The World Spins Madly On

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Chapter 4

Jay turned up at Abigail’s home, it was 7pm and just starting to get dark. He had taken the time to get dressed up fairly smart before heading over to her house. He composed himself then knocked on her door.

“Hey beautiful.” Jay greeted as the door creaked open.

Abigail was wearing a beautiful dark blue summer dress. She smiled and chewed her lip nervously.

“You ready for this?” She asked.

“I think so.” Jay answered.

“Come in. Just one thing, she might get a little awkward with questions.” Abigail warned.

Abigail walked Jay into her home, he looked around as he followed her through to the back garden.

“Mum,” Abigail got her attention. “This is Jay, Jay this is mum.”

“Nice to meet you mum.” Jay said with a straight face.

“So you’re the famous Jay we’ve heard so much about in the past month.” Abigail’s mum began.

Abigail looked at Jay trying to hold back a smile as his face clearly asked why.

“I’m hoping so, yes.” He replied.

“Jay?” A voice asked from across the garden.

Jay turned around and saw his old friend Josh and his partner Alexandra.

“What? Dude! It’s been so long. How you doing?” Jay greeted Josh with a big hug.

“I’m good man! What’s been happening? I heard you guys got big!” Josh questioned.

“Good man, good. Big isn’t the right word but we’re getting there. I’ve actually just got back from a little tour today.” Jay informed.

“Shit dude, that’s so cool. What are you doing here anyway man? Who are you with?” Josh asked.

“Abigail.” Jay answered as he looked towards her.

“My little sister?” Josh asked.

“Wait what?” Jay replied.

“As in the little redhead in the blue dress yeah?” Josh tried to clarify.

“Yeah... Dude. I didn’t know she was your sister!” Jay replied.

“I see you two have met then?” Abigail said as she walked over.

“Met? We were very good friends back in the day!” Josh informed.

“Really?” Abigail turned to Jay.

“Yeah, I had no idea.” Jay said.

“So how do you two know each other?” Josh asked.

“We met at Elizabeth’s funeral properly.” Abigail answered.

“We’d met a couple of times in passing before, but never really hung out and at the funeral I thought seeing as we were both so close to Elizabeth she’d want us looking out for each other.” Jay explained.

“Fair enough. So what is this? You two like, ya know?” Josh awkwardly asked.

Abigail and Jay looked at each other for a moment.

“Oh! This must be Jay!” Abigail’s Aunt Vera observed as she butted into the conversation and hugged him. “Come, come, we must talk.”

Aunt Vera grabbed their hands and dragged them off. Jay looked at Abigail and mouthed ‘thank god’ at her. He’d never felt so relieved to be dragged away by a drunk aunt in his entire life. Abigail and Jay joined Vera, Susan and Patrick at the garden table.

“So this is Abigail’s Jay!” Vera introduced.

Patrick took out his glasses, put them on and looked at him as if he were a news paper he couldn’t quite see. Then he held out his hand and greeted Jay.

“That is Uncle Pat and this is Aunt Susan.” Vera introduced.

The family barbecue went on for hours, it took far too long for Jay and Abigail to get any time to themselves. Abigail eventually dragged Jay upstairs, they both climbed out of her bedroom window and up onto the roof. They sat watching the stars together.

“So Aunt Vera is a character isn’t she?” Jay laughed.

“Yeah, but she clearly likes you though. They all do. Which is actually quite rare.” Abigail rested her head on Jay’s shoulder.

“So, what is this?” Asked Jay.

“What do you mean?” She replied.

“Well like Josh asked earlier, what is this? What are we doing?” Jay asked hesitantly.

“I don’t know.” She replied softly. “I guess it is what it is.”

“Which is?” Jay questioned again.

“I guess, it’s two people who care about each other helping each other through tough times. Who are just letting whatever happens, happen.” Abigail sat up and looked at him.

Jay smiled at her, leant in and kissed her.

“Sounds pretty good to me.” He said quietly as he unlocked lips with her.

The pair crawled back in through the window and headed back down to the living room. On the way out of Abigail’s room Jay noticed an acoustic guitar.

“You never told me you played guitar?” Jay pointed out.

“You never asked.” Abigail sassily replied.

“Fair play.” Jay responded as he followed her down to the living room.

As they got downstairs Josh called everyone into the living room.

“So, tonight is actually a very special night. Nine years ago today I met the love of my life, Alex, and it’s been the most amazing nine years of my life. We’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs but if I have learnt anything over the years, it’s that there is not a single person that I would ever want to have around for as long as you.” Josh announced.

Josh walked over to where Alex was sitting and knelt on one knee. He took her by the hand and looked her in the eyes.

“Alexandra Louise Harrington, will you give me the honour of calling you my wife? Will you marry me?” Josh asked.

Alexandra blushed and smiled from ear to ear. Her heart raced and she began to tear up. She couldn’t speak the words but she mouthed them and nodded. She leant forwards and hugged Josh, he lifted her up and spun her around. He placed the ring on her finger and the entire room clapped for them.

Abigail and Jay watched from the doorway, Jay looked at Abigail and saw the look on her face watching her brother being so overwhelmed with happiness. He smiled and took her hand with only a few fingers from underneath. She looked at him and smiled.

As everyone scattered after congratulating Josh and Alexandra, Josh stepped out onto the patio and joined Jay.

“Hey, congratulations man! I’m so happy for you. It’s been a long time coming, I always said you’d be the first to tie the knot.” Jay congratulated as he hugged Josh.

“Thanks bro, means a lot.” Josh looked back into the living room to make sure Abigail wasn’t around. “Look man, I’m sorry I seemed a little weird earlier about you and Abigail, I just wasn’t expecting the Jay she was talking about to be you, and she is my baby sister.”

“Honestly man, it’s cool. I would be the same. It’s such a small world, I didn’t know she was your sister. I’m surprised we hadn’t met before hand if I’m honest.” Jay stated.

“So, how are you coping without Elizabeth man?” Josh asked.

“Erm... I’m okay. It destroyed me for a while, I’m still not okay about her death but I’m personally doing okay.” Jay replied.

“You know, I’ve never seen you look at anyone the way you used to look at Elizabeth. You were so in love with her that sometimes we just wanted to lock you both in a room until you got together.” Josh joked. “But, now, that’s not necessarily a good thing.”

“What do you mean?” Jay asked gesturing that they sat down.

“Well, you loved her so much that you held on for eight years. You can’t be over her now just because she’s gone. It doesn’t work like that, everyone knows that.” Josh explained.

“I know feelings don’t just disappear, I will never be fully okay with the loss of her, but I will eventually be able to accept life without her.” Jay stated.

“That’s not what I’m trying to say.” Josh sat back on the bench. “Abigail is clearly really into you. She doesn’t bring people home to meet the family, she seems to see something in you.”

“So what you’re saying is that you’re worried I’m going to hurt her?” Jay asked.

“Yes... Well... Kind of. I know that you would never intentionally set out to hurt her, but if she feels at any point that she has to compare to Elizabeth in whatever is going on between you two, it’s going to kill her inside.” Josh pointed out.

“Josh, I wouldn’t want her to compare to Elizabeth. Abigail is amazing, she’s one of the greatest people I’ve had the pleasure in knowing. I wish I’d met her properly sooner. She isn’t just part of my recovery, I want her to be a part of my life.” Jay explained.

Josh took a sip of his drink and then put his hand on Jay’s knee. He nodded at him and gently squeezed his knee as he stood up.

“Then make sure she knows that.” Josh said as he walked into the house again.

Jay sat on the bench under the stars on his own for a few minutes and let his conversation with Josh sink in. He leant forward, leaning his elbows on his knees and his fingers began twitching like moth wings.

“Hey you!” Abigail announced her presence as she stepped out onto the patio.

“Hey sweetheart. Sorry, was just having a catch up with your brother and got lost in my own head.” He informed as he walked over to her.

“Is everything okay?” She asked nervously.

“Of course.” Jay smiled and kissed her.

The family celebrated into the late hours of the night. Abigail and Jay were the first to leave. Abigail drove Jay back to his house. The radio played quietly in the car as Jay watched the street lights pass by.

“It used to be my favourite thing as a kid.” Jay said out of the blue.

“What did?” Abigail asked.

“Watching the street lights pass at night. Driving back from anywhere on a long drive would be the best thing at night, it meant hours of chilled out music and watching the street lights. I always found something comforting about it.” Jay informed.

Abigail dropped Jay home, he kissed her on the cheek and said goodbye, she smiled and said goodnight. Just before Jay shut the door he got back in the car and grabbed Abigail’s face and kissed her like it would be the last time he ever did. Once he let go and left Abigail felt her heart beating like mad. She was left breathless. She started her car and began driving home.

The radio still played quietly in the background, Abigail began to notice the street lights as she drove down the quiet roads. She smiled to herself and exhaled as she found herself beginning to relax. She understood why Jay liked it so much. When she arrived home she got straight into her pajamas and climbed into her bed. It was slightly cool, just the way she liked it. Her phone began to ring, she got comfy then answered it.

“Hello?” She asked.

“Hey, it’s me.” Jay said.

“Are you okay?” She asked.

“You’re amazing Abigail. You are honestly the greatest person in my life right now. You have helped me with so much more than you can imagine. You are so perfect that it drives me insane.” Jay explained. “I just wanted you to know.”

“That is the sweetest thing anyone has ever said to me.” Abigail replied.

“I just had to tell you. Goodnight sweetheart, I’ll call you tomorrow.” Jay spoke into the phone.

“Okay my love.” Abigail smiled to herself. “Sweet dreams.”

After hanging up the phone Abigail cuddled her duvet and blushed to herself. She had butterflies and felt like a fifteen year old who just had her first crush tell her he liked her. It was a beautiful feeling. The giddiness was something she hadn’t felt in a long time. When the morning came she woke up feeling the complete opposite. Her head hurt, her heart ached, her body refused to work and her involuntary tears dampened her pillow.

Jay woke to a 9am phone call. It was Richard.

“Hello, sir?” Answered Jay.

“Hi Jay. Are you free?” Richard asked.

“Uh, yeah. What’s wrong?” Jay nervously asked.

“I wondered if you wanted to go for a coffee?” Richard stated.

“Really?” Jay was surprised. “Of course, where and when?”

“I’m on my way to the town center now, so how about the little coffee house opposite Argos?” Richard suggested.

Jay jumped out of bed and got ready in record time. He was surprised that Richard was willingly coming out in public. In the years that he had known him there were very few moments that Jay could remember where he willingly left the house, and unfortunately one of those few were for Elizabeth’s funeral.

Richard greeted Jay with a fatherly hug. He signaled for him to sit with him and ordered him a coffee.

“So how are things?” Richard asked.

“They’re okay. Admittedly there have been some moments that have been difficult, but for the most part things are okay. I’ve gotten by with a lot of help from Abigail.” Jay informed. “What about you guys? You, Megan and Patricia?”

“Things are... Well between me and Patricia things are difficult. It’s been rather strained ever since, ya know? Megan is struggling, I’ve seen her a couple of times just sat in Elizabeth’s room in tears cuddling her old fairground teddy.” Richard explained.

Jay sat back on his chair with his arms behind his head.

“Wow.” Jay was speechless.

“Patricia and I are doing what we can to hold it all together. It’s difficult, she thinks I’m trying to protect Megan too much...” Richard began to choke up. “I’ve already lost my baby daughter, I can’t lose her too.”

“Richard...” Jay began.

“But, I’m more active now. I’m actually living, like she kept trying to get me to do. It’s too late, but she’d be proud of me now though. I think she’d be proud.” Richard stated.

Richard let go of everything in front of Jay. He felt like he had someone he could talk to and not worry about. Jay was the son Richard never had.

Abigail found herself sat in the back of the church during her service. She looked around and saw familiar faces of people she knew and loved, and people she had never met. It was a strange thing to think about how many lives one person can touch. She held back her tears and watched a broken young man take the podium to say his eulogy. She watched him stare out to a crowded room that he felt completely alone in. He swallowed his pain and cleared his throat.

“Life. It’s a truly wonderful and mind boggling thing isn’t it? When I met Elizabeth I had no idea she would end up being such a big part of my life. I never thought that the eight years we got to spend by each other’s side would be the only years we had together. She was my inspiration in almost everything I have done and everything I do. I hear her voice in my own sometimes, the way she would say certain things, certain phrases that I would pick up, even the slight kink in my accent that she gave me. I find myself doing things that she would do just out of habit. There are things I never used to do that I picked up over the years, and there are things I no longer do because of the impact she had in my life. It’s funny, it wasn’t until she left us that I realised how much of a dent in the moon she made. I wish that I could have one more day just so I could tell her how much she has done in my life and so I could let her know one final time that she is my everything. I know that it’s an over said thing when people pass that they were amazing, and people often exaggerate it a lot, but Elizabeth was different. She genuinely made so much of an impact in every life she touched. I know so many of you here are close friends and family, but in everything she did there was always something that gave everyone hope. I don’t know how she did it but that was what her life was. I hope, more than anything, when she looks down from the stars at us that she smiles and sees just how she has lived on among her loved ones in the little things we say and do. So here’s to our little dent in the moon.” He stepped down from the podium.

Abigail watched him break into pieces as he stepped down, she saw the heartbreak and the physical sickness he was feeling. She saw the intense pain in his eyes. Everyone else had already said what he had written down so he had to go from the heart.

Soon she was stood in the graveyard trying to hold herself together. She noticed him notice her, he began to walk over to her. She tried to compose herself. As he took her hand and offered his heart to help her heal she saw her best friend inside of him. The dent in the moon he had spoken about her leaving was showing through.

Abigail woke up. She felt her heart racing. She rolled over and laid flat on her back looking at the ceiling. Her hair spread across the pillow, she just laid there in a daze, not thinking about anything or contemplating anything, just vacant. She snapped out of it and made herself comfortable before trying to relax enough and go back to sleep. She couldn’t bare the thought of facing the day. She had been consumed by grief, it had taken a lot longer than she expected, but hit harder.

By the time she could finally bring herself to get out of bed and face life the sun had gone to bed. She slowly used the very little motivation she had to get herself dressed. Abigail heard her front door open.

“Hey babe. It’s me.” A voice called as they entered.

“Hey Ava.” Abigail greeted.

Ava was one of Abigail’s oldest friends, she was in town visiting family for the week. She greeted Abigail with a huge hug. She held onto Abigail for an extended amount of time.

Ava and Abigail headed to the local bar, ordered a couple of drinks and sat down together.

“So enough about me, what about you? What’s been happening? What are you doing? All that jazz.” Ava asked.

“Well, not a lots really happened, I’ve been working loads, I took on loads more shifts when Elizabeth died and...” Abigail began.

“Wait. Stop there. Elizabeth?” Ava asked. “As in Elizabeth from college?”

Abigail didn’t answer, she just looked at Ava worried.

“Did nobody tell you?” Abigail asked.

Ava began to tear up and she covered her mouth in shock. Abigail immediately moved around the table and cuddled her. She held her tightly, she felt awful that nobody had told her.

“I can’t believe that.” Ava tried to compose herself. “I’m so sorry. Carry on, I’ll be okay just bare with me.”

“Well, like I was saying since she passed I’ve been working as much as possible, just to keep occupied and if I’ve not been working I’ve been spending most of my time with a guy called Jay, who I actually met at her funeral.” Abigail explained.

“What do you mean met him at her funeral?” Ava asked.

“Well, he approached me while I was a wreck and basically told me that he knew of me and we had briefly met several times before, and he said that he felt like Elizabeth would want him to look out for me and he had literally been my rock this whole time.” Abigail explained.

“Who is he?” Ava began to dig.

“His names Jay.” Abigail revealed.

“Jay? As in Jay White? As in her out of group best friend that she never let us meet?” Ava was intrigued.

“That’s the one.” She said.

“What’s he like?” Ava carried on digging.

“He’s great. It’s obvious why they were so close. He is literally a male her, they have so many similarities it’s crazy. Some of the things he does you can clearly see that he picked it up from her or vice versa. He’s so caring and thoughtful towards me as well. I’m surprised she never snapped him up.” Abigail explained.

“Yeah...” Ava said awkwardly.

“What?” She asked.

“Well they did date for a little while when they first met, before she joined our college class. Did you not know?” Ava hesitantly informed.

Abigail’s heart dropped. She had no idea. Why hadn’t Jay told her?

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