tagNon-EroticPainting in Color

Painting in Color

byJayDiver©

This is not intended as a standalone story. It is a 'second page' to my story. The Painting. I suppose you could read this as a standalone, but you would miss a lot. All of the character development and theme of the story is in The Painting. That theme being of Cancer and one man's recovery and the path back to his life and relationships. Page two is more Jake, Cat and Denise, and how their relationships develop. Again this story is in the NON-EROTIC category. No sex, none, zippo not even a sniff. Your warned. Also be warned that it grew beyond my intentions, to about 25k words.

Part 1 - "The Painting" - is here.

*

This story starts with Denise's Mom, Carol.

I hadn't even taken off my work uniform, or my name tag yet. Carol it said, god I hate that tag. Such a little thing, but I hate it. I've been so damn depressed lately. That's why my uniform's still on. I just can't seem to care how I look. I just sit here staring out the window, cussing a lot of things. I don't even have enough money to buy a beer to drink while I sit here and cuss out the world, let alone a cigarette. My life's what I'm so depressed about. I can't even blame anyone but myself, but I try.

Bad ass biker bitch...party...party girl. Straight out of high school, me and my BFF got an apartment all on our own. Then it was Party...Party...Party. Until I started showing, yeah knocked up before the age of nineteen. I didn't even stop partying enough to know that I was pregnant until I started showing, and people started noticing.

That scared the ever lovin shit out of me. For over two months I took my baby along on every booze, grass, coke and X trip I went on. But I never did any meth or H and I thank God for that. Bad food, no food, junk food and no vegetables to be found, no vitamins either. Drank a lot more beer then I did water.

Little sleep, no sleep, spend weekends on the run, high as a kite. Friday morning to late Sunday night. never stop, day and night, go, go, then crash and burn. Drag ass up Monday morning. Monday afternoon to Tuesday morning dead to the world, then start the merry go round again.

When I found out I was pregnant. Quit cold turkey, birth defects...not this girls' baby. But I was scared with a capital S. Tried to go back to my folks'. THAT went over like a fart in a wind storm. Dad had gotten rid of my ass and could buy more booze, no way was I getting back into his house. 'Get the fucker to cough up some dough and get it cut out.' Direct quote of what he said.

I might be a stupid bitch, but I won't kill my baby. So I stayed with my BFF Jenny, she cut back on partying and helped me what she could. Mom slipped me a few bucks when she was able too. I worked as long as I possibly could, longer that I should have. Had to stop working two weeks before she was born.

But I got my beautiful baby girl, Denise. Danielle Ann Williamson, but no father's name on the Birth Certificate. I didn't even know who it could be, too much water under that bridge.

In some ways I think that Denise saved my life just by being born. if I hadn't had to quit cold turkey like I did, for my baby girl. I would have been into meth and H and whatever else I could find. In just a little more time, running the way I'd been. Once a young girl like I was hits that road, the bottoms not far behind. I probability would have ended up naked, fucked, and OD'ed in some dude's back room.

Bad boys and parties dried up there for a while.

Until I met Scooter, bad ass biker from the hogs. Then I became Scooter's old lady. I kind of liked it, at least I was a part of something again. Life started to be a party again. Then it was the same old story, I got knocked up again, and boy I was terrified. I just knew Scooter was going to kick my ass to the curb. But he didn't.

Scooter liked the idea of being a daddy, and John was born. Sure I had two kids to look after, but I did, I took care of my babies. Some of the other 'Old Ladies' had kids too. We all chipped in and took care of the kids and each other.

Until Scooter and those other two hogs got busted for that liquor store robbery. I just couldn't slide over and be one of the other hogs' old lady. That's what usually happened in the clubs. Someone died or went to jail, that old lady moved over to another club member. I just wasn't that kind of person.

So I had to divorce Scooter, and try to make it on my own. That's where I've been for the last ten years, just hanging on, taking care of my kids. Bouncing from bad boy to bad boy. I cared more about boys then grades in high school. So I was not only bouncing between bad boys, also between bad, low end jobs. Grades were so bad when I was young and in school. I couldn't have gotten into college even if I'd had enough money. Or a high school diploma.

So it's been just one dead end job after another. Each one seeming to get a little worst then the last. Now I'm a waitress at a working man's' diner. Just breakfast and lunch served, 6am to 1:30pm not enough hours for full time. Not enough hours for insurance, not enough money to get ahead. Working men don't have enough to leave good tips either. Just not enough of anything, just enough to barely hang on.

Hell, I'm even cussing out the cripple guy who used to live next door to us. Indirectly he's the one who laid the straw that broke the camel's back. He moved out...back to his ex-wife. Thus killing my wild ass plan, but the last straw was unintentional. I know that he didn't have anything to do with it. It's just that our landlord raised the rent on his apartment after he moved out. By a lot, and he got it. It didn't take very long either, so guess what? He raised the rent on our place too.

He knows that I don't have enough money to pay it, even for just next months' rent. I don't think he's even going to wait the required 30 days to evict us, either. After all, what can I do about it, get a lawyer? Hell I can't even afford that can of beer. Even though I'm getting state assistance, they'll take at least 60 days to straighten out what he's doing wrong. That still leaves me SOL in a couple of weeks, with two kids to take care of. I've always taken care of my kids. Hope against hope that I still might be able to, but I doubt it.

Whoa...that woman is way out of her neighborhood. But staring out the window, I watch her pull up to these dumpy apartments. The car is white and German, the jeans are fancy and tight. The heels are shiny and black. But the sweater is what says, 'not from this neighborhood'. White soft angora knit, cowl neck and long sleeved, but the lady inside is what makes it special. Red-orange flame, all the way down her back to her ass, and it's a tiny ass too.

One of my flash comic images hits my brain. At the grocery store checkout lane, one of those gossip rags with those impossible headlines...Famous Fashion Model...Hit by Mad Scientist's Shrinking Ray, what a hoot.

She is though, model material. She's got the face, the skin, the smoking hot body. But that hair...I've never seen as beautiful of hair as she has. Thick, rich, full and shiny fire flame all the way down to her ass. That's not far though, she's all of five foot tall, maybe. Fully dressed, soaking wet, weighting in at maybe a buck. She moves like a cat too, and she's coming up to MY door??

After the knock and opening my door, she's even more beautiful close up.

"Is Denise here?"

All I can do is nod and let her in.

"DENISE."

She's been reading one of her school books in her and my bedroom. So she hasn't seen the woman whose waiting for her yet.

"Yes?" she answers as she coming out of the bedroom.

I can see her mouth open in shock. All I can do is a little nod and gesture toward the redhead. Whose already reaching out toward Denise, to shake her hand.

"Denise...I just came to look at the 'other woman' in my husband's life."

"WHAT?"

Some man's been messing with my baby girl?? She's only fifteen. Some ASSHOLE'S going to JAIL!!

But the red head's already laughing, and Denise is trying to let go of her hand.

"I...I...I don't know any men!"

"Just a little joke on my part, kind of an ice breaker. I'm Cat, Jake's wife. Well ex-wife right now, soon to be wife again. I know it's kind of a shocking joke. But Jakes' talked a lot about you Denise, and I just wanted to see and talk to you. If I know my Jake, I'd bet he's never talked to you about me. Plus I know that he didn't have any pictures of me in his place here either. So I thought that I could get away with a little joke."

"Carol, You know that my Jake never touched Denise, don't you? That's the only part of my joke I worried about. You know he didn't?"

My mind's still stumbling about in shock, but I do know that, and just nod my head.

"Good, well let's sit down and I'll explain why I'm here."

I indicate the only chair that we have, and Denise and I sit on John's bed. Being this small one bedroom hole in the wall. Denise and I sleep in the bedroom and John's bed is in the front room. A small TV, a cardboard dresser and hanging closet. Plus the one chair fills the room.

Being a teenage boy's bedroom I'm worried about that stark white sweater. But she doesn't seem to be. She just sets there and shines in our little dump. Right now, that dump, is the only thing that's keeping us from living on the street. For a little while yet anyway.

"Denise, I really need to thank you. You will probably never know how much you helped Jake. I know that you don't understand how many problems he had when he was here. He was just that grumpy old cripple, who hid out in the apartment next door to you. Then after several years he changed, and started becoming friends with you.

"What you don't know is that my Jake went a little crazy when he got Cancer. Clinically crazy, at one point the doctors offered me the option of admitting him. It was only an option because the doctors were convinced that he wasn't a danger to anyone but himself. But I couldn't do that...I couldn't put Jake in a hospital, especially a mental hospital. Jake, my Jake would never have come back, even to himself."

"Jake's a proud man, sometimes too proud, but that's Jake. So I had to let him go, if I couldn't hospitalize him. I had to let him go and just hope. Hope that someday he'd come back to himself, and come back to me. But weeks turned into a month, one month turned into several, then into a year. Then two years, three and finally four years, and I knew that I'd lost my Jake."

Here you could see that beautiful tiny lady look down. Physically grab hold of herself and try to keep from breaking down. I was sure she was going to start crying, but she held strong, drew in a deep breath and started again.

"When Dennis died, something snapped inside Jake. He started to find his path back to himself. I know that...if it had just been the shock of Dennis' death. He'd have slipped back into his shell. But he met a special girl named Denise, and she became friends with a grumpy old man in a wheel chair. Not many girls your age would do that, they couldn't see that friend inside a grumpy old man. Or they would have just seen the wheel chair. You did though, and that let him creep out of his shell."

"You helped him paint a painting that's come to mean a lot, to a great many people. It's lessen a lot of grief. Dennis' wife Julie tells me she says 'good morning' to it every day, and that helps her feel less alone. Julie says Dennis' mom 'comes over for coffee' some days when she's feeling real blue. Julie will give her a cup of coffee and leaves her alone in the front room, to talk to her son."

"Dennis' Dad is one of those too proud men you'll never see cry. So he can only look at the painting for a very few seconds before he has to leave. Julie left him alone in the front room one day, all by himself. He was there for over an hour, before she noticed he'd disappeared. The one who the painting has had the most effect on, has been me."

"Denise, I took one glance at that painting, and I knew that my Jake was back. I KNEW it, and I had to have him back with me right away. I did every dirty trick and pulled every string I could in Jake, but I had to have him back with me, right then and there."

As if we weren't shocked enough, Cat came and knelt down in front of Denise and took both of her hands in her own.

"I'm sorry Denise, someday when you're older and have a husband of your own. You'll understand how I felt. But what I didn't know, was that I was hurting you. Someone that I owed so very much too. I understand now that it's been hard for you, missing your friend. Just starting out in a new and special friendship, and it gets jerked out from under you. I'm so sorry."

"I know that you been calling and talking with Jake on the phone. He's even taken you and Kathy out to lunch one day, and that's OK. It's more than OK, I want Jake to get back out into life. I want him to be able to be with his friends. I know that a lot of that is you Denise. Kathy's a friend, but your that special friend, and I want you to be in his life. Mine too if you'll let me."

"You see Denise, I owe you my eternal gratitude. Because without you I wouldn't have my Jakie back."

At that she lay her head down in Denise's lap and let the tears go. That beautiful woman, who had amazed us with her flaming red hair and tiny beauty. Cried out her thanks in my daughters lap. In my mind, I had to start begging for forgiveness.

She was too strong a person to cry for long. But a quick thank you for a hand up. A splash of water, for her face, and she was as good as new, almost.

"Well to why I came, I do want to get to know Denise more. AND I want her to be part of Jakes' life. So Carol, I have a favor to ask of you. If it would be all right with you, I'd like to have Denise over for the weekend. She'll have her own bedroom, we have a spare in our home. It even has its' own en suite. I assure you that she'll be well taken care of, and I have several ideas of fun things for us to do."

I held my breath, and imagined the puzzle pieces falling into place. Cried in my heart, and prayed for forgiveness. Then Cat laughed again.

"Just look at me, I feel like a teenager asking a girlfriends mother if she can come over for a pajama party, or sleepover. Mommy can Denise come over to my house? Pretty please?"

They're either giggling or laughing and I'm trying to laugh on the outside, while crying on the inside.

"Sure little girl, is your mommy going to be there to make sure LITTLE girls behave? Christ woman didn't your parents ever feed you? Your tiny, beautiful, but I don't think that I've seen few grown women as small as you are. What are you? About five foot and a hundred pounds?"

"What, I'll have you know that I'm five foot one half inch, and 97 pounds. All of red haired, green eyed, Irish temper. So look out. Also would you believe that my dad's 6' 3"...I didn't think so, but he is, and I'm just like my mother. So I can blame it all on her."

"Well if she's as beautiful as you are, your dad's a lucky man. So I wouldn't blame her too much." "Denise you do want to go don't you?"

"Yes I'd love too, if I can?"

"Well go gather some of your prettier things together, and what else you'll need for the weekend. You'll have to get a bag from under the sink. Sorry we don't have an overnighter."

I said that last to Cat. Her small soft smile said that she understood, and I felt glad at her kindness. We made small talk while Denise gathered up enough clothes for a weekend. Sad to see that it was a fair amount of her clothes in just that one paper bag. But I wanted her to take most of her best. They would probably take her out somewhere and I didn't want her to be more embarrassed then she had to be.

So with everything she needed in a brown paper grocery bag, at a fancy white car. I kissed my beautiful baby girl goodbye.

Went back into the apartment and started crying, praying and begging god for forgiveness. Because all those puzzle pieces that I saw falling. Were my wild ass insane plan, falling right into place. A plan that I'd already given up on. Because too much of it was just plain wrong! But I'd only even considered this impossible plan...because I was out of options.

Until today...until this beautiful lady came to my house. All I could see was that Denise, my beautiful baby girl, and I. We're going to be living on the street, real soon.

You see, Scooter, John's father showed up a couple of weeks ago. He'd finally gotten out of prison and worked his way back into the city. He wanted to be back in John's life again. When he'd seen the straits that I was in, he offered to take John to live with him.

I begged him to take Denise too, he was the only father she'd ever known. But he said that he just couldn't afford to. Even with just him and John it was going to be tight, and I knew that. With him just getting out of prison, it wasn't going to be an easy row.

Then there was the rent that was going to be due in just a couple of weeks, and I couldn't pay it.

Another piece of the puzzle was Bernie, finally after years of bad boy choices. I had a boy friend who wasn't a bad boy, a biker, a con, or a player. No, no one would consider my balding pudgy accountant any of those things. So I thought maybe, possibly it might have had chance to work this time. He said that he loves me, and I think that maybe I could have loved him too.

Bernie was changing jobs and moving out of state, he was leaving Monday. He'd asked me to go with him. It might have worked, but I'd already told him no. You see, Bernie and I had one big black mark between us. Bernie was sterile, always had been. That had been fine with him, he'd never wanted kids anyway. I had two.

Even after I'd gotten Scooter to take in John. I could go with Bernie, just not with Denise too. So I told him no, I couldn't go with him. I'd had serious doubts in my mind anyway. Could you really love someone and force her to give up her kids, to be with you? Could I love someone who could demand that?

My wild ass insane dream had started anyway. It wasn't so much in getting Bernie and I together. It was mostly just about keeping Denise off the streets. I know I'm a hard ass bitch, Denise isn't. She's a kind and gentle person who thinks the best of everyone, until they show her different. The streets are going to eat her alive. My wild ass plan...Jake.

I don't know where us hard ass bitches fail, but sometimes we can see right into the soul of a good man. Know beyond the shadow of a doubt, that he's golden all the way to his core. He just doesn't make that tingle in your belly, doesn't make your heart go pitter patter. Don't get me wrong Jake's hot, he's got it in spades, just not to me. Then us bitches look at another man, see gold, at least we make our selves think so. Because heart goes thumpy thump, and tummy burns. Until we find out he's brass and pot metal through and through.

Jake doesn't make my heart even quiver, he's gold. I KNOW that Jake would take care of my baby girl. I don't have a doubt in my mind that he wouldn't. Until he moved back to his wife, and my insane plan went crash. But it really was insane, and I knew that I couldn't do it.

Yes, John's going to live with his Dad. But there's no way I'm going to take my baby girl somewhere and drop her off like a baby on the church steps. I couldn't look her in the eyes and do that to her. No matter if I took her to a way better home, or even took her to Jakes'. I couldn't look her in the eyes and leave her. Even for her own good. I guess I'm just too weak.

Until...this beautiful woman knelt before my baby girl and promised her eternal gratitude and cried tears in my daughters lap. She meant every word of it too. Some women you don't have to even look at, and see that their souls are golden.

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byJayDiver© 12 comments/ 4913 views/ 12 favorites

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