Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 30


I hear the door. Jack walks in and drops his bag and hangs up his coat. I’m in a mess of papers. I’m sitting at Jack’s dining room table. Instead of his papers thrown around the table, they’re mine.

“You’re home early. That’s great, honey, come over and kiss me.” I point to my assembly stacks of paper on his table.

I bought a new Mac computer. All of these documents are proof of my paid-off accounts from hospitals, insurance companies, the physical therapists, and specialists. They are the evidence that all of my and Laura’s credit cards are paid off in full. I’m taking pictures of each receipt for a record and putting it on the iCloud and a backup thumb drive.

“Yeah, I caught an earlier flight. What’s this?” He gives me a quick hello kiss.

Thank God for Leslie, Sarah Jane, and Sophie for walking me through what to do. When I drop these papers off to be shredded tomorrow, it will be a day to celebrate.

“This is freedom,” I giggle. “Look at my new purchase. You knew about the phone, but ta-da.” I wave my hand and present my lovely new laptop. “My new laptop arrived today. You just missed Sophie, SJ, and Leslie. They were helping me with this project.”

I have a lot to talk to him about it. Jerry and I were discussing my efficiency apartment. His sister and brother-in-law are moving in full time with his mother until she passes. He’s interested in subleasing it from me for the remainder of my lease. I think it could be a win, win situation.

He picks up a stack of bills and reads a few. I start snapping pictures and saving after every third one. “All of these are paid in full. You’ve made payments on some of these for years, Annie.”

“Yeah, that’s how it is when you get tangled up with the health insurance business. It’s a corrupt, messed up system. I know they do their best and I shouldn’t complain. I should be grateful because Jenny had two insurances, Medicaid, and Brian’s from the county. But when you don’t have an income because you can’t afford to work because a.) you have to be able to spend weeks at a time in a hospital. There aren’t a lot of jobs available, Jack, where you can call in one day and inform them you can’t come in because your daughter is in the hospital. And it could be weeks and weeks before you can return. And b.) Jenny was severe, and there are not enough people trained to help families like mine. I couldn’t just call and have anyone look after her. You needed to have a clue; it couldn’t be a girl from down the street, like a normal single mother. Sorry, I’m getting off-topic. Yes, some of them are years old. I didn’t have an income coming in. When you owe eight thousand dollars in medical bills every single year for eighteen years, it’s very easy to get behind and owe a lot. I told you Laura left me her house to sell. It paid all of this off, her medical bills, Jenny’s medical, and all of our credit card bills. I’m debt-free.”

I get up from the table and take the papers out of his hands then wrap them around my waist. “I’m glad you’re home early,” I tell his frowning face and hug him.

“Me too.” He kisses me. “Are you going to tell me that you will move in with me? Let me buy out your lease and live with me, Annie.” He pulls my hair and my head back to nip my neck. “Christ, I missed you this week.”

I tug his messy hair and bring his lips to mine. “I missed you too. No to the lease, but yes, I want to move in with you.”

He kisses me deeply, and I climb up his tall, lean body. “We only have two days to get your things and celebrate before I have to be back.”

“Only two?” I ask, trying to mask my disappointment.

“Yeah,” He carries me to our room and lays me down on the bed. “It’s crazy for you to pay rent when you’re not living there. Don’t argue with me; I’ll buy out your lease.”

I interrupt him with a kiss. “Mmmmmm,” I lick his lips and taste peppermint. “I think Jerry from work is interested in subleasing it from me. It’s a win, win. I’ll finish the year’s lease and build good credit at the end. His poor mom is dying, and he has family moving back into the house. He’s had some strange set up with his ex-wife and his family; I don’t know. The efficiency is tiny but big enough for him. You’re not scowling.” I kiss his affectionate, dimpled face.

“I’m happy, sweetheart, give me a break. I just got home to you. Give me time, and I’m sure my scowl will be back in place soon.”

“I hope I’m about to give you more good news to keep you smiling. What do you think about—?”

“You have five minutes to tell me, Annie.” He removes his shirt and goes for mine. I laugh, and he grabs the hem of my tee-shirt and lifts it over my head.

“You’re down to four minutes.” He kisses my breast hungrily. I lean up on my hands and arch myself, giving him a hint to keep undressing me and kissing my nipples.

“Ask me, Jackson, what I plan to do with the extra money I’ll be saving every month now.”

He removes my bra and runs his fingers between my breasts down to my pants. “What are going to do you, sweetheart?” He sucks a nipple hard into his mouth and starts sliding my yoga pants down.

“I’m going to use that money to fly to New York and visit my boyfriend once a month if he likes the idea.”

His mouth releases me with a pop. “Are you serious?” He grabs my hands and pins them up over my head.

“Yes, I’m serious. I feel bad you have to fly back and forth so often. I’m going to come and visit you once a month when we can work it out together.”

“Christ, you have no idea how happy you make me, Annie.” He holds my hair out of my eyes. He looks so serious, his brown eyes looking all over my face. “I’ve fallen in love with you, I fell a while ago, and I need to tell you. I love you, Annie.”

I can’t breathe; my eyes fill with tears. “I love you too. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have said yes to moving in here with you. I love you so much, Jackson.”

He sighs and kisses my nose, “My sweet Annie. Christ, I’m madly in love with you.”

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