Extended Scene from 34 Seconds

From Will’s perspective, not in the book, 34 Seconds

“I can’t keep her, Brian, she can’t live this life.” Will stepped off the boat and walked up the beach to the boathouse.

“Will!” Brian’s frustration was heard in his voice. He shook his head as he tied the boat to the dock then pulled it further up the beach to keep it from washing out. When he got to the boathouse, Will was sitting on a beach chair with a beer in his hand. His other hand held a beer for his best friend.

“I don’t want to talk about it, Brian. It’s over. This time. It’s over. It has to be.”

Brian took the beer Will handed him, and sat down quietly. Will and Nikki had broken up before, but Brian knew Will was right this time. This was the time it was truly over. For Will at least. Though Brian knew his love for Nikki for never end.

“Okay, we won’t talk about it,” Brian said.

“I’m going to die,” Will’s voice was almost a whisper.

“Not today you’re not.”

“Maybe not. But I can’t die with Nikki…” Will’s voice cracked. “I can’t leave her. Not like that. Not as my wife. As the father of her children. I can’t do that to her. I need to let her live. She’ll find someone else and live out her dreams.”

“With someone else?” Brian asked. “Do you think she wants to live with someone else? Do you think she’s just going to start dating, fall in love, and move on without you in her life?” Brian stood up and slammed his hand on the bar. “Dammit, Will. Wake up! We all love you.” He wiped his eyes and looked at the floor. “Are you going to break up with me too, man? Are we done because you’re going to die some day?”

“Not some day, Brian. Soon. I’ll probably die soon. It’s back.” Will looked at his best friend. When Will was sick at the age of seven, Brian came to his house each day after school with homework from the school. No one expected Will to keep up with his schoolwork. Will didn’t keep up. Brian sat with his friend every day and did his school work for him. There wasn’t much in first grade, but Brian did enough to help Will move on to second grade after spending much of the winter sick and in a hospital.

“Shit.” Brian sat back down, put his head back and closed his eyes.

“I love her too much. She has to be without me.”

Will didn’t die that year. Heavily medicated for eight months, he was yet again, a survivor. Those eight months he avoided Nikki when she called or came by the house. He knew, just as he’d always known, it would come back. And one day he wouldn’t be a survivor.

Stella Samuel

34 Seconds 2015

Scene not included in the book

Buy 34 Seconds Here

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