In-Progress Writing Projects to Finish 5) “Out of Place”
To read the first part of this story, please check out this link.
I’m going to come right and say it: I’m just not feeling it this year. I haven’t felt compelled to write and continue this story; the characters haven’t been infiltrating my dreams. I’m not gonna lie; it really distresses and dismays me to know that writing, the thing I usually turn to for comfort and therapeutic properties, is not doing its magic this time around. I think perhaps what’ll help me out more at this point is some journalling and poetry. But I made a commitment at the beginning of this month, and it is my duty to at least fulfill an attempt at this. So I keep plugging away, a little at a time.
Not to worry, though, dear readers. I’m okay. 🙂 It’s just been a busy and (good) stressful time for me, and the last thing I want to do is write. In fact, I’ve been wanting to get lost in a book much more than work on my novel, and I don’t stop myself. Girl’s gotta take care of herself, ya know. Anyway, here is the little bit that I added this week. Hoping next week will prove more fruitful.
(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com
“Which part of the speech do you want to do?” Elijah and I decided to partner up for the group speech due in class in a few days. In the last few months we’d started having conversations after class and eventually started getting together for coffee, much to my dismay. Our blossoming friendship made it nearly impossible to dismiss the conversation I had with Mama at the beginning of the school year where she asked whether or not he was good-looking. With each get-together, it got more and more difficult to think of him as only a classmate.
“Um, I guess I can do the first part. Finish strong, right?” I half-joked.
“Ha! You’re too kind.”
“I’m serious. I think we can both acknowledge who’s better at speaking in front of a crowd.”
“You’re not horrible. Just need to work on the whole shy thing.”
“It’s not so much that I’m shy; it’s that I’m the only one in that class, and probably the entire university, for that matter, who has a southern accent. You don’t notice it when you used to live in a place where everyone talked like you. I feel like nobody takes me seriously.”
“If you want, I could taw-uk lahk you, too. Ease the nerves a little bit, and then the target would be off you. You’ll have to give me some lessons beforehand, though.”
I stuck my tongue out in the most lady-like way possible.
“Okay, okay, I’ll lay off. So we’ve got that decided. Time to switch gears?”
“You’re kidding, right? We haven’t even come up with an outline. Don’t you want to at least have something written before moving on?”
“Normally I’d say yes, but this is being beautifully distracting.” He reached out and weaved his hand through my hair.
Dammit, Bobbie Grace. Get a hold of yourself. If it were anyone else, I’d have recoiled and slapped quicker than brushfire. But there was something about Elijah that made me linger.
“Ha!” With all the willpower I could muster, I backed up and feigned an uninterested air. “Silly art major. If my hair didn’t resemble a psychedelic trip, you wouldn’t be nearly as interested. Blonde is much less interesting than duotone. Which is why I colored it in the first place. Shall I dye it back to my original hair color so we can actually work on a speech?”
“You’re still the most beautiful woman in the world. Shave it, for all I care.”
“Oh, honey, you say that to all the girls.” I sighed, trying to sound exasperated. Really, though, I was just trying to calm myself down. “Okay, fine, paint the pretty colors. But quickly, so we can go back to the important stuff.”
“This is important,” he protested.
“Yeah? Last time I checked, this was just for fun, not an assignment.”
“Got me there,” he conceded. “Okay, fine. Less talking, more painting.”
He quickly went to work setting up an easel and putting paint on a palette.
“Turn around, please.”
“Typical guy,” I teased. “The face doesn’t matter; it’s the back that gets all the action.”
“Why Bobbie Grace, I’d never guess a southern belle like you could ever insinuate such a sinful thing,” he teased right back.
I tried to come up with a comeback so my face would stop at a blush instead of a full-blown, neck-to-forehead red. Daddy used to ask me if I rooster comb crawled up my face.
“I’m not as much as a gentle southern belle as you’d like to think.”
“Whatever. You can take the belle out of Georgia, but can’t take the Georgia out of the belle. You’re just a poser.” I snuck a glance out of the corner of my eye. He didn’t bother starting with my clothes or even the shape of my head. He went straight to painting my hair. The very tip of his tongue stuck out of the side of his mouth, teeth holding it in place. I’d never seen him concentrate on anything so intently. His brow furrowed as he dipped his paintbrush into the myriad shades of pink, red, and blue. He was taking the utmost care in getting the shades perfect. As if in a trance, he reached out and inspected my strands. When he realized what he was doing, his eyes locked on mine for a few electric moments.
Oh, I’m in trouble. So much trouble. I closed my eyes as my lips met his, feverishly trying to push the image of Mama watching us, clasping her hands together and looking Heavenward. “Thank you, Lord, for answering my prayers,” she whispered as Elijah pulled me closer. I shook my head, trying to clear it.
“What’s the matter?” He instantly looked concerned. “I’m sorry, it’s okay if I kiss you, right? Did I misread you?”
“No, not at all. And it’s definitely okay.” This time I took the initiative, and Mama’s image disappeared, dissolving into the perfect moment.
(c) Copyright VC/GS listlovelaugh.wordpress.com