This is the first peak into my work-in-progress novel. One of the reasons I started this blog was to have more ways to be held accountable to finish it, or at least to finish a draft of it, so I’m sharing an excerpt here. It has undergone a massive replotting, and I think this version works better in terms of characterization and storytelling as a whole. What didn’t change, however, is the main plot: a woman discovers she’s pregnant with twins and decides to journey into single-motherhood. A twin herself, she explores sisterhood as her pregnancy progresses, reflecting on her former life with her deceased sister.
The scene below is a snippet of the first scene I rewrote after replotting and re-planning. It is also the first scene I wrote after a very long break from writing creatively. I’m not entirely happy with how it turned out, but I’d like to have an entire draft manuscript before hacking away in the editing process.
She made her way up the three-story walk-up, glad she’d postponed her grocery shopping trip until tomorrow when she’d be wearing more sensible shoes. She opened the door and Connor was there, looking at an open moving box on the coffee table and swirling keys in his hand.
“I thought you said you’d be gone by the time I came back.”
“And since when are you home before seven?”
“Since I wanted to come back and be alone with my Chinese food.”
She set her paper bag that had already started seeping through with grease on the kitchen island and leaned on the edge, kicking off her shoes. She was starving and wanted to dig in, thinking she smelled the kung pao chicken.
He looked at the moving box, she looked at him. She crossed her arms.
“I should go,” he said.
“Yes, you should.”
“Why is this so easy for you?” he asked, throwing the keys in the box and looking at her. “Why can you just get Chinese food, come home on time for once and just—”
“Go on? What, did you want me to cry for you? Not go into work, look a mess and wait for you to come get your shit?”
“Six years, Bailey. Six years we were together, and I propose to you and you say no and you’re the one who needs to be left alone?”
“Can you please just leave?” She smelled the wonton soup now, and if she didn’t eat that first and soon, she may as well throw it out.
He flopped onto the couch, pulling the box closer to him on the coffee table and putting his head in his hand. She rolled her eyes and went to the fridge. Two IPAs – she finally won’t have to buy those anymore and put up with the bloating. She took both, popping one open and setting it the furthest away from her on the dining table. She opened the other one and took a sip as she got some cutlery out.
She started eating and he started sniffling, but just as she was about to say something, he stood up and grabbed the beer. She looked straight ahead, chewing and slurping on the lukewarm soup, ignoring his eyes on her.
“I want to hate you,” he said. “But I’m just so sad.”
She shrugged her shoulders and drank the last of the broth.
He moved toward her and set the beer down. He took her face in his hands and pushed the food bag away.
Where was this yesterday?
That look hadn’t been in his eyes for months, that hungry look, when she could see the different specs of color in his hazel eyes that sometimes looked blue.
“This won’t change anything,” she said, standing up. His hands moved from her face to her hair.
“I know. It’s fine.”
But he didn’t know and it wasn’t fine. That look would be gone as soon as he was finished, along with whatever conviction he pulled together when he saw her indifference. But she meant what she said – one more time together wouldn’t change anything for her. The kung pao chicken tasted better reheated anyway.