Well, I'm not feeling too hot this week. Looks like I've been hit with a killer cold, so as my head aches, I've decided to post something that doesn't require much effort or brain power. And keeping with Unicorn Bell's theme for this week--Love is in the Air--I've decided to share an excerpt from one of my romance novels. Hope you enjoy it!
Giselle, the woman in black who Declan knew must be Brennan’s wife, intrigued him. Her strength and composure were not what Declan had expected. She had held her head high and been a beacon of strength to her children and Brennan’s mother, as well as to everyone in the service. He admired her for her outward strength, but couldn’t help but wonder what was going on inside her head. What was she thinking? How was she feeling?
The mourners climbed out of their cars and walked towards the canopy. Declan inched closer to the group trying to make himself appear invisible. He noticed Giselle and her boys already seated under the canopy on the first row of folding chairs. Giselle now wore sunglasses, and Declan watched as she turned to her youngest son seated next to her and whispered something in his ear. The little boy who couldn’t be more than three sat up straight on his chair and turned towards his daddy’s graveside as the men in suits carried the casket over and laid it carefully on the pulley system that would soon lower it into the ground.
Declan was too far from the group to hear the words of the Reverend as he stood and said a prayer over the grave. When the Reverend finished praying, Declan saw Giselle nudge her youngest son who looked up at her with pleading eyes. She simply nodded her head as he slowly stood and walked over to the coffin placing a storybook onto the surface of the smooth wood. He ran back to his seat, tripping and falling into his mother’s waiting arms. The next son who looked to be about seven or eight, and judging from the picture of Brennan, was the spitting image of his father, placed a photograph on top of the coffin. He trudged back to his seat with his head lowered not bothering to look at his mother. The last son, the boy named Cohen who had read the poem earlier, walked over to the coffin and placed a baseball mitt on top. He stood there for a moment tears streaming down his face as he whispered one last good-bye to his dad.
Giselle rose slowly and moved gracefully to the side of her son, pulling him to her and holding him close as he sobbed. When he quieted down she sent him back to his chair as she pulled out an envelope from inside her black suit. She kissed the envelope, placed it against her heart, before setting it on top of the coffin along with the other items from her children.
As she sat back down, the Reverend thanked everyone for coming, and the crowd of people began to disperse. Declan couldn’t tear his eyes away from Giselle. He watched her greet people who had come to pay their respects. The gentle way she placed a hand on their arm, the way her face lit up when she smiled, the way she reached out for her children when they were more than an arm’s length away as if the further they went, the more strength they drew from her. She was an amazing woman, Declan admitted to himself.
He was about to turn away and head to his car, when he noticed her approaching the coffin again, but this time with unsteady feet. He glanced around, but no one else seemed to be paying any attention to her. Brennan’s mother and father were engaged in conversation with an elderly gentleman and Brennan’s sister was consoling another young woman. The Reverend was busy talking with the funeral director. No one noticed as Giselle sank to her knees in front of the coffin and wept quietly for her husband. Heart aching, Declan watched her small shoulders shake as she sobbed for the loss of the man she had loved dearly. Her oldest son noticed her and immediately knelt by her side, wrapping his small arms around her. The other two boys followed his lead kneeling on the damp ground and surrounding their mother. The youngest placed his head in her lap while she sobbed.
His chest constricting, Declan turned and walked slowly back to his car, the image of Giselle and her children mourning the loss of Brennan etched forever in his memory.