“It’s true that honesty is the best policy. It’s just fun to fib now and again. Not in a dirty and deceptive way, but in a way that invokes imagination. Just for today’s challenge, it’s okay to stretch the truth a little.
Rewrite history, imagine an alternate reality, or just plain lie.”
He took my hand in his as Clint held the door open. The limousine was waiting as the rain streamed down in rivulets. Clint, holding an umbrella over our heads, ushered us to the limousine. John said under his breath, “Rain’s lousy weather to be campaigning in, but we’ve got to make the most of it.” I offered him a tentative smile as we climbed into the back seat of the limousine.
John told Bill, our driver, to be ready for frequent stops because if anybody was patient enough to stand in the rain to see the President, they should also be rewarded with an accompanying hand shake. I stared out the window, watching the rain tumble down, the people appeared out of focus, blurry because of all the rain. I wish I had held Patrick. I wish I could have touched his tiny hands, felt his soft skin, given him a thousand kisses. I turned to John; I must have had tears on my cheeks. “Oh, but Jackie,” he said softly, “you look so beautiful.”
My lips turned up in a smile at that. It seemed to me that John had been trying harder to be present, even during the hustle and bustle of these meet-and-greets. He sat up and leaned through the partition. “Greer,” he said, “stop here. There’s a good-sized crowd ahead.” When he leaned back, he offered me another smile, my hand again in his.
“Time to go on out now, Jackie, make America fall in love with you again, old girl.” I exited the limousine, Clint assisting me. As rain pelted the umbrella, Clint ushered us towards the waiting crowds. We shook hands, smiling and talking with the crowds that waited. A few ladies complimented me on my clothing choices, my hats, and I smiled at them, words coming out of my mouth, but I wasn’t really thinking about what I was saying. I kept looking over at John. His smile was so big it made crinkles appear around his eyes, and I knew he loved the campaigning, rain and all.
This is how I fell in love with John. The smiles, the laughter, the charisma. He’s not perfect, but who is? We are starting to repair our relationship. I was told how he went without sleep to watch over Patrick and to comfort me in my darkest hour. We’re turning the bend. I do love him. More hands to shake, more smiles. This is all campaigning, but the rain does make it a chore. I straighten my hat and smile had at the woman who stands in front of me. I attempt to make out her words, but the rain is making it so hard to concentrate. How I wish the rain would stop, and the sky would clear. Maybe then, we could merely be inside of the limousine and wave from there, instead of greet all these people lined up on the streets.
It’s just a pity the rain will not stop. I suppose we’re lucky that it’s rain and not snow. It is the 22nd of November after all, and back home, it may be snowing. I will follow John into the rain, the snow, the sleet, whatever it takes, because damn it, I love him.
My alternate history. If it rained on November 22, 1963. JFK wouldn’t have been assassinated from Jacqueline’s perspective.