jules and jesse
“shutter, shutter! come in here now!” jesse is shouting out into their small brooklyn backyard for their little trouble maker to come back in. she’s been out there for way too long on such a chilly morning and their family and friends would soon be filling up the apartment for their annual thanksgiving meal.
jesse turns almost right into jules who is wearing the biggest grin.
“does she know who’s boss yet?”
at just over three years old, their dopey brown lab was anything but obedient and she probably never would be.
“babe, she has two mommies, so I am not sure what you’re getting at with…
jules interrupts her with a sweet, quick kiss and goes back into the kitchen where, everyone knows, jules is the boss. the apartment already smelled amazing.
the doorbell rings and jesse answers it to her brother jack while jules’ mom comes into the kitchen to check on her and hang out while she cooks. in no time, jules and her mom and jesse and jack are laughing simultaneously at different things and on different soundtracks. jules doesn’t hear her phone ring with shutter running back and forth between the kitchen and the living room to get attention from both camps.
abby and bobby
abby leaves a message for jules, the only friend she knows will understand her and bobby’s current fight. why wasn’t she picking up? she knew she was at home cooking. dammit.
“jules, hey. I know you’re there! where the fuck are you? I need you. anyway, I am really stressed out about spending a first holiday with bobby’s clan upstate and we are fighting and you would get it and….damn jules…where the hell are you?”
jules and mary
“I still don’t understand why abby and bobby couldn’t make the decision to be here with us. it’s not like you couldn’t have accommodated bobby’s immediate family. as a mom I understand why he wanted to be with his mom, but with abby just in new york, it doesn’t make sense for her to go to his family. I am going to call Terese and Steve and see how they’re holding up later.”
“jules, did you hear anything I just said?”
jules was distracted thinking about whether or not they should get shutter obedience training so that she got along better with other dogs at the dog park. she loved how jesse tried with her but it was going nowhere. whenever she cooked she would get distracted and go into these elaborate thoughts. It was like her therapy. she could have every burner going and still maintain the food and the thinking. she felt bad though since her mom was there to spend time with her.
“something about abby and bobby. we’ll see them at christmas back up north mom.”
“how is abby doing, sweetheart? I know that last fall was really hard on their entire family and she’s been different….”
jules reached into her pocket to check a recipe and saw she had missed calls and a voicemail…
“well, speak of the devil….abby was just calling. I swear you have a sixth sense….mom, can you mash the potatoes while I check in?”
jules filled with dread as she listened to the voicemail. she had been keeping some things with abby a secret from her mom, sharing them only with jesse. jesse was so much less jaded than she was and didn’t think much of it. but abby sounded a bit off today and jules was worried that she was going to…
“hey babe, what’s up? I just saw your mom alone in the kitchen mashing your famous potatoes. keeping it in the family, I guess”
jules was glad that jesse was nearby but couldn’t even begin to describe what she sensed was going on with abby and bobby…
abby and bobby
“I don’t understand why you’re still hung up on what happened with my boss in chicago, bobby. we had been struggling for months and you know I wanted to move down here to be with you and….well, and to be closer to jules also for a long time, since 9/11 really. why are you acting like I made everything happen for a reason or something.”
“abby I just want some clarity because you’ve been acting strange ever since you called me about being fired, out of the blue, and moving down here. and you haven’t found a job. and you act like jules and I are the only two people in the city. you remember that jules has a girlfriend she lives with, right? do you even remember her name? it’s jesse? one of my best friend’s sisters, jesse?”
“just because I want my best friend and my boyfriend to myself every once and awhile doesn’t mean that I am ignoring her relationship or your autonomy!”
“then why did you suggest that we skip going to be with my family today so that you and jules could go to brunch alone this morning? we all have families abby! have you even called your parents or brother or sister today? do you even plan to?”
at this abby ran out of the room screaming back “well at least my family doesn’t act like royalty!”
bobby grabbed his coat and keys and left the apartment to cool off. this was going nowhere fast.
at the slam of the apartment door, abby’s phone rang.
abby and jules (phone)
“oh and now he up and left me. like disappeared. can you believe it?!?”
“hey abby….I only have….”
“and where’ve you been? I thought you were at home cooking?”
“abby, I left my mom to….”
“so, do you want to know where it started? can you believe bobby didn’t understand why I would have wanted you and me to…."
jules entire body tensed. she was uneasy ever since abby moved down and, even though they got along fine in college, jesse and abby were almost estranged. it was so stressful on jules since abby demanded so much of her atten….
“jules, have you heard a word I’ve said?’
“oh, sorry, shutter just got out….”
“everything’s about shutter lately. I moved down here to be with you and…”
“abby, you haven’t even asked me how I am or anything about….”
“fine, jules, go get back to your important day. don’t worry about me, don’t even give me a second….”
at this bobby walked back into the apartment with a little bundle of pink roses and jules walked back into the kitchen to see her mom proudly scooping mashed potatoes into a serving bowl.
“abby, of course I care about…”
abby hung up on jules to run to bobby. jules, realizing the had been distracted from the things right around her, decided to box her feelings up and keep them for later….they weren’t going anywhere since abby was here to stay now.
she hugged her mom and thanked her for mashing. jesse and jack came into the kitchen and they opened a bottle of prosecco to toast the day and started talking about everything they were grateful for…
abby and bobby
“as bobby fastened his seatbelt to get ready to drive them up north, he looked over at abby who was scrolling through Facebook and he noticed that she was on jules’ page looking at pictures from today. that was odd. he put it out of his head and asked “are we okay?” while reaching for abby’s hand.
swatting his hand away so she could continue scrolling through the pictures jules posted of all of them in the kitchen she flatly answered, “sure bobby. at least we are together.”
he turned to thank her for saying so, but she was completely immersed in these public photos of her friend jules. he decided to give it all a rest and just drive for awhile in her company.
bobby and jesse (phone)
jesse asked mary to hold her thought while she answered her cellphone. she didn’t recognize the phone number so it gave her pause enough to interrupt her conversation.
just static and what sounded like a man’s voice but far away
and then she heard jules walking toward the door. they had finished dessert about an hour ago so that couldn’t possibly be a latecomer.
jules nearly fell back at the sight of her, drenched and looking furious at the apartment door unexpected. she almost wondered if her mom had arranged her to come.
back to the phone jesse inquires again “hello? can you hear me? bobby, is that you?”
“tell…jules…she left me at..gas station…she doesn’t seem to be…..”. then the phone tone.
“abby, what are you doing here and why are you soaking wet?”