I am doing something major. I'm unbelievably nervous with this post. It's completely new to me. I've never publicly shared my fiction writing on this blog or with anyone but my closest friend Brie. She hasn't even read this story. This is a first to all of you and me! Be is a fictional novel I am writing. I am almost finished and have it all completed in my mind. This portion I'm going to let you read is just a small chapter in the middle of the story. The story is first person POV with different people and their points of view. This chapter is one of the lead character's (Atticus Wilson) POV. The other main character in this scene is Izzelle Finch (Atticus' best friend and next door neighbor). It's a very very very rough draft. The story and plot is explained in another post called "Be" so fill free to search for it if you'd like to discover the plot. The pictures above just sort of give you a feel of the setting and mood of the following chapter. Now the reason I am posting this, is because I WANT FEEDBACK. If you hate it or love it or would change anything or take anything away. Please! Tell me what you think! If you read this, I am serious I want to know how you feel about it. Please leave me a comment or send me an e-mail via Facebook or email@example.com with your feedback. I know there are probably numerous grammatical errors, etc, but it's a rough draft. So here it is! I hope you like it or take something from it.
Do you ever wish you could be someone else? Generally most of us would want to be someone famous or someone you admire. I wished I was Anton. He had the world. He got the best Christmas present conceivable, all that I wanted for Christmas… for forever. A green eyed monster raged within me. I envied Anton with every cell in my body, every fiber of my being, even though he was a jerk. In the end, he got the girl.
He’d already kissed Izzie more times than I care to remember in the wretched play and now on Christmas Eve night, he would be dancing with Izzie in his arms at Summer Morgan’s annual, lame might I add, Christmas Ball. I could be there with Jocelyn. Josie begged me to go, and truth be told, I wanted to attend… just not with her. This infuriated her. I was brutally honest with her, as I am with everyone. She ended up breaking up with me for Jonah, but it didn’t faze me. I didn’t care for her in the first place.
Josie and I had some good times, but I had greater times with Izzie, and Izzie wasn’t even my girlfriend. Now here I was all alone on Christmas Eve, pathetically moping around feeling sorry for myself. I glanced at my clock on the wall. Ironically, the time read 11:11. I was one of those people who made a wish. I made the same wish I’d been making for years. It hadn’t come true, who knew if or when it would, but I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and made the wish. Then I made a mental note to try and find the origin behind the 11:11 thing.
My parents were with Izzie’s in another city at some fancy party as always. Harper was sleeping peacefully downstairs. Every other Christmas Eve was the same, minus this one because it didn’t include Izzie. Normally, Izzie and I would be sitting in front of my fireplace sipping white hot chocolate (Izzie’s choice), listening to Christmas carols from my Ipod. Izzie’s favorite Christmas song was “This Christmas”. It had been for as far back as I could remember. Mine was the joke version of “Jingle Bells” or “December is for Cynics”. My reasoning being these songs were humorous and sarcastic. I never understood why Izzie loved her song so much. I plugged in my Ipod which contained as many versions of “This Christmas” as I could find. I pushed repeat and listened to it over and over and over sung by everyone from Beyonce to Justin Bieber. What happened to me? To Izzie? To everything?
1 in 5,000 North American lobsters are born bright blue. I should make a restaurant called Blue Lobster and put Red Lobster out of business. Blue is better than red hands down.
What did that have to do with anything? Nothing. It just proves how crazy I was going.
I paced the room. Maybe I should just sleep. No. There was no way I’d be able to. My mind wouldn’t let me. I walked absentmindedly over to the telescope Izzie gave me. I looked into the lens and zoomed in on the dock. Snow was rapidly falling. It was like magic and mesmerized me. No two snowflakes are alike on the outside but on the inside they are just water, all of them, and will eventually melt. However, snowflakes are one of nature’s most fragile things, but just look at what they can do when they stick together.
A figure suddenly appeared in view. I zoomed in closer and realized it was Izzie! She rushed to the end of the dock. She seemed frantic. I could see her red ballet flats teetering near the edge. Her red dress shined brightly in the light of the bay. She must be freezing! She was absolutely breathtaking. A smile slowly played across my face which quickly turned into a frown when Izzie jumped into the lake! Was I seeing things? She couldn’t swim, deep water terrified her. She didn’t sleepwalk. One word popped into my head: suicide. My heart stopped cold in my chest.
According to suicide statistics, Monday is the favored day to do it. Firearms were the preferred method of most. It was Saturday, but what day does it matter when someone is committing such a horrible act you shouldn’t give a damn about anything but saving them!
Without another thought, I ran faster than I ever had to the dock. I nearly tripped down the stairs. I flew out the door, not bothering to close it. I didn’t know everything about hypothermia, but I knew enough. I knew it was all about time. A person couldn’t last very long in such cold temperatures. It was freezing outside. The lake was nearly frozen in some spots. The water had to be below zero. Plus, Izzie couldn’t swim to save her life, not that she would try, obviously. This truly was a life or death situation.
I stopped for a moment when I reached the edge of the dock. My head was spinning, racing, zooming, raging, wild. I frantically unzipped my hoodie and threw it aside. I pulled my shoes off and tossed them in the air. My heart was pounding. I was reluctant to jump in. What if I died trying to save Izzie?
I jumped in.
Oh well, I loved Izzie. I’d die for her. Life was meaningless without her. As I submerged into the water, I felt like I was going to die. The word cold doesn’t do justice to the feeling that rushed through every nerve in my body. I swam through the piercing pain, diving further and further, even though the water felt like a thousand blades stabbing me, a thousand bullets ripping me to shreds. I seemed to have super human strength. I’d heard of women who picked up cars to save their babies. Their love broke the limits of human strength. I never knew it was true. That love had no limits.
Every thought was of Izzie. I blocked out the painful cold as I moved down the icey depths of the lake. It stung and almost paralyzed me. For the first time in my life, I understood the anguish and bravery of the Titanic survivors. I put meaning to the phrase “if you jump, I jump.” Leonardo DiCaprio had nothing but looks on me. I used all of my strength to move, although it felt as if the lake would swallow us both.
Suddenly, I felt her body bump into mine and I grabbed her. I wrapped my nearly numb arms around her and pushed like hell to get to the surface of the lake before we turned into human popsickles. We wouldn’t die in this lake. Not if it was up to me. Finally, against all odds, we emerged. I pushed Izzie up first out of the water onto the wooden dock. Then I pulled myself up. My goosebumps, goosebumps, goosebumps, had goosebumps.
I fell over next to her seemingly lifeless body, breathing harder or hardly breathing. Moving was painful. I’d never felt so weak. I had to save her. I sat up and knelt by her. I rushed to administer CPR to Izzie. Her lips were like ice against mine. I never in my wildest dreams, or nightmares, pictured our lips meeting for the first time like this. I breathed the bitter frigid air for both of us. Then I pressed my hands to her chest and pushed, frantically pumping to get her heart beating. I was fearful my lips would get stuck to hers like the kid on that movie “A Christmas Story” who got his tongue stuck to a pole.
I lay my head on her chest listening for a heartbeat that wasn’t there. NO! I worked faster, harder, breathing and pushing.
“No! No! No! You can’t do this!” my voice shook. “I need you. I love you Iz.” It came out a whisper.
What happened next can only be described as a miracle.
Izzie started coughing up water. She was alive! I collapsed beside her. Each breath felt like I was swallowing icicles. I shook violently as did Izzie. I felt frozen to the deck and too tired to move, but we had to get inside. In one swift motion, I scooped her in my arms and stood up. She wrapped her arms around my neck, and I hurried to my house. I got inside the door and closed it with my foot. I was still in shock and dismay trying to process everything. I couldn’t tell how cold I was. All I cared about was that Izzie was alive.
Where was her brain? Why did she do this? She was so intelligent. She had a wonderful life. She was beautiful beyond description. She had everything going for her. Jellyfish don’t have brains, but boy or girl do they sting. Izzie sure stung me. She stunned me. How did I not see this coming? Weren’t there warning signs of suicide? Maybe I was overreacting and Izzie hadn’t just been trying to take her life. There had to be some logical explanation to this illogical situation.
Izzie trembled in my arms as I carried her up the stairs to my room. She was conscious. That was a good sign. Still she probably had a mild to moderate case of hypothermia. That was dangerous if left untreated. We both needed to get warm.
“Atticus! I’m… s-so… c-c-cold.” Izzie stuttered and coughed.
I didn’t say a word. I couldn’t. It was as if all words were frozen inside of me. I wondered if people could talk in Alaska or Greenland, or at least how they managed to get the words out since it’s generally freezing in those places.
I stumbled into my room, still holding Izzie. I used my back to close the door. I gently sat Izzie down on my bed. She continued to shiver forcefully. Our skin was infected with goosebumps. I noticed I trembled too. I cleared my throat. I went into my closet and grabbed two pairs of sweats, two T-shirts, and a sweatshirt.
I handed one of each to Izzie. She took them, hands shaking.
“Izzie.” I finally said, kneeling down in front of her.
“You are suffering from hypothermia. You need to get out of that wet dress and put these on. You can go and change in my bathroom or I can help you if you need it.”
She nodded and stood up like a zombie.
“I think… I think I can manage.” She stuttered and went into my bathroom. She shut the door and a few minutes later reemerged. I took her place in my bathroom. I hung my wet clothes next to hers on my shower rod. Then I took a deep breath and came back into my room. I felt much better and warmer. Izzie was sitting in a chair still shivering.
I found two blankets in my closet. I spread one down on the floor in front of the fireplace. I sat down on it. Izzie followed suite and sat next to me. I wrapped the other blanket around her shoulders. We were inches apart but it felt like miles, light years even. “This Christmas” was still playing. The situation was so dilapidated.
Izzie gazed into the fire while I gazed at her. I could see the flames reflecting in her eyes. I couldn’t take my eyes off of her. It was as if I was afraid that if I did, she might try to off herself again. That she would just disappear. It suddenly felt harder to breathe than it had in the lake. The silence was tearing me apart it was so loud.
“Rose! You’re so stupid. Why did you do that, huh? You’re so stupid, Rose. Why did you do that? Why?” I broke the barrier, cracked the ice.
It was like the fire in Izzie had burned out.
“I want you to know Izzie that I’m not going to interrogate you… and I don’t think any differently of you, but if you need someone to talk to, I’m here for you. I always have been and always will be.”
Her eyes remained glued to the fire like a magnet.
“By the time we see stars, they are dead.” Izzie said in a monotone voice.
Death…where was she going with this?
“That’s impressive Izzie. Did you know that children grow fastest in the springtime?” I replied, desperately trying to lighten things up.
Izzie laughed and with that laugh came a smile I had never been more thrilled to see.
I loved it when she said my name. The way the words formed on those lips I ached to kiss.
“That’s what I like about you. Life comes easy for you, it’s so natural. I wonder what it would be like to be a star. They don’t have feelings. Their life is mapped out for them. They help guide us and are beautiful. Everyone loves them…” Izzie explained and then began to sob. She buried her head in her knees. I ran my fingers up and down her back trying to relieve her of the sadness.
What did she mean by that? I was lost and upset, but I had to stay strong for her, for the both of us.
“Izzie. Life isn’t about perfection. It’s about making every moment of each day count… not wasting it wishing you were someone else or dwelling on what you lack. What you aren’t makes you what you are… who you are supposed to be. It’s about being the best you can, doing the best you can, making a few mistakes inevitably here and there, but learning, growing, loving, and moving forward.” I responded gently.
Izzie didn’t say anything. She just kept crying. I hated seeing her like this. It burned my eyes watching her suffer, worse than hers probably felt gazing into the fire.
“I spent all day long trying to look great for Anton and the party! I wasn’t near good enough! We were dancing. I was on top of the world and all he wanted to do was use me. It all fell down. He took my hand in his and led me to a vacant room in Summer’s house and started to kiss me. It was great. Then he pushed me onto a bed and… tried to undo my dress. I shoved him away and refused. I yelled stop and no! He grabbed me and tried again, but I hit him. So then he stood up and said fine, he’d find Claire or Summer, and as he was leaving the room, he turned, glared at me, and smirked, “Fine Izzelle, you’re not worth it anyways!’ I’ll never be what everyone wants me to be, never be good enough. Just being me makes no one happy.” Izzie cried, tears coming down like rain.
I was unbelievably proud of her for standing up to Anton, staying strong to her ideals and values, and not giving in, not giving herself to him. I also wanted to kill him. However, I couldn’t believe the words coming out of her mouth. Was she crazy? How could she say that she’d never be good enough when she was everything to me?
“If it helps, you’re number one in my book.” I admitted.
For the first time that night, she met my eyes.
“Yeah right! You have to say that because we’re best friends. It’s in the job description. You’re just trying to make me feel better by lying and, might I add, you’re failing miserably.” She replied and turned away.
“Izzie.” I gently pulled on her shoulder. She faced me, still silently crying.
An overwhelming feeling shot through every part of my body, racing like a comet in the sky, spreading warmth and light and electricity through my blood, my bones, my skin. I had stared into the eyes of this girl for years, for my entire life, and it surprised me how suddenly this was a new experience now. It was like seeing her for the first time, yet knowing her forever.
“Yeah?” She asked.
And then the truth came pouring out of me like her tears.
“I… I-I’m not saying that because I am your best friend. I am saying it because I mean it, because I can’t hold it inside any longer. You’re the most amazing, beautiful girl in existence. Anton has no idea what he’s missing right now.” I whispered, reached for her hand, and laced my fingers through hers. She squeezed my hand. I ran my thumb around her soft skin in the shape of a heart.
“Atticus, I feel like a hamster on one of those stupid wheels they run on! They race for hours every single day going absolutely nowhere only stopping to eat and sleep. That’s the sum of their existence and mine. They don’t have another option really, no control. That’s my fate. I’m alive, existing, but not going anywhere, not truly living.” She confided in me, and I knew I was the only one she’d ever admitted this to.
Now it all made sense… at least as much as it could.
“Izzelle Finch you are going so many places and just because you can’t see them doesn’t mean they aren’t there. You can do anything! I know it. You could be the first female president or a teacher or a doctor or a model or just you. The sky is not the limit. You will go farther than the stars. Fate will lead you where you’re meant to go. You just have to trust it Izzie. You have to have faith. And promise me, promise me, that you’ll never ever even think about givingup again.” I meant it all.
“I promise. Thank you for saving me… but do you really think so?” She finally asked.
“I know it.” I stated firmly, not missing a beat.
“You mean it?”
“All of it.” I whispered and tightened my hold on her fingers.
“Why?” I didn’t expect that.
“Because… you’re the most incredible boy I’ve ever known.” She whispered and leaned her body in closer to mine. My heart lit up like the stars she always went on about.
She smiled at me for the first time that night and then got her cute, confused look and frowned.
“Does this mean what I think it does?” She asked, searching my eyes.
“That all along… I’ve had everything I’ve ever wanted living next door this whole time and never noticed. That I was searching for all the wrong guys in all the wrong places and it’s you, it’s always been you, where my heart belongs. The boy who completes me, you’ve been here the entire time.” She looked wonderstruck. Her eyes lit up as the truth coursed through her.
Then she smiled, blushing.
I grinned as I head the words I’d been waiting to hear my whole life.
“Indeed it does. I’ve been waiting for you to recognize this painfully obvious fact.”
“But wait! What happens if things don’t work out? What if I lose you, my love, and my best friend at the same time?” Izzie asked sincerely.
“You won’t. I love you Iz. I will always be your best friend.”
We locked eyes and it took my breath away.
Then I glanced up over the fireplace.
“Is that what I think it is?” I asked mischieviously.
“What?” Izzie followed my gaze as I pointed at the mistletoe my mom put above my fireplace.
“Mistletoe.” We both said in unison.
“You know what that means…” I laughed.
She got a total serious look on her face and let go of my hand.
I was worried.
Then she gave me that smile that vanished all of my fears.
“Yes. But I don’t need a plant to tell me to kiss you.”
Then she put her hands on either side of my face, leaned in, and kissed me.
And at that precise moment, that wish I’d been making at 11:11, the wish I’d probably made 11,111,111 times, finally came true.