As John walked up to her door, his heart pounded. He was filled with relief, excitement, and worry. He knocked.
Jessie was startled by the knock on the door. Who could that possibly be?
He grabbed her in his arms and held her tight. Tears filled Jessie’s eyes immediately.
“What are you doing here?”
“Looking for you!”
Jessie pulled away from him and wiped her tears.
“Aunt Betsy died just the other day.”
“I know. I’m so sorry.”
“You know? Well, I’m sorry you came all this way, because I don’t have all your money yet. There wasn’t enough money left over from the sale of the Hotel to send you any. But I have a job now, so I’ll be able to get it to you soon and . . .”
“Jessie! I’m not here because of money! And you got a job? So that means you had no intentions of coming home?”
John sounded very angry all of a sudden.
“Home,” Jessie thought. He still referred to the farm as her home.
“I know you’re angry with me Jessie, but at least you could have contacted me to tell me you were alright, you did promise. I’ve been worried.”
“Well, I made that promise before I knew the truth.”
“Listen to me. I know I’ve been a fool. I should have told you the truth about your Aunt. I’m sorry for that. But, the rest, it’s not like you think Jessie. I wasn’t paid to keep you actually . . . I mean, the money was mostly spent on you and things we needed. And the rest, well, maybe in the beginning it started out for the money, I guess. It was foolish, but I’m not sorry I agreed to take you with me.”
For a minute Jessie thought she saw tears in John’s eyes as well.
“Are you sorry you came with me Jessie?” his voice hardened.
“Well, I wasn’t once I got to the farm and got used to everything, and you. But now . . .”
“Now what! Now you have a home. You have the church group and friends, and my parents who adore you, and your sewing. Did I do so wrong Jessie? What did you have before you came with me? Were you happy then? Because I thought you were very happy with me.”
“Yes, you’re right, I did have all those things and more. More than I ever had at the Hotel. But you lied to me and took all those things away from me!” she continued to cry.
“I didn’t take anything away from you! You’re the one who got some job, and obviously made all the decisions for both of us. And what about me Jessie!”
“You . . .” she sobbed, and buried her face in her hands, as she sat on the bed.
John went over and sat with her. He put his arm around her and wiped her tears.
“Don’t cry, Jessie . . . Do you know why I’m not sorry I took you with me?” he said softly.
“I wish I could thank your Aunt. Thank her for the whole absurd idea. She was right. Maybe somehow she knew things would be good for both of us . . . How could I be sorry? If it wasn’t for her, I never would have had the chance to get to know you . . . and to love you!”
“You love me!”
“Yes! I love you. I have almost from the beginning. Didn’t you know?”
“I thought maybe, I wished you would. Oh, John!”
Jessie lay her head on his chest as he held her tight.
“I love you too.”
“Then will you come home with me now?”
“Yes, oh yes!”
“And this time it will be different. I want you with me always. I don’t ever want anything to come between us again. The farm and house are not complete without you. You’ve worked just as hard as me to get things in order.”
“I’ve missed it, and you so much.”
“I want everyone to know I love you . . . I want you to come back proper this time, as my wife.”
“Your wife! I would love to be your wife! Can we have a big wedding, at the church with your parents and everyone? And I could make a beautiful gown and . . .”
“Yes, we’ll have it all.”
“When can we leave?”
“Right away, but before we go there’s something I need.”
“What is it?”
“I need to feel your soft lips on mine again.”
He smiled, as he remembered what happened the last time he said those words to Jessie out in the barn.
She smiled back, remembering as well.
“Well, if you really need to,” she teased.
And then they kissed passionately, and then lay together sharing each other’s bodies completely, just as before.
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