Jenna took a sip from her cocktail and stared out onto the ocean, the rushing of the waves, the cries of seagulls and the indistinct chatter of people at the restaurant softly lulling her into a state of peace and maybe even exhaustion. She couldn't quite say what had caused the exhaustion because the last few weeks had been rather quiet, especially the one she was spending on Tenerife right now with one of her dearest friends. They had both craved some time away from the cold January air in England and the weather on this island was pleasantly warm. Jenna knew she should feel relaxed and carefree and yet. . . she didn't.
“Do you want to go to bed?” her friend suddenly tore her from her train of thoughts and Jenna turned around to look at her, smiling.
“Not yet. Why? Do you?”
Her friend shook her head. “You seem tired.”
She did feel tired. It seemed to be her default setting these days and no holiday seemed to be able to change that. It had taken her a while to realize it, to admit it to herself, but Jenna didn't feel happy. She wasn't depressed or particularly unhappy, but that certain spark that had always made every day a little bit special was missing and had been for a while. She wanted that spark back.
“Tell me,” Jenna said after a moment, pushing her cocktail aside, “You've been talking to that therapist in London for a while, haven't you?”
“Yes,” her friend confirmed, “Why?”
“Oh, uhm,” she paused, “I was just wondering if she is trustworthy. Like, she wouldn't give out information to the press, right?”
Her friend laughed in reply. “She wouldn't, but you're not seriously considering talking to a therapist, are you?”
Jenna swallowed. She had, in fact. Maybe not seriously, but the thought about it had been on her mind. She just needed to do something about that state she was in.
“Jenna, you're the most emotionally stable person that I know,” her friend said, “If you need a therapist, there's no hope for the rest of us.”
Maybe her friend was right, maybe she was going about this all wrong, but what else could she do? Jenna had her amazing friends, she had a wonderful boyfriend waiting for her in her beautiful house back in London, she had the job she had always dreamed of and it still didn't seem to be enough. If only she could call Peter and talk to him about it. Peter always knew the answer to everything. But Peter was also very busy filming the latest series of Doctor Who, this time without her, and Jenna didn't want to bother him unnecessarily. They would get together and have coffee as soon as he was taking a break.
Jenna sighed. “You were right,” she admitted, “I am tired and our plane leaves early tomorrow. I should go to bed.”
“Probably a good idea,” her friend agreed.
When Jenna lay in bed that night, however, she didn't find the rest she had been hoping for. Sleep hadn't come easy to her of late and she often found herself tossing and turning for more than an hour before finally dozing off out of sheer exhaustion. It couldn't go on like that. Something needed to change.
“Hey, honey,” Tom greeted her at the airport with a chaste kiss on the cheek, “How was the holiday?”
Jenna glanced around nervously, but she couldn't spot anyone taking a photo of her and Tom. The paparazzi were watching them like hawks and just recently they had caught them kissing in front of a camera. Jenna hadn't been amused. It had been her idea to keep a low profile for as long as possible because she had hated the attention she and Richard had always gotten as a couple. It seemed to drive the press mad that Jenna refused to either confirm or deny the rumours about them and she secretly enjoyed keeping up the guessing game. Maybe she even enjoyed it a little too much, much to Tom's dismay, but he was going to have to live with that. He didn't like that she was turning their relationship into a mystery for the press to uncover and to soften his mood she had introduced him to Peter not too long ago. That seemed to have calmed him for the time being.
“Holiday was good. Wish I could have brought home some sunshine,” she smiled at Tom as he took her luggage and they headed outside to where he had parked his car.
“Oh, before I forget,” Tom suddenly said, “Peter is going to give a radio interview tonight.”
Jenna turned to look at her boyfriend, feeling a little surprised. Peter was in the middle of shooting, probably very busy. Why would he interrupt that for a simple radio interview? “He is?” she found herself asking.
“Yep,” Tom confirmed, “They announced it a few days ago. I thought you might wanna give it a listen.”
“Yeah,” she replied, still feeling a little puzzled about the news, “Of course.”
Tom was the ideal boyfriend and she kind of had Peter to thank for him. After her failed relationship with Richard and a few weeks of frustration, Jenna had finally asked Peter for advice.
“How do you do it?” she had asked him one day between takes while they had been sitting on the side, munching sandwiches and drinking coffee.
Peter had arched his eyebrows up. “Do what?”
“Marriage,” she had looked down at the mug in her hands, “You and Elaine, you've been together for so long and you're still happy. How does that work?”
Peter had laughed at her for that. “I married my best friend. There's just a lot that connects us. You'll have that, too, Jen, I know you will.”
And like so often before Jenna had followed his advice. Tom had been single, she had been single and they had known each other for ages. It had seemed to be worth a shot and now, six months later, they were basically living together in her house and she really couldn't name a single thing that bothered her about him, except that maybe he was a little bit boring. But that was adult life, wasn't it?
Tom carried her suitcase inside, prepared her a cup of tea and basically left her alone to settle in and take her time to finish her book in the bathtub. It was then that the doubts started to return to her. Maybe she should see that therapist while she was in London and not particularly busy? She wasn't feeling herself, that much was obvious, and maybe a therapist would know what to do? Then Jenna brushed the thought aside for good. How would a complete stranger know what was good for her when they knew nothing about her life at all?
After a nap and rewriting a couple of lines of the script she was working on, Jenna headed downstairs to where Tom was watching Netlfix on the telly and she reached for the blanket and curled up on the sofa. It was almost time for Peter's interview.
“I'm gonna get us some snacks,” Tom said and vanished into the kitchen while the radio started to play Another Girl, Another Planet.
Jenna smiled to herself when the host welcomed Peter. She had missed the sound of his voice. She missed their time on Doctor Who. If there was a button that allowed her to travel back and relive every single day of it, she wouldn't hesitate to press it.
Tom soon joined her again and she reached into the bowl of popcorn, chewing it as quietly as possible so as not to miss a single word that he said. The host was asking about the new series and Jenna's stomach formed a little knot. She hated to admit it, but she was a little jealous of Pearl even though she knew how silly it was. Jenna had had her time on the show, more time than any other companion before her, and still she felt a little greedy and wanted more. It could have been Peter and Jenna on Doctor Who forever and she would have been content.
Then Peter spoke again, his voice so casual that for a moment Jenna thought she had heard him wrong. It took her a while to really process what he had just said and while the realisation began to dawn on her, her heart sank into her boots.
“It's going to be my last.”