Hana woke feeling slightly groggy, but well rested. Aunt Enid was dozing in her chair nearby and the sun was low in the sky. Stretching, she yawned just loudly enough to rouse her aunt. Enid straightened up, smiling.
“You had a good nap. Now you won’t want to sleep tonight.”
“Actually, I think I could sleep again, with no trouble at all.”
“Feeling any better?”
“Yeah, I am. Do you think he’ll even want to see me?”
“I know he will. His father gave him a shot too, so he may still be sleeping.”
“Have I ruined it all, Auntie?”
“No, sweetheart. It can still be mended. Now you know you can trust him. There’s no need to worry about his intentions any longer.”
Hana smiled. “I hadn’t thought of it that way. I hope he can forgive me.”
“I don’t think he ever held it against you. It’s almost dinner time. Go wash your face and we’ll go up to the big house for dinner.”
As they approached the big house, Hana felt knots in her stomach. Was Enid right? Would Jasper forgive her for not trusting him? She called him a liar to his face. She had believed someone else, and refused to believe him. Her steps slowed. Enid glanced up at her.
“Are you all right, dear?”
“Anticipation is always worse. If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s face the inevitable now, and get it over with. It’s better to live with the consequences than continue to worry about them.”
Taking a deep breath, Hana nodded. Squaring her shoulders, she set off at a brisk pace. They got to the lobby and fear clutched her stomach again. Biting her lower lip, she took another deep breath and walked in the door. She saw him before he saw her. Jasper stood near the dining room talking to Marnie and Jeff. His hands were deep in the pockets of his jeans, his shoulders slumped. He looked even more miserable than Hana.
Marnie nodded toward the door. Jasper stiffened, turning slowly, dark green eyes searching hers. A smile flickered at the corner of his mouth and a hopeful expression replaced the pained one. Taking a step toward her, every inch of him resonated with his feelings.
Enid patted Hana’s hand. “Go on. I’d say that was the face of forgiveness.”
Hana squeezed her hand gently, as she stepped around the chair. She fully intended to walk to him in a dignified manner, but two steps away from Enid, she burst into an unexpected sprint covering the remaining few feet as quickly as she could. Jasper caught her, swinging her in a tight circle, holding her close.
“I’m so sorry, Jasper,” she whispered.
Even as he said her ear, “I’m so sorry, Hana.”
His kiss was full of passion and unfulfilled promises. For a few minutes, they were consumed with one another. Soon, the sounds around them decoded slowly as they realized everyone in the building was clapping and cheering for them. Feeling foolish and on display, they stopped kissing. Instead, they took hands, bowing politely to everyone. Friends and family gave lots of hugs and kisses, pleased to see them happy once more.
After dinner was cleared away, Tyee and Stan brought instruments to the stage, preparing to play.
“Any requests?” Tyee asked Hana, his dark eyes twinkling.
“Yeah, the first song we danced to,” Hana said. “Remember?”
Tyee glanced at his son. “Maybe Jasper can refresh my memory for me.”
Jasper took her in his arms, singing softly to I Found Love, When I Found You. His father and uncle joined in with instruments and harmony as he held her close, dancing slowly.
“I do love you, Hana. More than I ever thought I could. Can you forgive me?”
Hana wanted to laugh and cry simultaneously. “What for? I’m the one who needs forgiveness. I didn’t believe you,” she whispered, letting the tears fall.
“Cause for a moment there, I stared at Milly Finch’s tits, and thought how nice they looked. I could almost feel them with my eyes. I was weak.”
“But you didn’t give in.”
“All of a sudden, I saw you there instead, and could feel your lips on mine and the temptation was gone. You made me strong.”
“And I thought you’d lied to me. I’m so sorry.”
“I’ve got a brilliant idea,” he said with a grin. “It’s so damn good, I might just have to yell it from the mountain tops.”
“What’s your brilliant idea?”
“We put it behind us, forget the whole thing ever happened. Can you do that for me?”
“Good, cause I don’t want it ever to be an issue again. It’s over and I love you. That’s gotta count for something, right?”
“I love you, Jasper. Kiss me.”
He was happy to comply.
©2022 Dellani Oakes