I’ve been home a half hour when the banging starts at the front door. I really wasn’t sure if he would follow me back or if he’d be relieved to find me gone so that he could leave without a scene. Demons slayed, no recriminations.
“Jenna!” Another thump rattles the door in its frame. “I know you’re in there! Open the fucking door!”
I march to the front door and swing it open, halting his hand mid-thump.
“Come in, Tyler,” I say, turning to walk towards the kitchen and leaving him to follow.
I fill the coffee pot, more to keep my hands busy than any real desire to drink it while the nausea is rolling in my stomach.
“Coffee?” I ask Tyler, even though I’ve never known him to drink a cup of the stuff in his life.
“What the fuck, Jenna?” Tyler explodes, ignoring my question. “Why did you take off like that?”
I turn to face him, leaning back against the counter, my heart beating out of my chest.
“Your cell rang, and I answered it. It was in the bedside drawer. I saw the contract.”
Some of the fire goes out of his eyes and I can tell that I’ve just confirmed a suspicion he already had.
“When Dad said he’d gotten you a full-ride scholarship, I didn’t realize quite how far away it was. Or where it would take you professionally. Congratulations. You’re about to become the new linebacker for one of the biggest teams in the country.”
“Why did you really come back, Ty?” I interrupt him. “To slay old dragons? Put the past to rest and tie up loose ends? Am I a loose end? God, what an idealistic idiot I am!” I choke, my throat thick with emotion.
“Jenna….” Ty tries again, but this time the jangle of house phone interrupts us, making us both jump.
I turn numbly and pluck the receiver from the cradle mounted on the kitchen wall.
I don’t recognize the female voice on the end of the line.
“Yes, this is Jenna Danvers,” I say, a feeling of unease unfurling in my stomach.
“Ms. Danvers, this is Mary Jacobs from Ruby Memorial Hospital in West Virginia. We’ve been trying to contact you since yesterday morning. We admitted a Mr. Michael Danvers here, your father I believe?”
“Yes,” I whisper through numb lips.
“I’m sorry, Ms. Danvers. I’m afraid there’s been an accident.”