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Heather Froeschl is the author of ten titles with Havoc Publishing, a Dream-Jobs-to-Go ebook with Intellectua.com, and is a freelance writer, editor and literary reviewer. Her business www.QuillDipper.com offers editing and review services to authors as well as being a resource in itself. Heather is a regular columnist on several websites and an editor for several more. She is the Vice President of The Valley Writers group and has been published in and/or edited several anthologies, including the latest "Fit to Print II" a collection of work of The Valley Writers. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with her P.I. husband, two children and too many pets. Contact her at Heather@QuillDipper.com
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Enjoy an example of Heather's fiction...
Saving her Soul
By Heather Froeschl
The stranger appeared in the doorway just as Anna was finally pulling on her coat to leave. Keys in hand, she gasped, not from the surprise of his being there, but for his appearance. He was quite handsome, and she felt drawn to him, instantly.
"Hello, can I help you?" she managed to ask.
Through the storm door his smile melted her heart.
"Yes, I'm Sean Thomas, I was to meet Mr. Lavell here this morning. Is he still here? I'm afraid I am a bit late."
Anna's husband Jack, ran his consulting business from the house. He hadn't said anything about a client coming this morning, though he hadn't said much at all to her, as usual as he left.
"Well, no actually, he's not here. I didn't know anyone was coming," she replied. "Would you like to come in and wait for awhile? Have a cup of coffee?"
"If you don't mind, I would really appreciate that."
She let him in and led him to the dining room, taking her coat off.
"I'm sorry, you were on your way out. Maybe I should come back later?" he asked.
"No. No that's okay. I was just going for a walk. Have a seat. I'll make the coffee."
Sean didn't sit, but instead looked around the tidy room. He strolled along a wall of framed black and
white photo's, in several of which he gazed upon the lovely face of Mrs. Lavell. Her image smiled at him, but there was something haunting about her eyes. He turned and surveyed the living room. He could see a door, which read, "Financial Consultant, Inc. Jack Lavell, CEO & President." It seemed a bit much to have on a door in your home. The front door was now closed, and to his surprise Sean saw a pile of luggage waiting by it. Mrs. Lavell returned and set a tray down on the table.
"Please, sit down, Mr. Thomas. I apologize for taking so long."
"Not at all, and call me Sean," he said, extending his hand in greeting.
To his delight she wiped her hand on her skirt before gently taking his in a delicate squeeze. "Anna," she said, a slight blush creeping into her cheeks. She smiled, but he found that same haunted look in her eyes. He wanted to know why it was there. He felt that he knew her already, and wanted to replace that sadness with joy.
After two cups of coffee he looked at his watch. The time had gone quickly as they had talked of the business he hoped to start with Mr. Lavell's advice. Anna was charming, and supportive of his ideas, but she spoke very little of herself and he wanted, almost needed, to know more.
"I should get going and let you get back to your…walk," he said.
"Are you certain? Shall I tell Mr. Lavell that you will return?" she asked.
"Yes, I'll come back tomorrow morning, around the same time?"
Anna walked Sean out and sighed as he drove away. There was something about this stranger that intrigued her. She wanted to know him. Going back inside, she picked up her suitcases and brought them up to her bedroom, stashing them in the closet, for now.
Jack was not a bad husband, he never raised a hand to her, though he rarely laid a hand on her either. They had been together for 14 years. Anna thought back to the early days of their life together. Jack had been thoughtful then, leaving her love notes and kissing her every time their paths crossed during a day. He'd smiled at the way she sometimes burned their dinner, and told her he adored the way she tilted her head when she was reading. It was those little things that she missed the most now. When he'd started his business he'd had to work very long hours. There were days when he would leave before she awoke and come home long after she was back in bed.
When the business picked up, and he was becoming a success, he still insisted on working the longer hours. He felt out of control if he wasn't in the office at all times. It was then that Anna convinced Jack to work from home, hoping to see him more. She was becoming an empty shell of her former self. And she certainly didn't feel loved.
It had been two years, three months and a week since Jack had attempted to make love to her. On the occasional night that he did come in before she was truly asleep, she would pretend to be. It was nearly impossible for her to feel passionate toward him when he never touched her during the day anymore. She knew that when he reached for her now, a hand upon her hip, pulling her toward him, that all he wanted was release. There wasn't any passion or desire involved. It made her feel cheap and lonely.
Anna had started reading books about things she was interested in. Things that she could never discuss with Jack, even if he were available to her. She developed a sense of herself that she had never known. With that, she found strength. She started saving money for herself, not really knowing what she would do with it. After two years she had nearly $30,000 and a strong desire to start over. She yearned to find love, to be cherished. She needed to seek happiness.
It was today that she had prepared to leave. She had written a letter to Jack, explaining that she would have her lawyer call him with the details, but that she would never return to the house. There was nothing there for her anymore and she was fighting to save her soul. She had just put the letter on his desk when Sean had arrived. Now she retrieved it. She would wait and see what this stranger meant to her life.