And I feel like I’m naked in front of a crowd, ‘cause these words are my diary screaming out loud…
I had such an overwhelming response to the
first 500 words of HEAT yesterday (on Twitter, in case you’re wondering why
there’s only two comments on it :p) that I’vedecided to be brave and share a little more with you. Even though I only
received encouragement yesterday, this is still scary as anything. I wonder if
that will ever go away? But, every time I start to talk myself out of it, I
remember these words:
for what you believe in,
make your DREAMS your REALITY.
I wonder which incredibly inspiring and
awesome frontman of a band said that??*
This is the next 1500 hundred words (how lucky are YOU?!) which will take you to the end of chapter one. I hope you like it...Please feel free to leave a comment and let me know what you think :)
LYRICS: ‘Breathe (2am)’ by Anna Nalick
See! I CAN listen to bands besides Thirty Seconds To Mars!
on, now. As if I can write a post without at least ONE reference to MARS.
opened my eyes, searching for the source of the voice.
head felt like it was filled with sand, and I struggled to pull myself fully
mom smiled at me, brushing a stray strand of my chestnut brown hair off my face
and tucking it behind my ear.
voice tore through the fog in my head, snapping me back to reality. I sat up
with a start, rubbing the last remnants of sleep from my eyes. She handed me a
bottle of water and I took it wordlessly, gulping down the cool liquid and
wondering how long I’d been asleep.
time is it?” My voice was thick with sleep and I cleared my throat, taking
another sip of water.
7pm.” She switched off the engine and turned to face me, and I could tell by
her expression that she was planning another condescending ‘chin up’ speech. I
unbuckled my seatbelt and practically threw myself out of the car, shutting the
door before she had the chance to form a
single syllable. I turned towards the house at the
end of the driveway, staring at the place I would be calling home for the next
year. I would be out of there the second I turned eighteen. A woman I assumed
to be my aunt opened the front door, smiling. She raced down the front steps
and engulfed me in a bear hug before I had a chance to react.
honey,” she whispered into my hair. “I’m so sorry.”
body went limp as I waited for her to release me. It felt too rude to shove her
off me, no matter how badly I wanted to. After a few seconds she dropped her
arms and pulled back, releasing me.
Maria,” she said awkwardly. “Your Aunt Maria, I guess. I am… was your mother’s
step sister.” I stared blankly at her. My mother had never mentioned her to me.
had the same father,” she added, by way of explanation.
couldn’t think of anything else to say and we both regarded each other for a
moment, sizing each other up. She looked like she was older than my mother by a
margin of at least 10 years which placed her at around 52, I guessed, noting
the flecks of grey in her auburn hair. It was the same shade as my mother’s had
been. I continued to stare mutely at her, unsure of what I should say.
nice to meet you,” I mumbled finally. “Thanks for letting me stay here.”
nodded, smiling. “Of course, honey. You’re family.”
walked over to us, dragging my single suitcase behind her. She and Maria made
small talk and I tuned out, glad for the distraction. I stared at the black
suitcase resting against Eva’s car. Everything that I owned was in that bag.
Evidently when someone dies without leaving a will, the state can claim whatever
they want. They took all my mom’s assets and sold them, giving me a small
percentage of the profits and lining their pockets with the rest. At the time I’d
wondered how my mother could have overlooked something as important as
providing for my future in the event of her death. However, I’d since accepted
that there were many things about her I couldn’t understand. And now I never would. The thought left
a bitter taste in my mouth.
looked up after a few minutes, realising that both Eva and Maria were looking
at me expectantly.
What did you say?”
smiled kindly and patted me on the arm. I fought the urge to jerk away.
asked if you would like to come up and see your room.” She gestured towards the
Sure.” A small voice at the back of my mind reminded me that I needed to be
nicer. While she was a stranger, this woman was at least related to me. A blood
tie, no matter how tenuous, was better than living with foster parents or in a
you,” I added, attempting to force my lips into a friendly smile. I imagined it
looked more like a grimace, but it would have to do. I followed her into the
house, dragging my suitcase behind me. The house was an old but well maintained
double story, probably built in the sixties or seventies. Eva and I followed
Maria from room to room, and I reminded myself to ooh and ah at appropriate
intervals. The house seemed nice, though it was obvious Maria and her husband
never had children. Every room looked like it belonged in a catalogue for
this,” she said, pushing opened a white weathered door, “will be your room.” I
stepped inside, taking in my surroundings. The bedroom was bigger than I
expected it to be, and had its own private balcony. I felt slightly happier as
I looked around, realising that it was nicer than my old room in California. It
was already furnished with an old fashioned queen sized bed, bedside tables, a
chest of drawers, and two empty bookshelves. There was also a couch in the
corner and a bare entertainment unit. I smiled in spite of myself, remembering
that I did have a small amount of cash in the bank from my mom’s sold assets. I
would be getting myself a TV as soon as possible.
have your own bathroom, too,” Maria said, interrupting my silent planning. I
looked around the room, searching for the door leading to the bathroom.
over here,” she said, opening a door that I’d assumed led to a cupboard. The
bathroom was also prepared for me, with snow white towels piled in a neat
corner beside the bathtub and shower.
great,” I said, turning to give her a weak smile. “Thank you, I really
course honey,” Maria said, still smiling. “Like I said, you’re family.”
silently wished she would stop calling me honey. Only my mother called me that.
you. Well, I should probably unpack…” I deliberately let my voice trail off,
glancing at my suitcase. As much as I appreciated the effort she’d gone to, I
wanted to be alone. I could feel my delicate edges starting to fray.
right, of course,” Maria answered quickly, turning to leave. “Eva and I have
some things to discuss anyway. Give me a yell if you need anything; I’ll just be
but I think I’m just going to get set up and go to bed. It’s been a long day,
and I start school tomorrow.”
eyed me carefully, and I imagined she was debating whether or not to point out
that it was only 7:30 in the evening.
she said slowly. “That’s probably a good plan. You want to be rested for your
first day. Are you hungry? I could fix you a sandwich.”
stomach did a somersault at the mention of food.
thank you… I’m not really hungry.”
Well, you know where I am if you need anything.” She gave me a small smile and
left the room. I turned towards Eva, hoping she wouldn’t try to give me another
I started, avoiding eye contact. “For, you know, bringing me out here. I know
you could have just dumped me on a bus.” I fidgeted with the small silver
pendant hanging around my neck. It was the last thing my mother had given me before
she died. I swallowed, forcing the memory away.
welcome,” Eva said after a minute. “I don’t normally hand-deliver my charges,
but since I was coming out this way anyway…” She smiled, and I felt a twinge of
guilt for being so rude to her in the car. “If you need anything at all, even
just someone to talk to You have my number. You can call any time. I’ll give
you a call in a couple of weeks to see how you are settling in.”
nodded, giving her what I hoped looked like a genuine smile.
you. Travel safely.”
gave me one last look and left my room, closing the door behind her. I stared
at it numbly. Everything felt surreal. I lived here now, with people I didn’t
know. This was happening. My mother was dead.
walked over to the door, relieved to see that it was fitted with a lockable
door knob. I locked it, checking it once before sinking to the floor. The heat was
building up inside my stomach and for once I didn’t try to stop it, didn’t try
to stuff it back inside me. I spied a pillow sitting on my bed and I focused my
attention on it, allowing the heat to rise from my stomach into my chest. A
surge of energy passed through me and the pillow exploded, showering the room
with downy feathers. I lowered my head into my now luminescent hands, allowing
the tears to flow unchecked down my face as I cried myself to sleep.