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Thinking back, Brett reflected on everything that had happened since the last time that she had seen Tori.
with Jenna had grown progressively worse after that night she said goodbye
She would take
every opportunity to remind Brett that
Claimed it wasn't because she was selfish. She just did not want to see Brett get hurt. She told Brett that she couldn't stand back and watch Brett chase after an empty pipe dream; after someone that was not capable of returning Brett's feelings.
She was lying through her teeth of course. She had seen the sparks fly when Tori and Brett were together. You had to be blind not to see it. Even if you were blind, there was no doubt that you would have felt it. It was that strong.
She knew that Tori loved Brett as well. But there was no way she was going to lose Brett. Brett was all that she had. She would do anything it would take to keep Brett with her. Victoria Hull be damned. Jenna Carlisle had dealt with people tougher than her. She never lost when it came to things that she wanted. And she sure wasn't going to lose Brett.
Brett, Jenna, Adrian and Alexi finished their bachelor's degrees and went on to get their masters.
It was during this time that Alexi and Adrian were starting to get concerned about Brett. Jenna was always intense when it came to Brett. But now was way over the top. If Brett was out and Jenna was home, she would pace around the apartment like a caged animal.
One night in particular, Jenna came home to find Brett involved in a study session with a very beautiful student. The girl had an obvious crush on Brett and to her misfortune, she had an uncanny resemblance to a much-hated Victoria Hull. A raging Jenna confronted Brett and without explanation showed the girl the door. The abuse escalated to a new level that night leaving Brett scared and confused. There was no one there at the apartment except the two of them.
After Jenna's violent episode, Jenna promised not to hurt Brett again. She claimed not to know what had come over her. Jenna blamed the years of abandonment she experienced growing up and confessed to Brett that she was afraid of losing her. She made the usual promises to get help. She begged Brett not to leave her playing up to every one of Brett's weaknesses. Taking advantage of Brett's ever forgiving heart. The next day Jenna made an appointment to see a therapist.
The few times
Brett brought Jenna with her to her parent's home, Jenna did everything to
alienate Brett's family. Claiming that they looked down on her, she felt they
didn't think she was good enough for their daughter. Although there was some
truth to that in the eyes of the
Of course, Brett tried to convince her family that Jenna was just misunderstood. They did not see the side of Jenna that she was only privy to see. Brett always tried to see the good in people. She looked to make a connection with them. Feeling like she was the one that could make a difference to someone who was lonely, lost, or misunderstood. After all, Tori had abandoned her and she vowed never to do that to anyone.
After that episode, Jenna was on her best behavior. For almost a year, Brett and Jenna had seemed happy. Jenna appeared to want to make a go of their relationship convincing Brett that she was right in being patient with her. Brett felt she had succeeded in turning things around for Jenna through the unconditional love she offered her. She even tried to put on a good show in front of Brett's friends and family. However, under the surface, nothing had really changed.
Brett continued her studies nurturing her insatiable appetite for reading and writing. Writing in her diary, she developed her skills as a writer. Creating an amazing world that could only be born in her vivid imagination. Her teachers went out of their way to make sure her gift was recognized. Award after award was bestowed upon her. Towards the end of Brett's last year of her post graduate studies, she was approached by Clarendon Press to publish her work, "The Unexpected Knight".
Jenna's control was beginning to slip away. The last straw was a call Brett
Alexi and Adrian
received offers for jobs in
told Jenna she was considering taking the position in
Jenna had refused to let Brett accompany her to her sessions claiming the therapist felt this was something that Jenna had to do by herself. She had only gone to a couple of sessions when the doctor told Jenna that she was suffering from posttraumatic illness due to events in her childhood.
The illness had manifested itself in an unrealistic view of reality and an inability to handle everyday problems in a rational manner. Not wanting to accept what the doctor had said, she left and never looked back.
Change is a difficult thing to accept. Although many people may hurt us, especially those closest to us, there comes a time when we have to make a decision to be responsible for ourselves. Sometimes the problems that we face are of our own making. It takes hard work to want to change one's life. It is so much easier to blame others for what's wrong with our existence. It is all too easy to use the wrongs that have happened to us as a crutch to keep us from standing on our own reaching our full potential.
The rage that
had been kept unchecked for over a year was now boiling over in full force.
Brett told Jenna she wanted her to be with her. That maybe she could find
a position in the
"NO. This is not going to happen to me again," Jenna's mind screamed.
Without thinking, the doors to all of Jenna's rage were unleashed on an unsuspecting Brett. Jenna didn't hear Brett's cries for help or the strangled plea to stop. All she saw and heard were the many years of unacceptance from her parents and the taunting faces of family members laughing at her for not being good enough to love.
Brett was not going to leave her. This time she would not be the one left behind.
Hours later, Adrian and Alexi arrived home. What they found was a sight they would never forget. The apartment looked like a tornado had dropped down on it. There on the floor was a catatonic Jenna rocking a bruised and battered Brett.
It would take weeks for Brett to gain consciousness and years to heal from the mental anguish of what was done to her. This incident was kept under wraps. Brett did not want anyone to know. The only ones who were told were the publisher, the university and Brett's immediate family. A part of Brett felt so ashamed for allowing this to happen to her.
Jenna was admitted to a mental hospital. Something had snapped that day. When Brett was asked if she would be pressing charges, she asked only that Jenna receive the care that she desperately needed.
So the healing process began. Brett went to therapy and slowly but surely her physical wounds healed and her mental wounds, though not fully healed, grew less debilitating. Slowly Brett grew stronger and more self-assured as time went on.
and Adrian moved into an apartment in
Brett never went to see Jenna again after the incident but was informed of her progress. After 2 years of therapy and an order for continued outpatient sessions, Jenna was finally released.
The university was never told of the true nature of what had happened and was only told that Jenna had to go back home to take care of some family problems. Well it wasn't all a lie. She did have some family problems she had to address. When she went back to the university to get her position back, she too was accepted.
Jenna had learned many things while she was in therapy. Most of all she finally learned to love herself. She would forever be grateful to Brett for the compassionate way she handled the situation. A lesser person would have hung Jenna out to dry.
Snapping out of her reverie, Brett sent out a thank you of her own. She had so much to be thankful for and she would never take that for granted ever again.
TO BE CONTINUED. Installment Eleven