Chapter 1 – Fading Memories

Emily Jane Richardson pulled the laundry from the drier.She loved the warm, fresh feel and smell of freshly laundered clothes.She loved feeling the baby move again as she held the warmth against her stomach.There were very many things to fold; just what she had worn during the last three days.The drier just seemed to empty to her, but the need for cleaning had taking hold and wouldn’t let go.

It’s too quiet today.

As she carried the laundry basket to the living room she passed the little corner set aside for Jack’s photograph and keepsakes.She hastily glanced at his picture as she tried desperately to avert her eyes.

I should be walking down the aisle right now.

She set the basket on the floor by the couch.With anguish in her eyes, she looked over at the baby furniture stacked up in the corner.She never thought she would have had to pick out the furniture on her own.But that seemed like a lifetime ago and she slowly pulled out an old work shirt of Jack’s.

Why did you drink that stupid bottle of wine?Pay attention!Damn that argument.I have to keep the baby… It’s my body!Must watch the road.First trimester is over…

Emily folded the shirt with care and studied slowness.All of the wrinkles had to be removed and smoothed out.The shirt had to look like it was brand new and never been worn.Jack liked to have his shirts look that way.

The car! It’s too close.Stay in the lines!Watch the road!He’s trying to kill us! The Car!We’re going to crash!

Emily then pulled out a long, pleated, blue skirt.She spread it across the coffee table and slowly made sure that all of the pleats lined up just right.She sat up quickly as the baby pushed against her stomach in protest when she leaned over.And then she slowly placed the skirt on a hanger and smoothed it out one more time.

To fast!Oh God, Help Us!White, it is so white.So much pain.Make it go away.Oh, my head hurts.

Slowly Emily pulled out another shirt and began folding it.She couldn’t get the sleeves of antique lace and silk to match up.Emily knew that the time was drawing near.There only three more weeks to go before the baby was due.She kept folding and refolding the shirt over and over again.

Jack, are you okay?Say something!Am I still alive?Answer me!Jack!Jack!Jack!Answer me!Oh, baby please be okay.Why won’t you say something?

Slowly Emily put the shirt down; it was bunched into a wrinkled little heap.She then picked up a pair of sweat pants.She put them on a hanger without lining up the seams or folding them.One of the legs was still wrong side out.

So much blood.I can’t see!Have to get out!Door’s stuck!I can’t get out.I have to open the door!Hurry up girl, you can do it.Pull, no push, harder.It’s not working.Try the window.It won’t work, the windows stuck.Jack, help me!Jack, answer me!Somebody help me!Gotta get out!

Emily pushed the personal items out of the way and reached into the basked for another skirt.The long button up front of the skirt was a challenge for Emily’s fumbling fingers.She could not get the buttons to line up and when she looked the skirt was lopsided and bunched in the wrong places.

Oh God, what happened?The baby, it has to be okay!Oh my leg hurts.I can’t get free.My leg is stuck.Stop, don’t pull on me!Get your hands off me!No! Don’t touch me!Jack, help me!I said to get your hands off me! Jack!Get me out of here.No! It must be Jack!Not you!Why won’t Jack answer me!

Suddenly Emily heard a sound.It caused her to look down at her hands.She was holding another shirt of Jack’s this one was newer but slightly raggedy.There were spots on the shirt that would never come out.It was a shirt similar to the one Jack had worn in the accident and it was now permanently destroyed.Emily had ripped the shirt in half as she sat there, locked in the past, folding her clothes.

Caalllmmmm doooowwwwwnn laaaddddy.”Quit pulling on me!My foot is stuck.I can’t move it!So tired!Just leave me alone and let me sleep!

“Juusst moovvveee sllooowwwwly, wwweee’llll geeet yoouuuu ooouuuutttt ooooofffff theeerrrree.”Slowly Emily’s world faded to black.

When Emily realized what she had done she slumped over her swollen belly as the baby started kicking once again, held the shirt to her face and began to cry.She realized that life would never be the same again and that Jack McCann was gone forever.

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