I thought today, instead of my usUal type of post, I would share with you the first two chapters of a novel I am writing. (With all that's been going on in the Eva household since Mother's Day, I've been a little inconsistent with my writing.)
Although I didn't come up with an entertaining post for today, I decided to take a risk and put this out there. The only other person who has read this is Terri Sonada of Terri's Little Corner. We have our own little writer's group, and feedback from her has given me the courage to post this, and has encouraged me to keep writing...I have 7 chapters completed, and when things are a little less hectic, I plant to forge on!
AN AS YET UNNAMED NOVEL BY EVA GALLANT
Ellen ran her fingers down the front of the dress as she perused her image in the mirror. The fabric was soft and silky and felt delicious to the touch. The pastel blues and greens seemed to highlight her eyes and she was sure she had never worn anything so beautiful before. The price tag said $189 but there was a red diagonal line drawn through that and sale price of $59 was begging her to make the purchase.
Never had Ellen Madigan even set foot in Nordstrom’s before, much less tried on anything this luxurious. If she hadn’t come to this conference for medical personnel in the city, she might never have had the opportunity. She had no meetings to attend this afternoon, so she had ventured outside the conference center to the shopping district on the next block.
Richard Madigan, her husband, was the Administrator of the hospital in the small town in Vermont where they resided. Public Relations Director, an impressive title for a part-timer, was her position in the facility; thus, when this conference came up, Ellen had had little difficulty convincing Rich they should get a sitter for the kids so that she could attend as well. With meetings taking all of her husband’s time, she now was preening in the mirror of this large department store, talking herself into buying this exquisite bargain.
Hurrying with the purchase under her arm, Ellen made her way back to the hotel and their room. She let herself in exclaiming, “Wait until you see what I bought!” No one answered. On the nightstand she spotted a note saying, “I have a meeting which could last until dinner; if it does, I’ll meet you in the dining room at 6:30 p.m.” Disappointed that she couldn’t share her find with her husband, she decided to phone his secretary, Danna’s room to see if she knew if the meeting was finished.
“Hello.” Danna answered on the second ring.
“Do you know if Rich’s meeting is over, yet?” Ellen inquired.
“I haven’t seen him since lunch,” Danna responded, “I spent the afternoon at the session for executive secretaries.”
Disappointed, Ellen hung up. She opened the Nordstrom’s bag and, shedding the slacks and shirt she was wearing, slipped into the silky shift. Pirouetting in front of the full-length mirror outside the hotel bathroom, she decided the bargain was too good not to share. Grabbing her room key, she let herself out into the hall and trotted four doors down to Danna’s room and rapped on the door. Danna opened the door, and Ellen burst into the room saying, “Can you believe I found this on sale for $59 and it fits perfectly?”
It was then that she saw Richard, sprawled on the bed, necktie missing and shirt completely unbuttoned.
Without missing a beat, Ellen turned on her heel and left the room. With tears blinding her vision, she stumbled down the hallway to her room, and let herself in. For a moment, she stood with her back against the door, with her eyes closed, forcing a stream of tears down her cheeks.
After just a minute’s pause, she reached for her suitcase in the closet, tossed it onto the bed and started packing her belongings, emptying the dresser drawers of her lingerie and blouses. She heard the door to the room open, and Rich came in.
“What are you doing?” he asked.
“I’m going home. You don’t think I’m going to stay here under the circumstances, do you?”
“For Christ sake, don’t be ridiculous. I was just relaxing after a full day of meetings.”
“And we don’t have a bed or chair you could use for relaxing in here?” She continued packing, haphazardly folding the items that had been hanging in the closet.
Her husband came over to her and gently laid his hand on her arm. “There’s nothing going on between Danna and I. You have to get over this insane paranoia. Danna and I work together. We have to discuss what we learned in the conference sessions, and how we can apply those principles at the office. Just because we talk doesn’t mean there’s anything else going on.”
Rich caressed her shoulder gently and she stopped packing long enough to look at him. Ellen wanted to believe him, she really did.
“Come back to Danna’s room with me and we’ll talk it out.” He took her hand and led her toward the door. With a sigh of resignation, she followed him. They traveled the corridor to Danna’s room. He rapped quietly on the door, and Danna greeted them with a concerned look.
For the next 20 minutes Rich and Danna did their best to assure Ellen that nothing other than business was transpiring in that hotel room, or at any other time when they spent time together. It was all part of the job. They were working hard to make Gunter Medical the best small hospital in New England. That was their goal, and nothing more. By the end of the 20 minutes, the better part of Ellen was feeling silly for having over-reacted.
They went to dinner with the rest of the staff who had come to the city to attend the conference. Out of the corner of her eye, Ellen watched Richard and Danna, looking for any sign that what they had assured her earlier was a lie. In the end, she had to admit to herself that their relationship did appear strictly professional; there were no ‘meaningful glances’ exchanged, no ‘accidental’ touching.
Rich hated wearing a tie; he always removed it as soon as he left the office, so it did seem natural that he might have taken off his tie when his meeting ended. She WAS being paranoid. They had a beautiful home and three wonderful children; he would never put all that at risk, she was certain.