Golden Box Book Publishing GBBPub February Magazine - Page 29

EXCERPT Just before Elana’s thirteenth birthday, the unthinkable happened. It was late November when Elana and Luca came home from school one day and noticed that Mrs. Whelk wasn’t there to greet them. Instead of seeing her in the kitchen baking or cooking like she always was, there was only Mr. Whelk. He sat alone at the kitchen table; his usually strong shoulders slumped forward like the petals of a wilting rose. “Sit down, kids,” he said, slowly lifting his sad gaze to them as they cautiously entered the kitchen. “I have something to tell you both. Please, sit down.” Feeling more confused than concerned, Luca and Elana joined him at the table and waited. Wiping his eyes with one wrinkled hand while the other trembled on the surface of the table, Mr. Whelk took several moments to compose himself before saying, “My wife… she’s…” When the gravity of the situation finally started to register with the two kids, Elana reached out and laid her hand softly over Mr. Whelk’s. “What’s wrong? Did something happen? Is she okay?” Taking her small hand into his, Mr. Whelk looked up at Elana, his eyes red and wet. “She… was taken to the hospital this morning. She’s very sick.” “Sick? How sick?” Luca blurted out. The sincere level of concern he felt inside was projected all over his face. Deep lines creased his forehead. Mr. Whelk, letting his tears flow freely now, reached out to Luca and hugged him tightly. “You remember when she started feeling poorly two weeks ago and went to see the doctor? This morning she collapsed and couldn’t breathe. It’s bone cancer, and it caused an embolism in her lung. They gave her medicine and she’s breathing