I decided to do NaNoWriMo this year, my 12th year? To give myself some more daily focus, which is a thing I've been working really hard at, with the extra vitamins doing their assigned jobs and giving me more energy.
I wrote half a story last year that I really like, and I might write the other half sometime, but for now I'm going back to Jack's donut shop. This is because a) I never finished the story I worked on 2014, and b) I spent October not planning to do anything else. I seem to write half stories each year, which tells me my stories like to be told in 100k words, and that's something I wouldn't do in a 30 day period, unless under duress. So why not write a back half this year instead of a front half?
I've been writing about Lily, Violet and Jack for most years since 2005. Eight years, with an occasional other story mixed in. I now have three groups of people I write about; Lena and her friends in Michigan, and Sylvester, Jasper and their family in Kentucky, as well as the Sea View, NJ crowd.
And here is the last thing I wrote about Jack, a little less than two years ago. So from here is where I begin a back half; both a new story and the continuation of an old one. It's, yes, Daughter, out of context for you, but pretty much obvious on the surface. I seriously hate the last line, 😝 but I'm leaving it alone and moving on.
#more time at Donuts and Coffee
Jack walked into the donut shop on Sunday afternoon whistling “I’m Not The Marrying Kind.”
There were no customers at present. Melissa was behind the counter on the phone. “No, we’ve never sold square donuts. I don’t know why, we just never have. Yes, I understand those are very popular in New York, but we have no plans to change our current donut shape. Yes, I will pass along the message when I see our owner. Yes, of course. Good day.”
She nodded to Jack as he sat down on a stool, still whistling. Then he said, “How about a cup of good, hot black coffee?”
Melissa reached for a cup to pour him some, but replied, “It sounds to me like you’ve already had plenty today. What’s up? I didn’t even expect you in this afternoon.”
Jack said, “Oh, I’m not here to get any work done. I’ll be in all day tomorrow. I’m just waiting for Violet, we’re heading to the theater to work on some stuff. Who was on the phone?”
“Some nutty customer wanting us to sell square donuts like that shop in Manhattan. I said I’d pass along the message, and now I have. Why aren’t you just meeting Violet at the theatre?”
“Nosy. I don’t know, she’s at her sister’s house, close to here, and we figured we’d drive over there together.”
“I see,” said Melissa, who was pretty sure she did see, but she said nothing more.
Jack saw Violet with a sense of wonder as she came through the door a few minutes later. He felt nervous, and felt silly about being nervous; they’d just spent 18 hours together and were parted for only an hour or so, but he wasn’t sure if it had been forever or no time at all. Both, somehow, he decided, as most of his feelings tended to run in two divergent directions. The urge came over him to ask her to run away with him to that no wifi desert island he was always joking about, just him, Violet, and an always-charged mp3 player for company.
But while he mused over these idiotic thoughts, she came up to the counter, as cool and collected as ever, slipped her arm through his, and asked, “Ready to go?” And that made everything fine again. He leaned over to kiss her cheek and said, “I’m ready.” Melissa smiled as she watched them go, then reached for her phone to make a call.
Jack turned on the heat in the theatre, then he and Violet went through the Narnia door to his studio. He said, “If I’m opening this space to the public, or at least more friends, I’ll have to do something about the fire escape entrance. Vinny told me last week he thought it was a bit rickety for his aging knees to handle.”
“You’re supposed to have two means of exit in every room like this, in case of fire,” Violet answered idly.
Jack realized this conversation was pointless and dull, so he asked, “Would you like a drink? I mean, some tea or water or something, or I have juice…” He trailed off as Violet shook her head at him.
“We’re alone together in the coolest room in town, and talking about doors, Jack.”
He said, “I enjoyed waking up in your bed and making breakfast for you. But after I left, I wondered, somehow, what it all really meant. We had a lot of wine last night.”
Violet frowned, and beckoned to the big leather couch. They sat facing each other, but not touching. “I don’t understand, are you having reservations now? I think we’re good for each other, Jack. And I felt—“ She stopped, uncertain whether to continue.
He said, “No, I don’t have any reservations.” Taking her hands, he said, “Making love with you was a dream come true for me. I’d relive every moment of it again and again even if it never happened again. But I don’t want to burden you with my emotions.”
Sighing, Violet answered, “I see. My reputation suggests I’d push you away if you got too serious about it all.”
Jack looked at her hopefully, waiting for her to continue. When she didn’t speak, he said, “I was instructed to not drive you off by being too serious. But when I woke this morning, all I could think was that I don’t ever want to be apart from you. I can’t do this lightly.”
“So you cooked breakfast for me in my kitchen.” Violet smiled. She squeezed his hands, then let go with one to trail her fingertip along the length of his jaw. Then, cupping the side of his face, she leaned in to kiss him. He was tense at first, but began to relax as they continued. Suddenly he couldn’t bear not having his arms around her, pulling her into his lap, and she willed herself to melt into him, so that he’d know, without asking any more questions, that they were part of each other now, and she wasn’t going to let go or push him away.
He realized she wasn’t going to speak her feelings easily, unlike most women he’d known who seemed to spend a great amount of time examining them all in detail. He’d once read about how people give and receive love in different ways; some with words, some with gifts or actions or touch. Jack was handy with words, but he liked doing things for people to express his affection. And it occurred to him that Violet was always patting someone’s shoulder or hand, or leaning in to kiss a cheek. He’d seen her playing with her sister’s hair while they talked and laughed together.
He sat up and looked at her. Surprised, Violet leaned back and raised her eyes with a question.
Jack laughed and said, “It’s okay now. I just figured it all out. Life and love and everything.” He bent over her and she reveled in the weight of his embrace.