Message in the Roses
She shook her head in dismay at all the stuff she’d collected. Only a pack rat would keep a stack of reporters’ notebooks and a cassette recorder from the 1980s. That was so long ago. No cell-phones or social media then.
When she uncovered her wedding dress embroidered with roses, she buried her nose in the crinoline and inhaled the sweet musk, still lingering after all these years.
Beneath the dress, was a small safe. She fumbled with the combination lock and eventually opened it to reveal the lovely leather-bound book.
Her hands shook as she withdrew the diary. She sucked in a sharp breath and opened it.
But as she began to read, a painful nostalgia stung her. She barely recognized the passionate and reckless young woman she used to be.
Journal of Carrie Sue Justice
December 8, 1986
My stomach knotted when I saw the strange car in my driveway. Damn it, my key wouldn’t open my front door. Deadbolt was locked.
The door vibrated from the blaring stereo inside, as if my house were possessed. I couldn’t imagine my husband blasting music. He’d always complained about loud noise in the morning, and when I left an hour ago, he looked fast asleep.
As the Eagles belted out Heartache Tonight, I punched the doorbell nonstop. No response. By now snow clouds had buried the sun.
Dad used to say, “Always trust your gut.”
My gut screamed disaster, reminding me of the day I received the tragic news about Mom and Dad. They’d died in a plane crash on their way from Atlanta to Ethiopia.