Authors: M. J. Grace
M. J. GRACE
Copyright © 2015 M. J. Grace
reserved, including the right to reproduce this book, or portions in any form.
No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, in any form or
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permission of the author.
This book is a
work of fiction. Names, characters, places, media and incidents are either the
product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance
to actual events, or persons living or dead is purely coincidental. The author
acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products,
referenced in this work of fiction, which has been used without permission. The
publication/use of these trademarks is not authorised, associated with, or
sponsored by the trademark owners.
expressed in this work are solely those of the author and do not necessarily
reflect the views of the publisher, and the publisher hereby disclaims any
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Cover photograph by Natalie Caroline Zak
me proud every day. To infinity and back, sweetie. To infinity and back…
Callum, Meghan, and Jenna, whom I love with all my heart.
To Margie, my best friend and confidante for more
years than I care to mention, and who kept my little writing project a secret.
I thank you for all your love and encouragement. I love you dearly.
To My Twitter family, you know who you are. For all
the help and encouragement and support you have given me over the last few
years. There are too many to mention but especially Tammy S, Frap, Janine,
Tammy W, Cindy, Shin, Spicy, and Jen.
A special mention for Nik and Natalie. Your generosity
knows no bounds, along with your patience and understanding, when dealing with
my insecurities and meticulousness.
And finally for Tia, who once said the words “you
should write a book.” Thank you for planting that little seed of imagination.
Standing looking at
myself in the mirror, I try to figure out where the years have gone. I woke up
this morning, and I’ve turned forty. Bloody hell forty, and what do I have to
show for it? Okay, I have a nice but modest home, and I have my own car, even
if it is old. I’m lucky to still have those after my divorce from James; he
did try to take everything he could, the creep.
Turning in profile, I let my gaze roam over
my body, assessing myself. I guess my figure isn’t too bad; however, it’s far
from perfect. I possess a few stretch marks, the remnants from losing some weight
last year; and I’d still like to shift a few more pounds.
I wouldn’t say I’m pretty or even
attractive, but I’ve had my fair share of attention in the past. At five feet
nine inches, I’m quite tall; so my legs tend to appear really long. My long
hair, a deep shade of auburn, falls almost to my waist, and my eyes are green.
Eyes, which I’ve always considered to be a little too large for my face.
Then there’s that bloody scar. The scar
that caused all the tearful recriminations, and in the end the divorce. The scar
that meant I would never have a child.
So here I am, forty years of age, no man,
no marriage, and no chance of having a child. Just great.
I hadn’t seen it coming with James. We’d
been married for three years; our relationship strong, built upon love and
respect for each other, or so I had thought. I also thought that whatever life
threw at us, we were strong enough to cope with it together. Hell! How wrong
We had met at a local bar one hot summer.
He’d been on holiday with his friends down in Cornwall, where I grew up. He
wasn’t the usual kind of guy that caught my attention; I always fell for the
badass kind of guys, with tattoos and motorbikes. James was a smartly dressed
guy, with well styled hair, and always very particular about his appearance. Even
wearing a suit you could tell he had a fine body beneath, his physique toned to
perfection; maintained by the many hours he put in at the gym. He was what I
called a pretty boy, charming and funny, and it didn’t take him long to get
under my skin. Before I knew it, we were married and we were living just
outside Birmingham, close to where James’s office was located.
When we’d found out I was pregnant, our
world had been complete. We hadn’t been trying for very long, so we were
ecstatic that it happened so quickly. We’d started planning and choosing
names, and discussing the nursery decorations, just like any other excited
I’d been at work when the unthinkable happened.
I hadn’t understood what was occurring when I felt the first pain; however,
that didn’t last long. I was soon bent double, crying out in agony. The sweat
from my brow running down my face, mingling with my frightened tears, as one of
my colleagues rang for an ambulance and another rang James.
Ectopic pregnancy was the term the doctor
used. Miscarriage and surgery were others. The words ricocheting around in my
head, as I gazed at James, observing the tears in his eyes.
Before I knew it, I was waking from having
the surgery; the pain of which paled into insignificance, next to the pain of
losing our child.
I didn’t want to acknowledge all that had
happened, and James didn’t seem able to look me in the eye, and I was sure he
blamed me for the loss. We seemed to back into our own respective corners instead
of uniting together in our grief, but then James already knew that there would
probably be no more children. For me anyway.
The doctor had eventually arrived, and
informed me of the results he had already imparted to James. That during the
surgery, they had had to remove the Fallopian tube from the ectopic pregnancy, but
also that my other Fallopian tube, seemed severely scarred and damaged from some
previous unknown problem. In his opinion, there was a high probability that I
would never again be able to conceive naturally.
I now finally understood James’ reaction. He
came from a large family, and had always wanted one of his own. Well! He wasn’t
going to achieve that with me. I knew that, and he knew that. Yes, there was
adoption or IVF, but deep down as much as I would have given both a try, it
seemed James wouldn’t.
It didn’t take long for the rot to set in. Weeks
passed into months, as we either argued or ignored each other. I know I played
my part in that, I won’t deny it. Deep down I felt guilty; as far as I was
concerned it was my fault, it was my defective body not his. I grieved, for
not only the loss of our child, but also for the loss of our marriage and
relationship. Obviously, we were not as strong as I had thought we were.
It was six months down the line when I
discovered he was seeing someone else. I suppose that was the trigger that
fired the gun, and I told him to leave. He didn’t even try to stay. I thought
he may attempt to come up with some excuse, to try to defend himself. No, he
packed his bags and walked out, without even looking back.
That had been four years ago. Four long
years, where I had at first struggled to come to terms with what had happened. Especially
when the divorce papers had arrived, but I have slowly moved on and organised
my life. I have even been on a few dates, although I have never let them
progress too far. My self-preservation has built itself a wall; a wall so
thick, that not even a bomb would cause a small crack in it. And James? Well,
he’s married again, and his new wife is pregnant. What more is there to say?
I pull a face at myself in the mirror.
Okay girl, pull yourself together. There
is no hope if you let it get you down. What’s done is done. It’s time to move
on and get over it. It’s a waste of time standing here all maudlin, when you
have to get to work.
No more am I going to hold back. Disappeared
has the fun loving, carefree Jorgi; to be replaced with a faded cut out. Someone
who wouldn’t let herself be free and live life to the fullest. Well no more. I’m
going to endeavour to bring the old Jorgi back, even though I know it may take a
while. It seems I have lost myself, as well as the baby, James and my
“I’m going to come back.” I whisper to
myself as I quickly head for the shower, dress and grab a quick glass of orange
My mobile rings, just as I am locking my
front door on my way to work. Glancing at the screen, I smile as I answer the
call to my sister Davina.
“Hey Boo, Happy Birthday. How does it feel
to be forty?” she screams down the line, before commencing to sing Happy Birthday;
which believe me, is not good, as she is totally tone deaf, just as I am.
“Davy shut up. You’re killing me with that
squawking.” I reply laughing.
At thirty-six, Davys life is the complete
opposite from my own. Married to Ben with a little girl named Eva, she and Ben
run their own internet party business. She’s out going where I am now
reserved, and being in the party business, I suppose it helps that she’s as mad
as a March hare.
“Boo, are you all organised for tonight? We’ll
arrive at yours about five, so we should be ready to roll for seven. Make sure
you’re ready to party.”
“Okay, I’ll look out for you. Just be
careful on the journey up. You know Friday traffic on the motorway can be evil.”
“Boo! When am I not a careful driver?” she
“I know, but you know how I worry, and babe
do you think that now I’m forty, you could stop calling me Boo and I’ll just be
Jorgi? It seems more appropriate somehow.” I ask.
“Not a chance in hell Boo. You’ve always
been Boo to me and you always will be, even when we are old and grey.” She
I should have known really. I’ve been
trying to kick that nickname for years, but she won’t let it go. I acquired it
when I was little; apparently, it was the first and only word I said for months,
so it just stuck. At least my immediate family, and my best friend Jen, are the
only people who call me by it, so I suppose it’s not too bad.
We say our goodbyes with the arrangements
made for later. We will go to Zayars nightclub, and have a girlie night out,
followed by a girlie sleepover. Although, I dread to think what Davy has up
her sleeve. It has to be said, I don’t trust her at all where surprises are
When I arrive at work, there are balloons
tied to my chair, and cards upon my desk. I receive the usual jokes about
being forty, with congratulations, gifts and kisses, and then I knuckle down to
some work. Watching the clock; impatiently counting down the hours until
I’ve been working as a secretary for
Cavendish Interiors for five years. Five years of the same repetitive thing,
but what I’ve always wanted to do is write a novel. So in my spare time,
that’s what I do. It’s my dream to see my words in print. I know it will probably
never happen, but I find great joy in writing down my thoughts. Letting my
imagination create a character, and telling their story. Imagining people
being swept away into another world, as they read what I have written. Well that
won’t be any time soon; I know there’s a lot of work to do before or even if
that ever happens.
In the meantime, my job serves its purpose.
At least I have money coming in to pay the bills, even though it’s not a
The day passes quickly, and once again I am
standing in front of the mirror. This time I’m surveying another Jorgi; my
face lightly made up to emphasise my eyes. My long hair in curls, shining down
my back; and I’m wearing a midnight blue dress and heels. Quite a
transformation from this morning. So what if I am forty? Hell! I don’t look
half bad if I say so myself.
I’m determined, that tonight will be the beginning
of my return to my old self.
The phone rings, and I run to answer it,
nearly breaking my neck in the high heels I’m wearing, in the process.
“Note to self,” I mutter, “do not, under
any circumstances, try to run tonight after I’ve had a drink. I’ll never make
it.” I pick up the phone and say “Hello.”
“Hello sweetie.” my mum says, “Happy Birthday.
Have you had a good day?”
My eyes fill up with tears as I hear her
voice, and I blink hard trying to dispel them, before they roll down my cheeks.
I have looked forward to my mother’s call all day. As I leave for work so
early, and the fact that I’m not allowed personal calls at work, (yes, even
though it’s my birthday) I knew she would be phoning this evening.
“Hey Ma, it’s so good to hear your voice. I’ve
had a great day, but it would have been better if you were here. I miss you.”
My mother lives in the small village of
Tredowr in Cornwall; in the house where Davy and I grew up. Although she’s
lived there on her own for the last ten years since our father died, she says
she has no desire to move, as the house holds too many memories for her.
I don’t see her as much as I’d like, but I
try to travel down to Cornwall as often as I can, work permitting. When all
the James and baby scenario happened, she came up immediately, and stayed for a
while. I had never been so glad to see her. We have always been very close,
and I can truthfully say, that I have always felt very much loved by my
parents. Davy and I had the most idyllic childhood, and grew up knowing that
we had support from our parents in everything we set our minds to.
“I miss you too
Boo, my darling. Have Davy and Jen arrived safely?”
“Yes, they’re in the process of making
themselves beautiful as we speak.” I laugh. “We’re going to Zayars. God help
me. I fear what Davy has planned, you know what she’s like Ma, and she’s been
very cagey when I’ve brought up the subject. I’ll ring you tomorrow and let
you know if she needs a stern word from you.” I joke.
“I bet you’ll be off out shortly, so I’ll
let you go and finish getting ready. Have a wonderful night. Davy has your
present, with strict instructions to give it to you while you’re out. Have fun
darling. Love to you and the girls, and I’ll speak to you soon.”
“Bye Ma, love you too.” and she’s gone,
leaving me inquisitive about my gift.
I hear movement behind me and turn to see
Davy and Jen grinning at me.
I guess it’s time to party.