A husband’s body and a lover’s heart spliced together by a scalpel blade. A tangled web of grief, guilt and deceit that can only lead to death or harm lie within this thought-provoking tale of post-transplant memory cells and man’s desire to play god whatever the human cost.
Only the couple’s playful affection gave a clue as to the significance of the day. After their thirty-year partnership, they had legally consummated their union, alone in a registry office. Not one family member or friend was present with the ceremony overseen by strangers as witnesses. They hadn’t spent years saving or planning their wedding vows. Their marriage did not signify the beginning of their life together, but it could be the beginning of the end, tainted as it was with bittersweet cruelty. The only thing they’d planned was to apply for the twenty-eight days+ notice period, for it had to be legal. Everything depended on that. Everything else, they carried out in a wholly clandestine manner.
Rose noticed how many tablets Victor was taking and gave him disapproving glances. Suddenly for no reason, Victor grabbed Rose’s arm. At first, she thought it was an attack of nerves; it had been a while since they had been together in such a crowded room. His grip tightened on her arm, and she winced in pain as she tried to hold him up, noticing that he was struggling to do so alone. He felt the room spin like he had in the bedroom at home. A different fear engulfed him as he made out snatches of the onlookers. He was gripped in terror as he watched the confused faces contort in horror and spin as his heart started racing faster and faster while a deep dark feeling of dread took hold. He felt pain tear across his chest and travel his jaw and arm. Rose caught the terrified look on his face as he gasped and held his chest, crying out for answers. Everything seemed to happen in slow motion for Rose but so fast that she couldn’t help him as he plunged through a glass table. The smash was silent to her. She never heard anything until she screamed. She fell to her knees, and she never forgot the way her tears sounded. The way she made him go to the party, the way her lifelong partner looked lying among the shards of glass.
Secrets and Lies Abridged
Ben pulled up after the short distance to her door. He placed his hand over hers as she attempted to leave the car. A wave of trepidation washed over her. What would he do to her?
“Rose.” She could hardly breathe as she choked with fear. “Rose, please don’t leave me the way you said you would earlier on the phone.” Breathless, she stayed frozen, terrified of his next act. Was this the real Ben? Did he do this to all women—emotionally and then physically abuse them? Ben sensed her fear and tensed up muscles. “I’m sorry, what I am trying to say is, please continue to see me. I have no one, and you make my life more tolerable.” She had gone from fear to pity in a sentence, but he couldn’t keep putting her through this.
“Ben, I cannot answer you. I don’t know what you want of me. Anytime soon, Victor will be home, and then my concentration and love will be devoted to him. What can you possibly gain from this arrangement?” He released the loose grip, which was the last of his contact, holding her into the car within his reach.
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