I’ve made a decision. Every so often, on a Saturday or Sunday, I’m going to post an extract from something I’m working on. Sometimes, the rest will be on Fictionpress, in which case I will link directly to the story. In others, it may be that I’m working on editing it for other reasons. Either way, all feedback is welcome. If you have anything at all to say about anything I post, I’d love to hear it. I’ll also try to do a quick summary of the story to go along with the extract, too. So, Weekend Fiction #1 – Desperate Desires. Hope you enjoy.
As a note, unless stated otherwise a lot of this may be in first draft stages.
Desperate Desires – Four young girls struggle with growing up, as they try to cope with boys, girls and everything else life throws at them. Teen/Romance.
Two Years Ago
Leaning against the wall at the top of the stairs, I let out a deep breath. Christ, having crutches had proven to be more of a struggle than I would have thought. I was supposed to be using the lift but it had been broken for the last few days, leaving the stairs as my only option. On top of that, I was also supposed to have someone to help me from class to class but, having only one friend in this whole shitty school meant that often, I had to go on my own.
I turned and carried on my way, thankful, at least, that I got to leave class ten minutes early to get to the next one. Otherwise, who knew what could happen if I was caught in the mad dash between lessons?
Hobbling towards the doors, I glanced up to see two Year Eleven guys coming towards me. The taller of the two held the door, and ducking my head, I muttered a weak thanks as I passed.
“No problem,” he replied, in a cheery voice that made me blush.
I hated how easily my skin flushed red.
Then again, I hated almost everything about me. All part of being a teenager.
Turning the corner I found myself in the History corridor and there, just ahead of me, was a sight I really did not want to see.
Clara Richards and her gaggle of girls half-turned as I appeared, eyes fixed on me like a hawks surveying their prey. You’d think fifteen would be too young to be an evil bitch, but Clara proved that wrong. A grin stretched across her face as she moved towards me, head held high with the girls following.
Swear words danced around my head as I found myself frozen, with no idea what I could do to get out of this situation.
Bugger, shit and fuck.
“Like the last present I gave you?” she hissed, before kicking one of the crutches away. I fell to my right, leaning against the wall as I fixed my eyes on her, trying not to show any weakness. I forced the tears back, forced my breath to remain regular. “How about an arm this time?” she drawled, face now inches from mine as she reached for my wrist.
“Leave her alone.”
I recognised the voice of Dawn Fox, another girl in my year. Clara flinched, though it was so small I was sure I’d been the only one to see it. She turned her head, eyes narrowed as she stared at Dawn. The girl stood next to Gwen Tate, both of them with their arms crossed and eyes fixed on Clara.
Around us, the bells let out an almighty buzz, and I wondered why none of them were in class. Still, I wasn’t about to question the arrival of Dawn. Clara looked scared as she stepped back from me, though the look in her face was soon by replaced by pure contempt.
“Fine. Whatever. The fatty and the dyke suit each other, anyway.”
Dawn bristled, stepping forward, and Gwen’s hand snapped out, holding her shoulder.
“I swear go God, Richards, you ever touch Jinx again, and I will make your life a living hell.”
“Whatever.” With a laugh, Clara turned to her gaggle and walked off. Pupils spilled out of the classrooms as Gwen and Dawn moved towards me, the three of us squeezed against the wall to avoid the worst of the crush.
“Are you okay?” Dawn asked, eyes full of concern. I barely knew her; she was in a couple of my classes, and usually acted as the class clown if she wasn’t keeping her head down. Gwen lived near me, and I’d sometimes walked to school with her but, apart from that, neither of them would be counted as friends. Not really.
“Yeah,” I muttered, shaking my head. “Yeah, I’m okay.”
“We’ve got Biology next, right?” Gwen piped up, eyes darting between the two of us. “You’re in our class, Jinx, aren’t you?”
Slowly, I nodded.
“Great!” Dawn said, grinning. “Come on, we’ll walk you.”
The shout comes from outside my door, stirring me from nightmares of a fat reflection and Clara bloody Richards laughing at me over my shoulder. Groggily, I turn over in my bed, blinking my eyes rapidly as the door opens and Mum steps in. Light from the hallway floods my room, causing me to groan and yank the blanket up over my face.
She turns the light on, and I force my eyes open, staring at her in her holiday clothes – a summer dress, with a flower pattern on it. She inches forward slowly, a large smile on her face.
“Jinx, honey, we’re off,” she whispers, coming to sit on my bed as I lift myself up. The blanket falls from around me, revealing a baggy Metallica t-shirt, a hand-me-down from my bedroom.
“Okay,” I mutter, ignoring how dry my mouth feels. “Okay, have a good time.” I try to muster as much cheer into my voice as I can but fail, as sleep tries to call me back.
Mum wraps her arms around me and I mimic the act, closing my eyes as I rest my head against her.
“Look after yourself,” she says. “Eat properly, yeah? And look after your brother, too. Your dad is going to leave you some money, in our room, you know the chest of drawers where…”
“Yeah,” I mutter, gently pulling away. “Yeah, I know, Mum. Go. Go, have a good time.” She laughs as I gently push her off the bed.
“We’ll phone when you get your results, yeah?”
“I love you, Jinx.” She moves towards the door, eyes fixed on me as I slump back into my bed.
“Love you, too,” I reply, smiling softly at her.
“And be good!” Her voice urges me to listen carefully to the three simple words; to heed them and obey.
“I will!” I say, before she leaves the room and shuts the door tight.
Flopping down onto my bed, I close my eyes. After a few minutes, the realisation that I’m wide awake hits me, and I grab my phone, flicking it on to check the time. Almost ten. Not too early, but not my ideal holiday wake up time of twelve, either. Still, I know for a fact that I will not get to sleep now so, leaping up and out of the bed, I make my way downstairs to the first floor of the house, heading to the bathroom.
We don’t have a mansion or anything. Just a terraced house in the middle of a busy road. But lucky for me, we had a loft conversion done the summer before and, since then, I’d been sleeping in what was, essentially, the attic.
In the bathroom, I whip off my pyjama top, dumping it in the clothes basket before daring to glance in the mirror. Unable to help myself, I pinch a bit of the fat forming around my stomach.
God damn it.
It had taken me almost two years to lose that puppy fat. Now, it looked like it was slowly starting to pile up again. I had to stick to a regime; no more thinking that it’s okay to miss this or that day, for any reason.
I had to keep the weight off.
The words that had, for three years, been drummed into my head floated up now, dancing around my mind and ringing in my ears.
“You’re ugly. You’re fat. Ugly! Fat! Ugly! Fat!”
I’d been lucky. Since Dawn and Gwen had come to my defence in Year Ten, Clara and her cronies mostly left me alone. A friendship had formed under their protection, and the circle of friends that had once consisted of just me and Faith had expanded. Safety in numbers was an important factor in keeping Clara at bay.
There had been a few harsh words from her though, but mostly they were just jibes, just attempts at trying to provoke me into a reaction. I was just thankful that Clara didn’t know about my crush on Jake Brooks, the hottest guy in school and, coincidentally, Clara’s boyfriend.
Everyone in my year knew one thing he didn’t.
Rumours and gossip tended to stick to whatever year group it affected and, as a result, those in Year Thirteen were blissfully unaware of the lives Clara had almost ruined or the fact that she had slept with almost every guy in our year over the course of our two GCSE years.
Or maybe he did know, and was just a huge dickhead himself.
I scoffed, running a hand through my hair as I jumped into the shower. Yeah, right. Jake just didn’t seem like that type of guy.
Not that I knew him. At all.
Once I was squeaky clean, my stomach rumbled, announcing its all too human need for food. Breakfast. I had two choices, and the decision was the most important one I’d make of the day.
Skip breakfast and pay for it at lunchtime, or eat breakfast and pay for it at lunchtime.