Authors: Sarah Ann Walker
Tags: #Literature & Fiction, #Contemporary, #Romance, #Romantic Suspense, #Contemporary Fiction, #Mystery & Suspense, #Suspense
THIS is me…
Sarah Ann Walker
Copyright © Oct 8 2013 Sarah Ann Walker (1)
All rights reserved.
You are the most beautiful soul I have ever known,
And I couldn’t love you more if I tried.
You have been the greatest blessing I have ever received
in this crazy little life of mine.
To my Husband…
Again, with the perfect book cover. Thank you.
To my Parents
Thank you for your excitement and support once again.
I love that you love me doing this- It helps when I’m totally freaked out.
And a special thanks to my father for buying my first 50 copies
Once again, you remain my longest, dearest friend, and I adore you.
To Brenda Belanger, my Boston Bruins Beauty,
I thank you for meeting me exactly when my first book came out and for holding my hand this past year with patience and kindness.
To Chris Carmilia of ‘Chris’ Book Blog Emporium’
Your encouragement with my last book helped me through the dark,
dark days of bad reviews. So I thank you, always.
Deniro, Rosanna, Jen, Suzy, Sleepy, Carla, BEE, Peggy, Hayley, Julia, Crysti, Jettie, Ada, Drh, Dena, Katica, Gladys, Shanyn, Sam, Tracy, Cori, Briana, Jodie, Marg, Tara, Lisa, Deborah, Suzanne, Joan, Shelley, Megan, Triple M books, and many, many others
And finally… To
Christina-Hawaii Kayla, Jennifer-New York Kayla, Kimberly-New Jersey Kayla, Monica-Florida Kayla & Stephanie-California Kayla.
You were the first 5 who loved my first novel, and you were the first 5 to tell me I had some talent. And for that encouragement and support I’ve included a little piece of each of you in this novel so you always know how much I have appreciated your love and support, right from my beginning.
Christina and Kimberly… I thank you, forever.
This journey has been hard, and I’ve taken some wildly creative criticisms over the past year. But I’ve also been told I have written an amazing story with so much depth of emotion from some Readers, it allowed me to swallow the handful of negatives for the multitude of positives.
So I thank you, sincerely.
“Yes, this is Marcus Anderson. Yes, Suzanne Anderson is my wife. Um, yes, that's right; I'm her next of kin...” Marcus holds his breath as his new reality sets in.
“Oh, god... When?” Marcus whispers.
Walking slowly back into his study, the shaking is so great and walking so hard; Marcus sits down at his desk.
In a moan, he asks, “Where is she?”
Clutching the phone, Marcus stops as the pain sets in. With great restraint and gentle tears, Marcus cries for all that is lost.
“Hi baby, what's up?” Mack sits in his living room, smiling for his Kayla.
“Oh, god... When?” Mack whispers.
Standing slowly, the shaking is so great and standing so hard; Mack drops back down on the couch.
In a moan, he begs, “Where is she?”
Clutching the phone, Mack stops as the anguish sets in. With a pause in breathing, Mack weeps for all that is lost.
are you TALKING about??
” Stopping, Z can't breathe as his new reality sets in.
When?” Z whispers.
Walking slowly back toward his bedroom, the shaking is so great and walking so hard; Z collapses where he stands in the hall.
In a moan, he cries, “Where is she?”
Laying down on the floor, Z clutches the phone and cries out as his agony sets in. With great sobs and coughing gasps to the unknown, Z screams for all that is lost.
Oh my god, I'm so tired but I'm pretty sure I'm sleeping. How is it even possible to be tired while sleeping? Huh. That's a new one. What's happening to me?
I'm pretty sure I must be asleep. Nothing is moving, and everything is so dark. I can't hear or see, and I can't move or breathe. This has to be a dreamless sleep, and yet I feel kind of awake. What the hell do I do now?
I swear I'm here, but I'm not. I swear I can feel, but I don't. I swear I hear people, but I'm all alone.
Where am I? What have I done?
I hate sleeping. I have
hated sleeping which is kind of weird, I think. I mean really, who hates sleeping? Nobody. But I do. I really hate it.
I don't know why, but for as long as I can remember I have hated the lack of control I feel when sleeping. It's like I'm nervous when I sleep, or I'm scared something will happen to me when I'm asleep. Actually, I can't really explain it because I think I just hate sleeping.
Maybe I'm one of those people who can live on very little sleep. Yeah, that's probably it. I'm not weird, or scared, or nervous, I just don't need much sleep when I'm sleeping.
When did that happen? I wonder if I was a bad baby who never slept. I wonder if I was a toddler who never napped. I wonder if I was a teen who never slept till noon on week-ends. Huh. I can almost guarantee that one. As if my parents would have ever let me sleep till noon on a weekend.
Time was much too valuable to waste. Time was almost a commodity in my home. Time is when everything happened. My parents didn’t waste a moment of time, so I know they wouldn’t have allowed me to waste any of my own time, especially by sleeping.
Maybe I should ask them one day if I ever liked sleeping. Maybe? Ah, maybe I shouldn't. God knows, if I was a colicky baby, my mother would probably still be pissed at me for it. Yeah, I would just remind her that I sucked as a baby, and then she'd treat me like crap until I apologized for
a baby. And really, is it worth it to know if I actually ever liked sleeping? Ah, no... Totally not worth it.
Christ! I wish I could wake up though, I'm kind of tired of all this sleep-thinking.
“Suzanne? Suzanne, I know you can hear me. I know you're here. Please, Suzanne. I need you to wake up now. I need you to open your eyes. Please, Suzanne. It’s Mack.”
I don't think I know that name but I think I know that voice… I think.
“Suzanne, please. I'm looking at your EEG results, and I can see that you're on your way back. I see it. Suzanne, I'm here and I'm helping you, but I need you to help me too. I need you to wake up now, Suzanne...”
Do I know this man? Am I still sleeping or am I awake? Ugh... this is so confusing.
“Suzanne, Chicago Kayla will be here soon. Don't you want to see Kayla? I know your Chicago Kayla wants to see you awake very badly. She's been here every evening to see you. I'm staying with Chicago Kayla, and I need your help. Chicago Kayla is
me just like your New York Kayla does and it's too much for me. Remember you always told me two Kaylas were too much? Well, you were right. I can't handle being alone with two Kaylas anymore. Can you wake up for me now, Suzanne? Can you help me?”
I remember a Kayla, I think.
“Suzanne, I need you to wake up now. It's Mack, and my throat is killing me. I swear I have never spoken so much in my life as I have in these last 2 days. You're killing me here. Could you
wake up now, so I can give my voice a rest? Come on, Suzanne. It’s time now. I need you to wake up and I need you to talk to me.”
Who the hell is this? God, he seems so familiar to me. But who IS he?
“Suzanne, it’s Mack.
Mack. Can you hear me, Suzanne? If you can hear me, please just give me a little movement. Just move your fingers a little while I'm watching you. Or, could you open your eyes for me? I would really like you to open your eyes for me- for just a second if you can. You have such beautiful eyes Suzanne, and everyone wants to see them open again. Suzanne,
I just need a little movement, so I know you're here with me, and then I'll stop talking, I promise.”
“Suzanne, Kayla will be here soon, and she'll be all pushy and Kayla-like if you're not awake yet. I KNOW you don't want that. God,
don't want that. So why don't you just wake up for me, and I'll tell Kayla you're awake, and then she'll leave you alone. How does that sound? If you wake up for me now, I'll protect you from your treacherous Chicago Kayla when she gets here. Does that sound good?”
“Please, Suzanne. I need you to wake up now. I miss you, and I really need to talk to you. I'm your
remember? You can tell me anything, remember? Come on Suzanne, I need you to wake up now. I need you back with me. I miss you very much, and I love you very much, Suzanne.”
He loves me? Who the hell IS he? He sounds so nice. But seriously, who the hell is he? Think. Think, dammit.
Shit, I'm so tired; I kinda want him to stop talking for a bit now. I need to sleep quietly, I think. And I hate this dream. It's all weird and depressing and exhausting really. It's like I can't get out of this asleep. I feel trapped in my awake, which is just exhausting in my asleep.
“Please, Suzanne. You have so many things to wake up for. You have so many people who want to see you awake. You have a whole life just waiting for you. But you need to come back now so you can live it.”
Oh. This guy sounds so sad now. Ugh. He's making me feel sad now. Well, that's not really fair, is it? It’s not like I can tell him to shut-up, because I'm asleep over here. Forget it. I'm done. I'm not listening anymore. Good night...
Suddenly I remember my grandma. Why now?
I try to never think about her, and I don’t want to think about her now. God, I loved her. God, I
My grandma was so sweet and kind. My grandma was such a wonderful, beautiful woman. She wasn't old or creepy when I was little- my grandma was just beautiful. I remember clearly how beautiful she was. I think everyone who ever met her remembers how beautiful she was. I remember always wanting to be beautiful like my grandma, but I
Sometimes when I would visit her, I hated my grandfather so much. Well, maybe not hated him so much as
him. My grandfather was stern and cold, and truthfully, just grouchy all the time. He never smiled and he never really spoke to me. He just always seemed so mean and distant, or like he didn't like me or something.
But my grandma was never mean; she was always sweet and kind to me. Whenever my grandfather started on one of his angry fits, my grandma would just 'shush' him, take my hand, and lead me out of the room. She always did that. I forgot about that, but now I remember. My grandma always kept me away from my mean grandfather when he was in his grouchy moods. My grandma always kept me safe from my grouchy grandpa Edward.
My grandma was always nice to me, and my grandma always loved my hair. Oh! She did. I forgot! My grandma
loved my hair. She loved my light blonde hair when I was a little girl, and she loved my strawberry blonde hair when I was a bit older. It's funny how I forgot that, but now I remember. My grandma loved my hair.
After my baths my grandma would sit me in front of her gold and mahogany vanity and she would brush my hair dry. It seemed like hours would pass while she told me stories about when she was a little girl. She told me funny, amazing stories while brushing my pretty blonde hair for hours, until it was dry.
Maybe that's why I insist on keeping it long? I don't know, but I can't believe I forgot that. I can't believe I forgot my grandma loved my hair and I can't believe I forgot how many hours she put into brushing my hair dry when I was little.