I've named it West End Apocrophya for now. Part 4. Picks up after Jessie's grandfather has been buried.
The lake was perfect when they arrived in Gainesville. She had felt as though she would lose her sanity if she had to spend one more airless moment trapped in town, in that house. Neil had driven her there without asking the question, knowing where she would be drawn to.
Tears filled her eyes as they approached the driveway. She couldn’t believe that he would never be here again. This house, the house she had “helped” him build as he told her stories of his childhood and her grandmother worried that she would get hurt in the sawdust and bent nails of the construction site. They had worked on it all that hot, airless summer before Dennis. The feel of the hammer in her hand was one of her earliest memories.
This place had always been there. Had always been theirs. Her childhood was on the walls and tables, showing a happy family.
In silent lock step they went up the stairs. The third floor was a huge loft, divided into two halves; one for granddaughters, one for grandsons. Her grandfather had all but designed Jess her own alcove in the girls side. The bed that had always been hers looked out towards the window, where a small table and chair did desk duty. Tossing her backpack onto an empty bed, she turned and looked at Neil.
Heat would literally flood her face when she would later think about that night, in the cold loft of her just buried grandfather’s lake house, the things she had done to her best friend in the bed of her childhood summers, and the things she had allowed him to do to her.
The first light of day was flooding the window when they first untangled themselves. “How did morning happen?” She asked, flabbergasted.
He laughed at her, and pulled her back to her side. “I always knew we would find each other.”
A quiet stillness had filled the room.
She had dressed by rote the next morning, before he even stirred. The dresser had yielded jeans and tees, but no sweaters. Silently walking into her grandfather’s closet, she breathed in the smell of his sweaters. Of safety. Pulling one over her head, it intermingled with the scent of Neil that clung all over her.
What kind of harlot, she wondered to herself silently as she walked onto the dock. What kind of slut.
Everyone would be happy, some part of her noted. Her family would be thrilled that she was with Neil.
Maybe not so much that they had had hot sex in the lake house on the night of her grandfathers funeral, but hey. She couldn’t always make everyone happy.
Once she would have fought against this deep gap that seemed to be crying for Neil, fought it for the fact that their being together was perfectly appropriate. Remembering the feel of his hand on her back, of his quiet acceptance of what she needed during this long week- during their long friendship- she suddenly had no desire to fight. The lake glittered back at her as she thought that in Neil, her grandfather would have approved of her choice of consort. Neil would keep her safe, as safe as anyone could.
The tears she had fought back overcame her and she sobbed the heartbroken sobs of a child. She sobbed for the childhood that had ended as she buried her grandfather and bedded her best friend.
She cried as she thought she’d never cry again.
As Neil walked onto the dock, ready to comfort her, she had no way of knowing how wrong she was. Laying on the dock after the crying was over she wondered why she had gotten so lucky as to find what she didn’t know she wanted right in front of her. It hurt to think of that moment now. That in her innocence she had thought that was the worse pain she would ever know, and that Neil had comforted her that long day.
The girl who lay on the dock had no way of knowing that she would kill the