APtS: Chapter 6 Page 1

Readers,

Hope you all had an amazing weekend. Christmas is looming and will be here in the blink of an eye. I’m continuing with the first pages from each of the chapters of A Place to Stand. Remember it’s only $0.99 on Kindle and free for KU readers. Click here for more information. 

Today, we’re on chapter 6 – Perspective. Rhae is starting to do more about picking up the pieces of her life. Let’s check in with her.


Ryan is dead. Ryan had an affair and got his mistress pregnant. My marriage was a sham. Is my whole life a lie? God, I hope you have a better plan in store for me. I don’t know if I can handle things getting any worse.

Oh my God. Please let the hammering in my head stop! What is that? Slowly, I surface from sleep and realize that it’s the alarm on my phone. The alarm is earlier than normal because I had planned to be early today since it’s my first day back at work. I wake up with swollen eyes and my pillow is soaked. I recall the dream I had about Ryan last night. It makes me feel like there is a knife twisting in my heart. I take a deep breath and throw my legs out of the bed. Sitting on the edge gathering my thoughts, I decide I have to get moving.

My routine allows me to get through the morning without much thought. Make the coffee. Toast a bagel. Get a shower. I wrap myself in a towel and go into the closet. I decide on a white top and gray pants. Ryan’s favorite yellow dress is not an option today. In fact, I may give it away. I can’t even think of things that made him happy right now. I know it’s childish, and I don’t care.

I brush my teeth and my hair. I style my curls with some oil and shake it out. I use a rhinestone clip to hold a back a small section. I don’t bother with much makeup. I have a feeling less is more today. I get dressed and dig in my jewelry box. I decide on a sterling silver chain and bracelet. Then notice my wedding set is still on my left hand. Sighing I decide I don’t need my rings anymore. My chest burns as I muster the willpower I need to place my rings in the jewelry box. Honestly, I don’t know what other widows do. Do they continue wearing their rings? I’m sure the answer to that would be “yes” since they have only suffered a death. I, on the other hand, had the added insult of finding out my late husband had been having an affair.

Shaking that thought, I dig into the closet for a pair of shoes. I choose the Iron Fist Zombie Stompers, a fantastic heel with crazy art on the sides. A punch of color in my otherwise monochromatic fashion choices today. They definitely match my current mood. I slip on my shoes and turn to the full-body mirror on the back of my door to take in my appearance. Functional. Passable. Boring.

Bereaved and yet still living. I hope no one will see through my facade. I really don’t want to be around people today, but that isn’t new. I need to get through today and forget about everything Melody told me. No, today, I won’t think about anything except getting my work-life back on track. I don’t have client meetings today as I have been missing for a while. I know I need to meet with the designers who have been working my sites since I’ve been off. I hope everything is documented properly. I won’t worry about that before I get there. Everything in due time.

I grab my to-go coffee mug and lock the front door. The drive to work is faster than I wanted it to be. Typically it takes me around 40 minutes to get to Memphis from Bell Hills. I park my car, locate my ID badge, and get out. I lock the doors and take another deep breath, forcing strength and confidence into my limbs. I think that might be my mantra today – breathe deeply. As long as I do that I can get through anything, can’t I? If I keep the biology of living intact, maybe the emotional part will recover and join the party.

Our sweet old man of a security guard is at the desk this morning.

I’m thankful for his kind smile. “Good morning, Ms. Rhae. How you been?” His standard greeting.

“I’m just fine. Thank you for asking.” It is my standard answer, for today. Another part of my strategy — standard smiling responses.

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