A full week after coming to stay with his son and daughter in law, Jesse finally got himself situated in his room and even familiarized himself with their routine. Because he didn’t want to get in their way and further thin the already thin ice he was on with Frankie, he stayed in his room until they left and when they returned home he went back in. Randi may have told him thousands of times that he was family and he was welcomed to do whatever, he didn’t feel comfortable doing so. And besides fitting in was the last thing he wanted to do. He wasn’t planning on being there for too much longer. No way!
He had plans. Big ones! And a couple of his plans were the reasons he was now fully dressed and heading out the apartment. “I still have to make things right,” he said to himself as he stepped onto the empty elevator and rode it down. “I still have to get my wife back,” he continued, still talking to no one.
Just the elevator stopped and opened to the garage, he concluded. “And I’m going to start with Jackson.”
Angie and Pat were just returning home for their morning walk, when the house phone began to ring. Because she was only a visitor, she was still in hiding and there was no telling who her mother kept in touch with, Angie refused to pick it up. Unless of course Pat and Jeffery were out and they called to check on her, which was rare because Pat was always around.
“I’m going to take a shower,” she said over her shoulder as she headed down the hall. Before she could even finish undressing Pat was calling her back to the front. Sighing heavily, she threw back on her t-shirt and ran out. “Yes?”
“Call from Pine Valley,” Pat replied.
“What? Who?” Suddenly fearing Jesse had actually found her.
“Jackson,” Pat replied before removing her light jacket and heading to her room. “I’m going to get a shower. Call if you need me,” she said over her shoulder, mocking everything Angie had just done.
Giving her mother a playful dirty look, Angie chuckled and picked up the receiver. She completely forgotten she had given him the house number after the last time they talked. “Hi Jackson, how are you?”
“Hey, Angie. I’m doing alright, how about yourself?”
Angie shrugged her shoulders, as if he could see her. “I’ve been better,” she replied honestly. “So what can I do for you?”
“Well I uh… I have some not so good news,” he said with a sigh. “Jesse has refused to sign the papers. Says he’s not going to let you divorce him.”
“What?!” Angie shrieked. “He can’t do that!” She fussed. “Wait… Can he?”
“Actually, he can. Jesse has every right to refuse to sign the papers,” he replied. “You’re married to each other, therefore these types of decisions are usually made as one.”
Dropping her head, Angie bit back her emotions. Why?! “So…We… What… What can I do now?”
“Well, if you are still sure about going through with this, the next step now is to get a petition signed to present to the court.”
“Of course, I still want this,” she assured. “What’s a petition?” Angie asked. “What does it consist of exactly?” She sighed, easing onto the barstool and resting her head in her free hand. She should have known Jesse wasn’t going to make this easy for her. She honestly believed he didn’t even know what the word ‘easy’ meant.
Jackson began to explain to her that when filing a petition with the court for a divorce, it needed to contain the reasons why the marriage has dissolved, as well as any basis for the divorce. “And being that you are the one filing for divorce, the petition requires your signature,” he concluded.
“Go figures,” she replied, looking toward her mother who’d just re-entered the kitchen and was looking at her with questioning eyes. “Does Jesse know this?”
“Yep, but not because of anything I said. He did his research,” he told her. Jesse had come to him nearly an hour ago letting him know that he wasn’t going to sign the papers and neither him, Angie, or a judge was going to make him. Angie was his wife and he wasn’t going to lose her. Especially not like this. Jackson told her this and even told her about the papers he returned. “He returned them torn to pieces.”
Damnit, Jesse, she thought. “And no doubt he’s expecting me to come back to sign those papers. I just know it,” she hissed. “Look, can I give you a call back? I need to think about all of this. Process it.”
“No problem. If you can’t get me at the office, just call my cell.”
“What happened?” Jeffery asked sometime after Angie hung up the phone and sat in the kitchen in silence. He was getting ready to return to the restaurant to check out the shipment of new plates and utensils when he heard the girls return from their walk. He had stayed in the room a little while to feel-up his wife and after getting a good swat he left her to do her thing. But just as he was passing the kitchen he overheard Angie on the phone.
Angie picked her head up and sadly smiled at him. “Jesse is refusing a divorce.”
“Can he do that?” Jeffery asked, easing onto the barstool next to her.
“According to Jackson, my lawyer back home, he can. The next step now is to file a petition with the courts,” she told him. “I don’t know why he’s making this so hard for him! If a divorce is what I want, then by right he should give it to me. He knows that I don’t just do stuff for the hell of it! I do it because it needs to be done,” she fussed
Jeffery reached out and rubbed his step-daughter’s shoulder all the while shaking his head. “You’re right he should,” he agreed. “So with the petition, what happens with that? What has to be done?”
“In order for the courts to even consider ending our marriage, the petition requires my signature, among other things. Basis of the marriage, why it’s happening, so on and so forth.”
“Which requires you to go back home,” he concluded with a sigh. “And he’s probably waiting on that.”
Smirking, Angie looked over at him again. “I guarantee he’s betting his life on it.”
Shaking his head, Jeffery continued to rub Angie’s shoulder in a comforting way. Hoping to ease her distress and worries as much as he possibly could.
“I don’t know what to do,” Angie sighed. “Do I stay married to him and risk going through this pain again or do I go home, divorce him and get my life back on track? I don’t know.”
“What is your heart telling you to do?”
Once again, Angie smirked. “According to Stevie, me thinking with my heart and my emotions is how I wound up here in the first place. So I don’t think it’s safe to follow my heart at this moment,” she replied.
“Right,” Jeffery mumbled.
“What do you think I should do?” Angie asked sometime later.
“What? Oh, sweetie, I don’t think I’m the best person to ask that too,” he said with a nervous chuckle. “I… No, you should probably ask your mother.”
Angie shook her head. “Momma will say something crazy. Probably support my crazy thoughts of killing him.”
Jeffery thought about it and agreed. While Pat didn’t feel Angie and Jesse were ever going to split up, that didn’t stop her from feeling the man deserved a swift kick in the behind and gun shot to a part of his body. To an extent Jeffery too felt he deserved to be hurt, but the man in him, the father in him, felt something else. “I uh… Well, not saying you should listen to me, but I’m just saying… If it was me, if I were in your shoes, I would go home. Not to repair anything, because obviously the timing isn’t right, but go home to get closure.”
“Part of your recovery involves you getting closure. I know, because I’ve been there,” he started. “For the longest time I truly believed I was at fault for my family’s death. I blamed myself day and night, even though people told me I did nothing wrong, I wasn’t even there, I still believer I could have done something. I could have changed it… And after I started my sessions Stevie told me the only way I would ever fully heal, was to get closure. Go back to the site, relive the moments, the pain. I can’t really explain how all of that gives you closure, because to this day I still haven’t figured it out, but weeks later I started to come around. I started to realize that I couldn’t have changed what happened that day. Had I been there with them and even our other kids, my whole family would have died that day,” he explained. “What I’m trying to say is, the only way you can heal, or get on the road to true healing is to go back. Face the fear, face the emotions head on, relieve that day and days leading up to it.”
“Why can’t I do that here? Why must I go back to Pine Valley?”
“Because here isn’t where it happened. You have to go back to the scene of the crime, per say. Running from it will never help you heal, close those wounds.”
While it all sounded good or more like a smart move, Angie still wasn’t okay with it. Going back home was the very last thing she wanted to do, but from the looks of things it was something she had to do. But do I have to do it alone, she thought. “I don’t know,” she sighed. “I just don’t know.”
“Well if it helps and if you’re okay with it, Patty and myself will be with you every step of the way.”
A/N: Uh-oh! Jesse is on a mission! Will Angie return to Pine Valley? Will Jesse see her? If so, will he be able to talk to her? What’s going to happen!?! Surely not the turn you all expected and so soon, but keep in mind, the story is far from over! I think Angie and Jesse are trying to tell me something. Something like ‘Look lady! We’re already unhappy on the screen, can we catch a break on here! Something!’ As many of you all know and for those of you who don’t, I don’t always write what I want to write, sometimes the characters lead me into a different direction and I have no choice but to follow. Otherwise they’ll torture me. I’m just saying! Anyway, hope you all enjoyed it!