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  • Writer's pictureGina A. Jones

Saving Ash (book #2) Chapter Twenty


“I told her one of my secrets last night,” I tell my therapist.

            “Just one? And that would be…?”

            “Pippa. All this time, she thought Pippa was an old girlfriend. I took her to my father’s memorial he has each year for her and Christopher. That’s when she discovered Pippa was my stepmother.”

            “And how did she take it?”

            “Like anyone would. Blame the abuser and not the abused.”

            “And you see it differently,” he says, not asking.

            “I do. Because she was all I ever dreamed of. She was my first wet dream. The reason why my hand took the place of her when I was in aching need. How can I say she didn’t give me what I wanted?”

            “That was the young Ash. The Ash who was curious and going through puberty. A time when young men think about sex 75 percent of the day. That’s all natural, Ash. You should never be ashamed of it.”

            “I’m not ashamed. I just don’t know what I am. A young man with desires for an older woman? Or a grown man who wants to continue living an alternative lifestyle—when it comes to sex.”

            Dr. Crew writes down what I’ve just said to him. Each time he does this, I know this will be the topic for the rest of the hour.

            The first two years, I would get up and leave when this happened. Dr. Crew said it was my money to waste if I wanted to walk out. And that’s pretty much what I did.


            “Let’s discuss what you just revealed about yourself.”

            I knew it. But I’m going to stay. I want to fix this.


            “That’s very interesting what you just said. You feel trapped between that young Ash who was fascinated by a beautiful, young woman. And a grown Ash who doesn’t know where he belongs in a relationship?”


            “Ash, this is the first time you have revealed this to yourself. Why is that?”

            “I don’t know. That’s what I pay you for.”

            He smiles all knowingly.

            “By you putting your trust in this young woman, Cinder…it’s bringing out new feelings inside you that have been trapped.”

            “What if they have been nonexistent? Something I’ve never possessed?”

            “I don’t think so?”


            “Because they were developed when you had feelings for Pippa. Would you say you…loved her?”

            I look away from him. Love? I don’t know what it was. Sometimes, it felt unnatural how I felt about Pippa. This is one of those times I would walk out. Afraid to face the truth.

            “Ash, please answer the question. It’s very simple. You loved her, or you didn’t.”

            “If you call not able to breathe until she appeared, love. Drawing her in various forms of nude, love. Playing her favorite song while she let me suck her fingers after she got herself off, love. Then yes,” I shout. “I loved it. I loved anything and everything she gave me.”


            I run my hands through my hair, frustrated. My body is trembling just thinking and talking about it. I look down and see my hands shaking.


            “Yes, I’m listening. I just…need a moment.”

            “Very well. Let me do the talking,” he says, and lays down his note pad. “You said, it. You never said you loved her.”

            “What’s the difference?”

            “One is human. The other is not. Pippa was a real person who triggered something in your young mind. She triggered it. It, being your desires to love and to be loved. Only you confused this love as sex. Sex became it. And she, Pippa, formed it for you. Although, I can’t say she’s entirely responsible for why you can’t form a normal relationship.”

            “She’s totally responsible. She made me what I am?”

            “Did she?” he says, staring at me with one brow arched. “Did you ever have a girlfriend in school…”

            “Never,” I cut him off.


            “Why? Because I wasn’t like the others. My needs became different.”

            “Became? So, what were they like before? Your needs?”

            My emotions are becoming all jumbled up inside me. Everything is spinning.

            “Ash, answer the questions,” he says, sternly.

            “Before they weren’t like that. They were… I don’t know—normal.”

            “So, there was a time you fantasized what a normal teen would fantasize about.”

            Did I?

            “Tell me your fantasies about Pippa before you were intimate with her.”

            I hate the word, intimate. Pippa was anything but intimate. She took and never gave. Everything was one-sided.

            “I don’t know… Kissing her? Holding her? Making love to her?”

            “Make love? When you thought of sex, you thought of making love to her. Tell me how you would do it, if you could make love to her. How did it look in your mind?”

            “I can’t. It’s been so long ago. My mind doesn’t work like that anymore.”

            “Ash, I like to hypnotize you. Take you back to that young boy who wanted to make love to his piano teacher before she was your stepmother. Every boy goes through an Oedipus complex. And in your case, the reality was there. She was somebody else before she married your father.”

            “I don’t know, Doctor.”

            “Ash, I think it would be very helpful. Let’s bring back some of that innocence. Because that’s where it all began. Your innocent fascination of this woman who was close to you.”

            “Okay,” I say quietly. “I’m only agreeing because I don’t think it can be done. Not to me. I don’t think my mind can be opened.”

            “Oh, but it was, Ash. Pippa was clearly able to alter your mind, now, wasn’t she?”

            I don’t answer him and go lie on the couch. I hate when he’s right.

            “I want you to relax and close your eyes. You’re safe here, Ash. You are free to let your mind and your heart speak freely. I’m going to count backwards from ten. I want you to relax with each number. Feel yourself falling deeper into a relaxed state. Ten,” he begins. “Nine. Eight. That’s it. All you hear is the sound of my voice. You feel comfortable. Seven. Your arms are heavy, let them fall. Six. Five. Your breathing is slowing down, four. Your eyelids are heavy. Three. Two. Let the spot between your eyes relax. One.”

            I feel like I’m in a cloud. Everything feels heavy, yet peaceful. I listen to the sound of my breathing and his voice.

            “Are you comfortable, Ash?”


            “Do you feel safe?”


            “Do you feel happy?”

            “I do.”

            “I’m going to take you back, Ash. You’re fourteen. Tell me what you are doing on this particular day when you see yourself”

            “I’m with my father. We are driving along the coast. I see him smiling and I like it.”


            “He hasn’t smiled in a long time. I think maybe it’s because of me. He feels proud that he’s spending time with me.”

            “Tell me about this day. What are you going to do?”

            “We are going on a charter. A boat is waiting at the marina.”

            “Tell me about this boat. What does it look like?”

            “It has wood panels. The boat is called Miss Margret.”

            “Is anyone else there?”

            My eyes flutter under my lids. I’m looking through the boat as we step in. I see the captain. And then I see a…girl.

            “There’s a girl on the boat, along with the captain. They smile at us.”

            “Do you know this girl?”

            “No. She’s pretty. She smiles at me.”

            “How old is this girl?”

            “Maybe my age.”

            “Tell me what happens this day. Do you talk to this girl?”

            “I do. We talk while Father fishes with the captain. I feel bad.”


            “Because I know he brought me to spend time with him. But I want to be with her.”

            “Do you know her name yet?”


            “What are you and Christy talking about?”

            “Music. Movies. School. She tells me I have pretty eyes. I smile and tell her she has a beautiful smile. Her eyes light up when she smiles. It’s pretty.”

            “So, you two are getting close?”

            “I think so. I find out she’s the captain’s daughter. She helps with the boat and cleaning the fish. She shows me how to reel in the fish. I like her simpleness. She’s tan, her long, blonde hair blows around her face. I look down and see her feet. She’s barefooted. She has pretty feet. She reminds me of someone who lives freely. A natural.”

            “What happens when your time with Christy ends?”

            “She kisses me and gives me her number.” I feel a smile on my face. I’m happy.

            “Ash, let’s go to another time when you were fourteen.”

            “I’m playing the piano. She likes it.”

            “Who is, she?”

            “She’s my piano teacher. Her name is Miss Jennings.”

            “Miss Jennings?”

            “Yes. She’s my new teacher. Mrs. Thomas retired. She was teaching me since I was five.”

            “You like to play the piano.”

            “Yes. It gives me comfort for when I’m alone.”

            “Tell me about Miss Jennings.”

            “She likes me. She told me to call her by her name, Pippa. She’s beautiful. She reminds me of Christy, only older.”

            “Where’s she at while you play?”

            “Beside me on the bench. She smells good. I like the way she laughs.”

            “Why is she laughing?”

            “I messed up, and instead of correcting me, she laughs and tells me it’s okay. I like her. She rubs my back. Something feels different about me when she does that. I feel…tingles. I become nervous and keep messing up. She takes my hands, and I’m shocked at what she does.”

            “What is she doing?”

            “She kisses each fingertip, her eyes seducing me. I think. She looks like what the nuns call, sinful. I’m getting hard. Her sin is making me hard. I want more. She tells me something.”

            “What is she saying to you?”

            “There, now you won’t make any mistakes. Please, continue playing for me.”

            “Ash, I want you to go back to your day with Christy on the boat.”

            “I can’t”

            “Why not?”

            “She’s dead.”


            “Yes, they died in a car wreck that day leaving the marina. I never saw Christy again. I wanted to do stuff with her. Talk on the phone. Buy her something and take her to the movies. But I never got the chance.”

            “Ash, I’m going to wake you up now. I want you to remember that young Ash. The one who wanted to take Christy on a date. From here on, I want you to act on those feelings. Give yourself another chance to show someone how you once felt and wanted to share. You will wake on the count of three. One. Two. Three.”

            I open my eyes and blink a few times. I feel…I’m not sure. But I know I want to go home and see Cinder, do something special. 


Saving Ash© 2024 Gina A. Jones rights reserved under the International and Pan-American Copyright Conventions. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

This is a work of fiction. Names, places, characters and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to any actual persons, living or dead, organizations, events or locales is entirely coincidental.

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29 de mai.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Oh, I hope he stays this way. Can’t wait for the next chapter.


shannon Cheripka
29 de mai.
Avaliado com 5 de 5 estrelas.

Wow ! Wonder if pippa had something to do with christy and her father and what happened to them?

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