This is the prologue and first chapter of my new adult romance. If you read the first chapter I posted of my contemporary romance, you will find this post darker than that one, but I hope you’ll like it all the same. As I’ve said before, I’m not quite sure yet if I’m going to keep the genre new adult, but you’ll know when I figure that out. But for now, that’s what I’m labeling it is. Enjoy.
I sat on the couch trying to figure out what to do. What to say. How to say it. I had to summon up every ounce of strength to mumble, “Mom?”.
She turned around and barked, “What?”
I flinched at the tone in her voice, but continued on. “You remember when I used to spend the night at someone’s house and when I came home, you would ask if anything happened?”
“Yes.”, she said hesistantly, as a look of worry came over her face.
I looked down. I couldn’t look her in the eyes as I said it.
“Can you ask me that now?”, I pleaded.
It was a few seconds before she asked, “Did anything happen?”
“Yes.” I said, my heart breaking a little more.
Six Years Later
I feel empty. Hollowed out. The only emotions that course through me now are shame, anger, guilt, and sadness. Sadness seems too small a word though. There is a deep, aching pain that fills me with darkness and gnaws away at any moment that might give me a taste of happiness. But apparently my smile seems real enough. My laugh must ring authentic because no one sees through my façade. So here I stand, in the school hallway, laughing at all the right times, while inside I feel like a rotten, festering, corpse.
“You ready to go to science, Ebony?”, Ashley asks me.
“Yeah, sure.”, I say, shifting my backpack higher on my shoulder.
She talks about her latest date from the weekend the whole way there. I nod, wishing I could even think about going on a date. But that won’t happen. The thought alone fills me with anxiety and apprehension. Science class and the rest of the day passes in a blur. I put my earbuds in on the school bus so no one will try to talk to me. Alternating between Numb by Linkin Park and I’m So Sick by Flyleaf, it’s what I need to prepare for being home. I get fifteen minutes of silence before my mom and siblings come home and, as is usual for her, my mom asks, “That’s what you wore today?”
No outfit is girly enough for her, Years ago, when I let her pick my clothes, they couldn’t be too tight. Now apparently, they shouldn’t be so loose. I’m wearing a plain gray fitted t-shirt, but it’s really my black sweatpants that bother her. Or rather, it bothers her when people ask why I’m always wearing them. Half my closet if full of dresses and tight jeans she buys in the hope that one day I’ll wear them.
“Yes. This is what I wore, just like I wear sweatpants every other day.”
“No boy will ever notice you in those loose pants,”, she scolds.
“Good.” I snap. Little does she know, that’s exactly why I wear them. I never want to be noticed again.
“Don’t get smart with me.” She barks.
“I’m going to do my homework.”, I say, walking away from her and this conversation.
I go to my bedroom where a dark blue blanket hangs over my window to block out any light. Just like most days, I do my homework by the light of the tv and as soon as I’m done, I climb under my covers and go to sleep. It’s the only way to escape the pain.
I feel someone tugging me awake. My mom is telling me to come and eat. It takes way too much effort to get out of bed. At the table, I sit with my little brothers and sister, but I feel so apart from them, from everything. They talk about their friends and favorite shows, but I have nothing to add. Their normalcy only goes to prove to me, day after day, how different we are. All the while, I feel my mother’s eyes on me and this just annoys me more. When I needed her to see me, truly see me, she had no sight. So why look at me now? It’s too late.
When I get up to leave the table, my sister, Mia, comes around the table to hug me.
“Are you going to sleep again?”, she asks.
When she pulls back and looks at me, I nod. Her eyes grow sad and I hate that I make her so unhappy, especially when she is the single ray of light in my world.
“Goodnight.”, she says softly.
I kiss her forehead. “Goodnight.”
I enter my pitch black room and I go to close my door when I hear Mia ask, “Aren’t you afraid of how dark it is in there?”
I turn around and offer her a small smile. “It’s not the dark you need to be afraid of. Goodnight Mia.”
She’s too innocent to know monsters don’t wait until it’s dark to hurt you. I set Breathe Me by Sia to repeat on my laptop and climb back into bed. I just wish I’d never wake up.