This novel is limited to 100 free copies due to its part in Inkitt’s Novel Contest.
The last thing Summer told me was that she was sorry. An apology for something that hadn’t happened yet, a line plucked, no doubt, from one of the stacks of tacky romance novels that littered her room.
She knew how much I hated cliché’s, how I over analyzed everything- so I guess it should have come as a warning. Like a hazy glow streaming from the Old Point Cavalier Lighthouse, I should have seen the rocks ahead.
But I didn’t.
Head first, into the darkness.
A messy shipwreck, jagged rocks and broken sails- her death sunk the unsinkable and drowned me along with it.
It was an autumn morning, crisp and cool when she whispered the last thing I’d ever hear her sweet voice sing. She had this way of saying everything melodically, like a bird whose soft voice hung in the air like the key on a piano being held down too long.
I remember her long fingers brushing against my shoulder as I tugged on my beanie before school. Miles was meeting me early to finish up our film project, we needed the early morning light for our last scene. The sunrise wasn’t something I was particularly accustomed to seeing, the night was my natural habitat and dawn was carefully reserved for sleeping through.
I blame sleep deprivation for not having noticed the otherwise all too blatant fore shadow.
“Alexa,” she whispered, stopping me before I could trek out the door.
“Hm?” I mumbled, sleepily.
She smiled, rubbing my arm like she did whenever I needed some form of reassurance.
“Je suis désolé.”
It wasn’t too unusual for Summer to say things out of the ordinary. She was a novice writer, and sometimes her hand written scripts transported into real-life, although they didn’t always slot in naturally. She carefully constructed sentences, soppy, pretentious lines that sometimes had no relevance to anything in particular. They were meticulously forced into conversations so often that I had begun to overlook needlessly melodramatic one-liners from my beloved sister.
In this particular instance I was too tired and too short on time to pander to what I had regarded as another example of Summer Evans’ well practiced theatrics. If I had been paying attention I would have remembered she had been taking French lessons, a language I had admittedly never picked up naturally, however I had seen La Haine and Amelie enough times to grasp the basics. Had I been paying attention I would have known exactly what that sentence had meant. But it was hard to pay attention to something you didn’t know was important at the time.
So I carelessly rubbed my hand against her cheek, her lightly freckled face significantly darker than my own. “See ya later,” I murmured.
The obvious cliché to attach to the end of that sentence would be to say that I never did see her again. That’s what Summer would have written anyway, in her sensibly linked hand-writing, in the back of her journal where she wrote all of her wild, teenage feelings.
But, I mean, I did see her again.
Not in the way I would have liked, or even in a way that particularly counts- but I did see her. That’s not something I want to explain though, the way my back stiffened when she didn’t answer the knock at her door, how I knew something was wrong even before I opened it. How my body flushed cold, that’s not something I’m ready to explain.
I don’t know if I’ll ever be.
Summer was no manic depressive, nor was she some love sick teenager too unexperienced and shallow to suffer through some juvenile attraction, she felt things deeply, sure- but Summer Evan’s was no poster girl for suicide.
I know I’m generalizing in a hugely obnoxious and ignorant way, not all suicides are committed by people in black with shadows underneath their eyes, I of all people know that… but Summer was happy. Or at least, she was really good at pretending- it seemed cruel in a way, selfish if nothing else.
It had taken me a while to open it, pastel baby blue and well used. The journal that rarely left Summer’s side, the journal I found on the end of my bed the day she killed herself. Summer had stacks of journals, religiously scrawled in whenever a fleeting thought passed through her head, moments captured in elegant words that sometimes only she could decipher.
I used to tease her about her school girl fragility, about how she had too many feelings, about how nobody could possibly have enough emotions to fill the pages of twelve journals in a year. But they’d come and go, quicker than the seasons changed, red and pink and yellow, always hard covered and always lined with faded blue. Lines were guides but not necessarily rules. But the baby blue was her favourite, it had lingered through all the changes in diaries and never left her side, she said it was where all her important thoughts were kept. I would roll my eyes and say something sarcastic like ‘okay, Anne Frank’.
I opened that journal for the first time today.
I scanned the familiar handwriting, crafting out foreign sentences. Sentences only I had read.
The first entry was carved into the middle of the page with heavy lead that would have been pressed hard against the grainy paper.
Today I am quietly content.
A lingering happiness from nights ago will keep those thoughts at bay.
I am a mix of dulling happiness, or at least the illusion of it.
And a deep, repressed sadness.
Like a pallet of black and white
The result is a comforting numb- but I imagine that too will subside.
Happiness remains so hard to catch, it flashes by like a moment in an eternity.
Alex Reltin: This is a great story! I love how well you go into detail and emotions of Capri, and Mel. You have amazing dialogue and overall it's just a thrill to read!The only critique I could find is that some of the paragraphs should be separated. For example:-"If Nia would have just let me take the car an...
Flik: Hi! ^.^ huge fan of yours on ff.net! When I saw the note about this contest on The Way We Smile, I couldn't help but rush over here, create an account, and vote! XD Seriously love this story and would recommend it to anyone! :D best FT fanfiction out there. Amazing story, amazing concept that wa...
RodRaglin: Sounds like an interesting story, LesAnne.Here are some things you might want to consider when you revise this draft."Show don't tell." You've probably hear this before and wondered what's the difference? Well, the difference is as a writer you're telling your reader what's happening rather than ...
CurlyRed: I read this entire book in just under 4 hours I COULD NOT PUT IT DOWN! i found myself emotionally attached to the characters and making personal connections that i had never experienced before while reading a book! I was constantly wanting to read more, every chapter left me on a cliff hanger tha...
sunshinebennybear: First, I would like to address the elephant in the room. The author forgets her own character's names. She mixed up Liam for Jace, Harri for Maiya, and Freya for Clary. I love The Mortal Instruments as much as the next fangirl, but I find myself unforgiving about this. Throughout the story there ...
latashashetters: Absolutely loved this book!! Would've loved to find out what actually happened to Andreas and rhi but all in all I give this a 10. It's a real attention grabber and keeps you on the edge of your seat most of the time! I'm looking for to a sequel to this book!! I really to find out what rhi choose...
Mourn8220House: When first reading "Avarice," I thought it would be another fairytale but I was taken back the author's approach and choice of ending. There is little to be said for the story and overall plot besides the sudden twists and speculation, other than that I do not want to ruin a fantastic tale, you m...
Alex Rushmer: This was not what I expected, but I enjoyed it a lot Malfoy was always one of the characters that I liked a lot, so I like that a lot of this happens between him and Colette. I read the first couple chapters, and I enjoyed your writing style and am excited to see where you take this story. My com...
FreakyPoet: "you made me laugh, made me cry, both are hard to do. I spent most of the night reading your story, captivated. This is why you get full stars from me. Thanks for the great story!"
Sara Joy Bailey: "Full of depth and life. The plot was thrilling. The author's style flows naturally and the reader can easily slip into the pages of the story. Very well done."