It Only Aggravates Your Loss

Six years I've been a Swat Kat. But of all the time I've spent fighting and risking my life to save this entire city, it could never have prepared me for this moment. Six months I've dated her…six breathtaking, beautiful moments I have spend, and on no account have I wished that for one second, it was with someone else. She is my be all and end all. My life and one person I wish to spend the rest of it with. I would do anything for her, and this, this is what it comes down to. This exact minute. It all comes down to now.

I sighed. My hands trembled as I straighten the tie Jake fixed for me. In my whole life, I didn't think I knew Jake could tie a necktie. The more I thought about it, it made sense. His family was rich. Loaded, snotty, and ravenous. Always have been. Jake broke that line, and I've always been glad he did. I never allowed myself to forget when they cut Jake from their will, saying how he was a disgrace to their family name. His money he had worked hard for years to earn, disappeared in less time than I could snap. They left it all to his spoiled younger brother, Jonathan.

How Jake took this crappy, poor, working class life better than me I will never be able to comprehend. Why? I always thought Why is it I cant be more like him? Responsible, Serious, and so intellectually gifted. I dropped my hands and stuffed them into my pockets. Jake was the one cat who would be there whenever I needed. Like a personal slave of mine. It just wasn't fair. How come I get the girl of my dreams? The blonde beauty that we have both drooled over since we all went to high school together. He deserved her way more than I ever could have, and yet…he didn't have her. I did. I was starting to have everything. I didn't have to sleep on the lumpy mattress and wake up everyday to a coo-coo clock that was about to drive me coo-coo and will "accidently" break one of these days. I open my eyes everyday to her face soundly sleeping. What did Jake awaken to you ask? Burke and Murray with a load of trash. After all of that plus more, he was the one still smiling. I was proposing to Callie Briggs, but I was more nervous than happy. Only by the slightest hair though. Only by that quarter of a fraction. His life was spiraling down the crapshooter. How I would be bawling on the floor crying, he took it like a real cat, and never shed more than one tear. If that even…

The doorbell rang, and I gasped. I ran towards the kitchen table, the candle was lit, the dinner wasn't on fire or burnt(again, thanks to Jake who left five minutes ago before she came) and the table was neatly set(God, I can't do anything!) I tried to breath normally, then opened the door with a big grin. I was planning on greeting her, but at the door was Jake again. I took that free breathing space. I had forgotten to inhale I realized as well. Honestly I didn't know that was possible.

"I failed to remember my keys before I left," he apologized. I let him by and inside the apartment. "Walked all the way to the parking lot, and found that my car keys weren't in my jacket pocket. Figured I had left them somewhere in the kitchen," he laughed and looked around for them while I followed. "Found them!" He started to walk out with a small grin, but I stopped him.

"How do you do it?" I inquired. He paused, lowing his head in sorrow.

"What do you mean," he asked, like he didn't already know what I was about to say. The question we had both been avoiding for over a month now.

"You know what I'm talking about. Your aunt, the closest thing you had to a mother died, was killed by two street thugs. Your uncle…he died of a stroke the same day, the same hour! Both your-…Jake…Do you want to talk to someone about it? I know it-" he dropped his keys on the ground. He was breathing heavier now. Gasping for air like it would fly away to the moon. He reached down to the floor to pick them up. I saw a tear fall. Then another. Then one more, until multiple tears violently flowed down his face. I knelt down and put my hand on his shoulder. Weeks had gone by of him holding it in. Weeks of me thinking he had gotten over it, and I was the only one still mourning. I had only meet the couple one time. That was Jake's birthday last year. They were a pleasant couple, one that had been together for a long time. I promised myself I wanted Callie and I to be just like them, and when the two of us got the fatal call, it almost crushed all of our hearts. He started to mumble something. I couldn't tell what until I leaned in right next to him to hear.

"I…I thought that if put it…in the back of my mind…that maybe…just maybe it would be all right…that it would be easier to grieve if I never truly tried to grieve for myself…I felt so full of myself the first night I cried…when I was only thinking how it was affecting me! It's was so painfully agonizing…and you were so blissfully, freaking happy! You moved in with Callie, you came in for work telling me these stories of the two of you radiating cheerfulness from your pores, and they kept my mind off of my aunt, Quinn, and uncle, Kenny, but when you left…a huge hole came back every time and punched me in the gut! I would do anything to fill it up again, that void, that emptiness ate me alive at night. I tried everything!" he screamed. "I even passed out drunk thinking beer would solve it. The hangover told me it wouldn't," he whimpered and wept and wept for minutes before speaking up again. "I needed someone to fill that gap again, but no one was ever there…God damn-it! I'm so….so…conceited!" He got up and looked me in the eyes. His tears streamed down his fur like a running faucet. He would never be the same Jake. Ever again. "I know it's good to talk about your feeling and all, but not yet. Not now. Your life is going great, I mean…your about to propose to Callie Briggs! Chance, I mean.. since grief only aggravates your loss, grieve not for what is past," he muttered to himself.

"Walker Percy? Who wrote Lancelot?"

"Yeah, how do you know him?" he sniffled.

"Had to read that book in freshman year, remember?"

"Oh yeah," he chuckled. It died fairly quickly though. "I think, what I'm going to do is take a vacation. To reflect…both of them,"

"I think that's a good idea," I got up off my knees and dusted the lent from the carpet off as well. "How long do you think you'll be gone?" He was at the door when I looked up.

"Kenny told me when I was little than he wanted to be cremated and sprinkled in the yard of the house he built from scratch. My aunt…she on the beach next to her home town. That's across the country. My uncle can be done easily. Then I'm going drive to that beach, sprinkle her ashes along the shoreline, and hope it brings her peace, and tranquility to his soul as well." He stepped one foot out the door. "So maybe two to three weeks total. Can you handle the shop that long?" he smiled.

"Of course buddy, anything you need," I told him. He sighed.

"Chance…I hope Callie says yes…" he nodded and left to his car, shutting the door behind him.

"Jake!" I called. He opened the door back up. "Your not conceited, by any means," he nodded again, looked down and chuckled, then left out the door. I would never know for three weeks if he believed me or not. I would like to think he realized everyone was like that. My heart on the other hand, told me he wanted it to be that way. Why? I didn't know. Maybe he did want to be just like everyone else, but couldn't. Maybe it was for some other unknown reason, one only his mind could grasp. I would never understand Jake fully for the rest of my life, that I could understand…