Wow! What to say? This has been posted here for the majority of the thirty days. In some ways it feels kind of sad to leave it behind and in other ways extremely AWESOME (sung in an extremly high weird voice)! (Sorry, but I’m feeling a little tired and sick and in need of a week of beach time with Kaden….) wink, wink, nudge, nudge, except I’m too tired. Ha! Although I have done Nano for many years, this is the most complete novel I have ever done and it’s because I felt if I was posting it here, I owed you a real story. Or as real as I could get it in draft.
I’m going to let this one rest for a bit and then I think that I will definitely revisit it and groom it for self-publication. If any of you who have followed for the entire month would like to be a part of that please let me know. You can let me know what you liked, what you didn’t like, what could be improved, etc. I am firstname.lastname@example.org.
Again, if you missed the post I made about reaching over 50,000 words, I just want to thank each of you who stayed with me. Your support meant so much to me even if I didn’t get to tell you on your comments or likes. Thank you!!!! You rock!
Also, I did post earlier in the day because I was feeling mischievous and wanted to let you think this could be all going elsewhere….and maybe it did. That was nano day 30 pt I. It’s here.
One last thing. The ending in this part is rushed. I acknowledge that. There is a lot more to explore. But as I
whined said, I’m feeling a bit tired so any exploration will be in future edits.
Again, from the bottom of my heart, lots of hugs for sticking with me! No further adieu, the ending of Riot of Purple Profanity. Hugs!
There had been many things that Phoebe had once loved about David, but one of the big ones was the sound of his voice which always sounded endearing and scratchy. The moment she heard it, she smiled.
He walked to the front of the shop. He looked like the same old David with his sandy brown hair and kind eyes. While he was a couple of inches taller than Kaden, he was not as fit, with an obvious softness around the middle.
Phoebe moved around the counter and smiled. “It’s good to see you.”
He nodded. “You too. You look fantastic. Your hair.”
She grinned. It was green today, but she wasn’t sure if she liked it. She wasn’t surprised by David’s reaction. He was not exactly one for the unusual. She could imagine his reaction if he saw it in a few days when it would be green and red for the holidays.
He held out his arms. “Is this too forward?”
“No, of course not.” She hugged him. It felt familiar and wrong. It felt like an uncomfortable memory of something that had once been good and you can’t pinpoint exactly why it feels off.
She quickly took a step back and forced a smile on her face. Why did that hug make her want Kaden so very much? She clamped her teeth down on her lips.
Deirdre moved forward noticing Phoebe’s attempts to keep her composure. “Hey, David, remember me?”
“How could I forget? Chloe, how are you doing?” he asked, taking her hand and shaking it up and down a little too enthusiastically.
Deirdre grinned and then patted David’s hand, immediately extricating hers. “It’s Deirdre.”
“Deirdre? But you were sixteen.”
“Ah, yes. Did you notice that people do age even after you’ve left their world?”
David guffawed. “You’re funny.”
“Oh, yeah.” Deirdre smiled again and then darted for the storeroom with a rolled eye glance at Phoebe.
Phoebe moved back around the counter, feeling more comfortable with the space between her and David. Four months ago she would have been so happy to see him and his smiling eyes. Today it just felt like she should be happy and wasn’t.
“What brings you here?” Phoebe asked.
“I just had the craziest desire to see you,” he said.
“Crap,” Phoebe said and then realized she had said it out loud and that he looked a little hurt. “Sorry.”
This had all of the earmarks of family involvement. She closed her eyes and groaned. Serena. No one else would think that this was a good thing to do. Well, at least she was trying to do a nice thing for a change.
Deirdre, evidently hearing Phoebe’s groan, was immediately at her side, holding her arm. “Are you okay?”
“Yes, just a little . . . nevermind.”
David was frowning. “I’m obviously missing something, but now that I think about it, that was never unusual when your family was around. The only times you and I were really good was when we were away at college.”
“True that,” Phoebe said. “What were you doing before you had this crazy desire to see me?”
The skin between David’s eyes wrinkled as he thought. “I was buying an engagement ring for my girlfriend.”
Phoebe laughed. He had a girlfriend! That was so wonderful!
“Where were you buying this ring?” she asked.
“Annapolis. I think I left her somewhere there,” he said, suddenly looking at the floor as if he would find the answer there. “I left Stephanie in Annapolis Mall. Why would I do that? That’s over an hour away.”
“More like almost three hours, David,” Phoebe said.
He grew more disconcerted. “I must have lost track of time. You’re looking extraordinary, Phoebe.”
“David, focus on Stephanie.”
“You smell nice. Like lavender and rosemary. It’s so natural and herbal. It makes me think of when we used to kiss for hours on that smelly couch in your roommate’s apartment.”
Phoebe’s lips smooshed together and her head tilted sideways slightly. “I smelled like the couch?”
“No. You smelled like you. So pretty and herbal and I couldn’t get enough of kissing you. The couch was smelly. I’m glad we never had sex on that couch,” he said very firmly.
“Blurgh,” Deirdre said. “This is getting into way TMI.”
David moved toward Phoebe, a lovesick smile settling on his features. He leaned on the counter next to the register and gazed at her. “You, I’ve always loved.”
“David, your fiancé is in Annapolis Mall…maybe,” Phoebe said. “Crap, Didi, call Philo and see if she can find Serena and tell her to knock it off. Say thanks, but no thanks.”
An “ah” settled over Deirdre’s expression as she realized what was going on. She headed toward the stock room, the door closing behind her.
Phoebe leaned back against the shelving behind her and tried to figure out what to say to David. He just leaned on the counter smiling absurdly at her. Damn, even when Serena was trying to be nice, she did the wrong thing.
“David, do you remember Stephanie?” Phoebe asked, her arms crossed.
His expression didn’t change for the longest time. “Stephanie? Yes, she’s very tall. Much taller than you.”
“Who isn’t?” Phoebe said dryly.
“You know Stephanie?”
“No, David. She’s your fiancé.”
“I’ve always felt like she was a colt who hadn’t found her legs. She’s all wobbly with gangly legs and arms. You’re so small and put together. With really nice boobs. Did I ever tell you that?”
He sounded like he was drunk. What in the hell had Serena done?
“Deirdre? Did you get through?” Phoebe asked desperately.
“Yes. They’re working on it.”
This family! Phoebe thought. I need a vacation from my family.
David’s grin turned a bit quirky. “Can I touch them?”
“Who?” Phoebe asked.
“For tapioca’s sake, no! David, you are engaged or almost engaged to get married. Your fiancé is three hours away. She’s probably wondering what happened to you. Don’t you care?” Phoebe said a lot louder than she had initially planned, but decided it might actually penetrate his unhearing self.
“Don’t yell, Phoebe, baby.”
Eww! How had she forgotten that he called her “babe” and “baby.” It sincerely made her want to vomit. She longed to hear: “chere” with that soft southern cadence that made every fiber below her belly button sigh and tingle. No. That was it. Damned if she would stay here and think she was living. She wanted Kaden. She wanted him to tell her to her face that he wasn’t in love with her and that he didn’t want a life with her. “Babe!” Crap.
“Didi? I’m leaving. I need to pack and book a flight.”
Deirdre poked her head around the door, her eyes unsurprised. “You wouldn’t be going to LAX by any chance, would you?”
“Your flight leaves in four hours. You’re welcome!”
Phoebe ran to her baby sister and hugged her.
Christmas had vomited everywhere. And it felt strange considering that it was 68F when Phoebe rented a car to drive to Kaden’s home in Malibu. Google said it would take her almost an hour and a half. For every second of the drive, while she listened to her Medieval Baebes Christmas album on the car stereo, she concentrated, because driving on this highway was not like driving at home. Hello, we’re not in Kansas anymore.
For every second of the way she second guessed herself. What if he had gone somewhere else? What if he didn’t want to see her? What if he had someone else there? It was the last one that most discomfited her. However, she also felt that if that was the case, there never had been anything there.
The GPS directed her toward a road that seemed to hug the coast. She was thankful that it was still daylight. Each of the houses she passed were different, seemingly unpretentious, although she knew they must go for millions of dollars. The GPS began to yell at her when she came to one that seemed to jut out. She pulled the tiny rental car into the circular driveway and sat there. There was a garage with no windows on the door so she couldn’t easily tell if anyone was home.
This was so different from home where the homes had been in the families for ages and were unpretentious and lived on a coastline that lay close to the sea. Here the house seemed to cling to the hillside or live among rocky beaches. Different and the same. But here, the houses were so much more expensive.
What was she doing? Chasing after a rock star? She closed her eyes. It was Kaden. Kaden was a guy with beautiful blue eyes and the most perfect kissable lips. That had kissed who knows how many girls. She rested her head on the steering wheel and concentrated on deep breathing until she heard a rapping on her window. She glanced to the side and there he was, a soft smile on his face. Not huge, like he was happy to see her. Nor toothy like he was happy to see her. Just average, like he was waiting for the next shoe to fall, and could she blame him? So many shoes had fallen since they had met that they could probably open a shoe store.
She smiled. He tried to open the door but it was still locked. She rolled her eyes and unlocked it.
“Phoebe, what a surprise,” he said. His voice didn’t sound all of that welcoming.
Her stomach somersaulted. She thought vaguely about the money she had spent to get here that she really didn’t have. What had she been thinking?
“Hi… Kaden.” Whoa. Could she sound any more like a space cadet?
“I like your hair,” he said. “The green brings out your eyes.”
She smiled, for real, because that sounded real.
The instant he saw her expansive smile, his smile widened into something more real.
“I’ve listened to more of your music,” she said.
“You have?” he asked. They walked toward his front door.
“Yes. I found another song I like,” she said.
“The Pearl Jam cover,” she said.
He laughed. “Of course. ‘Just Breathe?’”
“Yes. I like it very much.”
“Of course, you do. You do know that’s not really one of our songs?” he asked, very close to her in the foyer of his home.
She smiled at him, her raspberry lips shiny. “I know. Jeez, that’s why it’s called a cover. But I loved the way you sang it. I loved the way you sang it a couple of weeks ago.”
He was so close now that she felt his breath upon her lips. “If I wrote songs like that for you, chere, would you listen to them?”
He leaned down and kissed her. It was brief, leaving her wanting more.
“Every single day,” she said.
“Then I will write them. For you, chere.”
end of Day 30, Pt II, end of NaNoWrimo 2016, end of Riot of Purple Profanity. Many thanks.