Virtual Book Tour: Helplessly Hoping by Douglas Kent
Helplessly Hoping Douglas Kent Genre: Memoir
Date of Publication: May 8, 2020
ISBN: 979-8641132112 (Paperback)
ASIN: B088CQZSD8 (Kindle)
Word Count: 114,000
Cover Artist: Shawn Burkett
Tagline: When Love is All You Have Left
High school sweethearts Mara and Douglas are young and in love, but they’re about to discover that the nightmares of the past have a way of haunting us in the present. Together they will face the demons of Mara’s childhood…but will either of them get out alive?
A true and hauntingly candid look into the tragedy of sexual abuse and mental illness, and the struggle to stay afloat when everything seems hopeless.
One night we were lying in bed watching television.
As a general rule at this stage, I would fall asleep hours before Mara would.
She’d stay up until 2am or later watching television, unable to sleep, and
instead would sleep until 10am or later in the morning, waking up only for a
moment to take the handful of pills I’d give her before leaving for work.
Mara had been strangely quiet all evening, neither
laughing at the TV nor complaining of any discomfort. I rolled over, gave her a
kiss goodnight, and started to settle in to fall asleep. At that point, Mara
reached back and opened her own bedside drawer, pulling out the Bowie knife and
showing it to me.
“Tonight, when you are sleeping,” she said in an
emotionless monotone, “I am going to stab you to death.”
“Okay,” I replied calmly. “And why would you want to
do that? Did I do something wrong?”
“No, but I’m tired of living. And if I kill you, I
won’t have a reason to live anymore. So I will be free to kill myself. And that’s
what I am going to do. I’m sorry, but I
just can’t take it anymore. And I don’t want to kill myself and leave you
behind to deal with the guilt and the mess.”
I could actually see the warped logic of what she
was telling me. But I didn’t know what to do, or what to say. Life had been
dragging us both down, and for a long time I’d had no hope of things getting
any better. At any rate, I was tired too, physically, mentally, and
emotionally. And I felt completely helpless in my life. I didn’t see how anything
would ever really get better. Sure, there would be better days and worse days,
but the trend was set: downwards.
I rolled over on my side and faced away from Mara. I
didn’t want to look at her. I just put my head down on the pillow, said “I love
you,” and closed my eyes. Death has always been a huge fear for me; trying to
fathom the concept of nonexistence makes me shake all over, and when that
happens, I have to snap out of that quickly. I knew Mara was serious, and I
felt fairly certain she would follow through with her plan. But in my state of
misery, it didn’t matter. The fear of death, and the thought of that knife
plunging in and out of my body, barely moved the needle. I simply didn’t care
any longer. In only a few minutes I was asleep.
About the Author:
Born in Danbury, CT, Douglas Kent now makes his home in the Dallas, TX area with his two black cats. While he still dabbles in fiction and satire, his published works have focused on personal experiences in the form of memoirs.
He is also an avid supporter of independent film and music, and a lifelong animal lover.