Choices Of The Heart
Jillian Blake watched in horror when the big screen television in her brother, Justin Coleman’s, Irish pub left a scheduled program to announce a fiery plane crash outside of London that had presumably killed all aboard, including forty-three Americans.
“Oh my God.” Scrambling up from her table, her eight-month-old son, Jaxon, in her arms, Jillian raced over to Justin. “Turn it up. Turn it up,” she repeated, her voice rising in panic as she grabbed Justin’s arm, making him spill the beer he’d just filled for a customer. “Did they give the flight number? Stan was flying into London this evening.”
Justin blanched as he slid the beer down the bar before giving Jillian his full attention. “Do you have his flight number?”
“He texted it to me,” Jillian said, feeling lightheaded. Jaxon began crying, and she did her best to soothe him as paralyzing fear invaded her body. Justin took the baby from her. She opened her purse to get her phone, both desperate and terrified to see Stan’s text. Grabbing her phone, she tried to tap on the text, but her fingers were so shaky she kept missing.
Justin balanced Jaxon on his hip and took her phone, tapped the icon. “Flight 2536 is Stan’s.”
Jillian squeezed her eyes shut. “Please let him be safe,” she whispered. Stan could not be gone. Not now when they were doing so well. When they had finally worked things out following a rough patch after Jaxon was born. She covered her mouth with her fingertips and squeezed her eyes shut, trying her best to stop her fingers from shaking, but to no avail. Blood roared through her ears, making it hard to hear.
“Deep breaths, Jillian.” Justin wrapped his free arm around her as they waited for more details, and she welcomed his strength.
Her heart squeezed as she remembered telling Stan goodbye early this morning. He’d held her close for a long time, told her he loved her and would see her in a couple of days.
As Stan’s flight number ran across the top of the television screen, Jillian’s vision blurred, then total darkness engulfed her.