Because of You

A L Long
8 min readJun 15, 2020


A second chance at love: Chapter One💗

Tune in as the story of love and deceit begins to unfold. One chapter at a time.

Photo provided by Depositphotos


“Jillian, I have to go out for about an hour. Can you please make sure everything is ready for the investor meeting this afternoon?”

“Sure thing, Mr. Nelson.”

Mr. Nelson was the greatest boss ever. He was a little disorganized, but a great boss, nonetheless. Whenever it came time for Jillian to take some much-needed time off, he always granted her the time so she could go on her mini-vacations with her best friend, Sue.

Placing another ream of paper in the copier, Jillian noticed she was almost finished putting together the material that Mr. Nelson requested for the meeting. Every month investors from every sector of business came together to share new insights and ideas on ways to help clients earn higher dividends on their investments. Mr. Nelson was a risk taker, but he knew the market and he knew it very well. Not everyone who came to the meetings was as gutsy as him, but they were always ready to hear what he had to share. Sometimes they would stay after the meeting just to have a one-on-one conversation with him to get his opinion on how to handle an account.

Stapling the last packet of material together, Jillian picked up the pile of finished materials and headed to the boardroom, where dark suits would soon fill the space. As she placed a packet in front of every chair, she knew that she was falling behind and there was still a lot that needed to get done to prepare for the meeting.

She still hadn’t heard from the company hired to cater the food for the meeting and was getting worried that it wouldn’t arrive on time. Her only alternative was to drive there and pick it up, assuring that it would be here when the meeting began, but before she did that she needed to get in touch with the caterer and find out if they were on schedule to deliver the food. Placing a fresh pitcher of water on a tray along with a dozen freshly washed glasses, she moved the tray to the middle of the conference table. Everything was ready except the arrival of the food. Looking at her watch, she saw the scheduled meeting was less than two hours away. She needed to find out what was going on.

Walking over to her desk, she dialed All That Catering and waited for someone to answer. Seven rings later someone finally answered, and Jillian could tell that the young girl on the other end was winded, like she had been running her tail off. After speaking with the young girl for several minutes, she gathered that they were also falling behind since a few co-workers had called in. They had been unable to make it to Nelson Investments due to the bad weather that had hit. If it hadn’t been for the meeting, Jillian wouldn’t have come in either. She knew that Mr. Nelson would have to be on his deathbed to miss work. In the five years she had worked for him, she could only remember one time he had taken off work, and that was only because the power went out and it would take twenty-four hours before it would be up again.

Grabbing her purse from her desk drawer, Jillian slung it over her shoulder and headed to the elevator. The catering company was across town, and with the weather being the way it was, she knew that it would take her a good hour to pick up the food and get it back to the office. She was thankful that she had a four-wheel drive and could maneuver through traffic quite easily without getting stuck. Hopefully the roads were cleared off and her time away would be cut in half.

Reaching the parking garage, she saw most of the snow from earlier had already melted from her car. As she turned on the engine, Jillian remembered back to when she had purchased her Highlander. Sue was the first person she had met when she moved to Montana and had suggested that she trade in her Mini for something more weather worthy. It was the best decision she made. California and Montana were like night and day when it came to the weather.

Heading onto the main highway, Jillian knew that it would be the quickest route to the caterers. The roads were still pretty icy, but Jillian hurried every chance she got to save time. Being as careful as she could, she maneuvered between the slow-moving vehicles, hoping that her car wouldn’t start sliding into one as she passed them.

Coming to a stop at the light, Jillian checked the time on the dash and saw that she still had plenty of time. When the light changed to green, she eased her foot on the gas, correcting the car as the back end began to slide. She had always hated intersections, and on this particular day more than ever. Despite her care, she was unable to steer clear of the truck that was skidding toward her. In an instant the truck struck the side of her car, pushing it into the row of cars still stopped on the other side. Nothing she could have done could have stopped the collision. Though it was within seconds, everything played in slow motion as the windshield shattered. Just like scrap metal, her car had been crushed by a large truck and another car, which left her wedged inside. Feeling the pressure of the steering wheel pinned against her chest, Jillian found it hard to breathe.

Trying desperately to get out of the car, she reached for the handle and pulled it towards her. The door wouldn’t move, and with the steering wheel tight against her body, she could not reach the handle with her other hand. Pounding her fist against the window, she began yelling for help. It was as though no one could hear her. Looking around her, there wasn’t a single person that had looked her way. Their attention was elsewhere assisting others that were screaming frantically for help. Moving her hand to the steering wheel, she pounded on the horn, only to find it didn’t work. Even if it had, she wasn’t sure it could be heard above the loud cries.

Jillian needed to take the pressure from the steering wheel off her chest. Reaching between the seat and the door, she managed to find the control for the seat. Praying it still worked, she pushed it back. As the seat moved backward, the pressure lessened. Jillian placed her hand on her chest only to find she had another problem to contend with. A shard of glass from the windshield had penetrated her skin just below her sternum where most of the pressure from the steering wheel was. She began bleeding, and it was then she knew the pressure of the steering wheel had kept her from bleeding out. Staring down at the wound, Jillian felt lightheaded. Before she could move the seat back to its original position her head fell forward.

Waking up to the sounds of people chatting all around her, Jillian focused her eyes to find she was staring up at the ceiling. Her head hurt like hell and the bright lights weren’t helping. As she tried to get the words out, she realized something was preventing her from talking. Lifting her hand to her face, she stopped her movement as a man’s voice said, “Try to relax. We will have that tube out in a jiffy.”

Lowering her arm, Jillian closed her eyes and tried to relax. It was easier said than done as the pain in her head radiated to her chest. While trying to think of something other than the pain, the accident that led to her being in the hospital played back in her mind. There wasn’t anything she could remember from the time she passed out to now.

As the EMTs pushed her into a vacant emergency room stall, there were several of the medical staff following close behind. One by one they hooked her up to different machines while a nurse cut away her clothes. She really liked the blouse she had worn and even though it was bloodstained, she would have liked to have kept it. When the nurse exposed the cut between and below her breast, she knew that it was deep enough to require surgery.

Wondering if she was delusional or if the man who came into the room was real, Jillian’s heart broke again the minute he spoke. “Give me an update on Ms. Steel’s condition.”

So many years had passed without a word from him, and now ten years later, there he was: the man who left without a word. If Jillian had the ability to speak, she would have told him how much she hated him for what he did. She never forgot the day he left, and for three thousand, seven hundred fifty-one days it played havoc on her mind. Nash Colton was someone she would never forget. He was her first love; the first boy she friended when her father transferred to California. The first boy she had ever kissed. Last she knew he was off to college somewhere in New York. There was never a goodbye when he left, and it was his parents that had informed her he had gone away. Not even Mr. and Mrs. Colton stayed in California. Jillian never stayed in touch with them and never knew where they were moving to. She could only assume that they went to New York to be with Nash.

Keeping her eyes on him, she watched as he approached the side of the gurney. When he placed his hand on her an electric bolt ran through her body, bringing to life every memory they shared before he left so long ago. His eyes connected with hers and it was then she recognized the same look he had given her days before he disappeared out of her life.

Leaning in, he squeezed her hand and whispered, “I promise, everything will be okay.”

Somehow, Jillian knew that Nash would make good on his promise. She didn’t know why, but she trusted him completely and believed him when he said everything would be okay. Maybe it was his way of telling her he would make it right, or maybe she was making his words mean more than what they actually meant. He was a doctor, after all, and it was probably something he said to all his patients. The locks had been released on the gurney and Jillian knew that the time had come. Closing her eyes, she prayed that she would see him again, if only to tell him how she truly felt.

When the gurney came to a stop, she could feel her body being lifted onto the operating table. Only able to see the light above her, she concentrated on the voices in the room. The one voice, in particular, she focused on was Nash. Before she became completely unconscious, she heard him say, “See you soon.”

Jillian and Nash’s story continues, with Chapter Two.

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A L Long

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