Wished away a broken fai.., p.1
Wished Away: A Broken Fairy Tale,
formatted by E.M. Tippetts Book Designs
Other Books by S.P. Cervantes
Broken Fairy Tale Series
Dust to Dust
Secrets of Shadow Hill Series
Always and Forever
War of Wizards
To Mim and Gerry
My first example of true love
I’m standing on the other side of the wall and can hear my aunt and uncle whispering about what to do with me now that my parents are dead. It still doesn't seem real. I’m only seventeen years old and don't have any parents left to take care of me. Everything in my life has always been so secure---so safe, and now all that security is gone, leaving me feeling numb. My parents always gave me the best of everything and treated me like a gift from heaven to them, and now they’re gone, and I’m alone. Camryn’s parents said that I could go live with them, but how am I going to do that? My Aunt Kim and Uncle Gerry are adamant that I move back to Cherry Hill with them and my cousin Kat. But that's not what I want. I need to be with my friends, they’re the one constant in my life now, and I don’t want the comfort their friendships give me to be taken away now too. I hope that Mr. Dade is able to convince my aunt and uncle to at least move down to my parent’s house until I turn eighteen, and inherit the deed to my house. Leaving Mantoloking and my friends is about the worst thing I can imagine right now after losing my parents. Camryn, Holden, Dave, Joey...it’s been the five of us running the quiet streets of Mantoloking since I can remember, and I don’t want to have to make any more memories without them there with me.
I decide to escape the conversations others are having about my fate, and start to head over to the beach across the highway to be alone.
The thought of letting the cadenced sounds of the waves crashing on the beach wash away my fears, fills me with momentary calm. When I sit down in the cool, soft sand, I let myself fall back and stare up at the thousands of stars above, wondering if my parents are watching over me somewhere up there. I look carefully at the patterns the stars make above, choosing judiciously which one to make a wish upon, as if my impossible wish could come true.
Since their death, I’ve tried not to think about my parents, because the memory of their faces is too painful. A part of me still thinks maybe this is all a horrible nightmare, and they’ll come running down the beach, telling me this was all a big prank, and throw me into the waves. My dad was always a fun loving, happy go lucky guy, playing with me every chance he had, acting as the life of the party with Mr. Dade. My mom was the enforcer, but she was so filled with love and compassion, that I never worried when I was in trouble with her. She would rather talk things out with me and figure out a way to make sure I didn't make the mistake again, rather than scream and yell, and trust me…I have done plenty to make her scream and yell. There was always a punishment ready for me when I messed up, but my mom never made it feel that way.
I know they wouldn’t want me shutting down the way I have been these past few days. They always encouraged my lively personality rather than try and snuff it out, and I wasn’t one to hold things in this way, letting my emotions build up inside me like a time bomb counting slowly down before exploding.
My memories flash to the three of us sitting here on the beach, snuggled together watching a meteor shower only last summer. I remember my dad taking my mom close in his arms, kissing her head and cheek sweetly as the bright stars raced across the sky above us. I remember sitting with them hoping that I would one day find a love like theirs. One so true, and full of affection and caring that no one ever questioned their devotion to each other. Their relationship was one that other’s envied, even me.
All of the sudden the tears that I’ve been trying so hard to keep away erupt from me in blustering sobs, and it’s all I can do to catch my breath. The realization that I’ll never feel their arms around me again, I’ll never see them together that way again, hits me like a freight train buffeting against me with crippling force. Their faces, the memories of the three of us together that I’ve tried not to think about these past few days, are rushing to the surface threating to suffocate me with grief.
I shudder when an arm comes around my shoulders, but don't need to look up at who it is. It’s the same person who is always at my side at exactly the right moment. I turn my head into Dave’s chest and let my sadness teem over him. Dave has always been the caretaker of our group, even at our age he’s continuously trying to keep me and Joey out of trouble.
"It's ok Sweet Thing, let it out now. It's ok to cry," he says in a whisper, and I obey.
Dave has always been a part of my life. He’s someone I’ve always counted on, which is more than I can say for most. Even though I know Joey and Holden will have my back, and love me like a sister, there’s always been something different about my relationship with Dave. Always. Dave’s the only child of a spirited Italian family who lives on the same street as all of us in Mantoloking, and I’ve known him ever since I can remember. Junior high was the first time I looked at Dave as something more than a friend, but I’ve never acted on any of my feelings. I remember when I was a freshman and he was a sophomore, Dave told me that he cared more for me than any other girl he’s ever known, but then a week later began dating Janet from our Algebra class. I’m too proud, some might even say stubborn, to admit that I wanted him to pick me. So I’ve watched as he’s dated other girls, letting the jealousy burn secretly inside me.
I don't know how long I sit there in Dave's arms before I finally lift my head and look into his compassionate brown eyes. "I don't know how I can go on without them. I'm afraid I'll forget them, forget what they'd look like, what they smell like, what their hugs and kisses feel like. All I've been doing is sitting here wishing that I could’ve done something to keep them from going out to dinner that night. I keep wishing that I’d told them how much I loved them before they left instead of yelling at them for not letting me sleep over at Cam’s. I keep wishing that God didn’t take them, that it was me instead. I wish..."
Dave takes my shaking hand in his, "You can't wish it all away Jess, as much as you want to you can't. If I could wish away your pain I would. I would do anything not to see you this way. Your parents wouldn't want you beating yourself up this way. They loved you more than anything in this world and they knew how much you loved them, even when you were a brat.” He taps his finger on the tip of my nose and wipes the tears away with a swipe of his thumb across my cheek and continues, “As time passes, you may forget their smell or their touch but they’ll always know you love them, even when you move on with your life and have your own family."
He reaches into his pocket and takes out a smooth heart shaped rock and hands it to me, "Anytime they seem too far away, take this rock and remember us on this beach. Remember me telling you that it's ok to move on with your life, to love, to grow, to miss. Let it remind you that it's the darkness that leads you to the light, and you deserve the light."
I take the silky stone in my hand and look up him grateful that he’s here with me now. Every time I’m with him, there is no place I’d rather be. He’s always made me feel safe and loved, and for the first time I’m ready to admit he is no longer Dave my best friend, and I know he feels the same when he laces his fingers through mine. "How about we head back to the house now, I’m sure everyone’s looking for you."
He helps me to my feet and my body presses up against his, causing him to draw in a deep breath and close his eyes. He gently brushes my unruly blond hair from my face and holds his warm hand on my cheek. I don't know what to say or do, my heart is racing but filling with guilt that all I can do right now is wish he'd kiss me and take the misery I’m feeling away. As if
We both smile, my only thought was me too.
I look him in his sincere eyes knowing there’ll never be another man in my life after this moment. "It was perfect timing. I need you now Dave, you always make me feel cared for. You, Cam, Joey, Holden, I can’t leave you guys and go live with my aunt. I just can’t. I feel so lost Dave."
Dave wipes the tears away and tilts my head up to meet his lips, he leans down, brushing his lips across mine. The soft way he presses his mouth to mine leaves me unable to think of anything but him. I silently beg for more, twisting my fingers through his hair.
He whispers through our kiss, "I will always find you Jess. Always."
We walk back hand in hand to Camryn’s house where the guests are mourning my parents, and from that day on, Dave has never let me go. He is my prince in shining armor chasing away my demons. Whenever he is close, I always feel loved, I always feel cherished. I can't imagine life without him and am glad I never have to, because without him, I'd be lost again.
“Jess, will you do me the honor of this dance?” I hold my hand out to my beautiful wife who is twirling around in circles at the center of the dance floor with our daughter and Camryn and her two girls, looking more like an angel that an actual person. She is wearing a long, pale blue dress that flows out in pleated waves, and bunches at her thin waist that’s surrounded in a thin golden belt. Her full breasts are on perfect display the way the blue fabric dips to a low V at her chest. My heart skips a beat at the sight of her.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched my spunky, sexy wife and marveled at how much I still love her, how much I still want her after over sixteen faithful years together. Honestly, I can’t imagine ever being with anyone other than her. Even when I was in college, partying with Joey and Holden at Yale with girls basically throwing themselves at us, I never really seriously considered so much as kissing anyone other than Jess.
When her parent’s died, Jess’s aunt and uncle decided to relocate to the shore with their daughter Kat until Jess went to college and inherited the deed to the house. Once I left for college, I spent one weekend a month going back and forth between Yale and Mantoloking, always wanting to be at her side while she was navigating through this new life. Her cousin Kat was a big help in bringing her out of the darkness she had drifted into, and soon she was back to her crazy self.
Our college years were the toughest in all our years together since she decided to go to NYU with Camryn instead of following me up to Yale. Camryn kind of lost it after graduation, and back then I had no idea why, but understood Jess’s need to be there to watch over her best friend, even though she didn’t even know why Cam had become so closed off to everyone. When Holden and Cam broke up, and their friendship completely deteriorated, Jess and I were the one constant of our group, keeping the five of us connected any way we could. Even though Jess is the wild one of the group, she has more love and loyalty in her pinky than the four of us combined, so I made sure that we talked every day, and we visited each other every other weekend and made it work.
It was her graduation day when I proposed. We were only in our early twenties, and many thought I was crazy getting married so young, but I had absolutely no doubt that I wanted to spend the rest of my life with Jess. None. Joey tried to plead with me to test the waters before I “ruined my life by being tied to one vagina forever, even if it was Jess,” yep, that has always been Joey, the player. I never wanted to be a player, to test the water. Jess was always the one for me.
That night, we decided to go back to the shore house that was now all hers after a lavish celebration at Cutter Lane with our close friends. Her aunt and uncle gave me their blessing before returning back to their home in Cherry Hill, glad that they knew Jess would be taken care of. Jess had invited Camryn and her boyfriend Marcus, and Joey and Kat back to her place to continue the celebration, unaware of what I had planned. The only person missing that night was Holden who was still trying to prove to everyone he didn’t love Cam anymore.
Camryn had snuck away with me earlier in the night and helped me set up hundreds…yes hundreds, of tea lit candles surrounding the deck. There were dozens of her favorite white roses and hydrangeas placed in every corner adding to the romantic setting I was trying to create.
When it was finally time to show Jess what I had been planning and we turned the corner to the back, she gasped in surprise. The way she looked at me with her sparkling blue eyes that made me want to take her right then and there is something I will never forget. She knew the second she saw the candles and flowers what I was up to. I couldn’t help but laugh and placed my hand over her mouth before she could yelp out her answer before I even ask. The others did exactly as I had planned and took their places on the deck, and I took Jess’s tiny hand in mine and led her over to stand with me at the center of a heart outlined in candles.
I was shaking, and I had no idea why. I was filled with excitement and emotions that I didn’t know were possible at that moment. Jess was giggling and crying all at the same time when I took both her hands in mine. I lifted her hand to my lips and placed a kiss on each knuckle.
“Jess, I’ve loved you since the day I met you.”
Joey walked over and handed Jess a worn, blue matchbox Camaro, and kissed her cheek.
I swallowed hard, not wanting my emotions to make me look like a pussy in front of my friends. “My first memory of you is when I was sitting in my driveway playing with Joey. You rode up on your bike with wild blonde hair and a red checkered sundress, and were absolutely a mess.”
Jess laughed and slapped my chest, remembering that she was always a mess when we were little. She’s always had an amazing talent for spilling anything and everything all over herself and would always be up for getting down and dirty with us in the sand.
I kissed her forehead and placed my hand on hers, opening her palm to show the car again. “You had this car with you and told us, rather than asked, that you were going to play with us. By the end of the day, you declared we were now best friends, and gave me this car as a sign of our friendship. This car is something I have always treasured. It was the first time I knew you’d always be a part of my life. It was the first time I wanted you to always be a part of my life. Every time you look at this, I want you to remember I will always be your best friend.”
Jess smiled sweetly at me, “I remember. I didn’t know you kept this? How come you never told me?”
“Shh,” I said and kissed her nose. “There’s more.”
Kat walked over next and handed Jess a smooth heart shaped rock, just like the one I gave her the night of her parent’s funeral, the night we also made our love for each other official. Jess burst into tears at the memory. Kat kissed her cheek and whispered something to her cousin, before walking to Joey’s side and burying her face into his shoulder.
I pulled Jess in close, “Every time you see this rock, remember your parents love. Remember our love. And remember that you are strong, just like this stone. I love how strong you are Jess. I love that in every situation, you pull through, coming out even stronger than before. I know you think I’m your rock, but it’s you Jess. You are the strength that binds all of us. I promise that no matter whether we are close or far away, that even in death, I will always love you and always want you to be happy-- to be strong. But most importantly, remember to always choose love.”
Next was Cam. When Jess looked at her best friend, she smiled through her tears knowing how much Cam would rag on her tomorrow seeing her tough friend reduced to a ball of emotions this way. Cam handed Jess a silver charm bracelet with a diamond sta
“You’re a tough cookie Jessica. You’re stubborn, crazy, opinionated, mouthy…” I couldn’t help but smile as Jess’s face twisted in confusion at my unflattering comments. “We are going to fight, you’re going to piss me off, and I’m going to piss you off. But I know we can get through anything together. When your parents died, and I found you on the beach, you were wishing on a star to make everything right again. Jess, I may not always be able to make everything right again, but I’ll sure as hell try. That night I said if I had one wish, it was to wish your pain away. Do you remember that?” She nodded with tears in her eyes. “My only wish tonight, and every night from this day on is for you to be happy. When you see this, I want you to remember that wish. I’ll always say I’m sorry and I’ll always forgive you when you screw up, because you will…a lot. I’ll always be yours, and I want you to always be mine.” I got down on one knee and reached into my pocket, pulling out the ring I’d waited a year to give her and held it up to her. “I don’t need to wait anymore and I hope you don’t either. Be my wife. Marry me.”
Jess smiled broadly with tears streaming down her beautiful face, “Hell yes I’ll marry you! Put that ring on my finger!” Jess held out her finger as I placed the solitaire ring easily on.
I pulled her close to me and kissed her like it was for the first time while our friends cheered behind us. That was one of the happiest moments of my life. Yes, we’ve had our ups and downs like any couple, but we always make it through stronger than before.
Now, all these years later, at Cam and Holden’s wedding, I feel like I love her more than ever. She is sexier and more beautiful than she was that night so long ago, and all I can think of is sending Charlotte back to my parent’s house and showing Jess just how much I still want her…no, need her.