For the first time in eighteen years, Karen didn’t wake up in the brass bed with the pink chenille bedspread. She turned her head to see Henry’s sleeping face. His head rested on the arm of the worn blue velvet sofa. She didn’t want to disturb him, but needed to use the bathroom.
Karen slipped out of his arms without disturbing him. “You don’t look any different this morning,” she said to her reflection in the bathroom mirror. “Well, what did you expect? A red A to appear on your chest?” She had been unsure what to do the night before, but instinct guided her body. In the light of the morning she had nothing to direct her.
Henry was still asleep when Karen went back into the living room. She sat in her grandmother’s maple rocker and looked around the room. The furniture was dated and the lace curtains were hopelessly out of fashion. At least she and Peggy kept it clean.
Karen was afraid of the moment he woke. What if he saw her as the girl he found crying in a phone booth outside the hospital? What if he only saw the girl so desperate for comfort she begged him to take her? What if he saw the tired furnishings of poor white trash family?
Henry stirred, stretched, and nearly fell off the narrow sofa. Karen rushed over and knelt at his side.
“I was afraid to wake up,” he said. “I thought I was dreaming.”
I’m linking up with Write on Edge. This week’s prompt was to “use setting to deepen the development of your story. You can use it to give insight into a character or a conflict or simply to evoke an emotional mood from your reader.” This picks up where I last left Karen. You can read that segment here. My complete series about Karen can be found here.