After completing the Forecast Series, along with a novella for an anthology due out next month, I’ve started a new book, “All My Women Friends,” a story about five quirky women who live in the same town. I’m excited about this new novel, and, as a thank you for being a loyal reader, I am sharing a snippet from one of the chapters. I hope you like it!
Chapter Four – Dying in Denver
You may know me. I’m the woman who laughs too loud in restaurants and lingers over coffee long after it has grown cold. I pick up trash alongside the road, and have happily eaten every donut offered to me. But what I’ve never told anyone else until now is, I’m destined to die in Denver.
Let me take you back a few years, actually, many years. It was shortly after I got married to My Biggest Mistake, hereinafter referred to as MBM. He was a handsome man, gifted in many ways, but he made a lousy husband and a worse father. Too self-centered to be good to anyone but himself. Still, I stayed with MBM because my father said it would never last, and the rebel inside of me had to prove dear Daddy wrong.
MBM was born and raised in a small town in Colorado. He was a troubled soul who ran away from home many times. He never stopped running, and that’s how he ended up in the same California town where I’d lived for most of my life. I was young, naïve, and easily influenced by MBM.
He married me and whisked me away to live in Colorado. It was on that first trip that I fell in love with the state, the mountains, the sky, and the air. I vowed at that moment that I would live there for the rest of my life, and I would die there. I eventually left MBM, and Colorado, as an unhappy, discouraged mother of two, and headed back to my home state.
Years passed, the children grew into adults, eventually moving out on their own. I met and married my Forever Husband, I won’t reduce his name to initials, and the difference was amazing. Where MBM was full of himself, Forever Husband was full of love and light and happiness. How did I get so lucky, I often wondered.
I moved into Forever Husband’s home in a well-established neighborhood. The younger families who once lived there had grown old and now crept around in white-on-white sneakers and polyester pants. Their adult children had fled to live in urban high-rises or the new suburbs. Me and Forever Husband were somewhere in between. The older couple who lived next door were not the friendliest folks. The man always had some kind of noisy project going, especially on Saturdays, and I only saw his wife when she was either getting into or out of the car. Still, I waved every time I saw them.
The lady on the other side was much friendlier, in fact, she was way too friendly. She had a habit of walking in our front door, settling herself on the couch, helping herself to our bowl of popcorn, and watching whatever show we were watching. No knock, no doorbell, nothing. We took to locking our door, but she actually climbed in a window to let us know our door was locked! I finally had a talk with her about respecting privacy, but I think I was so vague, she never considered I was talking about her. So I did what I had to do and whispered that Forever Husband and I often watch television naked so it might be better if she knocked next time. She didn’t come over much after that, and never sat on our couch again.
A couple of years after we were married, Forever Husband announced he had to attend a conference in Denver and he wanted me to go with him. My heart skipped a beat. Skipped another and another. But I can’t go to Denver. I’ll die there, I just know it.
When I was finally able to breathe normally, which seemed like five minutes instead of the actual five seconds, I murmured, “Sounds great, honey.”