Sara's Promise(4)

By: Deanna Lynn Sletten

Sara pulled away and looked up at him, her expression serious. "Then it's a good thing none of you will ever know what that's like," she said with certainty.

He smiled. "How can you be so sure?"

"I just know," Sara said. "Even if something happened to me, I'd still find a way to be here for you and the kids. That's how strong our bond is."

William looked at her, half-amused, half-skeptical, making Sara laugh softly.

"Oh, Billy," she said, calling him by the nickname of long ago that only she still used. "I've told you a thousand times, we're soul mates. We were together before we met, we'll be together long after we're gone. And even if we cannot be together for a time, I'll find a way to make sure you and the kids are happy and cared for, one way or another."

It was William's turn to laugh, not unkindly. He loved her artistic ways in everything she did. Especially in the way she viewed love and life.

"You are forever the romantic," he told her, kissing her gently on the forehead. "And I hope you're right."

Sara raised her lips to his, and they kissed, soft and sweet at first, then turning warm and passionate. Soon they were naked in each other's arms with a passion that only years of loving one person can bring, and Sara once again showed him just how sweet forever could be.

Chapter Two

March 8th

It started as a dull ache in the middle of her abdomen, enough pain to wake Sara up earlier than usual but not enough for her to worry about. As she showered and dressed, the pain increased slightly, but she brushed it off as monthly cramps, took two pain relievers and went about her morning routine.

After William left for work, and Sara dropped the kids off at school, the pain sharpened and spread to her lower right side, and she felt warm. Still, she thought nothing of it as she headed over to the art center and worked on the newsletter. But the pain wouldn't go away. It only increased. By late morning, she was flushed and nauseous, so she decided to go home and rest before she had to pick the kids up from school. Surely a nap would help her feel better.

By early afternoon, the pain still persisted. Lying down helped a little but not enough to feel better, even after more pain medicine. Thinking she must have caught a flu bug, Sara phoned William's office, hoping he could come home early and pick up the children from school. But she was only able to reach his secretary who explained he was in meetings and couldn't be disturbed. Sara hung up, disappointed, even though she really hadn't expected him to be able to help. She'd always done everything for the kids and the house herself, never asking him for help, even when she was sick or worn out. But today, she felt stranded, alone, and it upset her. Even though she knew he loved his family and loved her, not being able to depend upon him for emergencies saddened her.

Angry with herself for even thinking this way, she pushed her feelings aside, blaming the way she felt for the cause of her anger, not William. Determined not to let this get the best of her, she forced herself to get up and drive to pick up the kids.

But the pain continued to increase and by the time both children were in the van, she was flushed, perspiration damp on her brow.

"Are you okay, Mom?" Sammy asked from where he sat in the middle seat. Even through her pain, Sara smiled. Sammy was the sensitive one. It was so like him to be the one to notice how quiet she was and notice the strain on her face.

"I'll be okay, honey," she managed as she maneuvered through the traffic at the high school. Sammy didn't look convinced, but he stayed quiet.

Sandy, however, had no concern for anyone but herself. She started in right away about wanting her nose pierced, bringing a sharp reaction from her mother.

"Not today, Sandy. I mean it," Sara warned her in no uncertain terms.

Sandy sat back, stunned that her mother would talk to her so sharply. But instead of noticing her mother looked ill, she only sulked in her seat all the way home.

Once home, Sandy flew off to her friend's house down the road with no concern for her mother, but Sammy hung back, asking if there was anything he could help her with.

Sara was touched by his concern but assured him she'd be better if she just rested awhile. He went off to his bedroom to do homework, and Sara collapsed on the sofa, wondering how she'd make dinner with the way she felt.

The pain grew inside her until Sara felt like her whole stomach was on fire. It burned, and her fever increased. She felt like she had to vomit, but she didn't have the strength to leave the sofa, so she just lay there, hoping it would stop. There was so much pressure building inside her, she felt like she couldn't stand it another moment. Then, suddenly it was as if an explosion went off inside her and slowly the pain lessened. Her fevered body cooled, and the nauseous feeling went away. She couldn't believe the pain could cease so quickly and thought that maybe the pain killers had finally worked. But whatever it was, she was thankful it was gone.

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