The pain was excruciating. Jane groaned trying to sit up. It took all her willpower to swing her legs off the bed. Her vision blurred briefly and then cleared again. She could hear somebody in the kitchen. She pushed herself up from the bed. Wincing as pain laced through her body. So maybe it was still too soon to be up and about, but she was tired of lying in bed all day. If she could make it to the couch she will at least be able to watch some Sports Centre or something else that will occupy her mind.
Her breath came in short bursts and her muscles were aching like she’s run too fast for too long. Sweat beaded on her brow and she could feel streams running down her back from the exertion. She was almost halfway down the hall when her legs gave way.
“Arrgggh… Dammit!” she cried out in pain as she crashed into the wall and felt herself slide to the floor.
“Janie? Is that you?” her mother called from the kitchen. Jane struggled into a sitting position, gasping for breath and shaking uncontrollably.
“Jane!” Angela’s cry was near hysterical as she ran to Jane’s side. “Are you okay?” Jane grunted a response hoping her mother would take it to mean that she was in fact okay. “Why are you out of bed? You’re supposed to be resting!” Her mother’s tone reminded her of all the times she and her brothers were in trouble when they were younger. “I’m fine Ma.” She replied smiling at the memory and her frowning mother. “You find it funny to scare your poor mother half to death? I swear Jane I almost died when I saw you on the floor.” Angela was shaking a finger in her face and Jane barked a laugh. Immediately regretting it as pain laced through her body anew.
“Ma, I’m fine. I just needed to get out of the room. I can’t lie around all day, I need to do something” she tried to explain her actions. Angela’s face softened and she sat down next to Jane putting an arm around her shoulders. “Well next time you feel the need to go exploring please call one of use Janie. You could get hurt!” Jane smiled at the irony since she was already hurt, but wisely chose to keep quiet on the subject. Instead she asked “Will you help me up please and help me to the couch?”
It took some time and careful maneuvering, but they eventually reached the couch. Both of them breathing heavily and sounding like a couple of marathon runners after a grueling race. Jane fell asleep almost immediately. The strain of the short walk clearly had taken its toll on her broken body. Angela hovered over her only daughter and sadness flooded through her body. Raw sobs started to escape from deep within her being. She blindly fled to the kitchen scared that she might wake Jane back up. She sank to the floor with her hands in her hair. It was torture seeing her Jane like this. Jane had always been so strong, stubborn and independent that the thought of her needing help with the smallest of chores broke Angela’s heart.
She carefully took her Rosary in her hand and silently started to pray for her daughter. Reciting the familiar words over and over, but not feeling the relief she so desperately required. Angela had never wavered in her faith before, but seeing Jane broken was testing it to the limit. She stood up sighing and started preparing dinner for Maura and herself. The task was calming and it wasn’t long before Angela started humming softly while rolling out her special homemade pasta dough on the counter. She prepared the meat and vegetables for the dish and placed the finished product into the oven. After cleaning the work area she looked at the clock and was startled to see that it was nearly seven. Poor Maura. Between work and caring for Jane Angela doubted that the medical examiner had any time for herself. She smiled as she thought about the socially inept Maura Isles and the unlikely friendship that has blossomed between her and Jane. Maura was good for Jane. She seemed to calm the more erratic side of Jane’s personality. Jane on the other hand, seemed to be able to draw out the more reserved Maura. Two sides of the same coin, Angela mused. If only Maura was a man. She would be the perfect match for her Janie. If only…
“Angela?” Maura’s voice pulled Angela out of her musings. She had not heard the medical examiner come home. “In the kitchen honey” she called back. Receiving no response Angela moved towards the living area concerned that something may be wrong with Jane. She found Maura looking down at Jane, a pensive look on her face. Her hand reached towards a stray curl on Jane’s forehead and she lightly brushed it aside intimately. Angela retreated back towards the kitchen feeling as if she had intruded on Maura’s privacy. The look on Maura’s face was unmistakable. It spoke of love, it spoke of longing.
After switching off the oven Angela unlocked the back door and slipped out towards the guest house, silently closing the door behind her. Her mind reeling at the implications of the feelings reflected through that one look. Inwardly she prayed that the friendship between the two women was strong enough to withstand an unrequited love or even a returned love.