The Softer Side of You
I am writing this assuming everything turns out between Skylar and Walter, and also under the assumption that Walter survives his cancer. I am writing this because I have come to the conclusion that, Jesse does have a really sweet side. He just doesn't want anyone to see it very much. It's a really short story, So please read and enjoy. Don't forget to comment.
The Softer Side of You
It was a cold Halloween day, and I wanted to make the best of it. I was a forty-two year old man, who really loved this holiday. Or whatever it was. I loved being able to scare the crap out of my boy Junior, and my girl Holly. Junior wasn't easy to scare, but Holly sure as shit was. I had no idea what I was about to get myself into. I really didn't. I guess, even for me, I'd have to say, it was fate that dragged me into it. Just don't tell anyone, yo. Because I'm hard, yo. I don't cry for anything or anyone. Accept…, well, you'll see.
I stepped out of my car, and headed up the driveway. Walter was still trying to teach Junior how to change oil in a car. For a cancer survivor, He was sure still agile. He looked frail, and sometimes you could see a bit of hair fall out from stress, or permanent damage. I don't know which, but he still looked as good as a man in his fifties could. He was really having fun with his son. He smiled at me as I walked by.
"Go on in, Jess. There's breakfast in the kitchen." He said cheerfully.
As I walked toward the door, it opened, and Skylar poked her head out. She was red faced, and looked like she was about to cry.
"We'll see about that, young lady!" she shouted. "Wait 'til your dad finds out, and you're dead!" she slammed the door, and burst into tears as she walked towards the car.
"Sky?" Walter asked as he and Junior got out from under the car's hood. "Honey, what's the matter?" he asked.
"I went to tell your daughter that it was time to get ready for school! And she blew a very loud air horn in my ear! And she claims that she's not going! Walter, White, you better get in there, and control your daughter!" she sobbed. "Because I slave over a house full of fucking shit heads who are never thankful, and now that Holly's joined the club, I am not about to help her with whatever the hell is wrong!" she spotted me, and smiled. "Hello, Jesse dear. Breakfast is in the kitchen."
All of us walked back into the house and into the kitchen. Walter went through the hall leading into the garage room that Holly had, and he tried knocking on the door.
"Go away dad. I know it's you. The shoes don't lie." She said angrily.
"Look, kiddo, the cat's in the bag, and your mother's the one who threw the bag at me. The cat scratched my face." He said smile in his voice.
"Cut the metaphor crap, dad." Holly said bitterly.
"Look, Holly, we let you miss school all this week, and you've been lying in bed all the time not eating, drinking, or coming out. People are starting to wonder. Please get dressed, and come down and eat breakfast." Walter said demandingly.
"Maybe it's because of the embarrassment of you and mom." Holly said bitterly. "Old people don't belong in the park holding hands and kissing."
"Holly you were having a really good time with us!" Walter exclaimed. "You and Lars—"
"Go away!" Before anyone knew it, the door was flung open, and she had screamed through a bull horn into Walter's ear. The door slammed shut, and there was silence.
Walter came stumbling back over to us. He stared. Junior looked at his hands, and then stared at the floor, then at me. "Your turn." He slurred.
"Yeah…, right." I said smiling.
"My ear." Walter muttered looking stunned. "Skylar, my ear."
"Yeah? Hurts…, don't it?" Skylar asked grinning.
"I'm off to work." Junior said smiling. "See you guys later."
"Did you get enough to eat?" Skylar asked worried.
"I got plenty. Sorry, Jesse." He muttered.
"He can make himself all the food he wants in the house as long as he makes Holly a sociable human again." Skylar muttered under her breath.
"How did I get dragged into this, yo?" I asked looking at Walter. "Mr. White, I have to go do stuff today."
"Oh, come on, honey." Skylar said softly looking at me with tearful eyes. "She really likes you, and you seem to calm her down a lot."
Ever since she was a baby. I seem to really have a way with her. She is really close to me, and that's weird because we have nothing in common accept scary stuff. She's really scared but looks for the thrill, and I like giving it to her. Scaring Holly is one of my greatest pass times.
"Fine." I said softly. "I'll see what I can do."
The family dispersed, and I was the only one left in the kitchen. I sat in the kitchen for about fifteen minutes, silently waiting to see if Holly would come out and eat. Instead, I heard what sounded like sobbing. I got up, and I crept toward the door. Holly was crying. She was crying really hard into her pillow. I knocked on the door, and she screamed at the top of her lungs. "Go away, Junior, or I will murder your lame ass!" she shouted.
"Holly, it's me." I said softly. "Please let me in. I'm back from my visit with my parents." I muttered.
The door was flung open, and a sobbing holly came flying at me. She wrapped her arms around me, and held me for dear life.
"Holly!" I said as I buried my face into her hair. "Honey, what's the matter?" I asked softly as I walked her back into her room, and closed the door.
"He's gone, Jesse!" she sobbed. "He broke up with me. He was my first crush, and he hurt me! He left, Jesse!" she sobbed.
My heart broke as I listened to the words that she said. I felt my throat grow tight, and I felt tears in my own eyes. "How?" I asked softly.
"My friend Laura was talking with her brother, and she said that Lars said that he had sex with me on the first date!" sobbed Holly. "When I went to confront him, all the guys were looking at me like I was food! I even caught one of them staring at my ass!" she sobbed. "I tried to confront Lars, but he said that we were through. If I couldn't just keep my mouth shut, and play along, and say I let him sleep with me, we were through. I tried to stop him, and…," The tears renewed and the sobs were heart breaking.
"Tell me, darling, what did he do to you?" I asked through my own sob.
"He hit me, Jesse!" she sobbed. "In front of all those boys! He hit me!" she sobbed. "I can't believe how stupid I am! I really really liked him!" she sobbed. "But he never liked me. Not the way I liked him!" she sobbed. "No one does. I'm so fucking worthless!"
"Oh, don't cry, my queen!" I sobbed as I held her. "Don't cry, my love! I love you! It hurts me to see you this way, and I love you! Oh, Holly, don't cry, princess." I sobbed.
"Jesse, I can't believe this happened to me." she sobbed. "I really liked him. I even saved up all my allowances, and bought a dress for home coming! Now I have no need for the dress, and I can't even get my new bike. All because of that stupid bastard!" she sobbed.
"Oh, Holly!" I sobbed. "How in the hell could this happen to you!" I sobbed as I rocked her back and forth. "I'm sorry, sweetie." I sobbed. "I'm really sorry! Ever since I first saw you, I hated myself because I knew I was letting you down! I knew I wouldn't be here for every mess you got into to get you out. I knew you'd get hurt, and you'd get stomped on, and I knew I wouldn't be able to help you. I'm sorry, sweetness. I'm so sorry he hurt you like that. I'm sorry I couldn't be there baby. I'm sorry."
"Me too." She whispered. "Me too Jesse. I really needed you and you took so long to come back. I really missed you, Jesse!" she sobbed as she held me.
"What can I do to make you feel better, Holly?" I asked softly.
"Take back my stupid dress that I bought." She sobbed. "Make them give me my three-fifty back, so I can get a decent bike to ride to school. I don't need dresses. You know I'm not a dress person." She muttered.
"But I really want to see you in the dress." I whispered. "I'll get you that bike if you want."
"Jesse that's bad." She said softly. "I want to earn my stuff, not cry for it. Or be anyone's sympathy case." She muttered.
"Holly, I really love you. And whatever it takes, I want to see you smile." I whispered.
I wasn't really the religious type. But I did read the good book, and I did do my share of religious soul searching. My theory, even if it's far-fetched, is that when Jane died, I got her soul in Holly. How is it that Holly had severe colic, and I was the only one that could calm her down. Jane's soul came to me through Holly. I could tell, even as she tried to hide it, that Skylar didn't like Holly very much. She had more love for Junior than she did for her daughter. Holly was a reminder of what happened in Skylar's life. They constantly fought, and Walter was the one who would comfort Skylar, and I would take Holly. Actually, Junior and I would take turns comforting Holly when we could. Junior just didn't want me to tell anyone about it. He said it ruined his reputation with the guys. What reputation?
"I want you to eat something with me." I whispered. "You have forty-five minutes 'til school starts." I said looking at the clock. It was seven fifteen. "Go take a quick shower, and when you come out, I'll feed you."
"Jesse, I don't wanna go." She sobbed. "I really don't wanna go to school!" she sobbed. "Lars really hurt me, and you're just going to take my mother's side over mine?!" she asked as she tried to get out of my arms.
"Just calm down, Holly." I whispered as I held her in my arms tighter. "I am not taking anyone's side over anyone else. I just saw the notice on the table, Holly, and the teachers and staff at the school are really worried about you." I said softly. "I know you've been doing your homework, and having Laura take it, but you really need to go back. You're missing all kinds of things. And you are going to the home coming dance today, young lady." I said boldly. "I'll be your date."
"Jesse that's a bad idea." Holly muttered.
"Jesse, that's a wonderful idea." Walter muttered at two in the afternoon when he and Skylar had gotten back from the doctors. "You would look amazing in a suit and tie."
"That's a terrible idea, Jess." Skylar muttered softly. "Honey, how is she going to take you when you're old enough to be her dad!? She asked softly. "Come on, Jess. Think with your brain."
"I am, yo." I said softly. "And I've been noticing some tension ever since Holly learned to talk. I've been noticing some favoritism towards Junior. I'm not here to tell you how to raise your kids, Mrs. White." I said quickly. "But I do see some resentment towards Holly and it's been going on her whole life. I may not be her dad or her mom, but I do embarrass the shit out of myself with your son going to each and every one of her dance recitals, and her practices. I have never once seen you at them. You're too busy with your sister to give a damn. Even Mr. White goes and sees her when she invites him. I have never seen you at even one of her events, and I also have never seen her confront you about it. You can talk about that in counseling when you go today." I muttered. "It's really doing you some good."
"Sky?" Walter said softly. "Honey, don't run from it. We all see it. None of us have been too strong to confront you for it either." He muttered. "Jesse, You look young enough to pass for her older brother. Or her cousin. I think it would be fine if you go to the home coming dance with her." He muttered.
"I can't stop you." Skylar said bitterly. "But be warned, she's going to be really embarrassed." She muttered.
"Oh yeah? Not as embarrassed as you'll be when you find out why Holly's been so sad." I muttered.
"I'm sure you're going to keep that a secret from us, too, right?" Skylar asked softly.
"He what?!" Walter shouted standing up. "I'll beat the shit out of him!" he shouted as he shook. "I'll kill that son of a bitch!"
When Holly got home, her mom hugged her really tightly. I was in the other room playing video games with Junior and I saw the exchange of gestures. Holly was surprised.
"What's that for?" she asked.
"Because I don't ever tell you I love you enough." Skylar muttered as she held her daughter. She let go of her, and they both came into the living room.
"I'm making pizza for dinner, you three." Skylar said smiling. "What do you all want on it?"
"Well, first off," Junior said softly. "It better be a big pizza, Because I eat a lot."
"Oh, gimme a break." Holly muttered coming over to me. "A Big Mac is bigger than you." She muttered.
Three hours later, I was the goofiest looking guy in a suit and tie. I didn't know what the hell tonight was going to bring, and Holly didn't either. But at least I wanted to do this in a good manner, and make it special for her. Her friend Laura, and her twin brother came with their dates. Then, the limousine came riding up the drive.
"Who got the limo?" Holly asked stunned.
"Laura." I said smiling.
I helped Holly into the limo, and everyone was talking. They were all excited about what was going to happen. The dance was going to be amazing, according to Jake's girlfriend. Jake was Laura Stockton's twin. I smiled as I sat beside Holly in the back seat, and Laura sat with her date in the front.
"We look weird." Jake muttered to me as we drove off. "I'm not a tie person."
"Humor them." I muttered back as Holly and Laura laughed with Jake's girlfriend. "Just make them Princesses for one damn day, yo. That's all they want." I muttered.
"I'm glad you're at least here." Jake muttered. "I know I have a bud to play b ball with."
The ride to the school was short, and when the limo pulled up, crowds of people gathered to see who it was. They oooed and aaawed as all of us got out and thanked the driver. Holly took my hand in hers and squeezed it.
"Shit Jesse!" she whispered as she looked at me. "Here comes Lars! Hide me!"
"No." I said looking her straight in the eye. "No more crying, hiding, or feelin' sorry for yourself, yo. You're a queen, and as so you should be treated." I said as my face grew warm.
"What kind of book you been readin' Pinkman." Jake muttered looking at me sideways.
"Shut up, yo." I muttered. The habit of saying yo at every sentence usually returned when I was really nervous. "Holly, you are going to walk in there, hold your head high…, and introduce me as a distant cousin." I muttered.
"Lying falls apart." Muttered Laura softly.
"Jesse's right." Muttered Holly. "I'm not hiding. I'm not feeling sad. I came to home coming, and I'm going to have a blast with my date. Even if he is eons older than me." she said smiling. "Let's go, Jess." She said softly as we all walked off.
"I am not that old." I muttered.
"Yo." Jake finished.
"Screw you, man." I muttered. "I don't say that at the end of everything."
The dance was spectacular. Holly and I danced the fast ones, we danced the slow ones, and I swear I saw Jane in her eyes. I swear. I was starting to wonder if the religious shit I learned was really all just shit. I could swear I felt the same chemistry I did with Jane.
"Jesse," Holly said as we danced the last song of the night. "I really had a good time with you today, and I'm glad you insisted we go." She muttered.
"I did too, Holly girl." I muttered as I looked at her pretty face. "I'm not a boyfriend, but I am glad I could make you feel a little bit better." I muttered.
"You know what's funny?" she asked smiling. "I looked at Lars, and I didn't see anyone special like I was afraid I would." She explained. "He's just another boy."
"Come on gentlemen!" the female DJ said as she stood up there by the turn tables. "It's the last song of the night! For all the couples still left, hold that princess of yours tight! This night is almost over!"
"She's a queen, not a princess, yo!" I shouted as I held Holly close.
"Oh, Jesse, you're a sweet person." Holly said softly.
The song ended, and I kissed her hand before letting go. I didn't want the night to end, but all too soon, we were all in Junior's car, headed to our respective houses. When we all got home, I left the queue of people, and walked into the Whites' back yard. I walked over to my little room, and opened the door and walked in. I closed it, and sat down on my bed. I started to cry silently as I stared at the mirror. Too much drugs, too much drama, too much death. Constantly. Not just when Walter joined me, but even before then. Too much. And I never got over the grief.
"I love you, Jane." I whispered. "I never got over you." I muttered. "I'm glad I at least got you back in this really precious girl. Maybe Skylar will love her better after this." I whispered.
There was a knock at my door, and I wiped my eyes quickly. I reached over from my bed and I opened the door.
"Yo, Mr. White." I muttered. "I'm back."
"Thank you, Jess." He said as he came in and closed the door. "Thank you for treating my daughter like a queen."
"Look, Mr. White!" I said a little too loudly as my eyes started to stream. "He broke her heart! He hit her, Mr. White! He was…," I stopped. "The point is, I hope Mrs. White treats her better than she does. Maybe this'll teach her." I muttered.
Walter gave me a hug, and smiled. He and I both stared at each other for a long time.
"Everything will be okay, Jesse." He muttered. "I know it will. The Lord does things we will never understand. She's not really gone, son."
?Should there be more?