Nothing ever stayed the same that was life. So long as there was time things would change and Jade understood this concept. Yet to her no time had passed, so it seemed that nothing should change. But life had moved on while she had been in the coma and she found that a hard fact to deal with. Out shopping with her friend's she had fallen down some stairs, banging her head, which caused her to slip into a deep sleep. She awoke at 11 o'clock at night, not realizing that she had been there for six years. It was too much to deal with. Six years of her life was gone. From 27 to 33. It was unfair.
Her boyfriend of two years was married with a two-year-old boy and another child on the way. Her father died of a hart attack a year after her accident, which along with Jades condition had caused her mother to have a nervous breakdown. Yet she had had Zak to take care of her and had recovered well. Zak was Jade's younger brother and they had always been close.
It was the change in Zak that shocked Jade most. He had always been carefree, never taking full control of his life, optimistically preaching that that there was always something around the corner. Then when nothing did come he always had his sister to fall back on. Jade had always teased him saying that she aught to teach him a lesson and turn him away. Well unintentionally she had given him this lesson and he had learnt from it. Along with an actual job as a bank manager of all things, he was engaged.
Her name was Jessica and they had met two years and three months ago whilst he was visiting Jade at the hospital, Jessica was a nurse there. Then three months ago he had taken Jessica to a restaurant for their anniversary, and there he had proposed. She smiled as he told her every detail of Jessica, he could not wait to introduce them properly. At least something good had come out of this coma. The topic made her long for her now ex-boyfriend Daniel.
He had come to see her in hospital as soon as he heard that Jade conscious. He had embraced her warmly and for a moment she thought that as she had hoped but not expected he had waited for her, but he hadn't, of course he hadn't, six years was along time. He loved her as he always would, but it was different now, he was married with kids and he loved them all deeply. He had apologized so many times for not waiting. She couldn't blame him, she was actually happy for him; happy he was happy even if it was not with her.
Most of her possessions were still with Daniel, all packed away in boxes. He always said that he was going to take them to Jade's mother's house, but he was either busy or something would get in the way. Truthfully Daniel did not want to get rid of the boxes. Getting rid of the boxes meant getting rid of the last essence of Jade. He knew he had built a new life, but could not completely turn his back on her.
He delivered them now though, to Jade's mother's house, he had to. Jade would be moving in with her mother as soon as she was strong enough to leave the hospital. Entering her childhood home was comforting. It was familiar. It was safe. But she soon felt the absence of her fathers presence and now more than ever she wanted to hear his reassuring voice telling her how at least she was out of bed. She could hear him saying that though it is up to her to move on, she should never forget that she was never alone in the venture; she would always have her friends and family. She did not have him though, only the memory of him, memories that pain caused her to avoid.
It was a month before she felt strong enough to venture to the cemetery and renew the flowers that lay at the head of her fathers grave. Jade had insisted on going alone to the cemetery and was glad the cemetery devoid of sentient life. Then only the whispering trees could witness her weeping to her father's tombstone. She did not talk as she sat amongst the graves. It didn't feel right to talk to a gray stone as though it was a replacement for him. She merely cried for the first time since she had arrived home. It was strange how only here amongst the dead was she able to release all that she felt.
For the first two weeks Jade avoided the world, preferring thesecurity of her mother's house. Her mother, so happy to have her daughter returned, had treated Jade as though she was once again a child. Fussing, talking and constantly making Jade food, she tried to do everything possible to help her poor little girl, though she felt guilty at not being able to turn back time, guilt that after six years she had become used to.
Most of the time Jade spent sitting curled up at her desk her old desk overlooking the garden. The house, being situated in the suburbs, wore a rather large garden, bare now of the climbing frame, slide and swings which had for so many years held a grateful place within the gardens plain grounds. Memories flitted by often welcome to Jade's struggling mind.
Then on the fifth day, after staring at the ruins of the tree house she had built with her father and Zak, she found herself walking past the kitchens blue and white tiles to the backdoor and into the overgrown garden. She smiled as she looked around the untouched grass and bushes. It had always been her father who had done the gardening. As a child Jade would watch her father as he played in his garden passing on his knowledge of the environment to his hovering daughter through rambling names and explanations of flowers and trees.
She stood there now listening to the empty garden and staring at the wrinkled bark lining her favourite childhood climbing frame that was the large oak tree standing at the bottom of the garden. It was a tree of formidable size, a ladder of branches making an easy climb to where aged boards were nailed surprisingly still firm, at the centre of the tree.
Autumn had left the tree naked of its leaves, meaning Jade had a clear sight, from that spot in the tree, of all around. It was depressing to behold the fresh houses that now replaced the small stretch of woodland that had looked so magical when Jade was a child. The buildings dull orange bricks could never compare to the collage of earthly orange, brown and yellow leaves that Jade believed should rightly littler the ground the houses stood on.
Looking back at the house Jade noticed a face, surrounded by deep red, bushy hair, spying out into the garden. Kirsty. Jade had been with Kirsty at the time of the accident. They had been best friends since a six year old Kirsty had approached a crying Jade with a grazed a knee in the playground. Wanting to greet this visitor, Jade scrambled happily down the tree as fast as she could, all the while calling for the attention of her old friend.
Talking and laughing about all the things gone by. Jade was informed of the growth of Kirsty's three children, all of whom were spending the weekend with their grandmother, allowing Kirsty to travel down too see Jade. It was astonishing to think of little Calann as being in his last year of primary school and baby Aeron now being a football crazy seven year old. And now there was a new member of the Thomas family that Adel would son meet. Five year old Evan, greatly enjoyed colouring, painting, sticking things (including a cup to the living room table) and being read the Grimm fairy tales and other children's stories, when going to bed. Jade made a mental note too buy some glitter paint and colouring pads when she visited Kirsty's home.
Apart from slight bags under her eyes, brought on by her new next door neighbours who had a tendency to have enjoy loud music late at night, Kirsty had barely changed. Her rounded, ever so slightly plump, fair face was as clear and beautiful as ever, with her curly hair expanding uncontrollably in all directions, giving her a comfortable warm glow.
They sat in the living room; topics running into one another with a smoothness that would make one think that they were all the same concept. Every now and again Jade's mother would appear in with the offer of tea, biscuits and sandwiches. It left the two women feeling like they were children at a sleep over. Kirsty did stay the night in the end, leaving them talking to long past twelve o'clock. Jade was surprised at how many time Kirsty managed to smoothly steer their conversation to how Jade felt, so that Jade would suddenly notice that she was back to talking about herself. It was a subject that Kirsty, not caring about how awkward it made Jade feel, would not permit evasion of.
Jade was sad to watch her friend get into her car after shared promises of visits. Seeing her friend happy and doing well had helped Jade more than Jade knew. She found herself determined to move on with her life, and as they had discussed the night before, she had find something to get on with, something that would get her out of the house. It was not healthy to stay in the house the way she was.
Before the accident Jade had worked at a quaint, little bookstore called 'R.Y.R's BOOK's'. Jade had adored the place ever since she discovered it on her twenty first birthday, and she had to admit to having felt pleased to have got a job there. Jade was in her element around books and this shop became her library of weird and unusual books. The pay was not bad either.
But 'R.Y.R's BOOKs' had closed down and turned into an old derelict building since it's owner, the shy but ever so friendly Mr Duncan D. Davies, died four and a half years after Jade's misfortune. The abandoned shop was a gloomy image. It was an image that Jade loved the thought of buying and returning to its original state as a local bookstore. Yet she had quickly dismissed the idea with a doubt that she had enough money in her savings. Talking to Kirsty had resurfaced the thought and in explaining it to friend, it somehow seemed like a possible idea. Especially when Kirsty offered to put some money towards it.
And she managed it. With money and support from her mother, brother and Kirsty Jade became the proud owner of the small shop. Dusty, old and in desperate need of repair, the building did not impress Jade's sponsors, but to Jade it was a piece of her old life that she could revive, even if it did need a lot of work. Most of the interior was the same only lacking in furniture and in the basement she even found a very large number of the original books that had lined the shops shelves. Keeping the same name and the same comfortable style, Jade spent weeks reforming the old building to its former glory. The most difficult part was ordering the right books to cell. She had missed a great amount and wasn't sure on the popular books at the moment, but then again Mr Davies had never been particularly caring of what was popular, if his tastes were not good enough for the customers then they would have to go without. Unfortunately Jade was not as trusting in her tastes as Mr Davies but after hours of uncertainly going through book listings she found herself resorting to her own opinion.
Opening day finally came three months later. It had been in the local newspaper. Pride flowed through her to see people entering, to see them browsing through the shelves at her books. Not much was sold, but that did not matter. She had worked so hard for this, but this in itself was only the beginning.
Sitting in Mr Davies ancient armchair, that Jade was pleased to find still in its place behind the counter, a young woman of about twenty began to approach. She had shoulder length blond hair, green eyes and a very familiar book in her hands. Jade stood ready to sell this woman the book.
"Ah, Lord of the Rings," said Jade pleasantly, taking the object and guiding it over the machine. "That has to be one of my favourites."
the first step would probably be getting a job. It would be something to get on with.
Before the accident Jade had worked at a quaint delightful little bookstore called 'R.Y.R's BOOK's'. Jade had adored the place ever since she discovered it on her twenty first birthday, and she had to admit to having felt pleased to have got a job there. Jade was in her element around books and this shop became her library of weird and unusual books. The pay was not bad either.
But 'R.Y.R's BOOKs' had closed down and turned into an old derelict building since it's owner, the shy but ever so friendly Mr Duncan D. Davies, died four and a half years after Jade's misfortune. The abandoned shop was a gloomy image. It was one that Jade loved the thought of buying and returning to its original state as a local bookstore. Yet she doubted she had enough money in her savings. No for now she had to concentrate on getting a job and the shop could be an aim.