Jesse couldn’t remember the last time he’d been so scared he just wanted to cry, literally. Just hearing everything that happened to his wife and their unborn child shook him to the core. “Cass, please… Please tell me you’re joking.” He all but begged already making his way to his closet and snatching his bag from the bottom and then going back and snatching clothes off the hangers.
“I wish I was Jesse,” she sighed.
“What did the doctor say?” He asked.
Cass hesitated for a minute. Was she going to tell him everything the doctor said or was she just going to leave it at ‘yes mom was on that plane, but the doc said everything was fine’.
“Cassandra?” This time he pleaded.
“The doctor wasn’t 100% sure if what happened on the plane caused it or if it was already there when she boarded.”
Just when he thought his heart couldn’t take anymore.
“She has something called Toxemia. She had toxins in her blood and though it’s just a mild case it can turn severe if she doesn’t get the proper rest. And it can turn… turn… deadly for her… And the baby.”
“Oh god,” Jesse groaned, plopping onto the bed and covering his face with his free hand. “Why… Why in the hell didn’t you call me!?” He yelled.
Cass flinched. “I’m sorry. But she made me promise not to say anything because she was worried about you having–”
“She’s worrying about me at a time like this. She should not be doing that. I’ve told her time and time again I can take care of myself. All I need is for her to…” Jesse stopped talking when he felt his blood pressure rising.
When Jesse started breathing hard, Cass sat up and called his name a few times. Oh god, Jesse please don’t do this. Please! She begged inwardly. There wasn’t a lot she could do from the other side of the US. As a matter of fact there wasn’t a damn thing she could do! “Are you okay?”
“What else did the doctor say?” Like what Cass just revealed to him wasn’t bad enough already.
“Nothing except she can’t miss a day of her meds, she needs to cut back on the salty foods, more water and she’s on bed rest until she sees fit to take her off,” Cass explained. “Jesse, really I’m sorry for not saying anything sooner but… She made me promise and I–”
“I know, you couldn’t break your word to your mother. But Cassandra, this should have been the exception. When it’s something like this, as serious as this, promises and trying to keep them should be mute.”
Cass couldn’t say no more, because what her step-father just said was the truth. Sighing as let it set in some more, she laid her head back against the back of the sofa and closed her eyes.
Seconds ticked away into several minutes before anybody spoke. “I’m on the next flight out.” It wasn’t him just saying it so she could reply back saying he didn’t need to come. He was giving her no room to argue with him. And Cass didn’t argue. She really didn’t want to.
“Okay. Just let me know what airline you’re taking and what time you’re scheduled to get in. Me or Zia will be at the airport waiting.”
“Okay… And Cassandra, I’m sorry for yelling at you. Really I am. It’s just when it comes to your mother and this baby after all that has happened, I can’t help it.”
Cass smirked. “I understand and I don’t blame you. Listen you go ahead and pack and just call me.” And after a few more words between stepdaughter and stepfather Cass ended the call and placed Zia’s phone on the coffee table. The last time she broke a promise to her mother her heart felt utterly heavy but this time her heart felt light. Her shoulders felt light.
Zia walked into the living room after checking in on Mrs. Hubbard. Who was sleeping like a big ole baby. “What he say?” She asked sitting next to her best friend.
Cass whose eyes never left the painting on the wall in front of her sighed and shrugged her shoulders. “He’s on his way.”
“Did he say how he found out?” Zia asked curiously.
Cass nodded. “The news.”
Zia nodded as well before taking her friend’s hand. “Are you okay?”
Cass finally looked at her. “Is it wrong for me to be happy about breaking my promise to her? Because I’ve never felt better now that I’ve finally gotten that off my chest.”
Zia chuckled and shook her head. “No, it’s not wrong. And if you ask me it was kind of selfish of your mother to ask you to keep something like that in. Keep that from the one person that should know.” Cass nodded as she laid her head on her best friend’s shoulder. “Don’t get me wrong, I love your mother as if she was my own… Hell she’s been more of a mother to me than my own,” she scoffed. “But she was wrong to ask you to keep what happened a secret. That will never change.”
“Even if she hates me for it?”
“When Jesse gets here she’s going to be surprised and mad, but then after awhile she’ll realize just how much she needs him right now. And realize what you did was for the best.”
Cass sighed. “I hope you’re right.”
Back in Pine Valley, Jesse boarded his flight to LA and went to claim a seat. Because it was so sudden, not that he gave a good gawd damn, he was flying coach.
Once he put his bag in the overhead compartment he took a seat, went ahead and buckled up and stared out the window into the darkness. His mind replaying the lie Angie straight told him earlier that day to the news report he just barely caught to his conversation with Cassandra. How could Angie lie to him the way that she did? How could she even ask her own child to keep quiet about something as serious as this?
Fear now replaced with anger, Jesse thought about the way he found out about the incident. He’d just gotten out of the shower and was drying off, when he heard from the TV in the bedroom about an airline in CA shutting down. That should have been his first sign to go check it out but it wasn’t until they mentioned that the accident happened in San Francisco did he drop his towel and run out to see just what happened.
“Damnit,” he hissed when he saw he came in on the tail end of the report. He feverishly scanned the room for the remote and finally rewound it. Thank god for DVR’s, right. Anyway, he stood in the middle of the room, in his birthday suit and watched as they flashed a picture of two planes that’d obviously ran into each other. “How in the hell did that happen?” He asked himself.
As the news reported went on about how it happened, something in Jesse churned. He felt it earlier while he’d been in some god awful meeting with the Mayor. but he hadn’t paid any attention to it. Just figured it was his stomach bubbling because he was sick of hearing the Mayor’s voice.
Anyway, as soon as the report went off again Jesse snatched up his phone and called Cass. When she didn’t answer he called Angie’s cell. He did that for a good half an hour until he finally tracked down Cass’s roommates’ number and got in touch with her. The young lady sounded shocked to hear his voice and Cass sounded just as shock.
When Cass began to tell him about the events of that day or the day before seeing as it was nearly morning there, Jesse felt his heart plummet into the floor. He felt his whole body tremble with anger for being lied too by his wife and then later his body began to tremble with fear and then guilt. Had he not let her on that damn plane by herself that shit wouldn’t have happened. “Stupid!” He hissed as the plane’s engine roared to life and they were heading down the way.