I know about loss. And so do most people. Losing things and people is very much a part of our human experience. I decided today not to delve into my personal story of loss. Some people and things I’ve loss are still too fresh and too near in time. For this day four challenge, I want to focus on one of my characters in the novel I’ve written. I am currently in the editing phase. The working title is, The White House Deception. In this novel, the main character, Congresswoman Edara Quace, loses a person near to her and her attempts to find him draw her into a mystery that involves the security and future of the United States. I’d like to spend the three-part series exploring a back story which does not appear in the novel.
Part One: A Month Before the Disappearance
The morning sun chased away the enclosed darkness of the bedroom as the computer programmed curtains parted. Edara shut her eyes tightly and pulled the silk covers over her head.
“Wake-y wake-y, sunshine!” Rob whispered loudly into Edara’s ear.
“Ughhh!” Edara groaned.
“C’mon, you’re late, I’m late, it’s time to go!” Rob sang.
Edara felt the weight of the bed shift and listened as Rob padded across the floor to the bathroom. The she heard the splashing from the sink faucet and the sound of teeth brushing commencing. She grabbed a pillow and wrapped it around her head and sighed deeply. She knew she had to get up and face the situation head on. It was something she should have done long ago. She tried to do it last night and well, that obviously didn’t go so well…
She heard him gargle, then spit and the faucet shut off.
“Ready to take a shower?” He called out.
“Sure,” Edara replied as she flipped back the covers and jumped out of bed.
Rob’s home computer had already started the coffee and she caught of whiff of it as she crossed the room to the bathroom. She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. Nothing like a cup of fresh coffee in the morning. Maybe I’ll do it after coffee, she thought.
“Coffee’s brewing!” She announced, entering the bathroom.
“Then we’d better hurry,” said Rob.
“Shower on,” he ordered his computer and the water began to cascade down from two separate shower heads.
Edara watched as Rob undressed and walked in the shower. He had the body of a Roman statue. He was bronze and she could see the outline of every muscle in his abs. His hair was a tussled mess of black curls, his eyes were brown and deep-set and his lips were as soft as anything she could remember. He was irresistible. Very irresistible. But she knew this had to be the last time she saw him like this.
“You just gonna stare, or join me?” He said, playfully.
Edara blushed, quickly undressed and stepped into the shower. This was going to be harder than she had hoped.
“So, I was thinking after work we could–”
“I’ve got another engagement,” Edara blurted.
“Another engagement? What are you talking about?” Rob said, gently stroking Edara’s face.
Edara closed her eyes. It was now or never.
“No,” she said, carefully removing his hands from her face and stepping back.
Rob said nothing. He simply turned around in the shower, allowing the water to wash away the soap from his body.
“Look, you knew this would eventually happen–” Edara tried to reason.
“What!” He turned, his eyes full of hurt and disappointment.
“I don’t know any such thing!”
“You know and I know that if anyone found out about us, it could cost us everything,” Edara pleaded.
“Since when did you care about what other people thought? Huh? Since when did you care about anything or anyone but yourself!” Rob shouted.
Whack. Without thinking, Edara slapped Rob on the cheek. Stunned, Rob covered his cheek and glared at Edara. Realizing what she had done, she begin to cry.
“I’m so sorry, Rob, I’m so sorry–” Edara tried to reach for Rob but he quickly moved away.
“Leave!” He yelled.
Edara grabbed her towel and ran sobbing out of the bathroom.
Rob remained in the shower. He leaned against the bathroom tile and allowed the water to fall upon his head. He heard the sound of Edara scampering about the room, opening and slamming drawers. Minutes later, the door to the apartment slammed shut.
Those seconds of silence, felt like an eternity to him. Rob immediately ordered the shower off, grabbed his towel and ran out the bathroom.
“Edara! Wait!” He shouted after her. He yanked open his apartment door. The hallway was empty. No sound of footsteps. It was then he knew.
She was gone. Really gone.