ Hath

diane4jovi said...

Great chapter. Wow, I can feel a break down coming. She def. needs to cry, scream, and throw a few things. Just not at Jon. Tessa, let him hold you and comfort you. Work through this and then have fun making a baby that you both want.

TaraLeigh said...

Thanks Hath - everyone deals with loss differently and she's so used to just moving ahead. Taking care of things as it were.

There was no one there to hurt but herself. Reality check enter here!

And Diane - Thanks for the great reply as well. A breakdown is just what she needs...now will she let it happen is the question.

SoulGirl said...

Personally I'm not surprised at how she is dealing with this, it's being very true to her character, always used to being alone and dealing and moving on. She just has to get used to that this is not just her loss, she can't make Jon just move on like that as he won't.

I can see a breakdown of somesort, or I can see Jon's patience being tested to the very limit in the future if she doesn't open up or deal with the grief. You can see its there on her surface every one and awhile I hold my breath, but she just jams it down.

Nic I think will see it, she knows Tessa too well. But I just worry for Jon how long he can go on like this without losing his own patience.

Anonymous said...

Well first I want to say thanks for the new chapter as I know you are up to your neck in writing the story for the competition. Sending you good luck and best wishes for that - Be sure to let us know how it turns out.
Now as far as Tessa goes - She is going to hit the wall hard - The breakdown is coming and longer she keeps it at bay the worse it will be. Let's just hope everyone around her will recognize what she's doing and be there when she falls. I think Richie is the best thing for Jon right now, hopefully he will be able to help Jon see that is the pain she;s pushing away and not him really.
Great chapter as always Tara.

Anonymous said...

Very eloquently written, as always, Tara. Like SoulGirl, I can totally understand why she's acting the way she is. And when you're in denial, there is nothing more frustrating than those around you trying to force you to feel. I wouldn't be surprised if she gets even more antagonistic as things go on. I'm sure in the back of her mind she knows the breakdown is coming -- but she's not gonna have it until she's good and ready. I just hope Jon and her friends don't get too aggravated and frustrated with her in the meantime. It sure would be nice if men were smart enough to recognize that sometimes, being busy and "moving on" is the best way to work through all that numbness at first, and being available to talk rather than forcing her to talk is the best thing they can do.

Judith said...

Oh Richie, don´t be mad at Tessa....who else than you know what stupid things people can do to distract themself from the pain....
Be there for Jon, maybe he needs you more than ever right now.

Awww Nic, dunno how long I could watch a friend acting like that. I think I would have shaken her by now. I´m impressed how patient she is. Make her listen Nic, you know how bad Jon felt when he thought she woudn´t make it.

I´m waiting for Tessa´s break down. Anything else I would be surprised, it´s merely a matter of time....

awesome chapter, and thank you for posting more despite all your other projects ;)

waiting for more *muah*

Jovi's Willow said...

Ok, first of all I have to say YIPPEEEEEE!! I'm ALL CAUGHT UP!!!

Tara, your writing is stupedous! I feel every feeling, the pain, the hurt, the desperation... and I feel it deeply from your words jumping off the screen.

Like the others before me, it's obvious that Tessa is in denial about a lot of things. I don't think that it's that she is dealing with the loss in her own way, it's that she's not dealing with it at all. On top of that, she's conciously or unconsiously testing Jon, pushing him away and going back to that "I'm just a passing fling" mentality that we have seen before. I really hope she is going to be able to pull her shit together with everyone's help.

Now, I join the ranks of the impatient hussies.... MORE PLEASE!!!!

mysterytrain said...

Wow Tessa is having a really hard time with this, which is understandable. I can only imagine the emotions with her and Jon on this.

Your writing brings me right there. I love it. I just wait on the edge of my seat for the next chapter.

jerseygirl said...

I just saw that I haven't posted yet on this chapter even though I read it the day you put it up! *hangs head in shame* Anyway not that I need to tell you because I'm sure you know it, but another fantastic chapter, I can't wait to see what's next for Tessa. Next chapter now pleeeeaseeeee! :-D

I also needed to tell you that I was in Red Bank this weekend and I found myself looking for Chapters, and I was like "It's a story stupid you'll be looking a long time before you find it." I swear sometimes I forget that this is fiction!

Connie said...

Hi Tara -

I have just caught up on reading your fantastic story of Jon and Tessa, and this is my first comment. I think you are a terrific writer. I feel like I am right there with the characters through the good times and these excruciating bad times. These last few chapters have been heart wrenching, bringing me to tears many times.

I can't wait for more, so please don't let us wait too much longer. I just finished and am already in withdrawal.

Waiting patiently...


Judith said...


You already know I´m not the patient one...LOL....but I tried, really....

You´re neglecting Tessa AGAIN!
Please hon, I know you´re busy with your nano challenge, but I need more.....*muah*

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