I’ve started writing my second novel, Courage (working title for now). Here’s an excerpt from the prologue introducing one of the main characters, Jamie. Enjoy!
Jamie was wide awake listening to Alex’s steady breathing. She lay still, not wanting to disturb him, thoughts weaving in and out of her head. It was April Fool’s Day. She hoped her doubts were only a joke, but deep down, she knew they weren’t.
She turned her head cautiously to look at Alex as he slept. All tension had been erased from his handsome face, curly hair slightly askew. His skin lay smooth and his lips were relaxed. One of his arms was tucked under the pillow, and his legs were tucked close to his chest. Jamie stared at him, soaking up his presence, noticing every detail. The way his eyelids twitched as he laid dreaming; the way his nostrils flared with air; the relaxation apparent in his defined jaw line; the way his chest rose and fell with each breath as the muscles in his upper arm flexed and contracted.
As she continued to scan his face, his eyes opened slightly, and a small smile appeared across his mouth as he saw her. He reached over and kissed her mouth gently, but her lips remained pursed. Not noticing, he rolled over on his side and closed his eyes again, breathing returning to steady and calm. She stared at his back for a few minutes before raising her hand to delicately trace along his shoulder blades. If he had noticed her touch, he didn’t let on, but continued to sleep soundly. She sighed softly to herself. Something was missing; something didn’t feel quite right.
Jamie returned to lying on her back and folded her hands across her chest letting her eyes rest on the ceiling. The following week was their two year anniversary. Alex had already warned her that he had been unable to take the night off from work. She sighed again remembering their conversation.
“Don’t be mad,” he had said to her, “But I won’t be able to get off from work for our anniversary.”
She had been quiet after his announcement before silently rebutting.
“But we’ve been together for two years…”
“I know but I just can’t get off work. We’ll do something the weekend after, OK? I’m sorry but work comes first,” he had explained.
But work shouldn’t come first, she thought to herself. Instead, she answered with a nod and changed the subject.
Jamie felt alone as she continued to stare at the ceiling after losing her train of thought as Alex let out a soft cough. She shouldn’t feel alone; Alex was right next to her. But his physical presence did nothing to assure her that she wasn’t alone. And before she could catch herself, a tear trickled down her cheek. She turned her back to Alex, and began to sob gently and quietly. Her gaze turned to the moon outside her window.
“What’s missing?” she pleaded with the night air, “Please tell me.”