How long Maggie remained there, crying in the dark, she would never be sure. Time lost definition in that dark, airless cubicle; the only thing she was aware of was her sorrow and a strong sense of unfairness. It was unfair, she thought, that anyone would come into the world the way Bobby had, spit out from his crack-head mother's womb under a bridge. It was unfair he had lived his whole life in a succession of foster homes and charitable institutions, never having experienced the comfort and solace of a real home. It was unfair he had been diagnosed with cancer at age seven, a high grade leukemia against which all the weapons of modern medicine had proven useless. And it was unfair--terribly, grossly unfair--he had died alone, without Maggie there to hold his hand as he passed from this world into the next.
This paragraph is from the last chapter of The Intern, the novella I have just finished publishing on Wattpad. I am posting it here for a reason (a reason other than the obvious one that I am trying to pique your interest and get you to read the story:) this is exactly how I felt when a young boy on my service died, twenty years ago. (The circumstances were different, yes, but my reaction was Maggie's reaction, proving my point that details and names may fade with time, but emotions endure.)
My gut twists when I read the last chapter--and that's either good writing or the lentil soup I had for dinner last night. Here's another excerpt, from later in the chapter. Maggie is reading a letter Bobby wrote to her before he died:
Before I met you, I wanted to be forgotten, as if my whole life had never happened. What good had ever come out of my life? You changed that for me, because you were the only person I have ever loved. A live without love should be forgotten, like the dead rat I was once found in the sewer behind my foster home. But not a live with love. A live with love is immortal.
Please remember me.
Ok, that's enough. And don't worry about spoilers, because the reader is aware in the first paragraph of the story that Bobby doesn't survive. I did that because I didn't want the reader to focus on what was going to happen, but rather the effect of what was happening on the characters. I hope you'll take a look.
I started The Intern because I wanted to write a work loosely based on my internship. I kept writing it because I formed a bond with with two of the characters. When I finished it, after the usual relief and gratification had worn off, I started to miss Maggie and Bobby and the rest of the cast. So I am bringing Maggie back, in a book set two years after the end of her internship. The plot is one that I have been working out in my head for several years, and it just occurred to me that Maggie would be the perfect protagonist. So The Intern may be going, but The Book To Be Named Later (catchy title, huh) is coming. And that's Comings and Goings for today.
Peter Hogenkamp is a physician and author living in Rutland, Vermont. Peter's writing credits include ABSOLUTION, the first book of The Jesuit thriller series; THE LAZARUS MANUSCRIPT, a stand-alone medical thriller; and The Intern, a serialized novel based loosely on Peter's internship, published bi-weekly on #Wattpad. Peter can be found on his Author Website as well as his personal blog, PeterHogenkampWrites, where he writes about most anything. Peter is the founder and editor of Prose&Cons; a frequent contributor and reviewer at ReadWave; the founder and moderator of groups on Facebook (The Library), Google+ (Fiction Writers Anonymous); and a Beta-reader at StoryShelter. Peter tweets--against the wishes of his wife and four children--at @phogenkampvt and @theprosecons. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or through his literary agent (Liz Kracht of Kimberely Cameron & Associates) at email@example.com.