The Story of Emma & Jack — Day 31 of 99 Days of Wander
The story of Emma and Jack is a regular everyday story of love. There is nothing special about it, besides the fact that there is.
Emma met Jack in college when they both were passionate about literature, economics and politics. Emma enjoyed photography and travelling, Jack really liked camping. Emma was artistically inclined, while Jack was always thinking rational thoughts. Emma was a passionate dreamer, Jack was an optimistic realist. Emma loved everything colourful, beautiful and free. Jack loved order and peace. She was an Aquarius, he was a Gemini.
Just as most young couples in love, Emma and Jack spent most of their time together dreaming of the future they’re going to build together and the life they’re going to live. They decided that their lives together will be much better than the lives of their parents. And their children will have a better future in a better world.
They discussed topics such as astrology, the meaning of life and global warming while sipping cheap beer on the college lawn. Emma was very concerned about the rise of digital devices and social media turning humans into zombies, while Jack was excited about humans becoming interplanetary species. Being a rational being, he couldn’t care less about Emma’s irrational zombie concerns. On weekends Emma and Jack used to go out dancing salsa (Jack was bad at dancing but was trying real hard to make her happy) and drinking margaritas, occasionally smoking Mary J and trying other drugs, just like college kids do.
One summer they even managed to travel to the Amazon in Brazil for an ayahuasca ceremony and have a real vacation in-between their summer jobs. Jack still remembers puking for about an hour and then having the best experience of his life (apparently, he was talking to his dead grandfather for hours, who had been a famous Lithuanian engineer, and now Jack was on a mission to build the world’s biggest wifi satellite network.)
Jack was Emma’s everything and Jack couldn’t imagine a life without Emma. Without each other they would be lost. They truly believed that. They have filled each other’s gaps, they have held each other’s hands in most important moments of their lives.
Naturally, Emma thought of Jack first, before she thought of herself, as all lovers should. Jack would sell his soul to the devil, if needed be, to save her life. She was his muse and she was his life. He was her best friend, lover, brother and husband-to-be. She was the best thing in his life: always pushing him forward, always challenging him, always being there to support. She was ambitious and without any doubt, would go far. She helped him discover his passion in engineering. She really wanted him to succeed. She knew what was best for him and for herself. Her big grey eyes had such depth and contrast and Jack loved the whole package. He, on the other hand, was giving her something she had never had: love.
And love is what held them together, like an electronic device and its charging cable, like Instagram and its filters, like Spotify and its “Discover Weekly” playlists.
By the time they graduated college, Emma was 24, Jack was 26. They both decided to move to a big city and start their dream careers: Emma in a big design studio, Jack in an engineering company. Everything was going so well: they found a really cute (but super tiny) apartment, bought furniture from IKEA, and even got a puppy and called him Emjag, and started living their beautiful future life in the big city. Their pay was not great but Emma and Jack were forward-looking, self-reliant and inventive people. They knew that with hard work and dedication they will get to where they want to be very soon…
Until the night when Jack left for a working trip that December.
To keep her mind off Jack, Emma had accepted an invitation to a friend’s party that night. Nothing special — just a lovely gathering of old friends.
And this is where she saw HIM.
He didn’t appear too interested in her, but appearances can lie. He kept looking at her while chatting with his friends. He had never spoken directly to her but she knew he could feel it too. She felt it all: in her gut, in her knees, in her throat… and in her heart. She couldn’t really understand this tingling sensation, so distant, so unfamiliar but ohh, so sweet. She was almost afraid to speak it out loud or share with anyone.
— “What the f*ck, Emma? Have you lost your mind? Brush it off, it’s just a passing sensation, people get attracted to each other all the time. Doesn’t mean anything,” that’s what her best friend, Marissa would tell her. And Marissa is the one who knows everything. So she didn’t mention anything to her best friend because what she was feeling was absolute bullshit.
After all, she was in a committed, long-term relationship. She couldn’t be feeling what she was feeling. In short, this was nothing special and had to be forgotten.
But it wasn’t. Days after Jack came back from his working trip, Emma was sometimes remembering the strange feeling and how mysteriously new it was. She had kept wondering “What if?” day in and day out.
Until one day at an annual “DesigneRR” awards conference, she met HIM again. That day she was wearing a yellow long-sleeved transparent chiffon blouse and a blue mini-skirt paired with her favourite black heels. “Serendipity,” she thought.
They chatted over the coffee break at the end of which she heard herself say “After the conference?…Hmmm… Sure, I’m free… yeah, of course, would love to talk about that new trend of duotones & minimalism…yeah, see you at the bar then….”
That night Emma told Jack she was having a late night dinner and drinks with her colleagues. For the first time ever, she lied to Jack. She didn’t think it was a big deal. She wasn’t doing anything wrong. But she came back home mesmerised, catalysed and galvanised.
She didn’t say anything to anyone because there was really nothing to tell. It was a one-time thing and it would never happen again. But she knew deep down inside… that night changed everything.
A door, that was never supposed to be opened, had been unlocked. Her whole being was in this insane state of madness; she was a different kind of Emma.
As for Jack, he continued going to work, doing groceries, going out with friends and working on his new exciting engineering project in the city. His job was interesting and quite challenging. He felt there was something strange going on with Emma but he didn’t read into it too much as he knew women have a sensitive nature that might change now and then, according to the season, the moon cycle or whatever else usually affects female moods.
Months went by and one day, when Emma got back from a three-day trip with her girlfriends, Jack was sitting on the couch with her laptop open in front of him… She couldn’t read his face as it was a face she had never seen on him before. Strangely awkward and almost scary… It wasn’t Jack sitting on their beloved blue velvet couch with Emjag… but a different man. A man with tears in his eyes, with his heart on the plate, with his mind lost.
And then she knew that he knew. He knew everything. But he couldn’t believe it. Jack thought it must have been a mistake. Emma couldn’t be that kind of a woman.
Emma, the love of his life, the purest form of gentleness and strength in one single person…
Emma, the muse and the driving force of his ambition and success…
Emma, the woman without whom he just couldn’t imagine his life…
She had cheated on him.
She tried to deny it but when her eyes started running right and left and he saw an unfamiliar lost and scared look on her face, he knew it was all true…
— “Who is he? Do I know him? How did you meet?”
— “It really doesn’t matter… That’s not the point…”
— “That is exactly the point. Has he fucked you?”
Disclosure: The characters depicted in this piece are fictitious. Any similarity to any person living or dead is merely coincidental (or served as inspiration.)
The “Valentine” Wanderova