Heart Block

Heart Block by Melissa Brayden

Book: Heart Block by Melissa Brayden Read Free Book Online
Authors: Melissa Brayden
never been so proud. Grayson, had he lived to see this day, would have been over the moon at his daughter’s many achievements.

    Emory stared at the passage, unsure how to feel. The words were so entirely unexpected, especially in comparison to her own recollection of the day of her high school graduation. Her memory was vivid, especially how her mother, whom she hadn’t seen in months prior to the commencement, had said very little to her after the ceremony. She’d behaved as if her attendance was a required formality, a box she was there to check on her motherhood to-do list. Catherine Owen had kissed Emory’s cheek and embraced her briefly, offering a few short words of congratulations before heading back to her hotel. Emory had been on cloud nine that day, celebrating with Mia and the girls from her hall, but saw none of that same excitement reflected in her mother’s eyes.
    Yet, here in her lap sat evidence to the contrary and it was hard to take in. She had no idea that on that day, underneath that crisp and polite pretense of conversation, there existed a depth of feeling, actual emotion even, and it had been held back from her. Stolen.
    She did the only thing she could think to do. She reread the earmarked passage again and again and again as if it were a drug she couldn’t get enough of.
    On a mission now, she flipped to the very first page of the journal and settled in. Hours passed as she tore through the pages and read her mother’s innermost thoughts, most of which brought about startling revelations for Emory. It turned out that Catherine thought of her twice-a-week tennis match at the club as a necessary evil, while what she really longed to do with her afternoon was curl up with a good book, preferably a classic. She’d read Pride and Prejudice seven times. Emory never knew that and shook her head in wonder at the information. Emory loved that book, and if only she’d known, they could have discussed it and a myriad of other Jane Austen works. Other interesting pieces of information included the almost schoolgirl crush Catherine seemed to have developed on Peter Fullbright, their attorney, and the fact that she’d regretted never having a dog as a pet. But most notably, the fact that she thought Emory had amazing talent as an artist.

    June 14, 1994
    It’s hot today in California, and before the afternoon is over, we’re expected to break record temperatures. Vanessa and I have taken refuge indoors and spent the afternoon selecting colors for the new furniture in the dining room, but Emory’s been with her sketchbook in the backyard since ten this morning. I’ve stolen glances at her work as I’ve passed by the window, and each new glimpse impresses me further. Her steady progress on the work was remarkable.
    The sketch is a very vivid representation of the birdhouse nestled on the back fence, an item I’ve paid very little attention to until now. The detail she’s created is striking, and I marvel at her unique talent. I have no idea where she gets her gift, as neither Grayson nor I have any sort of artistic ability whatsoever. At any rate, it’s astounding what Emory’s able to produce on a blank canvas. She’s presented me with several of her works over the past year and I’m still figuring out the perfect place to showcase them. No location I’ve come up with seems to do them justice.

    Emory stopped. It was hard to read when she could no longer see the page in front of her. Unexpected tears assaulted her eyes, and large wet drops fell from her cheeks onto the page. She sat there in a helpless sea of emotion that overtook her with a force she couldn’t compete with. She hadn’t cried once since learning of her mother’s death, not at the funeral or even in the quiet solace of her own home. It wasn’t that she wasn’t sad; she knew inherently that she must have been, but she simply hadn’t felt anything at all. But now, as the sun was beginning to set on a Saturday evening in

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