Thursday, January 28, 2010
Jenna is from my recently-completed novel, Spun. She formerly appeared in OGW 10/15/09 and 11/26. In this scene, she is at a new school after being removed from her home. Jenna is a crystal meth addict, who just quit a few days earlier.
The boy’s name is Josh. Hmmm. He’s way cute. In a damaged sort of way, cute. I like damaged-cute, with stringy black hair, overly-long bangs tucked behind his ears and flopping forward as he sits down next to me. Me! As if he chose me, as if he thinks I am cute, surely damaged, but maybe cute.
I suck in air fast through my teeth when he leans over me, looking at my notebook. When he puts his splayed hand on the open page and drags my notebook toward him my whole body freezes, but then suddenly I melt, and my heart gushes open, and I know at that moment, the moment he boldly takes my notebook and starts reading, that he is the One. The one for me. Me! Someone for me.
While he flips through the pages of my writing notebook, reading here and there, grunting and oohing and aahing, I am spellbound. Please let him love me. Please let him love what he reads.
Totally crazy! I just sat down. He just sat down. We’ve never even seen each other before, and it’s by accident that I’m even here.
Except it’s not. It wasn’t the moment he took my notebook that bound me to him. This sounds weird, but I’m thinking of all the moments before now, that made “now”, you know? Like, the moment I abandoned my mother at the liquor store and went and got high -- from that moment, I was running toward Josh, because he would take control of me. From the moment I called 911 from Paige’s house and she was arrested with Kevin and called me bitch – Josh was going to fill a void. From the time I woke up in Sheltering Arms, and my roommate didn’t understand me, and no one understood me, and I was alone, and scared – Josh was going to take care of me.
Look at him! He takes charge! He cares what I have to say (or at least write)! Josh, Josh, Josh,
I write when he passes my notebook back. He smiles. His teeth are bad. Drugs. I know that about him already, and he doesn’t even know my name yet.
“My mother shoots Oxy. My father’s dead,” he says, and it’s like he’s read my mind, which I guess he has since he read my notebook. He knows just the right things to say, and maybe I should be wary, maybe I should be creeped out, or just like, “You lie,” but instead I put my hand over my heart like a total loser, only he doesn’t mind. He takes my hand and squeezes it reassuringly, and I’m all,
which he reads, and I was hoping he would, and I say, “I’m Jenna,” and he just says, “I figured,” and laughs.