The Awakening of Russell Henderson

Every Sunday, I try to post an excerpt from my novel, The Awakening of Russell Henerson. Here’s another. The book is available at

A few minutes later I got another text. At a retreat center outside Ashland, Oregon. Would Ashland be on your way to warmer climes?

Knowing she was at her phone, I called her. I wanted to talk, not text. She answered.

“Russell, Hi —”

“Hanna, what’s going on — ?”

“I’m sorry, really sorry for . . . sorry for just taking off like I did. That was wrong. You deserved better. I couldn’t . . . just had to — ”

I heard her voice start to crack. Neither of us talked. I sat there, not knowing what I wanted to say. I desperately wanted to go to her, to see her. Yet, I was angry and wanted to scream at her for running away like she did.

“Hanna, why couldn’t you trust me enough to tell me whatever you don’t think you can talk about?’

“How do you — ?”

“John had mentioned something to me. Then I talked with your mother about a month ago. They both told me you had a hard time a while back. I knew something was wrong. Nobody would tell me. What could be so bad? Why couldn’t you just tell me whatever it is?”

I heard her voice now begin quiver, “Because, you’d hate me. You’d leave and I couldn’t, I —  ”

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