Annie & Jack After Forty

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Chapter 48


Jack hired a nurse to sit with me four hours a day. It’s the only four hours each day that he has left my side. The nurse was overkill. I’ve done nothing but sleep, but I can’t deny that being hooked up for four hours receiving hydration was the right thing to do. After four days, I feel human again.

“Are you positive you don’t need Mitzi today?” Jack asks me again.

“Positive, my fever is gone. I don’t ache. I’m just stiff from sleeping for four days straight. Go off to work, bask in your success, and don’t worry about me. No need, what so ever, for you to work from home any today. What time will you be here tonight? I’m going to book a ticket home for the morning. How much healthy, no fever, illness time, can we have together tonight?” I rub my clean body up and down on him. He needs a haircut, but I love his beard. I give it a little tug. It grew in so fast, and it’s full, dark with hints of gray down lower on his chin.

He kisses me and hums. “We’ll talk about that later tonight, and I’ll be home around five.”

“Okay, I’ll be here.” I smile because I know he doesn’t want to go to work now that I feel better. I love that our attraction to one another is still a living, breathing being, in the air between us. I hope and pray it’s like this for the rest of our time here on Earth.

“Quit touching me, Annie. Remember, I know you’re not as innocent as you look.” He tugs me around the waist and slams our bodies together. I laugh until he shuts me up with a deep, long, sensual kiss. I’m weak from being in bed and sick, but I’m ready for him to take me bed right now, he may have to do all the work, but I want him and am okay with that.

“Christ, I’ll be back by four. You are going to need your strength tonight, are you sure you don’t want Mitzi to give you IV fluids for a boost?” He he begins to frown, thinking about whatever.

Warmth kindles in my heart — it’s his natural way. God, I love him so much.

I straighten his tie. He’s wearing another custom suit I’ve never seen before. “Nope, No Mitzi, I’m better.”

His scowl deepens, but I smile brighter, wondering what he’s concentrating on and thinking about. “I’m not kissing you goodbye, Annie. I can’t touch you. Stop looking at me with your big blue eyes. I’ll see you at three o’clock.”

I laugh as he leaves the bedroom.

I look around his massive New York closet. I touch all of his new suits. I’ve learned about fashion from Pinterest, Brenda and Josie, TV, books, and People magazine, of course. It’s true what they say. I hold up a suit jacket; it’s beautiful, you can tell it handmade by sight and touch. When you see it on him, you can tell, I can’t describe it, but it hangs perfectly on his body. If I would have experienced things like fashion, fancy dinners, and high priced bags at a younger age, I’m sure I would have been seduced. Having the ability to dream of purchasing something that costs this much, now after living for forty-two years, struggling for survival financially, struggling to deal with real-life and death issues. Now at this point in life, not so much. I find it hard to embrace the enjoyment of splurging on things that have no real meaning to me. Sure, I like to dress up, keep up to date with the styles. I plan to keep up with the trends, with help from Brenda and Josie, but I’ll be doing a lot of that at Goodwill, Target, and occasionally Macy’s. I won’t deny the thrill that shot through me walking into Macy’s, in New York City, it was indescribable.

I walk over to my spot in the closet. It’s mostly bare. It’s crazy the difference between the two spaces. I have so much to tell Jack, I giggle. He doesn’t know about May and Dick. He doesn’t know I bought into the bakery, with twenty-thousand dollars of my savings. The bakery’s name will stay the same and her established customers. Nothing will change that way. But I want to sell to everyday people, some pastries and bread to see if people in the neighborhood are interested. Meg’s loaves of bread are served in a variety of restaurants, and she sells her glutton free and alternative bread to Whole Foods. Her range of classic loaves of bread, she sells to a lot of upscale restaurants, which now includes The Stardust. I was happy to bring her the business. Karen is a wonderful woman.

Jack knows Meg and I are good friends and that I love working there. He doesn’t know he’s getting me as a tenant in his building. Meg wants to take an opportunity in Miami. Her parents are even following her and looking at condos to live by her part-time. Meg is more about large retail and not small. She has a steady crew working for all of her commercial needs, and now she’s moving into a new part of the country and hoping to expand. She’s creating a brand, and I’m going to maintain the operations here, but I am also going to create a retail space that will sell to locals and passerby. It’s a perfect space. It’s a win, win for both Meg and me. Jack’s building is on the edge of downtown, and parking is available across the street. There are condos and significant renovations of older row houses, going on around all our place. People are always walking by, and I know once we start selling some of my mama and Lisa’s pastry recipes, we will be successful.

I eat breakfast, soak in the big bathtub, and pamper myself to get ready to connect with my man when he gets home. My man brought me to New York and has barely left my side; he’s taken care of me like I was special and precious. I love him so much, it consumes and fills me whole. Only twelve months to go, worst-case scenario, until we can live together full time. We will make it, it will be hard at times, but we’ll make it, we’ll keep this precious happiness because we both know, we are meant, only for each other. No way, without a doubt, will we ever be apart. God wouldn’t do that to me.

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