Two lines can change a lot of lives (Part 3)

There it is.

The chapter I lost and had to write again from near scratch (I’d texted bits of dialogue to my wife so I was able to recover that).

Wade can feel there is something his wife and teenage daughter are hiding from him, but he didn’t expect exactly how his world is about to be flipped upside down.

It got darker than I had anticipated.

Part 1

Part 2


Something was going on.

Wade wasn’t quite sure what yet, but he was good at reading body language—a skill that came in handy in his line of work as a lawyer—and the way his wife and their teenage daughter were exchanging glances and clearly having one of their silent conversations when they thought he wasn’t looking left him in no doubt that they were hiding something.

He’d had a great afternoon with the boys at the water park, for their weekly dose of ‘man time’ as they referred to it, then he’d taken them for ice cream. Celia had got home not long after them, without Abi who, he was told, was spending time with her boyfriend, Nico. Wade had gone for a run and, as he was turning onto their street on his way back, he had been surprised to see his sons wave at him from his mother-in-law’s car as they drove past. When he’d walked into the house Celia had told him Nico would be joining them for dinner and sent him off to have a shower after a kiss that caused Abi to fake dry-retching noises.

He’d come back downstairs to find Celia cooking her famous BBQ ribs and special slaw while Abi was getting started on caramel dumplings for pudding. While it wasn’t unusual for their sixteen-year-old daughter’s boyfriend to join them for dinner, the menu struck Wade as a bit out of the ordinary. Added to that the fact that Celia had sent the boys to spend the night at her parents’, something was definitely going on. What, he wasn’t quite sure yet. He knew they would tell him when they were ready; past experiences had taught him that pressing for an answer nearly always ended up in a lot of yelling, tears (theirs) and frustration (his).

So he got himself a beer and chatted with Nico after Celia shooed them out of the kitchen. The boy had a good head on his shoulders, all thanks to his mother and his stepfather, and he had a lot of plans for the future. He was also very respectful of Abi’s wishes and that helped Wade forget the two sixteen-year-olds were sexually active.

Ah yes, that had been a fun conversation… Continue reading


Sad anniversary + update

Ten years is a long time.

And yet, sometimes, it feels like it was just yesterday that I lost my baby girl.

While she was actually born on 17th August, the 16th is often the worst day for me.

It happened that way this year. The sun shining helped with my atrocious mood, as did having lunch with my wife. ❤

A very dear friend came over this afternoon and gave me this wonderful, beautiful, thoughtful present she made.

dragonfly flower

I am working on the last chapter of Selina and Donovan’s story, slowly, as the last few chapters were rather draining. I’m also 4500 words into something new, a collaboration of sorts with my wife on a thing she’s writing (she’s writing about one character and I’ve started writing about another one from the same story). It’s very exciting.

The tying of loose ends (Selina & Donovan part 14)

Here is the long awaited part 14! No, the story did not end after the declaration of love and subsequent grieving at the hospital. And it is not ending with this chapter either. There is  little more that I will share with you as soon as it is done.

The whole pregnancy loss storyline really took it out of me and I felt drained for a couple of weeks. I’m ok now, just preparing myself for Chloé’s anniversary in a couple of weeks.

I wait until I’m home, sitting on my couch in my comfy PJs, snuggled up to Donovan with his arm around me, to ring my boss. I already know it’s not going to go well.

It never does when I ask her for a day off so a whole week? I sigh and dial her number. She picks up on the third ring.


“Hi, it’s Selina. I’m sorry for the late notice but I won’t be able to come in this week.”

“What do you mean? We have a huge week ahead, you can’t just take a holiday on a whim. You already had Saturday off!”

“I am not taking a freaking holiday, I need time off, doctor’s orders.” I really don’t want to get into details with her.

“You went to the effort to see a doctor on the weekend so you can have a week off? You really must be desperate. Who’s the guy?”

“What? I’m not taking a week off work because I have a new boyfriend!” Unlike some people… “I have a letter from the doctor at the hospital saying I need to have at least a week off for medical reasons.” Continue reading

Some things are not best left unsaid (Selina & Donovan part 13)


Yes, another one… (I think it’s the last one though)

Since in this chapter the surgeon who saved Selina’s life talks to her about what happened, it requires a trigger warning.

Things are going to get better from now on for Selina and Donovan, I promise, but they won’t forget.

The nurse checks my stats and tops up my painkillers. She also tells me the doctor should be over soon to check on me and talk to me about how the operation went and when I can go home.

My dad and Donovan come back shortly after she leaves, with a bag full of delicious looking sandwiches and I wish I had any sort of appetite.

Instead I nibble on bits of bread and some chicken while the others eat their dinner. I sneak a mouthful of Donovan’s Coke and do my best to ignore the elephant in the room, but at the same time wondering how long until the stick insect rings Donovan demanding he comes home.

Donovan is sitting on the end of my bed and my parents on the chairs by the window. I am loving the view, after a week of not seeing him.

“I know it’s probably not the best time to ask,” Dad says from his seat next to Mum and I get a bad feeling in my stomach. “But what’s that I hear about a fight you girls got into with that girl Donovan was seeing?” Continue reading

Mending some fences (Selina & Donovan part 12)


Dear readers, like the one before it, this chapter deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss.

It’s a topic I have personal painful experience with (if you feel up to it, here is my post from last year about it, keep tissues handy) and when I realised this was where Selina and Donovan’s story was headed, I didn’t shy away from it.

Pregnancy and baby loss happen, and they happen a lot more often than people think. Once you start talking about it, people will tell you that it’s either happened to them or to someone close to them.

In this chapter, Selina wakes up after surgery following her ectopic pregnancy.

I wake up to the delicious familiar smell of the man I love, his hand gently stroking my arm. I keep my eyes closed because I can’t conceive of a reason why he’d be here. I must be dreaming and I don’t want the dream to end.

I hear the door open and footsteps approach the bed.

“Is she awake yet?” Mum’s voice. She sounds worried still and like she’s been crying. Her voice is all hushed in the quiet room.

“Um… I don’t know…” I feel my heart skip a beat when I realise that Donovan really is here. His voice sounds as rough as Mum’s. “I thought she was before, when she rolled over.” He sighs. “I should go. She’ll get upset if she finds me here when she wakes up and that’s the last thing I want .” Continue reading

This hole in my heart (Selina & Donovan part 11)


Dear readers, this particular chapter deals with the sensitive issue of baby loss.

It’s a topic I have personal painful experience with (if you feel up to it, here is my post from last year about it, keep tissues handy) and when I realised this was where Selina and Donovan’s story was headed, I didn’t shy away from it.

Pregnancy and baby loss happen, and they happen a lot more often than people think. Once you start talking about it, people will tell you that it’s either happened to them or to someone close to them.

Last week our children asked about rainbow babies and I did a post about it on Facebook. Two friends left comments saying they’d lost a child many years ago. It’s ten years for me next month.

Losing a child is not something you ever forget. You just learn to live with the grief.

Just like Selina and Donovan are going to learn to do (and yes, you can count on the happy ending!)

I wash my hands and my face and rinse my mouth for the third time and take a deep breath before I open the door. My friend looks very worried about me and I can’t blame her. I’m worried about me.

“You ok?” she asks again and I shrug. I don’t know if I am but I know that eventually, I will be.

She puts her arm around my waist and we walk back into the restaurant. There is no sign of the bitchy blondes, some good looking bald guy is standing next to London by our table and I feel like everyone in the restaurant is looking at me. I turn to Lace.

“Where’s Chris?”

“Oh,” she says as we reached our table. “He is making sure Naomi is really gone.”

“Thank god. What happened out here? I heard a lot of screaming.”

“Don’t worry about that,” London tells me with a smile. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I could sleep for a week and still be tired. I’m sorry for ruining lunch. I think I’m just going to go see Mum now.”
Continue reading

Today is the day.

I was driving away from school after dropping the kids off this morning and I got a glimpse at ‘my’ mountain, Mt Taranaki. It looks a bit like this photo I found, but from a lot further away (we live about 2 hours away). I love seeing my mountain, it never fails to make me smile.

I sent my wife a text that said #mountaingasm and she replied #thanksChloé and I felt bad because I had forgotten.

Yes, after thinking about nothing else for weeks, I had forgotten today is my baby girl’s birthday.

I told Emma I’d forgotten and then she felt bad that she’d reminded me (which was NOT what I wanted).

Then the radio started playing ‘Gold Digger’ and I laughed and had to stop on the side of the road to ring my wife because it’s one of her favourite songs. She thought it was hilarious.

Oh and Toyota rang this morning (at 8.15am!) to tell me that it’s NOT the gearbox, so yay, not $1000 we don’t have! It’s a leak that will take about an hour to fix, and $100.

AND the father of my kids transferred $15 into my account to pay for Miss11’s netball outing, which allowed me to put $10 petrol in the car so I can get the kids from school this afternoon. It’s pay day tomorrow and I’ll get the $15 for Miss11 on the way to school in the morning.

At this point I feel the need to thank my dead child…


Mount Taranaki (disclaimer: I did not take this particular photo)

So it’s 9 years today since I lost my little girl and as usual it’s bittersweet. I’m expecting tears at some point today but it’s ok if the tears don’t come.

Happy heavenly birthday baby girl.

Mummy loves you.


Chloé Isobel Rébecca