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Something a little serious but also soft and sweet.
|Part One - Click to view full size|
|Part Two- Click to view full size|
I usually don't delay posting captions but I waited on this one. The heavy tone of the story made me pause for some reason. About halfway through writing this I realized it needed to be a much longer story. I really want to expand on this idea and turn it into something more. I still enjoyed making it and I hope it's an enjoyable read. I already know from the girls at the haven that it impacted them more than I expected.
“Oh, you did a wonderful job fixing mommy’s necklace, sweetheart!” Jeannie gushed as she inspected her appearance. Her fingers lightly brushed her lip and she paused for a moment; marveling at her own supple skin. A moment of disconnect washed over her - a feeling she rarely felt these days. But each time it returned, it was a reminder of her promise.
She still remembered seeing her friend in that hospital bed, smiling despite her feeble appearance. Her touch was so light in Jeannie’s then-rough hands.
“I need you to do it. . . for Emily, for Mark. . . especially for me.” The original Jeannie asked her friend. “Promise me you’ll do it, John.” The man begged her off, tried to convince her that she would get better and the doctors were wrong. She merely looked at him with that solemn, brave smile and touched his cheek. “No, it won’t. One day soon I’m going to go to sleep and I won’t wake up. I can’t let my baby girl see her mother like. I won’t let my husband watch me wither and die. But you can prevent that. You love my baby as much as I do; I wouldn’t trust her to anyone else. You can be the mother my baby needs and the girl Mark will love. Besides. . . you’ll miss me but it will make you happy in the end. You and I both know that.” They both cried that day, but they laughed afterward. Eventually, John agreed to the procedure. He would take Jeannie’s place. They both talked to the doctors and signed all the papers. Once they let Mark know, both of them were put under.
Only a week later, John took his first breaths as Jeannie. It was a moment of bittersweet sweet bliss: a dream come true but at a terrible price. Still, the new Jeannie put her desires on hold to learn from her dying friend. The former woman tried to prepare her friend for her new life journey, but mostly spend their time together reassuring her. It was a good final memory for the new woman - a chance to say thank you and goodbye.
The three of them agreed to keep things simple for Emily. She was sad when “Uncle John” went to live in the sky but she was happy her mommy came home from the hospital. Meanwhile the new mother went to her domestic duties as if she was made for them. Emily was a joy and she did all she could to make sure the little girl was happy but she mostly wanted to honor her friend’s request. Her new “husband” put on a good show, but she knew he was uneasy with the new arrangement. She didn’t blame him - seeing his wife everyday but knowing it wasn’t her would be traumatic.
Still Jeannie took her time and gave him space. Over time, she used her namesake’s secrets to win her new husband over. She drew him a bath each night after work and cooked his favorite meals. She took an interest in him and was attentive. Most of all, she made sure he had to treat her like a wife. Eventually Mark responded to her charms and warmed to his new wife. It took over a year but when Jeannie sensed the time was right, she went to him wearing nothing but a peach babydoll. She saw to his needs and relieved her man's tension - finally becoming his wife in all ways.
Memories of that night always brought a smile to Jeannie’s face. It had marked the moment she finally felt like she was no longer following an instruction manual left behind. It was her life now; her husband, her daughter, her family. She was eternally grateful for the gift her friend gave her but she also remembered the last words her friend spoke to her.
“You’re Jeannie now . . . learn to love my family your way. Then they’ll be yours.”