Second Chances

Prologue: Mourning

Paris, France

The weather channel predicted rain on the day of the funeral and they were right. It was pouring by the time the burial was through but Jennifer just stood there in the downpour, her black shawl wrapped around her, clinging to her sopping-wet clothes. She didn't notice the rain though. She fell to the ground and wept over her husband's fresh grave. She was dirty, she had mud on her clothes, and knees, and shoes but she didn't care. All she cared about was the man in the ground before her and she wanted to be in there with him. She wanted to cling to his body and hold him while shovels-full of dirt rained down over her head and hold him until the life went out of her own body. Then they would reunite in heaven and be together forever …

Cecily Boudreau approached Jennifer. "Jennifer, j'amor, you are soaking wet." Jennifer didn't seem to hear her. "Mon ami, it is so cold. You will catch your death."

Jennifer heard her this time but still clung to the ground. "Go away, Cecily."

"No, Jennifer, you need to come with me."

"Please let me be," Jennifer said. "Just for a few minutes. I want to mourn my dead husband."

Cecily's heart tugged at the sight of her dear friend looking so utterly miserable. "I'll wait in the car for five minutes. Then I'll come get you."

Jennifer didn't reply. Cecily walked away, tears forming in her own eyes. Jennifer was like a daughter to Cecily. Her own daughter had died of the dreaded cancer three years before she met Jennifer and the pretty red-head had found a place in her heart when Cecily thought she could never be whole again.

It was Cecily who Jennifer picked to stand up for her at the wedding. It had been a simple wedding – as simple as you can get when the bride was an internationally famous runway model. Jennifer looked so beautiful and radiant that day. The Jennifer sprawled on the ground back in the graveyard bore little resemblance to the woman who had been a bride not two months ago. Her husband's death was tragic. A horrible car crash. It was so sad when a young person died, thought Cecily.

Back in the graveyard, Jennifer was speaking softly to her husband. "I know you can hear me, wherever you are. I know you love me and I love you. I will never love anyone again. You will always be in my heart." She covered her face with her hands and cried for a long time.

Cecily returned in five minutes as promised and Jennifer stood on shaky legs and held the older woman's hand as she walked towards the car parked just beyond the gate. She turned one last time and stared at her husband's granite tombstone.

"Goodbye, my love. Goodbye, Jordan," she said. She blew a kiss and followed Cecily down the path to the car.