Some people have legitimate issues with the hand life deals them and manage to find success and happiness. This is the story of a red-haired, dark-skinned, young Jewish girl who loses her husband four hours after their wedding. And he never knew she was pregnant.
It was an easy choice for Stephanie. The fetus inside her was a person, not even the number of hours or weeks it was there made a difference. This new life was her flesh and blood, her son or daughter, and she must safeguard its future no matter what her family or friends thought.
From her seat by a lace-curtained window in the family room, Stephanie watched red maples flash iridescent rainbow colors in the late afternoon sun. No. Her mind was made up. She would NOT abort the child.
She was okay, thanks to the pre-wedding arrangements put in place by her fiancée. Their life insurance policies went into effect the instant the rabbi pronounced them husband and wife. Nobody, not even her husband’s father, a well-respected heart surgeon, had a hint of what would make her wedding day so memorable. Her deceased husband’s dad, and all his medical colleagues shook their heads in amazement. Who would ever suspect the bridegroom, a strong, handsome man, would succumb to a massive heart attack on his wedding day?
How could it be that a beautiful, vibrant, tanned-skinned, and red-haired young woman, become a widow four hour after she uttered the words “I do” with such strength and clarity?
Stephanie would not revisit these thoughts again. It had happened. Her dearly beloved was buried today. Her future lay ahead; hers and that of the child she carried.
Her reverie was interrupted when her mother-in-law, Ruth, entered the room, “You know you’re welcome to stay with us for a while dear, don’t be in any hurry to run off to your place.”
“Thank you, but I must keep busy. I need to keep myself in motion. A lot has happened recently, and I need to go in so many different directions. I have so many decisions I must make, it’ll help if I’m by myself. No, it’s best I don’t infringe on your hospitality. You and George are retired, and you have your lives to live; my schedule is so different from yours it’s best I get on with things. I’m meeting Harvey Palmer in an hour, and on the way, I need to pick up some paperwork at my place.”
“The fellow from Palmer Reality? The one who handles the sale of the big old mansions here in town? You’re meeting with him, or one of his associates? “
“I’m meeting with THE man, Ruth. Palmer himself. He said my last email intrigued him, and he wanted to hear more, in person.”
“I must say, Stephanie, you are such an enterprising person. I always told George, ‘George, Stephanie is an intelligent girl. She will make a wonderful bride for my son. So, you think he’ll offer you a job? I hear his company is on the way up.”
“I’ll tell you the answer to that, Ruth, soon as I know. Now, I need to go.”
Stephanie stood, went to her mother-in-law, embraced her tightly, and planted a loud kiss on her cheek. “We’ll talk, Ruth. Give my best to George when he gets back and tell him to keep walking every day, it’s good for his health.”
Ruth smoothed her silver-hair and closed the door behind her daughter-in-law before teas flooded her eyes. “Why can’t I be as strong as Stephanie? I may have lost a son, but she just lost her husband, and the father of her child. Oy vey. I’m going to sit.”
Stephanie Sands sat behind the wheel of her new Toyota and fought against the tears welling in her eyes. The car was a reminder of her husband, a wedding present from a loving person. “I know it’s not a Lexus or a Beamer, but it’s what you’ve always wanted…a shiny red car.”
“Damn, damn, damn,” She shouted and blew her nose into a wad of tissues.
“Okay,” She said to herself. “Into the fray I go.” She started up her new car, and navigated side streets to the main road south. Her place was on the coast too, south of Newburyport and north of Boston, in Winthrop MA. It was a small city, on Boston harbor, across from the runways of Logan International airport. Her condominium was on the top floor of a brick building built in 1983, and she loved it. It wasn’t big, but it was hers. She waved to a security guard just inside the entrance to her building’s parking area, and pulled into her numbered slot.
She was still in love with the feel and even the smell of her condo. She stepped inside the elevator and rode to the top floor, so silent and fast she hardly had time to think of what she should bring to the meeting. The legal agreement was necessary, she wouldn’t divulge her entire plan unless she had the signed agreement in her hand. And, she needed her new Mac laptop. It contained her entire presentation, it was her technical spokesperson. And, she might take a quick shower, and change into something appropriate for a late afternoon business meeting with a millionaire real estate broker.
–From Alone Again, a novel in progress