Impulse: Book Four
“Impulse: A sudden inclination or urge”
The American Heritage dictionary
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The two sat at a booth in the back of the pub. The waiter had just arrived to take their orders.
“Ladies… will you be eating with us or just having drinks?” Tori looked at Jenna and the teacher shrugged her shoulders.
“I haven’t eaten a thing so I better get something to coat my stomach if we’re going to be drinking.” Tori looked at Jenna and nodded.
“I’ll have whatever she’s having.” The waiter looked at Tori and she took a quick look at the menu.
“How does a Jameson and Fish and Chips sound?” Tori waited for Jenna’s approval. You could hardly tell that Tori had beaten the stuffing out of Jenna a little while ago.
“That’s fine.” Jenna nodded to the waiter who smiled, took their menus, then went to place their order.
“So where were we? Ah yes. You wanted to know what Brett saw in me. Well it was more like what I saw in her, which you obviously know already. Back then, I was a manipulative, conniving bitch, for lack of a better description. But fitting just the same. Brett possessed all the qualities that I lacked and I was drawn to her as darkness is to light. I wanted to bask in her joy and bathe in her exuberance. I had never felt anything like what I felt in those days with Brett. And instead of cherishing and nurturing it, I tried to control it. Brett on the other hand was so trusting and so willing to love, she never once questioned if I was right for her. I almost felt like a cause for her at times. A pet project for her to mold and develop. Rather like an experiment in unconditional love. But it really wasn’t an experiment. Brett was just being Brett.” Jenna’s face got very sad and tears were pooling at the corner of her eyes.
“You see…. all my life I had been fighting for attention. Add that to the fact that my parents were rich and gave me a credit card when I was twelve. They gave me everything except their love. I learned at a very young age that people and things could be bought and that everyone had a weakness. I learned to find that weakness and exploit it. …. I see from the look in your eyes that you understand this.” Tori looked at Jenna and urged her to continue.
“Well, I spent a good portion of my time trying to get my parents’ attention. Even if it meant making them fly home from wherever they were and bail me out of jail or answer a call from the police department about a party that I had thrown. The heights and lengths I’d go to outrage them just to get their attention got worse and worse to the point that soon even they couldn’t cover it up after awhile. Amazingly enough, I had good grades. I was accepted to any school of my choosing, and this was my parents’ out. They told me that they would pay for my tuition, housing, and allowance every year but I was never to step foot in their home again. It wasn’t like it was ever my home in the first place. But it didn’t stop me from wanting it just the same. When I met Brett, she offered me something that I had been looking for my whole life. And yet when I was given that gift, all I could do was focus on how to keep it from disappearing. I got jealous at every little thing. Brett’s friends, family, work, and please… when I met you that day on Brett’s birthday, I knew that she belonged with you. Oh how I hated you. I prayed that Brett would look at me the way that she looked at you. That light that I saw in her eyes got even brighter that day when you two looked at each other at the apartment. You have no idea, what that did to me.”
Jenna now let the tears come and she took a long draw from her drink. “But even though it was killing Brett to not be with you, I still couldn’t let her go. And Brett being an honorable woman, wouldn’t leave. She would stay with me no matter what. I would constantly get jealous, insult her, and berate her. I’d pick fights with her family and make her choose between us. I did everything I could to test her. To prove that she was just like everyone else and that she would leave me. I was my own self fulfilling prophecy. My own worst nightmare.” Jenna took a moment to calm her nerves and looked to see if Tori had anything to say. Tori on the other hand just gave Jenna the room to talk. She took a sip over her drink and a bite of her meal.
“Go on Jenna. I’m listening.” Tori found that Jenna had indeed taken the time to think about her life and found up to this point she understood Jenna’s actions.
“I could see the light in Brett’s eyes getting dimmer and dimmer and I knew I was the cause. But like a leach, I wanted it all. One night I came home to find Brett studying with, I swear, an exact replica of you.” Jenna rolled her eyes and Tori gave her dirty look.
“And that was the first time that I lost it. It just took one moment of uncontrolled anger to change one’s destiny forever. I threw the girl out. And when Brett questioned my actions, I hauled off and slapped her clear across the room.” Jenna could see the change in Tori’s demeanor almost immediately and knew that the woman was just moments from losing control again. But she continued.
“To this day I don’t know why I hit her. I just
know that it’s a part of me. Brett asked
me at the time to get help and I went as far as going to two appointments. By the second appointment, the doctor had
already diagnosed me and I wasn’t ready or willing to hear what she had to
say. Therefore, I left. I lied to Brett
and pretended to go to the doctor. When Brett asked to accompany me, I gave
Brett an excuse that the doctor thought this was something I had to do by
myself and that Brett wasn’t allowed to accompany me to my appointments. It worked for a while. Until Brett started getting offers from
various schools and publishing houses. I had already secured my first real position
at the university and I was starting to feel afraid that Brett would eventually
leave. She came to me one night and told
me she was considering taking a position here in
Tori just sat there. If it was anyone else but Brett maybe, she wouldn’t feel such anger. But then again no one deserved what Jenna had done. She thought about what Jenna had revealed and found that a part of Jenna’s words made sense to her. She didn’t agree with it. She most certainly didn’t like it and a part of her still wanted to kill the math professor. But to what gain? For the first time she understood what Brett was trying to do. She was trying to stop the cycle of violence that would surely perpetuate if Jenna hadn’t gotten help.
Jenna wiped at her eyes and cleared her throat. “I woke up the next day in the psyche ward. I was sedated and I wasn’t at all coherent. I spent the next few months acting like a caged animal. When the doctor asked what I remembered, I said didn’t remember anything. Then I made excuses and eventually, even the excuses sounded hollow to me. I woke up one morning and thought about Brett and everything she had ever offered me. I felt remorse for the first time in my life. Up to that point, I had a reason to do what I did. An eye for an eye. A tooth for a tooth. Like actions. Like consequences. However, I had no excuse as far as Brett was concerned. She offered unconditional love and I truly became no better than that which I hated. It was that day I sat in front of the doctors and accepted the responsibility for my actions.” Jenna took a sip and knew what she needed to say next.
“Now, Victoria Hull….. You want to know what I’m doing here? You’re right. I had an ulterior motive. I have to admit that I wasn’t surprised to see you with Brett. And yet a part of me was too proud to think that I didn’t have a chance. I have spent the last four years trying to be someone that I could be proud of. I wanted to be me, Jenna Carlisle. Not someone my parents molded me to be or what my countless relatives told me I would never become. But someone I chose to be. Someone that I had hoped that Brett could love. I figured that if she could love the maniac that I was, maybe she could love the person that I had become. But just as you walked away six years ago, I know that that’s what I must do now. I screwed up and I know it. But knowing Brett, can you blame me for wanting to at least try?” Jenna looked at Tori to try and decipher what she might be thinking but her face remained a blank at the moment.
Tori took a last bite and took another sip of her Jameson. She looked at her hands and thought about her next move. She shook her head and thought about all the stupid things she had done in her own past. The story from the bible about a stone kept ringing through her head. She took one last sigh and looked at Jenna trying to see any deceit. She truly couldn’t see any. So she took the leap of faith that Brett had done all her life.
“We’ll that’s quite a story you’ve got there.” Jenna looked at her and hung her head.
“I listened to you.
Now you listen to me. It is a story.
It’s one about your life and I can see that you understand it very well. I can’t blame you for falling for Brett and
wanting to get her back. But I’ve got to
tell you, you’ve got a snowball’s chance.
I don’t know what Brett and I have.
But we’ve always had it. It’s bigger than the both of us. I’ve done my share of unforgivable deeds, but
Brett accepts me none the less. However,
unlike you, I’m not going to push her away.
I plan to spend the rest of my life making her happy. Unfortunately,
thanks to you, I have my work cut out for me.
Thankfully, that light that we love so much about Brett still burns
brighter than the sun. And I will do everything in my power to ensure that
continues even if it means sitting in a pub across from someone who I wanted to
kill earlier today. We’ve both done
things to Brett that have hurt her and I ask you now to let her be happy. I don’t know how I got so lucky as to be the
one that Brett has chosen to love.
Nevertheless, I seem to have everything that she needs to make that
possible. I promise to keep out of your
life, if you promise to give up this pursuit of Brett. I don’t like being the bad guy. Just like you, I just want to love Brett and
build a life with her, but someone has to walk away. And it’s not going to be
me this time. If you choose to build a
life here in
“I commend you for picking up the pieces of your life and I hope you find someone that you can love and who will fully love you. Thank you for allowing me to see you better and I hope we can finally put this behind us.”
Tori looked at her watch again and rose from her seat. “I’ve got to go meet Brett. Do you want to come?” Tori motioned for Jenna and she accepted. They paid the tab and left to meet Brett.
TO BE CONTINUED. Installment Seven
Impulse: Book Four