Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Sunspots by Karen S. Bell @KarenSueBell

After a month of looking, we find a house in Hyde Park right next to the green space. It’s an old Victorian with hard wood floors and high ceilings. I love the front porch and carved wood fireplace mantle. The kitchen is a disaster and so are the bathrooms. We decide it will make a good project for all of us. I sell all my furniture and give away Jake’s clothes except I keep some to wear myself—tee shirts and roomy blazers for over jeans—want to have a piece of him even though I need to make a fresh start. We will be in the new place in time for Thanksgiving—a strange way to spend my second anniversary—an anniversary but no longer a marriage—does one celebrate that?

Moving is a nightmare of unbridled proportions. My fatigue is overwhelming and magnifies my sense of loss, if that’s possible. The belongings that made up our lives bring heartbreaking memories. I must touch these things and put them in boxes or cast them away. But I must touch them first. It’s all so very hard. My once glamorous home that showcased the sumptuous dried arrangements, wall coverings, lighting, and lavish furniture chosen by Eduard Eller Interior Designers has morphed into a storage facility. Stacks of moving boxes crowd the halls and footfalls echo in hollow rooms that once were filled with hope and love. It never really felt like my home, though, this Eduard Eller Interior Designers’ house. Now it feels even more abstract and foreign. Perhaps my detachment is a blessing.

Atop one of the boxes, as if floating in this cardboard sea, is our wedding photo. In eerie isolation, the photo and its elaborate silver frame appear surreal. Just a moment in eight by ten time—a glorious moment captured forever that fades to this room and these boxes and this new unwanted life. I am drawn to it, morbidly. I focus on the smiles that emanate not just from our eyes but also from deep within our biology. Our very essence is filled with joy. Seeing that joy caves me in. I contract and constrict in pain but continue to stare at the photo. Suddenly, the pain subsides and I feel a shift in perspective. I’m no longer standing but suspended, hovering. It grows darker; a fading to black just like at the Russian nightclub and a funny feeling crowds my insides. Suddenly like watching a play, the room gets brighter and I hear myself laughing as the front double doors are yanked open and light pours in. “Who’s that?” I shout soundlessly. It’s Jake! “Jake!” I shout but no sound is heard. What’s going on? It is so odd to watch this scene unfold. There I am with Jake carrying me in his arms. How can…this be? I remember this day so well and so I watch as I travel through time.

“Keep your eyes closed, darlin’. No peekin’ now. Wait just a little longer.” And he sets me down on the white marble floor of the entrance foyer.

“What in the world? What is this place, Jake Stein? Is your mother moving here?”

“This is our place, sweetheart. Our new home. I bought it before you got here. This is our homestead in the great state of Texas!”


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Genre – Contemporary romance, Magical Realism

Rating – PG-13

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Quality Reads UK Book Club Disclosure: Author interview / guest post has been submitted by the author and previously used on other sites.


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