Husbands - Mo Fanning - Exclusive Extract - Mo Fanning Author
Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

Husbands – Mo Fanning – Exclusive Extract

The doctor leans in to squint as he punches numbers into a keypad outside an anonymous, pale pine door. It clicks open, and he steps aside. The curtains near the bed are drawn, and a diffuser sprays orange blossom as if trying to fool my brain into forgetting this is a hospital room. A state-of-the-art entertainment system sits unused next to a well-stocked fridge. There’s a plush couch, armchairs, and a glass coffee table with an untouched fruit bowl.

And the constant rhythmic click of machines keeping Aaron alive.

My nan died when I was six, and my grandad insisted on an open coffin. Mum said I didn’t have to see her, but something made me go into the sitting room. I wanted to know if she still looked like my Nan. She was wearing a blue dress I remembered seeing at Christmas, and they’d done her make-up and combed her hair. I touched her ice-cold hand and yelped.

Aaron has the same not-really-there thing going on. His cheekbones jut out sharp and high, and his skin appears dewy and tanned. I lean in closer. This man is my husband.

Gupta mumbles something about privacy and steps out.

I pull over a chair, setting it next to the bed.

“Hey there.” My voice is shaky. “I guess Siri forgot to remind you about the annulment?” I check for the slightest flicker he might have heard. “I came here thinking your name was worth dropping to jump the line at auditions. Can you believe that? I’m that shallow. That deluded.”

I get up and pull back the curtains. His room faces the hills.

“You have a lovely view. Shame you’re not making the most of the facilities.”

I go over to a fridge stocked with vintage Champagne, primed for impromptu drinks should his eyes open around wine o’clock.

“You couldn’t keep a simple promise. I’ve been dragged into whatever you stirred up, and I don’t deserve any of this. All I did was get drunk in a casino on a stag weekend. People do stupid shit like that in Vegas.”

Did one of Aaron’s eyebrows twitch? I’m not close enough to be sure.

“Guess who’s meeting me after this?” I sit beside his bed, leaning close so the machine regulating his breathing can’t drown me out. He needs to hear this. “Noah Winters. Your Noah. We’re having coffee and getting to know each other.”

I swear his lips turn down.

And now I’m angry.

“Did you do what Eisenhart claims?” I rub my temples. “Are you the sick pervert they’re all saying?”

The room stays silent except for the rhythmic beeps, clicks, and laboured breathing. I shift in my seat and signal to the doctor that I’ve said what I came to say, and he opens the door, pulling his best professional, concerned face.

“Medical opinion is divided on whether patients in a coma can hear when we speak,” he says.

I nod as I get to my feet. “What’s your opinion?”

He cocks his head, his eyes narrowing. “As per findings published in the ‘Journal of Clinical Nursing’, there is evidence to suggest patients may have varying levels of awareness and can sometimes hear and respond to external stimuli. Brain-imaging technologies have revealed signs of responsiveness to auditory stimuli.”

“So that’s a yes?”

He sighs. “It’s a matter of believing what you need to believe if it makes this any easier.”

Husbands by Mo Fanning

    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop