The Beginning (exclusive online-only intro to the novel DREAM STATE)

Anne Marie lie on the king size foam mattress wondering what the hell went wrong. She was doubting who she was in that moment. She tried to sleep in the bed she had made with her husband, but longed for the way it used to be. She had once had a life full of compassion and care. The man she had married had gone so wrong, changed so much, had drifted so far from her.

She forced herself to keep her eyes closed in hopes that she would drift back off into a much needed deep sleep. Anne Marie lay there steeped in her own thoughts and listened to the white noise that filled the room. As she listened to the forced air escape the register in the ceiling, she tried to focus on how the situation she was in could be remedied. Opening her eyes she saw the dim glow of the LED lights from the various electronic devices that perched on the flat surfaces of the room.

The blue-green readout of the alarm clock on the dresser, the standby light of the DVD player above the TV set mixed with the street lights. The light intruded the darkness around the edges of the blinds covering the windows causing a late dusk effect in the room.
Anne Marie opened her eyes and felt the comfort and security of sleep rush away from her so quickly that it felt like a vacuum had been created in her soul. She lay flat on her back with her eyes open and stared at the tray ceiling. She was covered with seven hundred thread count cream colored Egyptian cotton sheets and a down filled comforter wrapped in a two tone white duvet. The ensemble was the perfect weight for sleeping regardless of the season.

She blinked multiple times in an effort to clear the slime that covered her eyes thanks to an overly active allergy. As her vision began to clear, her thinking returned to how to solve the impending crisis that was brewing in her mind. The abandonment she felt grow with each berating diatribe from her husband had to stop.

He had taken to talking down to her in times of discord. It seemed as though the diatribes got worse the more successful he became. The successful accomplishment of eliminating the ever increasing more difficult levels of transaction in his job. His walk up the staircase of success had been both a boon and a bane for Anne Marie.

He provided her a lifestyle that was at least as successful as the one her father had given her growing up, and that was saying something. The life the man lying next to her had pursued had changed him. The level of difficulty in his job had taken its toll on him. It had made him the perfect product of his own ego.

She thought of how at one time he had been an attentive lover; careful when necessary but always ready to set the care to the side and enjoy her in ways she had not known before him. The last three years though had left her barren of the feeling of connectedness, void of returned emotions.

Anne Marie was sure of one thing, she could not continue to live in the same house as him. She knew that something had to change and she was certain it would not be him. If anything were going to change it would have to be her that did the changing she thought.

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