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Since Infinity Chapter 6

by Daenyss


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for language.

“Ana?” I looked up from my notebook and poked my friend.

“Yes?” she did the same.

“Do you want to be my date to the Grammys?”

She laughed. “I thought you were going with Asher.”

“Nope. He’s going with his band, I go alone or with a date,” I explained. “It’s how this kind of stuff works.”

“Weird,” she shook her head. “But I’d love to go with you.”

“Sweet. Now we have to worry about clothes.”

A sparkle entered her eye. “No we don’t.”

My brow furrowed, and she flipped her sketchbook around to show me a sketch of a brown lace gown so stunning it made my jaw drop.

“You know I’m a designer,” she scolded me. “Did you really think you were going to have a clothing crisis?”

I was still speechless, admiring the sketch.

“Nice to know you like your dress,” she laughed. “Now go find your boyfriend so I can get to work on it, and also think about going brunette, like chocolate-colored.”

I hugged her quickly, the comment about my hair color not even registering. “Thank you best friendddddd.”

She laughed, and then wiggled out of my arms and ran to her workroom. I smiled after her, then went to Cullen’s room, where my boyfriend and his bandmate were playing video games.

The boys were somehow wrestling while also playing Mario Kart, and I paused in the doorway to watch them. It appeared that the reason for the wrestling was that Asher was winning, but Cullen wasn’t far behind and was trying to distract him. The sight was so foreign to me and what I knew of them that I was stunned for a moment, but it was only a few seconds before a waterfall of giggles escaped my lips.

They paused mid-roll and looked over at me, causing me to become immediately awkward. Asher bit his lip and looked away, and Cullen rolled off of him quickly.

I motioned to the door. “I’ll just….” Turning on my heel, I ran to my room, where not two seconds later I was joined by my boyfriend.

He scooped me into his chest, and I purred contentedly. “You’re warm,” I smiled.

Asher laughed softly before picking me up and carrying me over to my bed. “Thanks baby girl.”

I blushed at the pet name and curled into him as he laid himself down next to me. “I hate hiding from them though.”

He kissed my hair and held me close. “I know, but it’s only temporary. Remember, we’re telling people at the Grammys.”

Suddenly, the comment Ana had made earlier about my hair color registered with my brain, and it sent me into a slight panic.

I shook my head furiously. “Won’t work.” The words spilled out of my mouth before I could stop them.

“Why not?”

“I think Ana wants me to dye my hair brown.”

It still didn’t register with him as he looked back at me with a blank look of confusion.

“Your girlfriend, Lauren, who went missing around the same time as Cailin Eden? She had brown hair, the same shade Ana wants me to dye mine. People are going to put two and two together,” I told him, and he groaned.

“Fuck.”

“Well said.”

“It’s not like we’ve done anything that was illegal! We were waiting for you to turn 18,” he sighed.

“But you were 21 and we told everyone that I was 19 while it was well-known that Cailin was 16. They’re going to assume we did stuff.”

His fist and my pillow collided, and I took his hand and kissed it softly. “Hey, it’s gonna be okay,” I soothed him. “I either talk Ana out of wanting me to dye my hair brown, or we wait a little while.”

Asher buried his face in my hair. “I always thought you were prettier as a blonde,” he murmured. “And I don’t want to wait any longer than I have to.”

I chuckled softly at how cute he was, one thing that hadn't changed since I'd left. “Me either. We’ll figure something out.”

That night at dinner, the four of us were sitting around my small kitchen table eating something Ana had made when she again brought up my hair color.

“So, Lauren, any more thought on dyeing your hair?”

I gulped and looked at Asher for reassurance, even though in front of our friends he could offer me very little. “Ummm...I’ll pass.”

“Why? It’s just hair,” she said flippantly.

Asher looked like I felt - scared as hell. “I’d prefer to keep my hair blonde.”

Cullen’s look of confusion suddenly shifted to one of understanding, and I saw him and Asher exchange something under the table that Asher then tucked into his pocket.

“Lauren come on. It’s literally just hair, you can change it back anytime,” she pressed, and I felt like I was grabbing for reasons that didn’t exist.

“You know what, I think she looks fine blonde,” Cullen spoke softly, looking up from his plate. “She shouldn’t dye her hair if she doesn’t want to.”

Ana shot him the evil eye as I sighed in relief. “It would look better if your hair was brown.”

“I think she looks better as a blonde,” Asher muttered, before looking around to see if anyone had heard him and blushing when he realized that we all did.

I bit my lip and looked away from him, awkwardness and embarrassment flooding my face. He’d never mentioned that he preferred me with blonde hair. Was this something new?

“Can you two just fix whatever happened between you so that this stops happening, please and thanks?” Ana asked, groaning. “It’s getting old.”

I sighed and stood up, taking my plate to the kitchen and wrapping it before placing it in the fridge. “I think I’m just gonna go upstairs,” I said quietly. “‘M not hungry anymore.”

Ana sighed after me as I headed to the fridge, “Lauren, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to….”

Asher cut her off gently with a hand on her shoulder. “I’ll get her, she’ll be fine,” he assured my friend. “Just let her calm down.”

I heard my boyfriend’s chair push back, and seconds later he had joined me on the stairs and wrapped me in a hug, my head on his chest and his soothing words telling me that it was all going to be okay. However, it seemed that the two of us had changed so much that I was left wondering, for the first time in our relationship, if he was right.


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383 Reviews


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Wed Mar 28, 2018 11:11 am
Sujana wrote a review...



Heya Daen, I'm back. Going to quickly run through this, but to address your comment on the last review, I like that you're planning conflict for later chapters, but I was specifically addressing Chapter Five in the lack of satisfactory conflict resolution--which was I said you could either cut the chapter at the point of the two characters kissing, or you could find a separate conflict to keep the chapter interesting. Think of each chapter as having a purpose, and each time the reader reads it they need to know exactly why they're reading it, or at least FEEL like the author is setting something up instead of wandering aimlessly through the story.

“You know I’m a designer,” she scolded me. “Did you really think you were going to have a clothing crisis?”


...Did this come out of left field? Or did I miss this entirely? I did not remember anything about Ana being a designer. Maybe I missed something. It's probably because Ana is a little one-note, anyway, so whatever.

“Nice to know you like your dress,” she laughed. “Now go find your boyfriend so I can get to work on it, and also think about going brunette, like chocolate-colored.”


Firstly--how many days are there before the Grammy's again? Because I somehow doubt Ana can assemble a decent dress out of scratch at the last minute. However, I might be wrong. I'm not well-versed in dress assembly, because I haven't had the opportunity to wear a dress before.

Secondly--Ana, don't tell Lauren what to do, let the woman live.

Thirdly--I figured something out about your prose that I don't think I'm fond of. There isn't a lot of variety in it. It's a lot of "she said, he said, she smiled, she laughed," that sort of thing. Most of the time I prefer the minimalist style of writing, mind you, but there's a difference between being minimalist and being boring. Hemingway gets away with being minimalist because there's intention behind his minimalism; it makes his voice sound snappier, straightforward, understandable to the layman. His writing is down-to-earth, and it fits his down-to-earth characters and stories. Contrast that with Fitzgerald's most famous work, the Great Gatsby, which isn't about salt of the earth types, and thus requires a completely different style of writing.

So where does this put your writing? Well, it depends on where you want to take it. But as it stands, even if you don't want to change the diction used, you could probably use a shakeup of sentence structure. Start with a verb or an adjective rather than a subject, a setting rather than a character, an inconsequential detail rather than the big picture. Have three word sentences, five word sentences, a longer sentence, a fragment maybe. Read the story aloud, try to pick out the places where you start feeling bored hearing yourself talk, keep the flow. Regardless of what style you want to use to convey the feel of the story, style should not be an excuse for boring your readers.

Anyway, some resources if you're interested in learning more about this point:

https://noeleditorial.com/blog/variety- ... e-of-prose
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/573/01/
https://writing.stackexchange.com/quest ... y-in-prose

I hugged her quickly, the comment about my hair color not even registering. “Thank you best friendddddd.”


Okay, so I don't call my best friend 'best friend.' I don't call anybody 'best friend' really, not to them personally. I describe them as my best friend to other people, and maybe if I'm being annoying I'll call them "the bestiest besty friendy in the whole while world," but I wouldn't say "Thank you, best friend." Maybe it's an American thing? An Australian thing? A British thing? I wouldn't know, but it doesn't sound natural.

“It’s not like we’ve done anything that was illegal! We were waiting for you to turn 18,” he sighed.

“But you were 21 and we told everyone that I was 19 while it was well-known that Cailin was 16. They’re going to assume we did stuff.”

His fist and my pillow collided, and I took his hand and kissed it softly. “Hey, it’s gonna be okay,” I soothed him. “I either talk Ana out of wanting me to dye my hair brown, or we wait a little while.”


I don't know how I feel about this. I really don't. I mean, like, I'm not one to judge age differences or anything, I don't automatically assume the worst out of a five-year age difference in dating, but there's usually a good reason why 18 is generally considered the most mature age to date, and that's because the emotional maturity of a 16-year old is pretty different than that of an 18-year old. So yeah, please don't fault me for thinking the fact that they dated under questionable circumstances is suspect, even if they didn't do anything icky in the meantime.

Personally, I'm starting to think this relationship is showing shades of...toxicity. Maybe it's just me, but the unbounded devotion from Asher, the age difference, the fact that Lauren ran away, it's uh--it does not bode well. And I'd be fine with it if it was evidently screwed up, but right now it's written as being Ideal, which it. Well. It isn't, I'm sorry, I can't press this enough. It's not Ideal. The only thing that's making me say it's not Abusive is the fact that Asher is still nice? He doesn't force his will on the protagonist, is what I mean, and that's good.

Regardless of how this will build into proper 'drama' I'll reserve my thoughts, but I don't favor how it's being built. We'll see when it pays off, but regardless a good payoff probably won't erase iffy buildup, so I'll take note until the end.

“Lauren come on. It’s literally just hair, you can change it back anytime,” she pressed, and I felt like I was grabbing for reasons that didn’t exist.


Maybe put a comma between 'Lauren' and 'come.' You'll be surprised what kind of difference a comma does, especially when your readers are basically vocally reading the work in their mind.

“I think she looks better as a blonde,” Asher muttered, before looking around to see if anyone had heard him and blushing when he realized that we all did.


Lots of people blush in these chapters. Crack open a thesaurus while editing, you could probably find a synonym for blush.

(Also, side note, why does it matter if Asher thinks that Lauren looks better blonde? The emotional significance of it wasn't pressed enough, I think.)

Anyway, those were my thoughts. I'm going to move on to the next chapter now.

--Elliot.




Daenyss says...


Thanks for coming by again! I promise, the age gap will be addressed soon(think sometime in Chapters 9-10), as well as the entire relationship. It will be heavily stressed. As someone who has been in an abusive relationship myself, I would never wish anyone to think that that's ideal.

The thing about she looks better blonde, she looks better brunette, she looks better whatever - the significance of that is revealing how they really don't know each other anymore. There've been little hints dropped, just like that one. That's their significance.

The best friend thing, I do that in real life. I also blush anytime someone says breathes, so that's kind of reflected in all my characters. I'm trying to work on that. I've noticed I'm one-note with my tags. I'm working on that too.

And lastly, who's not for exposition in Chapter 7? The bit about Ana was edited out of previous chapters, and so I threw it in here. It's important later.

Thanks again for reviewing!



Sujana says...


Sorry if I sounded too harsh. I'm glad that you're planning on addressing the age gap thing, and also it's pretty interesting that you're going the subtle route when addressing the distance in their relationship. I suppose I didn't pick it up entirely because they're incredibly small cracks, especially compared to the physical and emotional nature of the relationship shown.

Now that I've been through the later chapters, I think a good idea to showcase distance in other small ways is by making them sing, but they're singing in a slightly different note than they're used to, and they have an awkward period of trying to adjust (sort of symbolic too, you could argue). And I think you might've intended the exercise scene to be a showcase of their difference in habits, which I think is pretty cool.



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Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:36 pm
AliceinBluue wrote a review...



Hello hello again! I'm back again for your sixth chapter!!!

As always, what I liked first!

I liked the fact that you're not ignoring the fact that Lauren has other relationships besides her relationship with Asher. She gets to hang out and be friends with her friends and that's a super healthy thing to do and I'm so very glad you're showing that the other relationships Lauren has are just as important to her as her romantic relationship. I also like the fact that Cullen and Asher seem to almost act like siblings with that whole Mario Cart scene. It shows a closeness that we've only ever been told about before, never shown.

Next up, my critiques!

The age gap squicks me out a little. I think it would be different if they were both consenting adults when they started their relationship, or even if they were both teens and then Asher graduated into adulthood. It would still make me feel a bit weird because a six year age gap is always going to feel a bit weird to me(that's almost a decade of difference), but the fact that they were in a relationship while Lauren was still a minor sets off all types of warning lights in my head. And like I said, this is a squick for me, and it may not be for other people, but I just can't move past it in my head. Also, if Lauren is this young, where are her parents? I was working with the idea that she was living with Cullen and Asher before she left, but if you want to stay far away from veering into anything even slightly hinting at illegality, I don't think that would be the case. And even so, she is still a minor, what happened to her parents when she disappeared? Did they know where she went? If so, how did she keep in contact with them? You mentioned that Asher was super close to putting in a missing person's report when Lauren went missing, if her parent's didn't know where she went, why weren't they at the forefront of that? I personally know that no force on earth would stop my parents from doing everything they could and then some if I went missing all of a sudden, so what happened with Lauren's parents?

Sorry, I know that that was a really big paragraph, and it might feel overwhelming, but the age thing opened up some questions. I hope I didn't come off as too mean. I can't wait to see if a few of my questions will have answers and I am interested to see where you take the story!
-Alice




Daenyss says...


You raise some very valid points, and to be honest, most of this is just a result of how I started writing the story. The age difference just happened, and, after all, it's dramatic fiction. Later in the story, this becomes a huge source of drama. Wow. I just realized how much I say "It's for the drama later on." I wish I could share with you how I set all this up, but alas, I don't know how. Thanks for reviewing though!




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