A Christmas to Remember 5

CHAPTER 5: The Choice

            Mike sat in the chapel by himself for quite a while.  It was like a floodgate had opened and he could remember everything.  His name, he knew his name.  Dr. M. Jameson Weatherly.  When he met Cara in college, he went by his first name, Michael.  She had always called him Mike.  But after finishing medical school and embarking on his professional career, he went by Jameson.  He thought it sounded more prominent and would earn him more respect than just being another Mike. Only Cara called him Mike these days. 

            The two had met during college and married soon after.  Cara had earned her teaching degree so she helped support Mike through the rest of his schooling.  When she became pregnant with Andrew he was excited but also a little annoyed. His plan was to wait until his career was established but a careless night accelerated their plans. 

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A Christmas to Remember 4

CHAPTER 4: Remembering

            The two of them sat at the kitchen table.  Cara rubbed her hands together then on her pants to wipe the sweat off.  She repeated the process several times.

            “Relax,” Mike said and held her hands to make her stop.  “You got this.”

            She smiled and shrugged but did not share his confidence.  This was her third try at taking the stupid test.  If she failed this time it was back to square one.  Meaning a different plan because she would not try again.  The first two times she could accept the failure because she was able to blame her lack of study time.  Between teaching and raising her own kids there was no left-over study time.  This last attempt though, she had study time.  Mike was a huge help.  Which meant she needed to reciprocate the kindness.  It was time he knew the truth.  The kids were going to hate her for telling him but it was time.

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A Christmas to Remember 3

CHAPTER 3:  The Routine

            Mike looked out the passenger window quietly.  He hadn’t said a word since he got in the car.  But neither did Cara.  They rode in silence. 

            “Look,” Cara finally said as they took an exit off the interstate.  “There are some things you should know.”

            “What? Like the fact you are kidnapping me?” Mike asked derisively. 

            “Funny,” Cara said though her tone did not suggest amusement.  “You have three kids…”

            Mike winced.

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A Christmas to Remember 2


            Twenty-four hours later, a short blond woman came to the hospital.  “Hello, I understand you have my husband here.”  She told the front desk attendant.  The front desk clerk alerted Doctor Fields since he gave strict instructions to be notified if anyone came in asking for the patient.

Through the rental car agency, the sheriff was able to get a name. But before they could track down the lead and contact family the patient’s family contacted them.

“Hello, I am Doctor Fields,” he said extending his hand in greeting. He thought of the sheriff’s description of the women’s clothes found in the luggage at the wreck. According to the sheriff, the woman should be taller. Much taller. Like the mysterious woman who vanished the previous day. Not this short woman who came to get the patient. Figures, he thought.

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A Christmas to Remember

CHAPTER I: The Hospital

Doctor Fields tapped his finger on the wall and waited for a response from the woman standing beside him.

She cautiously leaned a little closer to the window.  As she did so, she cinched her scarf a little tighter.  Her ball cap was pulled down low on her forehead and he was surprised she didn’t remove her sunglasses while inside.  Something about the woman didn’t sit right but he couldn’t tell the story’s details. 

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The Car Wash: 4

Chapter 4

As happy as the memories of that trip made her, she couldn’t keep other memories out. Namely their second round of counseling. She had instigated it because there was a morning when she actually considered a more dramatic out. If she took her life, then maybe she would feel peace. The thought was brief but it was enough to scare her into action. At first, she attended counseling herself. But after several sessions, it became clear that in order to truly progress, Chadwick needed to join her.

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The Car Wash: 3

Chapter 3

The two sat in silence. The hum of the machine in the car wash doing its job was the only sound. He couldn’t believe how ungrateful his wife was. Twenty years of marriage. Did she not think he could have left her at any time? He could have. But he chose not to. Marriage meant something to him. She had threatened divorce before and didn’t follow through with it. Maybe this was like that. Yeah, he thought, she’s just trying to get attention. I am not going to give in this time. I’m going to call her bluff.

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The Car Wash: 2

Chapter 2

“I want a divorce,” his wife said again. The first time she had said it softly. As if it had been rattling around in her head looking for an exit. The second time she said it with assurance. It was funny since the words came out how she could feel both peaceful and excited at the same time. What was the word she was looking for to describe her current mood? Resolute. She still kept her eyes forward not looking at him. Instead, she turned and watched as the water dripped off the passenger side mirror.

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