Alexa Chapter 24: Recouperation

Alexa Chapter 24: Recuperation

After the accident, rather than going to the apartment, Jenny brought me out to her father’s house where she thought I would be able to recuperate better. I will admit it was much better than being in the apartment and I had spent enough time here that it felt like a second home. I felt like I was royalty since Jenny had everything she needed or wanted at her fingertips, but I still felt bad. She needed to continue with life and not be watching over me like a mother hen. We did butt heads a few times over it. Jenny was under the impression that I shouldn’t do anything and I was under the impression that I was going to ease back into things. Anytime I tried to get myself some coffee or get a book or even use the bathroom, Jenny was all over me. One those times that she and I butted heads, Marty happened to come into the Entertainment Room, I decided that I needed something to drink and started to get up off the couch. “Sit down Lex, what do you need? I’ll go get it.” Jenny told me as she pulled me down. I told her I was a big girl and can’t get a water on my own. “You’re still nursing your broken ribs. Just sit here I will get it.” I growled right as Marty was walking in. ‘

“Is Jennifer smothering you Alexa?” Marty asked. “You two are funny. You are like an old married couple at times. But the ones who still hold hands at 80 as the walk through the park.” Marty said smiling the whole time.

“That’s us,” I said. “Or will be if the blonde girl over there doesn’t smother me to death over the next few weeks!” I say earning both a raspberry and a quick kiss as she headed off to the Butler’s pantry. As Marty sat down to turn on the TV news he asked me how I was feeling and I told him fine but something else was on my mind. It was something that had slowly been brewing for a couple of months now, but since the accident it was something that seemed to be moving more front in center in my thoughts. Marriage. One year ago, even going on a date with Jenny was a pipe dream and now here I am sitting in her family’s large estate being teased by her father about being a married couple. It seemed like every day the thought of the two us being officially together forever started to dominate my thoughts. But before I could say anything, Jenny returned.

By Thursday I felt 110% better than I had and figured this weekend would be perfect for my mom to come up and look for her new car. Marty had done what I had asked and set up a time on Saturday for mom and me, and Jenny of course, to go look at a few vehicles. Marty had invited my mother up to spend Saturday night at the house as well. Part of the plan was also a celebration, not only my mother’s new vehicle but my continued recovery, we were going out to dinner that night at the Club and we were going to travel via boat. Mom was really excited by this. She had mentioned while I was in the hospital that she had never been on Lake Minnetonka before and Marty got all wound up. So, when it was decided by my personal physician, Jenny not Dr. Fisher, that I was fit enough to leave the house we had made the arrangements for Saturday to be the big day.

We told mom to come up in the morning to the house and then the three of us would go over and meet Stan. When she asked what time, I told her 10:00 so I was not surprised that at 9:30 she was at the gate and I had to let her in. Jenny began her typical melt down. “You have to go deal with her Lex. I am not ready yet!” I began laughing at Jenny and it frustrated her. “You know she is always early. Why do you always wait until the very last minute to get ready?” I questioned my partner. Jenny just stared at me and then began speaking “If you don’t want to end up back in the hospital you better get down there and entertain your mother!” The laugh I gave out did nothing to calm her down so I went over and gave her a quick kiss and I was able to get a smile out of her before she yelled at me again. I went and let mom in and we went into the great room where I had the coffee already set out for her and poured her a cup before I took a seat. Mom instead walked over to the big window and looked out.

“This view is incredible! I really didn’t get a chance to appreciate it when I was here last week” Mom stated to me before she turned around and looked at me. “Heck of a place to recuperate” she teased me. Before I could say anything, Jenny joined us. Almost every time one of us walked into a room we couldn’t help but look at each other and a big smile would cross our faces. My mother noticed it this time. “You two are incredible, do you know that? I would have thought that by now you two would be sick of each other.” We just turned and smiled at each before Jenny admitted the truth. “There were a few times I was ready to ship her down to you. She is a terrible patient.” I tried to protest by saying Jenny’s bedside manner needed some work only to get told by my mother to give a rest, she knew better. And soon mom and Jenny were sitting there exchanging little stories about me and when I am ill. I began to feel like I was being picked on a bit and looked for a way to end this and announced we should get going. I was quietly rebuked while the two women I loved more than anything continued to compare notes on me.

After about twenty minutes I was finally able to get the two of them moving and we went out and hoped in mom’s old minivan. I was forced into the back seat as Jenny and mom continued their discussion of me. It was wonderful watching how well the two got along. It was like they really were family. As I sat there I began to think I wanted this to be my family, forever. But then an argument broke out in my head. Would she want to marry me? I kept trying to think of reasons why she wouldn’t want to, things like our age, or our futures and would she really want to be with a transgender person. And what about me? Was I always going to be in this limbo, or would I go all the way one day and have surgery? I became lost in my thoughts and didn’t hear Jenny asking me a question about what cars I had asked her dad to line up. As I came out of my mini trance I noticed at first a concerned look on my girlfriend’s face. She reached back and grabbed my hand. Our ability to communicate without talking took over once again as I broke into a smile and it was returned with the warm, caring smile that always brought me out of these little moments.

We pulled into the lot and went to find Stan, who was waiting for us inside. He led the three of us out to the lot where he had a couple of different options for my mother. He began pointing out the different features of the different vehicles and mom and I listened intently. As Stan was leading us around the Edge and pointing out the differences with the Escape, I realized Jenny had disappeared. I looked around and found her looking at a car. I wondered over and found her looking a royal blue four door Focus. “We are not here looking for you remember?” I said. Jenny looked up at me “I know. It’s just that I was thinking and I thought about what the doctor said about the safety innovations.” She walked over to me and pulled me in for a hug. “If it weren’t for those things I wouldn’t have you to hold and kiss and love anymore. I want to make sure I am there for you forever. I keep having dreams about seeing your car all crumpled up there along the side of the road. I don’t ever, ever want to have to worry about us again.” Jen told me as she and I shared a kiss. As we broke I looked deep into her eyes and decided that everything I was thinking, trying to talk myself out of marriage didn’t matter. All that mattered was the love we shared. My mind was made up, now I had to convince her. Our little moment was interrupted when mom and Stan came and told us they were going to take a test drive. Jenny and I nodded and turned our attention back to the car. “Are you sure you want the four door and not the hatchback? I asked and Jenny began to giggle a bit. “Why would I need the hatchback Lex? You do all the grocery shopping.” She teased me.

Mom came back all excited about the Edge she had taken out. It was the Demo model that Stan was getting ready to unload and was willing to give mom a deal. The three of us followed Stan into the dealership and into the same office where just a few weeks ago I had bought the car that had saved my life. Stan and Mom began discussing a deal while me and Jenny hung back at the door. I could see she was contemplating something. Finally, she spoke, “I need your help Lex.”

“Anything, you know that babe/” I told her as I moved closer to her.

“You need to help me talk daddy into that car.” I let out a little laugh. “He is going to wish we never came here I bet when he hears that.” Jenny giggled a bit. “I know” she said, “but you have heard him talk about how the safety features saved your life, we’ll play off that.” Jenny said trying to rationalize a new car. I pulled her in for a hug and told her I would help but he would not be happy. We sealed the plot for Jenny’s new car with a kiss that didn’t last as long as we hope as we heard the voice of my mother telling us to be good.

“I can’t take you two anywhere can I?” my mother stated as Jenny and I giggled at her comment. She had a smile on her face so I knew she was teasing us. “Well I did it. I just bought a new car without any of the male members of my family’s help.” The smile of accomplishment that mom flashed was wonderful. While I know there have been times over the last few months where she has missed Dick-head, it was also wonderful to watch her blossom into a new person. The woman who deferred so much decision making to the men of the family had disappeared and the ‘new’ mom started to take control. Just like when I bought my car, Stan said it would just take an hour or two to get the car prepped and she would be ready to go. Jenny and I decided we would take mom to lunch over in downtown Excelsior and wait for the vehicle to be ready and just as we were finishing up lunch, the call came to pick up her new car. The metallic orange (Canyon Ridge officially) Edge was very comfortable. The smile mom had as she drove the car off the lot was the biggest I think I had ever seen from her.

We made it back to the house, where of course Marty had to check out the new vehicle before we got ready for dinner. Jenny and I retreated to her/our room to get ready for the night. As we entered the room, Jenny took me in her arms and laid a long loving kiss on me. No grin this time, no giggling just a deep look into one another’s eyes. Nothing was said. Nothing had to be said. We slowly stripped each other and moved to towards the shower. We slowly and sensually washed one another. No shower we had ever shared was as gentle and loving as this one. It reminded me of the bath we had taken together back on Christmas morning. And just like Christmas morning our celebration of our love for one another was interrupted, this time by a ringing phone. Rather than get all frustrated we just got out of the shower.

I reached for my typical thong and bra combo and headed over to join my soul mate in the closet. While the dining room at the club was not formal, Jenny and I still wanted to look our best. A few different options were rejected before Jenny found a dress she thought would be perfect, a sleeveless floral print sheath dress in white. It was one she hadn’t worn before. I continued in my quest until I came up with a blue fit and flare dress with cap sleeves and a sweetheart neckline. I pulled the dress over my head and then slid up next to Jenny at the vanity in her room. Just as we are about to finish up, the phone begins ringing again. As is usually the case, I am ready before my lover. I answer the phone. “I’m ready Marty I am just waiting on someone like always.” I say as I receive a tongue being stuck out at me from the blonde-haired girl. As I hang up I tell Jenny. “Don’t stick it out unless you intend to use it.” She gets up and does exactly what I told her. After breaking this kiss much sooner than I wanted, I ducked into closet and grabbed two sweaters and came out and handed one to her. She just smiled and the two of us headed out of the room and down the stairs hand in hand.

We entered and our parents were standing there a little miffed that we had taken so long. My mother was about to lecture us when I noticed her eyes go real wide. While mom had seen me in several different styles of outfits, and was aware that my breasts had begun to fill out, I think that I was wearing a dress that offered up a natural cleavage for all to see really got her. She stammered out something about how nice we looked. Jenny and I giggled a bit at my mom’s reaction before Marty broke in. “Let’s get going ladies. Our reservations are in an hour and we will be pushing it if we are going to show Charlotte part of the lake.” Jenny and I led mom down to the cabin cruiser. I was surprised to see two guys working on the boat, preparing to to get under way. The engine was running and the boys were standing alongside to help us on to the boat. Jenny greeted the two. ‘Hey Paul, Hey Jesse. How are you guys? Lex, this is Paul Tyler and Jesse Robertson. They work at the marina over in Wayzata and help daddy out when he takes business cruises. You guys all set?”

“We’re all set, just waiting on your dad Jenny. Nice to meet you ladies.” The two said as pleasant as possible as they helped the three of us on. Marty was right behind us carrying a bottle of wine. He greeted the guys and gave them some instructions before joining us in the boat. He handed the bottle over to me. “I figured we could have a drink on the ride over and if I remember right the last bottle of wine was consumed and not replaced. I wonder who would do that?” Marty said with a grin as mom shot the two of us blushing girls a disappointed look. Jenny took over at the bar and poured her father a bourbon and my mother a glass of wine before handing them out while I poured us two glasses of Stoly. Marty invited us out to the stern lounge to point out various highlights of the lake. Mom was in awe of some of things she saw. It was fun to see her like this and it was always great to get out on the lake.

After about 45 minutes we arrived at the dock where we were helped off the boat by the two boys and met by a golf cart that shuttled us up to the clubhouse. We entered the dining room and waited at the bar for our table. After a few moments of waiting, Jenny and I excused ourselves to freshen up a bit when we came back we encountered a person at the bar that we had not expected to see. “Well, well if it isn’t my little brat of a daughter and her freak.” an obviously intoxicated Marilyn said to us as we walked past. I could see the pain start to build in Jenny and I simply huddled up next to her. Jenny looked at her mother and barely acknowledged her. We noticed that mom and Marty were no longer at the bar so we moved into the dining room, the whole time Marilyn was following us.

“Jennifer Ann Thompson!” Marilyn practically screamed at us we tried to ignore her. People began looking at her as she carried on as she followed us. “Listen here you little bitch, you do not walk away from me! Get back here right now!” she bellowed. We thankfully made it to the table and the safety of mom and Marty. “God damnit Jennifer! I am your mother! You will. Oh, hello Marty” she said acknowledging her husband. “What a wonderful fucking surprise! And who is this? Isn’t she a little old for your mid-life crisis?” Marilyn said as she looked at my mother. My mother was in shock. She had never met Marilyn but I could tell that my mother had no time for this woman. Marty stood up and addressed his estranged wife.

“Marilyn what are you doing? You are making a scene! Why don’t we step over to the bar where we can talk?” Marty said reaching for his wife’s arm to lead her away. She pulled her arm away from him. “Get your fucking hands off me!” She screamed out. “I will talk where ever I damn well feel like! I see you are still under the spell of the little freak over there, both of you” I could see the steam coming out of my mother’s ears she stood up and looked directly at Marilyn. In a voice of controlled anger my mother looked at Marilyn. “Listen here lady, I don’t know all your problems, but that is my daughter over there and you will not talk to her that way do you understand me. Or do we have to go somewhere a little more private to discuss this?” Jenny and I stared open mouthed as our two mothers stood toe to toe with each other. Just as Marilyn was about to open her mouth, Mr. Lowe the manager of the club came up.

“Good evening Mr. and Mrs. Thompson, is there a problem here this evening?” He asked. Marilyn spun on her heel and looked at the slight man standing there. “Why don’t you shut up you little queer. I am a member here and you are nothing but the hired help. So leave!” She barked. Right at that moment, Thomas Hudson, the president of the club and his wife Carol came walking up. Mr. Hudson was the head of one of the largest construction contractors in the nation and a man you did not want to trifle with. “Is there a problem here Marty?” He asked, but before Marty could answer, Marilyn spoke up again.

‘Yes, there is a problem here. First off, this little homo of a manger thinks he can come in here and tell me how to act. Second.” But before Marilyn could go on I could see Mr. Hudson’s face redden. “Listen here Marilyn, if you do not lower your voice I will ask you to leave. If you refuse to listen to Peter over there, you will damn well listen to me. I have the power to tell you to shut the hell up and get the hell out of here. And if you keep acting this way, I will have you removed as a member of this club.” Marilyn became indignant with that remark. “You cannot kick me out of the club! My family has been members of this club since it was founded!” Tom Hudson restrained himself and looked at Marilyn. “Listen, I have had lots of complaints about you sitting up here and bad mouthing almost every member and employee. I am going to say this politely as I can. Get the hell out of this club and consider your membership in suspension. If you do not leave right now I will call the police!” Marilyn just starred at everyone. And just like she did back on Memorial weekend she started in on me. “You little freak! Once again you find new ways to ruin my life!” and then stormed out of the club, closely followed by Bob Rose, the club tennis pro.

The dining room returned to its normal dull roar and the four of us took our seats. Our waitress for the night, Laura, came up to us and handed us menus and took our drink orders. As soon as Laura left, Marty began to apologize to my mother for Marilyn and the way she acted and my mother told him not to worry. I sat there worried about Jenny. She seemed a bit on edge following this public attack by her mother. The other Thompson at the table instantly began trying to apologize to me, but I was more concerned about her and let it be known. Soon our concern for the other turned into a pseudo argument over who was more concerned for the other. This caused Marty to laugh and mom to question Marty how the week had gone. “I begin to think that Katie might be the strongest person I know. These two are something else. As I joked with them, they are going to be that 80 year-old couple that holds hands when they walk through the park.” We smiled at that thought.

After we had been severed our drinks and placed our orders I felt a squeeze of my hand and then Jenny begin speaking. “Daddy” she said and Marty instantly braced himself. “Oh god” he stated, “What is this going to cost me you two?” he said. Jenny and I began to giggle a bit and mom looked at the two of us like we had done something wrong. “Um daddy, today when Char was out on her test drive, we began looking at a few of the cars.” Jenny paused for a moment and looked over at me before going on. Marty let out a grunt that was either agreeing with his daughter or urging her to get on with it. “Well I don’t need a new car, but I started to think what Dr. Fisher and you both said about Lex’s car. How she probably wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the safety features off her car. Well that got me to looking at one just like hers and I was wondering if we could trade mine in and get that one?” Marty just nodded a bit before telling Jenny “We’ll see.”

Dinner went well after that. Mom was enjoying herself which was the main reason for tonight. Ever since my father had passed I thought about everything she put up with all those years. Not just how my father acted, but how my brothers and I acted. I was a bit of a momma’s boy when I was young which I knew drove her nuts and then when I got older I basically tried to find ways to shut her out. Now that we were closer than we had ever been I wanted her to experience every joy possible. The ride back to the house was one of those times. She seemed relaxed and happy as we sat back on the boat. The four of us enjoyed an after-dinner cruise around the lake, taking in the sights. Mom and Marty sat and talked while Jenny and I just cuddled up together and basked in the love we shared.

Mom stayed until late in the day on Sunday and other than the fact she dragged me (and I dragged Jenny) to church it proved to be a quiet but enjoyable weekend. Monday seemed like it was going to be a normal day, other than the fact that neither me or Jenny went to work. But the odd thing was neither did Marty, which was incredibly odd. He claimed he had a golf fundraiser that afternoon and decided to work from home this morning rather than risk the chance of getting sucked into something at the office. It was about 10:00 AM when we heard the buzzer for the gate. Marty sprung to take care of it, which was completely out of character. He buzzed the gate open and then casually got up he looked at me with a grin on his face like he was up to something, but Jenny didn’t see it as she was engrossed in some article online. About ten minutes later he came back into the main room. “Girls, could you come outside for a second?” He asked. Jenny and I exchanged looks and shrugged our shoulders. We pulled ourselves off the couch and proceeded to follow Marty.

When we got outside, sitting there in the main driveway, smack dab in front of the main entrance was the car Jenny had been eyeballing on Saturday. Jenny shrieked and ran over to Marty, wrapping him in a big hug “Daddy! Oh my god! Why?” She said to him. Marty continued to hold his daughter for a moment longer and then gently put her down. “Well I started thinking about it last week. I even made a comment about it in an off handed way to Alexa. I want my girls to be as safe as possible and from what I saw this car was perfect. I told Stan to keep an eye on you the other day and when you left he told me you had been eyeing up this car. He called and asked what he should do and I told him to prep it and send it.” The grin turned a bit more serious as Marty paused “If I could put the two of you in tanks I would do that just to make sure nothing happened to you.” I stood back and watched as father and daughter hugged each other and the damn hormones took control and I started to cry. Marty looked up and saw me standing there and waved me over. He pulled me in too make it a group hug and I felt that I had become even more part of the family than I had in the past. The thoughts of making it official came roaring back to the forefront.

The rest of my recovery back at the house went the same as it had over the first week. Jenny continued to be a bit over zealous in her duties towards me. The only time I didn’t complain about it was the one morning I awoke from a nap to find that Nurse Jenny had appeared. The smile that came across my face had to be huge because my cheeks began to hurt. “I think it’s time to give you a full examination Miss Quinn.” Jenny said as she knelt beside me and planted a kiss that sent shivers down my spine. She stood up and slowly slid the light dress I was wearing up my body and begin kissing me starting at my stomach. As she worked the dress up the kisses began to move to my upper body. When she reached my chest, she began lightly kissing each of my breasts. I was in ecstasy! A new sensation swept over my body, one I had never felt before. While I had I always found Jenny’s kisses to be wonderful, this time I was brought to a new level of excitement. This was the first time I think I truly feel like a woman! I pulled her in deeper and held her head as a little groan swept over me. A moan and a gasp let Jenny know she was pushing me to a new level. It wasn’t long before it felt like a bolt of lightning shot through my body and I screamed out. As the feeling subsided, Jenny sat back up with a smile on her face. I laid there trying to recover and our eyes locked. A new level in our relationship had been reached and we both knew it. I locked my arms around her and pulled her in for a log deep kiss. A kiss that felt more sensual then any kiss I had been given before. As we broke I began to reciprocate the advances made by Jenny and soon the same sounds I had made early were emanating from her.

I don’t really know how long we were there on the couch and I really didn’t care. The pleasure the two of us had created for one another had taken us to a different plane of existence. We laid there trying to catch our breath basking in all the glory of a new high point in our relationship, I never felt more at peace in my life. We shared light kisses and caressed each other, sharing our love. Until the door buzzed. Panic over took us as we jumped up off the couch. Jenny raced upstairs and I moved to the phone to check on who it was. As I answered, I was greeted with a very familiar sounding voice. “Hey, you two get off each other and let me in.” Katie said through the ear piece. I giggled and punched in the code to open gate and soon Katie was walking through the front door. “What’s going on in here?” She asked. I apologized and tried to tell her that Jenny must have been upstairs and I was asleep on the couch. Just as I was saying this Jenny came down stairs, fully dressed and looking as relaxed as possible. Katie began in on her “What took you two so long to answer the door? You know she shouldn’t be playing around Jen. Those ribs haven’t healed yet.” Jenny told Katie she knew better, that I was in no position to get crazy. That’s when it happened.

As Katie was standing there in the main room, something caught her eye. She walked right past me and towards the couch. Jenny and I exchanged a nervous glance as Jen came down the stairs towards me. I whispered into her ear asking if we got everything and she just nodded. We turned to look at our roommate bend over and pick up something from the other side of the coffee table. Katie stood up with a disappointed expression on her face and held up a nurse’s hat and displayed it to us. “God, you two! Do you ever stop?” Katie said as Jenny and I burst into a giggle fit. Katie just shook her head “Boy am I glad the gate was closed. I wouldn’t have wanted to walk in on that.” I tried to get defensive with Katie and began asking her what we would find laying around the apartment if we came home. “Who knows? Maybe if you two would come home occasionally you would find out.” While the shot was good natured, it did ring of some truth. Jenny and I hadn’t been home in a few weeks and before the accident we had spent all our weekends here. I could sense a little sadness in Katie’s voice and rather than try and tease her about it, I let it rest.

Following the Katie inquisition, the three of us hopped in Jenny’s car and headed over to Wayzata. We had planned this to be a girls’ lunch out at one of the restaurant’s that sat along the lake. As soon as we had sat down, Jenny and I were all over Katie trying to get all the gossip on her and Danny. While we had been with both Katie and Danny a couple of times over the last few weeks, it had been over a month since it was just the three of us. Before Jenny and I could really get the dirt on the two, our waitress interrupted us. Katie ordered first and went with a grilled Chicken sandwich with fries. I was the next to order and as much as I wanted a cheeseburger, I knew that Jenny would have a bit of a fit and I also knew I didn’t need it, so I went with the Teriyaki Chicken Salad. Jenny was up next “I will have a Grilled Portabella Mushroom Sandwich with the fruit cup rather than chips.” She said as cheery as possible. I just groaned at my lover’s selection. “What? she asked.

”You know how you get when you eat those.” I say. Jenny pouts a bit and tries to sell her point telling me they are so good. I just look at her “Fine. Do what you want. I guess it will just be me and your dad for dinner then” A ’Hurmph’ comes out of my girlfriend before she changes her order. “Fine I will have the Artichoke Chicken Sandwich with the fruit cup.” Jenny tells the waitress. Jenny looks at me and says “Happy?” and I tell her yes with a big smile on my face and lean over and share a quick kiss with her. As we break the kiss, we notice Katie sitting there laughing at us. This time is my turn to ask, “What?” I say to my sister.

“You two are hilarious. I thought Jenny was the only one who made people change orders. Now you are doing it.” Katie continued to laugh and then put on an upset look on her face. “I do want to know why I wasn’t invited to the wedding! You two are like an old married couple!” Katie then broke back into laughter. Jenny and I looked at each other and smiled before looking back at Katie. I was the first to try and break the spell. “I don’t think you are one to be talking Miss Fahey. From what I hear, a certain young gentleman has basically moved in the last few weeks. Do tell what is going on with you and Danny.” And the gossip session started in. Katie began telling us how much fun the two of them had been having and how comfortable the two of them had been becoming with each other. Katie stopped for a moment and got a bit of nervous look on her face “I think I am in love Lex”

Jenny squealed and delight and rushed over and gave Katie a huge hug. “Keep it up and we will be sisters!” Jenny said. I sat back and contemplated what had just been said. My brother and my best friend. And as odd as it was back in February on the first date I couldn’t be happier for the two of them. I got up and went over and shared a hug with the person that meant almost as much to me as the beautiful blonde who had just let go of her. As I hugged Katie I whispered that I was more than happier for her. Katie hugged me tightly and said “Thanks Alexa. You don’t realize how much that means to me.” As we broke our hug, we sat back and smiled at each other and a tear came to each of our eyes. As I sat back down, I decided that our girls’ lunch was getting to serious. “Just remember I still think he is a meathead. If he does anything bad to you he is going to have to deal with us! Me and Jenny. You tell him that.“ I told Katie which earned a laugh. “Don’t worry, He knows.” She replied.

The remainder of lunch felt like old times, which wasn’t that long ago. One thing it did was strengthen the close bond the three of us had. We continued to chat and have a wonderful afternoon along the lake. However, something continued to weigh on my mind as we laughed our lunch away. Marriage. Now it wasn’t just our immediate family making comments about the way Jenny and I acted around each other, it was the one person who knew us better than anyone. The hints about our future seemed to be getting stronger. I looked over at Jenny for a moment. The sun was framing her head in the most incredible way. She looked like an angel with a halo of sun around her. She turned and looked at me and the smile she had melted my heart. I sat in awe of this woman. When her smile changed from the one of laughter to the look of love I felt I was in heaven with my own personal angel. I returned the smile and she grabbed my hand. No words had to be said. As she turned back to Katie, something she said came flooding back to mind. She told Katie that if Katie and Danny kept it up they would be sisters! Even she was thinking it! It was that moment I knew I had one person to talk to.

We finished up our lunch and made our way back through the restaurant, a bit of a disturbance at one of tables could be heard. We could hear a woman demanding to see the manager. The voice sounded familiar and as we moved through the dining room and the manager approached the table, the voice became more than recognizable. “I would like to know why this little twit thinks that I should not be served anymore!” I watched Jenny move towards the table. I tried to grab her but I could tell there was no stopping her, so I followed closely along. As we were walking up, we could hear the manager explain that the waitress thought the woman had been drinking when she arrived and that after the third martini the woman had more than enough to drink. Before the woman could say anything, Jenny spoke “Mother what is going on here?”

‘Well, well if it wasn’t bad enough that these plebeians think I am overserved, my lesbian daughter and her freak partner show up. They actually allow your kind in this place?” Marilyn sneered at her daughter before Jenny could speak I decided I had enough of this woman.

‘How can you be so cruel to your daughter?” I asked. “She has done nothing, I repeat nothing to you. It’s bad enough that you treat her like a piece of crap in the privacy of your own home, but to publicly humiliate her like this is the cruelest thing you could do! Why Mrs. Thompson? Why do you do this?” Marylin stood up and stared me straight in the eye. “If you want to know the truth ALEX it is you, you freak! Ever since you came into her life, she has been nothing but trouble! She talks back, she acts out and she thinks she knows what is best. Well I know what is best for my daughter not some queer little freak!” Just as I was about to say something I watched Jenny step forward and slap her mother across the face.

“How dare you talk that way to her mother. Alexa has done nothing, nothing to you. You are living in some delusional little world! Alexa has done nothing to you, I have done nothing to you, Daddy has done nothing to you. You have done it all to yourself! You and that need to drink constantly. We tried to hep but you just kept going back. Well that’s it. I am done. I don’t ever want to hear from you again until you straighten up your act.” Marilyn could take no more, she reared back and was about to slap Jenny, when from out of nowhere came Katie’s hand. She grabbed Marilyn by the wrist and warned her not even think about it. Jenny moved off and I quickly followed her, catching her at the entrance. Expecting to find a weeping girlfriend I found a determined woman “Let’s get the hell away from the bitch!” Jenny said as she dragged me out the door to her car. Katie was behind us instantly. In a way only Katie could diffuse a situation, she spoke up “Wow you two. I have to come out lunch with you guys at the lake more often. That was fun! “ Jenny instantly relaxed and began laughing. “That was kind of fun” Jenny admitted “I have wanted to do that for so long.” She then turned and pulled me in for a kiss. “Thank you for standing up to her back there.” I asked her why would she ever question I would do that. We smile at one another and moved in for another kiss, only to be stopped by Katie. “Enough you two. Save it for later.”.

We drove back to the house where unfortunately; our time was short as Katie had to work that night. We said our good byes and shared one more hug. Katie whispered in my ear “Watch her. And come home some time. I miss my little sister annoying me.” I just grinned and pulled Katie in tighter. I told her to take care of the meathead and not to let him control her. Katie and Jenny shared a hug and soon it was just the two of us. We linked hands and headed out to the patio to hang out and enjoy the remainder of the day. As Jenny cuddled up into me is when it hit. The strong woman who had been at the restaurant disappeared only to be replaced by a crying little girl. I didn’t say anything. I knew what was on her mind, I just held the most precious thing in the world to me. When she was done and pulled her self together, no words were exchanged. No thank you’s, no your welcomes. The only thing that happened was she kissed me on the cheek and smiled. That was all that needed to be done.

By Sunday most of the soreness from my ribs had completely vanished. This was proven one afternoon when ‘Nurse Jenny’ made another house call to check on my progress. That one lasted much longer and resulted in us both rushing upstairs giggling away as we heard Martha the cook drive in. The ‘care’ Nurse Jenny gave me had definitely helped me recover to the point we could fall back into our old routines. Whenever we were talking to Marty or Mary and I was my old smart alek self, Jenny felt more comfortable elbowing me in the ribs. I did play it up a few times, mostly because I knew that Jenny would be all apologetic and begin babying me again. A little play action such as this on Sunday set up the chance I needed.

We had awoken early on Sunday morning for no apparent reason. Following a morning of splendor, we both decided we needed some coffee, so we slipped on some shorts and a t-shirt and padded downstairs to find that the coffee had already been made. We each poured ourselves a cup and went out on the patio to enjoy the morning. We found Marty out there in his typical Sunday mode. Kicked back in a lounge chair, cup of coffee at his side and him reading one of about a dozen newspapers. Jenny and I took the sofa across from him and cuddled up together. Marty was surprised to see us so early and asked if we had even gone to bed. I tried to tease Jenny saying she wouldn’t let me sleep and that I needed to get up. As I thought, this earned me the playful elbow which I played it up for all it was worth, feigning major injury. Jenny instantly became the most sympathetic person alive. She was all over me trying to make sure I was OK and was wondering if there was anything she could do. That is when it hit me, I could use this as my chance to talk with Marty alone. I told her she could get me a bagel. I knew we didn’t have any and she would have to go to the store. She instantly agreed and asked if I wanted to come with her to the store and I told her no thanks and she was fine with it for a change. Soon she was on her way to Bruegger’s and I was left alone for a ‘talk’ that I never in a million years dreamed I would be making. After making sure Jenny was gone, I took a deep breath and began “Marty, I need to talk to you about something.”

“Sure Alexa, whatever you need” Marty said from behind his newspaper. This frustrated me a bit and I asked if he would put down his newspaper for a minute. As he did I could see a mixture of expressions on his face. I think he was a bit shocked that I had been somewhat forceful, but there was another look. I can’t really describe it. He was happy and resigned at the same time. I wouldn’t call it a look of relief, more one of acknowledgement. I took another breath and started the conversation.

“You know I love Jenny more than anything in the world. That she is my life. I would do anything for her and I know that I wouldn’t be here without her.” I paused and starred at Marty as I tried to get my emotions under control. “My accident really scared me, but it left me with one conviction.” The tears really started to stream at the point and I could barely breathe. “Marty, I want to ask Jenny marry me if you are OK with it.” There I said it. I said it out loud to someone. My whole body was now shaking as I sat there. I watched Marty and the little grin turned into a big smile. He said something but I didn’t hear him. I kept babbling on about how I know that Jenny and I have only been together a short time and that we were young but that none of that mattered. I knew that we belonged together. That’s when I stopped, I asked him what he said.

The smile turned into a laugh. “What I said was ‘It’s about time’ Alexa. I am not that far out of it that I don’t see that what you two have is special. Heck, I have never seen two people who belong together more than you and Jennifer. You changed my little girl from a brooding somewhat self-centered little brat into this wonderful, caring, lively person in what? Ten months? So, if you’re looking for my blessing to ask Jennifer to marry you the answer is yes.” I couldn’t take it anymore and broke down in tears of joy. I rushed over to Marty and wrapped him in a big hug and gave him a kiss on the cheek. I could not stop thanking him. He told me not to worry about it and told me I should go back to my chair and get control of myself so Jenny wouldn’t know what was going on. He asked me how I was going to do it and I admitted I didn’t know how. “I don’t even have a ring yet. And I have make sure it is the proper setting and there are so many things I have to do.” Marty began teasing me a bit. “You just need to relax Alexa. Let it happen.” That was when he started in with his advice. “If you need a ring, go see Fred Mueller at Nicollet Jewelers downtown. He will set you up.”

“No Marty I want to do this on my own” I said. Maybe a bit too forcefully but he still laughed.

“Alexa, now that you are becoming a part of this family, you need to use the family connections. Besides, I will let you in on a secret. Rich people stay rich because we are cheap. We don’t spend money unless we have to and we are always looking for a deal.” Marty began to laugh at himself for his own revelation. I just shot him a look and rolled my eyes. I was able to get myself put together and when Jenny got back with the bagels, everything appeared to be normal. However, as I sat there my head was spinning, I kept thinking how was I going to do this? When was I going to do this? And then the big one: Will she say yes? Whenever I was alone or the two of us were sharing some quiet time, these questions consumed my thoughts.

The next few weeks were maddening. I wanted to go look for a ring but didn’t know how I could. I had become consumed with the notion of proposing to Jenny and I couldn’t shake. I could never figure out a way I was going to be able to slip out and go look for a ring as long as the two of us were here. I had somewhat resigned myself to the fact that I was going to have to wait until school started when the two of us wouldn’t be joined at the hip. My luck changed a couple of weeks before school started. Jenny received a call from Dr. Burg saying he wanted to discuss Jenny’s Senior dissertation with her. That was it! That was my chance! So, I started hinting around that I would head down to the apartment while she was at her meeting and that we could go out to lunch afterwards. She thought that was a wonderful idea.

So finally, the day arrived. As Jenny was trying to decide what she should wear, I slipped a check into my purse. I wanted to be able to pull the trigger if I saw the ring that would take my breath away. After Jenny was finally finished dressing we made our way down to my car. This was going to be the first time I had driven since my accident. Jenny had been mothering me so bad she wouldn’t even let me drive my new car. As I got in I started to feel like the world was back to normal. I got comfortable and began playing with some of the features only to be admonished by my soulmate that I would have time to set everything up when she was at her meeting. We made our way through the mid-morning traffic and to campus and I dropped her off at Elliot Hall. We shared a kiss before she went in, then rather than head for the apartment, I made my way downtown.

I walked into the very high-end jewelry store that Marty had told me to go to. I had been in a jewelry store before, but nothing like this. Elegant would be the way to describe it. Rich wood and glass cases were everywhere. Each containing shinny objects that made me a bit dizzy. The little jewelry store I had bought Jenny her necklace at was nothing like this. I began to feel a bit uneasy when a young woman, not much older than myself came up to ask if she could help me. I started to try and say something before I turned and practically ran out the door. As I rounded the corner I caught my breath. There was no way I could go back in there. While the store might be the one my hopefully new family goes, it wasn’t me. I stood there for a second trying to decide what to do, when it hit me. I went over to my car and got in. I drove to the end of the Nicollet Mall and found a meter and I hopped out and found the store I was looking for. The little jewelry store I had come at Christmas. As I walked through the door and heard the old-fashioned bell chime the gentleman who I had spoken with at Christmas came around from behind the counter. “Good Morning” he said as he stood in front of me. “How can we help you this morning miss?” I looked around and my nerves instantly calmed. Well as much as they could, given that the reason I was here was to buy an engagement ring.

I stood there for a second before I finally blurted out very meekly that I was looking for an engagement ring. He just smiled a bit and led me over to the men’s rings. As I figured out what was happening, I stopped him “No not men’s rings. I am looking for a ring for my girlfriend.” He looked at me funny for a second and started to lead me over to another case in the store. I looked around and noticed there was no one else around and I asked him about this. “Well, we don’t get a ton of business this time of day, so it doesn’t pay for help. Besides I enjoy being able to help people.” As we got over to the women’s rings he looked up and asked me what exactly had in mind. As he looked at me, once again I could see a perplexed look come across his face as I explained to him that I wasn’t sure. I told him I wanted to keep it simple. I bent over the case and looked over the rings, while the man described some of the various designs. I didn’t even realize it, but my necklace had come loose and was hanging down as I was looking. The man suddenly stopped. “I remember you. You came in and a week later your friend came in and ordered the identical one on a rush job.” I stood up and smiled. Then as he studied me a bit he came to another realization. “You were the one on TV! I remember that now!” I became a bit guarded over this comment. I had learned that when people realize what I am, rather than who, they can become a bit cruel.

“Yes, that was me” I told him. I watched as his smile got bigger. “So, I have celebrities in my store!” he exclaimed and I blushed. From that moment, Alan Price, as I learned his name, was one of the nicest people I can imagine. I knew instantly that I had come to the right place. I felt more comfortable here than I did at the store Marty had recommended. While the purchase I was about to make would link me to that world forever, I would always be that small-town girl. Alan showed me various designs that seemed a little fancy, and then I saw it. It was simple, a large single diamond on a simple white gold band. Nothing crazy. No diamond clusters surrounding the main diamonds, no diamond chips along the ring itself. I asked if I could see and he smiled and brought it out. Alan began going over the aspects of the diamond and the setting. Things that I wasn’t really concerned about, all I knew is this was the one. When I asked him the price, he hesitated for a bit. “It may be a little pricey it’s $4399. I could knock a little off it, say give it to you for $4000 even. Unfortunately, I don’t do any financing, and layaway may take a bit for a student.” He almost looked sad as I could tell he wanted to help me out. But his sadness changed when I looked him straight in the eye and said, “Will you take a check?”

Ten minutes later I was on my way back to the apartment, the ring that would seal my fate forever was in my purse. And I was on top of the world for about seven blocks when it hit me, how was I going to propose? Should it be over dinner somewhere? Should it be at a quiet moment at the lake? I wanted it to be perfect. I had now replaced one worry with another. And as usual this would dominate my thoughts. I pulled up to the apartment and parked out front. I walked in the front door and up the stairs. I entered the apartment and found Jenny was already back from her meeting with Dr. Burg. She was sitting on the couch reading the newspaper. She turned and looked at me and my heart began to race. Was I going to really ask this angel to marry me? The smile she flashed melted me at that moment and I fell into a trance. I had said hello to her thousands of times, but today I was as speechless as I was that first day three years ago. Then she spoke “Hey babe, where have you been?” I hadn’t even thought of a cover. But before I could stammer out an answer she started speaking again. “You ever been to Matt’s?”

Matt’s? Matt’s? Should I know of a place called Matt’s? I looked at her again and I saw the eagerness in her eyes waiting for my answer. I was finally able to stammer an answer. “Matts? Yeah, I’ve been to Matt’s. Have you?” It was just enough to pull me out of my trance. She seemed excited about something. She hopped off the couch and pulled me in for a kiss. “Hi” she said as she broke the kiss and stepped back, never letting go of my hands. “Come on let’s go to Matt’s. I have never had a Jucy Lucy.” Jenny said as she began to pull me back out the door. I would have to remember to thank her one day, because the talk of going to the legendary hamburger joint is just what I needed. We made our way down to my car and headed for south Minneapolis.

As we got closer I began to wonder about what Jenny would think of the place. To put it simply Matt’s is a dive. The place is an old beer joint along Cedar Avenue that was famous for its hamburger. Not just any hamburger, but the Original Jucy Lucy. Two hamburger patties molded together with American Cheese in the middle. On weekends, the suburbanites flock to this place in droves to act like they are ‘slumming’. But during the week, it was a working-class beer joint, not exactly the kind of place the Lake Minnetonka crowd hangs out. So, with trepidation I held the door for Jenny as she walked form the glorious sunlight into the dimly lit corner bar that. We took a booth along the wall and as soon as our waitress came up we were ready to order. We each got a Jucy Lucy and when asked if I wanted onions, I didn’t even have to ponder. I answered no, which earned me a smile. It wasn’t long before our burgers came, along with our fries and a beer. I had to warn Jenny to be careful when she bit in, but she didn’t listen. The cheese began to ooze everywhere. Then the yelp of pain came next ‘OH MY GOD” Jenny screamed out before breaking out into a fit of giggles that took control of me too. ‘That is hot!” She said before taking a long swig of her Grain Belt. “I told you babe. These things are deadly. That’s why they have the signs all over” I told her as I pointed at one of the signs.

As we walked out of the bar I realized that I was doing the right thing. I not only had just had lunch with my girlfriend and lover but my best friend. As we had commented so many times, Jenny and I were soulmates. As we walked to the car, I watched a strange look come over Jenny. “You want to go walk around Nokomis?” she asked. This was a little strange, but I though why not since we were here. We got in my car and drove down Cedar Avenue and parked in the same lot we had so many months ago after that lunch with my mom. The idea of asking her started to pop into my head. As we were getting out, I grabbed my bag for that reason. I figured that if the time was right I would pop the question as we took our stroll. As we walked along, Jenny started chatting about her meeting today. I saw the bench where we had sat and I first learned of Abby and what Jenny had gone through. My palms began to get sweaty as we neared the spot. This might be the perfect place I thought. Just as I was getting my breathing under control, Jenny turned to me, saying she needed to say something.

“Lex, you know that you mean the world to me.” Came out of Jenny’s mouth and I started to get this ominous feeling like something bad was about to happen. I tried to say something but she told me to be quiet for a second. “We have had lots of great times over the last few months. The trip to Florida, the times out at the lake. They have all been wonderful.” I could feel my heart starting to sink. The tears were welling up in my eyes. This is it I thought. Jenny was breaking up with me. My heart was breaking. I could see that Jenny was getting a bit uneasy as well as she went on. After a brief pause she finally spoke again. “Those times have been the best time of my life so far, and I..” she stopped again. I reached for her but she blocked my arm. My heart was now officially torn. What would I do? I would never be able to find ANYONE like Jennifer Thompson. Finally, I saw her reach into her purse. I saw her slowly bend down and then she spoke.

“I don’t ever want those times to end. Alexa Marie Quinn will you marry me?”

Time stopped. My head began to spin. And my heart instantly mended itself. The tears I was shedding changed from one of fright to ones of sheer elation. I knelt and gave her a long deep passionate kiss. As we broke the kiss, I whispered the only answer I could ever give.

“Yes”

And another kiss was shared, and Jenny slowly slid the ring on my finger. I reached into my bag and produced the small maroon box that had been sitting there since this morning. Jenny’s eyes grew wide as I began to open the box and asked Jenny the question I had been contemplating for the last few weeks. “Jennifer Ann Thompson, will you marry me?”

“Oh my god Yes!” Jenny practically screamed and we once again engaged in a long passionate kiss. I slipped the ring on her finger and we hugged each other for several moments as we shared tears of joy. We finally got up and began giggling. “I can’t believe I made it through that!” Jenny said. I looked at her funny and she got a bit bashful. “I thought I was going to lose it before we even left Matt’s!” She said as we decided we needed to head back to the apartment. As we were walking along she suddenly stopped and turned and a confused look came over her face. “Wait a second. You had a ring? We’re you planning on asking me?” I just nodded. “When did you get a ring?” she asked me. Not to be out done, “When did you get a ring?” I asked her. “Oh no you go first since I asked first.” Jenny directed me. I took a deep breath.

“Well, I got the ring today as a matter of fact. But it is something that has been heavy on my mind since the accident.” I could see Jenny begin inspecting the tops of her feet and I heard her whisper “Me too”. I lifted her head up and looked her straight in the eye. “Don’t do that, please. We are both here. Ever since that day, I have picked up little hints from everyone like we are already married and that we belong together. I just needed to find a way to ditch you and your meeting today proved the perfect opportunity. I talked to your dad the other day and he mentioned Nicollet Jewelers, but that wasn’t my kind of place.” I then pointed at the necklace she wore around her neck. “So, I wound up at the place where I bought that, the rest as they say is history. I just didn’t know how I would ask you.” We shared a kiss before I stepped back and told her “your turn.”

Jenny took me by the hand and led me over to a bench. I could see tears of joy streaming down her face as I relayed the story. She began speaking after we were settled. “That night in the ER I thought I had lost you forever. I knew then that every day with you was the best day of my life. One afternoon after you were back home, grandma came over while you were napping. She could see that something was wrong and I told her how I felt. The smile that came across her face let me know I was right in the way I was thinking. She stood up and walked out of the house, coming back a few minutes later. She handed me a box. Inside the box was that ring. She told me that his was her engagement ring, given to her by my grandfather. She said she could think of no other person outside of our family she would be happier to see wear this ring than you. Ever since then, I have been worrying if we were too young, if we were rushing into things. And every time I thought those things may be true, I looked at you and realized I didn’t care. I love you Lex and I don’t ever, ever want to be without you again.” The two of us held each other as the tears poured like rain. I don’t know how long we had been there, but eventually the tears dried up. And we shared a long kiss. I stood up and held my hand out for her to take. Together we walked back to the car. It was then I realized what was going to happen and the excitement took over. I also knew that we had to tell one person and I had to stake my claim.

‘Let’s head back to the apartment. I need to tell my Maid of Honor.” I said with a devious grin. Jenny began to mock pout. “I was going to ask her” she told me. I called her a liar and she broke out giggling. ‘I knew you would want her. I am going to ask Julie. Once again all in the family.” she said.

After that decision, we practically sprinted to my car. The drive down Cedar Avenue seemed like it took forever, when it was its normal 20 minutes. We practically floated up the stairs and burst into the apartment. We knew Katie was home, as her purse was on the table but we didn’t see her. Jenny and both burst out yelling for her. Katie came walking out from her room. “You know as much as I have missed you two, it has been awfully quiet around here.” Katie said with a somewhat annoyed look as she studied us. She noticed the huge smiles on both of our faces. Cautiously she asked “What’s up?” Jenny and I looked at each other and giggled before I figured out how to tell Katie the good news. Finally, I came up with it.

“Katie” I asked “I was wondering if you could do me a favor?” Katie nodded, still a bit leery over what was going on. Jenny and I giggled again as we hung on each other. I then asked the question. “Would you be my Maid of Honor at our wedding?” Katie stood there as if trying to digest everything I had just said and then rushed Jenny and me. The screams of “Oh MY God!” coming from Katie were almost deafening. She wrapped both Jenny and I in a massive hug. ‘Seriously?” she asked and we both nodded and showed her the rings. She hugged us again before dragging Jenny and I into the living room where she began to question us about the whole thing. This most astonishing thing to her was that she was the first to know. “Both Jenny’s dad and grandmother know, sort of, as they were kind of confidants and I wanted to make sure Marty was OK with it. But there was only one person we though should know first.” Katie hugged me again. “Of course, I will be my little sister’s maid of honor.” As she broke away, she said we needed to celebrate and that we did. Jenny somehow produced a bottle of champagne from the refrigerator, one she had stashed earlier. She poured a glass for each of us. However before either Jenny or I could say anything, Katie proposed a toast.

“A year ago, I could never have imagined the two of you together, but now I could never imagine the two of you apart. The love you two share is the most beautiful love I have ever seen. May the two of you have a long life together full of love and happiness. I love you guys.”

The three of us clinked glasses and took a sip before collapsing back on the couch. As Jenny relayed the events of the afternoon to our roommate. After all that I had been through. King Richard kicking me out of the family, the reconciliation with my mother, the loss of my job, the accident and this whole journey of discovering who I am. All of it. There have been two constants in my life, and they were both here with me. And now I knew they always will be.



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