Read the first chapter HERE!
Excerpt from Chapter 7: Bereavement
That first morning after her best friend's death, it was extremely hard
for Jennifer just to get out of bed. She did not even want to turn to
her left or right. She just wanted to lie on her back and stare at the
ceiling while her tears rolled down her face and soaked her pillow. She
imagined she could just lie in bed and rot away. For hours she lay on
the bed. She was absent of will or motive to do anything else. Finally
hunger pains beckoned her to get up, even though she had no appetite.
When she finally did get out of bed, she had almost no energy at all.
She could not remember ever being this weak before, even when she had
had a cold or the flu. Her cat, Baby, was nowhere to be seen. This was
odd because he had slept with her every night ever since he was a
kitten. She did not have the energy to look for him at the moment, and
she went to the bathroom instead to freshen up and try to rouse herself
from her drowsiness and lethargy. After washing her face, she started
to feel a little better. Her hair was a tangled mess, and she couldn’t
wait to brush it. As she did so, she looked over her shoulder and
called for her cat. “Baby! Baby, honey, I need you right now,” she
shouted with as much effort as she could muster.
Still there was no sign of her tuxedo cat, and she started to wonder if
she had accidently locked him in a closet. Her cat’s absence weighed on
her heart. She needed him right now more than ever.
When Jennifer turned back to the mirror to continue brushing her hair,
she was startled to find the image in the mirror was no longer her own.
She saw the image of her friend—her face pale with death and her
bloodshot eyes boring hatefully into her soul. Jennifer dropped her
brush and jumped back against the bathroom wall in horror. The image in
the mirror moved of its own accord and growled at her. The image lasted
only a few seconds but felt like an eternity. Jennifer’s heart was
racing, and it took her a moment to collect herself before she fled the
She called for Baby again while she
changed into some comfortable sweatpants and a sweatshirt to wear
around the house. After she was dressed, she checked her closets and
pantries for Baby. She called out to him as she searched, and she
remembered back to the first couple days he had lived with her. He had
been a very shy kitten and had hidden under the couch—afraid of the
world and everybody in it. She also remembered the feeling the first
time he stopped hiding and started following her around everywhere.
Whenever new people came over, he would hide under the couch again, and
it took several visits before he would trust them enough to come out.
She doubted he was under the couch, but she was desperate to find him
and did not know where else to look.
under the couch, a very angry hiss from her usually loving cat met her.
A low growl followed the hiss. Jennifer had never heard Baby do that in
the four years of his life. She reached for him and coaxed him with her
usual soothing words, but Baby just backed away further under the couch
and hissed and growled at her.
“What is wrong with you, Baby?” Jennifer exclaimed, and she withdrew her hand.
She then went to a cabinet and retrieved his favorite chicken-flavored
treat. She tried to bait him out, but he was not buying it. He hissed
and growled at her as if she was a malevolent stranger. She tried to
get him out from under the couch for fifteen minutes, but she only
aggravated him more. When she went to grab him and pull him out, he
snapped at her as if fighting for his life. Already low on energy, she
gave up on Baby. She tossed the treat under the couch and took a moment
to rest before making something to eat.
made her way to the kitchen but was startled to find all her cabinet
doors open. She knew they had all been closed a moment ago when she
retrieved the cat treats. She was startled and confused but shut all
the cabinet doors as if that would negate it having happened. Jennifer
quickly made the excuse to herself that she must have opened them
without thinking when she retrieved the treats. She then shook off the
thought and prepared a light meal of fruit, yogurt, toast, and green
tea. She still did not have an appetite but felt hunger pains and was
low on energy.