It’s time for an update on The Dreamcatchers! The update is that I was having trouble continuing with my paper rambling. Mainly because I have trouble putting myself in the mindset of a teenage boy. While the story is narrated by my main character, Shaina, she is not the only protagonist. There are two others – Cady and Eric. Although Eric’s name will have to be changed because literally every YA novel seems to have a character named Eric in it. Apparently Eric is the only decent boy’s name in existence . But for now he’s Eric. And I have always had trouble writing Eric because my capacity for writing male characters extends to writing really cliche men or really effeminate men.
This led me to make a decision. I have all the time in the world to write this book. While I’m not planning on having Eric narrate any of it, I can still start the book over from his perspective in order to get a better idea of his character. Even though what I write will probably never become part of the book, it would still be helpful for me. With this in mind, I went to Panera and parked and realized I forgot my notebook so I had to make do with this really tiny one I found in my backseat.
And it seemed to work. I wrote several tiny pages. The only problem was that the Eric I wrote didn’t seem to match up with the free-spirited, no-holds-barred, act-first-think-later character I had wanted. A completely different character formed instead. One with a mind of his own. And I don’t know if I’m going to keep him. I might just start over and see where that gets me. We’ll see. For now I thought I’d share what I wrote. Keep in mind that I have not edited a single word of this, so what you are about to read is extremely raw. Anyway, here it is:
I could not express how little I wanted to continue having sex with this girl. She kept asking me things like, “Will you miss me when you’re all the way across the country?” And I kept saying, “Yes, of course, babe,” because everyone kept telling me we looked good together and she got along well enough with my dad and Colleen. But seriously. Talking about my future immediately after having birthday sex was not exactly my idea of great pillow talk.
“I have to go. I’m meeting my dad at the Commons for dinner.”
I got out of bed and pulled on my pants.
“Call me later,” Sage said.
“Sure, yeah.” Or maybe I’ll never call you again. Maybe I’ll find a girl who isn’t named after a spice to have sex with for the rest of senior year.
Three lobsters, weird tasting butter, and a few sips of dad’s beer when he was in the bathroom. It was Colleen’s idea. She was actually pretty cool.
“I’m going to pretend that’s the first time you’ve tasted beer,” she said.
“Yeah, absolutely,” I said, smiling my most innocent smile.
She laughed. “You are being careful, right? You’re applying to a lot of great schools. I’d hate for some stupid teenage rebellion to ruin your chances.”
“I’m being careful,” I assured her.
“Good. Because you’re a real man now. So don’t fuck it up.”
I laughed. Colleen was always good at making me laugh. I didn’t tell her that I didn’t feel like much of a real man since it was still illegal for me to steal some of dad’s beer. Especially since my dad came back to the table right then.
“Have you heard from your mother?” he asked.
I shrugged. “She texted me. I think she was in a meeting.”
Dad’s eyes were getting all full of pity so I changed the topic. My phone buzzed in my pocket. One glance at the screen told me it was Sage texting. I put my phone back.
Colleen insisted we get dessert, and I agreed on the condition that we not tell our waiter that it was my birthday. I didn’t need a colorful candle or a choir of minimum-wage laborers serenading me.
After the bill was paid, Dad asked if I was going out with friends. I told him Jeff, Sam, and I had made plans, leaving out the specifics. He told me not to stay out too late. School night and all. After that, they said goodbye and I was free to wander aimlessly for a while. I wasn’t due at Jeff’s for at least another hour. The shops were all the same. So were the mini gangs of preteen boys carrying skateboards. Sometimes I felt trapped. It was like an itching under my skin. My life was too boring. Too predictable. That was my main reason for wanting to go to college on the east coast. Maybe then I’d feel like I was really getting away. Away from Sage and her insecurities, away from my statue of a mother and my ridiculous father who never once noticed when some of his liquor mysteriously disappeared.
Something caught my eye, and I did a double take. A new store? I don’t know why I cared. It’s not like I was a big shopper. But this one just looked and felt different. Especially since no one else seemed to notice it. I went inside. It was all kitsch and ridiculous nicknacks. Part of me wanted to leave immediately, but my feet stayed planted.
Aaaaand that’s all I wrote. It’s actually a lot longer than I realized, which is sad because I might be ending this particular Eric’s life. He seems a bit too cynical, and I’ve already got a cynical character. Eric needs to be someone who doesn’t take things seriously even when he should. Maybe I’ll share the new Eric with you if and when I rewrite his part of the story.
That’s all for now!