Happy New Year? - Chapter 2
Jenny and Erik walked through the old town, admiring the architecture of the houses. The houses twinkled full of families celebrating the coming new year. Many houses glowed with tvs tuned in to watch the ball drop in New York. Most houses still proudly displayed their array of twinkling Christmas lights on their front bushes and Christmas trees in their front windows. Few houses were dark, where the lucky family was out celebrating in one of the local restaurants or visiting family in some exciting place.
Out on the sidewalks, Jenny and Erik were alone. No one dared go out in the frigid air. As they walked a few shouts of ‘Happy New Year’ rung out as some drunk fools ran around in the snow. Jenny pulled her coat tighter around her neck as they turned down another abandoned street in her Grand-Pruett’s neighborhood. Going on about how beautiful the stars were in the clear night sky Jenny began to notice something different about the sky. As she squinted closer it looked like a group of shooting stars.
“Jenny, the sky is beautiful, but it can never compare to your beauty,” Erik said pulling an oblong box out of his pocket. “I got you something, something to remind you of our love, and also God’s love…” Erik slowly opened the box to reveal a diamond necklace with diamond studded cross earrings.
“Oh my…”Jenny gasped in awe. “You really didn’t have to Erik! This must have cost a fortune!”
“Don’t worry about the cost, I was saving up for something special, and I saw this and it seemed perfect for tonight.”
“Oh Erik, I love it!” Jenny said jumping into Erik’s arms.
“Here let me show you how is shimmers.” Erik said taking the necklace as Jenny held up her long brown hair in anticipation.
“Oh its so beautiful! I can’t wait to show everyone! My mom is going to be so jealous!” As Erik went to close the clasp he felt a tugging on his heart and a sudden urge to look to the sky. Then he saw such a glorious sight. The words in scripture barely brought justice to what he was experiencing. Jesus Christ had indeed returned, coming in the clouds, glorious and triumphant like no one could have ever imagined or dreamt. God was calling his children home. Erik could barely move his eyes from the sight of Christ, but for a brief moment he turned his attention to Jenny. She was just standing there so happy, basking in his love, but totally oblivious to Christ’s return. He had to leave her a message before he left, before he arrived in Heaven.
As he dropped the beautiful necklace he whispered, “Jenny, I love you, whatever happens, remember that God loves you and that I love you.”
“Erik? What are you talking about?” Jenny said as she felt the necklace slide down her neck. “Erik? You dropped…” Turning around, Jenny found herself alone. The necklace box lay open in the snow bank next to the sidewalk where Erik had stood moments before. “Erik!? This isn’t like you. This is something Johnny might try to pull off, but you? Erik?” Jenny began walking aimlessly through the snowy yards, hoping Erik would pop out from behind a bush
“Erik?” Jenny cried out, reaching for her necklace before it fell out the bottom of her green pea-coat. Looking around tears began to fill Jenny’s eyes. “Erik?” Jenny slowly slumped into a heap in the snow, holding the necklace dearly, crying silently, abandoned by her one true love.
10 Minutes Later
Numb from both cold and abandonment Jenny slowly trudged back to her Grand-Pruett’s house. Around her some families continued to party bringing in the New Year. Other homes had grown silent. A few people were roaming the streets, numb from cold, searching frantically for their loved ones.
With the Grand-Pruett’s house finally insight a thought of hope entered Jenny’s mind. Maybe Erik had forgotten something and ran back to the house to get it, or to prepare a special surprise. Jenny broke into a run through the snow and was just about to climb the steps to the front door when her feet slipped from underneath her.
“Seriously?” Jenny said, picking herself up. She reached into her coat pocket feeling for her necklace. Feeling the diamonds one by one. Not wanting to waste anymore time Jenny flung open the door to the Grand-Pruett’s house and ran to the living room, reprimanding her grandfather.
"Grandpa, you should really salt your walk. People could really hurt themselves…Grandpa? Grandma?” Jenny noticed the chair the elderly couple was cuddling in when they left was empty. Glancing around the room there was one chair facing the window. It looked like her mom had fallen asleep. “Mom, where'd everyone go?" Jenny said swinging around the chair only to find a blanket and a pile of coats. Panic began to fill Jenny’s mind. What is going on? Where did everyone go? They must just be in their rooms asleep already. Yeah, that’s gotta be it. They all went to sleep already.
Jenny took off running around the back of the house through each bedroom. One by one, each room was empty, the beds made, rooms left untouched from when they arrived. Maybe they went to the basement, or they’re back in the living room now. Jenny thought as she ran down the basement stairs. Almost forgetting to turn on the light Jenny almost ran right into a support pole. At the last moment her hand brushed the hanging strand to turn on the lights. “Oh my gosh!!!!!” Jenny screamed, hoping Erik would come to her rescue and comfort her. “Erik! I really wish you were here right now! This joke isn’t funny! You can all come out now…Dad? Johnny? I know your here somewhere.” Jenny yelled as she retraced her steps through the house.
Returning to the living room another thought popped in her head. Maybe they had all gone to get ice cream or something. With high hopes Jenny opened the back door to walk the short path the garage. Before opening the door Jenny took a deep breath, putting a smile on her face, hoping that the cars weren’t there. The door swung open to reveal the Grand-Pruett’s two vehicles. One, an old silver Volvo, and the other Grandpa-Pruett’s prized emerald Mercedes. Turning back to the house Jenny glanced and saw her parent’s minivan sitting in the driveway.
Jenny reached into her pocket again, reaching for the comfort of her necklace. Then remembering the cross earrings Erik had shown her in the box. “Oh no, where is the box?” Jenny said frantically as she ran through the house in search of it. Finally, she remembered seeing it lying in the snow in the spot Erik had disappeared from. I’ve got to find that box! This may be all I have left of him!Jenny ran out of the house around the neighborhood in the path she and Erik had taken just an hour earlier.