Illusive Memories

Chapter One

Faye Palmer woke up early Saturday morning as dawn was breaking, anxious to visit her secret place in the woods. Being outdoors brought her close to nature, but more importantly, it was her special time with the higher powers and lately, she needed all the help she could get.

Quietly and quickly, she rolled out of bed, her tiny feet landing on the plush, dense carpet. Trying not to disturb Jef, she tiptoed into the huge master bath. The gray Italian marble was cold on her feet, but she loved the look of her exotic bathroom. Surrounded by floor-to-ceiling mirrors, she didn’t notice her thin body as she pulled on size two jeans and tee shirt over her tiny breasts. She pulled her long blonde hair into a ponytail as the toothbrush hung out of her mouth, looking like a teenager even though she was twenty eight.

Humming to herself, she tiptoed past the neo-classic four poster bed and stopped. Jef’s side of the bed was untouched – he didn’t come home last night – again. This was the sixth time this month. She was livid. Deep inside her heart and soul, she knew their marriage was crumbling, and she couldn’t stop it.

Tears stung her eyes and dying butterflies fluttered in her stomach. She strolled into the kitchen to make coffee before retreating to the gazebo. As she puttered around the kitchen, she glanced through the large windows and admired the vista outside. Their ten acre estate was located a few miles outside of Asheville, North Carolina, nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western North Carolina. Their estate was embellished with a variety of densely populated trees and bushes nestled among babbling brooks, dogwood trees, wildflowers, and rolling terrain.

She sat in the gazebo surrounded by the large pool, lost in thought when Jef bolted out the French doors. Caught off guard, she wasn’t sure whether she should run into his arms, thankful he was home, or interrogate him.

“Before you jump on me again, we were with the witness ‘til two – too tired to drive home,” Jef acknowledged, without looking in her eyes.

“Jef, how many times have I told you? I don’t care what time you call – just call.” Her fair skin heated up. She hated his lame excuses.

“I worry when you don’t come home. What if you were in a car accident or something?” she coldly responded in her natural Southern drawl. She tried hard to keep her voice in an even tone, so she wouldn’t lose it all together.

“Will next time.” The French doors slammed behind him.

Their eyes had met briefly. It told a thousand tales when he brushed past her, close enough she could smell his familiar scent of Giorgio. The look in his cold, glaring eyes told the story – he was lying again – and he wasn’t remorseful.

When she turned to follow him for a confrontation, out of the corner of her eye she detected a slight movement in the yard. Thirty feet from the white gazebo, standing perfectly still, was the most amazing creature she had ever seen. The fawn was two feet tall, its face almost all white which emphasized its large brown eyes, rounded nose, and moist lips. The rest of its body was silky blonde except for its white, puffy tail. Mesmerized by its eyes and with its ears at full attention, time appeared to halt. She slowly moved to the swing in the gazebo and sat down. The fawn continued to gaze as though trying to deliver a message, and then slowly turned, and wandered back into the woods. Frozen to the swing, she sat stunned until the mystical moment was shattered when Jef clanged around the kitchen, swearing loudly.

She ascended the steps to the upper level terrace. As she entered the kitchen, Jef glanced up and without saying a word, walked into their bedroom.

She followed, ready for a confrontation. Before she could reach Jef, he entered the master bath and slammed the door with such force she didn’t dare enter.

Feeling like an unwanted child again, she sat on the edge of the bed until he came out.

“What you need, Faye?” he asked, nastily.

“Jef, we have to talk. We can’t continue like this.” Tears swelled in her eyes.

“Like what?” Disgusted, Jef moved around the bedroom, throwing clothes on the bed.

“You can’t go on ignoring me – not talking to me. You’re never home anymore.” She stood up, her petite frame dwarfed by his tall stature.

“Quit your whining. Joey’s gone. I can’t fill that void in your life. I’ve got work to do.” He stuffed undergarments in a black overnight bag.

“But Jef . . .”

He grabbed the bag and walked out of the bedroom towards the double leaded front doors.

“Please, Jef, I need you,” she cried as she followed.

“No Faye, you don’t need me. You need to get a life,” he responded , as he pulled away from her.

“Where you going now? You just got home.”

“We’re meeting in an hour to work on the trial.”

She looked into his eyes in disbelief, but he didn’t acknowledge her glare.

“We’ve got to get the final details worked out – may be late again tonight – don’t wait up.” Without waiting for her response, he walked through the double doors.

She stood in the doorway as he climbed into his blue Mercedes convertible and sped around the circle drive.

Shocked by his actions, she numbly shut the front doors and walked to the terrace. She plopped down on the chaise lounge next to the pool. Openly sobbing, she buried her face in her hands. Her life was falling apart. She had lost her only child and now Jef was slowly disappearing too. Not able to control her emotions, she wailed, sounding like an injured creature in the forest.

Curled up in a fetal position, she stared at a large maple leaf as it danced around in the turquoise pool. Puffy clouds dotted the sky. A slight breeze moved leaves that had turned brilliant fall colors which she loved.

Jumping up from the chaise, she briskly walked into the kitchen and rummaged through the kitchen drawers until she spotted a gold paper. Bold headlines announced a fall festival in a nearby town. Without hesitation, she grabbed her light jacket, purse, and jogged down the stairs to the four-car garage under the house. As she passed her silver Jag, she noticed the front right tire was almost flat.

“Shit! Guess I’ll have to take Jef’s Lexus. Won’t that piss him off.” She ran back up the stairs and dug in a wicker basket until she found the extra set of keys.

As she slipped into the plush leather seat and backed out of the garage, she talked to herself like she often did.

“To hell with it. Heather Faye, you can’t let him ruin your life.”

Illusive Memories is in the process of being published. Check back in the near future for purchase options!

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