I am happy to offer you another excerpt from my debut novel, The Wind Could Blow a Bug. Chapter 19 takes place after Jane and Wade have broken up, and she is exiled off to college. Jane is depressed because she no longer has Wade, but she also has no other friends in her life either. Her existence is empty.
And, to make your bookshelf feel less empty…
I WILL BE GIVING AWAY TWO COPIES OF THE WIND COULD BLOW A BUG!
The Wind Could Blow a Bug, Jennifer Friess
I will give away ONE COPY to someone who comments on this very blog post here at ImNotStalkingYou.com. Click on “Leave a Comment” below. When it asks for your email, be sure to use one I can reach you at if you are the lucky winner. (Note: Your email will not be displayed to anyone but me.)
I will also give away ONE COPY to someone who comments on the post containing the link to this blog post on my Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/imnotstalkingyou2. (Note: Only comments on the Facebook post with the link to “Excerpt: The Wind Could Blow a Bug – Chapter 19” are eligible to win.)
One entry per person per site per day. Contest ends at midnight EDT on 3/18/15. Winners will be selected and notified on 3/19/15. The two winners will be asked to provide their mailing addresses to me so that I can ship them paperback copies of my book. Your address will be used for no other purpose.
If you WOULD like to stay in touch with me and my writing antics, please feel free to sign up for my author updates at THIS LINK (signing up at this link DOES NOT enter you into the contest).
Thank you so much for support!
If you missed the other excerpts, you can find them here:
Chapter 1: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/04/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-1/
Chapter 2: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2014/12/30/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-2/
Chapter 11: https://imnotstalkingyou.com/2015/02/02/excerpt-the-wind-could-blow-a-bug-chapter-11/
Jane had thought (hoped, prayed) that when Wade heard about the Rileys’ divorce, as he surely would, that he would come and get back together with her. If nothing else, that he would at least call to check on her, see if she was alright. Because she was not.
But that was not his problem anymore.
That call never came.
Part of what made being with Wade so great, was the fact that Jane felt whole. It wasn’t just that she was happy for a change, but that he was the other part of her whole and he made her feel complete. A day just somehow doesn’t seem complete until you’ve been close enough to a guy to smell his masculine scent. Maybe that is why days and nights without him blended together as only big chunks of living; no more, no less.
Jane continued to work at the Diner, making eye contact with customers as little as possible. Wade no longer came in. She put in her two weeks notice before she left for school. Donna was very choked up when Jane’s last day came. Donna was the only one Jane would miss in Oakley. Well, and of course Wade. But Jane tried not to think about him. She tried not to think about much of anything.
Jane began to pack up all her things. Anything she wanted to keep would have to go with her to college to fit in her tiny dorm room. Stuffed animals, old school work, and treasured toys all had to be boxed. The house had to be completely empty and neither of her parents had offered to keep any boxes for her at their new residences.
Jane ran across the address she had found on the Internet for her birth mother. She ripped it into a million little pieces and threw it out her bedroom window, to watch the pieces flutter in the wind. One thing she was positive of: she could not bear to have one more person in this life abandon or reject her. Especially the one who had started the vicious cycle in the first place.
When the day came, Mr. Riley drove her the four hours and forty-five minutes up to Clark College in Burkeville. He helped her carry her boxes into her room. He gave her a kiss and a hug, and then he was gone. Jane sat in the center of the room, surrounded by the still-sealed cardboard boxes containing her entire life, starving, and cried. She didn’t know where the dining hall was or where to get her food card. She could hear other students in the hallway and knew the logical thing to do would be to ask one of them. But she just could not face anyone right now. Due to a paperwork fluke, she had a room all to herself. Although, it would probably only feed her desire for solitude.
Jane had never felt so alone in her life.
Jane felt lost at college. Once Clark College had provided her class schedule to her and they had her money, it seemed like they had no more support for her. Where was the cheery recruiter who had assured her there would be advisers, career counselors, dorm monitors, and all sorts of other imaginary-sounding positions to support her with her academic endeavors? Jane had no idea what she wanted to major in. God, she wasn’t going to join a sorority, that was for sure. She supposed she could join the college newspaper, but even that seemed pointless to her now.
Jane was on her own, to get herself up and get to her classes on time, to get her homework done. Despite her growing depression, these things were second nature to her. Her responsible behavior made her seem like she had it together more than her fellow classmates. They were not used to self-discipline or the freedom to party. They often showed up in their pajamas, late for class, sometimes with incomplete homework.
If Jane’s suffering showed more outwardly, maybe someone would have reached out to offer her help. But her suffering was mostly silent and invisible to anyone who didn’t already know what her regular personality should be. She wasn’t walking past people in the halls missing an arm, leaving a river of blood behind her. To anyone she passed, it would just look like she was having a bad day. As such, if no one person took interest in her, then no one would realize that one day strung together into two days, which then became a week, a month. Depression was invisible. It made Jane invisible as well.
Jane just went a full hour without thinking about Wade. That must be a new record. Just yesterday, she made it a full 30 minutes without seeing his face in her mind. This morning, she got through 45 minutes (almost all of The Price is Right) without hearing his voice in her ears—oh, that sexy, fun voice.
No, I won’t do that to myself, Jane thought. Even though it seemed harmless enough, letting her mind wander back to the days with him, it really only made things worse. There may be a day, sometime in the uncharted future, when she could look back on those memories without it being a problem. But for now, it hurt much less if Jane shut out all the thoughts of him, good and bad. If she didn’t think about him, maybe she could forget that he exists altogether. That would make the pain hurt much less. If only Wade still loved her, then she wouldn’t hurt at all.
You would think it would be easier to not think about him, being away from the places where it all happened. But somehow, the fact that she couldn’t go back to those places made it all seem like it was a movie or someone else’s dream. It was the same way with his face. She was afraid she would forget what he looked like. She had no picture to remind her. This made her mind seem to hold on to those memories even more fiercely.
Jane glanced at the clock and realized it was time to go to her on-campus job in the dining hall. The arrangement helped pay part of her tuition. It wasn’t like working at the Diner. There she had been out in the dining room, if you could call it that, with the customers. Here, she was mostly in the kitchen. First, filling pans with food, then scraping and cleaning them. There were other students who worked in the kitchen as well. They were polite to Jane. But usually she was not part of their conversations.
“Hey, Jane, there is a party tonight,” Sally said.
“General admission, $2,” Jake added.
“Everyone welcome,” said Andre.
“Eh, I don’t think they mean me,” Jane replied back, making a face as if she smelled something bad.
“Are you going to the party tonight?” Dan asked, as he walked into the kitchen. He had either not heard the conversation or caught only the tail end of it.
“Ya, Sally and I are,” Jake answered him.
“Are you going to the party tonight, Jane?” Dan inquired.
“I’m not going. I think I’ll stay in my room and catch up on some things.” Jane knew while the posters around the campus said “Everyone Welcome” in thick, black copier ink, they did not mean her.
My first book, The Wind Could Blow a Bug is NOW AVAILABLE!
PURCHASE as a Paperback or eBook on Amazon.com TODAY.