Release Date: May 15, 2011.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Short Stories
Formats Available: Kindle, EPUB, PDF
Summary: Love is supposed to be forever. Sometimes, we’re not meant to keep it.
Ben Morgan thought he had it all – fame, fortune, a beloved wife, and a loving family. His work kept him out of the country for long stretches at a time, but he did his best to provide for those he loved. He never imagined that his being away so much would have severe repercussions. When his life starts to shatter and his wife walks away without another glance, he’s left to deal with the pain and sorrow of the choices that he’s made in the past.
1. BITTERSWEET MEMORIES
I’m leaving, Ben.
Ellie’s words still rang with crystal clarity within my head. For the life of me, I could not brush them off. The devastation my wife had wrought upon me still resonates with each passing day.
I tried to make sense of what she’d said to me, but my mind refused to acknowledge every word that had spilled from her lips. We’d spent so much time together, building a life that had spoken volumes. Everything had seemed so perfect. And yet it was not. With those three words, she had shattered the very world I’d built around her.
Taking a deep breath, I walked throughout the house she and I had shared. Everywhere I looked, I saw something that reminded me of her. The Prince of Tides, a book she had always meant to read, lay forgotten upon the coffee table. A misplaced pen lay haphazardly on the mantle. A pair of worn slippers were tucked discreetly underneath the edge of her desk. Seeing these things brought forth a wave of heartache so deep that it suffocated me.
Leaning across the doorjamb as I surveyed the contents of my living room, I brought to mind the day she had told me she was leaving. The memory of it was still so vivid it left a sour taste within my mouth.
2. The Calm Before The Storm
Grasping my wife’s hand, I pulled her close as we walked along in search of the spot that my parents had picked out for our picnic. We were vacationing in Connecticut, staying with my parents at the small bed and breakfast they’d acquired recently in downtown Meriden. The idea of a picnic at Hubbard Park had been mine, for it was one of my favorite places to go to as a child.
A nervous giggle erupted from Ellie’s lips as she squeezed my hand. Although, she did not quite get along with my Mom, she had promised to behave for my sake. Mom had a tendency to criticize Ellie about everything she did, making her feel as if she wasn’t good enough to be my wife. Mom always felt I could have done better in choosing the woman I was to marry. But what was done, was done and I wouldn’t change the way things were. Rubbing the small of her back, I leaned over and whispered sweet-nothings into her ear as we caught sight of my mother.
She let go of the basket she’d been holding and pushed herself to her feet. “Darling!” she said, hugging me tightly as she turned her attention towards my wife. “Ellie, dear, good of you to come!”
Smiling, I brushed a light kiss across her cheek and returned her embrace. “Hey Mom.”
Ellie dutifully kissed Mom on the cheek. “How do you do, Mrs. Morgan?”
Making note of Ellie’s brusqueness, she smiled as if there was nothing wrong. Waving a hand about, she gazed momentarily at the large pond that sat within the middle of the park. “I’m fine, thanks. Please, do sit. This spot seems so perfect, doesn’t it?”
“It’s quite lovely,” I assured, taking a seat on the blanket she had spread upon the ground. “I’ve always loved this place. The way the water flows across the pond, the ducks and the swans as they lounge nearby, the sounds of people as they walk by – it’s almost magical.”
She patted me lightly across the cheek and returned to her previous task. “It is, isn’t it?”
Ellie sat down beside me, pushing back several strands of her mahogany-colored hair as it fell across her brown eyes. Tentatively, she leaned forward and rummaged through the basket that lay before Mom’s feet. “Will George be joining us?”
“Yes. I sent him to fetch a couple things I’d forgotten to pack. He should be returning soon.”
I watched as my wife tilted her face up towards the bright cerulean sky. She smiled softly to herself, enjoying the moment. A dark shadow soon crossed her face as her eyes fell upon me. It disappeared as quickly as it had come. I could not help but wonder as to what had momentarily marred her happiness.