Prologue and Chapter 1

Prologue

“She’d fallen in love with him the first day she’d talked to him…”

How funny to think back now and realize the fact.  My name is Joliet.  I’m a small-town North Carolina sweetheart.  Little did I know that at the age of thirteen, almost fourteen, my life would change forever.  I met this amazing young man on a chat site one night, much by accident.  Wait, I’m getting ahead of myself here.  Let me start over…

 My name is Joliet Ruby.  I was born and raised in good ‘ole North Carolina.  Since I was a young girl, I’ve always wanted to be a veterinarian.  I grew up much like many small-town kids do, with more “parents” and “grandparents” than you could hope to imagine.  My family’s always had problems, but whose family doesn’t?  My parents are divorced, and my father has been remarried too many times to count.  I remember as a little girl playing with my dad and little brother, yet those happy times also include sad times.  When my parents argued, when my dad left taking my brother for awhile…this may sound bad, but I had a happy childhood.

My childhood was indeed happy, however I can’t say the same about my early teenage years.  So much happened during that time it’s almost hard to comprehend.  One day I came home from school only to have a ‘talk’ with my Momma; I couldn’t stay home alone anymore.  Why?  My father was Bipolar and she was scared he’d try to do something.  Needless to say I was shocked.  How could MY dad have a mental illness that had no cure?!  I stayed at my Granny’s house from then on when my mom wasn’t home. 

I looked up Bipolar whenever I got the chance, and I helped take care of my Granny.  You see, not only was my father sick, my Granny had been sick for a long time and wasn’t getting any better.  She had diabetes and it was slowly killing her.  She’d already had a liver transplant because of it and now she needed a kidney transplant.  Watching her get weaker each day took a major toll on me; she was like my second mother.

1

Joliet glanced up from her computer screen.  In this century it made sense to type instead of write, but oh how she missed the feel of the pen touching the paper.  She blinked, clearing her thoughts and looked at the clock.  It was three in the morning.  Noticing for the first time how tired she was, Joliet saved the file.  After closing down the laptop and hiding it, she exited her study and slowly made her way down the hall.  She stopped to check on her sleeping children and found them out like a light.  She smiled to herself knowing in her heart these children were her blessings.  Joliet continued down the hall and quietly entered her room.  Slipping gently into the bed, she was asleep before her head hit the pillow.

The next morning she was up before anyone else in the house.  She glanced at the clock; 5 a.m.  She’s only been asleep for two hours.  She suddenly felt the need to write so she quickly and quietly eased herself out of bed and made her way down to the study.  Carefully, she removed her laptop from its hiding place.  While waiting for it to boot up, Joliet glanced out the window.  She’d been blessed in this life; she was sure of it.  The laptop caught her attention with a minor “ding” to signal the need for a password.  Joliet punched in the password and waited until the home screen was up before clicking on the icon that read “Story”.  After reading what she’d written so far, she started typing, adding more to the story.

~~~

My Granny was the one person that I could talk to about anything; she was the one who use to cuddle with my cousin and I and read us bedtime stories, complete with the different voices.  I didn’t realize then that memories like that would mean so much to me in the near future.  My Granny had to go to dialysis three times a week because her kidneys weren’t working correctly.  Every day she had dialysis, I was scared for her.  It sucked the life out of her.  We started saying ‘Good’ days were the ones without dialysis.  It was pure torture just to watch what it did to her; I can’t even begin to imagine what it felt like to BE her in that situation.

The beginning of a few sad years came on July 31st, 2009.  My mom got a call really late at night/early in the morning from my Granny.  Rule #1 in our house: Late night calls or early morning calls are bad news.  Little did we know how bad this call actually was.  This call is one that tore my whole world apart as it did for the rest of my family; my Granny had had a massive heart attack.  After she’d been taken to the hospital, they put her on a vent and everything.  Later when everyone got to the hospital, excluding me, they were taking her in for more tests.  I regret not going that day because that was the last time anyone heard her voice ever again.  When she saw everyone she said, “Oh, hey..”. 

My Granny passed away on August 1st, 2009.  Together as a family we decided to take her off of the ventilator and everything; she didn’t want it anyway.  At her funeral, we played “Go Rest High On The Mountain” by Vince Gill and to this day I still can’t listen to it without crying. 

~~~

Joliet wiped tears away from her eyes and felt a hand on her shoulder.  Her husband and true love stood there, “I thought I might find you here.  Are you okay baby girl?”  Quickly saving and closing the file, she look up at him.  “How long have you been standing there?”  “Not long.”  Joliet looked at the clock; 5:30 A.M.  She must have woken him when she got out of bed.  “Want some breakfast?”, she said with a forced smile.  Looking at him, she already knew the answer even before he said the words.  “Sure baby.”  He then held out his hand to her just as he always did, but instead of letting her start walking to the kitchen he pulled her close and hugged her tight.  “I love you.”  Joliet’s throat closed up with emotion because he always knew just what to say, he’d always known just what to say.  They stood hugging for a few minutes until he finally let her go and took her hand once again.  Hand in hand, they walked down the stairs and to the kitchen where Joliet was shocked.  He’d already cooked breakfast for the two of them and it was her favorite.  She looked at him and he just shrugged, “I got up when you did, but figured you needed time alone so I decided to cook us something.”  Instead of answering, she walked up to him and kissed him on the cheek.  “Thank you baby.  It looks delicious.”

They sat down at the table and enjoyed a nice breakfast together in a comfortable silence.  Once they’d both finished eating, they put the dishes in the sink and went to watch television.  By this time, their youngest child, Kayden, was wide awake and bounding down the stairs with more energy than anyone should have at this time in the morning.  Joliet smiled at her husband and went to meet their son at the bottom of the stairs.  When he saw his mother, Kayden, who was eight at the time, jumped into her arms and gave her a big hug.  “Good mornin’ mommy”  “Good morning sweetie,” she said as she carried him into the living room.  She set him down on the floor and he immediately went to his father, “Morning Daddy!”  Joliet sat down on the couch and watched the two of them talk and play for what seemed like hours.  It was 6:30 before Kayden realized his favorite show was on.  He stopped playing with his dad and curled up to watch TV.  Watching the two of them curled up together made Joliet smile and she quietly slipped away to her study to write some more.

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