... really knew the difference between lust and love?
"So, what is it you exactly do?" my mum asks Jack, as we're all seated around the table in the dining area of the house.
"I make furniture," Jack simply replies, tucking into the quiche my mother prepared earlier.
"And what kind of furniture is that?" my mother asks cutting into her steak with her cutlery, but she's really slicing up Jack with her interrogating questions.
"Chairs, recliners, tables but mostly chairs... all made of the finest fair trade wood," Jack says.
"And how much money do you make?" my mother continues with her questioning.
My mother has been very protective of me lately, partially due to my sister's behaviour towards me and manipulatively turning the whole family against me. My parents have somewhat become very protective of me since then, so, it's understandable that they would ask these questions, especially as they've walked in on us getting hot and heavy in the kitchen.
"Cheri darling, I think it's very inappropriate to question the young man on how much he makes for a living," my father quickly squashes that question.
"I'm simply asking him dear, so I know he will take care of my daughter," my mother replies.
Jack grins, "I will always take opportune time to take care of her Mrs St. Claire, she's very special to me."
I can see my dad grinning and nodding his appreciation for his answer.
"So, how did you two meet?" my dad asks.
Jack smiles and looks over to me, which makes me all prickly all over, in a good way. Jack proceeds to tell the story and I can only gush at what he says, like a teenager with a massive crush.
After dinner, I help mum clean up and dad and Jack head outside and have a man to man talk, I can only imagine what they could be talking about. Mum's incessant questions are floating around in my head, which I've chosen not to answer because if I answered, I know another twenty would follow. After a few hours, my mother and father retire to bed and it's much to early for me and Jack to go to bed. Mum and dad insisted Jack stayed over, as he was part of the family, whatever that was supposed to mean.
"Do you want to go for a ride?" Jack asks.
"Where are we going?" I ask.
"Anywhere, come on," he says, as he tugs my hand and leads me out of the door. He hands me a helmet and I wrap my arms around him as he starts the engine. Going for a ride is amazing, the complete experience is thrilling and exciting and my adrenaline is pumping away and what makes it even more wonderful is that I have a hunky man to hold on to. Oh my gosh, did I actually say that? A hunky man. I think we're definitely official but I just want him to tell me we are.
We stop by the side of a road to glance at the view before us, we're on one of the highest peaks and it's breathtaking. Jack turns towards me and kisses me and I kiss him back but he's the first to draw back, "Come back with me," he whispers, as he threads his fingers through my hair.
I want so badly to say yes but I need to know, where we're heading off to. I just need to know. I take a while to answer because what can I say, without sounding like the most insecure of people. He senses my pause.
"What's the matter?" he looks deep into my eyes and it's almost as if he's searching for something, anything to indicate what the hell is going on with me. I can't look him straight in the eyes without feeling this way and as if understanding he replies, "I know you've been burnt in the past Frederica but I promise you, I'm not like him, I would never in a million years hurt you. Do you love me?"
Oh, that dreaded question, I was hoping to avoid. Do I love him? I'm not sure, y'see, "I don't know."
His face says it all, it's the face of defeat and his eyes stray from mine and I can only come to a conclusion that he loves me. He looks at me and kisses me, which takes me by surprise because I wasn't expecting that, "Come on, let's get back."
Jack returns back to London after spending a few more days with me and the family, we haven't talked about what happened up on the peak a few days ago but I had noticed that he seemed a bit distant with me. My mum and dad seemed to be getting on with him like a house on fire, they would talk to him about everything and always invited his opinion on things- and I felt slightly left out. What else is new? Like my welcome to him, our goodbyes were said outside on the gravel drive way and I watched as he sped off into the sunset. Not the kind of ending I had hoped. At the moment, I am spending the time with dad again, in his bedroom watching another re-run of Only Fools & Horses - I'm used to this and sometimes silence is a virtue, but my heart feels heavy and I feel a void.
"Don't think I haven't noticed how subdued you've been since he's left honey bee," my father breaks into my thoughts, "What's the matter? I know there is something definitely up."
"Dad, you know me too well," I say.
"I don't know you honey, I love you and I have to take care of you... so what happened?" my dad looks lovingly at me as he presses pause on the DVD player.
"He didn't so much as say in as many words, but I know he loves me.. I just don't know if I love him," I say, "Am I supposed to know if I love him? Because I'm not too sure."
"There are a great many things that will always remain a mystery in this life, one is women, the second is why you wait for one bus but three come at once and the third is love. There is just no way of working these things out, no way of determining what it is, you would just know honey bee. It will hit you one time and then you'll know, not the best of explanations - but the only one I can give. You've just gotta think that love is like a little mustard seed, you have to nurture it, feed it, water it and in time it will grow. Nothing happens over night, though I must say if it worked out for Romeo and Juliet, there's surely a lasting chance somewhere along the lines."
"Thanks dad, that's definitely insightful," I say, pondering about it but not really going anywhere with it.
"Can you imagine your life without him? Can you see your life before he came into it?" my father asks.
I think, "Yes, I had a life before him but I can't quite see it clearly enough..."
"Then maybe you are... or maybe you're not or maybe you just won't admit it to yourself... love is a very complex thing, especially when you have given your heart to another, only to have it shredded to shards."
"I definitely know I don't love Eric anymore because he sidled up with Frieda- it's the betrayal of it dad, I don't want to be hurt again, not by Jack, not by anyone," I say disheartened, "Which is funny because when I first saw Jack in Sainsbury's a little bit of me was already in love with him. I was kinda in lust mode." This is weird speaking to my dad about a subject like this, but it's easy because I'm close to my dad.
"Lust can go two ways, it can grow into obsession or it can simply mature into love," my dad says simply and that's for me to think about, "Take your time pet, there's no deadline for love."
So, why do I feel like there is?