I’m starting a new feature called “Teaser Tuesday”, where I share with you snippets of my favorite parts of my books (published and work-in-progress). I spent most of the night awake on the couch battling a terribly sore throat, which is what gave me the idea to share the scene below with you.
In Don’t Ask Me to Leave, Rachel finds herself dealt a series of pretty harsh blows by life. She’s beaten down by it and struggles to find a path out of the maze of sorrow (to some negative consequences). Thank goodness Beau and Nadine are around to help her out:
The house looked peaceful as the truck swung into the driveway. Nadine’s heart thrummed, and she unbuckled her seat belt.
“Beau, why don’t you wait out here for a bit? I don’t want to embarrass her if she’s still in bed.”
“All right. But I’m here if you need me.”
His white and strained face betrayed his worry. It was sweet of him, but there was no reason to panic, was there? Surely she overslept.
Four knockout roses sat in pots in what had been the front flower bed. Rachel needed to water them or they’d die before they got in the ground. Why hadn’t she asked Nadine to help plant them?
Beau nodded, and Nadine squared her shoulders and marched up onto the front stoop. The key rattled as she put it in the lock.
“Rachel? Rachel, it’s Nadine. Honey, are you home?”
No answer. Warm, stale air drifted through the open door. Nadine wrinkled her nose and stepped into the foyer. She raised her voice. “Rachel? Rachel!”
A faint moan reached her ears, and Nadine rushed to the sound.
Rachel lay on the couch in the living room, covered in a jacquard throw. Tissues overflowed from a trash can beside her, and empty water bottles littered the end table.
The pitiful, barely audible whimper went straight to Nadine’s heart like an arrow. She knelt next to the couch and put a tender hand on Rachel’s sweaty forehead. “Oh, honey. You’re burning up.”
Rachel’s face had turned pallid, with its sunken eyes and chapped lips. “And you look dehydrated. We have to get you to the doctor, baby. Can you sit up?”
Rachel’s head lolled. “Weak. Don’t feel good.”
“Honey, when was the last time you had anything to eat or drink?” Nadine smoothed the moist bangs off Rachel’s forehead.
“Some…some Cheerios. Yesterday morning.” Her raspy voice made Nadine shudder. “Keep throwing up everything. Water too.”
“I’ll be right back, sweetheart.” As Nadine hustled to the front door, she slipped on an area rug and threw out a hand to catch herself on the foyer wall. She stuck her head out and waved. “Beau! Hurry, please!”
He leapt from the truck and loped into the house. “What’s wrong?”
“She’s so sick, Beau. She’s caught something. Should I take her to the clinic or just go straight to the ER? I’m sure they’ll have to give her an IV no matter where I take her.” Nadine led him into the living room. “Can you carry her to the truck for me?”
Rachel’s eyes closed, and icy fear gripped Nadine. She couldn’t lose this baby too.
Lord, please, help this child. Put Your healing arms around her. Please, Lord.
The excerpt above is from chapter 16 of Don’t Ask Me to Leave.