TITLE: Black Diamonds
GENRE: Women's Literary Fiction
Tragically, Zoe is crushed to death by a continuous mining machine operated by Allen in an accident that could have been meant for Jamie, although it can never be proven.
In the confused kind of silence that follows tragedy, Zoe's death hadn't registered at first. Not then, at the moment of the accident when she had plowed her way through the bodies of men, screaming all the while. They wanted to lead her away. She didn't want to be led away; she didn't want to leave Zoe alone. She'd gotten disoriented and violent - maybe it was all these men who kept running around shouting at each other. Maybe it was the intonation of their voices, the rhythm all wrong.
Then she understood the loss.
She understood even better, as she lay alone in the dark after she came home from the hospital, the deep loneliness she wouldn't be able to shake for a long time. What she realized, even in the hospital, as she wandered aimlessly through the corridors, as she finally passed the revolving door and into the parking lot, was that life would never be the same, and that one day she would have to forgive herself for Zoe's death. And she started walking fast, then faster. Then she ran. Gulps of breath came in harder and harder to swallow. She would have run indefinitely, if she hadn't lost her footing. She fell. Warm liquid oozed from her flesh, she wished the soreness from her hands and knees would last forever, diverting the pain from her heart to total forgetfulness.
Vomit ejected from her mouth. It kept pouring out, splattered on the ground, landed on her hands.