Sunshine and Second Chances – Chapter Two

Today I’m sharing Chapter Two from my latest novel Sunshine and Second Chances.

Sunshine and Second Chances - Kim Nash

In Chapter One you met Olivia and today you will meet Samantha. Then I’ll introduce you to Debs and Fiona too.

Hope you love meeting my ladies as much as I enjoyed writing them.

SUNSHINE AND SECOND CHANCES: A heart-warming, feel-good summer read about friendship, love and second chances.

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Samantha was doing her best to keep busy since he’d gone, but she was struggling with it all, to be honest. She’d never felt as alone as she did right now. There was a void that she didn’t think she’d ever be able to fill. She knew it was still early days and that she had a huge adjustment to make in her life, and that she’d get through it, but it was definitely going to take some getting used to.

It was the quietness she couldn’t bear. Their house used to be full of life, with a steady flow of friends coming and going, and she was always busy keeping them supplied with food and drink. It was a total contrast to the complete silence of now and that made her feel so sad. And so lonesome. Minutes seemed like hours and there were times when she could go for days without seeing anyone. Over the years, her friends had dwindled away, she’d never really needed anyone else apart from her small but perfectly formed family, who she loved and wanted to spend her time making happy. But now everything had changed.  She had a huge gaping hole in her heart and she had no idea how to fill it.

She flicked on the iron in the spare room. She had to do something to keep herself busy before she drove herself insane, so she decided she may as well iron the few clothes that were sitting in the laundry basket. Coming across a top of Peter’s, she pulled it close to her nose, inhaling his scent, which was still evident even though the shirt had been washed. Opening the door of his bedroom, the smell of teenage boy hit her, a mix of musky deodorant, food and stinky old trainers, and she flung open the window. It didn’t matter how long he’d been gone, it still smelt the same. How did boys manage to do that? While she wanted to freshen up the room, she never wanted to forget that smell. Her darling boy.

She popped the T-shirt in the top drawer of the tallboy in the corner and, as she turned, caught sight of herself in the full-length mirror. Lank-looking hair with roots that desperately needed some attention, tied back in a bobble, a face free of make-up – because what was the point if she never saw anyone? – and a tatty old T-shirt and leggings. Her shoulders slumped. She looked and felt grey and miserable. She had never felt more down in the mouth.

She knew that she had needed a kick up the backside to kick-start her life for a long while, and even though some of her was dreading it, perhaps a holiday in the sun, with the love of her friends and some laughter therapy, was just what she needed. A bit of a tan on her body, some warmth on her skin, and she might be able to recharge her very depleted batteries. Perhaps then she’d feel a little more like the Samantha of the past. That Samantha had been full of fun and ambition and hope for the future, before the devastating events of her life had worn her down. Perhaps it was time that the Samantha of old made a reappearance.

Remembering that she’d put some holiday clothes away a couple of years ago, she opened the loft hatch on the landing and pulled down the ladder. She tentatively climbed up – it was the first time she’d ever done it without someone holding the bottom – and feeling both brave and vulnerable, she felt around for the light switch to the right of the hatch. Ah, there it was. Treading carefully on the joists, she spied the purple flowery case she was looking for hidden behind a chest. She opened it up and smiled when she saw clothes she’d not seen in years, each item holding different memories. Some really needed to go to the charity shop, but there were others that would be perfect for a few days away in the sun.

Thinking about the holiday made her feel anxious. It had been years since she’d seen the girls properly. They’d kept in touch for a long while, seen each other a few times, but had drifted off as their lives took different directions and they’d moved to various parts of the country. While they didn’t live a million miles from each other, they were far enough away that a real effort had to be made to meet up. It wasn’t like they could nip out for a coffee every now and again, as they might have done had they have lived closer.  

Trust Olivia to remember that stupid bloody pact they’d made on that holiday when they were celebrating their twenty-first birthday year: that they would get together when they had all either hit, or were about to hit, the big FIVE ZERO!

How the hell had she become fifty? Life had flown by and it was weird being this age because you were kind of over halfway through your life. What a depressing thought. Especially now that she was entirely on her own. Just lately, she’d been feeling like her life was over already. This was not the way her younger self would have imagined her being at this age.

Her phone pinged and her heart leapt as she checked her messages, but it was only the local butcher letting her know what offers were on that week. Her heart sank deeper than before. It had been an hour since she’d sent the text but there had been no response. This wasn’t unusual but it was annoying. It was Saturday so he should be around. She’d managed to get herself worked up into a real state before she sent the text, trying to be chatty and casual, not too needy, but she did need answers to settle her mind. She’d read and rewritten it three times before she was happy with what she’d sent, but still nothing had come back. It would probably be hours before there was a response. Even days. That had happened before too.

She really needed to get a life and stop dwelling on things and vowed to make the most of the week in Portugal. This holiday could be a huge turning point in her life, but only if she let it be.

If you enjoyed meeting Samantha and would like to read more, SUNSHINE AND SECOND CHANCES is just 99p right now.

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Kim Nash