A limp object lay sprawled in the parking lot where Dorrie was to meet her husband. It looked like, no it couldn’t be...
Pulse pounding, she hit the brakes and flung open the door. A few steps, and she stood staring in disbelief at her husband’s still form. That red streak didn’t belong in Larry’s salt and pepper hair, nor should it mar his olive skinned cheeks, and trickle onto his white cotton shirt.
She groped in her purse for the smartphone. Fingers shaking, she dialed 911. “There’s been an accident at the Life is for Living Institute. I need an ambulance. Hurry, please.”
A helpless feeling engulfed her. If only she knew first aid, but in all her fifty-five years, she’d never bothered to learn. She had to do something, but what? Bending down, knees scraping the asphalt, she touched her husband’s hand. “Larry, it’s all right. I’m here.” She wanted to be brave for him, but couldn’t keep her voice from quavering.
He whispered something she couldn’t catch, something about his iPhone.
“I found it on the nightstand, Larry. It’s right here in my purse.”
“Dorrie, I want you to keep it. Something’s…on it,” he gasped.
She bent closer. “I know honey, all those songs and photos. They mean a lot to me, too. Don’t worry, when we get home tonight, we’ll share them together.”
“No, more…Life is for Living isn’t…Forever Young isn’t…”
He struggled to speak, but his voice faded in and out. He probably shouldn’t talk. Where was that ambulance? Her husband needed help.
Larry flashed a weak smile and looked straight into her eyes. “Love ya,” he whispered.
Stifling a sob, she completed the ritual. “Love ya, back.” In their thirty years of marriage, how often had they said those words to each other?
His lips stilled. His hand slackened. His brown eyes stared unseeingly, as his face froze into a smile.
This can’t be happening. Larry, you can’t leave me. It’s too soon.
Blood rushed to her head. Roaring filled her ears. Larry couldn’t be gone. She’d prove it. Dorrie bent to kiss his lips. They felt warm and soft. He must be alive. Soon the ambulance would come, the paramedics would fix him, and he’d be all right.
She glanced again at Larry’s still form. The truth hit, sucking her breath away. She didn’t need a medical examiner to tell her what she could see with her own eyes. Larry had left and would never return. Her stomach convulsed, her chest heaved with sobs.
It shouldn’t end like this, not in the middle of a parking lot. Larry deserved better. So did she.
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TWO WRONGS By Morgan Mandel
http://tinyurl.com/7tvb2lr - Amazon
February 12, 1996
“WHAT’S GOING ON down there?”
Danny Callaway heard the question, but couldn’t answer. His brain froze in the cold February air as he stared at the broken rag doll that had once been his sister, Mary Alice.
In his sixteen years he’d never witnessed death first-hand. Until now.
Mary Alice’s still form lay sprawled against the alley’s cement. Her head stuck out at a crazy angle like the girl in the Exorcist movie.
Hoping against hope, he checked for a pulse at her neck. Nothing. He tried her wrist, but got the same result.
His mind was all jumbled. All he could think of were stupid things, like how he’d heard guys call Mary Alice a prude because she closed the top buttons on her blouse and never wore mini-skirts.
She’d sure be embarrassed not to have anything on at all. Someone had to cover her up and make her look presentable. Maybe Mom could help.
But how could he tell her? A sob tore through his throat. He clamped his mouth shut to keep the bile from rushing out.
Through the shock and pain, one thing remained clear. Kevin would pay for this.
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