My latest work-in-progress is a young adult romance titled In Darkness She Shines. Here's a sneak peek from the first chapter!
“Hey, who’s that?” Amy captures my attention with a nudge.
I follow her line of sight to the house sitting on the corner, only a few steps from mine. With its sagging screen door and cracked, concrete steps, it doesn’t look much better than the one I call home.
A teenage boy crosses the brown grass, a bookbag slung over one shoulder. He climbs behind the wheel of a truck that’s blue and rust. Through the cracked glass window behind his head, I see brown curls and broad shoulders.
“Well?” Amy prompts me with another poke of her finger to my shoulder.
I shrug. “Don’t know. Never seen him before.”
“You’ve got to get your nose out of a book, Bailey. I mean, seriously, a hot guy moves in practically across the street from you, and you don’t even notice?”
“He probably won’t be here long. This isn’t exactly a buy and stay type of neighborhood. I still can’t believe your parents let you walk with me.”
Amy and I met in history class five years ago, just as things were starting to get especially nasty between my mom and dad. Her friendship had saved me, and now, every morning, her dad drops her off at the corner of my street so we can walk to school together.
The engine on the dilapidated truck coughs and sputters, and I can see my new neighbor patting the dashboard like he’s offering encouragement. After several fits of shaking and rattling, the truck settles into an asthmatic rhythm. Then the muffler belches a plume of smoke that has me and Amy waving the air in front of our faces.
“Geesh! Get that muffler fixed!” I yell before I think, which is usually how I end up getting in trouble when my mom’s sober.
Back-up lights illuminate, and the truck rolls out of the driveway. The driver glances over his shoulder, sees me and Amy, and stares for a second longer than necessary before shifting the truck into whatever gear it would accept. After a few weak attempts, it finally lunges down road.
“Well.” Amy stops and puts her finger underneath her nose. “He’s definitely someone we should get to know.”
I stare at her like her hair’s on fire. “What? Why? Because he’s cute?” I couldn’t see that much of him except for a strong jawline and the hair. So any assumptions I made about his looks were simply speculation.
Amy grins. “I was going to say because he has a truck, but whatever.”
“That’s not a truck; it’s an accident waiting to happen. And your dad drives a Jaguar. Why do you care about some guy you don’t know driving a beat-up old tank?”
“We do get rain here, remember? Who knows? He might be willing to give us a ride to school.”
“Again, your dad drives a Jag. Wouldn’t you rather show up at school in that?”
Her perfect eyebrows crease. “Ride to school with my dad? What have you been smoking?”
We dissolve into giggles and continue our trek to school, arriving five minutes after the bell rings which still keeps us out of the mandatory parent-notification zone. Not that my mom would answer the phone anyway.
My thoughts, experiences, challenges, and goals. Right here. At least once a week or so. Oh, and opinions, too. Those will definitely come in. Join me!