Thursday, October 14, 2010

140.) Jo’s End

Thanks again, everyone.

Soundtrack Song - Modest Mouse, Float On

“Do you mean it, Kris? Honestly and truly?” My heart wanted to believe him and all the things he said. I knew Kris loved me, and there wasn’t any doubt about that; it was how he showed it that created this problem. I needed him to manifest that love in a different way so I felt like an equal to him. Wanting these things for me was his way of showing how much he cared because with everything that happened because of his dad, that’s how he learned to love. So I could appreciate the gesture, but I didn’t like it.

I wanted so badly for him to mean it and follow through with his promise to change, but I tried to restrain myself until I knew that he planned on following through to the best of his abilities. Even after everything he had just said, I couldn’t let myself be certain until I heard him promise; Kris wouldn’t break a promise, because he was too honorable for that.

It was a last-ditch attempt to guard my heart. I had had a month to adjust to the notion that Kris wouldn’t be willing to compromise with me on this issue, based on the fact that he had packed up and left Pittsburgh instead of hanging around. Sure, that whole situation could have been avoided if I had just answered the damn phone, but I had been angry at the time and I can’t change the past. But if I had even allowed a slight possibility to leak into my heart that he’d be willing to take me back and accept my terms, only to find out that he either wouldn’t or couldn’t agree, I’d die.

He cupped my face in his big, strong, calloused hands, and looked me unwaveringly in the eyes. “I mean it, I swear it. When I said anything, that’s what I meant. Anything.

It was what I had wanted to hear, but I had to make sure just one more time. If I had to suffer the disappointment of not having Kris in my life again, I would lose it; just because I had told him that I didn’t need his help anymore didn’t mean that I didn’t need him. “Are you sure, Kristopher Letang? Because I’ll still want to move to California with you—but keep in mind that I missed the application deadline for the spring term at the University of California. I’m okay with a year of community college, but are you? Will you let me go with you now that that’s the case? Tell me now, straight up, so we don’t have to go through that fight again, because I can’t fight again with you. I told you, fighting hurts me too much.”

Kris sighed, taking his sweet ole time with his answer, and driving me nuts because of the wait. Finally, he flat out said, “No.”

I couldn’t believe it. I had been so cautious for this very reason, but of course I had hoped that he’d agree anyway. After a month apart, I had hoped that he’d have missed me so much that he’d agree to anything. And after everything he had confessed and gushed to me, I thought he’d want to find a way to make this work. To refuse me so definitively was... shocking, to say the least.

He took my hands in his and sandwiched them together; I watched him do that instead of look up at his face. “I’m not going to ‘let’ you do anything, because that would be me making a decision for you. And I just swore I wouldn’t do that. You can make that call, Jo, about where you want to go to school, which state and what university, and I’ll support you no matter what you decide.”

My eyes shot up and scanned his face, checking for sincerity. “You mean that?”

“Uh, yeah. I won’t lie, I don’t like it. I think you should be in a real school, a good one, but the credits will count. They’ll transfer. And it’s one more step toward your graduation. And you’ll be happy, so that works for me.”

I launched myself against him, practically jumping onto him as I wrapped my arms around his broad, strong shoulders. Burying my face into his chest and the soft cotton of his tee shirt, I released a few tears. They were happy tears, because I was ecstatic; I couldn’t ask for more at that moment in time. I had everything I wanted.

“Joey, honey, I can’t tell if this is a yes or a no,” he said, a subtle plea in his voice for a definite, vocal response. “Does this mean you’re my girlfriend again? I really want you to be.”

I nodded. “This is a yes. Holy hell, yes, yes, yes!” I pushed up on my tippy toes, tilted my head back, puckered my lips, and waited for him to kiss me. But he didn’t. I opened my eyes to see a pained expression stretched across his face. It worried me. “What? Why don’t you want to kiss me?”

“Well, I have to tell you something first. I hope it doesn’t make you mad... but if I know you, it will.” His head hung low, and he wouldn’t meet my gaze. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but... I kissed a girl.”

Billions of thoughts coursed through my head when he said that. I wasn’t mad—I was furious. How was he able to kiss someone else so quickly after what happened between us? I hadn’t been able to think about anything remotely romantic or sexual since our break up. Plus, I was jealous. My feelings for him hadn’t magically gone away just because we weren’t together. “When? Who?”

“I don’t know, two weeks ago, maybe? My neighbor, Julie. She saw me coming home from the bar—”

“Wait,” I cut him off. “You went at a bar?” Kris would never elect to go to a bar, especially not when it was the offseason. The only reason he went was to hang out with his teammates, so he had no motivation to go over the summer.

He finally looked back at me, obvious penitence in his eyes. “Yeah. Max took me out so I could get my mind off you. It didn’t help, though, and instead I got sick and threw up the beer I drank. That stuff’s seriously gross, I don’t know how anybody drinks it,” he sighed, getting off track. “But Julie saw, and she helped me get inside the house. She kissed me first, but that’s no excuse, because I did kiss her back. I stopped her once I realized it wasn’t you. But I just thought you’d like to know.”

“Well, I certainly don’t like knowing—”

He interrupted to clarify. “But I thought you deserved to know. It wouldn’t be fair to keep that from you.”

I tried to set aside my anger and jealousy so I could rationalize this in my head. “Well, we weren’t together at the time, so it’s not like you cheated.” I exhaled deeply. “And it’s not like you initiated the kiss, because I have a feeling you wouldn’t have done that.”

“No, definitely not.”

“Were you drunk? How much did you drink?”

He blushed. “Not a lot. I don’t think I was drunk, really, but it made me sick. It, uh, it wasn’t pretty.”

The thought of Kris getting sick after drinking almost brought a smile to my face. He got drunk off champagne after winning the Cup, so I could only imagine what beer did to him. Good champagne was sweet and went down easy, but beer was a totally different story. I wished that I had been there to bear witness to Kris’s first drinking binge. And I also found it to be a total role reversal that he would go to a bar and drink to cope with a break up, and I didn’t.

I decided that kissing back was just a reaction; since Kris didn’t make the first move, then I shouldn’t be so upset over it. Of course, I had warned Kris plenty of times about skanks and whores who wanted nothing more than to get into his pants, but since we weren’t an item at the time, I guess I didn’t have any right to be mad. Besides, after being apart for weeks and only now finally getting a chance to reconcile, I didn’t want to waste any time being upset with him.

“Please just kiss me now.”

Kris smiled a full smile at me, and I loved seeing that before I closed my eyes again. I felt one of his hands at the small of my back and his other at the back of my head as he leaned down and pressed his hot mouth over mine. My hands grabbed fistfuls of his shirt and held on tightly as he made my toes curl in my sandals. Of all the ways I had missed him, how could I have forgotten the way he could turn me into mush with just his lips?

I could have kissed him all night and well into next week. In fact, I would have been content to stay in this cramped and less than comfortable bathroom to continue our little make-out session, but someone knocked loudly but politely on the door. Kris pulled back and broke it off. “Une minute.” He leaned his forehead against mine. “I wish this wasn’t my party.”

Moving my hands up to the back of his neck, I twirled the ends of his hair around my fingers. “How come?”

“So I could sneak away with you. I’ve got too many obligations tonight to leave, though,” he sighed. “How long are you staying?”

“Just for a few hours. We’re leaving tonight, because I need to get back into Pittsburgh for class tomorrow,” I told him sadly.

“So soon?” He pouted. He took my hand and began to lead me out of the bathroom.

“Well, yeah. I didn’t wanna get stuck here in case things between us didn’t go well. Tubby promised to drive all night to get us back in time.”

He opened the door and went through first, pulling me behind him. While I couldn’t see who was there, I could tell by the voice. “Tanger, you’d better not have been takin’ a shit in there. It better not smell.”

“Shut up, Staalsy,” he quipped back lamely.

So I poked my head out from behind Kris and added, “Don’t act like your shit don’t stink, Jordan Staal.”

“Jo?” he asked, sounding very surprised to see me. “I didn’t expect to see you. In the bathroom. With Tanger.” Then he flashed his straight, white teeth as he grinned ear to ear. “I hope I wasn’t interrupting anything. I’m no cock block.”

Kris blushed while I chuckled and squeezed Kris’s hand. We moved out of the way so Jordan could maneuver himself into the bathroom on his crutches and take care of his business. We walked away from the pavilion so we could join the crowd on the grassy picnic area. “Who all did you invite? I didn’t expect to see him here.”

“Oh, we invited everyone. Sharks, Pens, and family and friends and stuff. Usually, Cup parties are few and far between for players, if they get to celebrate at all, so it’s kind of a big deal.”

I looked around and saw just that. I saw the newly retired Rob and Brandy Blake, along with their two kids as well as Samantha, little Brianna, and a face I didn’t recognize—but I knew it had to be Brian, her boyfriend and Brianna’s father. Pickles and Jamie were there, hanging around with a handful of other Sharks players. I saw Tyler Kennedy and Kelsey, Max Talbot, Marc-André Fleury and Véro, and Alex Goligoski, and other NHL players like Alex Burrows with his girlfriend Nancy. Philippe Boucher was there as his mentor when he played for the Pens. Suzanne was there, and so was Big Luc, Maryse, and Eve, representing the Bourdon clan. Of course, there was Marlene, Henrí, and Mamie. Julie was there, too, but I was trying to ignore her. Literally everyone that Kris knew was here.

“Are you worried your dad will show up?” I wondered out loud. “Or did you invite him, too?”

“No, he wasn’t invited. I didn’t want him to be here. In this weird way, I’m who I am because of him, but he doesn’t deserve the credit. I hope he doesn’t show up. Can you imagine him seeing my mom?” Kris grunted. “I don’t know how she would be able to handle that. I think I made it clear enough to him that I don’t care about him, so I don’t think he’ll show his face.”

“Did you ever find out why he showed up at your game that day?”

He shook his head. “No. It doesn’t really matter why. It happened, and I’ve dealt with it.”

“Well, I hope he doesn’t show up. I’m the party crasher,” I laughed, lightening the mood, “and I don’t really want to be shown up.”

As we made our way toward my friends, Kris asked, “So, who did you bring? Tubby, I see him, but who’s that?”

“Oh, uh,” I started, realizing that Kris probably wasn’t going to like this. However, it was important to me that this introduction happen. Kris had originally wanted to meet Dave because of his role in my life as first responder after my accident, and I wanted them to meet because I wanted Kris to see that Dave was a good guy and my friend. “Kris, I want you to meet Dave. Dave, this is Kris.”

I had interrupted Dave and Charlene’s conversation to perform the introduction. Dave smiled and extended his hand toward Kris. “Dude, Kris Letang, it’s an honor to meet you. I loved watching you play for the Pens. Congrats on winning again this year.”

“Thanks,” Kris mumbled, dropping my hand and taking Dave’s formally. Even though we were together again and supposed to be happy, I hoped that this was a humbling experience for Kris. “And thank you, for what did for Jo here and taking care of her after her accident. Really, I mean, I can’t thank you enough.”

“No problem. It was my pleasure, actually,” he replied, smiling at me. “I don’t usually get to make friends with my patients.”

“I do have bad news for you though, Dave,” I told him with a smile. “You’re going to need to put your ad for a new roomie back up on Craigslist. I’ll be moving to California at the end of the month.”

Tubby nodded like he knew this was coming, and Charlene squealed and excitedly engaged both Kris and me in a hug. I was aware that pretty much every attendee at this party was now looking over at us. When Charlene released us, Kris put his arm around me and pulled me against his side; I relished in the full-body contact. He asked me, “Hungry?” I nodded. “Wanna grab some food?”

We excused ourselves from the group and headed over toward the food table, where there was an expansive spread. Kris asked me another question. “Roomie?”

I reddened and shied away from his gaze. “I’ve been living there since our fight.”

“Living there like we lived together? Or....”

“No!” I shouted, reacting viscerally. I quieted my voice and explained, “I have my own room. I pay rent there. There’s nothing going on there.”

“Then why did he look so disappointed?”

“I don’t know, maybe because he’s sad that his friend is moving across the country? Mad that he has to go through the effort of finding someone else to occupy that room now? It doesn’t matter to me though, babe, because I’m happy to be moving with you.”

“Why didn’t you just stay in the apartment?”

“Stay there? Why would I stay there?”

“In my note, I said you could stay there. I promised to take care of you while you went to school, even if you didn’t want to be with me. Didn’t you read my note?”

“The first line, when you said you went home. After that... I didn’t need to keep reading, because none of that was important. If you couldn’t stick around, if you had no hope for us, then I didn’t either.” I sighed. “Even if I had known that, I couldn’t have stayed. It was your place first, so of course there are too many memories there. And plus, I wouldn’t have wanted to put you out like that and make you pay my way through school. I like working and taking care of myself. It’s tough, but I like knowing that I can do it.” I paused as we reached the table and we picked up Styrofoam plates. “Are you mad that I moved in at the house with him?”

Kris was silent for a moment. “I’ll admit, Jo, it doesn’t really sit right with me. I know he’s your friend, and we weren’t together, and you felt like you needed a place to stay.... If it were Tubby, I’d understand no problem. And I guess he’s a nice guy, at least I think so from just meeting him, but not having met him before, it bothers me. What’s done is done, though. What do you want to eat?”

I stepped behind him and wrapped my arms around his middle as I pressed my cheek against his back. “Do you forgive me?”

“There’s nothing to forgive. Maybe this is retroactive, but I’m trusting that you made a smart decision. Obviously everything’s worked out and he’s been a good friend to you, nothing more and nothing less. And Tubby gets along with him if the three of you are hanging out, so he can’t possibly be a bad guy. Otherwise, Tubby would draw the line. So we’ve got barbecue chicken, hamburgers, hot dogs, and all kinds of other food. What would you like?”

“Cheeseburger,” I said, closing my eyes and soaking in the moment. I was so happy things were working out on so many fronts. “And a hot dog.”

“Both?” he asked, sounding surprised. “Are you that hungry?”

“Yes,” I told him. I kept my arms around his middle, and Kris went to work fixing my plate for me. I held it in my left hand as he grabbed a hot dog and squirted some ketchup on it, and then layered a burger for me with lettuce, pickle, and mustard—just how I liked it. He grabbed some chicken for himself, and then he piled our plates with baked beans, potato salad, fruit salad, and corn on the cob. I let go of him so we could walk to a bench and eat, making sure to grab tons of napkins.

People gathered around us, most likely wanting to spend time with the honored guest. Tubby and Dave got food, too, and Charlene joined us as well as Pickles, Jamie, Logan Couture, Talbot, and Staal. It was a fun little group, and we laughed and ate as we all caught up with each other’s lives. Kris and I were sitting next to eat other with me on his right, so we could both eat without elbowing each other. Kris plowed through his food, but I finished only about half of mine. He looked at me with raised eyebrows, to which I nodded; he proceeded to eat the rest of my hot dog and hamburger.

He got ketchup on his face, so I took one of my many napkins and wiped at his face. Kris jerked away before I could get it though. “What?”

“You have ketchup, babe,” I informed him, trying again to wipe it away. He knew that I couldn’t stand food on people’s faces.

He chuckled as he dipped his fingers in the baked beans and then covered my nose in the sauce. “Jo, you’re such a slob. You have stuff on your face. You’re so embarrassing.”

“Oh, I’m going to make you pay for that,” I growled playfully, wiping my own face now. “You’re in big trouble, mister.”

“Gag me,” Logan moaned. “Do you guys ever shut it off? Get a room.”

“Aww, someone’s jealous,” Pickles laughed.

“I think it’s cute,” Jamie purred.

Charlene chipped in, “Yeah, me too.”

“Girls,” Max sighed, shaking his head. “Only girls would think it’s ‘cute’ to smear food on someone else’s face.”

As the night progressed, Kris had to wander off to thank his departing guests for coming. The guys had plans to go out with the cup, thinking that Kris would want to go out on the town and party hard into the night with it, but I knew that he wouldn’t be doing that tonight. Maybe he would have before I showed up and crashed the party. He had every reason to be low-key tonight.

When it was time for Tyler and Kelsey to leave, the latter of the pair walked over to our group to hug me and wish me luck in my new start in California with Kris. “You should come out to Pittsburgh and visit when the Sharks come to play against the Pens. Me and Heather have missed you since you went out to California, and then we moved back home for the summer.”

“That’s so sweet. I miss you guys, too. We’ll definitely have to figure something out.”

“Nice tattoo, by the way,” she said, pointing over her should to her right shoulder blade, miming the place on my body where I had tattooed Kris’s number in French. “Now that’s love. I’m so glad you two figured everything out.”

I shrugged and smiled. “I think you never figure everything out. It’s always a progression, there’re always problems, and you constantly have to work at it.”

“Well, you guys are, like, perfect for each other. If you guys have problems, then there’s no hope for the rest of us.”

Cracking up, I had to contain myself before I could tell her, “That just goes to show you that all relationships take work. No one’s perfect.” I sighed. “You know, if someone had told me a year ago that all these things would have happened to me, that I would have met Kris and fallen in love with him, and all these different things we’d been through, I would have thought they’d lost their mind. Some were good, some were bad, but all of it was worth it. It just goes to show that you have to have faith through the bad times that the good times will come around again. You just... you never know what’s going to happen.”

Kelsey smiled at me, and we hugged one more time before she and Tyler left. I found Kris talking to someone else as they were getting ready to leave, so I intercepted Kris before someone else wanted to talk to him. I grabbed his hand, and we walked toward the Cup. “Where’s your name on this thing?” I asked him.

“They didn’t put on this year’s names yet. We get our day with it first, and then they’ll etch on the 2010 champs.”

“But your name’s on there from last year. Where?”

“Oh, just let me....” He spun the Cup around the table a little and then pointed out the area from when the Pens won last season. “Here.”

I bent down and kissed his name on the Cup. Then I stood and kissed his sweet lips. I was vaguely aware of a bright light, meaning someone had taken our picture; I hoped that I would be able to get a copy of it to add to my collection.

“Can I come with you back to Pittsburgh?” he asked, running a hand through my hair.

“You don’t have to ask my permission. And you know I’d love if you came down for my last few weeks of class.”

“No, I do need to ask your permission.... I mean, can I ride down with you guys? My car’s still in Pittsburgh, at the airport actually.”

“Oh,” I giggled. “I’ll have to check with Tubby, but I’m sure he’d be okay with that. If not, I’ll pout until he agrees.”

“When your classes are over, do you want to come out west with me? We can go apartment hunting. You should probably have a say in where we move, since you’re moving, too. And then you can look at the local colleges and apply. If that sounds okay.”

“It sounds great. How long do you have the Cup? We can leave when your time’s up.” I glanced over at where Tubby and Dave were hanging out, and I saw Charlene talking and laughing with Dave. “Maybe we can invite Charlene down, too. She said she wanted to come visit us, remember?” I nodded in their direction. “I think she might really want to now.”

He hugged me closer. “They are getting along, aren’t they?”

“Yup.” I turned my head and saw Marlene standing in the pavilion next to Henrí. He put his arm around her, and she nodded at me with a smile and a twinkle in her eye. I smiled at her, knowing that was probably the best I was going to get under the current circumstances. “I can’t wait to see what this year holds for us.”

“Me either, Joey.” I felt his chest rise and fall with a deep breath. “Me either.”

20 comments:

  1. I'm heartbroken that this is story is over! :(
    probably one of my favorite stories ever!

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  2. Oh my gosh.
    Once again, I have to go collect myself before I reread this.

    All I can say is thank you for giving us such an amazing story.

    I can't believe it's over, though...

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  3. I am so sad this story is over. It has been my favorite story I have ever read. I'm about to cry.

    EPILOGUE PLEASE?! I want to see them with some kids.I'm serious. I want to see them with kids. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!!!!!

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  4. Jay, you do like happy endings! Hooray, and it was huge, everyone nice got to be in the finale which was incredible. Jo and Kris are so sweet together, and everything is working out beautifully.

    Well done you! Such an amazing story with lots of very emotional ups and downs and a happy ending finally proving that two very different people can "find a happy medium."

    Congratulations!

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  5. SUCH a wonderful story. Thank you for keeping me entertained, on the edge of my chair, and absolutely in love for so long. It's been a great ride.

    And you could NOT have chosen a better song to accompany the ending. <3

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  6. Yay everything worked out in the end! Got to admit, I'm really going to miss seeing this brilliant story appearing on my dashboard. I like how even Charlene and Dave might have their happily ever after too. Thank you :)

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  7. That was the best ending ever and I'm in tears! I hate to see Kris and Jo go.

    Jay, the ending (and the story as a whole) was perfect. You’re an amazing writer. I didn’t know if this could top Paper Perfect, but you did it. Keep up the great work.

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  8. Yep, my eyes are definitely tearing up with happy tears. I've become so invested in this story and their relationship, and it's been a wonderful journey to follow. You're an incredibly talented writer!

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  9. This was probably my favorite story. I loved these characters so much, and I'm happy you kept them together.

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  10. My favorite story has ended :( But I loved how you kept them together! I'm still hoping that we will see an epilogue somewhere down the line. I will miss Kris and Jo!

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  11. I loved it. I love how everything was tied into pretty little bows. You do know how I like my pretty little bows.

    Found a girl for Dave, and a boy for Charlene. Jo's going to Cali... Tubby's Tubby... I loved it.

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  12. All great things have endings. I really love that they ended up together but with a certain amount of obviousness that they will continue to work on their relationship but instead of being afraid for their relationship and differences in the future they are finally looking forward to it.

    Thanks so much for a great story that entertained me. It was about hockey and a player I really like but at the end of the day it was Jo and the supporting cast that made me such a fan.

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  13. I'm so happy they figured everything out.I've loved watching Jo become such an amazing person. You've did such an amazing job with this story and I'm really sad to see it end. It's definitely been my favorite and I'm going to miss it.

    Thanks for giving us such an amazing story!

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  14. Dear Jay,

    All good things must come to an end and that is true of this story. I loved the way it all fell together and that they both finally realized how to compliment and support each other while also letting each other be the individuals that they need to be. They're perfect for each other and so was this story. I've read all of your stories but each one keeps getting better and better and your character development is out of this world.

    Amazing job! I can't wait to read what you do next!

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  15. love love LOVEEEED the ending, but i'm SO sad to see this one go!
    happy endings are always the best & i definitely wouldn't mind seeing more of these two in the future! amazing story! i became SO invested in these characters it's not even funny. i hope i can read more from you! please let us know if you start something new! excellent, excellent job as always! thank you!

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  16. Okay,

    I have been waiting to read the last two chapters all weekend because as you know me and my computer like to get into tiffs at inconvenient times. But, a few days later, here I am to give you my (probably long) piece.

    One hundred and forty delicious chapters later and I have one hundred percent fallen in love with the characters, the writing, the development, the secondary characters, the people we never really got the chance to meet, the relationships, the highs and the lows of Immediate Danger. What started as a story of a guy trying to be a gentleman, maybe a bit of a know-it-all gentleman, but a gentleman nonetheless, and to help out a troubled girl, someone with pink hair and a bad attitude that he could commiserate with in a smelly, obnoxious Pittsburgh locker room has developed into a passionate and courageous story of two people learning and growing and succeeding in spite of their different outlooks on life based on similar experiences.

    Both Jo and Kris have both become better people for everything they've been through. They've exorcised a lot of their demons, they have matured and grown and have altered their once drastically different and intense outlooks on life to accomodate their love for each other.

    Seriously, Jay, your writing throughout this whole story continued to improve and improve and excel and excel and this final chapter and something as simple as Kris needing a lift back to Pittsburgh and Jo exchanging a glance with Kris' mother really exemplifies the depth and care you've put into this story.

    One hundred and forty chapters, especially with the regularity of your posts, is an extreme feat especially regarding the various plots turns, surprises and twists you've thrown in and have effectively tied up leaving us as readers feeling both sated and hoping for the best for Kris and Jo in sunny San Jose. I'm not naive enough to believe that they will ride off into the sunset, but confident that they can overcome anything as a pair.

    I'm looking forward to your next project as much as anyone, your writing never ceases to amaze me and not only your craftsmanship but the joy you get from writing is really evident in the care you take in writing an accurate and beautiful piece of work. As you've mentionned before, the detail and emotions given to each character have really made me revert to my university days in lit class!

    I plan on rereading this story to appreciate the intricacies all over again, and as mentionned, hope that as a huge fan of your writing, you continue to spoil us with insight into your immense storytelling capability.

    Brilliant stuff.

    K


    Phhht and how did I forget to mention... you have continually blown me away with your song choices and have really impacted my playlist by introducing me to new bands so it shouldn't be a HUGE surprise but...

    How fuckin' perfect is Float On for this chapter?! Not only do I love Modest Mouse but considering everything and the make up, it's just, ugh, it's perfect.

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  17. Beautiful ending to a beautiful story...I think your faithful readers were hooked from beginning to end, and while I, too, am sad to see this story end, you ended it so very, very well. Loved the last two chapters and the perspective that you gave each of them with their own chapter was awesome!

    Thank you, Jay, for allowing us to read your work and for being a great writer. More, please!

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  18. Loves this story from start to finished, I enjoyed reading this and every time I seen an update I would be so pumped!!
    I hope you start another story, I just love you writing that much.
    Thanks for such an awesome story :D

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  19. Okay so I read this chapter a few days ago but I waited a little bit to comment on it. I have to say that after reflecting for a couple of days I realized two things:

    1. You are an amazing writer. I, for lack of a better phrase, fell in love with Kris and Jo's story. I loved the elements of realism. You ended it perfectly. I love happy endings but I love the fact that your "happy endings" are realistic and open.

    The growth and development of your characters was one of the things that drew me into your writing. There is both external and internal struggle with your characters. I loved the balance between Jo and Kris. They each had so much to learn from each other. Their relationship was one of mutual benefit, even if it wasn't so obvious to them.

    I'm sad to see this good but I think you ended this in a good place.

    2. I want more...not necessarily of this story but more of your writing. You have an amazing talent/gift/skill/whatever you want to call it. I want to read more of your work to see what you come up with next!

    Thanks for taking the time to do this. It has been a wonderful tool for procrastinate from both work and school. I have enjoyed it - even the heartbreaking chapters that made me want to cry.

    I look forward to all that you decide to show us!

    OliveC.

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