The Mummy Trap
(Technical note: All deleted scenes are unedited and may contain typos, grammatical errors, and rogue punctuation marks.
Warning: These scenes contain spoilers for The Mummy Trap. If you haven’t read the book, you may want to hold off reading the deleted scenes.)
This is a scene I originally wrote for Chapter 10—A shady side of grey, where the girls are at the coffee shop discussing the different types of love. Millie just overheard her mother complaining about her postpartum body and breaks down in tears, wondering if she’s the reason for her dad walking out. I posted a bit of the actual scene from the book to establish the setting, before leading into the deleted scene.
Millie throws herself back into her mother’s arms. “I love you too, Mummy. Please don't leave me.”
“Never, muffin. Never.”
Selena wipes a tear from the corner of her eye. “I don't think I’m ready for this. I just about died.” She sniffs. “How do you handle it?”
“Honestly?” I shrug my shoulders. “I have no idea. You grow with them, I guess,” I say, not even trying to hide the fact that my own eyes feel suspiciously damp.
“You take the challenges as they come.” Nat watches Millie, as the little girl walks back to the playground after another tight hug, checking over her shoulder every few seconds to see if her mother is indeed keeping her promise to stay put. “But whatever the challenge, I wouldn't change my life for the world.”
“Not even if it meant you'd get the old Nicolas back? The one who treated you like you were special?” Selena asks.
“Lose Millie for Nicolas? Not a chance.”
Jocelyn nods. “Once they have you, they have you for good.”
“Don't tell me you would even consider booting your husband out the door for Thomas,” Selena looks appalled. “You love him.”
“As much as any woman can love a man,” Jocelyn agrees.
“Then what are you saying? Love is not enough?”
I think of Greg and our last big fight. “There are different types of love.”
The other two mums nod, but Selena looks confused.
(Deleted Scene Start)
“Okay, imagine this,” I say. “A brawl brewing in a bar. A big guy is groping your butt. Dave gets pissed and you lay your hand on his chest.
“Don't, honey,” Jocelyn interjects in a voice that so closely mimics Selena’s I give her a surprised look.
Joss gives me a grin and shrugs. “Natural talent.”
“You don't say. That's amazing.”
Joss’s grin spreads even wider as she motions for me to continue.
“You're intent to dissolve the tension,” I say getting back to my story. “The other guy is huge and Dave will at best get hurt. You think you love him selflessly because—forget defending your honour—you’d rather have him in one piece. Right?”
Selena nods. “I wouldn't want him to be a hero and get hurt.”
“But what if it's not up to him?” I ask, leaning in. “What if Dave takes a step back, but the other guy is spoiling for a fight? The giant strikes… Will you a) heroically jump into the fray, cover your husband’s body with your own, absorb the cracking blow and come back swinging at the giant, bloody face and all?”
“Very graphic.” Selena wrinkles her nose. “What's my other option?”
“Option b): scramble out of the way, shout at your husband to duck and call the ambulance?”
“Ambulance,” Selena says relieved. “But that doesn't mean I don't love him.”
Joss leans forward. “Now imagine someone threatens your child.”
“Holy mother—,” Nat is out of her seat, a fork appearing in her hand out of nowhere. She stabs it through the air. “Run, fucker, run. ‘Cause this mama bear is going to claw you to shreds.”
I can't help it, I laugh at her display and even Joss sniggers on the other side of the table.
“This”, I say, “is selfless love. Maybe without the fork.”
(End Deleted Scene)
During the roughly nine months I took to write The Mummy Trap, Gisele and Greg would start arguing in my head at random times. This is an entirely unpolished scene. I jotted it down quickly, as they were having a go at each other. It doesn’t have a specific place in the book and could use a few hours of editing, but I’m sharing it with you because it’s something that some of you may be able to relate to. (Note: I’m pretty sure I read a paranormal romance at the time. Just in case you’re wondering why Greg is starting to purr. 🙈)
“You rarely ever touch me anymore.” Greg throws his hands up in the air and barbed wire wraps around my middle.
I know he needs the physical touch. He has always craved that particular form of affection. Back rubs. He loves them and once upon a time I loved to give them. To stroke all that muscle on his back. Love him with my hands until his skin turned warm under my touch. Until he started to purr from the pleasure.
Then, after an hour or so, he would return the favour. Only he would not stop at a back rub. And he would make me purr in other ways.
But times have changed and sleep has long taken top spot for our evening entertainment. Now, all I want to do is close my eyes and rest.
But Greg has other plans. “Just two minutes,” he cajoles.
I try to find the strength. I know, if I don’t give in, he’ll feel neglected. But I can’t bring myself to start. I can’t. “I’m exhausted,” I say.
Bone deep exhaustion. Exhaustions that goes beyond what I can do three times over and I’m wondering when my body will simply give out.
“You’re always exhausted,” he counters. “You couldn’t give a shit about me.”
It’s not true. I love him, but I’m too weary to make him believe me. I’ve already had fifty arguments trying to keep small, stubborn people alive today. Fifty disagreements wearing me down. I simply cannot add another one. I’m knackered.
Greg throws his hands into the air and huffs. “Fine. Have it your way.”
The statement is so ridiculous I want to cry. But even that takes too much effort and the tears refuse to come.
If I had it my way none of this would happening. I would be fresh out of bed. Well rested. The kids would delay their leadership training until they actually needed it. And Greg? He would be helping me instead of thwarting me at every damn turn. He would give me a hug and tell me I was a good mother when I felt like I was doing everything wrong and the kids were running rings around me. He would stroke my back and kiss my head after a long day without expecting it to lead anywhere. He would touch me again as if I mattered instead of shouting at me from across the room. Maybe he would even tell me I was still the woman he loved. Stretch marks, hormonal craziness, and all.
The tears are coming after all but it’s too late. Greg has already gone to sleep.
Or maybe it’s a good thing, I think, turning off the lights to allow my own shell of a body the rest it craves. He may well think I’m trying to manipulate him.
This scene inspired my favourite Chapter, 07 — Permission to go potty. The scene was one of the first ones I wrote. Back then I didn’t have a plot, just snippets of conversation between Greg and Gisele. The writing style doesn’t quite jive with the rest of the book, for that exact reason. The only parts that remained in the book from this scene are the breakfast, the gardening Greg does, and the contentious issue of who’s looking after the kids. All. The. Time.
Greg is a good man. A better husband. Even if being a father didn't come as naturally to him as we had both hoped.
He goes out every morning, works long hours to make sure we have a roof over our heads and enough food in our fridge to feed an army. He comes home late at night to help with kitchen duty and cleaning.
On weekends, he repairs broken taps, fixes up the car, and spends quality time with our little family.
He never tires of reading just one more good night story and takes his duty of introducing our son to the manly aspects of life adorably serious.
I press my fingers to my lips and swipe away a lonely tear tracking down my cheek, as I watch them weed the vegetable garden together. Greg in his size eight work boots and gloves. Jordan in his miniature-sized preschooler gear.
They slowly make their way from the top row of hedges to our patio area where I stand, partially hidden by a table full of weekend breakfast leftovers.
I'm waiting for my mushy heart to stop squeezing and my legs to start walking away from the morning-shaded bricks of our house that are a cool presence behind my back. But before I can make a move towards the clutter of dishes, Jordan spots me and rushes towards me.
I crouch down, my carrier with Joy keeping me from getting as close to Jordan as I want.
“Good. You’re here.” Greg’s shadow falls on both of us and I can feel the weight of his greeting rest on my chest, because it means parenting duty has been transferred to me with three easy words. Sometimes, I wish I could do the same to him.
Last but not least, a short snippet from the epilogue, One Year Later. It’s about Gisele’s half-sister, Natalie, being engaged to her ex-boyfriend, Mark. It refers back to Greg and Gisele’s main crisis in Chapter 20 — Delivery Room Glam and it is one that never fails to make me laugh.
“So when’s the big day?” I ask, as Natalie steals a cupcake from the table and bites into it.
Natalie shrugs. “We're taking it one step at a time. I think he just needed a reason to put a ring on it.” She laughs. “He thinks all the guys are after me. It's the mum bun.”
Mark hears the last sentence and wraps his arms around Nat, dropping a kiss on her temple. “I love your mum bun.” He squeezes Nat’s buttock.
I see the move and my face must say it all, because Mark grins at me. “Jealous?” he asks.
It’s a statement of our new dynamic that I can laugh and shake my head at his teasing. More of a statement that Greg doesn’t feel the need to storm across the room. Instead he flips-off Mark with a good-natured middle finger. “Leave my wife alone,” he says.
“Still with the territorial streak, huh?” Mark winks at me and I can’t help but grin, because behind Mark’s back Greg is slamming his fists against his chest and miming a mammoth before signing I love you with his hands and it’s the fucking best feeling of my life.
Which one of these deleted scenes did you like best? Tell me on Instagram.