Ahoy Fellow Fathomers...I've been working hard on my newest romance novel, What the Storm Didn't Take. I was inspired by my friendships I've had and also some of the difficulties some of my friends have gone through. Some of my dearest friends lost everything in an Oklahoma tornado. The twister literally dropped out of the sky right behind their home. Everything they owned was strewn and scattered. Thankfully, no one was hurt during the storm. However, in my novel, the heroine loses her husband as he is trying to rescue her.
The way she chooses to move forward in her life drives the plot.
Despite appearances, anger had been bubbling beneath the surface, trying to get out. I kept squashing it down, hoping it’d go away. Here he was trying to psychoanalyze me, and I almost resented him for ruining my fake good mood. “I’m really frustrated you’d try to get me talking about shit I don’t want to talk about.”
“You know, there are stages of grief a person goes through. It’s okay to feel your way through all of them.”
“Good Lord, you’ve worked in health care too long. Would you stop being a doctor or a shrink and just be my friend.” He touched nerves within seconds.
“I’m trying to help. Believe it or not, you’re not hiding your real feelings from me. Maybe you fool everyone else, but, I know your tells.”
My tells? What the hell? “You aren’t as clever as you think you are.”
“Oh no? Your eye twitches when you are feeling anxious. It’s done it off and on since I got here.”
I’d forgotten the feeling, being so used to it occurring. I didn’t even feel the tickle of the twitch in the corner of my left eye. Suddenly, I felt it involuntarily move.
“See!” He said triumphantly. “I told you.”
“Dammit, you’re a smart ass, you know it?”
“I’m not trying to be a smart ass. I’m trying to help you. Would you just listen for a minute?”
Shifting on the couch next to him, I weighed my options. He wasn’t going to give up, I knew that. Too many years of his poking and prodding in my brain until he helped fix whatever bothered me. “Okay, you’ve got a short amount of time before I tell you to shut up.”
Ignoring my abrasiveness, he took a breath and continued on. Ryan kept sleeping through all of it. Conner’s voice lulled him just as much as it used to lull me. “There are stages of grief a person goes through. Once you work through them, it’ll help you cope with the rest of your life.”
I pursed my lips and offered a small nod. He wasn’t telling me anything new. I vaguely remember a social worker’s visit at the hospital. She tried to offer some helpful advice, but, I wasn’t interested at the time. I politely, yet firmly, told her I wasn’t interested in a second visit. “I do know about the stages of grief.”
“I’d like to help you through them, if you’ll let me.” He finally put Ryan back in his bassinet. “I’m an outside person, someone neutral and objective. I know you, and want to help you. But, I wasn’t close to the both of you.”
Why was he pressing this issue so heavily? It was like he was on some mission, and made me second guess his intentions when he texted earlier. “You know, the best thing for me is when I forget. I try to live a normal life and not think about the alternative- the wonderful life I was living before the storm.”
“But, it will stunt you, Rachel. You won’t get far before you have a meltdown.”
“I’ve had plenty of melt downs.”
“You haven’t yet had one that stopped you from moving forward.”
“Are you trying to say I haven’t been sad enough?” He was pissing me off. I wanted to hit something and I’m not a violent person. “How would you know how much I hurt? Are you magically measuring my rate of grief?”
“There’s not a scale. I’m not trying to say you’re doing something wrong.”
I interrupted him. “Good, because you don’t know how hard it fucking is.”
Thank you for taking the time to read this small piece. I hope you'll join me as I periodically release small snippets. The next is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19. Have a beautiful day!
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