This is the final creative writing piece for my class. The only suggestion given to me so far has been to encorporate some sort of nervous tick into my main character that she does when she is worried. Any suggestions?
“Where is he? Why hasn’t he called? This isn’t like him…”
Shay paced back and forth across the living room rug, leaving a worn path in the cream berber. It was 9:30 now. A full hour and a half past Alex’s normal arrival time. The routine was always the same. He’d get off work at 7:00, call Shay as he walked to his truck, tell Britton goodnight as Shay held the phone to her ear and then he’d drive home. Same routine for the past six months. But tonight, tonight was different.
269-5555 Shay dialed his cell phone number again. She lost count at call number seventeen. “Hey, this is Ale…” She slammed the phone down before the recording could finish. She knew it by heart. Her anger was gradually turning into deep, shaking fear and worry. She had already tried to call him at work, but the office was already closed down for the night. She had even gone so far as to call the local hospital to see if anyone fitting his description had been admitted. Shay wasn’t normally one to worry so much, but Alex was definitely not one to break routine. She sat down on the sofa and rested her chin on her hands. The sparkle of her wedding band caught her eye. She began to nervously spin the ring round and round her finger. “Seriously Alex! For the love of Pete, just call me!” She slammed her hands on her knees and stood up in one swift, aggressive motion.
10:00pm Two hours late. Britton was crying and restlessly rolling in her crib in the next room. The baby monitor buzzed a soft, gently hum. The ceiling fan whirred and clicked. “Alex was supposed to have fixed that last weekend.” Shay walked to Britton’s door and peaked her head in. Her beautiful daughter stood up and raised her chubby arms in the air. The instant she was lifted from the crib, her head found its way to Shay’s shoulder. She burrowed down and fell back into a soft slumber. Her tears had subsided and were replaced by the sounds of her breathing. The beating of Shay’s heart was so rapid, she was sure it would wake the baby. As she stooped to lay her back in the crib, the door bell rang.
Those three melodious notes that normally rang the arrival of a beloved friend and visitor, suddenly held a somber, threatening tone. Shay pulled the cover up over Britton’s back, pulled the door shut behind her and made her way to the front door. Her heart raced. She reached for the doorknob with a trembling hand and pulled open the large oak door. Words were not spoken. A glance of the figure that darkened her doorstep was enough to drop her to her knees. Her entire body was overcome with violent shakes. Her fingers touched her lips and the tears began to flow as hard as the rain outside. She turned her face towards the gentleman that was now standing inside the door. His hair was salt n’ pepper grey and his eyes were warm and friendly. He crouched beside her, and with his grandfatherly hand, pushed the now damp hair from her face.
“Ma’am. I’m Officer Mitchell. Ma’am?”
Shay’s cries grew stronger as Officer Mitchell helped her to her feet and then escorted her to the sofa. She collapsed into the cushions and made her best effort to regain her composure.
“What happened? Where is my husband?”
“Ma’am…there has been an accident. I’m so sorry. The roads were slick and we have reason to believe the other driver had been drinking. He was flown to Mercy Hospital, but there was nothing that could be done.”
They sat together on the sofa for what seemed like hours, but only a few moments had passed when Officer Mitchell stood, poised to leave 7 Penn Brook Lane.
“Ma’am, is there someone you would like me to call?”
“Yes. Call my husband and tell him I’m not laughing. Tell him to come home. And stop calling me Ma’am. My name is Shay.”
Officer Mitchell squatted in front of Shay. He took her hands in his and once again wiped the hair from her face. Looking deep into her sorrowful eyes he said, “Shay, I have lived many, many years on this Earth, and have come to learn that I know very little about life. I meet lovely people like you every day and wonder why in God’s name do bad things happen to such good people? Then I tell myself that faith will guide me. Faith will guide you. I know this may not mean anything now, but I hope you hear me when I say that your husband is not gone. He’s merely gone ahead.”
With that said he patted her hand and made his exit. He left what was once a home full of warmth and laughter. He left a woman, broken on the sofa.