8 years ago today, I lost my husband of 19 years. I can’t remember if I wrote this scene originally before or after he passed, but I do remember coming back to it after he passed and changing it.
In this scene the main character of the book dies, and her husband is left with the pieces of their lives. Originally, though he did not kill himself, he was broken beyond repair. After Jason died, I re-read this scene and went, “oh, hell no.” Because I didn’t want to be broken like that.
Writers use their own experiences to create their characters, but readers use books to expand their horizons and, sometimes, re-create themselves. I re-wrote this scene to better reflect what I wanted my life to be like, after his death. I wanted to continue, I wanted to live. And I do, but I still miss Jason.
And, yes, this is a major spoiler, but as I have no idea when this book will actually be released I think it’s ok to put it out into the universe. Be well, dear friends, take care of you and your loved ones. And remember, life does go on after loss, but only if you want it to.
From Evelyn of Kaymbria
The sun rose slowly in the east, bringing sunlight into Prince Kadin’s room. He sighed as the light filled the room, and seemed to darken his heart. He didn’t want it to be sunny. He wanted clouds, a storm, fog, anything to hide the light. He turned over onto his side, away from the window and closed his eyes. He stared at the empty bed, his lips quivering as he fought against the threatening tears.
Not again. Not another day without Evelyn. He couldn’t take it any more. Her funeral was four days ago, and all he could think of was joining her. He didn’t show his true feelings to his family, but it was how he felt. His father could raise the children. He wanted to be with his wife. Kadin turned and faced the nightstand, and the sunlight, and watched as the sun glinted off the knife sitting peacefully on the table.
It would be so easy to join her. A simple slash on the wrists, or across the throat and he would be with her. A sob escaped him and he reached for the knife.
He closed his eyes, buried his face in his pillow, but he heard it again, just the same.
Kadin, I’m here.
The tears came and he sobbed harder into the pillow. “Evelyn.”
I’m here. Listen to my voice…
He ignored the voice and continued to sob into his pillow. Eventually he fell asleep, despite the sunlight streaming in through the window. As he slept, he dreamt of the private garden. It brought him peace. He sighed and allowed his tears to part. Prince Kadin walked around the garden until a voice called out to him.
“Hello, kind Prince.”
The voice was light, familiar. He turned and his mouth dropped. “Evelyn.”
She stood before him dressed as she preferred: in work shirt and pants. She wore her hair down, allowing the blond curls to brush her shoulders. He walked quickly to her and took her in his arms.
“Evelyn, what are you doing here?”
Evelyn caressed his cheek and smiled warmly at him. “This is where you brought us, Kadin. This is where we spent most of our free time. I think your memory of me is strongest here.”
He gave her a confused look. “Memory? But you’re here. I don’t need a memory.”
“Love, I died. I’m just a memory, a dream, nothing more.”
Kadin gripped her arms hard, as pain crossed his features. “No. You’re here. You’re real.”
Tears formed in her eyes as she reached out to caress his scar. “No, my love. You know that’s not true.”
He brought her closer. “Take me with you. I can’t live without you.”
“What about our children, Kadin? Who will raise them?”
“My father can. The dragons as well.”
“Kadin, you’re talking foolishness. Will still needs you. If you leave him now, you don’t know the harm you’ll do. A young boy needs his father to show him how be a man. And Kalil. He’ll remember me, but it’s you who’ll show him how to be a wise advisor. He needs his father’s kindness. This world is harsh. Without your strength, he will never know how to guide Will.
“And Lynn. She won’t know me. No one can tell her about me, except you. The dragons and Will can try, but you are the only one who loves me the way you do. You can tell her so much more than the others. If the dragons tell her about me, it will be as a story in a fairy tale, not memories of a loved one. Please Kadin, think of what it would mean to them if you were gone as well.” She caressed his scar. “My memory is nothing without you to keep my love alive.”
Pain twisted his features again, and he crushed her to him. “I don’t…”
“You can. You must.” She moved him away to look into his eyes. “The truth Kadin. Do you really want to leave our children without your guidance? Do you really think they will do well without you? They have already lost me; they can’t lose you too.”
He stared down into her brilliant blue eyes, tears streaming down his cheeks. “But…”
Evelyn kissed Kadin. It was the most passionate kiss she had ever given him. When they broke apart, they lay their foreheads together. “But nothing. Let me go, Kadin. You must. You have many more years in front of you. Live them. Remember me, and live them. Be happy and raise our children for me. I love you, Kadin, but you must let me go.”
She kissed him again, a gentle kiss that revealed how much she loved him.
“Let me go, Kadin.” She whispered into his ear.
Kadin sobbed, but released his hold on her. She gave him one more kiss, then faded away. As her ghost faded, Kadin found himself in his bedroom, staring at a shifting shaft of sunlight. Something glinted blue like her eyes, then faded as a cloud hid the sun briefly. Kadin’s eyes went to the knife sitting on his nightstand and sighed. He sat up, then stood and took the knife off the table. He stared at the knife as he walked to the window.
At the window, he closed his eyes, took a deep breath, opened his eyes, and hurled the knife through the window. He did not watch to see where it landed, but turned from the window to call his attendants. He had to get ready. There were things to do. He was the Prince and heir of this realm. He would start acting like it. He would also start acting like the father Will and Kalil remembered; the type of father Lynn needed; the man his wife wanted him to be.