This Place of Wonder by Barbara O’Neal EPUB & PDF – eBook Details Online
- Author: Barbara O’Neal
- Genre: Women’s Domestic Life Fiction
- Publish Date: July 19, 2022
- Size: 2 MB
- Format: PDF / EPUB
- Status: Avail for Download
- Price: Free
I’m sleeping hard when the phone rings. It shatters the dream state and slams
me into a state of high alert. Phones don’t ring in the middle of the night for
no reason. They don’t often ring at all since technology has allowed us to
shut out anyone we don’t want to hear from.
Throat tight, I scramble for the phone. Squinting at the screen, I blink at
the bright light, but it isn’t a number I recognize. I drop the phone on the bed,
nestle more deeply into my fluffy duvet. A cat body, limp and immovable,
sprawls over my ankles, and I try not to move so much that I disturb her.
Beside the bed, my two dogs snore. Elvis with his big nose sounds like a
train. It makes me smile. Better snoring dogs than snoring men, I always say.
The phone rings again, and I suddenly worry that it might be Maya,
trying to reach me. I ignored her once, exasperated with her drama, and that
led nowhere good. She hasn’t been allowed many calls in rehab, but I grab
the phone, just in case.
“Hello? Maya, is that you?”
I shift hair out of my eyes. Norah is my ex-husband’s most recent livein, and she’s never called me before.
A clammy shiver walks down my spine. “What is it? Is Augustus
“No,” she wails. “No! He’s dead.”
My heart squeezes hard. “What? That’s impossible. I just saw him last
night.” But I’m sitting up, my feet touching down on the floor. “What
She’s sobbing, incoherent, and it makes me impatient until I remember
that she’s barely thirty.
“Norah, take a breath. What happened?”
I hear her inhale, exhale. “I don’t know. Maybe a heart attack or
something, they think.”
Augustus. For a moment my mind goes still, filling with an image of his
big, competent hands. Sensual hands. Strong. “Are you at the house?”
“I’ll be right there.”
“Thank you,” she breathes.
I hang up, and for one long moment I don’t move. A faraway howl rises
in the canyons of my body, coyotes crying out. The world will not be the
same without him. I drop my face into my hands. No tears, only a shattering
that creates a kaleidoscope of images arranged over thirty years.
My phone rings again, and this time the call is from Peaches and Pork,
the restaurant that made us both wealthy and mildly famous. For a moment,
irrational hope flares. Maybe Norah was mistaken, and he isn’t dead at all.
“Hi, Meadow, it’s Kara.” The restaurant manager. Her voice is hushed.
Dull. I press my hand to the middle of my chest, feeling as if I’m the one
having the heart attack.
“So it’s true,” I say before she can. “He’s dead.”
“Yes. I just wanted to be sure you knew, and see if you want me to
handle anything any particular way.”
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