My book: It is my wonderful escape from reality. It is a 6 year project that I am hoping to finish by next year. I know I gave you a brief view of the beginning but I wanted to tell you a little more about the main character. She is a different version of me. I can solve most of my problems through her.
Lauren, is in her late 20’s, she has big blue eyes, but not just blue they are cornflower on the outer rims and as you look closer you can see it fade it into an aquamarine and at is center is and starburst of greenish blue, they are soft and welcoming she is wide eyed with charcoal eyelashes that are long and naturally curled, her hair a deep auburn with strains of brown in between, her face heart shaped, but even through her beautiful features you could see the troubles of her life across her face. The creases in her forehead, the crow’s feet burrowing around her eyes. It seems as if the lines showed her battles of her life. Her olive skin flows beautifully with her hour glass figure…but the most amazing thing about her is her smile perhaps ‘smile’ isn’t the word for it — her pouty lips revealed a small overbite of teeth, the wrinkles and creases in her face almost disappearing as it widens. Her smile was that determination and fight in her to overcome her obstacles it was the hope she clung to when everything fell apart.
Her best friend who plays a large role
Natalie, is in her late 20’s, she has long straight jet black hair, her olive skin highlights are beautiful brown eyes. They are mocha around the ages and fade into a beautiful caramel in the center. She has long beautiful thick lashes her face is oval shaped and she is tiny and petite. The hardships of her life don’t show as much as Lauren. She spends all of her time worried about Lauren. She helps her fight the battle that hopefully she will someday win.
Here is an excerpt from the beginning:
My eyes opened, closed, opened again; the words echoed in my mind, the tattered remnants of dream flitting about my thoughts, searching for something to cling to, some corner of my heart to dig its tendrils into. I stretched, my arms and legs moving in opposite directions, but the now-familiar emptiness crushed any chance of a smile.
“Not today.” I shook my head, then swung my legs out from under the blankets. I sat there a moment, hunched over, not looking up, gathering my strength. “It’s just another Monday. I can do this.” Extending my arm, I picked up my phone from the nightstand. “Fuck. It’s only 6:00 am.”
My frustration escaped through my nose in a sigh.
“I might as well get up, not like I was going back to sleep anyway,” I muttered, planting my feet on the ground, scrolling through my phone, and turning on some music. I hit shuffle and threw it back down on the bed, heading to the bathroom.. Just as I stepped in the shower, “On Bended Knee” came on my playlist in the other room.
As the first few drops of water hit my skin, accompanied by those well-worn notes, I drifted back to Jordan: our five-month torrid love affair, the end of my sobriety, my still broken heart. I tried to fight the tears as the second verse began.
He sang this song to me with a dozen Gerber daisies and promised he would never do it again, and I believed him. Then I caught him and his ex-together. It all came back so easily, clear as if it had happened yesterday. The warm droplets formed steam as I stood there without moving, all the memories flooding my head. My skin burned from the mellow droplets morphing into sharp blades, piercing my heart. All at once, the pain became unbearably real and I quickly turned the shower off.
I stepped out, grabbing my robe and turning to face the mirror. “Lauren, you can do this. It hurts like hell right now, but you can do this.” My will held for several seconds, but the memories proved to be too much, and I crumbled, digging behind a drawer in the bathroom and dispensing a small baggy of pills.
I pulled out three into my hand, “just to calm my nerves” I told myself, tossing them in my mouth. The bitter taste coated my tongue as I swallowed, making me shake my head and run it between my lips.
I wrapped my hair in a towel, composed myself in the mirror, took a deep breath, and headed to the kitchen. Flicking the lights on, I shuffled my feet toward the fridge, sticking my tongue out at the cups and plates left piled in the sink.
Nat must have had a good time last night. Then I let myself smile. Good for her.
I reached for the refrigerator door and pause for a moment when I saw the NA schedule posted. Natalie had circled the next meeting, where I was supposed to get my one year chip. Shame flushed my cheeks and made me look away from the calendar.
It would break her heart if she knew I had started using again.
My mind turned away from that shame, turning it into anger. It’s not as bad as last time, and it’s no one’s fucking business. I can take care of myself. I snatched a RedBull out of the refrigerator door and situated myself on the uncomfortable wooden chair at our dining room table; as I brought the can to my lips, I heard a door open from down the hall, then watched as a tall, naked, athletic man came strolling in the kitchen. He leaned down and began rummaging through the refrigerator.
How many pills did I take?
“Excuse me.” I took another sip, trying to hide my grin. “Who are you? Why are you in my kitchen, and where are your clothes?”
“Umm…I….” He stuttered, trying his best to cover himself while holding on to the two waters in his hands, moving them one after the other, searching for the position that would keep all of his unmentionables hidden.
He didn’t find it.
Shaking my head, I decided to dig in a little further. “Do you know how to talk?”
He managed to meet my eyes, though I could see the red blush in his cheeks. “I’m Benjamin, but my friends call me Ben. I’m here…visiting…Natalie.”
“I thought as much.” Another sip, and I raised my eyebrows. “Do you often visit people naked?”
A sleepy voice came around the corner. “Did you find…” Natalie followed after her words, her eyes widening; an oversized Nirvana t-shirt covered her petite frame. Her long black hair draped down her back, the part around her face forming a sleep-halo.
“Morning, Nat.” I began to laugh as I took the last sip to finish off my RedBull.
“Morning. Lauren, have you met…” She paused for a minute, her eyes wide, dancing between me and her lover.
I decided to have mercy.
“Yes, I met Ben. Not bad, Nat; I’d give him…” My gaze moved to the still-naked man frozen in our kitchen. “A seven-and-a-half, maybe an eight if I’m feeling generous.” My smile dropped away as I leaned forward. “I hope you’re good enough for her, Ben. I have high…” And I glanced at Natalie again. “…some might say unrealistic, expectations for the men that she dates. Don’t disappoint me.”
Ben’s mouth did an impressive imitation of a goldfish, as he fumbled for something to say. Natalie, however, rolled her eyes and put a hand on her hip.
“Okay, badass. Stop harassing him.” She strode over to Ben, draping herself over him and planting a soft kiss on his lips. “She’s just kidding. Probably.” Throwing a glance over her shoulder at me and grinning, she continued. “Lauren just tends to be a tad over-protective.”
“It’s a mutual feeling between us, I think.” I returned her grin. “All right, you two. I’m going to get ready for work. It was nice to meet you.” I nodded my head before slowly making my way out. As I crossed the doorway, I turned again and saw them in the midst of a passionate kiss, and a twinge of agony overtook me.
I missed it.
I missed the way Jordan held me, the way he said my name, the way he kissed me. The loneliness came crushing in again, pressing down so hard I could barely breathe Turning back around, I headed to my bedroom, my heart shattering a little with each step. I laid on my bed, unable to catch my breath, a stabbing sensation surging through my chest as the rest of my body started to shake uncontrollably.
I forced my eyes close when I heard, “Shit, Lauren are you okay?”
It was Natalie. I couldn’t answer her; it felt as if my tongue had been ripped out.
“Shh…just breathe, slow deep breaths…” She laid my head in her lap, stroking my forehead.
“Is she okay? Do I need to call someone?” Ben asked in the doorway.
“No, she’ll be fine. Just hand me that bag on the nightstand and head back to my room. I’ll be there in a few.” Ben tossed the bag to Natalie, who dispensed two small blue pills and placed them in my mouth. The taste made me gag, and I tried to spit them out, but she shoved her hand over my lips to keep them in. “We aren’t doing this, Lauren. You need to take your medicine, so don’t make this harder than it needs to be.”
I moved my tongue quickly against her hand, but other than making her crack a smile, it had no effect. “Lick my hand all you want, I’m not moving it until you swallow your pills.” My jaw began to ache and my tongue tire, so I finally gave in. The pills felt like daggers scraping down my throat…but that faded quickly as a sudden jolt of euphoria washed over me.
“My other pills are kicking in,” I mumbled.
I heard a sharp hiss of breath. “Other pills…What pills…What did you take?” Natalie moved her face closer to mine.
“I meant these pills; these pills will kick in soon.” I lied, but I could tell she wasn’t falling for it. Shame filled my face, and I couldn’t bear to look her in the eyes. “Fine. I took extra anxiety pills this morning. I woke up in a panic, and…”
I glanced up at her; she still wasn’t buying it, but she gave me a smile. “That’s all you took, you promise?”
“I promise.” The lie sat heavy in my heart. “That’s all.” I tried to sit up, but dizziness flooded my brain.
Natalie put a hand on my knee, turning her head at an angle to me. “I saw the look in your eye after Ben kissed me. I know things have been rough since Bryan.”
“Bryan?” I’ve been so wrapped up in Jordan I didn’t even think about Bryan. “That asshole ran out on me…what? Two years ago? Why would I think of him?”
I massaged my temples trying to stave off the imminent headache.
Natalie clicked her tongue. “What are you thinking? Your meeting is on Wednesday, you get your one-year chip. You’re winning, Lauren. Please don’t ruin it for yourself.” She took a deep breath, then turned her eyes back to me, trying on a smile. “Just…just talk to me, okay? Whatever is going on, we can fix it. Just don’t shut down on me.” Reaching out, Nat took hold of both my hands; I had to resist the urge to pull my fingers away from hers. “You’ve come too far to give up now. I’m proud of you, Lauren, because you’ve fought your way out of everything that’s happened.” Then she pulled me in, embracing me fully. “I know it’s been tough, but that last visit to rehab and taking your meds has made a difference.”
As she wrapped her arms around me, a cloud of guilt and shame floated around me. If only she knew the truth. “Thanks, Nat. Really. You need to go so I can get ready for work.” She looked genuinely hurt, but got up off the bed and took a step toward the door. Almost despite myself, I whispered, “Remember I love you, okay?”
She jerked back quickly. “Alright, now I’m not leaving.” She came back over and sat down again, her eyes wide with concern, her voice uncertain. “You need to tell me what is going on with you. You were extremely happy for a while, and I know you met someone. Even though you denied it, I could tell…and I’m assuming by this recent decline that it didn’t end well.” Nat’s fingers came up and brushed my cheek. “Is that right?”
“Just a nobody. It was stupid. Doesn’t matter now.” I ran my fingers through my hair. “So, Ben…” I ask trying to change the subject.
“Oh, no. Ben.” Natalie exhaled through her nose, glancing back toward the door. “I told him I would be right back.” Her eyes danced back and forth, assessing, considering. “Just lie down; you need to rest.” Her face firmed as she seemed to decide something. “I’ll call Gail and tell her that you will be coming in a little later. We can ride together, okay? And finish this conversation,” she added, scurrying out of the room.
“Do I have a choice?”