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Homecoming 3.1

by Elinor


Before long the first day of school had come, and Rosalie had gotten a rare gift from her mother — a new dress — for the occasion. “For your birthday,” Alison had explained. This was white, with a blue floral pattern, and it was one of the more grown up articles of clothing that Rosalie owned. In the past, she’d additionally always worn her hair back in a ponytail. She decided today to make a change, pulling it back with a simple matching blue headband. She looked at herself in the mirror with content. With her new look, she seemed more poised, more sure of herself. Fifteen year old Rosalie was still a child, too nervous to talk to people. Now, sixteen year old Rosalie looked like she could go places. Like she could be a part of the school paper and talk to people without overanalyzing everything they said.

Because of the dress, Alison hadn’t bought her new school supplies, but that mattered less to her. She had a good feeling about this year. It was a fresh start, and it was going to be different. She kept her notebooks safely in her bag, and in one of them was an article she had written the night before about the Korean War. She thought it was alright, she only hoped Mark liked it enough.

As she walked down the hallway, getting ready to leave, she heard her mother stirring in her room and realized she had not yet left for work. Alison was a secretary at a local paper company. She never talked about it much, and Rosalie had the impression that she didn’t have any strong feelings for or against it. Love or hate, it was steady work and a decent paycheck.

Rosalie knocked on the door.

“Mom?” she asked.

“Come in,” Alison said.

Rosalie opened to the door. She was sitting in front of her vanity, humming to herself as she brushed her hair. Still in her nightgown.

“You look very pretty,” Alison said.

“Don’t you have work?” Rosalie asked.

“No, I quit,” She said matter of factly.

“When?”

“This morning,” she responded cheerfully.

“Why?”

“I woke up this morning and thought that I didn’t want to work there anymore.”

“What about money?”

“I’ll find another job. I’m not worried about it.”

Rosalie pursed his lips. This whole encounter was much too bizzare for her to deal with. “I have to go to school,” she said before shutting the door.

At lunch Rosalie took her usual seat by herself. A couple of people who she hadn’t seen since summer had said hello to her so far in the day. She was friendly with a lot of people, but real friends with no one. So far the morning had been alright. She was most looking forward to History and English, which still would be in the afternoon. And of course, after school, when the paper would meet.

Just then, she caught eyes with Mark walking with his lunch tray across the cafteria. He saw her looking and smiled at her. “Are you waiting on anyone?” He asked.

Rosalie shook her head, and Mark gestured for take her lunch and come over. She could scarcely believe it, and she sat there dumbfounded for a moment. When she finally got her things together, he laughed. Still, Rosalie said nothing, and they continued walking to another end of the cafeteria. “How’s your first day so far?” Rosalie asked when she could speak.

“It’s been just fine,” he responded.

They sat down at the end of a table of twelfth grade boys who Rosalie knew by face but not by name. Mark introduced her, but she was mainly focused on him and forgot all of their names in a second. They waved and went back to their conversations.

“Did you know my brother well?” Rosalie asked him.

Mark shook his head. “He was a year above me, but we did have English together last year.”

Rosalie laughed. “And how was that?”

Mark looked at her for a moment, as if he didn’t know how to respond. “I enjoyed it. Read a lot of good books. And I like your brother.”

“He got married,” she said.

Mark laughed. A couple of the surrounding boys heard and they laughed too. “To Laura Martin?”

Rosalie nodded.

“What do you think of her?” He asked.

“She’s all right.”

Mark pursed his lips.

“You don’t like her?”

“Does anyone like Laura Martin?” Mark responded. The rest of the table all laughed. Rosalie blushed, not wanting to take the conversation further. Luckily, Mark changed the subject. “So, Rosalie, what do you want to do after high school?”

“I want to go to New York to become a reporter,” she responded confidently. “I’d like to go to college, too. Maybe Barnard.”

Mark smiled. “I’m hoping to get into Columbia. I’ve always wanted to move to New York.”

“I used to live there,” Rosalie said.

Mark’s eyes widened. “Really?”

“My parents are both from there. We moved after my dad died.”

“Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.”

Rosalie took a deep breath. “I was really young when it happened. But I still miss New York.”

Mark’s eyes started to wander, and Rosalie wondered if she’d been too forward in mentioning her dad. Even though she’d about him constantly since running into him at the diner, she had to remember this was only really the second time that they’d spoke. Still, the rest of their lunch went by normally, and they ended up chatting about everything and anything. It was nice. It had been far too long since she’d really talked to someone. Maybe this was what it was like, to not have a hole in your heart so deep you wondered if there was something wrong with you. It brought about a sort of warmth, and she hoped that it was here to stay. 


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Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:58 pm
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StellaThomas wrote a review...



Heya! Sorry for being a little bit late and only just catching up!

I'm excited to see school start and see the story take on a new dynamic! I was very interested by the first scene with her mother, and really intrigued as to what brought it on - of course the clinician in me is now diagnosing her mother with all sorts of things but I will try and hold off on that xD but I found it really interesting. I would think that maybe Rosalie should have been a little bit more shocked?

I think maybe that's something that you could work on in this draft, is making sure that your characters react appropriately. There were a few places here where I just couldn't quite make the leap from one paragraph to the next, it's like there was something missing to me. That was one. Then, in the conversation with Mark, there were a few others, for example:

Mark shook his head. “He was a year above me, but we did have English together last year.”

Rosalie laughed. “And how was that?”


I get that the next line is meant to be a bit awkward, but again I didn't know if Rosalie is meant to sound awkward here, I'm not 100% sure why she's laughing either. It just seemed like a weird response.

And:

“Does anyone like Laura Martin?” Mark responded. The rest of the table all laughed. Rosalie blushed, not wanting to take the conversation further. Luckily, Mark changed the subject. “So, Rosalie, what do you want to do after high school?”


This whole exchange seemed weird. My interest was piqued at the table laughing about Laura Martin, I wanted to hear more, and I don't know if Rosalie was embarrassed or what the reason for her wishing in a change in subject was, or if Mark noticed or if he just changed the subject. The subject change itself felt a little bit random, and small-talk-y. Maybe it was meant to be, but that isn't necessarily how high-schoolers talk to each other.

Basically, I think that you need to give your characters more time to react, let us into Rosalie's head a little more, flesh out the dialogue with a bit more by way of description and prose. I think that if we could see her thought processes more we would be able to follow the thread of things better and the flow would improve. But currently, it's just a little bit choppy. Which is easily fixed!

Onto the next part!

- Stella x




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Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:05 pm
BiscuitsLeGuin wrote a review...



Hey Elinor! Good to see your story again :)

Nit-picks:

In the past, she’d additionally always worn her hair back in a ponytail.

Is the "additionally" here like, this was an additional way in which she often dressed young? I'm not totally sure.

Overall:

This is sort of a nit-pick but it would have involved quoting a whole scene. I think the conversation between Rosalie and her mum was too fast. Like, I didn't really have time for it to set in before it moved away, which meant it got a bit buried. I guess you could have meant this on purpose as part of how bizarre it was, but it just felt a little rushed. It's not that they need to say anymore, but a few sentences of facial expressions, gestures, movements, even Rosalie's thoughts, just to slow down the pacing might be nice. I also think it's a bit odd when she mentions the "encounter" because I think people usually just think "that was weird" and encounter is probably not a word you would use about your own life. It just sounds a bit... technical?

The bit where Mark started talking about Laura was very interesting. The idea that she was widely disliked is intriguing, because she'd seemed largely fine, if a little boring. I guess she had been sort of pulling Sean back in terms of potential or something? But like, getting this corroboration on that slightly thinner hint that she might not be very nice is very interesting. I wonder if that'll go anywhere. Like, if there's a past there. There doesn't need to be like, an incident, or anything, but I'd appreciate if that wasn't the last mention of people not liking Laura.

I think Mark might be a little inconsistent but it depends on something. Before when they spoke he seemed uninterested. He seemed to enjoy it enough, but didn't seem particularly interested in repeating the experience (the last words he said to her included "I guess", for example), and in fact was confused as to why it was happening in the first place. So why then would he seek her out? But what it depends on is if he considers this to be at all a big deal. He could have just seen her, so the natural thing to do would be to talk to someone he vaguely knows; it's the polite thing. So this could be a continuation: talking to her but not actively seeking her, or it could be a bit inconsistent: all of a sudden he's interested.

I love the sentiment at the end <3 I so appreciate someone who is clearly not skilled at putting themselves out there managing to accomplish a first or generally small step and feeling happy with themselves for having done it, and wanting to repeat the experience. Okay maybe I'm projecting a bit of my own hopes and fears, but I think that just means I connect with this on an emotional level :P

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)




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Fri Aug 10, 2018 6:35 am
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Shikora wrote a review...



Hi @Tsunami here to review.
Well I really like you peace. It was really good. I loved reading it. Your description it really good, But I would like to point out one or two things if that is okay.

1) Rosalie opened to the door. She was sitting in front of her vanity, humming to herself as she brushed her hair. Still in her nightgown.

I think you can add a little more to this sentence. I'll show you how I think it should be.

Rosalie opened the wooden door. She was sitting in front of her vanity, humming to herself as she brushed her silky hair. Still in her white nightgown.

Its just small things i think would make it better.

2) Just then, she caught eyes with Mark walking with his lunch tray across the cafteria. He saw her looking and smiled at her. “Are you waiting on anyone?” He asked.

Okay, this needs a little more description. Like what does Mark look like. Is he wearing shorts or pants. I hope you no what I mean. This is how I would right it.

Just then, she caught eyes with Mark walking with his lunch tray across the cafteria. He was wearing long, black jeans, and a dark read long sleeved top. He saw her looking and smiled at her. “Are you waiting on anyone?” He asked.

Okay that is all I really have to point out. And along with your other chapters this one was great too. I hope I helped. Keep up the good work and never stop writing.

Your friend @Tsunami.





Patience is the strength of the weak, impatience is the weakness of the strong.
— Immanuel Kant, Philosopher