Max Reminisces: NaNoWriMo Excerpt

My NaNoWriMo project is coming along.  I’m plugging away, just about on track to finish 50000 words by November 30th.  I thought I’d post a little excerpt.  This scene takes place after Max and Susan have their first conversation in twenty years.  Susan has been actively looking for their son and Max has noticed.  He has just told her to let it go and move on.   You can read more about Susan Mallory here and see more of Max and Susan in yesterday’s post, Jingle Bell Rock.


Max put down the phone on the nightstand next to his bed.  He went to his dresser.  In the top drawer, buried under his underwear, was a silver framed picture.  He looked at the young woman, hair pulled back in a pony tail, smiling, holding a baby towards the camera.  Max had taken the picture the day they had brought Henry home from the hospital.  Susan and the baby still had their hospital identification bands on.   His happy little family, he thought.

He had looked at that picture over the years, trying to see if he could see it.  If it was there in the beginning.  If he had missed the signs.  And he had.  It was in her eyes.  She looked so tired.  Exhausted.  At the time he had thought it was just fatigue from giving birth and feeding the baby every two hours.  Normal for a new mother he had thought.

Of course she was tired.  Of course all she wanted to do was sleep.  She had started sleeping more after they had moved to the city.  Growing a baby, she had said, was hard work.  It made her so tired.  Of course it continued after the baby was born, had gotten worse even.  She wasn’t getting enough sleep.

He had looked and looked at the picture.  Spent hours mulling it over, not seeing anything out of the ordinary.  He couldn’t see it until he came home with his second son and his second wife from the hospital.   In the picture Susan smiled but her eyes didn’t have a glint in them.  They were lifeless, hollow.  When he saw the pictures of his second wife taken when they first came home from the hospital, she looked just as tired, just as worn out.  But her eyes sparkled.  He could see the excitement she had, the hope for what the future had in store for her and her new baby.  It jumped out of the picture at him.  In the picture with Susan, that was missing.  There was no hope.

“Daddy, daddy!” came a call from the hallway, getting louder along with the footsteps pounding on the hardwood floor.

Max quickly stuffed the frame back under his boxers and closed the door.  He bent down and was plowed into by his youngest son, Mark, their matching dark curls becoming entangled.

“Daddy!  Are you ready?  You said we could go to the park after lunch.  Let’s go.”

“All right, all right.  Let me get my coat.  I’ll be right there.”

“Tyler, he’s ready!” called Mark, running down the stairs.  Max heard a thump as he landed, jumping the down the last few stairs.

Max grabbed his grey coat and baseball hat and closed the door behind him.

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6 Responses to “Max Reminisces: NaNoWriMo Excerpt”

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  1. The Drama Mama
    Twitter: poopscoopinmama

    I loved seeing his view of things with her! It’s coming along great!!! Thanks for being such a great NaNo buddy!!

  2. Jessica Anne says:

    Thanks! And right back at ya, NaNo buddy :)

  3. Casey
    Twitter: MaritimeMom

    Oooh, this really makes me yearn for more. Wow!

  4. Kristy says:

    Very interesting! I can relate to the thoughts he was having looking at those photos.