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This is an excerpt from a novel I’m currently revising. I hope you enjoy – let me know what you think. The book is called “Stumbling Through the Dark.”

The old grandfather clock bonged for the 12th time. Quietly, mother and baby swayed in a rhythmic motion in the rocking chair where the child had fallen asleep moments earlier. Ericka hoped the chimes wouldn’t wake Kate, and waited a few minutes while the child dreamily grimaced before relaxing once more into sleep. Kate had settled into a new schedule where the two am feedings were starting earlier and earlier and she was sleeping in longer stretches, and it also meant Ericka could sleep through the night. Ericka glanced at the near empty bottle resting against Kate’s rosy pink lips that were sleepily releasing their pull. She waited a few more minutes before rising and placing the baby in the crib.

After she rinsed out the bottle and made her way back to her own bed, Ericka yawned long and hard. The year had brought so many challenges. Becoming a single mother had not been in her plans and even though she was exhausted every day, she wouldn’t change what happened. She crawled under the covers, stretched out in the middle of the bed and wondered how different her life would be if Drew had returned just one phone call. He was gone so quickly and she refused to think she was only a good time. He didn’t even know he had a daughter.

Tightly pulling the quilt up against her chin and rubbing her legs back and forth across the sheets, she longed to feel the warmth of a man next to her again. Not that she was ready, just that it would be nice. She sleepily shook away the thought. No, there was too much with her career and Kate to even think about a relationship.

Her mind, quickly unwinding from the long day, floated images of college professors promising bright futures that came with hard work. She saw her sister Jill telling her it didn’t take a man to make you happy, but it took one to make you miserable. She saw Drew’s face from that very last weekend, how the scruff of his beard grazed her cheek and he promised to call her soon. She remembered the grip of the fear enveloping her when she read the pregnancy test. They were the same thoughts nearly every night. She longed to feel something new, something different, something better. Ericka rolled onto her side and willed her mind to shut down so she could fall asleep. She sighed, closing her eyes. You really can’t have it all.