I don’t know how long the silence lasted, but I couldn’t take it anymore and said, “You could have told me that in a text or I could have seen it in a Facebook status,” I stood up. I had to get out of there. I wasn’t sure why Jackson telling me he was about to start a family hurt me so bad. Maybe it’s because I wanted and still want it to be me.
Jackson stood with me and followed me as I walked out. I wanted air.
“I owed it to you to tell you in person,” Jackson said pulling my wrist once we got outside.
“Owed it to me?” I laughed, mostly to keep from crying. “You’ve got a lot of nerve Jackson and I’ve got a lot of nerve being here.”
“I’m glad you’re here. Danielle, you’re my best friend.” Jackson refused to let me go. It’s something we both couldn’t do since that first day we met online.
I just looked at Jackson. Remembering all the years of friendship we built together, all the love we’d shared. It hurt knowing he wasn’t mine anymore. I wanted to hurt him so that he could feel a fraction of what I felt at that moment. “So are you going to open up your marriage after the baby?” I asked with venom in my tone snatching my wrist out of his electric grip. I know he could still feel the energy between us.
“Don’t nothing Jackson. You can’t control my reaction to this sh-tty news.”
“OK, so before we jump off the deep end, can we just take a second and remember what we have?”
Jackson had to be joking, Remember what we have? Up until today, we didn’t have anything anymore. I’d had a semi-clean breakup with Jackson. We both moved on and avoided each other. And then here he comes, back in my life, starting a family without me. I tried to calm myself down, but I was buzzing with the ache of all of it.
“What we have. I still want you in my life,” Jackson pleaded with me.
“Why Jackson? Because we’re best friends?” The sarcasm in my tone slapped him across the face.
He looked at me with disappointment. “We were. I want that back.”
“You want the cake and you want to eat it too?” I asked,
“No.” Jackson sighed, “I want to enter this new stage in my life with my best friend by my side. I’m not cheating on my fiance.”
“But aren’t you?” I asked Jackson, genuinely curious as to why he thought his sneaking around with me wasn’t the beginning stages of cheating. And then he got me all the way together.
“She knows I’m here with you Danielle. She knows how I feel about you.”
Well, isn’t that the ideal relationship? And I was there without my dude knowing, literally risking everything I was building with him because I was holding on to the hope of getting back together with Jackson–finally winning Jackson. I needed to get out of there.
“Well, congratulations Jackson,” I walked away from Jackson, choking on my own tears. I didn’t want him to see me crying.
“Danielle,” he followed me.
“What do you want from me Jackson?” The tears were clinging to the corner of my eye.
“You! Your friendship,” He grabbed me.