Authors: Elizabeth Munro
By Elizabeth Munro
Copyright © 2011 by Elizabeth Munro and Blue Swell Books
Edited by M. Edward Munro
Cover Art by Stacey Bacharach
All Rights Reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced, scanned, distributed, or stored in any form without the author’s written permission.
This is a work of fiction.
Names, characters, incidents and dialogue are either products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously.
Any resemblance to actual events or persons living or deceased is entirely coincidental.
Blue Swell Books
First eBook Edition: November 2011
Where the hell are you?”
I was in trouble.
My sister was my only caller these days since Paul’s last message to say he was moving on.
It was barely a month since our brief intense string of occasional nights together; all but the last ending in sweat, exhaustion and staggeringly good moods.
I put a hand on my belly as I watched my late dinner turn in the microwave’s yellow light.
I was sure Paul left something behind that night or maybe one of the others.
When didn’t matter.
Certainty waited in a little box in my backpack.
I didn’t bother opening the microwave door when its bell went.
Instead I sat at the table pulling the machine and the phone with me, nearly dropping them as my thumb found play.
“You know what day it is,” her tone didn’t lose any of its firmness as it came from the little speaker.
I already did.
Don’t screw it up again.
I don’t care how late—.”
Easy for her.
Call him up from half way across the country to tell him she loved him and missed mother too.
It was three hours later there so he wouldn’t keep her on the phone.
I had no excuse for avoiding him.
Dad only lived three blocks away.
She’d made it sound like she was lucky getting a position in
’s busiest emergency room.
Truth was she was a brilliant doctor.
All she had to say was ‘put it over there’ and they would have built a hospital around her.
It was only nine and he’d still be up.
“Hey, what’s up kid?”
He did a poor job of making it sound like a phone call from me wasn’t a big deal.
“Take your time, Sweetie.”
I sighed as he waited.
“I want wontons Dad.”
They’d been Mom’s favourite.
“That place up the road still in business?”
“Yeah,” I answered.
I was a regular there.
He hadn’t set foot in the door without her.
“Pick you up in ten?”
I gently put the phone down and dressed.
My long blonde hair was still damp from the shower so I quickly put it up and pulled a knit hat over top to keep the heat in.
At least it wasn’t raining.
It had been ten years earlier when Dad had taken his inconsolable daughters to the lone car at the far end of the hospital parking lot.
In spite of the cold drops washing the tears from my face I remembered I could taste salt.
The street light at the end of my short empty driveway lit up the air I exhaled.
It wasn’t cold for the first week of October, but it was humid.
I tipped my head back and blew a cloud straight up as I took a few steps watching it stretch and disappear behind me.
When I looked forward again I saw the figure of my father on foot a block south just coming over the little rise in the road.
I went to meet him.
“Something wrong with your truck?”
I asked him as he gave me a quick awkward hug letting me go before I could get my hands out of my pockets to awkwardly hug him back.
I only use it for work now.”
We walked past my house, then a block over before getting on the road to the Chinese food place.