A Pine Bluff Bonus Scene, The Reintroduction of Sammie Morgan #1
This was the original opening that was cut from the book. —Nancee
Matt Tyler stared at the ground wishing he was anywhere but here. To his left, his mother-in-law wept against the shoulder of her husband. To his right, his father slumped in his chair. A distinct odor of alcohol permeated the cold air and it came from his old man. He sighed. He couldn’t even blame Pa for imbibing. He’d been tempted, but his innate sense of responsibility had prevailed.
Rain hung heavy in the air and still the minister droned on and on. Let it pour. This day couldn’t get any worse. He shouldn’t even be here. Wasn’t there a Bible verse that said let the dead bury the dead? He needed to be at his son’s bedside. Luke hadn’t even been awake enough since the wreck to realize his mother and sister were dead. And Matt had no fucking clue how to tell him. Even he found it hard to believe. And the anger he felt toward Karen for dying and leaving him was the stuff of psychiatric wet-dreams.
Beside him, his in-laws, Lila and James Howell stood, and he blinked, realizing the graveside portion of the funerals was finally over. What remained of his heart hurt so damn bad and felt so heavy he didn’t know if his legs could bear his weight. The funeral director was waiting for the family to leave. A reception would be held at the Howells, but Matt refused to go. Even if Luke didn’t remain hospitalized, he wouldn’t go. He hadn’t been welcomed there when Karen was alive, he’d be less welcomed now that she was gone.
“Come on son,” Pa staggered to his feet, pulling him toward Gig Johnson’s car. Matt had refused to ride in the limo with his in-laws to the cemetery.
“In a minute.” He wasn’t ready. How could he be ready to say goodbye to his life? He stood at the graveside, his hands folded but in truth he wanted to clench his fists and punch something, anything. Looking up he saw Travis Carlton speaking to Karen’s sister and fresh, hot anger surged through his veins. Rearranging that motherfucker’s face would go a long way toward making him feel better. He’d always hated him. The guy was obviously emotional, and it pissed him off to no end. He wanted to scream at the top of his lungs that Karen had loved him. That she’d chosen to marry him not Travis.
But he didn’t move. Because the hard truth was, he and Karen had found themselves in the position of having to get married when she found out she was pregnant with Elizabeth.
He glanced at his daughter’s pink coffin with the spray of white daisies and sank back in the chair. His minister walked over and sat beside him and placed a hand on his back. “It might be best if you leave now, Matt.”
“How? How can I leave my daughter? My wife? How could they leave me? Tell me how this is done, because I don’t have a clue. Is there a rule book somewhere? Perhaps a How to be a Widowed Father for Dummies book?”
“I know it’s hard saying goodbye. And I don’t have the answers to your difficult questions except to suggest you fall back on your faith. And remember what’s important. Your son needs you.”
Matt scrubbed his face with his hands and sighed. Luke. “I can’t do this alone…” he muttered dejectedly.
But what choice did he have?
© Nancee Cain