The Sick Wife
Publication date: May 17th 2021
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance
I fell in love with my patient’s husband. While she was dying of COVID-19. She was comatose and I comforted him, like a good nurse. We talked for hours, every day. He told me all his secrets. We planned to start a life together.
Only one problem… she didn’t die.
My eyes have closed and I am already half asleep when my phone rings. I pick it up and look at the strange number in confusion. It’s a video call? What?
I am too drowsy to make sense of it, and I can only just barely push myself up into a seated position before answering. “Hello?”
It takes a second for the image to appear on the screen, and I am mortified. Of course. It’s the handsome man I’ve been internet stalking for hours… and I look like this.
“I’m sorry,” I tell him quickly, panicking, realizing I don’teven have the luxury of a mask to conceal my lack of makeup and lipstick. I feel very naked and exposed in my powder blue pajamas. I rub the back of my hand over my eyes. “I’m not at the hospital. There’s no news about her yet…”
“I need to know your name,” he says simply.
This makes me pause. “You do? Why?”
He stares at me hard, his forehead tightening with deep lines. “I don’t know,” he responds, hesitantly.
I bite my lip. It might be the same reason that I’ve been googling him all night. Crap. I’m in trouble.
“Well, what’s your name?” I ask him, like I haven’t just read thirteen biographies. Like I’m trying to hold onto some kind of sense of propriety.
“Gabriel Samuel Jean Delacroix,” he answers. “I’m 42 years old, and I teach at the Sorbonne.”
“My name is Camilla,” I respond.
“Oh,” he responds, and I see a flash of emotion in his eyes. “My mother’s name was Camille.”
“What happened to your mother?” I ask him softly. It’s the second time he’s mentioned her.
“Lung cancer. It was her dying wish that I stop smoking,” he explains. Then he sighs. “Also… she wanted me to marry Yvette. I’ve tried to make it work for so many years, just to honor my mother’s memory. In case she’s looking down on me.”
“But I thought Death is Final,” I say teasingly, before realizing that I’m not supposed to know his entire body of work after meeting him a few hours ago. Crap.
A grin lights up his already handsome face. “I knew it! You googled me.”
Shit. Well, that’s embarrassing. “Just a quick Google search. Like three seconds—I just skimmed the top few articles, nothing too in depth.” A hot blush darkens my cheeks, and I’msure he knows I’m lying. I can see the victory painted all over his face. “So, why are you calling me, Professor Delacroix?”
“I’m not sure, Camilla,” he says honestly. “But I suppose… no one has told me to ‘shut the fuck up’ in a very long time.”
“You deserved it.”
He smiles at me.
I smile back at him.
We just stare at each other for a good, long minute, with both of our eyes shining stupidly. Both of us smiling like idiots until our faces hurt.
Oh, god. I’m in trouble now.
Pray for me.
Loretta Lost is a USA Today bestselling author who writes stories about survivors. She is the author of the CLARITY series and Sophie Shields novels. She lives in Toronto, Canada with adorable cats, and she hopes to find a good boyfriend who isn’t fictional before all her hair turns grey.
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Fun fact: The author’s real name is Nadia– she chose her pen name because her sister’s name is Loretta, and her sister is lost.