Chapter 18: I Miss Everything About You…
Jack died five days after Janet and Ray got to Boston. Neither one could understand how he had gone down hill so quickly. In the three months since they last saw him, everything that could have gone wrong did. The cancer had spread from his liver to his stomach and colon, years of hard living, smoking and drinking taking it's toll. He died with Janet's hand wrapped around his, the daughter he had watched from a distance was so close in his last days, brining him peace.
They brought his remains back to the Ridge, and Ray organized a small but respectful funeral. Janet was a mess, Jack's passing hit her harder then she ever thought it would. Granted he was a new fixture in her life, but she liked the idea that she still had a father, despite the secrets. She and Ray leaned on each other for strength, grateful to have someone to share the grief with. Ray had pushed Hannah away, ending their relationship, despite her protests. He decided to focus his energy on his boys and Janet. Everything else would have to wait until he was ready.
The church was packed, despite his absence from the Ridge Jack had left a lasting impression, good and bad. Eddie stood in the back of the church, watching Janet standing next to Ray and the twins. Her secret keeping her from truly showing her emotions, as she fought back tears. Everyone knew she and Ray were friends but they had no idea that they were half siblings. Everyone thought it odd that it was Janet who went to Boston with Ray, and that it was Janet who stood next to him, while Hannah was in the pew behind him. And a rumor was born, that Janet was the cause of his surprising and sudden break up with Hannah. Her estrangement with Eddie only fueled the rumors.
Eddie's guilt for what happened, how he acted at his birthday was eating away at him. But Ray had made it very clear that he should keep his distance, that Janet had more to worry about than their failing relationship. It burned Eddie red hot when Ray used those words… failing relationship. But out of respect for Janet he kept his cool and walked away. Nick was also giving him the cold shoulder, as was Hannah and Owen, Pizza Girl, even Phil. It was like they couldn't forgive him unless Janet did. If she did.
"Hey Eddie, you need a lift to Big Cats?" Owen asked as they walked out of the church after the ceremony.
"Uh, I don't know O, I think I might skip it. I mean Janet wouldn't want me there."
"Ahhh, I wouldn't be so sure, granted she has good reason to be creased at ya, but I think knowing you were there would make her feel better." Eddie thought in it for a minute, the worst thing that would happen is she would ask him to leave.
Janet saw him walk in the front door, she wondered if he would come, and hoped he would. Her anger hadn't subsided. Eddie's temper, his accusations, the fact that he could think so little of her broke her hear into a million pieces. And if she was being honest, the jab about Rory was the hardest thing to swallow. In her mind she believed that was what Eddie really felt at his core. That she would never, ever be Rory and that he was somehow disappointed in that fact.
"How you holding up there kiddo?" Ray asked draping his arm over her shoulder.
"I just cant wait for this day to be over." She leaned against him, resting her head in the crook of his arm. Both oblivious to the rumors they were fueling.
"Well, a few more hours and then we are free. I see Christine and Latekka decided to come by. Because this day didn't suck enough before. Not to mention Hannah and Nick."
"Its like a who's who of bad relationships." Janet chuckled and Ray joined in, they both relaxed a little.
"Well, I have a bottle of Jim Beam that has our name on it for tonight… In honor of dad of course."
"I cant wait, I need a shot or six… Thanks for letting me crash here the last few days…"
"Please, are you kidding, Its been great having you here… Come on, lets make a few more rounds, so these people feel like they can leave."
"Ok, I'll go left and you go right." Janet and Ray split off, to have short idle conversations with the guests, Janet making sure everyone had what they needed. Eddie finally couldn't take the distance between them anymore, as he made his way towards her.
"Hey Jem." He said sheepishly, shoving his hands in the pocket of his suit. Janet took a deep breath, put the pot of coffee she was holding in the buffet table. She motioned for Eddie to follow her back to the kitchen. Which he was more then eager to do.
"Janet, I am so very sorry for your loss."
"Thanks Eddie, I really…appreciate that." Their interaction was so staged, so formal, so unbearably uncomfortable. She wasn't not sure of the cause, the anxiety of talking to him or the fresh pain of Jack's death but tears began to well in her eyes, and fall off her cheeks in hot bursts. Eddie quickly wiped them away with his thumbs.
"Baby, don't cry. Come here." He wrapped his arms around her, pulling her close, her arms glued to her sides, no energy left to lift them up around him. She wept silently against his chest, her mind racing. "Janet, I am sorry for what happened, I know you are still pissed but I hope when you are ready you will forgive me."
"I uh, I just need some time Eddie. I don't know how long, but everything is kind of a mess right now and you and me have a lot of talking to do." Eddie nodded knowing she was right. "And I just don't have the energy for it right now."
"I hear you Janet, like I said, When you are ready I am ready." He felt Janet pull away slightly and he regretfully released her. She wiped the reminder of tears from her face and straightened her dress.
"I got to get back, I will call you ok." He nodded as he watched her walk away and drift into the crowd.
It had been two weeks since Janet and Eddie had spoken and he was going crazy. He missed everything about her and it was killing him not to see her, talk to her. Janet was spending less time at Sully's, giving Pizza Girl more and more responsibility. She was spending more and more time with Ray and the twins and less time with Hannah and their friends. And Eddie began to worry that she was done with him for good.
"Eddie, you ok there? Phil asked handing him a cold beer. The pained look on Eddie face, mixed with his inability to get off the couch for the last week was really troubling.
"Yeah, Phys. Its just…' Eddie voice trailed off, unable to complete the sentence.
"Still no word."
"Nope, nothing. I thought that I would have gotten a phone call or something. Its been sixteen days since the funeral and twenty five days since my birthday."
"Not that you are counting." Eddie shot him an angry look.
"Its just I have never not talked to her for this long."
"Well you fucked up, big time."
"Yeah, I know." Eddie grumbled.
"It took me a week to want to talk to you again, so I can only imagine how Janet feels."
"Nick still is giving me the cold shoulder, its like awful in the shop right now."
"He cares about her…they have a history that has nothing to do with you or the Ridge." Their history made Eddies stomach turn, he pushed the thought out of his head.
"I just wish she would call."
"She will, Eddie, When she is ready."
Janet had picked up the phone a hundred times to call Eddie, not knowing what she wanted to say. She missed him, she couldn't deny that but also in the weeks without him she felt less insecure. Like she had always been waiting for the other shoe to drop and now it finally did. She sat on her porch, a glass of red one in one hand and her cell phone in another. Wanting to call him, and work it out but she just couldn't. Instead she sent a text to Nick.
-For you never…
-I just opened a bottle of cheap red wanna come over and be miserable with me?
-UR timing is perfect, Hannah and I just got into a huge fight. I will be there in two minutes.
A few minutes later, Nick pulled his car into Janet drive way. A poured glass of wine already waiting for him in he out stretched hand. He smiled broadly, and took a large much needed sip before he joined her on the porch steps.
"So, what happened?" She asked, knowing that things between him an Hannah were going from bad to worse.
"She wants to wait to tell Sam the truth. That's what happened."
"Well, I can see why she might want to hold off, its a lot for a kid trust me."
"Yeah, I think its more of a wait and see what happens with Ray thing. I guess you know that he ended it with her." Janet nodded, not wanting to give anything away. It had shocked her how hard Hannah took the breakup, she just assumed that Hannah would be relieved and run into Nick's arms. Instead she was making a stand for Ray to take her back. "She loves me but wont admit it. I know I hurt her, but that was a long long log time ago."
"For you maybe, but for her…" Janet cocked her head and didn't finish the sentence.
"That's still no excuse to not tell Sam that I am his father. I mean she already told Gavin…"
"Well, either way. You and Hannah both need to be on the same page with this. Sam deserves to know the truth."
"That he does. She can be so selfish sometimes." Again Janet stayed silent not wanting to get in the middle of the mess. "How are you doing? Still not talking to Eddie?"
"No, I just can bring myself to do it, despite how much I miss him." Nick put his arm around her shoulders.
"He is not my favorite person these days, but he misses you too. He just mopes around the shop, Phil said he is a mess. You need to forgive him or break up with him because this in between thing is good for no one."
"I know, I know." A shiver ran through her to the bone as she took a sip from her glass. "Come on, lets go inside."
Eddie watched from across the street, a pang of crazy jealousy coursing through him. He hated how close and comfortable Nick and Janet were with each other. He hated that she was turning to him for friendship and comfort. He hated that she wouldn't just call. Eddie would drive my Janet's house a few nights a week on the way home, not in a stalker way ( he tried to convince himself), but it made him feel better to see her lights on, make sure she was ok. Watching her and Nick, talk and drink together, laugh together made him miss her all the more. He missed her laugh when he said something unknowingly funny. He missed waking up next to her, with his arms wrapped around her tight. He missed fighting with her and then making up with her. He missed everything about her. The good and the bad. And he wondered if she missed him just as much.
Nick's words lingered in Janet's mind long after he left… You need to forgive him or break up with him… Janet imagined her life with out Eddie in it, and realized that it wasn't possible. She loved him, missed him, needed him. She missed his smile, when she would catch him watching her behind the bar. She missed the way he was able to fix everything that broke. She missed his hands, wrapped in hers or just in her body. She missed the sound of sport center the background while they ate dinner. She couldn't throw away years of loyalty and friendship because of one mistake. She picked up her phone and called him before she lost the nerve. When he saw Jem pop up on his cell his heart stopped.
"Hey Eddie." There was a long pause, neither one of them able to speak. "I just wanted to tell you… that I love you, and I miss you" Eddie heart stopped.
"I love you and miss you too."
"I know I have been, like unwilling to work this out…but I just wanted to tell you that I love you."
"I am coming over."
"Janet, we need to talk and I am coming over…"
"I am tried, its been a long, long day… I am off Sunday, why don't we get some dinner…"
"Ok, Dinner, Sunday… Hugo's?
"I will pick you up."
"Ok, I am gonna go… I will see you Sunday."