I’m trying to tackle my anxieties regarding people reading my writing because ideally, I’d really like to get one of my books published. So…I am sharing bits and bobs on here to try and combat that fear. Here is the opening chapter to a book I tried writing this year…unfortunately, I’ve abandoned it. I may develop it into something later but for right now I have other writing projects that I’m working on. Still, I’d like to share this first chapter.
Winston gives Ivy a nervous little smile. The type of smile you give a girl when you’re about to kiss her for the first time, or tell her that you love her. But instead, Winston opens his mouth and tells her that he is currently in a rather serious relationship with a girl called Lorelei.
“What?” Ivy’s mouth is a sticky puddle. “I’m sorry, did you just say…”
He laughs, like this is a rather delicious secret they’re sharing. “I know, it must come as a shock. We’ve been going out for about two years now. I’m breaking it off with her. I promise.”
“I’m breaking it off with her. Tomorrow. Or sometime in March. Either way, I’m leaving her for you.”
She blinks back at him, as he looks at her with hope, lips spread in a contented manner. Ivy notices the plaid button down he wears proudly. She blanches, he looks like my grandfather, if my grandfather still had a mop of honey-brown hair. “Winston, we’ve been going out for two years.”
He nods, “Yes, it was really a rather unfortunate time when you came into my peripheral. In fact, it was only around a week after I went steady with Lorelei that I met you.”
“You’ve been dating us. Both of us. For two fucking years! I’m not the other woman Winston, I’m the woman. You’ve been two-timing both of us.”
He pats the leather lining of his mother’s favorite sofa. “Ivy, that’s not very fair.”
Ivy stands, shocking the cat, Lula. “It’s completely fair.”
He rolls his eyes. “Honestly, you’re making this a big deal when it the grand scheme of things it really isn’t.”
She laughs, sarcastically. He hates it when she does that, so she really draws it out, waiting two beats before she speaks again, so he can sit in the discomfort he must be feeling. “No, I’m sorry, this is nothing. I shouldn’t be at all bothered by the fact that my boyfriend has been screwing some other girl for the entirety of our relationship!”
“Well, when you put it like that.”
Her stomach threatens her with her recently digested apple strudel. “I’m going to have to get tested for STD’s. My Doctor is going to think I’m a slut.”
“No, he won’t.” He leans towards her, lowering his voice. “And besides, I always wore a rubber.”
Something inside her, located near her diaphragm, snaps. “THEY’RE CALLED CONDOMS WINSTON! THIS ISN’T 1983!”
He flinches, recoiling at the volume of her voice. He had no idea her voice could fill the room that way.
Ivy is sick of pretending that she doesn’t mind his prissy way of talking or his ugly beige pants. She chose the nice boy, the one we’ve all been told is the best fit for a nice girl. Her mother told her, over and over again, “marry a nice boy Ivy. Nice boys will never hurt you.” Except, the nice boy broke her too.
And what if she isn’t a nice girl?
“I don’t like the way you are speaking to me. I realize you go to a public school and thus you’re a little rougher around the edges than I am, but I will not allow you to raise your voice like that in my house.”
“This is your mother’s house. And I’m the one that’s going to Harvard in the fall, you couldn’t even get into Brown.” She makes her voice as icy as possible. She refuses to be bullied by this boy. Two solid years of her life have been spent loving him, ignoring the things that make her write lists titled why it is important to stay with Winston Carroll.
Winston’s mouth sets into a hard line. “How dare you bring up Brown.”
“How dare you cheat on me for two years!”
“I wasn’t cheating on you; I was cheating on Lorelei.” He says, exasperated.
Lula bolts from the room, probably to inform the other cats of the drama currently coming to a head in the living room.
Ivy cannot believe that she has skipped first period for this. She should have gone to her calculus class, perhaps then none of this would be happening. “I’d like to meet this Lorelei, I think she and I might have a lot in common. Heck, maybe I’ll take her out for coffee and then lure her into my bed. Seeing as how I’ve practically been sleeping with her all this time.”
Winston’s face crumples at the mere mention of homosexuality. “I don’t think I want to leave Lorelei for you anymore.”
“Yes, well I’m not sure I want to be the last woman standing.”
They stare at each other for a while. She shudders, to think, I probably would have married this boy in five years.
Ivy picks up her bag, swinging it onto her shoulder. She wonders if Todd Samuels will be interested in taking her to prom.