Jimmy sat there listening to Lou cry next to the fire. He went back and forth on what to do about it until he was just about to join her but in tears of frustration.

He knew why she was crying. Kid was mooning over some new school teacher. Lou had overheard him talking about how it was time he moved on. Jimmy knew for certain that she hadn't moved on and was therefore not ready for Kid to either.

Part of him wanted to yell at her. She broke up with Kid after all. Did she really expect the man to sit around pining for her until she saw fit to find another beau? It wasn't really a fair expectation. Jimmy knew how hurt Kid had been over their break up. Of course he wanted to punch Kid most of the time for being so stupid to make her want to break things off in the first place.

Her sobs renewed and Jimmy knew he couldn't yell at her. She was hurting too much and he couldn't bring himself to hurt her more. Besides, he was hurting too over someone he couldn't have and he knew how she was feeling. It was his choice to leave Alice too.

In fact, the situation was almost the same with Alice. He left so he'd not have to make her go against the person she was. He loved and respected that person too much to ever ask her to change or to deal with the parts of his life that clashed with her own. The only difference was that Lou did the leaving to save herself. He couldn't blame her at all.

He let her cry for a while, in a way letting her cry for his pain too. He wasn't sure about love at all. He didn't understand how you could want something so bad that could cause such pain. More baffling was that even the pain wouldn't dampen the craving for it.

It was that craving, that desire to love and be loved that made him want to land a punch on Kid's jaw some days. Kid had everything that a man would want and pushed it away. Jimmy couldn't see how a man could do that; especially a man like Kid. Kid was a kind person. He wouldn't stand for cruelty to women and he'd not typically even raise his voice to one. But he was just so hard-headed and couldn't see that by trying to hold so tight to Lou, he was crushing her. She had to separate herself from him just to breathe.

But her breathing came at a cost it seemed because she was still in love with the man and believing it wasn't meant to be wasn't making that hurt go away. Jimmy knew a lot about that. He had learned that lesson recently. He already knew you don't always get what you want but how bad it could hurt to not get it was a new lesson.

Lou told him there would be others out there and he supposed Alice wasn't the only woman in the world. But right then, she was the only one he wanted; the only one he loved.

He just couldn't take her tears anymore.

"You okay, Lou?" he asked. No matter what she said, he already knew the answer.

~~~***~~~
Just Like a Woman by Bob Dylan

Nobody feels any pain
Tonight as I stand inside the rain
Ev'rybody knows
That Baby's got new clothes
But lately I see her ribbons and her bows
Have fallen from her curls
She takes just like a woman, yes she does
She makes love just like a woman, yes she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl.

Queen Mary, she's my friend
Yes, I believe I'll go see her again
Nobody has to guess
That Baby can't be blessed
Till she finally sees that she's like all the rest
With her fog, her amphetamine and her pearls
She takes just like a woman, yes she does
She makes love just like a woman, yes she does
And she aches just like a woman
But she breaks just like a little girl.

It's was raining from the first
And I was dying there of thirst
So I came in here
And your long-time curse hurts
But what's worse
Is this pain in here
I can't stay in here
Ain't it clear that.


I just can't fit
Yes, I believe it's time for us to quit
When we meet again
Introduced as friends
Please don't let on that you knew me when
I was hungry and it was your world
Ah, you fake just like a woman, yes you do
You make love just like a woman, yes you do
Then you ache just like a woman
But you break just like a little girl.

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