Here is a teeny tiny UNEDITED excerpt from the romance novel I am working on. It’s a tease, I know and I’m not giving you any more details….except that Heather feels guilty about something and she’s a writer and is writing a memoir.
The guilt, excitement and gin and tonics caught up with Heather. She told Jenny she would talk to her in the morning and walked upstairs to put the kids to bed. Gracie jumped in Heather’s bed and fell asleep immediately. Heather walked in to Henry’s room to tuck him in. She pulled his comforter up around his head and kissed him and was overpowered by a hideous smell coming from his nightstand.
“Henry, what’s in there?”
“Ah, nothing mom. Why?”
“It stinks.” Heather knew he stored coins that he pilfered from other members of the family in there but coins didn’t smell like this. She opened the drawer with some hesitation.
“OH MY GOSH HENRY! WHY IS THERE A DEAD MOUSE IN YOUR DRAWER?”
Henry started to cry. “I’m trying to learn how to bring it back to life so nothing in my life will die again.”
Heather hugged him and rocked him until he stopped crying. She was crying now too. After a few minutes, she got a shoebox and placed the mouse in it.
“I’m going to put it in the garage. We can bury it tomorrow. I love you.”
“Love you too Mama.”
Heather got in bed and sat with her manuscript. She wanted to remember Hank. She wanted him to be here with her so her five year old didn’t have to try to revive dead mice. She also wanted to have someone else to scoop up dead mice. She wanted to have some strong arms around her grossed out and sad body. She started to read.
I walked in from my run at 11:01. I know the exact time because I was timing myself. I ran for 37 minutes. That means I was running when he died. I’ve retraced my exact steps to see if I remember feeling something different in the universe the second his soul left. But I can’t. He was my soulmate and my soul never felt his leaving. His admin, Jane, called me at 11:03. She called my cell. I was peeing when she called. I’ve had three kids. I need to use the bathroom immediately upon return from a run. She was crying when I answered.
“Heather, it’s Hank. He’s had a heart attack Heather. Heather, he’s dead.” She blurted it all out. I dropped the phone and fell to the floor. His admin called my mom and my mom called Jenny who was holding me on the floor within five minutes of the phone call. Jane told my mom I had to go to the hospital to identify him. Jenny took me. My mom and Hank’s parents were there when I arrived. His dad held his mom up. I had stopped crying. I was shaking. I was wrapped up in a coat. Jenny had her arm around me and mom held my hand. The doctor came out to talk to me. I didn’t hear all of his words but learned later what they were. He said he was sorry and they did everything they could. He escorted us all to the room. The room that had a breathless Hank lying in it. His shirt had been torn off. His eyes were closed. His chest still had the round sticky things on it. I was waiting for him to snore. I hated his snore. I had poked him more than once with a knitting needle to try to get him to stop. And now he was silent. I always wanted him to sleep silently and now I knew I had been wishing for the wrong thing all a long. Jenny’s arm tightened around me and mom’s grip on my hand loosened. I ran to him to shake him. To shake him awake. I screamed at him for leaving me, for leaving us. I pounded his chest willing him to live. And then I laid my head down on him for the very last time and sobbed. Jenny rubbed my back in small little circles. Hank’s mom was crying into his dad’s coat. My mom sat down in a chair and the nurse tended to her as it looked like she might pass out or throw up.
The world stopped while I was in that room and I have tried ever since to make time turn around and go back to 10:46. Because he died at 10:47. Even though they brought him to the hospital, he died in his office in his chair behind his desk. The rescue squad was right across the street and arrived within two minutes. Jane tried CPR. The rescue squad continued. They didn’t pronounce him dead until 11:00 but the call to 911 was placed at 10:47 and he never took another breath after that.
I’m sure I was standing in front of the large evergreen on Twin Team at the top of the hill. And I felt nothing. I felt nothing when my soulmate died.
Copyright 2013 Julie Farley