James looks at a four story apartment building with a slightly disgusted expression. It has been a week since they moved back to Grand Marais and Chris found this apartment complex yesterday. These are the only available apartments left in Grand Marais, but James isn't too pleased. It looks really run down and James is use to living in a nice and classy home. This is definitely not his kind of place, but he's just gonna have to deal with it. When Chris called him yesterday and told him about it, he told her to go ahead and rent it. In other words, it's officially their new home, so James has no choice.
"It's not so bad." Chris says, pulling him into the building. He cringes slightly, protectively holding Kenzie against his chest. He feels uncomfortable having this place as Kenzie's home. She deserves way better than this. He knows that, but it's not like they have any other options. His mom said that he could just live with her and she could help him pay any necessary expenses, but he doesn't want to sponge off his mom. That's why he needs to look for a job. He's thinking about getting a job at the supermarket where Kendall use to work.
Speaking of Kendall, the other three BTR guys haven't spoken to James all week. Ever since the day they got here, Kendall, Carlos, and Logan haven't came over, they haven't called, and they've only messaged him on Facebook and Scuttlebutter once. And all they said was "How's Kenzie doing?" James is starting to think that his friends are actually avoiding him. It hurts, but James can easily recognize when someone's just busy and when they're trying to stay as far away from him as possible. He knows what's happening. He lost Jenna and now he's losing his friends.
"Chris, this place is a dumpster!" He whispers harshly. Chris rolls her eyes and drags him into the elevator. Is she serious? There could be druggies and who knows what else around here! He's only doing this because he doesn't want his mom taking care of him and Kenzie. She already has enough on her plate with her cosmetics company, so she doesn't need the added pressure of caring for her twenty one year old son and his baby daughter. He's perfectly capable of living on his own and earning his own money.
"Do you wanna be homeless?" Chris asks him. That definitely shuts him up. This place is pretty rugged, but it's better than living on the streets. He should probably be grateful that they've even got a place.
"Aaah." Two week old Kenzie says, looking at Chris. James changes her position so that he's cradling her, placing a loving kiss on her cheek. She makes the cutest expression and James responds by kissing her cheek again. He looks at her green eyes, amazed at how much she looks like Jenna. His beautiful wife has been gone for two weeks and he still hasn't started feeling any better. He talks a little more now, but he still doesn't smile and he still breaks down at least once every day. He hasn't given her a hug or kissed her in two weeks. It's killing him.
"Jay, what's wrong?" Chris asks, touching his cheek.
"Nothing." James lies, quickly leaving the elevator when it opens. He turns left and walks down the hallway until they reach apartment 215. He steps aside and lets Chris unlock the door with her key, pushing it open. James slowly enters the apartment, gulping when he gets a good look at it. He misses the Palm Woods. He misses the Palm Woods, he misses every single one of his friends, he misses Rocque Records, he misses recording sessions, dance rehearsals, concers, and he even misses Gustavo. He doesn't like it here. He's scared.
"Are you sleepy?" He asks Kenzie. "I am."
"Your room is down the hall and to the right." Chris tells him. James carries Kenzie to the room that they will be sharing. According to Chris, this is an apartment for small families with young children. That's why there's a regular bed and a crib in James's room. James feels like convincing the guys to move back to LA with him so they can continue with the band, but he also knows that he needs to put Kenzie first. He doesn't need to be in a boy band when he has a baby daughter to care for. Eventually, he may return to LA, but he doesn't think it'll be happening for a while.
"You can take a nap, okay?" He says, his voice cracking. Once he has put her in the crib, it doesn't take long for her to fall asleep. Then James walks to his own bed, crawling under the covers. A few tears fall down his cheeks before he finally falls asleep.
James opens his eyes and finds that he's not in his bedroom. He frowns and checks his surroundings. He's laying in a field of beautiful pink and purple flowers. He quickly sits up, breathing heavily. He frantically looks around, trying to figure out what he's doing here. Where's Chris? Where's Kenzie? Why isn't he laying in his own bed? Seriously, he wants to know where he is.
"Calm down, Jay." A voice giggles. James gasps as he stands up, turning around. His eyes fill with tears when he sees Jenna, looking at him with so much love in her eyes. For some reason, he doesn't believe that it's really her. He's just imagining things. Jenna is gone. She can't possibly be standing in front of him with that beautiful smile on her face.
"It's me." Jenna whispers, holding out her hand. James whimpers and steps away from her, tears rolling down his cheeks. "Jenna" steps closer to him and reaches for his hand, grabbing it. He starts crying softly as her other hand touches his cheek, stroking it with her thumb. He tries to breathe as she wipes his tears away. He can't believe this. It's not possible.
"Jay, it's Jenna." She says, kissing his cheek. He starts sobbing, trying to walk away. But Jenna quickly grabs his hand, preventing him from going anywhere. She keeps wiping the tears away, gently shushing him. She smiles softly and kisses him on the lips, her smile widening as she pulls away. When he feels her lips against his, he realizes the truth. This girl is really his Jenna.
"J-Jenna?" He whispers.
"It's me, baby." Jenna smiles.
"What's going on?" James gulps.
"I wanted to make sure that you're okay." Jenna explains. "I've been watching you, Jay. I know that you're struggling, but you have to move on. I hate seeing you so broken. You're not yourself anymore, so I decided to see if I can help you. Do you even realize how much you're affect your loved ones? You're scaring everyone around you because you're depressed all the time. And think about Kenzie, Jay. Our daughter needs you to be strong. You're all she has left."
"But Jenna-" James cries.
"Please, Jay." Jenna says, cupping her hands over his cheeks. "You need to try, okay? You need to try your best to be strong. I know it's hard to live without me, but our daughter needs her daddy. Do you think you can try to be happy again? For me?"
"How can I possibly be happy without you?" James whimpers.
"It'll get better eventually." Jenna assures him, stroking his cheeks.
"Please come back, Jenna." James says, resting his forehead against hers. "Please come back, so we can spend the rest of our lives together. You're my wife and Kenzie's mother. We both need you."
"I can't come back, Jay." Jenna says sadly. "But even though you can't see me, I'm always there. I'm watching out for you and Kenzie. I'll always be watching out for both of you. Please, Jay. Try to be happy again. I need you to do that for me. You may break down sometimes, but at least try to be happy. That's all I'm asking, baby."
"Okay." James whispers weakly. "Okay."
"And tell my baby girl that I love her." Jenna smiles. "And do the same for Chris. Whenever you see any of my friends and family, tell them how much I love them."
"I will, baby girl." James cries. "I will."
Jenna places one more loving kiss on his cheek
Then he wakes up
James sits up and takes slow, deep breaths. Jenna actually talked to him. His precious wife actually appeared in his dream and talked to him. And he remembers every word that she said. She wants him to try being happy again. He doesn't know how he's gonna do that without her, but he'll definitely try. He'll do anything for her and if she wants him to try being happy, that's what he'll do. In the dream, she looked genuinely worried about him and it broke his heart. He must be really messed up if his dead wife is worried about him.
He slowly stands up and walks over to Kenzie's crib, noticing that his baby girl is wide awake. He smiles softly and lifts her into his arms, kissing her forehead. She makes one of her cute baby sounds and waves her little arms. He chuckles and kisses her cheek. In his dream, Jenna told him to be strong for Kenzie. That little girl needs a good daddy and that's what James wants to be. Kenzie deserves the best and he hasn't been giving it to her. He's gonna start being a much better father to her. She deserves that.
"You didn't sleep very long." He laughs, kissing her nose. A tear falls down his cheek, but the smile stays on his face. He tickles her tummy and laughs again, sighing as he gives her more kisses.
"That's what I've been wanting to see." Chris says, standing in the doorway.
"What?" James asks her.
"A smile on your face." Chris laughs, pinching his cheek.
"I guess I finally came to my senses." James says softly.
"I'm glad." Chris says, rubbing his bicep.
James nods as he sits in the rocking chair, giving Kenzie a smile. "Daddy loves you, Kenzie!"
Kenzie looks up at James, her usual innocent expression on her face. What he just said is totally true. He loves Kenzie and he wants to be the best dad that he can be, even though it's gonna be really hard. It hurts to know that she's gonna grow up without her mommy, but she still has her dad. That's why it's so important for him to be strong for her. He's the only parent that she still has, so he needs to try twice as hard as a non single parent. He's terrified, but now he actually feels a lot more at peace that he did before.
"Why haven't the guys called me?" James asks as Kendall's phone goes to voicemail again. He has called Kendall, Carlos, and Logan, but none of them will answer. Are they seriously doing this? They've never gone more than a day or two without calling each other, but it has been a whole week. James doesn't know what their problem is, but he would really like an explanation.
"Um," Chris says nervously. "Jay, I need to tell you something."
"What?" James asks worriedly.
"I talked to Ms Knight a couple days ago and she said that the guys are avoiding you. She said that they won't even explain why, though." Chris admits."I'm really sorry, Jay."
"No, it's fine." James shrugs. "If they want to end our friendship for no reason, let them do it. I don't really care. You know, we've known each other since Kindergarten, but I guess that means nothing to them. Really, Chris, I don't need them distracting me anyway. I've gotta find a job and I've got Kenzie, so friends are the last thing on my mind right now. I'm not worried about them at all."
"You sure about that?" Chris asks him, stroking his cheek.
"Yeah, I'm fine." James lies. "I don't need them."
"Hello?" Chris says when she answers the phone. "Um, sure, he's right here...Jay, it's your dad."
James bites the inside of his cheek, not really knowing what to do. He doesn't know what his dad wants. He hasn't called James once since Jenna died, but James wonders if it might not hurt to talk to him. That doesn't mean that he's letting the man back into his life, but he's curious about what his dad has to say. He just hopes that he can keep his anger under control.
"Give me the phone." He says softly. Chris hands the phone to him and he holds it against his ear. "Hello?"
"James, it's your dad."
"Listen, I'm just calling you because I wanted to apologize for your loss. I know you loved that girl, bud. And I know that it's gonna be hard for you to be a single parent. I want you to know that I wish you the best."
"Thanks." James murmurs.
"Listen, Kara and I are going out to lunch in a little bit, but if it's okay with you, I would like to call you later."
"Whatever." James shrugs.
"I love you, James."
James sighs as he hangs up the phone, handing it back to Chris. Yeah, he doesn't know if he believes that his dad really loves him. The man has never really seemed to know what real love is, so James doesn't really trust him. However, he's tired of getting angry every time that his dad called. If his dad wants to call him, he's gonna stop getting angry all the time. If he feels like it, he might answer the phone. If he doesn't feel like talking, he just won't answer at all. It's better to ignore the call than answer it and end up causing himself more stress than he already has.
"You handled that really well." Chris says, hugging him from behind.
"It was nothing." James says, smiling as Chris kisses his cheek.
"Sure." Chris says sarcastically. "Now, could we watch a BTR music video? I think a little reminiscing would do us both some good."
James sighs heavily, not feeling to sure about that. His "friends" are a pretty sore subject with him. Does he really want to sit through a BTR music video? Of course, BTR did make some good videos. Maybe it wouldn't hurt. Just one?
"Okay." He says, grabbing the Big Time Rush concert DVD from his gym bag. He hands the disc to his sister in law, watching as he puts it in the DVD player. The DVD contains their full concert (The tour where Jenna went with them) and three music videos (Superstar, Music Sounds Better With U, and Love Me Love Me). Chris chooses Music Sounds Better With U and, even though Jenna is in the video, James loves watching it.
He smiles weakly as scenes of him and Jenna are shown. Chris squeezes his hand and he does the same to hers, both of them doing their best to comfort each other. They watch the music video, smiling when they see James kneeling in front of Jenna, singing to her.
"She was a special girl, wasn't she?" Chris says softly.
"Yeah." James agrees. "Yeah, she was."
He knows that it's gonna be a while before he can look at pictures or videos of Jenna without being on the verge of tears, but he knows that he'll get stronger every day. He has some beautiful memories that will stay with him for the rest of his life. Every day, he's gonna think about Jenna and wish that she could be here with him, but he's gonna be okay. He has Kenzie, Chris, and plenty of other family and friends that will always be there for him. Is being a single parent gonna be easy? No. Will he try his best? Definitely.
All he knows is that he's ready for the challenge, and his loved ones will help him through it.
I've decided that this is gonna be the final chapter *sob* I was gonna have one more chapter, but I think this is a good stopping point
(Writing the authors note again...Sorry) I got really emotional when I finished this chapter and was considering rewriting the last few chapters of the story, but I'm gonna leave it the way it is and just write the What If? story:) I'm way too sensitive and emotional *face palm* I still feel bad about Jenna losing her life, but in the What If? fic, she lived:)
Thank you all so much for reviewing this story!
Review this last chapter? :D