“I’m just trying to make sure you know what all is at stake,” I respond. “Like I said earlier, I’m willing to give it a shot if you are, but we have to go slow. I’m talking old-fashioned southern courtship slow. I won’t pressure you to do anything you’re not ready to do, and we’ll be careful to make sure Jagger doesn’t know we’re anything more than friends until we’re both confident in what we’re doing.”
Dax and Michael are characters who’ve haunted me for a while now. Like many of my stories, this one began after hearing about someone’s pain and desperately wanting to give him a happy ending. In this case, it was a former high school classmate who was in a horrible accident and, by all accounts, should have died at the scene. But he didn’t. And now, his biggest wish is that he could find the paramedic who refused to give up when he was lying on the side of the road so he can thank him.
Unlike Dax, my former classmate is still floundering. He’s stuck where Dax was after the accident, wondering why in the hell he lived. That’s the beauty of fiction. I can think about my friend and mold the story to how I wish his life could be. I can give him hope. I can make him realize he’s been given a second chance at life that he can’t squander. And most importantly, I can give him the answer to his deepest question. His life has meaning, even if he can’t see it.
And yes, Michael has a child. He has pain. He’s the one who’s floundering, trying to figure out what his life means now. He has a lot to learn about himself and his life. The biggest lesson is that life doesn’t always turn out the way you hope, but you have to make the best of it.
I can’t wait to introduce you to Dax, Michael, and little Jagger over the coming weeks!