(Disclaimer: This post is simply because I haven’t had time to post in forever, and I can’t allow for Silver Pens to go 16 full days without a new post. So, meh.)
I read romance. I write romance. I live romance, even if the romance I live is the long-lived unrequited kind of romance. I dream romance. I breath romance. And yet, nothing seems to work for me.
I get a hold of these two wonderful characters, allow them to carelessly fall in love, and then rip them to shreds. Because it’s fun. It’s not that I’m masochistic or anything, just if I can’t be happy, neither can my characters. Ok, so maybe I’m a little jealous when my characters have a happier love life than me. But I’ve resigned to keeping my love life simple and unrequited. It really is easier. Not that I’d really mind a change if it came along, but I’m not going to push anyone into anything.
I should clear something up now. I read romance. And yes, some of is the steamy, erotic romance that everyone thinks of when they think adult romance. And yes, some of it is young adult romance, the stuff of trivial high school relationships. And they all end happy. Blarg. Just once, I’d like to see one end badly. Just one, that’s all I ask.
So I write it that way. I write it where it doesn’t work out right in the end, like having the main character die a painful death caused by poison. I write generally young adult fiction, the stuff of high school relationships. But as I’m growing up and maturing, I’m beginning to touch into some of the steamy romance, though this is harder due to lack of real experience in this area. And I feel like there’s nothing wrong with that.
I know most people on this blog don’t think much of romance, or can’t bring themselves to write it, and I’m fully ok with that. I can’t write fantasy, or sci-fi, or anything else, really. I write romance. Even upon attempting something different, love and romance finds its way into my story, and becomes a driving force in the plot. Raven, I believe, said that romance in a story was okay, as long as it didn’t overpower the general plot. Or something along those lines. I personally really like stories that the plot is heavily driven by romance. It’s what I write, and it’s what I read. Though not the only thing I read.
Here, this is part of the first chapter of a story I’m working on. I start at the end and work backwards through a series of flashbacks, see:
“If only a different time, maybe a different place,” he said as he tried to say goodbye the night before he graduated. I could feel the tears trying to escape as he said goodbye in every way he could without saying the seven letter word.
“You know, Aaron, maybe it just panned out wrong. This is right, and maybe you’ll realize it someday.” I said, my words sounding slightly more confident than I felt. He shrugged and tried to smile through the obvious pain he was feeling. “I gotta go. Dad’s having me drive the first hitch of the vacation drive.” I stood, but refused to let go of his hand. I saw the reluctance in his eyes as he stood up behind me. I felt his fingers try to let go, but I wasn’t ready to let go – I knew I never would be ready to let go of him. “Just one last walk home?” I heard the pleading in my voice, more evident than I had hoped it would be. I smiled weakly and held on tighter. He nodded gently and fell into step next to me.
We walked back to my house slowly, solemnly almost, and quietly. We stopped outside my front door. I knew my family was waiting in the van in the garage behind the house, waiting for me. They knew I had to say my goodbyes to Aaron, but they didn’t realize the goodbye we were saying that night. I hadn’t realized it until I saw his face as he walked toward the library steps. At least, I hadn’t accepted it.
He looked at me, standing outside my house, and I just stared for a second, the thoughts in my head of what I could say to change his mind. I still hadn’t let go of his hand, and somehow I knew that if anyone saw us right then, we’d look like a scene out a movie, standing under the porch light, not wanting to say goodbye. I pulled him closer to me and wordlessly wrapped my arms around him, holding him as tightly as I could, knowing that as soon as I let go, he’d leave and never walk back into my life. So I held on. I held on as long as I could. “I love you.” I mouthed, knowing I had to say it, and knowing that I couldn’t let him hear it. It was the one thing that might have changed his mind, but it was the last thing he wanted to hear. I slowly lifted my head off of his shoulder, turning my face to look at him, trying desperately to memorize the look of pain on his face – that one look that told me he didn’t want to say goodbye. I kissed him gently on the cheek as I gave him one last tight squeeze, before I grudgingly let him go.
“Bye,” I whispered, the first actual tear starting to fall. I pulled away completely, letting my hand follow from his shoulder down his arm to his hand, squeezing it one last time, trying to remember the amazing feeling of his touch. I turned my back on him and went to reach for the door, but turned to watch him walking down the sidewalk away from me. I called to him, not caring if he could see the tears on my face in the unforgiving porch light, “Hey,” he turned to face me, his face half hidden in the shadows, “keep in touch, okay?” I asked, trying to smile.
The smile I got in return seemed lacking more so than I had ever seen it before, and the amazing light in his eyes seemed a little drained. But that might have been the darkness, but the darkness could never truly hide it. I knew it had changed. He nodded and turned to continue down the sidewalk to his house. I turned and walked into the front hall. I grabbed my purse and backpack, and headed out the front door, hitting the light switch on my way out, locking it behind me. I whispered, “Goodbye,” to myself, turning to glance back at the darkened porch.
And there was all of that. And I love that story. Seriously. It’s one of my favorites.
So it is known to the general public, I care not if I’m judged for reading and writing romance. If you’re immature enough to say it’s not real literature, I can be mature enough to ignore you.