Ennis stares at the shirts for a long time after Junior leaves. He just looked at them, memorizing every small detail. They way that the button on the right cuff is slightly loose and there's a small stain on the collar that he refuses to clean just because Jack never did. Sometimes he runs his fingers over the cuff of Jack's shirt looking at the old blood stain sitting there- taunting him. He fixes the collar obsessively almost expecting Jack to make some sarcastic response just to make Ennis smile, he waits- it doesn't happen.
Sometimes he wonders if everytime Jack went home after meeting with him he would look at the shirts, if he’d cry mourning the loss of the life he could've had if Ennis was braver. He wonders if he fixed Ennis’ collar; if he committed every detail of that old shirt to memory because it made him feel safe like it does for Ennis. He wonders if all that was only saved for when he felt completely alone. Ennis knows that's what he does, but he always feels alone now.
But thats because he is isnt he? Jack was the only person that made him feel wanted, like he was the only person on the planet that understood him. Jack was the only one who ever tried. Now that Jacks gone he’s alone and he doesn't have anyone left because Jack was the only one who tried.
Ennis used to live for the weeks that he could see Jack, he'd get to look and touch and he was the only one that was allowed too, he was allowed for 7 days. For 7 days they lived in a bubble and got a small taste of a sweet life.
That's the thing though.
He realized that 2 or 3 weeks out of the 52 wasnt enough for Jack. Jack couldn't have 3 weeks of the life he had always dreamed of because when he went back into the real world he was just that much more miserable. Because he saw what he could have and he saw what he couldn't get. He gets it, really he does. He just wishes he didn't. He wished everyday since he got his postcard back that he said yes to Jack.
That he said yes to Jack's countless attempts to get him to agree to live the life he imagined for them. In the beginning Jack talked about it; their life together like an attainable dream that could be accomplished with hard work. (it was)
After Ennis got divorced and Jack came up to see him, talked to him as if they were finally going to be together, he asked or rather implied that they would. Ennis said no like he always did and the light that seemed to always live in Jack's eyes dimmed and everytime he said no they dimmed a little more.
Every no Ennis gave he thought he was protecting Jack, he thought he was, he truly did. Only it didn't work because Jack was dead and he died alone and in pain.
Sometimes he wonders what Jack's last thought was. But then Ennis thinks and he doesn't want to know anymore.
The last time Ennis talked to Jack he didn't have the light in his eyes. The same light Ennis was used to seeing for 20 years. He didn't have it anymore.
He mentioned the life they would have had together if Ennis was braver. He threw it back at him with distaste that it was an idiotic dream. That he stupid enough to belive he could have a life with Ennis. Somehow in the past few years he stopped dreaming. He never wanted Jack to stop dreaming. Because Jack wasn't Jack if he didnt dream.
And Ennis realizes it's his fault. Instead of protecting him he just caused both of them a life of misery and pain.
Maybe, Ennis thinks that if he said yes he could've been there to help Jack. He could have kept him alive. But he didn't because he was a coward and he was ashamed. He was ashamed to admit that he lived and died for Jack Twist.
Jack always was the braver one- the dreamer. Ennis would give anything for a second chance even though he knows Jack had already given him too many. Ennis hopes and prays that he could get a second chance to say yes. He would say yes in a heartbeat despite knowing they could die. At least they would be happy.
They could've had a ranch like Jack had dreamed for them. They would be alone and Ennis could have horses and Jack could have a dog. He just wants to see his eyes one more time, he wants to see the love that radiated out of them. He wanted to see the soft look that would come upon Jack's face late at night, the way he looked at Ennis like he was the entire world, I suppose to Jack he was. He wants to feel Jack's fingers in his hair again even though it was only something he did when he thought Ennis was asleep and Ennis was too scared to ask when he was awake.
But Ennis doesnt get any more chances instead he gets old shirts that belonged to 2 kids who had the rest of their lives ahead of them not knowing how much pain it would cause them.
Ennis loved Jack too little for too long and when he was finally ready to love Jack like he deserved he wasn't around to see it.
So Ennis sits and he stares and maybe he touches. He thinks of blue eyes, soft smiles and black cowboy hats. Sometimes he remembers the way Jack's hand felt in his and the way he would whisper promises and loving words in the dark when no one but them could hear them. Sometimes he whispers and wishes. Maybe he cries, maybe he mourns. But above all he swears and hopes that wherever Jack is he doesn't doubt that Ennis loves him and he did want the sweet life Jack wanted for them he was just scared to admit it.
And somewhere Jack hears and he knows that someday they'll get their happy ending, he’s already waited 20 years so whats 20 more. He’d wait 20 life times for Ennis Del Mar.