manuscript monday - come alive (pt.2)

So, I'm working on some side projects right now and instead of leaving this space forgotten, I thought I'd share a little from Come Alive. I won't always have pieces up on Mondays, but for the next few weeks, I will. Hope you enjoy. His name is Kevin Matouse. At six feet, he’s easily a head above the rest in our class. But he’s so cute and every time he gets close to me my knees start to wobble and my hands start dripping with sweat and I start to stutter. A shaky girl with leaky hands and a speech impediment doesn’t help the whole, “I’m trying to impress you” vibe I attempt to give off, but it’s whatever. We’ve been together for about a month, and I always promise myself I will stop acting like a complete schoolgirl when I am around him, but it never happens. He looks at me and my heart starts beating against my ribcage and the butterflies shake violently in the pit of my stomach. I just can’t help it. Chalk it up to my teenage hormones.

We met at a coffee shop I frequent. I’d seen him before, but never imagined he’d stop to talk to me. That first conversation always brings a rush of blood to my cheeks - it was as if he knew me. We talked for hours, forgetting about homework and families and those around us. We sat there until closing - when the baristas had to quietly clear their throats to get our attention. I blushed then, and I blush now just thinking about it. Never before have I encountered someone who can completely make the world disappear.

We’re not the most likely of pairs. I’m the weird quiet girl who carries around a Moleskine to capture ideas and phrases and quotes to escape from the blindingly boring lectures my teachers feel the need to share on a daily basis. Kevin? He’s a football player. And he plays guitar and his family loves each other and well...he’s basically my opposite. Except not - and that’s the thing. He’s not my opposite. Whenever we’re together it seems as though our brains are connected. We get each other. Our backgrounds couldn’t be any different, but when he looks at me, I know I’m the only one he wants to be around - and that’s nice.

I’ve heard he’s not the best guy, and he’s not good for me, but these people don’t know him like I do - they don’t even know me that well. Despite the rumors, despite the whispers when we walk down the hall, there’s just something about him. Perhaps it’s those baby blues; a girl can get lost in some baby blues, especially when they’re paired with shining white teeth and a body with muscles I didn’t even know existed. Crap. I think to myself. I’ve gone and drooled on my homework again. 

I’m at home now, and all I can hear is my mom and dad arguing. An exasperated breath falls off my lips and I sigh. I think for a second about packing up my books and walking to the coffee shop - from the sound of the words flying across our living room, there won’t be any quiet here for some time. I roll my eyes and place my hands over my ears, turning my music up just a little bit - just enough to drown out the biting remarks right outside my door. For as long as I can remember, they’ve spoken through anger instead of love. My mom isn’t brave enough to leave him and my dad can’t imagine life without someone to push around. It’s their own vicious cycle mixed with infidelity. A nightmare, if you ask me. You would think that after twenty years of marriage, they would have figured out how to get along. I think about Kevin again and smile. We get along. We get along just fine.

Forgetting my homework and the lengthening fight outside my room, I close my eyes and dream about being Mrs. Kevin Matouse with knees that don’t shake and hands that don’t sweat and words that don’t skip.

I’m startled out of my reverie by a loud knock on the door. Obscenities fill the open silence as my dad attempts to twist the handle. I roll my eyes and lean over to switch the lock right as he bursts into the room. The stench of alcohol sweeps over me and I try my hardest not to gag. Last time I gagged it bought me thirty minutes of face slapping and a lecture about respect. I stumble out of my chair and walk toward the corner of my room knowing this probably won’t end well. I search his face, looking for signs of what the fight could be about - what could have upset him to the point of explosion.

His eyes are bloodshot. His hands purple from the strain of withholding his anger. This all happens so quickly, in the span of a few minutes. He struggles to keep focus on me - his head having a hard time keeping up with the rest of his body. I know this body language well. Someone will pay for a mistake. The mental checklist roars through my mind: progress report came in today - I made straight A’s. When I got home, I spent two hours cleaning the house - just like he always expected. And then the realization.

Oh.

This time, it wasn’t me.

Right behind him is my mom. My mom with some other man. I can’t even compute what this means I’m so confused...I’m confused and terrified because I see him moving toward me.

Dad, what are you....”

Apparently it was me because my dad starts throwing punches as soon as he’s close enough I can see his drunken eyes.

I feel a fist collapse against my cheek and I gasp.

I can’t process my mom standing with some guy because the blows keep coming. The blows keep coming and he keeps yelling and my mom keeps crying. That guy just stands there.

I ask myself: What kind of person just stands there?

Want to keep reading? Check out Come Alive on Amazon - available on kindle as well! 

Posted on November 4, 2012 and filed under fiction.