(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)