Jake and Jessica Chapter 5
Brandon was hanging out the back passenger side window of Jake’s Accord, softly calling for his cat, and shaking an open package of treats. They had the lights off, but on their third trip around the block, even Brandon was starting to give up hope.
“Guys,” Jessica said. “This may be a lost cause.”
“One more time” Jake said.
Jess sighed, but sat back in her seat and zipped up her hoodie. Driving around at night with all the windows down in winter, even in LA, was not exactly what she’d had in mind for her evening.
“I forgot to ask earlier” Jake said, as they moved to round the block again. “What’s up with your girl, she color blind or something?”
“Yeah.” Jess said.
“Oh. That makes sense.”
After that, they sat in relative silence with Brandon calling and treat-shaking in the back seat. Once they were back in front of Brandon’s darkened house, Jake let the car idle, hoping to get inspiration for their next move. It killed him to think about turning back. He wanted to do this for his new friend, for the injustice of having everything ripped away from him, even his God-damned cat, but he also wanted to do it for The Annihilator. In memory of him, and as a kind of pay-back for not being there on his last night.
Then Brandon said “I hear meowing.”
All three of them strained to listen. Even Jessica was re-engaged.
“I heard it too” Jess said.
“Now I hear it” Jake said.
“I think it’s coming from inside the house.” Brandon said.
They all looked at each other. B&E wasn’t part of the deal.
“What if she can’t get out?” Brandon said.
Jessica looked at Jake.
Jake looked from Brandon to Jessica.
“Brandon” Jessica said. “You know you’re a good friend. And I’d do anything for you…”
“But I’m not sure I’m really willing to test the racial tolerance of the LAPD tonight.” Jake finished her thought.
Brandon sighed and looked down at the cat treats he now clutched in both hands. “Do you think you could keep the car running? It’s my parents house, but Basil is my cat. Her license is in my name. My old name, but I haven’t gotten my driver’s license changed yet. If the cops come, I’ll just dyke it up. Jess, you’re always saying I need to stand up to them.”
Jake looked at Jessica. Jessica started to chew on her cuticle, but she nodded a small ascent. There was not as much risk involved in staying in the car.
“Okay.” Jake said. “We won’t leave you, but you better hurry.”
Brandon nodded and got out.
Jessica was still chewing her cuticle as she watched him run towards the house. She put her hands in her lap. “I am always telling him to stand up to those assholes. Did you know they put an obituary for their “daughter” in the church paper? They sent it to him. Just so he knew.”
Jake was at a loss. He tried to think of a scenario where his parents would do something like that to him.
His family had gone to church every Sunday growing up, but it wasn’t like that. He could name gay deacons going back decades, and everybody knew the choir director and the organ player were lovers. He always thought they took separate cars to service because they were old guys. They had old ideas. He’d mentioned them in a conversation with his mother once, and she’d dismissed it as ‘gossip.’
Deciding to tuck that examination of his own family and community away for another time, he whispered a small “shit” into the dark of the car. “That’s some shit.” he clarified.
“Yeah.” Jess said. Her own mom, a Buddhist actress was only disappointed Jess didn’t feel the need to ‘be prettier’ as she’d put it.
Brandon came running back across the small front yard, clutching something in his jacket. “They blocked the cat door” He said as he slid into the back seat, one hand cradling a stunning Siamese as she yowled throatily.
Brandon fed her treats, and her yowls turned to purrs of an almost equal volume.
“That’s some set of lungs.” Jake said, pulling the car away from the curb.
Basil purred the whole way back to Jess’s house, where Brandon transferred her into his car. He hugged Jess goodbye, and cleared his throat when he turned to Jake. He floundered, trying to think of something to accurately express his gratitude without making a scene. Lacking words, he spread his arms, as if they would somehow illustrate the enormity of his emotion.
Jake turned the gesture into a hug with practiced, cool-guy grace. “It’s cool, man, it was good for me too” he said, patting Brandon’s back before pushing him gently away.
Brandon nodded. “Well, see you later.” He said as he got in his car, transferring a curious Basil to the passenger seat.
“Do you think he even has to go to the pet store, or does he have everything already in his apartment, just waiting for this day?” Jess asked as she watched his taillights disappear around a corner.
“Oh, shit.” Jake answered. “I should have offered him The Annihilator’s old stuff. I don’t think I can throw it away.”
“You threw him away, didn’t you?” Jess said.
“Yeah, but what am I going to do, put him in the freezer so I can take him out and pet him when I’m sad?”
“What if I mistake a roast for my dead cat one day, and you end up eating the wrong kind of pussy?” Jake asked.
“Oh that is gross” Jess covered her face and groaned into her hands.
Jake’s phone beeped. It was from Amber, and it was dirty. He showed the message to Jess with an air of triumph.
“Two times in two days. Shit, you’re the master.” She said.
With a casual hand, Jake pointed to his crotch. “Girls love this dick.”
“Not all girls” Jess raised an eyebrow.
“Straight girls love this dick.” Jake corrected.
“Uh huh. So you goin’ over?” Jess asked
“I actually feel pretty tired.” Jake said. “But I don’t want to go home. It’ll feel… too empty.”
“Wanna watch Top Gun?” Jess asked
“Yeah.” Jake said. “Lemme just text Amber a rain check.”
“A rain check on your dick.” Jess laughed.
“I might as well start a template” Jake said, heading back to Jess’s apartment.
Due to your amazing support for Jake and Jessica, I have been able to publish Volume 1 on Amazon. Chapters 1-6 are available for $1.49.
At that price, I make about $0.50 a book. I’ve set the price more than a dollar lower than Amazon suggested because I want the story to stay as accessible as possible in all its formats.
You can still read the entire story absolutely free on the blog, and I have no intention of changing that ever. But if you want a more portable, searchable, note-able format, it’s available to you on Amazon. I’ve also made it lend-able, so you can lend it to your friends.
Even if you don’t intend to buy the book, I’d appreciate it if you could go and give me a favorable review so that more people can find it.
Thank you again for your constant encouragement and good will. You guys are awesome.