As they pulled into the driveway Jonathan's cell phone rang.
"Hello?,,,,,, Oh Alex, yes? That's good, I am surprised it's ready so soon. No, no I think I will come down this afternoon and take care of it. See you in an hour. Bye"
Jennifer was standing in the kitchen when she overheard Jonathan's end of the conversation, "He's leaving? Maybe that's a good thing for now, I can barely look at him without wanting to burst into tears. Yes, let him go for a little while, by the time he gets home I will be fine. Have my wits back about me."
Jonathan poked his head around the corner of the kitchen doorway, "Darling, Alex has something I need to see to today. I am going to run into the office for a couple of hours. Is that okay?"
Jennifer barely looked up, "Yes, that's fine I need to finish up some correspondence and reply to a couple of emails. Think about dinner while you're out." Inside she was pleading"Please just go don't kiss me, just wave goodbye for now. I will fall apart if you kiss me."
"Great. See you in a few!" she heard him call as the front door closed behind him.
Jennifer let out a great sigh of relief. She walked over to her laptop and started sending out emails to her publisher, the various charities she currently sat on the boards of, and one to a friend with a house she and Jonathan had let in Kenya a few years ago. Then she Goggled ERCP, UCLA Med Center, the doctor's name and the list of radiologist on staff. By the time she had finished the sun was sinking toward the endless ocean and horizon. With nothing to else to occupy her mind she grabbed a blanket, her cell phone and headed toward the surf.
"Jonathan. How did it go?"
Jonathan gave Alex a look that said, I'm not ready to talk about it, so Alex backed off.
"It's all here. Are you sure you want to do this now? I mean …."
"Yes, Al it needs to be done now." Jonathan said firmly.
The two gentlemen sat at the large table in the boardroom.
"First for you to sign is the transfer of the stock to Jennifer, then the change in her Board of Director's status from inactive to active.", said Alex as Jonathan glanced over the documents.
"Then you wanted these. House plans?" inquired Alex.
"Yes, a few years ago, we had considered rebuilding at Willow Pond; I had an architect draw of a few different plans. Each set ranges in size from the original floor plan down to something a little more intimate. Let me see. Yes it was this one. Hart's Cottage Glenn."
"Liz has the builders name, I want things under way there as soon as possible. No delays, spare no cost, Jennifer's notes as to cabinets, stains, paints, and all the other bells and whistles are in the plans too. I want all done to her exact specifications. Understood?" Jonathan said as he glanced up at Alex who was now standing across the table from him.
"Yes, I understand." replied Alex.
"Jonathan, why all the rush. I mean…"
"Alex, don't push it. When I know more, so will you. For now I am following my instinct, and it hasn't failed me very often."
Changing the subject Alex showed the lease to Jonathan.
"Perfect", said Jonathan as he signed it, "I want it open ended, I am not sure how long we will need it. Oh and a couple of other things, have Liz check on local doctors and hospitals for me, as well as pharmacy's. Okay?"
"Jonathan, all this is really unsettling. Houses, stock transfer's, doctors…"
"Like I said, Alex when I know, you will be the second person I discuss all this with."
"And remember, let's keep these subjects out of the spotlight, tell Liz please. Not a word to Mrs. Hart or anyone else, just the three of us?"
The beach wasn't very crowded, and Jennifer picked a spot near a small dune. She spread the blanked out, sat down and stretched out her legs. The sun warmed her as she sat taking in the days events.
Her mind wondered back to the kitchen when Jonathan had left. "Why was I afraid for him to kiss me?"
Marcus' words played back "we found a mass", "Oh God", she thought, "Marcus carefully skimmed around the edges, but never came right and said it-cancer."
Her mind raced back to her father, diagnosed and dying, and losing him so quickly. Fear began to grip Jennifer, and she let the door on her heart open. "
I can't do this in front of Jonathan I have to be strong for him. He isn't taking this serious. If it is cancer, what can they do, how long does he have, do we have. Life with Jonathan! Oh my God."
Every thought, fear and ounce of emotion she had capped off at the doctor's office came flooding out, like an eruption. She pulled her knees to her chest and rested her forehead on them as they heavy tears began to sting at her eyes. Before she could stop them, heavy sobs shook her shoulders, and ripped at the deepest part of her soul. Her mind ran with thoughts of life without Jonathan, but as soon as she dare think it she pulled away from it. It hurt too much, it's not possible.
"I won't let him go with out me, I just won't." Jennifer continued this internal battle of her will to be strong against her natural reaction to be frightened. Her tears begin to subside, and she looked up at the purple pink sunset.
"How long have I been out here?" she wondered.
"I need to get my act together, Jonathan will be home soon. He can't see me like this-a total train wreck!"
Just as Jennifer's thoughts were turning to Jonathan's returning home, she felt a small gust of wind beside her, and looked at the jacket from a business suit that had landed beside her. Jennifer looked up and Jonathan was standing there. Before she could tell him to go back to the house, he was sitting beside her pulling her and cradling her in his arms.
"It's no use." she thought. And once again the tears poured from her, she wrapped her arms under Jonathan's and held on to him. Jonathan buried his face in her soft wind blown hair and breathed in her scent. He felt each sob and tremble, and wished she didn't have to go through this, but she wasn't alone he would be with her for as long as God allowed. Neither of them knew how long they sat on the beach.
Once her sobs and tears had exhausted themselves, Jennifer was quiet and listened, she could hear Jonathan's heart beating, sound of the ocean lapping at the shore, and his deep calm breathing.
"Better now?" Jonathan ask.
Jennifer timidly replied, "I think so, but I am not making any promises, that I won't just burst out in tears again."
"That's okay. I have this great collection of handkerchiefs, I think you can use when you need one." Said Jonathan with a glint of mischief in his eyes.
"Oh, Jonathan." smiled Jennifer.
As he stood up he offered her his hand. She grasp it, and felt its warmth and strength. He pulled her up, they gathered the jacket and blanket. As they turned toward the house, they joined hand in hand as they walked slowly home.