ALISON

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45

David Hertz

From the beginning I knew Jenna showing up unnoticed would be a huge problem.

Since Jenna showed up unnoticed at the house, Alison hasn't stopped asking questions, I'm afraid If this continues it won't take long before the truth is revealed. She shouldn't even be near this mess.

"Dai..you're here?" Jenna was surprised to see me.

"Can we talk?"

"Yes..of course...Hhm, there's a coffee shop around the corner, we can go there if you want, it's not far."

I nodded,

"That's fine by me."

We walk for a while.

"So how's Alison?" She asked as we strolled down the city, "I really loved meeting her, she's a lovely girl, I can see why you're so fond of her."

I mused slightly, "She hasn't stopped asking about you too,"

"I promised her I would show her around the city, that's with your permission of course, there's a really cool movie theater."

"We would be flying back tomorrow, she as a lot of catching up to do in school." I said. Alison would be graduating in a few weeks, I would be lying to myself if I say that doesn't frighten me.

"I heard what happened on the news, that was horrifying, I never could imagine Matt could do that." She looked stunned, "I hope this teaches him a lesson."

I nodded,

"Micheal placed a lot effort into finding her," I said, and she frowned.

"Does he hate me?" she whispered.

"He didn't say."

She smiled slightly,

"Anyway, here we are, take a seat. I would be right with you," She said and made it into the coffee shop.

I settled down and pulled my phone to call Alison. I wasn't comfortable leaving her by herself, especially at this hour,

"Hey, you alright?"

"Yeah, just watching TV, and really wishing you were here. Hurry and get here."

I smiled, "I will be back soon. In the meantime, try and eat something."

"Okay, I love you.."

"Love you too." I hung up and tucked the phone away.

"Thanks, boo." I heard Jenna yelled at random and returned to the table with two cups of coffees and a muffin.

"Here we go, sugar-free hazelnut latte, double shot with soy milk and no foam for you, and an espresso for me."

"You remember?"

"Of course, I remember." I should have mentioned I drank black coffee now, but the excitement on her face stopped me.

"I also remember you had the pickiest orders growing up, remember when you used to make nana, make you that bologna and butter sandwich every morning before school, she never complained..."

I smiled at the thought,

"How's she?"

"Missing you, you should come see her one of these days." If there was one person I would love Alison to meet, it would be Nana.

Nana is like a mother to me, she took care of Jenna and I when our mother was too tipsy to do anything for her own children, which was most of the time.

"And, mom?"

"What can I say? Mom is mom, she's back to drinking everyday and cursing everyone the next morning, poor Nana. I think she's on boyfriend number 20 now." She chuckled at the last part, "We thought moving to Melbourne would make things better for her, but it actually made things worse."

"How do you still tolerate her? She's choosing her path a long time ago, you should find yours."

"Dai, regardless of how shitty our mother is, she's still our mother, I lover her and I can't just avoid her like you do, when was the last time you called? At least I'm putting an effort."

"I'm not here for a fight Jen."I sighed and leaned forward, "Neither am I here to talk about mother."

"Then, why are you here David?" She hasn't called me that in years, "I'm sure is not to catch up on the long lost years of our lives."

I nodded slightly,

"I'm actually here to talk about Alison, since you stopped by she's been asking a lot of questions, and I hear you've texting her--"

"David I'm not stupid--" She cut in, "You don't want her finding out about the affair, just say it, or is it that you helped cover it up by sending me to that forsaken city." she gritted at the last part, "Which one is it?"

"I was trying to protect you."

"No, you were trying to protect him, it's always been about him, even now he's gone you're still looking out for him, Dai." She inhaled deeply, "You never even asked me once how I felt...You knew how much I loved George since high school, and you still blamed me for it. You still do."

"He was married. Jen. What did you have me do, watch you ruin your life?" I remember the night George confessed he was having an affair with Jenna, I remember being mad at him for misleading my little sister,

"You know he said he loved me and he wished things were different the night you forced me away." she beamed as if recalling the event in her head, "he loved me dai."

Silence.

"It's been so long, Jen. How can still love him?"

She smiled,

"To be honest I never stopped, I don't think I can..you know next week is his birthday."

I nodded,

Silence.

We both go quiet for a while.

"You love her, don't you? I mean Alison, you love her." She asked.

I nodded, "I'm seeing Alison.."

"I guessed, I could feel the chemistry..."

"She would be heading out to college soon, And," I paused.

"And, that scares you?" She supplies.

I mused, "You know how it is."

She smiled, "Boys..parties..freedom..sex..love, I remember it all....David, She's young and very naive, you didn't think it would last till the end, did you?"

No matter how much I love Alison and want her with me, I can't let her stay with me and miss out on everything life as to offer.

"Anyway, I won't mention the affair to Alison, that's only if you promise to come see nana one of these days, bring Alison too..."

I nodded,

"I promise."

She grinned,

"I have to go now." She stood up, "I'm already late for work. bye." she waved and turned to leave.

She turned midway,

"And, Dai, all those concerns won't matter if she feels the same way about you, love always wins." She said finally and left.

_____

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