Chapter 40: Saturday Night
Jensen seems to have finally reached his limit. It sure has taken time for him to fight back. I’m proud of him.
Sherri made a huge pot of homemade beef soup and two large pans of cornbread. The family was heading into the kitchen nook when the doorbell rang. Jensen, who was eating his first meal with the family since he had been ill, was passing the door when bell rang. He opened it and heard his father’s voice, and he froze.
Jared returned to see who had arrived and put his arm around the older man.
“Mr. Ackles, Josh, MacKenzie? Come in.”
“I’m sorry to bother all of you, but we had a lot to do today and needed to come here and speak with all of you.”
Sherri entered the hallway. “Have you had supper?”
“We haven’t had the time to even think about food today.”
“Come join us,” Jared offered. Jensen turned and walked towards the kitchen area.
The kitchen nook, like all of the house, was large. It was a tight fit, but everyone sat around the table.
After the bowls were filled and the cornbread buttered, the room grew silent. Everyone stared at the sculptor, watching his trembling hand as he attempted to eat his soup.
The hand froze midair.
The younger Ackles son lowered his head and tried to keep from crying.
“Your mother is no longer living with us.”
“I filed for divorce on Friday afternoon after Josh called me. Donna and I had an argument as soon as I got home, and I told her to leave. She has gone to your grandmother’s house. She came by today with some friends from church who are no longer speaking to us, and she took what she wanted. We made a list and our neighbor, who is a notary, signed and stamped it after our signatures. The form states that she can no longer enter the house without our permission. It was my grandfather’s house so she can’t lay any claim to it.”
“Divorce? Why now?”
“Because there have been too many witnessed confrontations. I’m sorry, son. I should have been more alert to what was happening and left her years ago,” his father answered.
“Josh? How did you know?”
“Jared told me there was a problem with Mom. I gave her time to get home and called Mac, who told me what Mom did. I called Dad immediately.”
“What happens now?”
“I offered Donna a settlement, and she has promised not to ask for more nor will she contest it. We just want to be a part of your life,” Alan answered softly.
Jensen rose from the table and walked out of the room. Jared jumped up and followed him. He found him standing outside on porch, shivering in the cold night air. The coach discovered that the other man was crying.
Wrapping his arms around the sculptor, Jared held him close, not saying a word. It wasn’t long before Sherri walked outside.
“Your father wants to know if they should leave.”
Jensen turned and headed for the door, followed by the other two. Everyone looked up as he entered the kitchen nook. His face was blotchy and his eyes red.
He stood still, fists at his side. “You were never there for me, none of you. So now that I finally get to have you as my family and it overwhelms me, you ask if you should leave? You won’t even fight to keep me?”
For the first time in his children’s lives, Alan Ackles was heard to swear, “Damn it, Jensen. That is not what I was trying to do!”
“Then what in the hell are you trying to do!”
Silence filled the room as Alan got up and walked over to his son. He grabbed him, squeezing tight. He cried as he held the young man, and soon both were shedding tears.
Sherri and Jared were both concerned about Jensen; the doctor having said to keep him calm.
The coach walked over and placed his hand on his companion’s shoulder. “I think the air has been cleared a little tonight. It’s going to take some time to make things right, but Jensen doesn’t need all of this right now. We can’t afford a relapse, so why don’t we all just realize that mistakes were made in the past. This is now the present, and we will face the future as a family. Let’s all start over. I want to see you three over here as much as you can do so. You have to get to know who Jen is, and I think you’ll love him.”
Soon, everyone was back at the table, enjoying the meal. Jensen was quiet, as usual, listening to the conversations.
The women cleaned the dishes and kitchen and once they were done, everyone sat together in the family room and talked. Jared sat on the floor with Jensen on a pallet beside him, and the sculptor soon fell asleep with his head on the coach’s lap. At 10:30, the Ackles left and Jared walked the sleepy man towards his bedroom. The two climbed into bed with Gus at their feet.
“Did I chase them away, Jar?”
“No, but you did put a burr under their saddle. The Ackles are going to fight to win your forgiveness. You don’t need to worry or be hurt any longer, Jen. They love you and want to know the man you’ve become.”
“I haven’t gotten there yet.”
“No, not all the way, but far enough for them to be proud of who you are.”
The older man cuddled in the taller one’s arms and sighed as he drifted off to sleep.