Jeremy’s POV (Interlude)
Brett and I have been friends since our time in the military, serving in Afghanistan, Iraq, and so many other “exotic” places, that tourists would never visit- if they knew the real hard truth outside their restricted views. We would gladly, without hesitation, risk our lives on the battlefield for one another any day. After his precious wife Isabella died of cancer, he withdrew away from all of our former group of friends we’d made since landing here years ago.
Isabella was the perfect woman for Brett and a wonderful mommy for Stasi. I can’t imagine being gone already so many years. Such a beauty inside and out; she had such a compassionate, caring spirit. She was always doting over both Brett and Stasi like they were her entire world. While she was humble, her outgoing nature just immediately lit up any place she ventured upon. With all her virtues and almost saintly disposition, that would completely evaporate in a second if she thought anyone was messing with Brett or Stasi. Additionally, if she saw a child or elderly person being disrespected or mistreated, we pitied the perp, because the wrath of a Hellion would descend upon them- like a lioness defending her cubs. As soon as the situation was resolved though, the Guardian Angel reappeared like nothing had happened and resumed whatever she was doing, without missing a beat.
Gosh, for so long I was slightly envious and even a bit jealous of Brett’s luck and happiness.
For years, I held out hope that someday I would find a woman that would halfway measure up to Isabella as a wife and mother.
When she died, I realized when God made her, he broke the mold and there would never be another. Since then I’ve compared every woman to her, and they have always failed the test.
WAKE UP, JEREMY. Now you see why all your relationships have failed miserably? Your image of the perfect woman was a dream, a fantasy, resulting from an infatuation type worship of your best friend’s wife! She wasn’t perfect, but you only remembered your perception of her as an Angel, almost a Saint. Do you wonder why you and Brett couldn’t talk about Isabella after she passed?
Both of us had clearly lost the most important woman in our lives so suddenly. Instead of helping each other grieve and heal, you avoided each other like the plague. It’s high time to repair this wound and restore your friendship finally once and for all. Wouldn’t Isabella want the very best for us all, I thought to myself hearing her voice echoing in my head once again.
Fate sometimes intervenes to help us fix ourselves; if we will just concern ourselves with the problems, emotions, and pain others are experiencing instead of pitying ourselves.
This is the first step towards making sure you are the real friend Brett needs now, not later when it’s more convenient for your “busy life” schedule, so damn it, get started.
Stasi has grown up, indeed. Remember, it’s been almost ten years. Did you expect her to remain a 10 year old with slightly crooked teeth forever? Now you’re over the initial shock of Stasi being a beautiful, young woman filled with her mom’s spirit and gorgeous looks, what’s next?
You know something is wrong with Brett. Otherwise he wouldn’t have called in such a panic and entrusted you with the only precious treasure left in his life.
Your only clue is sitting down at the end of the bar, almost 21, definitely a woman on the outside. You can feel the hurt she carries inside from her reaction to your name. She’s not the little girl anymore who you chased around the yard and pushed on the swing set so many times. Your best friend and his daughter need your help and understanding; so you only have one decision to make.
How are you going to make the best of this situation and be the friend Brett and Stasi need at this moment?
It’s only a month, after all. How complicated can this be anyways? There’s no bottles, diapers or 2am feedings, how difficult can this be, really?