It’s been almost four years since Anne walked out of the hospital with her baby in her arms.
Now she’s in another country and another hospital.
I’m hard at work making the sequel to Chocolates in the Ocean come together.
This is how it begins:
I hate hospitals.
Unless you’re here for a baby there’s really nothing but death and pain and disease all around you.
People donating their blood so that others may live.
People saying goodbye to their loved ones or rushing in to see a friend after their accident.
People waiting for test results, all the while imagining the worst because whatever comes can only be better than what has just played out in their minds.
People crying, screaming or just staring into space and counting the minutes until the doctor appears who wants to talk to them.
People hoping for a miracle.
And then people like me.
The ones who are doing our duty, but who long since stopped caring.
The last time I set foot in a hospital was the day Émile was born. That beautiful, April day when the world seemed like a bright, hopeful place still full of surprises and new bends in the road. That world, and the woman who went out to meet it, do not exist anymore.
It’s been almost four years.
Such a short time to have lived through so much. Such a short time to have lost all illusions, all hope, all feeling.
Such a short time to have gone from newly wed to deceived to … to this.
At home I have suitcases packed in the hall.
Because yesterday afternoon I waited impatiently for my husband to come home, so I could tell him that my son and I were leaving him.
But he never came.
When I called, he never answered.
I could just have texted him, but I wanted this over once and for all, and the only way I could see to do that was in person.
Now I am here. Nodding to this polite, respectful young officer. A slightly nervous expression on his face in case I panic and starting screaming or fall on him for comfort. But there is none he can give, and none that I want.
I merely nod. Nod as he gives me the details, nod as he pulls back the sheet to reveal to me, for the last time, the man I once believed the love of my life.
Who, earlier this evening, wrapped our car around a lamppost after wrapping his lips around one more bottle of whiskey while the woman who was supposed to be my friend had her lips wrapped around the most private part of him.
Happy fucking New Year.
Expect it on Amazon later this year.