Living in a world where there are only lows and never highs, Jenna’s memory has trained itself to forget. Forgetting the bad was never a problem for Jenna until she forgets the one memory she never should have forgotten.
Landon has never forgotten, even when he desperately wishes he could. She haunts him. By chance they meet again but Jenna still does not remember Landon. What Landon doesn’t know is that Jenna has secrets. Secrets that change everything.
Their love for one another is the only thing that can heal years of abuse – for both of them.
When tragedy strikes memories are triggered and Jenna’s whole world changes.
Can Landon help Jenna survive at the hands of a madman?
Turning the knob, I opened the door, stepped inside then quickly turned around, not allowing Landon to come inside.
"Thank you for your help," I told him, hoping this would appease him, knowing it wouldn't. But I didn't get the chance to find out for sure.
"Oh darlin', who do we have here?" My grandmother asked behind me as I stood there, gaping to myself.
"It's nobody Granny, you can go back in the den." I hoped to god she would take the bait.
"Oh honey, don't be rude. Introduce me to your friend," she said as she came up beside me, opening the door wide, then reaching her hand out to introduce herself. "Cecelia, nice you meet you. You are?" But then she got a good look at him. "Oh, dear." Her voice sounded grave as she took in who he was. Who he most likely was in her eyes. But there was no denying it, Eli was the spitting image of Landon. I really wasn't sure how I didn't make the connection the moment I saw Landon. How was I going to explain to her that I found the man who deflowered me and gave me a son? Now he was standing here without a clue.
Granny snapped her eyes back to me with a worried look on her face and a terrified look in her eyes.
Then he spoke. He spoke words that terrified me. I knew my grandmother would take them completely wrong. I didn't want her thinking I was keeping things from her. But this? How was I supposed to tell her?
"By the look on your face, I'm going to assume you already know who I am. I'm sure Jenna's already told you." Seriously? I knew what he meant. He meant 'You already know I took her virginity on a drunken night she doesn't remember', NOT, 'I see she told you that I’m Eli's long lost father'. Geez.
But I hadn't told her anything about finding him. Nothing. At all. I wish I would have; it would have made this moment so much better, not to mention eased my mind. But she was already dealing with my father being released from prison. She didn't need too much stress, she wasn't exactly a young woman.
My grandmother just continued to stare at me without saying anything. Trying to communicate everything she wanted to say with her eyes. I hoped Eli was asleep. Then again...why was I fighting this again? Wouldn't it be so much easier to just get it out in the open?
“What’s on your mind, love?” I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the shit-storm brewing or if it was memories from her childhood. Or something altogether different. Hoping it was something different was just that – hopeful. I could usually read her so well.
She looked up at me with surprise in her eyes. She hadn’t realized I was awake.
“Baby,” I said back at her on a squeeze.
The way she looked at me I knew what she needed so I gave it to her. After her moments of reflection she gave in.
“There’s a couple of things on my mind Landon.” She stopped and just looked at me. I knew she wanted to give it to me but yet didn’t at the same time. Luckily, she continued. “First I was wondering why we haven’t… well, you know… yet.” And she stopped. I really didn’t want to get into this conversation first thing in the morning, but I also knew… she deserved an answer, she deserved everything.
“Beautiful… The more I get to know you the more I realize how precious you are. I can’t treat you like you’re just some random chick like I’ve always done. No matter how much I want you I can wait. The way I feel about you… I can’t throw you away, not ever, because you’re my sunshine in world full of dark.”
Her eyes never left mine but I saw her swallow and I could see the shimmer of tears she was forcing back. So I kept going, “You don’t give me hope Jen, you are my hope. Hope for a better future than the demons of my past. So baby, we’re gonna go slow. We’re gonna learn everything about each other. We’re gonna keep exploring our relationship and hope it blossoms into what we both know it could be. I want you to feel safe with me. So safe that you can give me your demons because baby, that’s what I want for us. I want to hold the burden of your demons and eventually, for you to feel safe and strong enough to hold mine.”
A lone tear finally fell from her eye. “Thank you Landon,” she whispered. “Thank you so much.”
My arms circled her close as she silently sobbed into my chest.
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