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The Lost Voice

Acelynn could not wait to continue waking up to Jagger. It was for what she lived.

They had the kind of love everybody wished to have. It was the kind where words unspoken between them told on their faces. One look and they knew what each other was thinking.

Acelynn met Jagger when she was twenty-one. Jagger was twenty-eight. They dated for two years before getting married. During those two years, they fell madly in love. It was a time when they grew close and learned each other’s ways. All their friends took one look at them and knew they were perfect for each other.

Acelynn, now twenty-eight and Jagger, now thirty-five, knew each other more thanks to their five years of wedded bliss. So far, those five years had been the best times of their lives. They were both sure the future would be just as wonderful. Acelynn could not wait to continue waking up to Jagger. It was for what she lived.

Jagger was already in the shower getting ready for work when Acelynn turned and opened her eyes. She leaned up, stretched her arms, and yawned. As she swallowed, she felt a roughness in the back of her throat. She played it off to her mouth being dry from sleeping. Or it could have been the ceiling fan over the bed being on for the first time. Whatever the case, Acelynn was sure that coffee would take it away.

She slipped on her robe and tied it closed and headed downstairs to the kitchen. She started a pot of coffee and waited.

Jagger appeared in his business suit and smiled at his wife leaning against the counter. He loved how beautiful she looked there waiting for the dark brown morning liquid to finish brewing. It was little things like this that made Jagger love Acelynn even more.

As soon as the coffee was done, Jagger grabbed two cups out of the cupboard and poured. He knew exactly how Acelynn liked hers; two cubes of sugar and two spoonfuls of creamer. Him, well, he took his black.

Jagger handed the cup to his wife and she smiled. As soon as she took a sip, it was not the warmth Acelynn felt going down. It was the burn to the back of her throat that almost choked her. The last thing she needed was to be getting sick. Acelynn would never be able to volunteer at the nursing home if she was.

Acelynn did that just to pass her time as her husband put in hours as the president of the bank his father founded. It was something she liked to do. It actually felt like she had a job.

But Acelynn would have to put that off she felt. The elderly were sick enough. She did not need to give them something on top of what ailed them.

Jagger finished his cup of coffee, grabbed the keys to his Beamer, and hugged and kissed Acelynn goodbye. She watched her husband go out the side door that led to the two car garage, and before she knew it, Jagger was gone.

Acelynn sat at the little dinner table sipping her coffee. She felt the sting of it coat her raw throat. She thought the creamer would sooth it somewhat, but the burn did not go away.

Acelynn could not worry about it. Not now anyway. What she needed was something to eat, but she was a little scared to even try. Her stomach was growling though and she needed to fill it. Acelynn decided on eggs scrambled soft, a couple pieces of limp bacon, and a bowl of chilled grapes. She would sip the coffee to wash it down even though it stung.

The breakfast went down rather smoothly and Acelynn was very surprised. Maybe the chilled grapes numbed her throat enough as they went down. She decided she would give her time to the nursing home after all. She still thought the ceiling fan had something to do with her scratchy throat. She felt certain she would not give anything to the elderly calling it home.

Acelynn walked in and as she did, one of her favorite dwellers greeted her on the front porch. He had wheeled himself out there. He smiled at her as she approached. It made her feel good to make someone of advanced age feel loved.

When Acelynn opened her mouth to speak, it was almost a strain to even get words out. This morning with Jagger, she did not have to speak a word. Their loving relationship did not require any at times. This morning was one of those times.

Now she was trying to force a word out. Finally, with a little effort, it came with a little clearing of her throat. It did not sound normal though. It came out slightly raspy with a hint of a little gurgle. She just knew she was getting sick and she really should not be volunteering at the nursing home. She was there now; she would just work through it for a day.

When the day was over, Acelynn's voice had loosened and it sounded rather normal. She was glad of that. It did not at all feel like it did during the morning. Nothing she ate or drank during the day burned or stung the back of her throat so she thought sure it was the wind from the ceiling fan for certain. She was not going to sleep with it on again tonight.

Jagger was already home when Acelynn drove into the garage. She wondered if anything could have been wrong. That was until she opened the car door and smelled the wonderful scent of roasted tomatoes with the hint of garlic. There was also the smell of other spices mixed together as well. When she finally opened the side door that led into the house, the scent was unbelievably like that of a traditional Italian restaurant.

Acelynn found her husband in a white tee shirt and gray joggies standing over the stove. Steam was rising from the pot as he stirred. It sure did smell wonderful.

Jagger had no idea Acelynn had arrived home; not until she walked up to him and wrapped her arms around him and squeezed. Then she tried to speak.

Nothing came out of her mouth. It was like a dry heave. Acelynn cleared her throat and tried again. This time it worked but with a very low tone.

"Mmmm, I love you so much Jag. Especially when I come home and you are already here."

"Aw, I love you too. So, what do you think? A man in your kitchen cooking! I know that has to be at least a little sexy!" Jagger said with a smile and turned to kiss his wife's lips.

Acelynn tried to answer her husband and once again, her voice cracked. She swallowed hard then tried and her voice was there, but still a tone lower. Jagger caught her having trouble speaking.

"A man is always sexy cooking, especially when that man is my husband!"

Jagger smiled and said, "You okay Ace? Your voice sounds a little clogged."

"It's been like that since this morning. It has been coming and going all day. It's nothing. I think it was the ceiling fan running last night. I'll be fine in the morning. Right now, I’m hungry. Let's eat!"

The food did not bother her throat and it was very filling. It went down very easy and there was no burning or stinging. Her throat felt normal.

Jagger cleaned the mess he had made in the kitchen while Acelynn made her way to their room. She showered, dried her hair, and actually got in bed. When Jagger made his way up, Acelynn was already off in dream land.

The sun's rays began to pass through the sheer curtains of their room and both Acelynn and Jagger began to stir to a new morning. Acelynn looked straight into her husband's eyes and opened her mouth to say good morning. It came out as a slight whimper. She looked up to check the ceiling fan. It was off.

Acelynn shot immediately up in pure shock. What was going on with her voice? She began to breathe quicker and swallow as quickly as she could until there was no more saliva for her to swallow. By this time, Jagger had leaned up and was holding his wife. Acelynn looked at him and tried to speak again. It was the same. She whimpered like a puppy.

"Okay, that's it. I am taking you to the doctor."

Before Acelynn knew it, she was opening her mouth and having her tongue depress so the physician could see down her throat. Jagger stood there and watched as his wife was examined. There was no definitive answer. The doc diagnosed it as severe laryngitis susceptible to the change over to the fall and the cool weather. He said October seemed to have that effect on some people.

Acelynn did not even try to say anything on the way home. She was scared to do so. She knew what was happening to her voice was more than the change in the weather. She could feel it. No doctor could tell her otherwise.

Jagger drove home trying to console his wife the best he could. He was honest with himself though. He was not quite sure of the best way to do so.

When they stepped into the house, Jagger left Acelynn alone. He knew it was best. He could tell there was something else on her mind and she needed to her “me time.”

Acelynn's voice did not get any better during the day. She had reserved herself that nothing could be done. She knew it was going to be something she lost forever and did not know why. It was going to be her secret for now.

Acelynn all of a sudden felt so alone. She was losing a part of herself that she had since she was born. She began to wonder what it was going to be like when her voice was totally gone. And she knew it was getting to that point.

There was a very lonesome feeling in the room as Acelynn laid down in the bed beside her husband. The moonlight was passing through the window. Somehow, she wished she could be up there on the moon. It would be a whole lot better than what was happening to her now.

She looked at Jagger lying beside her. He was being supportive now, but would he be in the future? Acelynn knew he would want her going to every doctor in the book to see what could be done for her. She would humor him and do so, but Acelynn knew her body. She knew once her voice was gone, it was going to be gone forever without any explanation. It was obviously in her life card.

Acelynn's voice was a whisper that next morning and the day after that, her voice was finally gone. Now a week past Thanksgiving, Acelynn's voice has been silent for a little over a month. Jagger has spent his hard earned money on the best doctors money could buy, but all of them have not been able to give a diagnosis. It has become a mystery. Acelynn has learned to live with it now.

In two weeks though, was Jagger's company Christmas party and Acelynn was not sure she wanted to attend. She already knew that Jagger's employees had heard about her voice. She did not need to be more embarrassed over it even more.

Jagger could tell that the past month had not been easy on Acelynn. Not knowing why her voice disappeared pretty much put her in a hidden depression. She had learned to live with it, but Jagger saw what it was doing to her mentally.

Jagger knew it was now harder for Acelynn to go out in public. He knew it was going to be even harder in two weeks for the Christmas party. As much as he could tell that she did not want to go, Jagger knew Acelynn would give in and do so. He would be there for support though. Acelynn was not going to be alone. Ever.

The two weeks passed so quickly and now Acelynn sat in front of her lighted mirror make-up dresser putting on her artificial face. Her already done hair flowed over the towel draped around her body. Once she was done with the eyeliner, the party dress that Jagger had picked out for her was next. At least he knew how to dress her well; even when he was not picking out something for her to wear to a special occasion.

Jagger walked in the room just as Acelynn had slipped on the dress. With a few finishing touches, Acelynn was ready.

He already had his BMW warmed up and ready to go. He walked to Acelynn and took her by the hand and squeezed. He tried to feel what she was thinking, but he did not have a clue. Even though he knew her pretty much through and through, there were some things that eluded him. What Acelynn was feeling at the moment was doing just that.

The Christmas jingles roared loudly through the conference room. The tree was decorated in red and gold from top to bottom. The scent of apples and cinnamon circulated through the air. It was a holiday party that had flare. It was too bad that Acelynn did not have any.

Acelynn walked beside Jagger intermingling with his employees, many of which she knew. All she could do was smile and nod. She knew they all knew about her voice being lost. Acelynn could tell they were all being subtle with their talk towards her. She just wished they would quit treating her like an adult baby.

Acelynn decided to find a spot and sit down to enjoy her glass of chardonnay and eat her little finger sandwiches. She watched her husband shake hands with the men and gently hug their wives. She also saw the little glimpses of the women toward her as they talked to Jagger. Acelynn could tell what they were thinking.

As Acelynn sat, the more uneasy she became. She felt as if everyone was staring at her. For the most part, several of them were. Acelynn felt like she was the center of attention at a party that was meant for everyone. She had to get away before her heart pounded through her chest.

Acelynn figured a stall in the women’s restroom was the best place to get away for a while. She could sit there and let the tension ease. After about five minutes, Acelynn felt the nerves subside and felt moderately better. Then the door to the restroom opened.

Acelynn recognized the voices of the two ladies that entered. They worked in the division with Jagger. Acelynn sat there quietly. She did not even move her legs. She did not want any noise giving her away.

Acelynn listened as the two women began a conversation.

“It was very nice to see Acelynn come to the party. Frankly, I honestly did not think she would show. I know it has to be hard on her not being able to say anything to any of us. I cannot imagine losing my voice suddenly.”

“Oh yes, I agree. Imagine what Jagger feels like though. Not being able to hear his wife say that she loves him anymore. It has to break his heart.”

“His heart? I would not even want to imagine what is going on in Acelynn’s mind. I think it would be even harder on her.”

“Oh, I am sure it is. I would not even be able to tell you how I would feel if I could not tell my husband how much I love him anymore. It has to be killing her. I know it would kill me.”

“How would Jagger even know? I mean, I am sure he knows, but wouldn’t he love to hear it again from Acelynn?”

“Oh God, I know I would. There’s nothing like hearing the words ‘I love you,’ from your lover. I sure do feel for him.”

“I think I feel more sorry for Acelynn. What she is going through. I don’t think I could cope.”


It was a good thing that Acelynn had rolled some tissue in her hand. The words she heard the two women speak brought tears to her eyes. She fought back the crying sound so they could not hear and dabbed her eyes so her tears would not hit the floor. When they walked out, she wailed.

When Acelynn finally had herself together, she walked out to find her husband. The party had slimmed to only a handful of people. Acelynn did not realize just how much time had passed.

She found Jagger and he looked at her and could tell something was wrong. He wanted to ask, but he was pretty sure he knew what it was. He could tell that it was time to take Acelynn home.

He did not even say anything to her. He just grabbed Acelynn by the hand and walked her out the door and to the car. She was actually thankful that he did so. She was ready to get home.

Jagger could look at Acelynn and tell something was not right with her even days after the Christmas party. He knew that she was depressed and upset. Jagger knew something had happened at the Christmas party. He tried his best to cheer her up by bringing home flowers, food from her favorite restaurants, and even chocolates. He showed her as much affection as he could. Jagger gave her little hugs and kisses on the spur of the moment. He tried to joke with her and show his sense of humor he knew Acelynn so loved. None of it worked though. Jagger was not getting through to her. He felt he had exhausted all options and whatever he did, he could not bring her out of the funk.

Finally, Jagger had enough and confronted Acelynn. He sat his wife on the couch, held her hand and began.

“Ace, since the office Christmas party, you have been a whole different person. You are walking around sad all the time. Nothing I have been doing or bringing you has brought you out of whatever it is you are feeling. I am your husband; I can tell something is wrong. Please tell me. I want to help. Can’t you see that I have been trying to help with all these little gestures?”

Acelynn began to cry. It was something she could not help. The tears just came rolling down her cheeks. The muffled sound of her nasal passages in a cry burst forth. All she wanted to do was open her mouth and tell him. Sometimes, she had to remind herself that she had lost her voice.

“Now now, Acelynn. Don’t cry. It hurts me when you cry.” Jagger said and reached up to her cheek on one side to wipe the tear away. “Come on, please, let me help.”

Acelynn looked down to her pocket. Inside, she had been carrying a letter that she had written days ago. Since writing was now the only voice of communication, she reached in her pocket and pulled it out. Jagger watched as she so carefully did so.

On the outside of the envelope, Jagger saw his name written in the handwriting he had come to love. He loved the elegant lines of Acelynn’s penmanship. It was just as beautiful as she was.

Acelynn handed him the envelope bearing his name. He immediately ripped his finger across the seal and pulled out what was inside. Again, the handwriting of his wife was almost perfect, except for the few stains that smudged the ink from tears that had obviously fallen as she wrote it.

Jagger began to read:

Jagger,

My love. My one and only. This would sound so much better if I could speak and the sound of my voice would be what you hear instead of reading words that my hand made.

I know what people are saying about me. I also know you have not been able to avoid it. I am sorry that you have to hear that I cannot express my love for you in the tone that you had loved for years.

When I heard those two women talking at the Christmas party, it broke my heart. The words they were saying to each other brought tears to my eyes. Just like the ones that are now staining this piece of paper as I write this.

I will never be able to tell you that I love you anymore. You do not know how undyingly hard that is. For you not to ever hear me say the words, ‘I love you,’ again pains me to no end. Now, I can only write them down. It’s not the same to me. It never will be.

I know that it won’t be the same for you either. I feel like we have fallen out of love with each other because my voice does not work anymore. I feel like not only have I lost a part of me, but you have lost a part of me as well. It will never be the same between us again.

But Jagger, my love for you is still strong even though I cannot say it any longer. My love has not changed. Only I have. I will never stop loving you.

I may have lost my voice, but I have not lost the ability to love you.

I will continue to do so until God brings me home.

Your loving wife,

Acelynn


Jagger folded the letter and stuck it in his shirt pocket. He looked at Acelynn, took her face in between his palms and said, “Acelynn, I never need to hear you say that you love me. I can look at you and know that you love me. The way you smile tells me everything that I need to know.”

Acelynn felt the warmth develop inside her. It was a warm love that spread over her whole body.

She smiled at her husband. Jagger smiled back at her. Acelynn finally felt the feeling between them was mutual.

Acelynn may have lost her voice, but she had not lost her love.

Author's Note: This story was written on a premise from a very good friend. Her name is Amber. If it had not been for her and her story idea, this story never would have been written. Thank you Amber for your idea and for letting me do the honors of writing such a wonderful story.

This story is protected by International Copyright Law, by the author, all rights reserved. If found posted anywhere other than storiesspace.com with this note attached, it has been posted without my permission.

Copyright © Copyright 2017 by Douglas Daleray

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