Date: June 7th, Sunday, 9:45 PM, 2015
Stargazing. Araxie's favourite hobby. Doing it with her sister feels wrong.
The midnight blue sky is exuberant, twinkling with bright, white sparkles and fireflies. Jackson turns his head to look at Hope, his face illuminated by the stars. He digs his fingers into the soft grass of the hill.
“Are you sure she won’t find out?” Hope asks Jackson, her voice barely audible over Jackson’s panicky thoughts.
This isn’t right. Araxie does everything for me. I shouldn't be doing something she loves doing with someone else. Especially not her sister.
He had just gotten home from work, his eyes were half-closed, and he was yawning.
“Honey!” Araxie beckoned him to the kitchen.
Jackson stumbled towards the tiny kitchen like a drunk man, leaning on the door frame. “What is it?!” He snapped.
“U-uhm,” Araxie started, brushing her hay-straight black hair behind her ear and avoiding Jackson’s eyes. “I-I made some strawberry muffins for you.” She stuttered, revealing a dozen muffins on a platter.
Jackson scoffed as if this were the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. “Araxie, why did you bake another fatty food?! You’re already big enough!” He yelled, covering his mouth in horror as soon as the words came out.
She’s not fat… she’s actually very fit. What is wrong with me?!
“But Jackson,” She began, avoiding his eyes and watching the white tile floor below her soft, bare feet. She pats her stomach softly. “You know that I’m eating for two!” She cries, her eyes full of tears.
“Well, too bad! Lose some weight.” Jackson commanded, turning away from her.
That night, as he lay in bed, the guilt ate him alive.
No, no, no! This is wrong! I shouldn’t have said that, because it’s not her fault. She’s pregnant.
Jackson thought, patting Araxie’s side of the bed. He then realizes that her side of the bed is unoccupied. He scolded himself for not realizing that her warmth was gone. Suddenly, as he looked up, he saw the front door open, and Araxie stood in the doorway, her expression haggard.
All of Jackson’s intentions of apologizing disappeared as soon as he saw her in her favourite maroon coat, the one she wore to every family event.
“Where have you been?!” He exclaimed, jumping off of his cosy king bed and running down the hall towards the front door.
“I’ve been out, Jackson,” Araxie told him quietly. She began to place her maroon jacket on the long, hickory-coloured coatrack.
What the hell does she mean 'out'?! Ugh, she's so irritating! She's probably cheating on me.
Jackson lifted her up by the collar of her grey, short sleeve shirt. “Have you been cheating on me?!” He yelled, snarling at Araxie. His fist tightened around the collar of her shirt, and the shaky breaths Araxie took were the only thing that was heard.
Araxie shook her head, the sounds of wheezing erupting from her throat. Jackson threw her on the floor, and she crippled upon the wood, her face near her knees. She stayed there, sobbed until she had no more tears to cry.
Did I do the right thing? I don't want her to die, should I say sorry? I just get really cross when she goes out and doesn't tell me, and she knows that. She probably did it on purpose.
“I went to the gym to work out.” She told Jackson, showing him her body, which looked extremely thin. Jackson’s brown eyes widened in concern. He saw her ribs jutting out, the structure so clear now that she’s extremely skinny.
“Jack?” Hope is in front of Jackson, crawling on all fours. “What’re you thinking about?” She asks you, her hazel eyes narrowed.
“I’m thinking about Araxie.” Jackson blurts out, pushing Hope out of his way. She lands on her bottom, batting her long eyelashes at him.
“Why? You have me.” Hope tells Jackson, ruffling his hair. Jackson shoves her hand away, chewing on his bottom lip. “Besides, she never cared about your happiness,” Hope says, fidgeting with her pencil-shaped earrings.
Jackson glares at Hope. “If you were loyal to Araxie at all, you wouldn’t be saying those things.” He seethes, standing up.
“I could say the same about you, Jackson.” Hope purrs, grabbing Jackson’s callused hand with her soft one.
"Whatever," Jackson mutters, sitting up. "You're her sister, so you should be more faithful to her than me." Jackson's phone begins ringing, and he digs around in his pants pocket until he felt the soft, reassuring texture of his phone.
"Hello, who's this?"
"Uhm... is this Jackson Myers?"
"Yes, now who is this?"
"This is Myrline Parker." There is sorrow heard in her voice, and Jackson feels a feeling of dread as he continues to speak.
"What'd your business calling me?"
"Well, exactly what connection do you have to Araxie Morales?" Myrline asks.
Jackson flinches. "I'm her fiancé." He answers, staring at his phone. "Why? Is there something wrong with her?" He asks.
Myrline laughs awkwardly, her voice like metal. "I'm very sorry for your loss, sir." She says, taking a deep breath.
"Wh-what?" Jackson asks, his voice trembling. His hands begin to shake, and he almost drops his phone. "N-no. How did she die?"
"Well, anorexia and coronary artery disease." Myrline answers. "It seems that she's been starving herself. Do you know anything about that?"
Jackson shakes his head, brushing his straight black hair back. "No, I didn't know anything about that." Which was true, he knew that she had been on a 'diet,' as she always told him, but truth-be-told, he had never been too concerned, knowing that Araxie could take care of herself.
Jackson began to panic. "What about the baby?!" He asks, his chocolate brown eyes full of tears.
Myrline is silent for a second. "I'm so sorry sir, but we didn't find a baby. Are you sure she's pregnant?" She says.
"Yes, we went to the doctor."
There's background chatter, and then Myrline comes back on the phone. "Oh, yes. I'm afraid the baby didn't survive either." She tells Jackson.
Those words hit Jackson like a tsunami, and he begins to sob, hanging up the phone and throwing it somewhere on the bottom of the hill.
Dammit! Dammit, what the hell is wrong with me?! She loved me! For real. Unlike anyone else. My stupid insecurities made me lose the woman I love, I'm so freaking stupid!
Jackson feels Hope staring at him with a confused expression, but he ignores her, laying down in the soft grass around him and watching the stars, which are blurry blotches in the sky from his tears.
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This was very interesting to read, especially when the beginning exposes Jackson's lack of commitment to Araxie. Including his thoughts was a great way to reveal his guilt, I was curious to know more of where his anger (and violence) came from. I wanted to know what insecurities he had to be cheating/harsh/angry to his fiancé?
Thanks for the advice, Ashley! This means a lot to me. I changed it a bit so that people would know why, but I didn't really say anything about him or his backstory, which I do regret now that you mention it. He had many girlfriends before Araxie, and he found out that they all wanted something more, (unlike him) so when he was about to be married to Araxie, the pressure took over and he thought that Araxie needed more too, because she was getting distant, but it was because of the stress of the marriage. Hope that helps! Again, thanks...
All good! I look forward to reading more :)
This is such a powerful writing, Avalee! You are certainly becoming better at this. Bravo! Mind checking out my new story and sharing your views on it? Thanks;)
Thanks, Batool! I tried to make this story a bit different, so thank you (again). :) I'll check out your new stories (I like reading other people's stories)
That hit SOOO hard! WONDERFUL!!!!!
Thank you so much, Phebe! :)
Congrats on your new points!