Author: MaryFan1 PM
Ten years after their divorce will unforeseen circumstances bring Jonathan and Jennifer back together again?Rated: Fiction K - English - Drama/Romance - Chapters: 9 - Words: 16,265 - Reviews: 19 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 5 - Updated: 01-22-12 - Published: 11-26-11 - id: 7585453
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: A little bit different but never fear Hart fans...all's well that ends well ;)
The word hung in the air like a black cloud forming in the midst of a sunny day. A word no one wants to hear. She had prayed and prayed she was wrong but the tests confirmed it. The doctor was going over the treatment options but her head was reeling. She needed to catch her breath. She needed some air so she excused herself promising to call the doctor to come back in and discuss the options when she was in a better frame of mind. She got in her car, not really sure where she was going but ended up at Jones Beach. She sat watching the waves roll in and she found herself contemplating pretty much her whole life, especially the last ten years. The bitterness of the end of her marriage ten years earlier suddenly fresh in her mind, she wondered if things would be different if they were still together. She pulled her jacket tighter as the air seemed to become cooler. Tears streamed down her face as a stark reality hit her. She was sick and, for all intents and purposes, alone. There was one person she had to tell but not by phone so she got back in her car and headed back to her apartment, packed a small bag, called her boss at the New Yorker and told him she needed a few days for a family situation. Then headed out to the one place where she could feel safe…home.
It was almost the dinner hour when she arrived at the family farm in Maryland. She hadn't called first, she was afraid of breaking down on the phone. The lights were on and she rang the doorbell and waited for someone to answer. When the door opened she was greeted by her father's houseman of many years, Walter.
"Miss Jennifer!" He greeted her with a smile, "Come on in."
She managed to return his smile, "Hi Walter, is my father home?"
"He's in his study, as usual, having an after dinner brandy." He said helping her off with her coat
"Great, I'll go surprise him." She replied
"Would you like me to take your bag up to your old room?"
"No, Walter, that's okay, I'll take it up myself, thank you." She said heading to the back of the house to find her father
She stopped in the doorway, smiling at the familiar site of her father smoking his cigar and drinking his favorite brandy, "May I join you?"
Stephen Edwards look up toward the door, a huge smile forming on his lips, "Darling, what a wonderful surprise!" He stood and met her halfway across the room, pulling her into a warm embrace, "What brings you here?" He pulled back and looked her over
She dropped her head, "I just needed a few days away." She lied, "I've been really busy."
He put his finger under her chin and brought her face to meet his. He looked in her eyes, those eyes that always told the story her words didn't, "Darling, what's wrong?"
She couldn't hold it in anymore and the tears began to fall, "Oh Pa," She cried as he pulled her close, "I'm…I'm sick."
His heart skipped a beat and his throat tightened, "What is it?"
She pulled back, wiping her eyes. She took a deep breath, "Cancer Pa, I have cancer."
"Oh, Jennifer." He pulled her into his arms again
They talked into the night and she told him everything she could remember the doctor tell her. All the while his heart was breaking for his only child and for himself. He had lost his wife but how do you prepare yourself to lose a child? She didn't bother with any pretenses. It wouldn't have done any good. She told him she was scared and cried as she had when she was a child and was hurting. He held her as he had then, though in his seventies, his arms still felt comforting and strong around her. When she had finally wrung herself dry of the tears, she fell asleep. But sleep didn't come for him. He sat in his study staring at the picture of her that sat on the mantle. She must have been about fifteen and was becoming an accomplished horsewoman. She had just won her first ribbon and her smile was a mile wide. Her whiskey colored eyes sparkled with joy and pride. But she couldn't have been as proud of herself as he was of her, not just that day but every day he had been blessed to be her father. He ached for her now just as he had on the day her fairy tale marriage fell apart. He couldn't do anything then to ease her pain and he felt helpless now. He lifted up a silent prayer to God to save her.
A MONTH LATER
She splashed cold water on her face and examined her reflection in the mirror. Her eyes were held prisoner by dark circles and her once sun kissed skin was now pale and her face gaunt. Her auburn hair was no longer lush and thick. It was thinning and stick straight but she figured it was a small price to pay for not dying. They were going to do the tests today to see if the chemo was working and halting not just the spread of the cancer but the aggressive attack on her cells and lymph nodes. She exited the bathroom and returned to her hospital bed. Sloan Kettering was one of the best in the country and she felt lucky to be able to be treated there.
There was a knock on the door and a nurse poked her head in, "Ms. Edwards?" She smiled pleasantly, "They're ready to take you down for the scans now."
Jennifer smiled weakly, "Well, then let's roll, Maggie."
She got up and into the wheelchair and Maggie took her down to radiology where she knew everyone by name now. Her new "family" as it were, and she was grateful for each of them and the part they played in her care.
She returned to her hospital room and waited for the radiologist to read the scans and give her the report. She was trying to distract herself with a book when the doctor showed up.
Dr. Archer was one of the best oncologists at Sloan Kettering. Not only was he a talented physician but he was known for the care and concern he showed his patients, "Jennifer."
She looked up from her book with hope and apprehension in her eyes, trying to gauge his demeanor, "So, what's the word doctor?" She looked down, "Good, I hope."
He sighed and sat down on the edge of her bed, "Not as good as I had hoped." He paused, "Jennifer, the cancer isn't spreading but the chemo isn't working to halt the attack on your cells."
"So what now?" She asked, fear almost choking her words, "Do we try something else?"
"Jennifer, this is the most effective treatment there is for this type of lymphoma." He explained
"So what are you saying?" She replied, "There is nothing else?"
"We can keep going with the chemo but I don't know that it would do much good." He said
She looked away toward the window on the other side of the room, "Can I take a few days to think about what I want to do?"
He got up off the bed and gave her a sympathetic smile and a pat on the shoulder, "Of course, if you like, I'll arrange for you to be discharged tomorrow morning."
She wiped her eyes and nodded
A few hours later Jennifer tried to eat a few bites of dinner and distract herself with the television. She found it too hard to read. She had never been so scared in her life. She finally turned off the television and lay back against the pillow. It was then that the tears began to fall again and she was in the middle of full blown sobs when the phone rang. She exhaled heavily, collected herself and picked it up.
"Darling?" Stephen's voiced came over the line
"Oh Pa." With all the thoughts going through her mind she had completely forgotten to call him, "I'm sorry. I just…I just…" she trailed off
He knew when he didn't hear from her it couldn't have been good, "What did the doctor say?"
She wiped her eyes again, "It's not working, Pa, not like they hoped."
"Well they'll just have to try something…"
She cut him off, "There is nothing else, Pa."
"There has to be…"
"No, there isn't." She repeated, "I'm going home…it's over."
"The hell it is." He told her
Stephen hung up and looked up the number of someone he hadn't talked to in ten years. Someone he knew could help after reading about him in the Wall Street Journal. He looked at his watch. It was late afternoon in California so he hoped he would still be at the office. He dialed and waited.
"Jonathan Hart's office." A female voice answered and he explained who he was and the woman put him on hold for a moment
"There's a Stephen Edwards on the phone for you. He said it was very important."
Jonathan felt like he was in a time warp, "Well then put him through." He said and waited, "Stephen?"
"Jonathan, my boy." He said, "I need your help."
"What is it?" He asked wondering what his former father-in-law could want
"It's Jennifer." He began
TWO DAYS LATER
She sat in her apartment, almost in a stupor. She wanted to fight but couldn't find the strength and the doctors didn't think there was any better treatment than the R-CHOP Chemotherapy. She was about to drown her sorrows in another brandy when the doorbell rang. She wasn't in the mood for visitors and had been ignoring the phone since she had been home but she crossed the room and looked out the peephole, gasping.
She fumbled with the locks and opened it, coming face to face with him after ten years, "Jonathan?"
"Your father called me." He explained, "I think I can help you…if you'll let me."