L is for Loss

Jazz winced and couldn’t keep a moan from crossing her lips when Neil went over one of the many speed humps in his gated community.

“I’m sorry,” he said, quickly glancing at her in the passenger seat of the family mini van.

“It’s alright,” Jazz said as she braced for the next one. “Not your fault.”

“It’s just that–“

“I know. It’s alright.” Jazz reassured, using up energy beyond which she had to hide the effects of going over the humps as much as she could. She hadn’t felt them going in, thanks to a fantastic new painkiller, but it had worn off and now her joints and spine were making up for lost time. “Don’t mind me.”

“I don’t want to hurt you.”

“You’re not. This is just my normal. It’s okay.”

They both breathed a sigh of relief when they got out of the condo neighborhood and onto normal streets.

“I’m sorry to be such a bother.” Jazz muttered as Neil sped up after the turn, and then slowed down for the next light, causing a rocking motion not nearly as painful as the hump up and down, but still did not make her spine or legs happy.

Neil looked in the rear view mirror, assuring himself Courtney followed in Jazz’s car. Neil didn’t fit into Jazz’s little vehicle, and it was easier to load Jazz’s walker into the van. “You’re not. A bother that is.”

“You guys just spent a long day for the party, and now you got to drive me home,” she argued.

Neil shook his head while staring ahead, waiting for the light to change. “We told you we needed to do grocery shopping anyway. This isn’t anything big, right?”

“You shouldn’t need to do it.” Jazz moved her leg to verify her purse was in the car. She couldn’t remember bringing it out of the house; sometimes the drugs screwed with her memory. “I should be able to drive myself. I don’t know what I was thinking trying to come out.”

“Well, I for one am glad you came, right? Having you there meant the world to Elisa, and we had a great time.”

“So did I, but I really don’t want to be a burden.” Jazz watched as the shopping centers passed by.

“You’re not.”

Jazz looked over to study Neil’s face. He was the newest partner to her best friend, and she hadn’t spent much time with him. “Don’t lie.”

He sighed. “I don’t lie, right? Not good at the whole social nice thing. That is what we got Elisa for.”

“Then you are in trouble.” Jazz laughed gently. Harder would have hurt.

“I know, right?” Neil smiled over at her quickly before returning his attention to the busy road. “We wanted you there. I wanted you there. You are one of the most important people in Elisa’s life, and I am glad you could make it. Got that?”

“Alright.” Jazz let the conversation pause, but eventually the driving thought of not driving herself came out. “I just feel like a failure.”

“For what?”

“For not making it. For having you drive me instead of taking care of it.” Jazz wave her hand out at the everything. “For just, … not.”

“You did great.”

“I did not. I fell down at the end.”


A to Z Short Story List Breakdown

Rainbow Spectrum (A to F)

Marathon Party (G to M)
4/8/2019 – G is for Gobi
4/9/2019 – H is for Horse
4/10/2019 – I is for Sherbet
4/11/2019 – J is for Jazz
4/12/2019 – K is for Keeper
4/13/2019 – L is for Loss
4/15/2019 – M is for Marathon