The Johnson's


    “Too bloody.”

    “Pain pills?”

    “Too clichéd.”


     “Too... Lifetime Network’s Saturday Night Movie.”

     Jack ran a hand through his unwashed hair, and looked up on the bed with annoyance.  

     “Listen Jess, we could do this all day. We’ve talked about this, ok?  There’s no going back now, you know that.”

     Jessie sat on the bed, curled up on her favourite Scooby Doo blanket. She knew there was no going back, and she knew that they should have been more careful. Hell, she would be the first one to admit that this should never have happened in the first place.  However, the fact of the matter was that it did happen. Now, the consequences had come back to bite them both in the ass.

     “Jack... What if –“

     “No, Jess. We can’t.” Taking his glasses off, he roughly scrubbed his right hand over his face before continuing. “Think of... Oh, God. Think of what would happen if they found out. Think of what would happen to you, what would happen to me... Think of what would happen to it! Think of –“He broke off in disgust, unable to finish.

     Jessie’s hand flew to her stomach. It. That one had caught her off guard, the hurt quick and sharp like the stinging shock of a paper cut. It. He had called her baby – their baby an it. Biting her lip, she looked away quickly before Jack could catch the pain her eyes, or the tears threatening to spill over in sad, fat drops.

     “I suppose you’re right,” she murmured, voice thick.

     “I am,” Jack responded sadly. He pulled himself onto the bed, and threw his arms around her, burying his face in the soft hollow of her neck. Her shampoo smelled of peaches, and he swallowed the lump in his throat knowing he would never get to hold Jessie this way again.

     There was silence for a while until Jack spoke again, his voice sounding small and strange. “You know, if there were any other way—“

     “I know,” Jessie replied, no longer making an effort to try to control her tears.

     It was 7:00PM. They only had a few more hours until someone would arrive home.

     Jack looked at Jessie suddenly, with such a look of genuine excitement that she couldn’t help but be a bit startled.

      “Let’s go to the roof!” Jack offered enthusiastically.

     “The roof?” Jessie repeated.

      “Yeah, come on!  It’ll be just like when we were kids.” He hesitated then, closing his mouth suddenly. The excitement on his face left as quickly as it had appeared. Forcing himself to finish the thought, he added: “It’ll be –“

     “—Our last sunset,” Jessie finished grimly.

     She rolled herself off the bed, feeling whatever contagious excitement Jack had passed on quickly fade away.  Dark reality began to ooze into its place, not unlike the lengthening shadows that began to creep slowly down the walls as the day came to an end.

     “Let’s go,” Jessie agreed.

     Down the hallway they went, past the study, goodbye cramming for finals. Past the bathroom, goodbye early morning routine. Past the sleeping cat curled up beneath the hallway air vent, goodbye Mittens.  They arrived at the very end of the hallway, where a tiny cloth string dangled from the otherwise smooth ceiling.

     Jack gave it a hard tug, and the string came down, bringing with it a set of rickety stairs. They had discovered this short cut to the roof of the building as children, and it seemed like ages since they had used it.

     “Milady?”  Jack offered with a mock bow.            

     Jessie giggled and climbed up the stairs while Jack followed. They trekked all the way up what seemed like and endless flight of stairs, until they reached the door of the roof.

     Once there, they embraced openly in the cooling August breeze, not caring anymore who saw. It would all be over soon anyway. They sat and watched the fading sun, and without saying anything, knew it was the right time and place.

     So it was there on the cool, redbrick roof of their spacious penthouse building with its impeccably trimmed bushes and manicured lawns, that Jack and Jessie, the Johnson twins, and rumored lovers, held hands and jumped to their deaths.