In any case, sometimes after I post snippets here my inspiration suddenly returns. So let's hope that happens again, cuz I'd really like to get back into my writing routine. I'd like to get back on track like last year, writing at least 2-3000 words per week until the first draft is done. I have a long way to go, considering I'm only at around 11k right now. Sigh.
Please enjoy this snippet and share your thoughts if you so desire. Feedback helps!! :o)
* * * * *
“Janie! Oh my god, what are you doing?”
I stand up abruptly, dazed. I’d been peering down into the well, trying to glimpse Connor’s note in its depths. No matter how hard I squint and stare, I cannot see it; it has completely disappeared into the darkness.
Rina grabs me and yanks me away from the well. She engulfs me in her arms, which feels strange. Rina isn’t the touchy-feely type, and I am about six inches taller than her. My chin rests on the top of her head, her silky black hair smelling of strawberries.
“You officially are scaring the crap out of me,” she says, choking a little.
“What? Why?” I hear the words come out of my mouth, but it doesn’t feel like I’m the one saying them. I sound distant, my voice not attached to me.
She pulls back and stares into my eyes. “Janie, it seriously looked like you were about to throw yourself into the well. You know. Like Gabby did?”
I blink rapidly. That thought hadn’t even crossed my mind. I glimpse back at the well and wriggle out of her arms. “I wasn’t going to do that,” I tell her.
Rina’s almond-shaped eyes narrow a little. “What are you doing out here, anyway?”
I hesitate, feeling foolish. Rina didn’t really believe the legends about Gabby’s ghost, either, and would undoubtedly make fun of me for throwing Connor’s note into the well. “I just had to get out of the house.”
She cocks her head at me. “And you came here. Of all places.”
I look at the ground, slipping my foot into and out of my flip flop. “Why not?”
“Because I know what this place means to you and Connor.”
I don’t answer.
Rina reaches over and takes my hand. “Janie, you’ve gotta be strong for him right now. What happened was-“
“What happened was my fault,” I interrupt, wrenching away. I stride back over to the well and plop down on the edge of it, not caring if my shorts are being stained by the mushy green moss coating the rim.
“I was going to say an accident. Like I’ve told you a hundred times, you didn’t make him get in that car that night.”
I snort. “Yes, I did.”
“Oh, right. You physically shoved him in and locked the door from the outside, right? Is that what happened? My mistake.”
“You know what I mean, Ree.” I run my hand along the edge of my shorts. “I-I didn’t believe him. And it devastated him.”
Rina walks over and sits down next to me. “You have to stop blaming yourself at some point.”
“I can’t. Not until he’s okay.”
Rina lets out a breath. She won’t look at me, because she knows as well as I do that he might not ever be okay again. “Have you seen him again?’
“Yesterday. Only for a minute. It was…terrible.”
She nods. “I went today. No change, by the way.”
I close my eyes. The sun is shining right into my face and I’m beginning to get a headache from the glare.
“They say we should talk to him. That if he hears familiar voices it might help pull him back to us.”
“I can’t,” I whisper, picturing my strong, handsome Connor weak and pale, hooked up to all those machines.
“He needs you, Janie.”
“I’m the last thing he needs.”
“He loves you,” Rina says simply.
I shake my head, my hair falling around my face like a curtain.
Rina sighs. “I hope you change your mind. Because I, for one, truly think that if he hears your voice, knows that you’re back and that you believe him, that’ll be the key he needs to wake up. Call me crazy.” She stands, wiping off the back of her shorts and grimacing when she feels the dampness the moss left. “You guys have something special, you know? It’s not a normal kind of love.” With that, she heads back into the woods and leaves me to my thoughts.
Not a normal kind of love. For so long, I’d believed that about us. What we’d had together wasn’t just silly teenage lust. Connor and I had almost a sort of telepathy between us. I could feel what he was thinking most of the time, and vice versa. We could speak to each other with just a glance. When we were apart I could still feel his presence somewhere, like a magnet pulling me in his direction. He was the air I breathed, and without him, I am slowly drowning.
I gaze back down into the blackness of the well to find it is no longer completely darkened. A mist is swirling up, reminding me of a fog rolling in over the hills. I blink, certain I am seeing things, but it keeps rising and rising until I stumble backwards, watching it churn into the air.
And then, suddenly, the mist is sucked back down, like the well itself opened up its mouth and took a deep breath in, inhaling it completely.
I shake my head, squeezing my eyes shut. Clearly, I’m hallucinating. I try to think when the last time I ate something was and I find I can’t remember. Yesterday? Two days ago? Time is passing by so quickly that all my days blur together into one big mass of colors, looking like a photo taken from a moving car. I open my eyes and decide to go home. There is nothing else I can do here, and my stomach feels queasy now. Whether that’s because it’s empty or I because I feel ridiculous for throwing Connor’s note into the well, losing it forever, I cannot say.
I am about to cross into the woods when I hear it. It could be the breeze, which has picked up again, or it may just be my imagination. But I swear I hear a voice calling to me from across the Patterson fields.