TITLE: Price of Refuge
GENRE: Psychological Suspense
It seemed crazy, nearly drowning myself in order to stop feeling like I was going to die, but water had always been the only thing that stopped the panic. I waited until my lungs burned, then lifted my head, took a deep gulp of air, and sank back down into my warm cocoon. I stayed under as long as I could, the contour of the tub cradling my body, keeping me bubble-wrapped and buffered from the distorted sounds of the outside world - the bickering of the kids, the inane chatter from the television.
I sat up, coughing and spitting and sucking oxygen through my veil of sopping hair.
I peeled wet curls from my eyelids as I tried to analyze my husband’s tone. I’m not good at much, but in this one area I’m an expert. Water sloshed over the side of the tub as I strained forward to listen. It was probably just the usual morning chaos of getting the kids ready. No need to assume anything terrible had happened. Spencer wouldn’t let them stick forks in the toaster or turn on the stove.
“Kelsey!” Louder now, and with a hint of panic – an emotion with which I was all too familiar.
It was time to get out. I braced myself with both arms and heaved my pregnant, beached-whale body onto the rug, bumping the vanity and knocking over various tubes and jars of creams and perfume. Only my bottle of Escape stayed upright, mocking me.