Still working on my novel. Where am I at now? Title change three. Revision four or five and about forty plus pages in on this go around with sixty or so left to go (a number I’m sure will expand as I continue revising). So yeah, that’s where I’m at. Not giving up. Having moments but not throwing in the towel yet. Holding on and persevering.
In the meantime, here’s a working sneak peek from chapter four of Calm and Collected (note: this is raw and unedited and may contain spoilers for those unfamiliar with this story. Read at your own risk):
Summer. Above us, the sky spread out in hues of blue farther than the naked eye could see. I took it in; a cloudless canvass, soft and full of peace, warmed by the sun as I tilted my head back to bask in its perfection—and it was, too perfect—so perfect that on any other day my smile might’ve fit. But like a Monet from afar, if one drew closer, they’d see the dots and the smudges, the imperfect reality. An image of happiness breaking in two.
We waited in line outside the Ferris wheel at Navy Pier. Neither of us said a word, only moved with the crowd, one step at a time. When we reached the front of the line, Marco turned to me.
“One last ride?” He asked, but there was more to it than that. Somewhere between the lines, the spaces unspoken, was the end. I knew it. We both did. The night before, he’d waited for his roommates to leave and then ushered me to his tête-à-tête. I sat, full of dread and knowing. Cursing the orange monstrosity that I’d always hated. With its retro styling and coloring that reminded me of shag rugs and Moloko Milk Stout. I felt lost whenever I sat on it. Deserted on my cream sickle island in the middle of Marco’s loft; I’d tucked my legs onto the cushion as he laid it out to me face to face. About us. About everything. I took it in, let it seep into my psyche, until the only conclusion—the best conclusion—was that I agreed; we worked better as friends.
At the Ferris wheel, I smiled wanting to reply but instead let my actions do the talking for me. I moved ahead of him, allowing the ride’s attendant to help me inside the carriage. It rocked as Marco settled in beside me. I took a deep breath. There was a time you couldn’t pay me to get on a ride like this. Call it a childhood fear of heights. But since I’d met Marco, things had changed. He’d always been protective of me. Leading me, guiding me. Giving me the space and courage to try new things, knowing that he’d never let me fall.
We soared higher and higher until we reached the ride’s peak. I closed my eyes, not wanting to look down. Fighting the bottom, the earth and the drop. I grabbed Marco’s hand. Squeezing it tight. “Don’t let me fall,” I wanted to say. “Please don’t.” But the words remained strangled, cut off somewhere between my thoughts and my actions. I dared to look, at him, at the sky. I didn’t look below. “Don’t let me fall.” The words swam in and out of my mind as my heart lifted and dropped with the motion of the carriage. I never thought—couldn’t imagine it would end. Until it did.
That’s all for now, folks! Hope you enjoyed. Until next time, Happy New Year!