"Janet means nothing to me."
Those were the words that I spoke just moments ago. I wanted Shelley so badly that I had forgotten my "vow" to act as Janet's husband while her parents were in town. They had to have heard me say it from the kitchen which makes me more upset than the fact they saw me kissing another woman. How could I have been so senseless? My stomach twisted with guilt and my mind flooded with anxiety as her mother attacked me and her father told Janet to go home with them. I let Janet down big time once again. Her mother was so distraught over the truth she had passed out and it took three of us to get her seated at the kitchen table where Janet was able to get her to drink some water.
"Are you all right, mom? Janet asked.
"I will be," her mother replied.
"Mr. Wood," I spoke up, my voice quivering. "Mrs. Wood, I would like to talk to you both…"
"I'm in no mood to talk," Mrs. Wood said.
"I am," Mr. Wood intervened.
"I better go," Cindy uttered as I heard her scoot out of the kitchen behind me.
"Jack, please," Janet said, her eyes welling up with tears.
"It's okay, baby," Mr. Wood said as he kissed her cheek. "Go get some rest."
"How can I?"
"It's okay, Janet," I reassured her this time.
She reluctantly began to move out of the kitchen. I grabbed her before she could go out into the living room. I gave her hug and felt relieved when she hugged me back. When she pulled away, I could tell the tears were still there but she smiled at me anyway. She's strong like that. I turned back to her parents but I could tell that our hug didn't impress them much.
"I love her," I blurted out.
"Oh, you do, huh?" Her father asked.
"I guess you heard everything?"
"Yes, sure did," her mother replied.
"I thought I heard you say that our daughter meant nothing to you," her father added.
"She means the world to me."
"Then why did you say that?" Her father asked in a harsh tone. "My daughter has done an awful lot for you, it seems. I think that was an incredibly disrespectful thing for you to say to her."
"I know, and I'm sorry."
"Sorry doesn't cut it sometimes."
"Will you give me a break?"
"Give you a break?"
Oh, her father and I were getting into it now.
"Yes! Your daughter doesn't want me to love her. I know this sounds bad, but I didn't want to, either. As long as I live here, I can't love her. Do you know how much it hurts to want to love someone and they won't let you? I love your daughter so much that I'm willing to keep the space between us to make her comfortable. I just want your daughter to be happy and I swear to God, you guys want that for her, too…"
"Oh my God," Mrs. Wood whispered as she grabbed her husband's hand with a smile.
"What?" I asked. I couldn't help but smile as I realized they both were smiling.
"My boy," Mr. Wood said. "You just said all we have ever wanted for our daughter."