Like a snake swayed by a charmer, Jewel went back again to Selena’s page. She clicked the “Refresh” button, and a new photo album
appeared, just posted. “City Kisses.” With a shudder, Jewel let herself look. Trevor and Selena at Alki Beach, kissing on a red-and-
orange beach towel. Trevor and Selena at a Thai restaurant downtown, feeding each other Crying Tiger with chopsticks. Trevor and
Selena riding the elevator up the Space Needle, kissing again. Jewel clicked into another album. More kissing. They seemed to do a lot
of kissing. They liked to document it, apparently. A kiss at the Museum of Flight, posing with John F. Kennedy’s Air Force One jet. Oh,
look, a picture of Selena with her back turned, blowing kisses to the geese at Green Lake. Apparently the geese shared Trevor’s
appreciation of her truly perfect derriere in its truly too-short skirt.
Jewel was still staring at the screen, spasmodically clicking her way through Selena’s entire photo collection, when the telephone began
to ring. Jewel reached for it with one hand, without turning her head or blinking her eyes.
“Trevor left me. I mean, he has a new girlfriend. I found her on Facebook this afternoon. She’s really h-hot…” Jewel gazed piteously up
at Sara’s face and burst into tears. Sara dropped her bag on the floor and leaped to the rescue, plopping herself down on the couch and
wrapping her arms around Jewel, patting her back, reaching for tissues from a box on the coffee table and stuffing them into Jewel’s
“Oh, Jewelie, I’m so sorry. What an animal he is. She can’t be hotter than you are, it’s just not possible. What a bad day you’re having.
Don’t be sad, baby, you still have me. You deserve so much better than this. There are other fish in the sea, and they aren’t all rotten like
he is. Here’s another tissue, just drop that one on the floor. There’s no one here but us, and we can make a mess if we want to.”
Her words ran over Jewel’s head and down her back like a cascade of warm water. Jewel was crying too hard to hear them clearly, but
the general effect was soothing, and after a while, she was too tired to cry so hard anyway. The tears slowed, she blew her nose one more
time, and Sara helped her sit up, keeping an arm around her.
“Bed for you, sweetie pie,” said Sara decisively. “Tomorrow’s Saturday. We’ll sleep late and talk things over. Let me put some dinner into
you and then you can curl up in the guest bed and pass out. I can see that’s all you want in the world.”
“That and true love,” squeaked Jewel, starting to cry again.
The Other Side of the Bonfire
The story starts with pain and loss, like so much of life. Jewel has lost again. But this
time she's thinking about why this keeps happening to her. And a dear old friend will
give her the brutal truth and the help she needs to forge a new life.
The rest is up to Jewel. She'll discover some new talents. A chance encounter will
bring her some new friends. But she's also still hurting deeply from her past. Follow
Jewel as she puts together a life and still hopes to find a true love.
Excerpts from The Other Side of the Bonfire
“I can’t believe this,” Jewel said to the empty room. “What did I click? Is this right? I
can’t believe this.”
But she could. Trevor was in the pictures. When she rolled the cursor over his face,
his name popped up, a little black sign with white letters on it, hiding his eyes. The
woman who had posted the pictures was beautiful, artfully so, and she radiated a raw,
animal confidence that could be felt even through layers of electronic dissociation.
Jewel touched the laptop screen with one finger. It was real. She went back to Trevor’s
Facebook page and clicked the link again to make sure this tiny motion of her finger
would have the same cataclysmic effect a second time.