Getting into the mind of a sixteen year old (again) is not easy.
It's also not a fun place to be.
I hated sixteen.
I hated it, loved it and lived it loud.
It's showing up in m new novel, a genre I decided to try called YA - young audience - but it keeps veering into a very troubled, more adult theme - just like my life at sixteen.
So....I need help.
This is my first chapter. Can you please read and tell me if I'm on the right track. Would you keep reading if you were a sixteen year old?
Let me just begin by telling you that I love you. I don’t mean I love you in a metaphysical, spiritual love kind of something. I love you because you picked up this book and started to read it. After all, look at all these books here and you picked up mine! I know it sounds dumb, just blurting out “I love you!” to a complete stranger, but really I am kind of dumb. I should be really clear about this right from the start.
Next I need to apologize to you for bringing you in on this thing. What could have been an open and shut case of romance has now been blown all out of shape by the twisted idea that things have to be perfectly awful to be any good. And who has this idea? My boyfriend, Fred.
Yeah, that’s right, his name is Fred.
“Is that your real name?” I asked him the first day I met him. Our assigned seating in computer lab was right next to each other and he had a backpack the size of Cleveland. I mean, Cleveland! And here he was sitting next to me with a thump like he didn’t even want to be here. He was sitting next to me! The prettiest, blondest girl in the whole class and he didn’t want to be here! So, as I was staring at him, he turned and looked at me through his hair that was too close to his eyes.
The thing was, it was great hair and he had great eyes – brown and green.
“Hi,” he said, sighing. “I’m Fred.” Then he stuck out his hand like I was supposed to shake it! I didn’t know if he was serious or what, so that’s why I asked him if it was his real name. Maybe to distract him from wanting to touch me –like shake my hand, I mean.
“Actually,” he said. “It is.” His eyes were so green and so sad. I wanted to pretend that either fact didn’t bother me. But the truth is, I’ve never seen eyes that color before and I have a thing for puppies with sad faces. So as the teacher droned on and on before we were even allowed to turn on our computers about things like the ban on social network sites (like it wasn’t on my phone!) and how profanity or research on drugs that weren’t yet legalized or any drugs for that matter.... (yawn!) I listened.
Maybe I should say right here and now that he smelled like soap.
Now, you might understand how the whole idea of Fred was really cool. But I’m telling you, Fred was hard to get and that’s why I love you for even wanting to hear the story about how we were put together and how we went to homecoming in the same limousine as King and Queen and how he kissed me and how we both decided that the timing was right....
And this is where I need to tell you that I’m really sad. I’m sad because he gave up on us and now as I tell my story – our story – I can tell you that I’m not a give up kind of girl.
I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid.
copyright - Janet Rodriguez 2012