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Book 1 Website Chapters 1-2

Muted voices cleaver my

Muted voices cleaver my solitude. His heels mark the time. Desperate, I whisper my panicked recital. Doubt splinters the air, the deafening and perilous Rules of Emotion. Shivers prickle my spine. Tall and masterful, he stands across our master suite, white oxford cuffs rolled with precision, the same after all these years. Our eyes hold but his once tender and humored curiosity is now weathered to stone. He strokes the shadowed line of his jaw examining for truths not there. The soft lips that once adored me hardened by his anger, denial. His is the same face; he is not the same man. Swallowing, I slide the envelope to him. A muted hiss cloys my ears, pulling my eyes up. The gravity of our situation steels in his eyes. His years of deception, the depth of it I never knew, pools in my own. The urge to sooth him swells; the impulse to run to him, from him. Love is a choice of how to see the other to fill our needs, a Rule I didn’t understand from a Voice I wouldn’t allow myself to hear. But I knew. The envelop untouched, his steps retreat down a wide gallery of family photographs and our children’s artwork. The door to his dressing suite opens. I wrap my sweater tighter and lean against the thick cream window casings, a portal to where our daughter and her teenage friends gather below, refreshments set at the pool house. Crisp white towels, rolled and centered on each lounge chair. Furious war cries erupt from the distant soccer field where our son and his friends battle. Two young men abandon the game and race to the girls below The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: Melissa@therulesoflifebook.com 615-669-5643 2

where a cellophane sheet of water conceals the potential of a turbulent force beneath. Life is an apparition, steps in a clouded haze, strings pulled by illusion, delusion. They’ll never forgive me. A ghosted touch turns my chin to the Persian rug, images of us, the afternoon sun warming our naked bodies. Did I choose not to listen or was it ignorance to the cacophony of others, stealth in its ability to silence, to deafen and distract? I turn to my beloved white wall, its chromatically ordered lines of paper squares like stars in a galaxy, pixels into a universe of insight. Silver pins hold my illustrations, theories of the Venn’s, answers the hidden truths about the allknowing Creative Voice. How do I reconcile the life I’ve created? It was so simple but buried in a code of random thoughts. Why would the Voice, why would life deceive me? Creativity has Rules. The universe has Rules. Wistful blooms of lilac creep, the hope woven in their heavenly scent now loamed by fear. Scott’s note rests, his impatient print, Chasing Rainbows, listen to the 7 th song. Henry's card lies next to Scott’s, his quote from Tagore, Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark. They knew. The blooms whisper their secrets in sun-painted grades of lavender. Light, like time is illusive, allusive. Love isn’t guaranteed or free of regret. It’s timeless, yet weaves in tests of time, choices in honesty. Love has Rules. His dressing room door closes, shattering panes of silence. I cage my heart as his shadowed image stands before me, the wisp of air, earthen and warm. The Rules of Life by Melissa Abbott-Cooke. Contact: Melissa@therulesoflifebook.com 615-669-5643 3

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