Author's note: And the time has come for this brief vignette to come to a close. Sarah has learned of Jack's indiscretions and has had to face it; she betrayed her common sense and invited him back in. But is all forgiven? Read on to find out… Son Coeur Brisé, my interpretation in three parts. Introducing: the final part. – Stress
Son Coeur Brisé
(Her broken heart)
So I would choose to be with you
That's if the choice were mine to make
But you can make decisions too
And you can have this heart to break
III. ET DONC IL VA
(and so it goes)
When I woke up the next morning, he was gone. Jack was gone. The last thing I remembered was leading Jack over to my bed while still wrapped up in his embrace. He hesitantly sat down upon it. I pressed against him until we were both on our backs, me in my nightgown, him in his street clothes – shoes and all. I placed my head on his dusty vest and listened to the quickened pace of his heart. He awkwardly patted my head; the gesture was innocent and soothing. I fell asleep immediately, my fragile trust seemingly restored.
When I awoke, and he was gone, I wondered if it had all been a dream. The window was open but could be easily explained. I might have grown hot during the night and opened it for a breath of fresh air.
However, the muddy prints at the foot of my bed indicated otherwise. He was gone. And the window was open. Jack had escaped through the same open passage that had lent him entry.
And I was alone.
But not quite alone as I had been three days ago. Three days ago I believed that my suspicions concerning Jack had been confirmed. I caught him in the arms of another girl that day and my heart shattered. But now – now I had Jack. He hadn't turned to her last night. Maybe he never had.
I was almost certain that Jack would come back to my window that night. He chose me, after all. He must have just been eager to sell his newspapers that morning. I knew the ways of the orphans. Not many of them had a family and home like the one I was privy to.
I didn't worry then. I kept my mind on the feel of his arms and the warmth he brought with him when he had laid by my side.
He chose me.
So, when my mother asked another favor of me – to deliver a basket of lace, freshly tatted – I readily agreed. After my behavior for the past few days I knew I owed her.
I began my walk on the New York street with a spring in my step that had been missing since I saw Jack with that other girl. My gait was lighter for I was the one he went back to. I had not begged to be loved – he had offered his affection.
I see now how very foolish I had been assuming that Jack was innocent. How could a liar ever be innocent?
I had let him back into my heart – and into my home – because I thought he chose me. I saw, at that moment, how very wrong I had been.
Again, I saw them without them knowing I was there. They were quiet preoccupied, after all, with grasping at each other within the confines of the alley across from the shop.
My mouth twisted downward and I clenched the handle of the lace basket so tight that my fingers turned white. The anger I felt after I had spied the pair the first time seemed tame to the torrent of emotion that coursed through me then. I had invited him into my bed and he still went back to her.
I was a fool.
He was a cheater.
And I knew.
I waited for the tears to come but they never came. I waited for my delicate heart to break but it remained in tact.
Jack Kelly was a cheater – and I could do much better. I would do much better.
"Jack?" I replaced my jaded expression with an overly cheerful smile and called out to him. I remained on my side of the street and waved jovially, aiming to garner the attention of the necking pair.
At the sound of his name, he pulled away, leaving his arm around the girl's shoulder and glanced out from the alley. He shielded his eyes and glanced across the street. The handsome smirk he continually wore slid off of his face when his chocolate eyes made contact with mine. I held the gaze a moment longer and widened my grin. "Thanks for last night," I said and blew him a kiss. Then, on a whim, I whirled the hem of my skirt around my ankles. "Though, next time, try to take your shoes off first. My sheets are ruined…"
The look on the girl's face made everything I went through almost worth it all. She looked at me, then at him, at me again, then back at him, trying to make sense of what I was saying. It seemed to take her a moment before she understood. Her face turned scarlet and she pushed his arm off of her shoulder. Before he could react, she had shoved him hard and stalked away.
The look on his face definitely made it worth it. He recovered from his near-fall and followed the girl briefly with his eyes before turning to look at me. I lost the phony smile and stared back. It was a hard gaze and I could see that, for once, the great Jack Kelly was at a loss for words.
I walked away, then. He let me go just as he had let the other girl get away. I didn't look back.
He really hadn't thought that I knew. But I did.
Let someone else's heart break this time.