Strings of Color by Marian Thomas Book Excerpt

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Chapter 1

“Dear life, he knew that I wouldn’t have thirty more years of him. But tonight even as I lay here with tears soaking the floor, I would give thirty seconds just to feel his touch again.”

Strings of Color by Marian Thomas Book Excerpt

Thirty Seconds


onight I almost died…Naya thought to herself.

As she walked into her foyer, she dropped her purse, removed her shoes, and slowly allowed her eyes to follow the curve of the stairway until they met up with the oil painting that hung in the center.

Wrapped in a thick walnut wood frame, painted in the soft hues of crisp blues, creams, and specks of red, were herself and Chris.

His chest stuck proudly out. His smile was as wide as the sunshine. His blue eyes sparkled with the color of the ocean. Arms wrapped around her waist.

Chris. She could feel her fingers reaching out to toward him.

She remembered that day. How good it felt to be his wife.

The tears began to run down her cheeks as the weight of the day caused her legs to surrender to the pull of the rich mahogany wood floor.

Trembling. Heart pounding.

I’ve got to catch my breath, she whispered to herself.

Ten seconds later, she began to scream. The walls responded. The chandelier shook as the realization of what had happened began to sink deep into the pit of her stomach.

Less than two hours ago…I was sitting in a worn out chair watching a spider crawl up the wall. I had listened to the splatter of raindrops beat against the dirty windows. I had been staring at the moon for hours. Staring at the walls and then counting the tiny cracks in the floor. There were three hundred and forty-two. Crying for what seemed like days.

My tired body was heavy, ragged and empty. The whiff of dirty mop water had consumed my lungs and I had often found myself dabbing frantically at the corners of my red and swollen eyes. The lights had been dimed and the curtains slightly drawn shut but I could still see him.

Every touch we shared had flashed in my mind, every smile and every kiss.

I could hear the machines.

As I sat there, I remember feeling like my heart had begun to mix with the slow and methodic beeping noises they made.

My mind had just about settled and my eyes had finally closed when I heard it.

The noise penetrated the entire room.

Louder and louder it got, like a banging in my head. I began to scream as I ran to him and wrapped my fingers around his bed rail.

“Chris!” I shouted.

My body was calling out for strength. Darn near begging for it.

For him, I would give everything, anything. I would reach down into bottomless wells just to find a speck of it.

“Find me strength; find the darkness that I am in,” I kept repeating over and over in my mind.

A teardrop fell upon his face.

The doors flew open. Three nurses came charging in.

One tried to pry my fingers from his bedside but I fought with all that I had to hold on.

I was like a mad woman. I kept thinking that if he could just feel my touch, it would give him the strength to fight.

“Please, ma’am,” she said to me. “You’ve got to let go so we can try to save him.”

I had watched her lips moving, but my mind had failed to register the reality of the situation I was in.

“Let go ma’am, we’re losing him!” The tone of her voice had finally broken through and I somehow began to find myself again.

I remember staring at her, and then back at him. I remember thinking to myself, “Did I hear her right?”

Dizziness hit me like the strike of a lightning bolt. My palms had begun to sweat.

“Ma’am,” she said again.

Finally—I blinked.

“Please save my husband,” I whispered.

“We’re trying ma’am, but you’ve got to let go.” The nurse had been forceful but kind.

My fingers let go but my heart was still with him as I was gently moved out of the way.

There was rapid movement, loud voices, and machines being brought in.

I stood against the wall clutching my shirt and watching his motionless body.

When the doors flew open again, the doctor rushed in.

I think she glanced my way for a moment. But now I can’t remember.

What I do remember is that there was no slow and methodic beeping noise from the machine penetrating deep into my ear lobes anymore. It had vanished as if it had somehow been carried off into the wind.

“Come back, come back.” I whispered.

I wanted to hear it again. I needed to hear it again.

His blanket was pulled back; a nurse was cutting open his gown. I watched as the scissors grazed his skin. A chill came over me.

Strong and forcefully tears began to streak down the sides of my face.

The doctor was yelling, or was that me? I think I remember the doctor’s voice.

“On my count of three, go!”


“He’s still not responding.”

“Get the machine ready again!”

“It’s ready Doctor.”


Still the machine was silent.

“Come back beeping noise. I won’t complain about you anymore. Please come back to me.”

I stared at the window as if it would open and the sound would return.

There was nothing. Not one single beep!

Fear and anticipation filled the air as more nurses and doctors came rushing in.

The last thirty years of my life was slipping out through the crevices of my fingers.



© 2011 All rights reserved. Book Excerpt Reprinted by Permission of Marian L. Thomas, author. Do not reproduce, copy or use without the author’s written permission. Copyright infringement is a serious offense. This excerpt is used for promotional purposes only.

This book excerpt was provided to APOOO Book Club by author Marian L. Thomas.

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