I haven’t written for a while so it’s just as well I did all that loading up earlier in the month. Show week is about to start and all I have to do is write another 1k (probably after midnight, which is soon) and then I’ve won.
The novel is probably about half done and will need a lot of trimming, but the pieces are starting to fall together. I’m not sold on the way I’m portraying Selene’s current m/f relationship, but there will be plenty of time for tweaking and making sure it’s portrayed the way I want it to be once I have a finished draft as a more complete roadmap than my initial outline.
I’m finally dismantling some of the girl hate stuff and Selene and the girl she was really clashing with earlier are starting to develop a friendship. Honestly, I’m more invested in their friendship after writing one (not even complete yet) scene between them than I am in the m/f relationship that has been building little by little for most of the novel. Ah, well. I’m sure I can make something of that in the revisions. The m/f relationship is meant to kind of suck anyway, though I’m definitely gonna have to find a balance so it’s clear that Selene doesn’t realise it’s a bad relationship until it’s over.
This excerpt is Selene and Natalie (the former girl-hate situation) hanging out after school because Natalie was showing some serious signs of not wanting to go home. There were some rumours going around about a bruise she has on her face and Selene wanted to make sure she was okay without pushing for information about what actually happened. They’re heading for an abandoned train station. (Sav and Abbie are Savannah and Abigail, Natalie’s two closest friends. Jamie is her little sister.)
Natalie took the left fork in the path, vaulting over a rusty wire fence that came immediately afterwards. She didn’t bother looking back to see if I could manage it; she knew what I was capable of already.
“Did you get up to much over the holidays?” I asked. Clearly it hadn’t all been great, judging from that shiner, but hopefully there was something nice she could talk about.
“Mostly hanging out with the girls,” Natalie replied. “Dancing a bit. You know the drill.” She pointed up ahead. “See it? That’s the station.”
Cream-coloured wooden slats, the paint peeling and dirty. There wasn’t much of a platform left around it, weeds having burst forth to claim the ground once more. We stood on the edge of the platform, toes teetering on the edge. The tracks below were browned with rust and clothed in grass and weeds.
“It’s quiet out here,” Natalie said.
The soft sounds of animals living their lives, wind in the trees, tapped gently at my eardrums, but I got what she meant. It was a different kind of place, free from the noise of people. No place was truly silent anyway. This came closer than anywhere else I’d been in town.
Natalie shucked off her bag and sat on the edge of the platform, legs dangling off the edge. “I come out here a lot.”
I joined her. “I can see why. It’s peaceful.”
“And I’ve only ever shown Sav and Abbie before, so you better feel special.”
“I always feel special.”
Natalie snorted. “How did I ever hate you?”
“I feel like that’s a question you need to ask yourself,” I replied, trying my best not to sound rude when I said it. Clearly there was an insecurity at play there. After hearing what her father said to her at the concert, I did have a better understanding of where it had all come from, but I’d only heard it because of enhanced senses. It was better for both of us if I kept pretending I hadn’t heard. Clearly her situation with her father wasn’t something she wanted to talk about.
Natalie nodded, gazing down at the tracks. “I have been thinking about it. You didn’t deserve the shit I threw at you. I’m sorry.”
Natalie sighed, uncoiling her bun and letting her hair fall down around her face. “I’ve been horrible. To everyone. I don’t know how Sav and Abbie put up with me, honestly.”
“From what the younger girls have told me, this has gone on for a while.”
“It has. And it shouldn’t have. They didn’t deserve to be treated that way.” She rolled her hair tie onto her wrist, snapping it against the skin a few times. “Jamie hates it, but she never says anything. Better to stick with me than…” She trailed off. I didn’t press the issue. I knew all about keeping secrets. You couldn’t push people to reveal them before they were ready.
“There’s another concert this term, right?” That seemed like a safe enough topic.
“Yeah. I want to do another dance, but I doubt anyone wants to work with me.”
“We survived last term, Nat. Don’t get that nasty again and I’m sure you’ll get enough takers.” I watched a rabbit skitter through the underbrush on the other side of the tracks. “I’m sure an apology to the other girls would go a long way, too. And I can put a good word in for you.”
“To be honest, Selene,” she said, watching the rabbit instead of making any kind of eye contact, “I didn’t expect you to be this forgiving.”
“Well, to be fair, I don’t exactly give off that vibe.” I didn’t even consider myself a forgiving person. This whole situation was just as weird for me as it was for her. “I’m normally a vindictive person, actually.”