I Won’t Let Go (Again)

Happy Veteran’s Day! I appreciate all that the veterans have done for our country every day, but today they get an extra shout out. So thank you, thank you, thank you to all the veterans and families of veterans out there. You are the bomb dot com.

In other news, since I have been working a lot on my book the last couple of days, and I wanted to share another piece of it with you. I want to get it published very soon (well, as soon as I finish and edit it), and I am pretty lost with that whole process. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

So here is an excerpt from the second chapter. Meet Dean, the cute love interest that I wish was a real person.

Dean showed me where everything in Haywood was. Everything. Who knew a small island could have this many places? We drove by numerous people’s houses, the high school—where, I learned, we would both be attending as juniors come next month—the elementary school, the favorite party spots, restaurants, parks, the church, and, finally, the pier, which was like the one in Santa Monica, but, of course, smaller. The boardwalk was full of little shops, kiosks, and carnival games. There was a Ferris wheel and a small roller coaster.

I’d never imagined living in a small town. Los Angeles was just so massive. I’d lived there almost my whole life, and I couldn’t think of what it would be like to not live in the city. But now that I was here, and I’d seen what it was like, it didn’t seem so bad. I was actually starting to like it. No traffic or loud noises, the brightest lights were from the pier, and the people weren’t crazy. It was refreshing. But I couldn’t say that because I was supposed to be from Minnesota, not California.

All day driving through Haywood, Dean and I played twenty questions, which turned into would you rather, which just became us asking each other about our favorite things. I didn’t have to lie about most of it either because my personality was one thing I got to keep. We spent so much time laughing and talking that, when we finally drove down my street that evening, it was hard to think I’d met him less than twenty-four hours before.

“Well, here we are,” Dean said, stopping in the driveway next to Gracie’s convertible.

“Thanks. I had a great time,” I said. “Do you want to come inside?”

“I actually have to help my mom make gift baskets for the baby shower this Saturday,” he replied. “Boys aren’t allowed but I still find myself helping.”

“Oh, okay.”

“I’ll text you. And tell Miss Gracie I say ‘hi.’”

“I will. See you later!” I pulled on the door handle and it was like déja vu.

“It’s stuck again, isn’t it?” Dean sighed.

“Yep.”

“I love this truck and I’ve been able to restore everything except that door. Come on,” he said stepping out on his side.

I crawled across the seat and I jumped out of the driver’s side. “Thank you,” I said.

He walked me to the door and hugged me goodbye. I listened to the sound of his truck driving away as I skipped through the foyer. Gracie was on the couch watching Rehab Addict, this show on the DIY Network about a woman who’s obsessed with flipping houses.

“I love this show!” I said plopping myself on the black leather recliner.

“You watch the DIY Network?”

I nodded. “My mom and I were going to do some updating to our house and we needed ideas.”

“Oh. Well, how was your date with Dean? He’s a good kid,” she changed the subject.

“It wasn’t a date,” I quickly said. “I think.”

Gracie smirked. “Whatever you say, Charlotte.”

I rolled my eyes.

“You were careful, right?” she added.

“I swear I didn’t say anything that gave away my real identity,” I promised.

She asked more questions about my day and then we both watched the rest of Rehab Addict. When the episode was over, I went upstairs to shower. Dean and I had only gotten milkshakes at the pier, but I wasn’t hungry for dinner. I guessed it was the butterflies that were still going crazy in my stomach.

I wanted more than anything to get on Skype and tell Paige about my day. I longed to go on Facebook or Twitter and update my friends and followers. I stood up, frustrated, and played my iPod semi-loudly. I belted the lyrics to every song. After a little while of that, I took my guitar from under my bed and started to strum along to the song that was playing, “Yesterday” by the Beatles. I sang along and laid on my back.

“Yesterday…All my troubles seemed so far away…” My troubles were far away, but they were also right behind me. I couldn’t shake that paranoid feeling. I closed my eyes and thought about that night again. I replayed as much as I could before the gunshot blasted in my ears. It was all in my mind, but it felt so real.

I hated that memory. Tears began to sting my eyes. I walked down to the second floor and pressed my ear to Gracie’s closed door. I heard the shower running. I hurried down to the first floor and ducked out the front door, a few sobs escaping from my throat. I smacked right into Dean, who for some reason, was back. I pushed passed him, mumbling “excuse me,” and sped up towards the beach. I kept stumbling over the tall grass, Dean hot on my heels.

Hmmmmmm….what could happen next? Remember, it is still a work in progress, but I’m working hard to make it a finished product.

Have a wonderful day, everyone! Don’t forget to thank a veteran or current military person (wow, that sounds unintelligent). Be grateful for everything that you have 🙂

-A

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