In retrospect, not only did that catastrophe leave her devastated, it had also produced a strong woman in Jennifer. She was only 22, but her résumé left her over qualified for a sufferer. Five years ago is as fresh as a wound inflicted by the canine of a lion. Maxwell may have died, but she sees him each time she looks at her little boy. She can then afford a smile.
So many things have happened ever since the unfortunate incident. Oceans had poured out of her eyes. It was never healthy for an expectant woman. The worst months of her life she may have called them. She could talk to herself. The strange part was she had seen no one from Max’s family show up. Not even his parents.
“Maxwell, Oh my dear Maxwell. Why did you have to leave me? You promised me of a future together. You swore never to leave me. I wish our son could take a look at you. Who will ever teach him to be a real man like you were?” She could lament endlessly.
Her hallucinations were her refuge. If only RIP meant return if possible.
As soon as she had conceived, she had embarked on a mission to complete school. Her friends were talking university now, some could mock her. She never imagined completing school a year later. She imagined how different things would have been if she had never signed up for Facebook. Yet again, she could not have met Max; in that way it was worth it. However, complete school she did and now in university pursuing Public Administration. She is really a tough cookie. Most people never get up to their feet.
Her therapist had suggested that the best way to heal was to share her story, specifically through writing. She knew this could be easy as her journal could easily be her first draft.
She had decided to tell her story and plan to her philosophy lecturer who had seemed both touched and supportive. His name was Mr Zulu, but insisted Jenifer call him Paul. Paul was a young man in his early thirties. He was nice, understanding and kind ever since she moved into campus. She was confident he would help her out. He had agreed to help her publish her book and also for her to ask him if she needed anything just during her stay in campus.
Paul and Jennifer grew so close at times it was impossible to hide this during lectures. Her mates could tease her about how she liked Paul. Paul was not married at all. Jennifer could see Paul was so attracted to her. She thought she was blessed for always meeting good men. Actually, her little boy’s 5th birthday party was actually all on him. She did like Paul, but not enough to be with him. She always thought she would betray Max had she gone out with another dude. Even after 5 years, she was not over her first love.
Fast forward: Two years later
Now in their final year, Mary her friend had noticed this relationship had never progressed. Jenny was clearly lucky to have a guy like Paul around her. Why would she not give him a chance? Mary always wondered.
“So I know it’s none of my beeswax, but I can’t help but notice you kinda are avoiding Paul in some way. Listen Jenny, you should consider yourself a very lucky girl. After all that has occurred in your life, you are still blessed enough to have a good guy pursuing you. Why not give him a chance?” Mary asked.
Jennifer remained silent for a while.
“I appreciate your concerns Mary, but you don’t understand it is not that easy” Jenny said
“I know you still think about Max, but you have to move on. Max will never come back. Remember you are growing older. Before you know it, no more men will pursue you. I’m sure Max would be happy to know you found true love” Mary said softly
She stormed off to the bathroom.
“Max will never come back”. Those words from Mary’s speech hurt her so much. She still thought he would come back. In the bathroom, she shed rivers. “Max would be happy to know you found true love”. She kept thinking about Mary’s words. She eventually realised her friend was right, but she wasn’t totally convinced.
The next day, Paul informed her that the book was being printed in the US by his friend who had agreed to market her book globally because it was a huge story. She felt so elated. She couldn’t conceal her excitement. She hugged Max tightly and thanked him for everything he had done for her.
“Anytime” was all Paul said to her.
Paul had convinced her to re-activate her Facebook account as these were NEW BEGINNINGS. Everyone was glad to comment welcome back when she made her first post. She felt so happy after a long time. She knew she owe her happiness to Paul, he had been through it all with her. Maybe it was time to give him a chance.
She was to graduate in two months and the pressure from her peers coercing her to date Paul was increasing by the day.
“You know what, just give Paul to me if you do not want him. There is no way you can overlook such a handsome, educated and wealthy man after you”, another of her friends joked around.
All her friends laughed, including Jennifer.
Maybe it was time. Maybe she could ask him out herself because the only reason she thought he never did (officially) was because he was shy. Anyway, lucky for him, his actions had spoken myriads for him.
So she invited him for dinner the next week. Good thing her roommate had gone home for the weekend and so she had the room to herself. They talked for a long time and later watched a movie. It was so romantic; she had never imagined any of this to happen to her after losing Max. She hoped she hadn’t betrayed him, she hoped he could understand.
Later on, he thanked her for the nicely cooked dinner and the time well spent and was about to leave. They embraced, but never to both let go. She kissed him on his lips and he responded quite well. Her chest against his, this thing was leading to another. She started to help him shed off his jacket. She had only done it once her whole life, but she was in such control. She realised this part of her being had been left unattended to for a long time and all her feelings and cravings came rushing back at her. They began to overpower her.
Like a flash of lightening or maybe suddenly, Paul pulled away quickly and held back his jacket to restore it to its previous position.
“I’m so sorry, I can’t do this. I have to leave. Please have a goodnight” He said awkwardly with no eye contact.
Jennifer was left in shock. How and why could he resist her? Had she began getting old like Mary once said? No she was still perfect. She had a banging body. No one could have ever guessed she was a mother. Why did Paul act that way? Was he gay? She was in complete perturbation.
The next day when she saw him, never had she imagined having an awkward moment with Paul. He said “hi” frantically and walked away. She wanted to apologise for instigating that act the previous night. Their relationship took a very crazy shift until two months later on her graduation day. She could never have guessed this even if she had hope.
She was glad to have graduated with a merit, and was asked to give a speech to inspire everyone that whatever they went through, they could still stand on their feet and be stable again. Her speech was so touching and everyone wanted to shake her hand after.
She couldn’t believe what she saw next. She beheld a familiar face. She had imagined this, but she had never really believed it. Was this day playing tricks on her mind? Her mother held her firmly and told her to be strong.
She saw a man she had known a while back and who in his hands held her son. Was her hallucination back? She saw Paul standing next to him. He smiled at her. She stood frozen like a statue.
“Maxwell Hernandez is that you? She asked in a soft voice.
She had a very huge expression of shock on her face.
“In the flesh”, he smiled her.
She was so overcome by shock, she passed out. When she awakened, she was in Maxwell’s arms.
“I know you think I died, but I have a lot to tell you” he said.
So Maxwell on the day of the car crush had dropped into a comma. His mother was quickly alerted of the situation and had found a way to instruct the doctor that her son had died in the eyes of the girl and her family. The following week, Max was moved to the UK were he could receive treatment. Max’s mum was a snob. She never wanted Max to marry low and when she had heard (from her spies) that her son was seeing a girl of not quite her ideal class, she was in such indignation.
The car crush was a plus to her. She had to ‘save’ her son from what she thought was a curse of bonding with people that lacked a social status. Apparently, she had suggested he marry the governor’s daughter, but clearly he went against her plans.
Paul was smart enough to solve this puzzle. After Maxwell had helped him complete his education, he had always believed to have owe Max one. When he realised Jennifer fitted the description of Max’s girl he had vowed to take care of her until such a time he could help the two reunite. The time was finally here. He had told Max about this and they both agreed the best day for the reunion was her graduation day.
Jennifer was so overwhelmed she couldn’t believe this, but was overjoyed to look Max in his eyes again. Her son’s father was back.It was like the demised love of her life had heard her cries and decided to resurrect. She now understood why Paul had always acted the way he did. He definitely was their son’s god father and the best man on their wedding the following month. Her book was a best seller. Could things be any better?
Let’s just say they lived happily ever after.