|Handle With Care
Author: Lifelike PM
Felicia is a bad influence, and Harry has to intervene before Jake hits rock bottom. Rated for language.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama/Angst - Words: 1,001 - Reviews: 1 - Published: 07-28-08 - Status: Complete - id: 2551386
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
"Why don't you just break up with her?" Harry's voice was slow, careful. He was treading on thin ice just by mentioning the idea, but Jake was clearly not okay. Harry had had enough; it was time he intervened and said what everyone was thinking.
Jake didn't even turn around. He just continued to methodically rub the coffee mugs dry. Then, after setting them back in the cupboard, he turned and said, "Why does everyone seem to think she's a bad influence on me? Honestly."
Harry frowned. When it came to Felicia, Jake was calmly protective. It made Harry worry. It made Jake's parents worry. "Because she is," Harry said simply. "She's not good for you, Jake. I think some part of you knows this but you don't want to admit it."
"I'll be the first to admit Felicia has her flaws," Jake said coolly, leaning against the counter and crossing his arms across his chest. It was a stance that could end a conversation, "but I love her," he continued. "She's my wife."
Well, certainly Harry knew that. He wasn't stupid. He remembered the very awkward wedding, the strange stories about their sex life, the hopes and dreams and wishes. Harry didn't really understand it, though he figured that if he did, he might not want to interrupt the life Jake had built himself. Jake had turned back to wiping the counters. "Want another coffee?" he was offering.
"I know where you can meet some girls," Harry said. "Nice girls, you know? Pretty girls. Girls who… would do you some good."
Jake sighed. "Harry," he said, turning back around. "Did you only come here to try to make me break up with Felicia?"
Although he didn't want to admit it, it was true. Better to tell the truth. "You could say that," Harry replied. "But I would say it's more like… a worried friend trying to give you some advice."
"I appreciate the thought, Harry, really, I do," Jake said with finality, "but I never wanted, nor will I ever want, your advice when it comes to my love life. Thanks."
It would have effectively stopped anything more from anyone else but Harry. He knew exactly that Jake would get defensive, but Felicia had to go before Jake suffered more than he ever had.
"Jake," Harry said, standing. "I'm speaking only in your best thoughts."
Jake laughed, but it was tinged with a bitterness that Harry could taste in his own mouth. "You sound just like my god-damned mother," he said in a voice that trembled with rage. Harry was making Jake angrier than Harry had ever seen him, and he knew it. "Did she set you up to this?"
"No," Harry answered honestly. "But we're all worried."
"I'm fine!" Jake roared, whirling around. "I was fine before and I'm fine now, but I may go nuts if you keep interfering. I love Felicia. You can't change that. My 'worried' parents can't change that either. If all you're going to do for the rest of your life is try to make me change my mind about the one thing in my life that is right, then you can get out of it and stay out of it." He pushed Harry back into the table. "There's the door, Harry. Get your ass out of it before I call the police."
"This is why we're worried!" Harry cried back, balancing himself on the edge of the table. "Look what she's doing to you, Jake!"
"She's done nothing to me but make me better!" Jake shouted, hands clenching. "If I've changed at all, it's because of the people like you who somehow think she's ruining me."
Even though Harry hadn't cried for years, tears pricked at his eyes. "Jake, you've completely changed. Why can't you see that?"
Jake's face softened. "Harry," he said gently, "I'm sorry. Please leave."
"I won't." Harry stepped forward. "I won't until you know the truth. The truth about Felicia."
"Truth?" Jake smiled lopsidedly, that charming smile that girls loved. "Lay it on me, then, Harry. You gonna tell me she's cheating on me? Her divorce isn't final? She has fourteen children out of wedlock? Or maybe that she has some kind of STD that surely I have now?"
"Your parents don't want me to say this," Harry said. Jake's face transformed to blank surprise.
"Say what?" he asked. "What are you going to tell me?"
Harry took in a deep breath. "Jake," he said, as gently as he could. He put his hands on his best friend's shoulders. "Jake," he said again, "Felicia… she…"
"I don't want to hear it!" Jake shoved Harry back again, so that he stumbled into the table. It moved back several inches with a tremendous scraping noise. "Oh god, you've woken her up!"
Harry listened for several seconds but heard no one. "You're the only one who can hear her yelling!" he finally shouted, and Jake stopped in his tracks. "God dammit, Jake, I can't fucking hear her! She's a bad influence and I know you know why. We tried to accept it, Jake, but it went too far." Jake's shoulders slumped, he leaned on the doorframe but did not turn around.
"We're… going to get you some help," Harry said, quietly. "Can't you see what this is doing to you?"
Jake slid to the floor, and Harry swooped down next to him to scoop him in his arms. Jake trembled like a leaf, and Harry was about to say something when Jake spoke.
"I know," he said quietly, and then, looking up at Harry with the biggest, saddest, most scared eyes he'd ever seen, he continued: "but she won't let me stop."