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Authors: Buffy Andrews

Tags: #Fiction, #Contemporary Women, #Romance, #General, #Contemporary, #Literary, #Family Life, #Sagas

The Moment Keeper

BOOK: The Moment Keeper
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Our lives are often connected in ways we never would have imagined…

Two babies; two very different upbringings.

First there is Sarah: raised by her loving grandmother, but neglected by her own father who views her as the instrument of her mother’s death. She will lead a hard life, searching to belong and to be loved.

Then there is Olivia, surrounded by love, nurtured and adored by her parents, a golden child with a golden future.

When Sarah’s life is cut tragically short and she is assigned to record the moments of Olivia’s life as her moment keeper, their lives become intertwined.

Sarah is able to overcome the heartbreak of her own lost years and Olivia is able to deal with a future that isn’t nearly as golden as what she had planned – or is it?

The Moment Keeper

Buffy Andrews

 

www.CarinaUK.com

BUFFY ANDREWS
is an author, blogger, journalist and social media maven.

She leads an award-winning staff at the York Daily Record/Sunday News, where she is Assistant Managing Editor of Features and Niche Publications and social media coordinator.

You will find her on a plethora of social networking sites, from Twitter and Facebook to RebelMouse and NewHive. She loves social media and loves to connect with her readers via the various platforms.

In addition to her writing blog, Buffy’s Write Zone, she maintains a social media blog, Buffy’s World.

She is also a newspaper and magazine columnist and writes middle-grade, young adult and women’s fiction.

She lives in southcentral Pennsylvania with her husband, Tom; two sons, Zach and Micah; and wheaten cairn terrier Kakita.

I’m not even sure where to begin. There are so many people who believed in me and my work. Just thinking about all their support and encouragement brings tears to my eyes. But there are a few people who I need to especially acknowledge.

God, who gave me this gift and listened to my prayers and showed me the way. I am grateful for his love and his many blessings.

Beth Vrabel, my awesome friend and fellow author, who reads everything I write before anyone else does. We started this journey together, and I could not have made it without you.

Robin Bohanan and Kris Ort, my forever best friends. Thank you for listening to me talk about my characters as if they were sitting next to you at our Saturday breakfasts. I love you girlfriends!

Sharon Kirchoff, my biggest cheerleader, who carried my dream in her heart and inspires me to be a better person every day. Definitely soul sisters!

My editors, Helen Williams at Carina UK, and Alison Tulett, who fell in love with the book and helped make it the best it could be. Thank you for this incredible journey.

My sisters Dawn Beakler, Cindy Andrews and Tania Nade, who know me better than anyone and, despite this, love me anyway.

And, lastly, my husband, Tom, and my sons, Zach and Micah, who have given me the absolute best moments of my life. I love you guys more than you can ever imagine.

In memory of Wendy, who always believed.

Contents

Cover

Blurb

Title Page

Author Bio

Acknowledgements

Dedication

Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Chapter 18

Chapter 19

Chapter 20

Chapter 21

Chapter 22

Chapter 23

Chapter 24

Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Chapter 27

Chapter 28

Chapter 29

Chapter 30

Chapter 31

Chapter 32

Chapter 33

Chapter 34

Chapter 35

Chapter 36

Epilogue

Endpages

Copyright

Chapter 1

“But you promised. You promised you’d be there for me,” says Olivia, tears exploding from her swollen eyes.

Cole runs his fingers through his dark, curly hair. “I know what I said. But. It’s just that I’m supposed to go to college and…”

“So college is more important than me?”

“I didn’t say that.”

“You didn’t have to.”

“Look, Lib. I love you. You know that. I’m just not ready for this.”

“And I am?”

“I didn’t mean it like that. We’re both not ready.”

“Well, it’s a little too late for that realization. You should have thought about that two months ago when you convinced me to have sex with you.”

Cole punches the bed and stands up. “Damn it, Lib. That’s a cheap shot. You’re not going to pin this all on me. You wanted to do it, too. It’s not like I forced you.”

“Just leave. Leave.”

“I don’t want to leave you like this. I want to talk about our options.”

“Options? There are no options. I’m pregnant. With your child. You don’t want it. You’ve made that clear. Look, this is my problem. Not yours. So just go. Now.”

Cole grabs his varsity jacket and takes two steps toward Olivia before she backs away. “Look, Lib. I can’t talk to you when you get like this. Can we talk later? When you calm down.”

“There’s nothing to talk about. We did it once. Once. And I got pregnant and you want out. Well, I’m giving you your out. There’s the door.”

“Lib, if I could go back in time and change that one moment I would.” Cole walks out the bedroom door and Olivia throws one of Daisy’s squeaky toys at him. The rubber bone hits Cole in the back but he doesn’t turn around.

Olivia flops on her bed and pulls her boney knees up to her heaving chest. Tears soak her blue satin pillow. Her cries feel like a knife twisting in my heart. I want to comfort her. To hold her in my arms and tell her that things are never as bad as they seem. That I understand her pain and that she needs to be strong.

But I can’t.

All I can do, all I have ever been able to do, is watch and record the moments of her life as they unfold. I’m her moment keeper. It’s my job to record her life story, to capture and hold every moment she ever lived so that when she dies I’m able to play them back for her, one after another.

Olivia spots her purple fuzzy bathrobe draped over the footboard of her cherry bed. She pulls the belt out and sits up, wrapping it around her right hand. I know what she’s thinking. I
always know. It’s part of being her moment keeper. I always know what she thinks and feel what she feels. Her joys and sorrows and fears become mine.

Of all of the moments I’ve recorded in Olivia’s life, this is the most difficult yet. She’s thinking about killing herself, about using her bathrobe belt, wondering if it’s strong enough or if she should use one of the leather belts in her closet.

It takes me back to the day my life ended – the day I killed myself.

The moment I pulled the trigger, I knew it was a mistake. But it was too late. I was dead and there was no turning back.

I had thought about the moment forever. Pictured it in my mind again and again. Like it was some damn movie that never ended. Just played over and over and over.

I thudded to the floor, sinking in a pool of blood. Someone reached for my hand and told me to come. She wasn’t talking talking but thinking what she wanted me to hear. Her name was Wendy and she knew that my name was Sarah.

She was iridescent and flowing and not well defined. Sort of shaped like a person but not quite. More like a ghost. Don’t ask me how, but I knew she was friendly. I knew that she wanted to help me.

She was pulling me, pulling me. But it wasn’t me, me. That me was bathed in blood on the cold bathroom floor where I shot myself just seconds before.

We flowed away from the blood-splattered bathroom toward a vertical thin line of light. Wendy told me I had a job to do. Job to do? I almost laughed. Can a dead person laugh? Maybe not quite.

I heard voices and looked back. The Ace of Hearts Grandma gave me floated in the expanding pool of blood.

I felt Wendy tug and I turned to see the vertical thin line of light widen and suck us in like a strong vacuum before sealing completely.

I was surrounded by hundreds of iridescent beings and then I realized that I was one, too. We stood, er, floated in the middle, surrounded by all of these beings or spirits or whatever they were. Wendy put her hands on my head and held them there.

A tingling coursed through me as I heard Wendy in my mind. She explained that I, like her, was a moment keeper. She told me that she would show me the moments of my life, moments she had collected since my birth.

What I saw brought me great pain and joy. There were days upon days spent in Grandma’s arms or by her side. And days upon days of my dad coming home smelling like he’d bathed in whiskey. I begged Wendy to stop when a moment was too painful, but she just kept going. I began to see how one moment was tied to another and another and how they intertwined to form the tapestry of my life, a life that ended much too soon at my own hands.

Wendy said it was my turn to be a moment keeper, my turn to record the moments in someone’s life just as she had recorded those in mine. She was moving on to a place where time didn’t exist, a place where only happy moments were allowed and the bad ones were left behind.

I pleaded with Wendy to stay, to help me. How was I to know how to do this moment-keeper thing? What if I screwed it up? Missed recording a memory? But she just wrapped me in her warmth and somehow I knew I would be all right. She had given me one last gift – the confidence and understanding I needed to do what I had to do. And when she released me from her embrace, she was gone and I was on earth beside Olivia.

Chapter 2

“Oh, Tom, isn’t she the most beautiful baby you’ve ever seen? Perfect in every way.”

Tears pull in Elizabeth’s chocolate eyes as she kisses the head of the sleeping infant in her arms.

Tom sits down beside her on the burgundy leather couch. “So what do you want to name her? How about Hope because she’s everything that we had hoped for?”

Elizabeth looks up at Tom. “Can we give her my grandmother’s name? And Hope for her middle name?”

“So Olivia Hope?”

Elizabeth nods.

“That’s perfect,” Tom says. “Olivia Hope Kennedy.”

Watching this tender moment made me feel warm. That’s what happens when a moment keeper records a good moment, a happy one. Our spirit bodies feel warm. We can’t cry or turn red or show any of the outward physical signs a living human would, but warmth courses through our spirit bodies when a moment is joyful and a razor-sharp chill when it’s not.

I felt jealous while I was recording this moment for Olivia. The day I was named was painful to watch when Wendy had shown it to me.

“Christ, Mom. I don’t know how to care for a baby.”

“Matt, I’ll help you. But I’m begging you to get help. I know that you’re angry.”

“Damn right I’m angry. Sue should be here. Not her.”

“Going through with the pregnancy was Sue’s decision. It’s what she wanted.”

“Yeah, and it killed her.”

“You need to give her a name, Matt.”

“You name her. I gotta get out of here, Mom.”

“Matt, stay away from that bar. You’re drinking too much.”

“No, I’m not drinking enough!”

I watched as Matt left, slamming the door behind him. Grandma cradled me in her thick arms and sang me a sweet lullaby. She kissed my forehead and named me Sarah, after her favorite woman of the Bible. “It means princess,” she said, “and that’s what you are. Grandma’s little princess.”

I always thought Matt resented me, but I never knew why. I knew my mom had died in childbirth, but I never knew from what. Grandma, who raised me, never wanted to talk about it. And Matt, well, let’s just say he wasn’t in the running for Father of the Year Award. He spent most of his time on a bar stool at the local watering hole around the corner from our house. His drinking got so bad that Grandma eventually kicked him out and she became my legal guardian. The day I became Grandma’s was the happiest day of my life. Ever. I finally belonged to someone who loved me, really loved me.

BOOK: The Moment Keeper
3.96Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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