Alma looked at her father, shocked. "The one who passed?" Ennis had to swallow another lump in his throat as he looked away and nodded.
Alma shook her head in disbelief, "Daddy, I'm so sorry…I'm so sorry daddy…" Ennis just nodded and accepted her apology, he didn't want to linger on the subject. "It's alright Junior, like you said you were young, I can't hold that against ya, plus you came all this way to bring it to me now, so…so it's ok." He gave her a reassuring smile, and she nodded to him, but knew he was just being tough. Junior glanced at her feet quickly, as her father slid around back into his seat.
"So you have any names for the baby? boy or girl?" Ennis asked, eager to forget the conversation and keep his mind off of the note now settled on the windowsill, which was proving to be more difficult by the second.
Junior seemed to spark at this, and her eyes shone with more happiness, seeming to forget the previous conversation.
"Well…if it a girl we were thinking maybe Scarlett, Belle, Daisy, or Jennie…I like Jennie the best" Junior said with a smile. Ennis smiled too, happy that his two girls grew up being so close to one another, that they could lean on each other, especially with things that had happened between him and Alma throughout the years. "I like Jennie too." Ennis said.
"If it's a boy?"
Junior got quiet, looked down at her stomach, stroking it, and smiled a little. "Well, we already know what we would call it if it was a boy, we both decided it was the best name for our little boy, if that's what we are having of course." Junior smiled at her father, patted him on his knee, and proceeded to get up out of her chair.
"Well, I just wanted to come by quick and tell you, I actually have to get back, Kurt and I are going trying to finish up the nursery, I still gotta paint it." Ennis was curious about the little boy's name, but he decided against it, and helped her put on her coat and made sure she got into her car.
"Are you sure you should be drivin darlin? Can you even see the pedals?" asked Ennis with a mix of joking and real worry mixed in.
Junior nodded, "It's alright, Daddy, I'll be fine, don't worry!"
"Alright, bye darlin." Ennis said giving his daughter a kiss on the cheek through the car window. "Bye daddy, I love you" Ennis smiled and nodded. Ennis stood in his dirt driveway till Alma Jr.'s car was out of sight, then he turned around and headed into his house. As soon as he got inside he rushed to the windowsill and picked up the note, and stared at it for a while longer.
Ennis Del Mar was scribbled there, in Jack's handwriting….Jack's handwriting. Ennis felt a surge of hope as he looked at the letter, as if Jack himself had just written it recently and mailed it to him, telling him he wasn't dead, that he was hiding out somewhere and waiting for him. Ennis smiled, he held the closed envelope in his hands and pressed it to his lips.
"Jack…" he whispered into it, smiling, tears forming behind his closed eyes.
Ennis then opened his eyes, looked down at the envelope, turned it over, and was about to break the seal, when all of a sudden it hit him. This wasn't from a Jack, alive and well, this was from a Jack, who now lives six feet under. Junior told him it was YEARS ago she'd taken the letter. Jack wasn't alive, he wasn't sending him mail from some far off place, he wasn't at home with his wife and kids, not out at work or his folk's place…he wasn't at Brokeback Mountain… he wasn't there. Ennis then got a shocked look on his face, Jack wasn't here anymore….he wasn't anywhere anymore…
"Jack…" Ennis gripped the unopened envelope in his hands, frustrated with himself about getting his hopes up, once again. Ennis sat down on his bed, staring down at the slightly torn seal on the envelope. Ennis flipped it back to the side where his name was scribbled on the front. Ennis flipped the letter around in his hand for a while, debating on whether to break the seal on the envelope or not. Everytime he was about to he realized, this is all he had left, all that was left of Jack, the last letter he never opened. Ennis feared that if he opened the letter Jack would really be gone. More than he already was. Ennis decided that he wouldn't open the letter, that he would hold onto this piece of Jack, help him live on, in a sense. Ennis walked over to his drawers, opened one, and pulled out a tack, and opened his closet once again. Ennis tacked the envelope to the door of his closet, straightened it out, running his thumb along the front where his name was scribbled.
For the next few days, whenever Ennis was home he was either staring at the letter, or staring at his closet while he ate his dinner. While he worked he found he could forget that it even existed, and focus his mind on his work, but as soon as he was left without anything to focus on the thought of the letter popped right back into his mind. The letter and its unknown contents haunted Ennis, the words that Jack had written down for him, for his eyes to see, were going unseen by those very eyes. However, every time Ennis thought it would be ok to open the letter, his thoughts of losing his last trace of Jack makes him take his hand away, and he tacks it back onto the closet door.
One night, after Ennis comes back from work around 11:30 p.m. he drops into the closest chair, placing his elbow on the windowsill and rubbing away the headache of the day. Ennis stops rubbing his forehead and looks outside his window, staring into the darkness of the night.
"Shit." Ennis says as he rubs his drooping eyes.
"Bed." he commands of himself, getting up and going over to the closet, taking off his clothes, and just throwing on a pair of pajama pants. He is about to close the door, when he looks over at the jacket hung up, and traces his fingers along the bloody sleeves. He smiles to himself when he remembers the look on Jack's face as he mentioned leaving his shirt behind. Ennis didn't think much of it then, but once he found it up in Jack's room he immediately realized what that look of shock and confusion meant. Ennis, before even thinking about it, took his shirt off the hanger, folding it nicely and placing it inside his closet, then grabbing the jacket off of the hook and wrapping it across his bare torso. He gave it a little whip to fit it, as best he could, into place. It was still small, but it was comforting. He straightened out his postcard and unopened envelope, closed the closet door, and climbed into bed. Ennis was hoping for a similar experience as he did last time he put the jacket on, but nothing extraordinary happened. Still, with the faint scent still lingering on Jack's jacket, it was enough to give Ennis a little peace of mind as he slept. For the first time in weeks, Ennis' mind was free of the unopened envelope and the letter that laid inside.
Ennis woke the next morning, jacket still fitted around him.
"Good morning, Jack." Ennis whispered softly, before rising and getting dressed for the day. Ennis placed the jacket back on the hanger, along with is shirt, and he quickly ate some breakfast, eggs and bacon, and hurried off to work. In his car Ennis had his mind preoccupied with the work he had to get done that day.
"Feed the cattle, make sure the barn's all cleaned up, and makin sure I don't get fired." Ennis gave himself a small chuckle for his last thought. As he pulled up the driveway he saw his boss, and a few of the other men sitting there waiting for him.Ennis was finding that his last comment was not so funny anymore. When he parked his car and got, his boss walked over to him, Ennis giving him a quick nod hello.
"Hey Ennis" said Mr. Brown walking over. William Brown is a big man, about 6 foot, who looks like he could lift a whole cow if he put his mind to it. His short brown hair, and thick mustache make his dark brown eyes seem almost black. However, he is a respected and hardworking man, who is firm and fair, and if liquored up a bit, a real funny and nice man.
"Howdy," Ennis tips his hat then looks at the fellas behind Mr. Brown, nodding his head towards them he asks, "What seems to be going on today Mr. Brown?"
Mr. Brown placed a hand on Ennis' shoulder, staring at him with a look of concern. "Ennis, you've been off these past couple of weeks, and we've been worried about you...You're acting just about as bad you did the week your friend died." Ennis looked at Mr. Brown, not really sure what he was trying to say.
"I get my work done right on time Mr. Brown, and I never stop movin till you tell me to." said Ennis, feeling defensive. Mr. Brown gives Ennis' shoulder a reassuring squeeze, "No, I know Ennis, I'm not sayin your work is slackin, you're as good as ever, but your spirits...well...they seem down...I'm worried ya might not come back to us Ennis if you don't take some time for yourself."
Ennis shook his head, "No sir, I will be fine, I need to keep working, I can't take any time off, I have bills to pay, and I-" Brown cut him off, by raising his hand. "I know Ennis, don't worry just three days off, and I promise that I will give you a little pay, so you don't fall behind on bills and the like." Ennis stood there, not really sure what to say, he was just about to punch Mr. Brown for thinking of cutting him down a couple hours of work. Mr. Brown smiled, gave a nod of his head, and Ennis' shoulder one more squeeze before he turned around. As he walked away Mr. Brown said, "Besides it has been about four years since you've gone fishing, might help you relax some if you did." Ennis didn't realize what was being implied until Mr. Brown turned his head half-way around and gave Ennis a quick smile.
"Well, Thank you sir." said Ennis, Will gave a slight wave, his back still turned to Ennis as he hurried the other men along back to their jobs. Ennis turned back to his car and climbed in, setting his course temporarily for home. When he got home he immediately went into his closet and grabbed Jack's jacket, postcard, and mysterious envelope, grabbed his camping bag, and thrust all of them inside. Then he stumbled around, and quickly grabbed a few articles of clothing, his toothbrush, a few pieces of paper and a pen, and the two whiskey bottles he had in his fridge, and shoved them into his bag. Racing out to the barn, he grabbed the reins of his horse, and he raced to his pickup, slammed the door, and started the car, driving away his destination clear in his mind.
Jack's voice, though angry came into his head, came up from the past, "What we got now is BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN! EVERYTHING'S BUILT ON THAT! THAT'S ALL WE GOT BOY! FUCKIN ALL!"
Ennis smiled a bit, he knew Jack was mad, but in that moment, that last few moments with Jack, Brokeback was all he needed, and he knew...that's what he needed now.
*Sorry that you are all waiting for the letter, hopefully soon I will have it be read, but until then I hope you enjoyed this chapter! Reviews are very helpful, so please and thank you! I will try to get Chapter Three up as soon as possible!*