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lmc71775
December 14th, 2010, 03:32 PM
Chapter One

Mom doesn’t know.

Dad suspects, but hasn’t said anything to me yet. And maybe he never will. He isn’t the type to start a confrontation.

“Diane,” as I like to call my mom, doesn’t even acknowledge me since my twin brother Jimmy died.

I walk into the kitchen, heading straight to the fridge for a glass of milk. Diane is there doing the dishes and doesn’t notice I have even entered the room.

“Did you pack me a lunch?” I say to her, even though she hasn’t packed me a lunch since last year.

And of course she doesn’t hear me, so I repeat.

“Diane, did you make a lunch for me?”

“Huh?” She snaps the word out like I just pulled her out of a trance. “Um, no, honey, I forgot. I’ll do it now.”

“No need, I’m running late. I’ll just grab some money and have a lunch there.”

I run upstairs and into my room, grab a couple of bucks off my dresser and start to head back downstairs. But before I do, a flicker of light catches the corner of my eye. It’s coming from across the hall.

Oh, my God, I think to myself. His door is open.

I walk down the hallway and peek through the door in search of the source of light. I notice it’s one of Jimmy’s medals dangling in the November sunlight. It’s weird to see it moving when there isn’t a shred of wind in the room.

I’m surprised that his door, which has been shut for several months, is open. Diane would never have it. Jimmy’s room has been off limits since he walked out that dreaded day. The one and only time I remember going in there after the accident was when I snuck back into the house that night I spent with Ryan. It was a dare and effectively the easiest way to get back in the house. Diane was fuming with me afterwards when she saw muddied footprints across his floor.

Not this time. This time the floor’s spotless—like everything else. Jimmy, however, never kept it that way. He was always a slob. But Diane didn’t even seem to mind back then. She catered to his every need—and that included picking up after him.

My eyes scan over the red painted walls as my shoes creak on the hardwood floor. The sunlight is absolutely amazing this early in the morning. The hockey trophies and medals line up on the two tall-wooded bookshelves. It’s fourteen years full of awards. They got him into hockey at three, while they signed me up for figure skating—which turned out to be a bust.

It’s funny to think it’s only been ten months since his death. He died only a few weeks after our sixteenth birthday.

His room has a haunting presence of laughing and cheering. I could hear the roar of the crowd and the smell of warm pretzels wafting in the icy cold air of the rink. I remember my mother made me dress in layers. She hated when I’d run up and down the stone block steps of the arena. I tip the hanging medal with my finger and watch it spin in the light. Jimmy was like that—agile and graceful, yet resilient with all the hits he took.

“Ding, Ding, Ding…”

I return to the present.

I realize the grandfather clock from downstairs is on its seventh ring.

“Damn, I’m late!” I say aloud to myself.

I scurry outside his room, glancing one last time to make sure I haven’t disturbed anything, and leave the door open, just as it was. I figure Diane must be getting ready to clean it again or something and race downstairs.

“Okay, I’ll catch you later,” I yell to Diane.

I wait a second or two to see if she responds but nothing. Just as I suspect. I can give a damn if I’m late for the bus. I could just meet Ryan up and we could ditch again like we did last week. I still can’t get over that I got away with it. I wonder why the school never called. They called Ryan’s mom and he got punished for it. But me? Nothing. Ryan says the school had to have called. Who knows? Maybe Diane did get a phone call and passed it off. Either way, it doesn’t matter. Jimmy is all that matters to her these days. Keeping Jimmy’s room and everything he had touched in the house clean was her only priority now.

I let the dead leaves crunch under my every step as I limberly walk to the corner. Reaching inside my pocket, I take out my cell phone and text “Where are you?” and press send to Ryan.

I glare at the screen as I walk and quickly get a reply text back, “Hey Bee, what’s up?”

Even though my name is Bianca, everyone just calls me “Bee.” Even the teachers at school. Everyone, except Diane. I remember her telling me once that she loved all three syllables in my name. That she couldn’t help but always say my full name. Nowadays all she calls me is “honey.” She used to call Jimmy that. It creeps me out a little.

I continue to walk, and from around the corner a blonde hair, blue-eyed kid jumps out from around the bushes.

“Boo!”

“Halloween’s over fool!” I say to Ryan.

“Haha…funny cause I thought you were wearing a mask,” he says with a smirk, pointing his one index finger like, I got you back sorta thing.

“Whatever Rye, you gonna play that way, fine!”

“Aww is Bianca Thompson sad now? I thought she was tough as nails.”

“I’m not in the mood.”

“Oh, come on. I was only playin’,” Ryan says with a wide grin this time and eyeing me like the Joker from Batman. It was always his trick to get me to smile…and it always worked.

“Oh? Is that a smile I see?”

I laugh and say, “Okay you got me.”

“So you wanna ditch again today?”

I think for a moment or two, looking into his sky blue eyes (trying not to be so enchanted or he’ll suspect something) then decide.

“To Meadow Oaks?” I ask him like he is going to suggest another place, but Meadow Oaks was our place. We barely ever went anywhere else. I’ll have to admit, I feel alive there surrounded by all that nature.

“Let’s do it!”

We both nod in agreement and head in through the neighborhood. As my thoughts start to settle, I feel a queasy feeling in the pit of my stomach. I remind myself that the fluttering feeling will eventually go away when we get there. God, I don’t know why I am feeling this way in the first place.

As we walk, we are silent. Ryan glances again and smiles and is clearly excited to be doing this. Yet I feel different. I know we’ve been friends since the third grade. But since our senior year started, he really blossomed. And okay I’ll admit, even if it kills me to do so, Ryan, my best friend in all the world is a stud muffin.

Now how do I put on a good face so he doesn’t suspect it?

Sync
December 14th, 2010, 04:40 PM
Hello

I remember this piece from someplace else. We probably met in another site :)

hello again.

it reads much smoother now. i think you went a bit over-board with the speech tags. sometimes just the speech is enough, you don't need 'she thought' 'she said' and such all the time, only when it needs to show one particular person is speaking/thinking when a group is present.

the first line...it's almost there. I guess it depends on what you want and how you want to write it. For example

you wrote:

Mom doesn’t know.

Dad suspects, but hasn’t said anything to me yet. And maybe he never will. He isn’t the type to start a confrontation.

Dad suspects, but hasn't said anything...not to me at least. - you want that break between his not saying and him not approaching her - especially since he suspects.

****

Looks like you are working hard on this

well done

Enjoyed

Sync

garza
December 14th, 2010, 04:43 PM
A good beginning. The only point at which I was a bit snagged was with the initial description of Ryan. It didn't sound the way a teen-aged girl would describe her boyfriend. (I know it's been over 50 years since I was involved with any teen-aged girls in that sort of relationship, but I doubt the species has evolved very far.) The words you used, 'a blonde hair, blue-eyed kid jumps out from around the bushes', sound out of place as an initial description of someone you later refer to as a 'stud muffin'.

Other than that minor complaint, you do have a very good beginning. You are writing about a real-life situation, which is the best kind of fiction. 'The human heart in conflict with itself', as Faulkner put it. I will be interested in seeing how Bee resolves the conflicts in her life.

Edit - I just saw Sync's comments - he got in ahead of me somehow - and in reading back through the piece I have to agree about the speech tags. You can lose most of them and that will improve the flow.

lmc71775
December 15th, 2010, 03:55 PM
Thanks Sync, I did post it a while back and since then have revised it. Good Memory. I will watch the tag lines and try to trim them down.

Garza, thanks too for coming by and reading. I will think of a new description for the boyfriend.

Much appreciate.