The black and white chequered floor whizzes past. Like a psychedelic trip, it isn’t real. I know that I’m running. I can’t feel my limbs moving, just the vague sensation of the air resistance caused by the motion. I’m on autopilot, and the only thing tying me to the reality of where I am, is the pungent smell of disinfectant that’s been with me at every turn.
I stop abruptly, almost colliding with a person dressed head-to-toe in baggy green scrubs. My heart pounds in my chest. I look down at my hand, the knuckles white, still clutching my phone from when I got the call. It can only have been twenty minutes ago. It’s hard to tell because it feels like a lifetime has passed. The surgeon seems to understand that I can’t speak; his features are barely displaced, neutral, but there’s something lurking in his earthy eyes. Sympathy? ‘Mrs Butterfield?’ he asks. I nod, my mouth like Velcro, my brain too disengaged to speak.
‘Mrs Butterfield, I’m sorry. We did everything we could.’
You can’t have.
The blood pumping in my ears is deafening. Barbed wire is wrenched from the pit of my stomach, right up through my oesophagus. I’ve never felt pain like it. My legs give way, unable to bear the weight of the surgeon’s words and my knees crash to the floor.
I’m vaguely aware of a low, drawn-out wail. It’s me. The surgeon crouches down and looks me directly in the eyes. The warmth of his chestnut-brown gaze anchors me, and I’m able to gather tendrils of composure. I take a breath.
‘Mrs Butterfield, is there anyone we can call for you?’
I shake my head. I only have one person, and now he’s dead.
Sam lives by the mantra that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.
After the tragic loss of her husband, Sam built a new life around friends, her cat Coco and a career she loves. Fending off frequent set-ups and well-meaning advice to ‘move on’, Sam is resolutely happy being single.
But when Sam gets seconded to her firm’s Boston office for the summer, it is more than her career that is in for a shake-up. A spur of the moment decision to visit the idyllic beaches of Cape Cod could end up changing her life forever.
Purchase Link – getbook.at/ASummerToRemember
Victoria Cooke grew up in the city of Manchester before crossing the Pennines in pursuit of a career in education. She now lives in Huddersfield with her husband and two young daughters and when she’s not at home writing by the fire with a cup of coffee in hand, she loves working out in the gym and travelling. Victoria was first published at the tender age of eight by her classroom teacher who saw potential in a six-page story about an invisible man. Since then she’s always had a passion for reading and writing, undertaking several writers’ courses before completing her first novel, The Secret to Falling in Love, in 2016.
Her third novel, Who Needs Men Anyway? became a digital bestseller in 2018.
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