Friday, December 5, 2014

NaNoWriMo #5 (It's Over!!!!)

    (I read this excerpt from This Box of Matches in class)
     They don’t talk. Henley just listens to the static of the television, not really paying attention to whatever is on screen, and he tries his best not to look at Greer too much.
     But it’s hard not to, especially now when all he can think about is the way he felt wrapped up in her last night—how midnight had felt frosted and blue as they fell back together onto the balcony, heat spreading through their jackets as she fought him, harsh, defensive words melting away into kisses. He remembers the way that Greer’s face had looked so bright against the pitch blackness of the sky, even as tears fell from her eyes, blue eyes so deep that they could’ve been the ocean. He remembers the way that she had looked at him and said, shit, I can’t just be friends with you, but I can’t love you.
     And Henley can’t even take it, all of the love he has for this girl.
     And she’s sitting across from him now, ever present dark circles still ringing the ocean pooling in her eyes, hair falling around her face, and feet tucked up under her seat, body pressed so far into the other side of the couch she might as well just melt into it.
     He should leave, he knows, just like he knows that last night night was a glitch in the matrix, an event that was never supposed to happen. But wine soaked lips had a way of saying all the things no one ever means to say.
     So he should go, pretend that he’s not desperate to ask why can’t you just let me in? why can’t you just love me back?
      Henley frowns, looking away, and then he is chancing another glance at her, his breath hitching as he meets Greer's stare from across the room. Blue eyes watchful, Greer looks at Henley with her mouth quirked up just a little, enough for Henley to see the beginnings of a smile there.
      Henley makes a face, trying to act normal, but his stomach is in his throat, heart fluttering like a moth’s wing in his chest. He’s never gotten used to it, being the focus of Greer’s attention.
      He doesn’t think there will ever be a day when he does.
      Ever since the first day, anytime he catches her eye he finds himself stumbling over himself, too caught up in the radiance of her to remember how to carry on.
     Greer’s smile grows a bit wider, pale light washing over the one side of her face as she looks at Henley, and Henley grins back slowly, shaking his head like he finds Greer ridiculous.
     And she is kind of ridiculous, he thinks, with the way her emotions change so quickly, so warm one moment and ice cold the next.
     A shiver runs up his spine, and he tears his eyes away from Greer to focus his attention on the open window, letting pale light flicker through and falling snow land softly on the window pane.       Cold air is flooding through, and Henley feels his teeth start to chatter.
     Rubbing his palms together, he glances back to the girl opposite him.
    Greer’s smile faded away, but her eyes are warm as she nods towards the empty space next to her on the sofa. Come here, she mouths.
     Henley blinked, quirking an eyebrow, but complies all the same, rolling his body until he was sat next to her- close, but not touching.
     Greer’s eyes flit down at the space between them, and she worries her lip between her teeth for a moment, before swinging her legs over Henley’s.
      She cuddles up into his side, shoulder to shoulder, hip to hip, and any restriction or restraint Henley had left over from the events of the night before vanished, and he lets his arms reach around her slim waist, pulling them closer, closer, until the only thing he could focus on is Greer.
     It’s intoxicating, being with her, and Henley loses himself in the way she laughs, the touch of her skin, the warmth radiating off of her.
     And the warmth never ceases to stop pouring out of her, waves of heat rolling from her skin and onto his, until the open window is completely forgotten and his palms are sweaty against her pale skin.
     Outside, the winter storms on, snow falling, glistening in the morning air.
     Inside, Henley’s body is all summer heat and all he wants is to kiss her again.
     So he does, tipping his head back to brush their lips together, soft. So soft, before he feels Greer’s hands tangle into his hair. She tastes like honey and cigarettes, and Henley never wants to forget it.
     Greer’s rising up then, kissing into Henley’s mouth in a way that makes him sigh. Her lips are soft and warm, burning against his with every movement, and Henley’s heart expands with everything that he’s feeling. He kisses back, seeing stars and planets exploding behind his closed eyelids, and as the minutes pass, their kisses become soft again.
     Pulling back, Henley presses his lips against her forehead before pressing his cheek there instead, heavy breaths filling the space where her mouth used to be. He shifts a moment later, moving down to rest his head against Greer’s shoulder, and then she’s wrapping her arm around Henley’s body, pulling him in.
     “Hi,” Henley whispers, smiling down at her, eyes shining.
      She watches him for a moment, blue eyes heavy, “Hey.”
      Her voice is slow and raspy, and Henley melts into it, letting his eyes wander back towards the open window. Henley thinks that loving Greer is like standing in the middle of a meteor shower.
     Chaos then calm. Something burning and beautiful. Something you can’t forget.
     He thinks back to the night before, the way Greer had looked out at the sky after finishing off another glass, white stars scattered across it like spilled paint and the full moon washing light over her face and across the snow-covered ground below them, luminous, before she turned to him with empty eyes.
     Do you think we become stars when we die? 
     Henley hadn’t said anything, hadn’t known what to say, too caught up in the heat pooling in his stomach from the wine and too caught up in the way the moon lit up Greer’s face, so he just looked away and back into the inky night, taking another drag of the cigarette.
     Tangled up in her now though, he lets his eyes drift shut and his ragged breathing steadily even out, drifting off, thinking, Fuck stars, we’ll be the whole damn solar system.
     Sooooo. I won NaNoWriMo. (!!!!!!!!!!)
     It wasn't really expected, I mean, I was hoping, but at the end of the third week I only had 33% of my goal done. 10,000 words was a lot and I was proud of it, but I was really hoping I'd be able to finish.
     So, I binge wrote a couple of nights that week (I'm a partial insomniac anyways, staying up until 3 or 4 was not something that was new to me, I was just writing now instead of drawing), and I hit 30,000 words at 5 a.m. on November 29. I had written 9,000 words that night, and had been going at it for 6 hours at that point. That was actually crazy and I think as soon as I checked the word count I threw my computer on the floor and fell right asleep (a big celebration, I know).
     I really thought that by the end of this I would be so over this book and so annoyed with writing it, but I'm really not, which, shocking. I really think I'm going to continue this and expand and maybe one day, finish it. I've never written this much on one work, let alone in such a small time-span, and I'm so proud of it.
     This Box of Matches is my baby at this point. I love Greer and Henley and all of my ridiculous side-characters.
     I've never really been one to share my work with people, only posting a few poems here and there on Tumblr, but this class has really helped me get out of that box. A few of my friends have demanded they read it, even as unfinished and unedited as it is, and even a few of my teachers have said they'd like to read it.
     My art teacher, Mr. Long, actually talked to me this morning about letting him read some of it, and then proposed that next semester in his class I work on writing and illustrating some type of children novel. Which, crazy (and slightly awesome).
     I feel like this has been an insanely long blog post and I'm sorry for rambling, I'm just very excited.
     (because I won!!!!)
Abbey Nichole

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