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
“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 curled fingers.
“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.