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Apology Accepted

Apology Accepted

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Apology Accepted

383 Seiten
5 Stunden
Dec 15, 2014


Upon realizing her current relationship is rapidly devolving into the realm of domestic violence, Jamie Huxley breaks up with her controlling and manipulative boyfriend, and at the urging of her best friends, she tries her hand at online dating. This is how she meets Paul Franklin, a man who suffers from a facial developmental abnormality known as craniofacial microsomia. During their email exchanges and telephone conversation, Jamie discovers she shares a genuine connection with Paul, and agrees to meet him sight unseen, with no prior knowledge of his facial abnormality. When Jamie sees Paul for the first time, his appearance so startles and surprises her that she runs out on the date; a decision Jamie feels guilt over, and one which she eventually comes to regret.

When Jamie’s great-uncle dies, he bequeaths to her a sizeable inheritance, but she refuses to accept the money just as resolutely as she refused to visit the terminally ill man who, from his death bed, repeatedly asks to see her. What she chooses to do with it, and how she survives the cunning ploys of her ex-boyfriend, all with the support of her devoted best friend, Hannah, and faithful canine companion, a pug dog named China, places Jamie on a life changing journey where she learns about the healing power of forgiveness, and ultimately leads to true and lasting love.

Dec 15, 2014

Über den Autor

Jayne Michaels grew up in Central Florida, with more than a few long summers spent with close family in the rural Florida panhandle. She is an animal lover with too many dogs sharing her home, and bed, than she cares to admit. When she's not reading or writing, her favorite hobbies include cooking, photography, gardening, and every once in a while she likes to get busy with the sewing machine. Please visit her online and feel free to get in touch; Jayne welcomes your comments and enjoys hearing from all her readers.

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Apology Accepted - Jayne Michaels


The near silence of late night blanketed the residential street nestled in one of the many piney wooded subdivisions of Central Florida, but the quiet stillness was suddenly shattered by the impact of a front door slamming. What immediately followed was the click-clack sound of brisk female footsteps, wearing heels. Quickly she advanced through the darkened entryway of the large house, making her way toward the dimly illuminated driveway over which hung the glow of an amber colored streetlight.

Suddenly she emerged from the shadows. The silhouette of an attractive young woman, voluptuous and curvy, wearing a simple black dress suitable for many occasions, sprinted toward her car.

An electronic signal beeped as Jamie Huxley remotely unlocked the door to her car. Her long, wavy, ginger-blonde hair swayed back and forth with her quick movements as she opened the car door, entered her vehicle, and pulled the door shut. She immediately fired up the engine and sped out of there.

Winding her way along the curved roads of the upper middle class suburb in her small, foreign SUV, the adrenaline of the past hour subsided, and the tears began to roll down Jamie’s cheeks. Dinner with Chris had been nothing but a lambasting about everything from her career to her chronic lateness, and by the time the couple made it back to his place they were in the midst of a full scale argument. A serious argument. In truth it was a heated fight, something which was becoming much more frequent in their relationship, but those fights never escalated into physical violence. However, tonight was the first time Jamie felt that one of their altercations was heading that way, and before it did she made damn sure to get out of there. No way. They were finished.

Christopher Stephens was always a demanding boyfriend. He expected Jamie to be there for him whenever he beckoned, all the while being highly critical of virtually everything she did. He wanted her to be more aggressive with her career as a translator; he wanted her to be more punctual; he wanted her to dress a certain way, wear her hair a certain way, have sex with him a certain way, and he was always critical of her weight. He was pleased with her sizable breasts, but he deemed her thighs and stomach too ample.

Once, when she slept in past noon on a Saturday morning, he called her lazy and lacking ambition. But at dinner tonight his insults and scathing, judgmental remarks went too far when he proceeded to tell her that if she ever wanted to be considered as possible wife material she would have to grow up, take an intelligent view of politics and an interest in current events, as well as become proactive and involved in such matters. Otherwise, he informed her, he would never be able to take her seriously, neither would any of his colleagues, friends, or acquaintances, and he would be forced to bring an end to their relationship. He went so far as to condescendingly inform her that his position with a very prominent business consulting firm made it incumbent upon him to have just the right wife, and unless she came up to his standards, she would never be in the running for him to marry.

As he spat his vitriol at her over a pasta dinner, the blinders finally fell from Jamie’s eyes and she realized that the objective findings and gentle opinions of her closest friends were accurate: Chris Stephens was a judgmental control freak, and he would never love her for who she really was. And once that light bulb flickered on inside of her head, Jamie knew she had to end things.

It was the most difficult thing she had done thus far in her twenty-seven years of life, but Jamie managed to tap into a wellspring of inner strength she was not even aware existed, and she boldly told him she agreed with him, that it was time to bring an end to their relationship, and she walked out the door. Nearly two years of her life were wasted, but better two than twenty.

Perhaps even more painful would be losing Riley in the process. Jamie sincerely loved his little girl who was just barely two years old when she started dating Christopher. On the weekends when he had Riley, Jamie was always there at his house, helping Chris take care of her, playing with her, reading to her, bathing her and tucking her in at night. A tear rolled down Jamie’s cheek as she realized just how much of a ripple effect there would be as a consequence of this break up.

Jamie forced herself to focus.

Feeling the need to call one of her friends to vent and cry just a little, she thought to herself: Where is my cell phone? Jamie fumbled around in her purse until she felt the phone. Grabbing it, she paused at the stop sign closest to the exit of the subdivision and scrolled through her contacts.

Lisa would probably be up this late, but Hannah was far more comforting. For this reason, as well as the fact that her name came first in the list, Jamie tried calling Hannah. It rang four times before Hannah’s voice mail recording began to play.

Jamie hung up and called Lisa.

It rang twice before Jamie heard her friend’s vivacious personality emanating through the tiny speaker. Hey! I was just thinking about you. Wanna go with me tomorrow to the Bridal Expo? I can’t wait to see the new lines that are coming out for spring from all the designers. I’m thinking sleeves are making a comeback and I could be ahead of the curve on that if I go with some sort of a sleeve. What do you think?

Jamie rolled her eyes just a little before replying, Um, Lees, I just broke up with Chris.

Oh my god! What happened?

Same stuff as always. He’s an ass, and I finally realized it. It’s taken a while, but it finally did sink in. Jamie stopped, took a deep breath, and added, But I am going to miss Riley. It’s breaking my heart to think about not seeing her again.

Wow, replied Lisa with obvious surprise. You always said he was the perfect guy. Between his job and that house, not to mention how hot he is, you repeatedly told me that he was the total package. Remember?

Yeah, I remember. But that’s only on the outside. Inside he’s a controlling and manipulative asshole.

Lisa was unable to stifle a laugh. Well, this is a really big step in the right direction, she said in a tone of voice that was just a little too upbeat for Jamie’s current state of mind. "You’ve needed to do this for a long time, and now you’re finally free to meet the right guy for you. Look at this as a good thing. Now you’re able to go out there and find your soul mate who’s waiting for you."

Thanks for your positive outlook, Lisa, but I’m not really thinking about meeting a new guy just yet. I kind of need to get over the one whose house I just left.

Of course you do, but you also have to stay positive and be open to all the good things the future will bring you. That’s what I do. Why else would I be going to a bridal show when I’m not even engaged?! And I’m telling you, I’m gonna buy the dress, and watch what happens. The guy will fall right into place, mark my words. You have to believe in it, and it will come to you. It’s as simple as that.

I should have tried Hannah again, Jamie thought to herself. Right, she replied, and then cleared her throat. Hey, listen, I’m exhausted. I’ll give you a call tomorrow, okay?

Great. The bridal show starts at eleven. Want me to pick you up around ten and we can go for coffee first?

Um, I’ll have to pass on the whole bridal show thing. But have a good time, and I’ll talk to you later.

Okay, hon. But don’t let this bring you down. We’ll go for margaritas tomorrow night, okay?

I’ll call you. Goodnight. Jamie hung up her phone and shook the crazy out of her head as she continued to drive the short remaining distance to her home.

China eagerly greeted Jamie at the front door of the quaint 1940’s bungalow the duo shared. As Jamie pushed open the thick, wooden arched door, the dog danced around in excited circles of joy, her little toe nails tapping against the hardwood floors. Snorting with love, she ushered Jamie into the house, and impatiently waited as her owner closed and locked the front door. The little pug then jumped up onto the sofa in the front room and wagged the entire back end of her body as Jamie loved on her for a few moments before advancing any farther into the house.

It’s just you and me again, China Doll, said Jamie with a heavy sigh. You never were all that crazy about Chris anyway, so I’m sure this will all be fine and dandy with you. The two shared a few more moments of mutual affection before Jamie sweetly coaxed the dog, Come on, let’s go outside.

After leading China to the French doors which opened out to a small, private terrace off of her dining room, Jamie let the dog outside, and stepped into the adjacent kitchen for a bottle of water. She then joined her closest companion on the terrace, reclined on the chaise lounge, and stared up at the stars. China roamed about, surveying the premises, sniffing the potted plants and flower beds, and peeing in a couple of worthwhile spots, while Jamie sipped on water.

Perceiving that China was equally satisfied and relieved, Jamie guzzled down what remained of the water and the pair went back inside. She meandered down the hall to her bedroom where she took off her shoes and jewelry, and went through the motions of her usual night time routine.

Jamie crossed through the hallway and into the bathroom, which was still outfitted with all of the original fixtures and tile work, where she turned the screechy handles of the tub and began to draw water for a much needed soak. Reaching up to the shelf above the toilet, Jamie took hold of a pretty glass bottle and poured a generous measure of her favorite bubble bath into the tub. Suddenly she cocked her head and her eyes darted about as she listened intently for a sound she was uncertain whether or not she heard. A moment later Jamie discerned the muffled sound of her cell phone ringing, but it was barely audible over the din of rushing water reverberating against the tiled room.

That’s probably Hannah calling back, she thought to herself as she sprinted back into the bedroom where her mobile phone was perched upon the dresser.

Jamie reached the device just in time to answer before it went to voice mail. Swiftly sliding her finger along the face of the device before actually reading the name of the contact who was calling her, it registered to her brain a split second after the call connected that the person on the other end was not Hannah, but Chris.

Damn it! Jamie’s face contorted with frustration as she realized her error too late. Hello, she forced herself to say as normally as possible.

Hi, he replied cavalierly.

She scowled in aggravation as once again she replied in a voice that belied her facial expression, Hi.

Jamie, I just wanted to tell you that I’m sorry about tonight.

Thanks. I appreciate that.

With words laced with toxic affection, Chris said, I love you.

Jamie cringed inside. Why is he making this difficult? Don’t do this, Chris, she replied.

Baby, you are my world. We belong together . . .

Stop! We both know you’ve always held tightly to a laundry list of my flaws, and tonight it finally became clear to me that there’s no getting this right. Let’s leave ourselves some dignity and make it a clean break. I’ll come over Sunday afternoon to pick up my stuff while you’re at the pub watching the game. Just leave the key under the mat and I’ll grab my things. Okay?

There was a pause before Chris replied. Sure baby. But I want you to know that I still love you and I always will.

Jamie pursed her lips while shaking her head, but never responded to him. She promptly hit the screen to end the call, tossed the phone down on the bed, slipped off her dress and undergarments, and headed directly for the bath tub.

Immersing herself in the sweet fragrance and copious bubbles awaiting her there, Jamie mentally surrendered all of her emotions while the warmth of the water relaxed her. She promised herself that she would be strong and quickly overcome her grief and disappointment.

Two days later Jamie went to Christopher’s house after she knew the football game he would be watching was well underway. She approached his front door, empty box in hand, crouched down and pulled up the welcome mat. No key was there.

Ugh, she gasped, thoroughly annoyed.

Quickly she reached for her phone and sent Chris a text message:

At your place but no key.

She waited a moment and was surprised to receive a nearly instant reply:

Try the door.

Perplexed that this man, who was militant about security precautions, would be so heedless as to leave his front door unlocked while he went to the nearest sports bar, Jamie’s face immediately reflected her dismay. Following his instructions, however, she went ahead and tried the knob.

It turned.

She pushed open the door and peered inside.

Scattered along the floor of the tiled foyer, and making a trail all the way through the front room leading into the rear of the house, was a lush carpet of red rose petals. The dwelling was dimly lit due to all the blinds being closed, but she could see the unmistakable flickering of candlelight coming from the back room just beyond the kitchen.

Are you kidding me?

Jamie shook her head just a bit, braced herself, and headed into the lair. As she turned the corner around the kitchen counter, she heard him.

Hey, said Chris as he emerged from the darkened hallway wearing the grey cotton shirt with rolled up sleeves Jamie gave him for his birthday, with a pair of jeans that fit him as though they were tailor made.

She could smell the seductive aroma of her favorite of all his colognes emanating from Christopher’s body over the already sweet smell of the many burning candles which lingered in the air.

Why is he doing this?

Chris . . . she shook her head without continuing because it made no sense to even say any of the things that came to mind. It seemed obvious to her that it was too late for all of this. All she wanted to do was pick up her few personal items and go, but here he was creating this huge production which only served to make things much more difficult for both of them, and Jamie did not want to deal with it. I don’t know what you’re trying to do here, but we’re beyond all this now. I think it’s best if we just let it go and say goodbye.

He approached her with the intense stare and disarming smile he always used in the past to get what he wanted from her. But I don’t want to say goodbye. I told you; I love you and I always will.

Chris, I appreciate that, but we both need to move on.

He leaned in to kiss her, but she turned her face away from him. He took her chin in his hand and turned her face back to him. Come on baby, I need you.

Jamie was rapidly becoming annoyed. She stepped back, box still in hand, and walked around him as she said, I need to get my things.

Christopher’s face contorted in disbelief and anger, but she was already halfway down the hall. He stood there, bracing himself with his palms against the granite countertop, as he listened to the sound of Jamie rummaging around his bedroom and placing things into the box. His jaw twitched, he turned and rapidly paced down the hall.

He came upon Jamie unnoticed from behind, grabbed her arm, and turned her toward him in one swift motion. Then he pulled her up to his body and forcefully kissed her.

A muffled moan of objection could be heard just before she managed to pull away. Don’t do that! she hissed.

Chris snapped, You belong to me, Jamie.

Not anymore, she retorted as she tried to move past him.

Very suddenly he kneed her so hard in the stomach that it knocked all the air out of her lungs. Jamie dropped the box, spilling its contents, and crumpled to the floor unable to breathe. As she did so, he grabbed her, flipped her around and shoved her face down onto the edge of his bed. He fumbled briefly with the button of her jeans, but quickly managed to open it and had them pulled down around her ankles before she took in her first gasp of air.

In a fraction of a second his own fly was open and his penis, already hard and fully erect, sprang forth from within the confines of the denim. She felt him pull her by the hips toward him, and immediately he pushed himself inside of her so forcefully that, though still breathless, she winced.

Christopher pounded Jamie with rapid and violent jabs of his pelvis as he pulled on a fistful of her hair and heaved above her with animalistic, brutish grunts. Perspiration beaded up around his forehead and upper lip as he raped her, and Jamie could feel droplets of sweat falling onto her bottom and the small of her back as he vigorously thrust in and out of her.

The entire act took only a few moments, so great was his arousal. He ejaculated profusely inside of her, panted a few times, and collapsed on the bed beside Jamie.

Stunned, fearful, and demeaned, she lied there for a number of minutes, waiting to see what Chris would do next.

He remained still, apparently drifting to sleep.

Slowly Jamie sat up and brushed the hair from her face. She paused for a few moments, but Chris did not move, so she stood and pulled up her jeans.

He turned his face toward her, and she could feel him watching her. Timidly she said, I’m gonna go, okay?

Yeah, he snidely replied. Get the fuck out. I just wanted to give you something to remember me by.

Jamie knelt down and replaced the contents of the box which spilled during the scuffle. She stared at the items: two paperback books, one bra, three pairs of panties, a toothbrush, a half empty box of tampons, a pair of inexpensive earrings, and a handful of assorted hair ties and clips. Nothing in there, either individually or collectively, was worth what she just paid to get it back, but she picked up the box and carried it with her as she walked out of his bedroom for the last time.

Jamie hesitated before stepping into her second bubble bath of the weekend. She was aware of the fact that rape victims should never bathe after the crime until the authorities had an opportunity to gather all available evidence. But she also knew that she was not going to report the incident because it would be more difficult and painful to prosecute Christopher than it would be to mentally and emotionally work through his violation of her, and then let it go.

She entered the tub and sat down in the hot, soothing water.

Sensing Jamie’s fragile state, China rested near the bathroom door keeping watch over her owner. The dog listened to all the subtle sounds of the house, as well as some that were beyond its walls, and watched with canine empathy as her owner moaned in discomfort.

As her stomach grew increasingly sore from the knee she took to it a little more than an hour earlier, Jamie lathered a washcloth with a feminine cleansing product and gently reached between her legs, washing away what remained of Christopher’s crime. The folds of skin were inflamed from the forcefulness of undesired penetration, and she had to resist the temptation to vigorously scrub. Once she felt sufficiently clean, she leaned back, sank deeper into the tub to rest in a reclining position, and closed her eyes. Then she softly wept.

Thirty minutes later she was wrapped in her white terry cloth bathrobe and lying on her bed with China protectively, lovingly at her side. She felt close to sleep when her phone rang and jolted her just a little.

Carefully Jamie looked to see who was calling.

It was Hannah.

Hello, she softly said after answering the call.

Hey, how’s it going? Hannah asked with genuine concern. Knowing that Jamie made plans to pick up her things from Chris’s place, and the emotional toll such finality can take on a person, Hannah made sure to set aside time that afternoon to check on her best friend and be available to her if needed.

It’s not going very well, Hannah. It’s been a rough day.

Yeah, I kind of figured as much. Anything specific you want to talk about?

Jamie exhaled deeply into the phone, but hesitated to offer a verbal reply.

Always perceptive, Hannah suggested, How about I come over there with a bottle of wine and some snacks, and we can hash it over.

Again Jamie hesitated, uncertain if she was up to the company of even her closest friend.

Jamie? Are you there?

Yeah, she replied softly.

Okay, like I said, I’m heading over that way, said Hannah decisively. Wine and snacks are optional at this point. What are your feelings on them?

Wine sounds good, but I’m not at all hungry.

Wine. Check. I’ll be there shortly, I just need to stop at the store on my way over.


A short time later Hannah entered Jamie’s place with two plastic bags from the supermarket nearest her friend’s house. In one were a loaf of French bread, a wedge of brie, and a tub of assorted olives. In the other were two bottles of merlot.

"Two bottles of wine? Really, Hannah, it’s Sunday and I have a lot of work to do in the morning."

Yeah, well one didn’t seem like enough with the way you sounded on the phone.

Huh, mumbled Jamie as she opened up the kitchen drawer that held the corkscrew. You’re always able to read me, she added as she proceeded to twist the tool into the top of one of the bottles.

Hannah stood there watching her friend for a moment before speaking. I’m going to walk out on a limb here and say that it appears things did not go well today.

Jamie nodded as she removed the cork from the device.

What happened? Did he give you a hard time and not let you in?

Oh, he let me in, she replied with a trace of irony while pouring generous servings of wine into two glasses.

Did you fight?

Jamie handed one of the glasses to Hannah and replied, I guess you could say that.

Hannah stared at Jamie, looking her up and down. There were no signs of a physical altercation on her friend’s face or forearms, but she asked all the same. Did it get physical?

Jamie took a long sip from her glass before she replied. He raped me, Hannah.

Stunned into momentary silence, Hannah stared wide-eyed at her friend. Finally she blurted out, Oh my god! We’ve got to get you to a doctor! We need to call the police!

Jamie shook her head, No.

Jamie! Are you crazy? You can’t let him get away with this. He needs to go to jail!

With a single, fixated expression, Jamie’s eyes replied, Do you think this hasn’t already crossed my mind?

Hannah glanced downward, and in doing so adjusted her confrontational demeanor. I’m sorry, sweetie. You’ve been through enough as it is, and I don’t want to add more to the pile of shit you’ve already had to cope with today. But I do want to encourage you to be brave and make him face justice. After all, if he’ll do this to you, he’ll do it to someone else, too.

With a sniffle Jamie swallowed back a sob and replied, I know.

Hannah approached her friend and wrapped her arms around her. It’s going to be all right. You’ll get through this, and I’ll be with you every step of the way. We’ll see to it he gets what he deserves.

Jamie pulled away, gazed into the eyes of her friend, and said, I can’t report it, Hannah. I just can’t do it. I know how he is, and with the way it all went down, I just don’t see him facing any charges.

I understand what you’re saying, but you have to at least try. You have an obligation to report what he’s done. You can get a DNA test or something. Hannah stopped and stared at Jamie for a moment, suddenly realizing what had been obvious all along. Oh, jeez, she gasped. You took a shower, didn’t you?

A bath, actually.

Hannah slowly shook her head while looking Jamie up and down.

I’m not reporting it, Hannah. I’m not. Jamie took another gulp of wine and continued, I thought about it the entire drive home. In fact, I even considered going straight to the police department, but then I thought about what Chris would say, and you and I both know just how charming and convincing he can be. Between that and the way things would look at his house if they went to question him . . . I mean there was minimal evidence at best, Hannah. It’s not like we had some huge fight that the neighbors heard, or anything was torn up at the house. Nothing. It just wouldn’t hold water, and I don’t see anything coming from it other than a lot of grief for me.

Maybe you’re right, but I still don’t think he should be permitted to do that sort of thing to you—or anyone else for that matter—without some consequence, even if the only consequence is having a cop show up at his door and start asking him questions. Let him feel just a little bit of the fear you went through today at his hands.

Jamie considered her friends words as she continued to sip

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