Note: These characters are not mine and I have borrowed them temporarily from ABC's Once and Again TV show. The plot is fictional and any resemblance to a person living or dead is purely coincidental.
Also the setting may be of 2018, but the technological, political, financial, and other aspects are very much of the present. I have no idea what it's going to be like in 2018 and this story is not science fiction.
The story takes place fifteen years after Jessie and Katie first met. Some of the characters are going to be the same but there are some new characters introduced.
A short summary:
Jessica Elizabeth Sammler had earned her MD degree and become a high-profile neurosurgeon. She moves to Boston where she practises medicine and also does some teaching at the Harvard Medical School. Grace becomes an author and she marries a famous filmmaker, Jared Conrad. They had a son, Kane. Eli marries his college sweet heart; Raina and they have two beautiful twin daughters, Shelley and Phoebe. Eli and Raina meet while he is a budding rock singer and she is a music composer. Karen is now retired and she lives in her modest house in Evanston. Jessie makes it a point to visit her mother every weekend without fail. Rick and Lily are in Australia with Zoe who has become a famous TV show actress.
Kathryn Singer got her MBA from IMD in Switzerland and impressed with her brilliance and ingenuity, one of her professors referred her to Lotianne Gloss, a multinational firm in advertising and media. Climbing the stairs of success, Katie soon became the CEO of Lotianne Gloss and controlled a major portion of the shares in them. She was currently living in Geneva with her mom after her father died.
"I cannot believe you would do this?" Danielle cooed.
Kathryn raised her brows, "Do what?"
Danielle leant closer, "You know... badger the poor guy. He was just trying to act nice."
Kathryn swirled the contents of her wine glass. The Pinot blanc glistened on her lips as she took a sip.
"Dani, you do not know the first thing about business. I did not mean to sound cruel but it was time I showed Markus de Pounnoise that you do not mess with Kathryn Singer."
Danielle shifted closer on the couch and lazily placed her manicured fingers on Kathryn's thighs.
"Kathryn, I wish you would understand that I do not like to see you all upset. Do not pretend that you did not like Markus."
Kathryn sighed, "Yeah, I liked him. He had so much... promise. But it was bad bargain and like everything in business, I have to make sure that I do not let it ruin me."
Danielle came even closer and this time her glossed lips were very near to Kathryn's. "Ohh... nothing can ruin you. You are just too... ooo... perfect."
Kathryn smirked. She ran her fingers through Danielle's hair and bent forward to kiss Danielle. Their lips met in passion. At that time, a phone ring interrupted them.
Pulling away, Kathryn picked up her cellphone.
"Ohh... ohh... uh huh..."
Kathryn clicked her phone shut and looked at a very annoyed Danielle.
"You have to go?" Danielle asked.
Kathryn nodded. She buttoned her blouse as she swallowed the remaining of her wine.
"Can't you stay here tonight?" Danielle's hazel eyes pleaded.
Kathryn tried to hide her exasperation. She gave Danielle a quick kiss on her lips.
"I do not stay, Danielle. You know that. See you around then, bye."
Danielle watched in silence as Kathryn led her way out of the plush condo.
Kathryn loved to marvel the office of Jade von Heinbich. The office looked straight out of an ancient ship Captain's cabin. There were navigator's maps, modern world maps, and portraits of mermaids, nymphs and other mythical sea creatures. The paneling and the wooden timber-like walls were decorated with metal-framed posters and awards. Kathryn understood that Jade's father was a captain of the ship when he was young. He suddenly took his interest in shipping seriously and enlarged his shipping business. Kathryn met Drake von Heinbich when she went to Amsterdam for one of her conferences. He was retiring, but she managed to make a business deal with his daughter, Jade. Jade now handled most of the business. Jade also owned some stakes in Lotianne Gloss and that made her a valuable business partner.
"Katie, it is always a pleasure to see you." Jade called out. She was a medium-height woman with ash-blonde hair and a thin frame. In spite of her not-so-outstanding looks, Jade was a tyrant when it came to business and it was her commanding personality that struck fear in the hearts of many.
Katie kissed Jade lightly on the cheeks.
"I thought you were not supposed to come to London until tomorrow night." Katie sat down on the huge leather chair.
"I changed my mind. I decided to join you." Jade smiled. "Why? Did I disturb your evening plans with that sexy model girlfriend of yours?"
"How do you..." Katie looked shocked. "Wait... don't answer me. You know everything." Katie sighed.
Jade laughed, "I seriously don't understand how you tolerate her. She has the intelligence of a jellyfish."
Katie shrugged, "She is good in bed."
Jade quirked her brows. She had never understood Katie's philandering ways. She herself was happily married to her girl. Yes, she was also a lesbian. She had even dated Katie once but they both agreed that they made better friends. Her wife was an American. She was a restaurateur. She was partly the reason that Jade conducted half of her business from Manhattan.
"So... what is it you wanted to tell me so bad?" Katie asked.
Jade got up from her chair and looked out of the window.
Katie saw the lines of worry in Jade's eyes and knew that whatever it was was not going to be pleasant.
"I have brain tumor." Jade finally said.
Katie stared speechless at her friend. She knew Jade had a weird sense of humour and she can joke about things that one would not normally associate with being funny.
This time Katie knew that Jade wasn't kidding.
"Does Yana know?" Katie asked.
Jade shook her head.
Katie got up and went to stand beside her friend. "She needs to know. You have to tell her."
Jade sighed, "I know. I just don't know how she'll handle it."
"It will be worse if she comes to know from someone else." Katie pointed out.
Jade leant against the window and closed her eyes.
"She is so sensitive. She'll break down."
Katie pressed her hands on her friend's shoulders.
"What are the chances?" Katie asked, not really wanting to hear the answer.
Jade replied without opening her eyes.
"I spoke to my doctor. She said that there is a chance that I will survive after a surgery. The chances are slight, but it is there."
Katie wanted to believe this was so.
"Don't worry. We will take you to the best surgeon in this world. Nothing would happen to you."
"I have already booked an appointment with a surgeon in Massachusetts General. They say she is an amazing doctor and can perform miracles. I guess that is what I'll need when I go for my operation."
"You need to tell Yana." Katie said firmly.
Jade looked into Katie's eyes and saw the strength in them. She knew that she would need it.
Jessie stretched as per the yoga teacher's instructions. She let her mind go blank as positive energy flowed through her body. The week had been hectic. She had to perform three surgeries, handle a very irritating patient, give two days of lectures and now she was all exhausted. Jessie loved her work and she wouldn't trade it for anything else. But sometimes being a doctor had its disadvantages. She had to be awake at odd hours. She missed out on many of the weekend parties her friends and even family threw.
She closed her eyes and breathed deeply. Her muscles were starting to contract and she felt her brain cells return to their normal functional level.
"Jessie sweetie?" Karen asked from the doorway.
Jessie opened one eye and smiled.
"Mom, just gimme a sec, ok?"
Karen nodded and sat herself down on Jessie's bed. She knew her daughter had her own peaceful way of unwinding and in this area; she was totally Karen's daughter. Karen didn't like wild partying as a way of relaxing.
Jessie plopped herself beside her mother and gave her a huge hug.
Karen smiled, "If only your patients could see what a kid you are."
"Mom!" Jessie feigned a horrified expression. "How can you even say that?"
Karen laughed and hugged her daughter back.
"So... why don't you take a vacation?" Karen suggested as she spooned some pasta into her mouth.
"I can't." Jessie spoke with her mouth full of pasta.
Karen sighed. "You work too hard. One week of vacation won't hurt."
"I know, mom. It's just... I don't know. I get even more bored and depressed when I take my vacation. It is great when I come and visit you. But sometimes... just sitting alone..."
Karen looked at her daughter and wondered whatever happened to the fun-loving kid she knew. When Rick and she divorced, their children, Eli and Jessie were badly affected. Jessie ended up with an eating disorder. For them to adjust to the new family was very hard.
And then came Katie...
Everyone knew about Jessie and Katie... or atleast gradually came to know. They all had to agree that Jessie never seemed happier than now with Katie's presence in her life. Karen liked that girl and with the amount of time she spent with them, Katie had become like part of the family.
Until... everything changed.
Jessie did not specify what happened but she said that it has ended. All of a sudden, Katie went to Switzerland and no one ever heard from her again.
Yes, Karen came to know from Mrs. Singer that she was moving to Geneva to stay with her daughter and Karen also came to know that Katie had done very well for herself.
Jessie was never the same again after Katie left.
"Mom?" Jessie shook Karen out of her thoughts.
"Huh? Yeah? You were saying something, Jess?"
"I was asking you which movie you wanted to watch tonight?"
Karen smiled, "How about Thirteen?"
Katie looked at Jade who was sleeping on the couch. She glanced at her global watch and figured out that they will reach New York by 5:00 in the evening. She had asked her pilot, Donovan, to bring out her private jet. Jade had suddenly started feeling really sick and Katie worried that it might have something to do with her sickness. Not wanting to waste anytime, she insisted on flying immediately to the States.
Katie had called her mother from London and explained about Jade. Her mother had agreed that Katie should be with Jade right now. Katie had then called her PA, Lorraine and explained to her to hold all her meetings and conference until she gave further notice.
Katie laid her back on the Afghan rug and looked up at the plane's ceiling. She hated flying. Even though she spent atleast one day per week on the plane, yet she hated it. She remembered Jessie saying that she had a psychological aerophobia, whatever that meant.Jessie
Katie smiled whenever she thought about her. There wasn't a day in her life when she never thought about Jessie. Every day before going to bed, she will whisper a small wish that Jessie is happy wherever she is.
She never found the love or friendship or even companionship that Jessie gave her in anyone else. Yeah, she had many dates and some of them were drop-dead gorgeous actresses, models, socialites, executives, etc. She had friends like Jade and Yana. But nobody came close to meaning as much to her as Jessie did, and still does.
Katie sighed with a bittersweet sensation every time she thought of Jessie.
Yana hugged the tall brunette as Katie smilingly greeted Hi!
"Finally you have managed to come to the US of A. I thought that day would never come!" Yana beamed.
Katie looked around and was immediately filled with nostalgia. She hadn't been to America since she left. Not that she didn't want to. But it held too much pain for her. She always asked her assistants and associates to conduct business on behalf of her here.
"Come..." Yana took Katie's arms and dragged her into the living room. "I need to show you around."
Jade groaned. "Yana! Don't fall to her charms. She has half of Europe practically bleeding themselves to death because of her disloyalty."
"Disloyalty?" Katie cocks her elegantly made eyebrows. "Now that is a strong word, Jade. I was always honest with them."
"Yeah? With what? I am gonna fuck you and then leave you for another. Sorry woman." Jade snorted.
Yana rolls her eyes in exasperation. "There you girls go again. I think the women are very lucky to have Katie."
Jade gasped in shock as Katie and Yana shared a mischievous smile.
Katie sat in the living room watching Thirteen on Jade and Yana's home theatre. Yana had asked Katie to feel comfortable. Katie had given them some space since she knew that Jade was planning to tell Yana about her tumour tonight. She felt bad for Yana. She really liked the girl. Yana was half-Greek and half-Russian. Jade and Yana were initially the most unsuitable couple. While Jade was demanding, bossy and loud; Yana was soft, compassionate and sensitive. However, Katie soon saw that the both complimented each other perfectly.
She sighed. She had seen many happily married couples in her lifetime. She knew that such things like love and marriage existed. Yet, she never felt strong enough to venture out on that road again.
Jessie suddenly woke up in the middle of the night. She found herself sweating. She turned on her bedside lamp and looked at the radio-alarm clock on the night-table. It was three in the morning. She checked her phone and her cell. It didn't seem as if anyone called her.
Then why did she wake up? Jessie brushed her blonde hair back. She wasn't really afraid or panicked, or else she would have thought that she had a nightmare.
She was... she felt... excited. Yes, that is what Jessie felt. A strange and giddy feeling of excitement.
"Weird..." Jessie muttered.
Jessie closed the door softly when she saw her mother was sleeping peacefully. She went downstairs to the kitchen and made herself some hot chocolate. She looked out of the window and saw the moon was out in the sky and it shone magnificently amongst the twinkling stars. She rested her head on her hands and admired the sheer beauty of something so simple. After a long time, she calmed her fluttering heart and returned to bed. Before sleeping, a flash of someone's face came in her mind. A face that had been buried deep within the dusts of memory. As soon as it came, she shook it away. The pain it brought was too much for her to bear.