Jane didn't know yet. Jane didn't know anything yet. Sam hadn't worked up the nerve to tell her that morning before she had gone to work, and now looking at her stressed face (those fine lines hadn't been there yesterday, had they?), he couldn't stand being the one to cause her more pain and confusion. She deserved so much better. He drew in a sharp breath. There was nothing left to do but tell her.
Jane was lounging in the hammock as usual. She had her dark pink lipstick on, the tube she wore when there were important meetings at work because her boss had told her once that it made her look powerful. Her eyeliner was smudged from rubbing her eyes between flipping the pages of the deposition sitting in her lap. There was too much on her mind; she could hardly focus on the farcical matters of Mrs. Jones' alleged love affair when Thomas (one of her firm's partners and one of the men that Sam pretended he wasn't jealous of) had consistently refused to answer her calls. Sure, his secretary claimed time and again that he was "away on emergency family business," but everyone knew that only a badly-written code for "avoiding you."
Right as Jane was stuck contemplating the long list of possible reasons for such a blatantly-made up excuse, she felt a wet, cool glass make sudden contact with her face. She hadn't even heard Sam open front door, let alone walk up to her. He held the glass out to her, filled just to the brim with iced tea and half a lemon, adorned with a straw and a dark blue umbrella hanging precariously off the side. Just the way she liked it. She raised her eyebrows, "What's the occasion?"
"Does there always need to be an occasion? Can't I love you be enough of an occasion?"
Taking the glass from him and hazarding a sip, Jane rolled her delicately lined eyes.
"Did you spike this?"
"Of course, just the way you always like it."
"Twenty years ago. I'm a free woman now, remember? We've talked about this."
Sam glanced down at the grass, digging his shoe into the dirt.
"I'm here to talk about exactly that, actually." He hesitated, tasting the words in his mouth before speaking them, still slowly digging his way to the Earth's core with his toe.
"Your parents called."
Anxiety was beginning to grow on Jane's face, the soft curve of her brows slowly compressing into a jagged crunch.
"Yes, your parents. At least that's what they claim."
"We both know that isn't possible. It's a scam."
Again, Sam glanced down at the ground, where he had now unearthed an earth worm. If only he could be so carefree, so existentially unconcerned, so oblivious.
"They have a copy of your birth certificate, Jane. They're legitimate. I think they want to be a part of your life again."
Slowly, ever so slowly, Jane lifted her body off the hammock, twisting to face Sam. Carefully, she set the glass on the grass, leaning forward to keep her balance, her bare feet lightly grazing the ground. She set a light kiss on Sam's half-open lips, leaving behind the scent of her cherry breath mints.
"They seemed sweet, Jane."
"Tonight. I'm packing my things."
"I said: I'm leaving. Get my suitcase."
"You can't just leave like this. You can't keep hiding your whole life."
"Sam, I trusted you. I got rid of them for a reason. We've been over this." The words were tumbling out of Jane's mouth fast. Her hands cupped Sam's face, lips only inches from his. "I love you more than anything and I trust when you say you've spoken to my parents. And now I trust you to understand: I'm leaving. Right now."
Jane stood from the hammock, yellow dress swinging in the breeze. She picked up the iced tea, watching Sam standing still, stuck two minutes in the past.
"And you're not coming with me."