Wednesday, October 1, 2014

The Color of Sorrow Isn't Blue

How do you lose a child?

It’s not so hard, really. You simply make one irredeemable choice. You ignore the warning bell that rings in your head, because it’s not a bell at all, you know? It’s just the gnat of a thought that’s too easily brushed aside. But in the scheme of things, it turns out that it’s the mother of all bells, made up of all the noise in the universe. You just don’t happen to hear it. Can you imagine?

Since that first irredeemable choice was so easy, I’m planning another. But I’m finding the serendipitous ones, the ones that are completely spontaneous, are so much easier. It’s one of those mysteries of the universe, like blinking out your last contact lens into the sink just as the water is swirling down your vanity drain along with the toothpaste you swished out of your mouth. You could try to do the same thing on purpose for a hundred years and never manage to do it.

As David and I sit across from each other at the dinner table, he pretends not to enjoy his meal. He downplays everything on my account these days. He toys with every bite, as I do in earnest, but he manages to clean his plate, while I don’t even come close. I rebuke myself for every morsel I swallow, for going through the motions of normalcy when things are so colossally abnormal.

I try to remember what dinner was like a year ago, the day before that day, when a little girl’s laughter was always on the menu. I try to remember how much I loved the three of us at the table back then, together again after a day apart. What I remember instead is how much I hated being apart in the first place. When you’re trapped in the dark, it’s hard to remember the light. Still I try. Try to recall what our last supper was, and whether Kinsey liked it. I’ve wracked my brain for three hundred sixty days now to remember all the details of the last good day of our lives. There are so many gaps. It’s a puzzle I work at even in my sleep. Occasionally I find a missing part, and it’s like a gulp of air in my drowningness. I just want to remember the last 3:02 my daughter and I were together, the last 7:49. The glow of Kinsey’s skin in the last bath I gave her, the last bedtime story I made up—because made-up stories were the ones she liked best. Is that too much to ask, I ask? The detectives, who now call this a cold case—as they called the Martin case until this morning—tell us as kindly as possible to accept that our little girl is not coming home. Well. How do you do that? How the—


An excerpt from The Color of Sorrow Isn't Blue, by Sharon K. Souza, which releases October 8. Available at Amazon.com.

7 comments:

susiefinkbeiner said...

Oh. Sharon. I'm pulled in. I can't wait to read this book.

Sharon K Souza said...

Thank you Susie!

Patti Hill said...

I AM reading it! It's wonderful!

Sharon K Souza said...

Love you, Patti!

Dan & Diane. said...

Well, Sharon~ I'm intrigued, right out of the gate. Anticipating the release date, as always! Each novel goes to another level. Love, Diane Evans Islas

Karen @ a house full of sunshine said...

Wow - your writing is amazing. I already care about these characters.

Sharon K Souza said...

Diane and Karen, thank you!