contemporary romance

Shattered Stars Preview

PROLOGUE

Words drip like warm honey, seeping through the mic's pores. I thought rock music was full of rage and screams, but this is different. This is so much more.

Have you ever felt the unease of dread?

Numbed by reflection and regret

It’s okay to walk away 

Even holding on by a thread


Those lungs are unable to breathe

A fragile body is helplessly snaked with fears

Her stuttering heart is broken and drenched 

In an ocean of frozen tears


A fragment in seas of debris

Each of them with pain and scars

They seek to flee the painful reality

Before falling among shattered stars 


Falling among shattered stars


Trying to salvage her dreams

Fury rages through her

Nightmares tearing the seams

Darkness constantly causing blur 


I’ll show you another way

Feel it in your heart, 

There can be less misery

See it as a new start


A fragment in seas of debris

Each of them with pain and scars

They seek to flee the painful reality

Before falling among shattered stars


Falling among shattered stars


Closing her eyes with hope

And reaching for me with desire

We fall into each other

For sake of the brighter


She gazes with relief

Smiling with eyes adore

I take away all those scars

She’s now much more ... 

Than shattered stars


Falling among shattered stars


A fragment in seas of debris

Each of them with pain and scars

They seek to flee the painful reality

Before falling among shattered stars


Falling among shattered stars

My mind is an abyss with millions of thoughts spiraling out of control. Each of his words melts into me, like it’s meant for me, which is impossible because no one knows my story. 

Yet.

CHAPTER ONE

Dr. Sheila scribbles words onto a piece of paper, halting our conversation to concentrate. I’m struggling to see what she’s writing, but my train of thought stumbles when a knock raps against the chestnut wooden door. 

“Come in,” Dr. Sheila calls out, still holding her gaze on the fresh piece of white paper. 

“Your twelve o’clock is here,” a woman speaks from the corridor. I glance down at my watch, noticing the time is ten past twelve. I didn’t think our session had gone so late. 

The visible space between the door isn’t wide enough to catch who is speaking, but I suspect it’s the young receptionist from the front desk.

“Thank you. We’re wrapping up now,” Dr. Sheila responds. A hiss embraces the conclusion of her remark, emphasizing an irritation. I wonder if Dr. Sheila doesn’t have a high tolerance for assistants, or if the woman isn’t doing her job well. 

“I didn’t realize the time was past twelve,” I offer as an apology even though Dr. Sheila was the one speaking most.

This is only the first time I’ve met Dr. Sheila, so I’m not sure I have her figured out just yet. She seems nice enough, but I have the sense she’s all work and not much play. However, if I hadn’t already spoken to her, I might guess she’s a stick in the mud by the sheen bouncing off her glossy hair, held in with a tight knot on the top of her head. Plus, her frameless glasses, and neutral pallet of a complexion don’t offer her a fun and friendly appearance. I suppose I shouldn’t be one to judge since it’s her job to appear perfect, like nothing in her life would give her cause to be in my seat versus hers. I know it’s a myth, though because even doctors need psychiatric help sometimes. 

“It’s all right. We can check in next month around this time, but if you encounter any side-effects or new symptoms before then, please call.”

Dr. Sheila tears the paper from the stack and places it down on the desk in front of me. “Thank you,” I reply, reaching for the prescription. 

The brief moments of our exchange feel worthless, like I’m just another patient and this is just her job. I want to tell her how lucky she is to leave behind all these problems at the end of the night. How she can forget about everyone’s troubles. However, despite Dr. Sheila’s cold front, I wonder if she shuts her day out that way. Although, it seems like it at this moment since she can’t seem to make eye contact. 

I slip the paper into my bag and show myself out, striding as if in a trance. I don’t know if I understand the irony of someone flushing narcotics through my body without hope of finding a solution. I’m not sure the pause button has the same effect on life as it does when watching a video or listening to a song. The inevitable is still there and part of me wonders if it will be easier once I reach that dark serenity. 

The clouds are overbearing today, casting a chill in the late summer warmth. I locate the black Grand Cherokee with the fog lights highlighting the thick air. Mr. H perks up when he spots me walking toward the car and hops out to greet me as if I have a broken leg. 

“What did she say?” he asks, hope filling his eyes just as it has every time I meet with a new doctor. I wish he wouldn’t sound so excited to find out what happened. I’ve trained myself to ignore his optimism because I’ve worked hard to adjust my state of mind and to accept what is, knowing there is no good solution.

I reach into my purse and pull out the prescription she gave me. “Here,” I offer with a sigh, handing it to him. “This is the solution given by the ‘infamous’ Dr. Sheila.”

Mr. H glances down at the chicken scratch and shakes his head. “What is so difficult about alternative medicine? I thought that was Dr. Sheila’s specialty?  Did you press her for more advice?” I get it. He’s distraught. It’s because he feels hope. 

It’s not that I don’t have hope, I’m just a realist. I’d rather not lie to myself. 

“There are no other options,” I repeat Dr. Sheila’s words, verbatim.

“Yeah, well, I would have had choice words for her in response,” he says.

“That’s why I asked you to stay in the Jeep,” I explain him with a lifted eyebrow and a slight arch to my lip. 

“No more, Dani. I’m coming into these appointments with you. Maybe you’re ready to accept all this, but I’m not. I will fight for you!”

“There’s nothing to fight for,” I argue, heading for the passenger side of the Jeep.

Mr. H snags my arm as I walk past him and he pulls me into his chest, clasping my head against his ribcage. “Do you hear this sound?”

His heart is racing. It’s pounding. “Yes.”

“That’s because of you. It’s always been because of you and I won’t let anything come between us.”

“This is why I’m with you, Mr. H. This is why I fell in love with you.” He has an uncontrollable need to love, and I’ve needed to be the recipient. It has saved me so many times, and I’ve wanted to believe it might be the one thing that always saves me. 

“Don’t call me Mr. H right now. It’s not funny anymore.” 

“It’s funny to me, so let me have my funny right now.” 

What isn’t funny … is that no amount of love in the world can save me from losing my mind.