Finding Jane Doe

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

JANE

Natalie is such a sweet baby, when she’s not screaming the house down in the middle of the night. She’s a month old and pretty much just eats and sleeps, although I do notice she has started to smile and make little noises that sound adorable. Tommy has really taken to her, constantly at her side no matter what she is doing. He seems like such a good big brother, so protective and loving towards her.

The week after Natalie came home, I realised I needed to do something with my life. I needed to get out of the house and stop being so reliant on Brad and Nicole. They told me that they didn’t mind, that they knew that I was going through a lot and I could take as much time as I needed, but I needed to remind myself that I was in my mid-twenties, not a teenager, and with that came responsibility.

When I first started looking for a job, I had no idea what I was going to do. I had no experience, no education that I knew of and wasn’t sure if anyone would even give me a chance. Lucy ended up offering me a receptionist position at the publishing house she works at. Her receptionist, Candy, is going on maternity leave and she thought I would be able to handle the workload. So for the past two weeks I have been getting trained by Candy, and tomorrow I will have my first day by myself. To say I’m nervous is an understatement. Lucy has complete faith in me though, and Ryan, who I met for the first time last Friday as he had been in London, doesn’t seem to mind if I was incompetent.

My next step is to move out, although I haven’t mentioned anything to Brad and Nicole as I know they will tell me to stay. But I just feel like I am in the way. Brad and Nicole have their own little family, they don’t need me interrupting their time together. The only thing that scares me, is living by myself when I have no idea what I am doing. I have no idea how to look after myself, but maybe I just need to take the plunge and do it. I do have to grow up eventually after all.

Today I am meeting everyone down at the beach. Kate and Chase flew in last night as their wedding is next weekend, so we all decided to catch up for the day. I’m actually excited about their wedding, I had received my own personalised invitation a month ago. I was surprised that I was invited as I never really got to know either of them, but Kate was adamant that I was to come, according to Nicole.

I wouldn’t have said no anyway. I had so much fun at Nicole and Brad’s wedding, granted it was my very first time out of the hospital, but it was magical and I couldn’t wait for Kate and Chase’s.

Walking towards the ocean, I slipped my thongs off before stepping onto the sand. The hot grains burning my feet I moved quicker, hoping to get to the group and safety of the towels covering the sand. At the end of January, the day was scorching hot, the sun beating down burning my fair skin despite the layers of sunscreen I had lathered on.

I ran on tip toes to where Jordan and Ethan sat with Kate and Chase, earning chuckles from the group.

“Ah, the Aussie beach run, another thing to tick off your list.” Ethan chuckled, I shook my head and rolled my eyes at his teasing, taking a seat next to Jordan after laying out my towel.

“That’s an actual thing?” Chase asks with a look of confusion on his face.

“You just saw it.” Kate giggles beside him, leaning into him slightly. “But it’s not limited to the beach, just any surface in summer when you don’t have shoes on. Oh, and walking on the painted white lines of a road without shoes on as it’s cooler than the bitumen.” She continues.

Chase just rolls his eyes and mutters something under his breath that I don’t catch, but going by the little slap Kate gives his arm and her playful glare, I’d say it was slightly insulting.

“You excited for your wedding?” I ask Kate and Chase as I lean back on my towel.

“It’s just another day.” Chase grumbles earning another slap from Kate. He gives her a slight smirk but I don’t miss the adoration in his eyes when he looks at her. “Plus, we are already married so its not like it means anything.”

“Jerk.” Kate pushes his shoulder, hard enough to force him into the sand. He chuckles as he rights himself, brushing the sand off of his chin.

“I think I ate sand.” He mumbles, pulling a strange face as he tries to get the sand out of his mouth.

“Serves you right.” Kate states with a playful glare. “And yes, Jane, WE are very excited for our upcoming wedding.” She tells me as she shares a warning glare with Chase.

I giggle at both of them, despite their teasing, it’s obvious how much they love each other. I heard about their relationship when Kate went over to the states after finding out she was married, I’m not surprised that they are the way they are.

“How have you been Jane? I heard your working with Lucy now.” Kate asks, I nod my head as I look down at my hand that’s running through the sand.

“Yeah, I started a couple of weeks ago. I like it, better than sitting at home.” I state. “I’m also looking at moving out soon.” I continue, even though I hadn’t mentioned it to Nicole and Brad, I wanted someone else’s opinion on it.

“Moving? Where to?” Jordan asks as he sits up from and rests his elbows on his knees.

“I don’t know yet,” I say with a shrug, “I just feel like I’m in the way at Brad and Nicole’s, they need family time.” I look out towards the ocean, watching the wave’s crash along the shore and a surfer fall from their board.

“You do know that they don’t feel that way, right?” Jordan asks softly and I nod my head.

“I know, but I do.” I say as I look over at him.

“Why don’t you move in with us?” Ethan pipes in. My head whips around to face him.

“Yeah, we have the spare room, plus, when we are on deployment you will get the entire place to yourself.” Jordan adds.

“You’d be ok with that?” I ask as I look back to Jordan and then over to Ethan.

“Sure.” Ethan says with a shrug.

“I’d tolerate you.” Jordan replies with a cheeky smirk. Taking a leaf from Kate’s book, I push his shoulder as hard as I can, but he doesn’t budge making me frown. Jordan just chuckles at my attempt to make him eat sand before wrapping his arm around my shoulder. “I’m kidding.” I throw him a mock glare which just makes him chuckle again.

The sound of children squealing our names as they run towards us has us all turning our heads, knowing that the others had arrived.

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