I don't blame Bustopher for what's happened. Of course, I don't blame myself either, that would just be stupid....I just wasn't cut out for his kind of life. I was meant for homier things, like cooking and sewing, and taking care of kittens. Yes, I'm sure you all think that's so old fashioned, and that I shouldn't subject myself to such things. But that's really what I love. That's how I want to spend my life.
If I had been able to adjust to living wealthily, I could have made the perfect mate for him. We get along very well, although I'm not sure I would say that I love him. Come to think of it, I never loved him, even when I agreed to be his mate. However, I'm not as young as I used to be, and the way things had been going, he looked like the only opportunity I would get. So, I said yes to him. Little did I know that by accepting him, I was automatically expected to accept his home, his clubs and his rich friends.
Nothing against being wealthy, of course. I was fairly well off myself even before Bustopher came along. But being well off and living a rich life are two completely different steps on the social ladder, and those steps are just too far apart for me to make. I tried to fit in with those pedigree queens, the ones that consider themselves too good to even be a part of the Jellicle tribe. If there's one thing I'll give Bustopher, it's that he's never forgotten his roots, and he's still proud to consider himself a Jellicle.
But, I digress. The point I'm trying to make is, I wasn't one bit happy dining in fancy dinner clubs with those fancy queens. I did it because it was expected of me, but I miss home badly. I miss Jellylorum, too....if I was lucky, I see her once a week now, and that's only if we both aren't busy. She's always been just like a sister to me, and I've become keenly aware of her absence in my everyday routine.
To make matters worse, I never see Bustopher, either. Maybe if he had been around enough for me to remember exactly why I was trying to be something I'm not, I could have endured it. But enough is enough.
So, I'm going to do it. I've packed up my knitting needles and crochet hooks, ready to leave the lap of luxury for Junkyard life. A part of me feels sort of sorry for Bustopher....I know he tried to make me happy. He may even have loved me, at least a little bit. Who knows? I really shouldn't have led him on so, but I was getting a little impatient with toms in general.....one orange tabby tom in particular.
Everyone in the Junkyard knows that Skimbleshanks and I have been seeing each other off and on since we were just kits, but of course neither of us have ever admitted that. It's always been kept quite casual, really. For years, now, he's been coming over to have lunch with me whenever he gets a chance, usually on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. We often eat dinner together on Saturday nights, and brunch on Sunday is an almost sure thing. Well, was, anyway. All that had to change when I accepted Bustopher's proposal.
I still feel bad about that. Love had nothing to do with my answer.....well, not love for Bustopher, anyway. The main reason I did it was to make Skimbleshanks jealous. I admit it; I've loved him since we were kittens together. I actually turned down a few other proposals in my younger days, because I felt sure that he would ask me if I just kept my patience, but he never has. Now that I think about it, he's never even said he loves me. I know he does, though. At least, I think he does.....
All of a sudden, fear stabs through my heart as I've never felt it before. I really don't know for certain that he loves me. He's never even really kissed me, except once at Christmas when he'd had a little too much catnip and caught me underneath some mistletoe at a Jellicle gathering. What if he doesn't love me? What if I've spent most of my life hanging on to a dream that doesn't really even exist? Those thoughts terrify me, and now I'm beginning to wonder if I should be so hasty in leaving Bustopher. After all, it IS a good life. He could give me everything in the world, everything I've ever wanted.....
With a sigh, I pick up my sewing bag and walk out, heading straight towards the Junkyard. It doesn't matter if Skimbleshanks loves me or not, because I don't love Bustopher, and I refuse to live this charade any longer. And yet there's a powerful sense of longing deep within my heart, a longing I can't quite put a name to. I close my eyes a moment, trying to place it. Love...well, of course love, everycat wants to be loved. But it's deeper than that....yes.....of course. I want to be needed. I need to be needed. I need a tom that I can really be a mate to, a tom I can cook for and take care of the way I've always wanted to.
That's definitely not Bustopher. He's never even home, too busy with his elite clubs and his food. Oh, how he loves his food! But....I can't help but remember that Skimbleshanks isn't home that much, either. The trains have always taken up a good part of his time. Well, I don't care anymore. It doesn't matter. If he'll have me, I'll be his mate, even if he isn't home. And if that's not what he wants, things can continue as they always have.
Goodness, I'm already at the edge of the Junkyard. I didn't realize I was walking so fast. No matter, I'm here now. Oh, and there's Jellylorum, taking a nap in the sun. I won't wake the poor dear now, we can always talk later. The rest of the place seems pretty much deserted. Well, it is a good time for napping, the sun's just right this time of day. The train should be getting in right about now....
WHY am I torturing myself with this? I don't even know if he wants me, or if he missed me....I don't know if he was even jealous of Bustopher or not, it was just my silly ideas --
A voice is behind me, a voice so sweetly familiar with it's tinge of a Scottish accent that I can't help but melt. I turn around to smile at the orange tom standing there, a hopeful look on his face. He must have seen me smiling, because he's smiling back now, relief in his glass-green eyes. He holds out his paw to me, and I can't help but tremble slightly as I reach out to take it. This is what I've hoped for.....even one touch to hint that he might care for me......
He draws me towards him, and takes both my paws in his own. I never noticed how very small and dainty my paws look next to his. And he says the three words I've been wanting to hear from him, words that, from him, mean so much more than a simple, 'I love you':
"Welcome home, Jennyanydots."