by d. Nichole King
Date Released: 15 February 2017
About The Story of Us
Every life is made of thousands of them, each one strung together with the next. Some are yellow and happy, some are blue and sad, and some…
Some wipe out color altogether.
“I love you,” is what I should have told Maverick.
“I’m still fighting.”
Instead I just watched him leave.
Now my husband, my everything is battling for each breath, and all I can do is stare at the machines as the clock ticks off precious minutes.
The doctors said the first twenty-four hours are critical—but every moment is critical.
You never know which will be your last.
This is our story, and I’m not ready for it to end.
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An Excerpt from The Story of Us
I’m cold sitting in one of the waiting rooms in the ICU. Maverick is still in surgery, the nurse tells me. They’ll come get me once he’s in his room. It shouldn’t be too much longer. No one else is close by. It’s just me and my thoughts.
It’s strange the things you think of to distract yourself from the real reason you’re sitting here. Me, I focus on the oil painting on the wall. Wonder how many people have stared at it and wanted to tear it down. How many liked it. Has anyone noticed that it leans a little to the left or that there’s an inconsistency in the corners of the wooden frame? Did anyone deliberate why this painting?
I’m sure it’s meant to calm the people who look at it. Doesn’t everyone find a lake dotted with sailboats calming? But the colors are all wrong. They don’t soothe me. They’re bright and bold and demanding. There’s too much crimson, too dark of navy.
I have to turn away from it. There’re magazines on the tables, but they scream at me too. Loud headlines of celebrities with large divorce settlements, jail time, and plastic surgery. The science ones boast of the newest medical advances and archaeological finds. What they don’t realize is that in here, life beyond these walls no longer exists. In here, there’re only three things that matter: life, death, and the battle between them.
I shiver again. I should have brought warmer clothes.
Hugging my knees to my chest, I focus on the fake plant in the corner. There are no windows in this area, which is how I know it’s fake. It might be a fern of some sort, I don’t know. The leaves are long and skinny, but again, the color is wrong for this place.
I shift my attention to the hallway. In here, the lights are dim, but out there they’re on full and reflecting off of the cream floor. There’s a nurse at the nurses’ station, sitting behind a computer. She’s different from the one before. A moment later, another walks up to the desk. They keep hushed voices, and I hear nothing. The one at the computer lifts her eyes to me and when she meets my gaze, she offers a sympathetic smile. I don’t smile back.
I lower my head until my cheek rests on my arms, and I close my eyes. My skin is ice against my face. Cold is what it means to be alone, and right now, I’ve never felt more alone. Alone, but not lonely. No, because being lonely is different than being alone. Lonely is a fleeting state that ends. When Finley gets here, I’ll no longer be lonely, yet without Mav, I’ll still be alone.
I think about the happy moments Mav and I shared. Our time in Cancun. The dance under the stars. His smile. His silly pet name for me.
That was us. The whole, take-on-the-world, in-love us.
The us before we broke.
d. Nichole King was born with a book in her hand. During her school years, she’d hide books inside textbooks, read during recess, changing classes, and while walking home from school. She wrote her first book at the age of 11, and the re-worked version of that book is her debut novel, Love Always, Kate.
Her YA urban fantasy series, The Spirit Trilogy, along with her NA contemporary series, Love Always, was acquired by Limitless Publishing and includes a total of six books. Breaking Through, an NA science-fiction romance, is her first self-published novel.
d. Nichole King currently resides in a small town in Iowa with her supportive husband, four amazing kids, a dog, a cat, a fish, and a turtle.
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