This is my first time participating in a blog fest. As the title states, this is an Internal Conflict Blog Fest. Please check out other participants on The Alliterative Allomorph's sidebar:
This is an excerpt from my YA fantasy, The Disappearances. The manuscript is told from Eve's perspective except for two chapter's from Adam's point of view. This is one of Adam's chapters. To catch you up, Adam tried to kiss Eve and so his feelings for her were clear. Then a boy named Brad asked Eve out, and Adam just saw the new couple on a date.
I kicked a rock as I stormed away from Burger King. After several blocks of stomping down the road, I wondered, what am I even angry about? I didn’t care if Eve was on a date with Brad. I didn’t even know if it was a date. We were just friends, she’d made that perfectly clear.
My thoughts wandered back to the other morning. The camera was one of my better ideas and I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of it after the first Walmart disappeared. I’d decided to have it on me at all times, in case the fog appeared again. Why not get shots of these events like a journalist would do, in case we needed to prove something? I might even get a picture of whoever or whatever was responsible for what had happened. I though it’d be funny to let Eve know about the camera by taking a picture of her.
I didn’t know she’d get so mad. Boy, was Eve strong when she wanted something. The more incensed she got, the funnier it became and the laughing made me weaker, so I let Eve delete the pictures. But then I pinned her down and something happened. Eve’s cheeks were all pink. I noticed how vibrant her eyes looked against the grass. Her hair was sparkling and wild around her and her lips looked soft. Something just came over me in the moment and it seemed like Eve wanted me to kiss her too. If she didn’t, then I didn’t want to change the friendship either. But to hear those words whispered, “Don’t ruin everything.” Would a kiss ruin everything? Was it that terrible to be with me?
Then I compared myself with Brad. I was skinny and tall, better for running, which I was pretty good at and basketball, if I could manage to get a ball in a hoop more often. I wasn’t muscular like Brad. Truthfully, I couldn’t really judge how I looked. I knew that girls didn’t swoon over me, like they did over Brad and some of the other guys at school. That was fine by me because I had other things to do.
My first priority was to get through school, so I could get into college and away from my parents. I wanted to be a journalist. If only our high school wasn’t small and we had more advanced courses, like journalism, I’d be better prepared for college.
As I passed by Eve’s house, I put my head down and picked up the pace again. I still had a mile to reach the school and another half-mile to my house. It felt weird not just being able to stop inside, but I’d have to get used to it. Like it or not, everything was ruined. Eve and I were in a fight and my parents showed what fighting did to people. They’d say things they could never take back and those words would linger in the air, long after they’d been shouted in anger. Fighting just chipped away at love, until there was nothing left. Now I knew how Eve felt about me and she couldn’t take back her words either.
I reached my home quicker than I’d hoped. At least I couldn’t hear any arguing, so I decided to see what my parents were up to. I squinted, barely making out the frilly stuff all over the house – doilies, stuffed animals, and creepy porcelain dolls. It was as if my mother didn’t notice that two men lived here too.
My parents sat in the same room, but they seemed miles apart. Looking at them, it was easy to imagine I was adopted. My mother was round and plump with a kind face, until her anger pinched it tight. My father was skinny like me, but he had a full beard and mustache covering his face. My mother was hidden in her skin and my father was hidden behind his facial hair. At the moment, they were both hidden behind their reading materials. While my father read a book about the Civil War, my mother poured through a magazine with a mosaic of celebrities on the cover.
She looked up. “You’re home early Adam. Why aren’t you with Eve?”
I tried to hide my discomfort about the question. “She had other plans tonight.”
My mother seemed to pick up on it anyway. She clucked. “That’s too bad.”
Without moving his book or showing his face, my father said, “Better to learn now that women are likely to disappoint you.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” shot my mother.
I hustled out of there and escaped to my own room. Then I turned up the volume of some song to drown out the argument I knew was coming. In-between notes and lyrics, I’d hear:
“… always have to make a comment when…”
“… wasted twenty-three years of my life for…”
“If you’re so unhappy, leave!”
“This is my house – I’m not going anywhere! I paid for…”
“This is my house – I’m not going anywhere!!!!”
I sat on my bed, trying to tune them out. When I went to college they’d probably divorce. I don’t know what they were waiting for because if they were trying to give me a stable childhood, it wasn’t working. The battle for the house would probably be ugly, so maybe they were trying to spare me of that until I had another place to live.
“I need more friends,” I muttered. If I had more friends, I wouldn’t be stuck here. It was a waste to have spent all these years with Eve. If she moved on, I needed to move on too.