Today I used the “Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet” prompt and wrote a bit more about Jonas and Isaac. Though, this will take place after the end of their actual story.
“Don’t get up,” Jonas said, putting his cup down on the coffee table. “I’ll get it.”
“This is my house,” Carlota Rodriguez said. “There’s no reason for you to be answering my door.”
Beside him, Isaac grinned. “He just likes being able to get up off the couch without crutches. And maybe the chance to show off his new leg.”
Jonas shoved his shoulder, but he did get up. He was still adjusting to the leg, but it was nice to be able to get up and around without those damn crutches all the time. He made his way toward the front door of the Rodriguez’s house. He’d been here plenty of times with Santiago. But, this was the first time since his best friend had died.
Hard to believe it had been a year already.
He opened the door and stared in surprise at the face he’d only seen on a computer screen before. “Trudy?”
“Jonas?” she asked then laughed. “If you’re here, then Santi must be home. Where’s he hiding at? He hasn’t answered any of the messages I’ve sent recently, and he’s never available on video chat anymore.”
The smile fell away from Jonas’ face. Trudy hadn’t heard the news yet. How could she not have heard? “Trudy,” he started to say.
Behind him, he heard Isaac call his name. “Mrs. Rodriguez wants to know why you’re not letting her guest in.”
“Who’s that?” Trudy asked.
“My boyfriend,” he told her. “Isaac. Trudy, I have to tell you-”
“Boyfriend?” she demanded. “You’d bring a boyfriend to Santi’s house? You know he’s still in love with you. No matter what you both say.”
Jonas swallowed hard. “No, he isn’t.”
“That’s bullshit, Jonas. I may have only seen the two of you through a screen, but even I could feel the chemistry.”
He shook his head, but she was pushing past him. “Trudy, wait,” he said. “You have to know-”
“Santiago Rodriguez,” she called out. “I come back after ten years, and you can’t even greet me yourself. Where are you?”
“Dead,” Jonas choked out the word. “He’s dead, Trudy.”
She spun around and for a moment looked like she was going to laugh. Like she thought he was telling some bad joke. But, she must have seen it in his face because her own went slack. “No,” she said. “He’s just been avoiding me.”
“He hasn’t,” Jonas told her. “A little over a year ago our helicopter was shot down. He died. I was the only one to make it out intact. Well,” he amended, “not completely intact.” He lifted his pant leg and showed her the metal rod that now stood in place of his lower leg.
Isaac came around the corner then. “See? I knew you’d be showing it off.”
Jonas put his arm around Isaac’s shoulders, taking some comfort just from his presence. He knew Isaac hadn’t been sure about coming out here with him, but he was glad he had. “Trudy, this is my boyfriend, Isaac. Isaac, this is an old friend of Santiago’s, Trudy. She’s been traveling the world since they graduated.”
Isaac held his hand out. “I’ve heard a lot of stories of the famous Santiago. Maybe you can tell me if they’re actually true.”
She didn’t laugh or shake his hand. “The Isaac?” she asked, looking back at Jonas. “The one who broke your heart into a million pieces.”
“When we were eighteen,” Jonas said. “We both grew up. And I never quite stopped loving him. Santiago knew that.”
Trudy shook her head then pushed past them. “Carlota,” Jonas heard her greet Santiago’s mom. “Please tell me he’s lying.” He couldn’t hear Mrs. Rodriguez’s murmured response, but he did hear Trudy’s sobs. “Why?” she asked. “Why didn’t you contact me?”
“I didn’t know how, dearest girl. You didn’t leave your information with us before you took off.”
“He had me on his video chat contacts. You could have-”
“I don’t know how any of that stuff works. Santiago always had to set up my recordings on the TV for me when he was home. And fix the clock on the microwave when it went off.”
“Why’d you let him bring him here. Santi would-”
“Be so happy that Jonas found love again. He wouldn’t hold it against either of them. He wasn’t like that. You know it, Trudy. And give him a chance. I think you’d like him.”
Jonas turned into Isaac. “I told you Mrs. Rodriguez would like you.”
Isaac snorted. “Fine. You were right. Don’t let it go to your head.” He leaned in to kiss Jonas. “We should go back in there. If she’s going to hate me, might as well face it.”
“It’s not hate,” he said softly. “But, Santiago was basically her family when they were growing up. Finding out like this would be a shock.”
Isaac slipped his arm through Jonas’ as they headed back to the living room. “Broke your heart into a million pieces, huh? I hope we’ve stitched most of them back into place.”
Jonas leaned over and pressed a kiss to his cheek. “All of them.”