It was at night when she felt the most alone. Three months had gone since Adam's funeral. The dinners and the phone calls with her friends and family had slowly come to an end. They thought she was okay now. The truth was, Zoey Taylor felt as though she would never be okay again. She had turned from a happily married, fun-loving, mother to a depressed, mom who hardly managed to keep her life together, let alone her children's.
It was so hard to believe that the accident happened only three months ago. It seemed like she had been missing her Adam for three years instead. The kids, Carly, Mariah, and Noah, were barely old enough to know what was going on. All they knew was that their daddy was missing. Zoey grew tired of them asking when he was coming home. It was killing her.
Now at three a.m. She lay awake, lost in her thoughts, lost in the memories of their wedding, of their babies being born, and wishing so badly that when she turned over in bed that she would feel the strong body of her husband. But he wasn't there. There was a whole five feet of empty bed that he would never come back to fill. Zoey stood up, walked over to the medicine cabinet, took a Tylenol p.m., and prayed the morning would come quickly.
"Mommy," Five year old, Carly Taylor jumped on her mother's bed, "Mommy wake up."
"Carly," Zoey groaned, "Let Mommy sleep for five more minutes."
"But it's eight o'clock. I read the clock and everything. I'm supposed to be at school right now."
Zoey shot out of bed, "Darn it, I'm late for work. Again!"
"Noah bit me," Carly whined about her four year old brother.
"Where?" Zoey asked, changing her socks.
"Let mommy see."
Carly showed Zoey a purplish bite mark. Luckily Noah didn't break the skin or draw blood like previous encounters with his sister.
"Run it under some cool water and I'll grab you some ice. Meanwhile, go get dressed or we'll be even more late for school, ok?"
"Ok," Carly ran off.
Zoey groaned as she put the rest of herself together. Late again. She would have to come up with another excuse. Her boss was not going to like this.
A skirt or dress pants, Zoey could not decide. A skirt or pants. Pants, today would definitely be a pants day. Just as she pulled up her black polyester slacks, she heard a shrill scream from Mariah's room. Zoey rushed to her baby's room. Mariah was the youngest of her kids- only 18 months. She picked up the blond hair, brown eyed Mariah and held her close to her heart.
Mariah calmed down at the touch of her mother. Zoey sat down in the blue rocking chair that Adam's mother had given them when Noah was born and fed her.
Right on time, the phone rang.
"I'll get it!" Carly sang.
"Oh no you won't!" Zoey set Mariah in her crib and ran after her five year old. She barely beat her to the phone, sure it was her boss, calling to yell at her for being late the third time in a month.
"Hello?" she said, out of breath.
"Zoey? Zoey Brooks?" The voice on the other line wasn't her bosses. It was a man, a man with an oddly familar voice.
"Um..." was all Zoey could think to say.
"Oh, I'm sorry, I mean Zoey Taylor."
"Who is this?" she finally asked.
Zoey sighed, "Just tell me who you are or I'm hanging up. I don't have time for this. "
"No! It's taken me a long time to gather up the nerve to call you. Please don't hang up."
"Well, than tell me who it is," Zoey was getting irritated.
"I'll give you a hint. I went to Pacific Coast Academy with you."
Zoey sat down in a light brown, wicker chair and thought back for a moment. Of course.
"Chase Matthews?" she asked reluctantly.
"Wow," was all Zoey could think to say, "...wow." She shook her head as thousands of memories flooded her brain.
"I gave you a bit of a shock, huh?"
"Well, yeah. I haven't heard from you in years. It's been what, six years? I'm 26, so yeah, six years. Wow."
"How've you been?" Chase asked.
"Oh you know, good," Zoey said out of habit.
"No," Zoey said, snapping back to reality, "I'm going through a pretty rough time. What about you?"
"I'm okay...I've just been very nostalgic lately and decided to look through some old boxes and found a picture of you in the good old PCA yearbook. It was then that I knew I had to hunt you down."
"Nice," Zoey said. Even though it was good to hear from him she didn't feel like talking much.
"So, Zoey Taylor, huh? I heard you got married. Nicole told me awhile ago."
Zoey's chest hurt at Chase's words, "I guess you haven't talked to Nicole in awhile."
"No, not really. Why?"
Zoey took a deep breath, "My husband, Adam, was killed in a car accident. He was coming home from work one night and a drunk driver ran right into him."
"Oh gosh, Zoe, I am so sorry."
"Yeah, well, I'd love to talk. Really I would, but I have to get to work and the kids to school. We're about an hour late."
"All right, well, I guess I'll call you later. Or you can call me if you want."
"Thank you Chase, for calling. It was so good to hear from you."
A scream and the sound of a dish being smashed sounded from the kitchen.
"Wow, what was that?" Chase asked. The noise was so loud he could even hear it.
"The kids. I've gotta go." Zoey hung up and ran to the sound of the smashed glass. She felt different though. Not as empty and hopeful that the day could get better. Chase Matthews called and that was when she realized how much she had missed him throughout the years.