“How is she?” Max asked later that night when Jenny walked out to join him on the back porch and handed him a cup of coffee when she sat down next to him on the steps.
“She fell asleep in front of the TV,” she replied with a small smile after she’d taken off the mask she’d been wearing around Shane. She had started feeling better a while before they had dinner and she’d managed to have some soup before she nodded off on the couch with some bad reality show on. “How are you, Max? Why are you sitting out here by yourself?”
He took a sip of the coffee and then sat for a moment just staring deep in thought into his cup before he said anything. “I was just thinking about stuff. You know, like when I first found out about this.”
“You never told me about that,” Jenny said quietly, trying to imagine what the past month would have been for the rest of them; Max, Jodi, Tom, and most of all, Shane. She still didn’t feel like she knew anything about what had happened because no one seemed willing to talk about it and share it with her, even though she was now a part of the group that tried to care for Shane while keeping her condition a secret from the rest of the world.
“Well, “ Max started and cleared his throat, “I was out with Tom one night and we were in his car and he got a text from Jodi because she needed help with something. He didn’t tell me what it was, just that it was something urgent.” He paused to take another sip and glanced over at Jenny who did the same. “And when we got there he told me I could wait in the car if I wanted to, but I just had this bad feeling, you know? So I followed him after a while.”
“And you saw her,” Jenny guessed in a whisper and bit down on her lip, both for having interrupted him, and because her mind kept making her try to imagine what he would have seen that night.
He nodded slowly. “Yeah, I saw her, and I didn’t even believe it was her at first. She was sitting on the floor and leaning up against the wall and she was so out of it.”
“What do you mean?”
“She’d had chemo that same morning and she was just… really confused.” He buried the fingers of his free hand in his hair, pulled it tightly as he squeezed his eyes shut for a moment and sighed wearily. “Jodi was trying to talk to her but Shane kept getting pissed off because Jodi didn’t hear her. I don’t think she even remembered she knew how to sign, she was just crying and yelling at her and neither one of them understood what the other was saying and she didn’t remember who Tom was.”
“Oh god,” Jenny whispered and tried to relate to the situation Jodi must have been in with her before Tom and Max showed up. She found she couldn’t, even if Shane could be hard to deal with at some moments now that she was sick, she could at least communicate with her.
“And when she saw me,” he continued quietly, “it got worse.”
From the guilty look on his face after he paused, Jenny figured this was yet another thing he didn’t think she should hear about, but she needed to know the whole story. For Shane’s sake she had to find out what had going on. “Max,” she said quietly and put the cup down on the steps, placing her hand gently on his arm. “Please. Whatever happened, I can take it. Please.”
He looked up at her, a questioning and doubtful look in his eyes, but he finally nodded slowly to himself and finished his story. “She freaked out when she saw me,” he said, “I guess it didn’t make sense to her that I was there. And she just kept crying and asking me where you were and said she wanted to see you. And I found out that’s what the whole thing was about, because Jodi had understood that much at least. She just wanted you there.”
“Oh, Shane,” she whispered, covered her mouth with her hands and felt wet tears well on their way down her cheeks. “If only—if only I’d known,” she said, mostly to herself in a hushed voice as she let her hands down on her lap. “I wish she would have just told me. We’ve wasted so much time, I… I could have been there for her. She could’ve been home. You know?”
“Yeah. Look, Jenny, I’m sorry that I didn’t say anything sooner.”
“It’s okay.” She tried to smile a little encouragingly. “I’m not blaming you for anything, you did what you had to do. It’s just…” Her voice faded and she sat in silence for a moment, looking out into their backyard and trying to collect her thoughts again. To their left, outside of Bette’s house, she could see Tina diving into the pool but she didn’t seem to have noticed them sitting there. Just to stay on the safe side, she lowered her voice. “I used to think that… even if she’d come back, things would never be the same between us again, but they are. As much as—as they could be, considering the circumstances. She’s still the same Shane she’s always been.”
“Are you in love with her?”
The question made her turn back to him and she looked at him with a puzzled expression, but she knew she shouldn’t be surprised that he knew. At this point, she would have thought everyone would have figured her out, in spite of her efforts to make them, and herself, believe she hated her. “I’ve always been in love with her, Max,” she said with a melancholy smile.
“I kinda got that feeling,” he grinned.
“I don’t think I can ever stop loving her,” she continued, “I mean, I tried so hard to stop after what she did, but there’s nothing I can do about it.”
“Have you told her that?”
It was such a simple question, but when she racked her mind in search for an answer, it seemed so much more complicated. “No, I—I can’t do that,” she stuttered, eyes wide. “Not now. She needs me and I don’t wanna freak her out and scare her off. I can tell her when she’s better.” Max didn’t say anything, he just looked uncomfortably at her. “She’s going to be okay, Max,” she added, giving him a stern look.
“I know that’s what you want to believe…” he started, but she cut him off.
“Of course it is.”
“Jenny, we all want to believe that.” Sighing hopelessly, he looked pleadingly at her. “But you can’t know that’s gonna happen. What if she doesn’t beat this? Are you just never going to let her know?” This time it was Jenny who didn’t know what to say, instead she stared at him as if he’d just slapped her. “You know she loves you,” he went on, his voice soft and he offered her a small apologetic smile. “That’s why she left in the first place. There isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for you, isn’t that proof enough? She gave up everything she had, including you, just so you wouldn’t have to suffer because of what was happening to her. Trust me, I know what I’m talking about. I’ve been living with you guys for three years and I’ve seen a lot even if you two haven’t. Don’t throw this away. It’s better to have…”
“Loved and lost than to never have loved at all?” Jenny finished the sentence for him, and they both smiled at each other.
Max chuckled and shook his head, blushing a little. “Isn’t that what they say?”
“You’re the oracle, Max. I just…” She was startled by a sound coming from behind her in the kitchen and she turned around but didn’t see anything. “Hang on a sec,” she told him and he nodded when she got up, taking the two empty coffee cups with her and quickly putting her mask in place again as she went inside.
She found Shane standing by the sink, gripping the edge of the counter so tightly it made her knuckles whiten and Jenny quickly put the cups down. She put her arm around her instead to keep her from collapsing onto the floor, because she looked like she might any second. Shane didn’t say anything, she just took a few deep breaths and blinked repeatedly. “Shane?”
“Hey…” It wasn’t much more than a whisper, but she tilted her head up a little and met Jenny’s concerned eyes.
“What are you doing?” Jenny asked her, trying hard to smile at her with her eyes in spite of the worry she felt for her, and she began to stroke her hand gently over her back.
Shane’s gaze swept from one side of the counter to the other until she finally looked back at Jenny and shrugged, grimacing slightly, but it soon transformed into a small, embarrassed smile. “I don’t remember.” It always made her uncomfortable when that happened, she’d be doing something and all of a sudden she barely knew where she was. At least this time she knew that it was happening, and that definitely made it easier for her. She wasn’t always that lucky.
“It’s okay,” she assured her and took a guess on the first thing that came to mind. “Are you thirsty?” Shane nodded slowly and she had to stop and think for a second and give her tired mind a chance to figure out the best way of doing this. She then led her over to the table and eased her down on one of the chairs before she hurried to the fridge and grabbed a bottle of water. “There you go,” she said as she handed it to her after she’d loosened the cap a little. “If that wasn’t it, just tell me when you remember.”
She opened it and took a few small sips of the cold liquid and then glanced up at her with a guilty look on her face. “Thanks but…you shouldn’t have to run around and do everything for me.”
“It’s not like that at all, Shane.” Jenny grabbed a chair and placed it next to Shane’s, then she sat down and hoped that her smile would show in spite of the mask that covered half of her face. “It’s not a problem.”
Shane let her fingers play with the cap on her bottle for a while and nodded slowly, avoiding looking at her. “Yeah, it is. I shouldn’t have moved back here, it was a dumb idea.” In just the few days she’d been back in the house, she’d already noticed how Jenny’s life had changed because of her presence, and she couldn’t believe she was doing that to her when her fear of doing it was the reason why she’d left in the first place. “You deserve to have a life,” she sighed deeply, “and you can’t as long as I’m here.”
“Stop,” Jenny said, holding up her hands in front of her as she felt that warm tingling in her eyes and knew the tears were about to come. Again. She knew Shane meant every word she’d said and that made them hurt even more. Earlier that day she’d tried to explain to her what she’d gone through when she’d left, but she hadn’t expected Shane to fully comprehend something she couldn’t even understand herself. Besides, unbeknownst to her at the time, Shane had been in so much pain that it wouldn’t surprise her if she didn’t even remember they’d had that conversation, and she started over. “Do you even know what my life was without you in it?” she asked her just as the tears reached the edge of her mask and Shane looked completely heartbroken at the sight. “Nothing. It was nothing.”
Shane’s lips parted for a moment as if she wanted to say something, but she soon closed them again and looked down at her hands.
“I couldn’t even write, I tried so many times because I just needed to get it all out of me, but I got nothing.” She sniffled and a joyless laugh slipped out when she remembered the way she’d been living alone in their house. How all the familiar things around her had suddenly seemed foreign to her, because what made them feel like home to her, what connected her to the world around her just wasn’t there. “I just walked around and tried to pretend you’d never lived here to begin with so it wouldn’t feel so empty when you weren’t here. It never worked, it just made it so much worse. So don’t tell me I’d be better off without you. I’m not gonna let you push me away.”
Jenny reached out her hands, taking the bottle that Shane still held even though she’d long since stopped drinking from it, and she placed it on the table. Shane didn’t move or even flinch when she did so and she remained still when Jenny took her hands in her own and continued. “Shane, when I did that, it was the biggest mistake of my life and I’m not doing that again no matter how hard you try to make me do it. You’re stuck with me. Get used to it.”
At this Shane finally tilted her head up and faced her, letting Jenny see the glittering tears in her eyes as well as those that had already begun to trickle down her cheeks. All that Jenny had just told her had stunned her completely but she accepted it. There wasn’t anything she wanted more for herself than to stay with her, and if that’s what Jenny wanted, then that was how it was going to be. She’d just have to do whatever she possibly could not to hurt her in the process like she already knew she’d unintentionally done to Jodi.
She looked deeply into Jenny’s eyes, mustered up the strength to lift her hands enough to cup her face with them and gently brushed some of the tears off her cheeks with her thumbs. She stopped when she reached the mask and tugged a little at it with her fingers, giving her a pleading look. “Can you take that off? Please?”
“This?” Jenny asked her, a little startled and placed her hand on top of Shane’s right one where it held on to the mask she always used to cover her mouth and nose for Shane’s safety.
Shane nodded, the movement so slight it was barely visible to her. “Yeah.”
“I don’t want you to get sick,” she whispered and suddenly shook her head, causing Shane to flinch and withdraw her hands.
“I already am.” Shane’s heart sank. She knew deep down that all they wanted was to keep her safe but it only made her feel more secluded from the world when every face she ever saw was covered, even those of the ones she loved. “Jenny, I promise, it won’t make it worse unless you have a cold or something, and they tested you and you were fine.”
Jenny took a deep breath and exhaled slowly, feeling the hot air against her face and wishing once again that she could just take it off. It was uncomfortable and she hated wearing it, but she’d made a promise to herself that she’d do it for Shane. Keeping her alive and well was more important than how the mask made her feel. “I know. They told me all that when I got tested, but I don’t want to take any risks.” The comparison she’d made in her head between Shane and Dana a few days earlier when she spoke to Max about it at Jodi’s was brought back up in her mind and made it seem like an even worse idea. They hadn’t been careful enough back then, and Dana was gone…
“It’s fine, I promise,” Shane persisted and the look in her eyes was silently begging her to just agree and let her have her wish. Fresh tears welled up in them but she didn’t bother to wipe them away when they ran down her cheeks.
Instead she raised her hands a second time and Jenny saw how she had to struggle to lift them high enough to reach her face, but once she did, she let them down on Jenny’s shoulders and just let them rest there. She suddenly seemed so tired and Jenny wondered if it was the conversation they’d had or her monologue earlier that had worn her out like this.
“I just wanna be able to look at you,” Shane sniffled, blinking repeatedly to get the tears out of her eyes, and she gently stroked the back of Jenny’s neck. “I can’t do that with that thing in the way. I haven’t… I haven’t seen you for so long and you always have that on.”
A loud sob slipped out of Jenny and she lifted her right hand to her ear to remove the band around it while Shane smiled a little through her tears and did the same on the other one. Jenny took the mask and put it down on the table and when she turned back to Shane she was struck by how genuinely happy she looked now. She hadn’t seen her like that for so long. Probably not since that night they got high in the living room just shortly before she left her, she realized, and found herself smiling brightly back at her.
“Come here,” she said and moved closer to the edge of her chair, slipping her arms around her waist and pulling her close, hugging her as tightly as she dared to. Shane’s arms tightened their hold around her, but she could feel the weakness in her compared to what she was used to, and she wondered how much pain she was in now that she guessed the morphine must have worn off, but she doubted that was something she really wanted to know.
Shane rested her head on her shoulder and leaned it against her ear, breathing slowly. “I’m sorry,” she said quietly. “For everything, I… I’m so sorry I hurt you.”
“Shhh, don’t be sorry. None of this was your fault.” She gently rubbed her back the way she always used to and it seemed to soothe her; she could feel the tense muscles relaxing little by little and Shane’s head felt a little heavier on her shoulder now. She’d missed this so much. Just being close to her, holding her, and even if things looked bad now, she dared to believe that they could get through it. ‘As long as we have this, we’ll make it through somehow.’
Thinking that, she moved her hand up to the back of Shane’s head and felt the thinness of her hair. More of it had come out in the short time she’d been back at the house; she knew that from the amount she’d taken out of her bed already, and an idea formed in her head. “Shane?”
Shane hummed a little when she pulled back slightly to give her a questioning look and Jenny demonstratively took a lock of her hair between her fingers, as gently as possible so she wouldn’t pull it out like she had before.
“Don’t you think that maybe it’s time you did something about this?” she asked softly.
Looking a little surprised, Shane shrugged slightly. “Yeah, I meant to shave it all off, but I don’t think I can hold my arms up long enough to do that.” Her face fell as she finished the sentence, but Jenny’s hand was soon there to touch her cheek and the small smile she’d had before made a reappearance. “My shoulder still really hurts when I lift my arm,” she explained, “so I just never got it done.”
“You want me to help you? I mean, I’ve never shaved anyone’s head before but I think I could learn.” The idea made her a little nervous, but if Shane thought it was a bad one, she was sure she’d tell her that. At least she had offered, if that was the case.
“It’s not hard,” Shane replied and it surprised Jenny to see that she was in on her suggestion. “I can tell you how to do it, you can’t really mess it up. All the hair is coming off anyway.”
“Your hair…” Gently playing with a tress of her hair, she suddenly felt like an idiot, because somehow it hadn’t occurred to her yet what it all meant. All of it would be gone after she was done, but it was already falling out so fast…
As if she’d read her mind, Shane offered her a pale smile that turned into a chuckle when she spoke. “It’s just hair, Jen. It’ll grow back when I get better.”
“I know, but…” Jenny froze and felt her jaw dropping slowly when she realized what Shane had just said. It hadn’t been ‘if’ she got better, but ‘when’, and that, if anything, was proof enough for her that she was going to be okay. Especially since Shane herself hadn’t seemed to realize she’d said it and it felt like a huge weight was finally lifted off her chest.
“It’s okay. Really, Jenny, it is.” Shane hadn’t imagined that something that seemed as simple as shaving off her hair would turn out to mean so much more than that to Jenny. She didn’t even need to explain it, the look on her face was enough. This was yet another thing that had to change, and one she’d have to face every single day. It was touching that in spite of that, Jenny had still offered to help her get it over with. “Look,” she said softly, “as much as I’ve experimented with my hair in the past, this really isn’t that big a deal to me.”
“Okay,” Jenny finally agreed after a moment’s thoughtful silence and eased herself up off the chair. Her newfound hope and confidence convinced her that it didn’t have to be that bad after all. “Do you want me to do it right now?” she asked. “Or do you wanna get back to bed?”
“We could do it now,” Shane shrugged. “I probably won’t feel as good as I do right now for a while, so we might as well get it over with. If you don’t mind.”
“No, that’s okay. Should I just go and get your things in…?” Jenny started and pointed with both of her hands in the direction of Shane’s room.
“They’re in the bag in my room. It’s by the door, you can just get the whole thing and I’ll find what we need.”
Shane followed Jenny with her eyes as she walked out of the kitchen to get everything and even though she was used to people doing things like that for her, it didn’t make her feel any less guilty for it. Her being sick hadn’t just made her own life pull a u-turn but it did the same thing to those close to her, and that had been the one thing she wanted to avoid. How Jenny still managed to put up with her and smile at her even after what she’d done before she left and after the two days she’d spent there already, she didn’t know. It hadn’t taken long since she’d moved in with Jodi before the two of them had started getting on each other’s nerves, but she knew that was different. Jenny had always been Jenny and she couldn’t compare her to anyone else she’d ever known.
Jenny soon returned with Shane’s things and placed the whole bag on the table so that they could begin to look through it together. Shane picked out a few things here and there and then sent Jenny off to get a towel that they could use to wet what would be left of her hair before they got started with the actual shaving. It was turning into quite a project, but once they were about to begin, Shane thought Jenny was starting to seem a bit excited about the whole thing.
“This feels so weird!” Jenny grinned and jumped a little excitedly at the spot, causing Sounder to wake up from where he slept in the living room and he came over to see what they were doing. She reached down to pet him and then looked back at Shane with a nostalgic smile. “It reminds me of the first time you cut my hair. Do you remember that?”
“You mean…” Shane started and frowned a little as she tried to remember. “The night Mark moved in? When I cut it really short? Was that the first time?” It seemed like a lifetime ago, but when she focused she could still remember that day, in spite of the way her brain was acting lately. Most of it was still a blur, but the thing she wanted to bring out of her memories was still there: when she’d found Jenny sitting in the kitchen late that night, and Jenny had asked her to cut her hair for her.
“Yes. It was, and I was completely freaked out about the whole thing, but it felt like I had to do it anyway.” She remembered how Shane barely had made the first cut when the tears started to come, but it was a fond memory. Giving away that power and control to her new found friend and now four years later being trusted with the same in return felt like a beautiful thing in spite of the sadness of the reason why it was happening.
“Oh, I’m sorry,” Shane apologized but Jenny shook her head.
“No, don’t be. I don’t mean it like that. I was just trying to figure out who I was, and I don’t know why I got the insane idea that I had to have short hair to do that.”
Shane let her gaze follow the length of Jenny’s hair, from the roots and down to the ends, and in her mind she replaced her long dark waves with the short haircut she’d given her that night. “I know you like your long hair better and I love it,” she said after a while, “but I thought you looked really, really cute with short hair.”
“Thank you.” Jenny could feel herself blushing a little. “What I was gonna say was that it’s strange to me how the roles are reversed, but we’re in the exact same place as we were then. Even when so many other things have changed.” She’d been completely honest and serious with her comment, but Shane obviously found something funny about it and giggled a little. “Shane, don’t laugh at me!” she scolded her, but found it hard to stay serious herself.
“But you’re cute,” Shane grinned.
Turning serious again, Jenny cast a nervous glance at the things they’d placed on the table. “Are you sure you want me to do this?”
Shane nodded. “I’m sure. It’s really simple. Like I said, you can’t screw it up.”
She explained to Jenny each step of the way as she was taking it, and more and more of her hair ended up on the floor, something that Sounder seemed quite intrigued by. He barked from excitement at the hair as it fell, and it was hard for them to not laugh at him, but they let him stay with them. It was liberating to finally get rid of it all. Shane had meant to do it for so long, but the pain in her shoulder and the exhaustion she felt in general had always made her put it off to another day.
When they were done Jenny handed her a mirror and Shane struggled to lift her left hand so she could feel what it was like, especially in the back where she couldn’t see anything.
“Do you want me to get you another mirror?” Jenny asked when she saw what she was doing.
“No, it’s fine.” She smiled appreciatively and Jenny’s eyes shone back at her. “You did a really good job with this.”
Jenny pulled up a chair and placed it in front of her, sat down and took her hands, smiling as she took a moment to evaluate her work. “Shane,” she grinned shyly after a moment, “you look really, really hot.”
Her response teased a chuckle out of Shane. “Yeah, really.”
“No, I’m serious!” she persisted, unable to take her eyes off of her, and not really caring when she felt her cheeks getting warmer and warmer by the second. “I never imagined you shaving your hair off before, but it looks really good on you.”
Shane bit her lip, nodding slowly while tracing along Jenny’s fingers with her fingertip. “Thanks for helping me,” she said quietly, swallowing before she looked at her again. “Really, a lot. I couldn’t have done that by myself.”
“You don’t have to thank me for that.” Jenny smiled back at her and suddenly lit up even more when she had another idea. “You know what?” she started, lifting her left hand to play with a lock of her own hair. “It really wasn’t that hard to do that. I think I should do mine too. I should.”
“What?” Shane said hoarsely, placing her hand on Jenny’s arm and looking at her with her eyes wide. “No.”
“Why?” She didn’t understand the sudden look of alarm on Shane’s face at her decision, and she looked around for a moment to see if there was something else going on in the room that she wasn’t aware of, but even Sounder was resting peacefully on the floor next to them so she had no idea what she could have meant, if not what she’d first assumed. “If I want to shave my head like yours, in solidarity, why can’t I?”
Shane shook her head just barely, took a deep breath and licked her lips before she answered her. “Please, Jenny. Don’t do that,” she begged her quietly. “It means so much that you’d even consider it, but it would mean even more if you didn’t do it. I love your hair, don’t take that away. Please.”
“Okay. I won’t, I promise.” Jenny softly patted her shoulder and got up to begin cleaning up in the kitchen and get rid of Shane’s hair before Sounder decided to start playing with it again.
Meanwhile, Shane sat there watching her, at the same time trying to get used to not having any hair at all anymore. She still had her eyebrows and eyelashes that she needed to do something about, but that was something she could take care of on her own. Glancing over at Jenny again, she remembered something she’d worried about earlier when Jenny had actually left her alone for a while on the couch. “Can you promise me something else?” she asked after a while.
“What?” Jenny stopped for a moment, leaning against the broom she’d used to sweep the hair into a neat pile that Sounder soon attacked and she decided it was time for him to go outside for a while, at least until she was done.
“Can you promise me that you won’t lock yourself in here with me?” Shane asked, watching as Jenny opened the backdoor and let him out. “Don’t close yourself off from the rest of the world just because I’m here.”
“I don’t think I’m doing that.”
“Max told me you used to hang out with the others a lot before you found out about me. They’re gonna start wondering what’s going on if you suddenly stop.”
“Okay,” Jenny nodded and picked up the broom to start all over again and clean up Sounder’s mess. To her it was perfectly understandable that Shane didn’t want any of the others to find out, and she couldn’t blame her.
“And I’m not trying to sound like I’m pitying myself,” Shane went on, “but I think sometimes you need a break from all this. A break from me.” At those words Jenny froze and turned to stare at her with her hand placed firmly on her hip, but as soon as Shane saw her opening her mouth to protest, she continued to explain. “Things can get pretty intense, I know that, and I just think it’d be good for you to go back out in the real world from time to time. I don’t think I ever talked to Jodi about that, and I should have.”
“It’s okay, Shane.” Giving up on the cleaning for now, she sat back down on her chair after moving it next to Shane’s, and when she gently wrapped her arm around her shoulders, things felt strangely like old times. “I don’t need time away from you,” she reassured her, “I like having you home again. But I’ll go and see them once in a while if you want me to. Oh, and speaking of Jodi, I forgot to tell you but she called earlier when you were asleep.”
“Well, Tom called for her. They just wanted to check on you. Make sure you were okay, and just check that we didn’t forget that you’re going back to the hospital tomorrow.”
Shane groaned and lifted her left hand to rub her eyes. “Did you have to remind me?” she whined, pouting just enough to make Jenny’s heart sink.
“I’m sorry!” she apologized and bit down on her lip. “But I’d like to think it’s better that you know where I’m dragging you off to in the morning.”
“Yeah, I’m just kidding.”
Shane’s lips formed a small smile but Jenny wasn’t convinced and an unpleasant feeling began to creep up in the back of her head. “Are you nervous about going there with me?”
Shane flinched as if Jenny had slapped her and shook her head so furiously it nearly made her dizzy. “No! I mean, I can’t exactly say that I’m ecstatic about going, but that has nothing to do with you. I’m glad you’re going with me but… I just want you to know what you’re getting yourself into.”
“I know this isn’t going to be all wine and roses,” she replied softly, gently stroking her thumb over Shane’s shoulder. “I’m no expert when it comes to this, but I’d like to think I can learn along the way. I just wanna be there for you if I can help.”
“You can. I just don’t wanna make you uncomfortable.”
“I’m going with you.” Jenny swallowed, nodding resolutely. She wasn’t backing down from any of it; she’d said she’d be there for her and nothing was going to change it. Especially not Shane’s constant efforts to push her away, or to save her from herself.
“Okay. It just fucking sucks though.” Shane laughed dryly and reached for the nearly empty water bottle on the table, but Jenny managed to take it before she did and handed it to her. “I’m finally starting to feel better and then I have to go there again tomorrow so they can fuck things up all over again. I hate it.”
“I know. But it’s keeping you alive.”
“Yeah, I know,” Shane said with a deep sigh and for a moment Jenny wondered if she was about to start crying again. She didn’t waste a second before she put her other arm around her too and pulled her closer. It didn’t take long before she felt Shane’s arms wrapping around her own waist, holding her tightly like she never planned on letting her go.
“We’ll get you through it. I’m not gonna lose you again,” she whispered, and at least in that moment, they both believed it.