A couple of weeks have passed since I met Jake’s family and began treatment to help me cope with my situation and dreams. Sessions have not always been the easiest to get through, especially those that have me confront the physical and sexual abuse that I’m reliving in my dreams or flashbacks. Sometimes Jake is present and other times he has to work and I meet with the doctor alone.
He has me writing down my dreams or flashbacks as soon as I can and as much as I can remember. He has taught me some breathing techniques for when I become anxious or after a severe nightmare and I can’t catch my breath through my fear. He has given me some medications, but I don’t want to take them because they make me sleep more and when I sleep, I have more bad dreams.
I have joined Jake at work a few times since that first visit and it’s becoming fun. I’ve learned so much about the marketing industry. The last time I went, I asked to spend the day with one of his teams that was developing some new strategies and marketing platforms. I worked with each team member in their various roles. I had a blast and even posed for a fun photo shoot. Going with Jake also makes me feel like I’m doing something purposeful, rather than sitting at the house all day not doing anything productive.
It is now a Friday night and Jake recently returned home while I had dinner ready to be served. We are eating a taco type casserole that I found online and thought I would try. It has tortilla chips on the bottom of the pan and is covered with various layers of things you find in a normal taco: ground beef with taco flavoring, lettuce, shredded cheese and melted cheese, tomatoes, sour cream or whatever else you like.
“So how was your day today?” I asked Jake as we began eating.
“It was productive,” he replied. He still doesn’t talk much about work with me when we are home, but he talks non-stop about it when I am with him at the company.
“I see,” I responded. “I’m sure it was more productive than mine.”
“I would have rather been here with you doing whatever you like to do than sit in meetings all day,” he said with a wink. I blushed and smiled.
“Jake, I’m not saying right now, but if I were to want a simple job, do you think there would be an opportunity to work with you in some way?” I asked. I didn’t want to keep living off of him and not give something in return.
“I’m sure there could be, but you know you don’t need to work,” he responded as I figured he would.
“I know I don’t, but I kind of want to. I feel useful when I come with you and get to meet and work with your team members. I don’t...I don’t want to feel that I owe you anything and this could be a way to earn my living,” I struggled to get out.
He stopped eating and looked at me and took my hand, “Baby, if that is something you want to do, I will look into it next week. OK?” I nodded my head. “But know that I will continue to provide for you and I won’t take anything from you in repayment.”
“I can...I can live with that,” I said. “This will be for me. For me to feel like I belong somewhere, be a part of something bigger than our home and to give me something purposeful to do. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going for walks and seeing the wonderful things Chicago has to offer, going shopping, and relaxing on the terrace, but…” I tried to finish what I was thinking about, but couldn’t figure out a way to say it.
“I get it,” Jake said. “You want to be able to feel independent and discover who you are and this will give you the opportunity to explore your interests.”
“Exactly. I love being with you Jake and I don’t want to give that up. In fact, I don’t know how I could ever live away from this, from you. But I do want to do something that will make me feel more...more normal, I guess. Maybe working for you isn’t the long-term answer, but it might give me an idea of what I want to do as I learn more things here.” He agreed with me on that.
After dinner, we cleaned up and went up to the roof to sit on the terrace to enjoy the warm weather and watch the sun set. We sat cuddled up on one of the small couches with my head resting on his shoulder and his head resting on mine. “This has become one of my favorite positions to sit in with Jake,” I smiled to myself.
“Stace?” I looked up at Jake. “Would you like to join me for a day on the lake tomorrow?”
“On the lake?” I asked.
“I have my own yacht and would like to take it out on Lake Michigan with you. We could bring a picnic lunch with us and maybe supper as well or stop somewhere in another marina to find someplace to eat. There is so much to see that I haven’t shown you and this would be a great way to see it.”
“I would love to Jake,” I smiled up at him and reached up for a kiss. He kissed me back and then we made our plans for the day.