From the strong masculine knock at the door, I already knew who it was. For a split second, I considered pretending that I wasn’t back from the salon but I couldn’t do that.
Not to Jacob.
Never to Jacob.
What will he think when he sees me?
When Debbie had offered to transform me into a redhead for the holiday season by installing a long weave before my hair started to fall out, I had reluctantly agreed, going against my original plan of getting a pixie cut as a way to transition to shorter hair before attempting the next round of chemo. But since she had graciously offered to do it on the salon’s dime, I couldn’t refuse her kindness.
I steeled myself for Jacob’s reaction as I flung open the door. His eyes twinkled as he assessed my new look.
“Whoa! You went long instead of short? You look hot!”
Jacob had known about my plan to go short and had even offered to go with me but I had refused. He was a total sweetheart that had his heart on his sleeve and the woman who ended up with him would be one lucky girl. But if she turned out to be some kind of bitch, believe me, I would find a way to haunt her from my grave.
“Really? You like it?” I ran my hand gently through the lush locks, a little afraid that a small tug might make it all disengage.
“It’s sexy. Is it a wig?”
“No,” I shook the hair out to show him its flow. “It’s a weave.”
“Well, being a redhead suits you. Whatever it is, you better have it strapped on tight because I’m taking you for a ride.”
“Yeah, a ride. Look…”
Jacob stepped out of the way and pointed at a shiny motorcycle sitting in my driveway. It was the kind of dream bike that he’d talked about buying if he beat his cancer. And now that he had been cleared, I was ecstatic to see that he had actually followed through. It was kind of funny how Jacob and I had quickly gone from being waiting room acquaintances at the hospital to good friends supporting each other in our respective fights against our mutual enemy.
“Oh my God! You actually bought it! Congrats! That’s an awesome way to celebrate!”
“Yes it is! I’m going to ride this bike everywhere. And I’m going to take you around with me. As soon as you’re feeling better and the weather turns, we’ll take a ride down to that Ben & Jerry’s Flavor Graveyard in Vermont that you always wanted to go to. But for now, grab your hat and coat so that I can take you for a quick spin.”
I grabbed my coat, pulled on my winter hat and quietly shut the front door. I headed down the stairs to join him as he dusted some snow sprinklings from the bike seat.
I couldn’t help but smile at how optimistic Jacob was for my future.
But I knew better and had chosen not to tell him about the truth that coursed through my fragile veins.
He didn’t need to know that his plans for us would never see the light of day.
The only graveyard Jacob and I would ever visit together would have nothing to do with Vermont.
All Rights Reserved ©2017 Marquessa Matthews