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Chapter 8.1: The Gilmore Guy and Mariano Girl

by DottieSnark


Guilt had been eating Jess away for days. He stole from Lorelai’s emergency fund. He used the money to buy test answers. He was a worthless piece of shit who couldn’t live up to expectations and was a drain on society. He was in too deep now, though. Friday morning he showed up to class and and carefully filled int he memorized test answers for the multiple choice portion of the test. He felt so guilty, though, that he purposefully got more than a handful wrong. He quickly got to the essay portion. There was no specfic answers for that portion, but Jess had known exactly what Medina was going to ask, and he had carefully prepared his essay answers last night. Still, as he wrote today his sentences felt sloppy and meander-y.

By lunch time the guilt had taken such a toll on Jess that he threw up on the boy’s bathroom instead of eating lunch. He was sent home early, picked up by Lorelai.

When Jess got in the Jeep she rubbed his back and Jess didn’t even swat her hand away.

“You too sick to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s tonight?”

“You sound hopeful,” Jess said. “Who hopes that their kid can get sick so they can get out of an event?” He was still taking his anger out on her. It help alleviate the crushing guilt, but it wasn’t fair and eventually, after he calmed down, it only made him feel guiltier.

“Because you love going over their house so much, right?” Lorelai started the Jeep. The ride back to Stars Hollow was silent. When they reached their home Lorelai checked Jess’s temperature with her hand. “Get some rest, okay? I’ll be back before dinner and we’ll decide then.” She left him alone and went back to work.

Jess changed into some sweats and got into bed, but his mind was working too fast to sleep. Lorelai was going to find out what he did and she was going to hate him. His grandparents would hate him too. Eventually he drifted off into some kind of nightmare. When he woke he couldn’t remember what it was about, but judging by his soaking wet pillow it was bad enough to make him seat bullets.

He couldn’t stay here all day and just panic about what was going to happen. He needed to get out.

Jess jumped out of bed and put on some clean clothes. School was out by now, so Jess decided to go by Dave’s. As Jess walked to Dave’s house he lit up a cigarette, letting the nicotine calm him down. He felt like he hadn’t seen Dave in forever. Not since that fight on the street. The day he told Dave he was leaving school. Jess had been an awful friend to Dave. He made his way onto Plum Street and knocked.

Mrs. Rygalski answered. “Jess,” she said with a pleasant smile. Most likely it was forced. The smell of cigarettes was reeking off of him and there was no way she approved. She didn’t approve of much of the things he did. She wasn’t exactly a big fan of their friendship. “What a nice n surprise. You haven’t been around much lately.”

“Dave around?” Jess asked. He shoved his hands in his pockets.

“Dave!” Mrs. Rygalski called.

There was a pitter-patter on the stairs and then Dave appeared in the door frame. “Oh?” Dave said with raised eyebrows. Jess shoved his hand in his pockets.

“You wanna hang?” He felt like a little kid.

Dave turned to his mother. They seemed to have some sort of silent communication. “Be back for dinner,” she said. “Jess, would you like to join us?”

Jess shook his head.

Dave stepped out on the porch and closed the door behind him. “Where have you been lately?”

“Busy.”

“Busy? That’s all I get?” Dave asked. “You ditch me for two weeks and all I get is busy.”

Jess shrugged.

Dave turned to the door. “I’m going back in.”

“Come on, man.”

Dave turned back around. He waited. “Well?”

Jess shrugged again.

“Come on. You have to explain yourself better than that. We’ve been friends since for years. And as soon as you go to a new school you ditch me. For weeks. You leave me in this town, alone. And because of your loner behavior and inability to keep any other friends I’m now left all alone. It’s not fair. I’m not going to sit around and wait like some sad puppy and hope you want to be my friend again.”

While it was clear he was disgusted with Jess Dave never once raised his voice. That was just the kind of guy Dave was. Always nice. Always pleasant. Always agreeable. Basically the opposite of Jess.

“Things have been hard,” Jess said.

“That’s life. It’s hard for everyone. But we don’t mope around and blame it on everyone else. We act like human beings.”

There was a long silence as Dave ended his rant. “I’m going back inside. If you still want to be my friend you can try again tomorrow.” He opened the door and closed it behind him.

Jess was left on the porch, alone with his thoughts. His terrible thoughts that devoured his mind. He took his hands out of his pockets as he walked off the porch and away from the house. Jess breathed in and out. His hands were twitching. He needed another cigarette. He just had one but he was already craving another. His addiction was getting worse. He could tell. He opened his pack up and took one up, bringing it to his lip. There were only a couple left now. He took a lighter out of his pocket and lit it. He breathed in. As the nicotine filled his lungs he could finally relax. If only just a little.


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Tue Sep 10, 2019 10:04 am
Dreamy wrote a review...



The things that I had difficulty understanding are already addressed by mellifera in their review so I won't repeat them. There's this one thing I'd like to suggest though:

Jess jumped out of bed and put on some clean clothes. School was out by now, so Jess decided to go by Dave’s. As Jess walked to Dave’s house he lit up a cigarette, letting the nicotine calm him down. He felt like he hadn’t seen Dave in forever. Not since that fight on the street. The day he told Dave he was leaving school. Jess had been an awful friend to Dave. He made his way onto Plum Street and knocked.


The above mentioned paragraph needs rearrangement, I think it would read better if the thoughts flowed continuously instead of chunks-like, here and there. So after Jess deciding to go to Dave's house, how about you continue to tell us what had happened between them on Jess's last day at the school.

While it was clear he was disgusted with Jess Dave never once raised his voice.


I think it'd read better if you added a comma here.

I really hoped Jess would do better but now that it's done, I don't know how to feel. I feel sad yet so angry at him. Arrgh!

The other thing I had a problem with was Dave's dialogues. It sounded like an info dump. How about you use part of his dialogue in your narration and have him just say, "If you want to be my friend, try tomorrow." ? Like have them converse with just looks and gestures. Like, moving away and deafening silence or something? They are just suggestions, you decide what you want.

I never thought it was a huge deal till now: Jess does smoke a lot. Hm.

Keep up the good work.

Cheers!




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Sat Sep 07, 2019 10:47 pm
mellifera wrote a review...



Hey DottieSnark! I'm going stop by for a review today! :)

I haven't read any of the previous chapters, so if I mention anything I would have known had I done so, please feels free to ignore me.


Friday morning he showed up to class and and carefully filled int he memorized test answers


I think you meant only one "and", and then also "in the".

He felt so guilty,


This line is actually telling, when you'll want to be showing! I don't know how much experience you have with the whole "telling vs. showing" business or how annoying it is to hear by now, so I'll just quickly explain why:
Using "felt/feeling/feels" in prose is generally telling (unless it's in dialogue), because you're telling your reader what a character is feeling. You want to, instead, show your reader how their feelings. Confused yet?
In other words, you want to describe how this "feeling" is affecting your character. Everyone feels differently, so give your reader something to really imagine. Maybe you could write "His stomach churned with guilt" or "His stomach somersaulted from the guilt", or even nix saying that he feels guilty altogether and just say that he's really twitchy, or he's nauseated. This gives your reader a deeper insight to your character and how they experience their emotions! (and it's also not telling, yay! *confetti*)

Still, as he wrote today his sentences felt sloppy and meander-y.


Here's another example! It's a little different from the first, but similar thing generally applies. Also, this doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me? Perhaps "As he wrote, his hand quivered enough to make his writing sloppy." ?


Okay, now that we're past that business, the other suggestion I have for the first paragraph is that I would recommend splitting it up somewhat? It's a pretty big chunk you have there, and there's various places that you can put sentences on new lines, so it isn't so clunky. As one example, "Friday morning" should start on a separate line anyway, because you always want to start a new line when you change Time, Topic, Person, or Place.


Lorelai is Jess's mum, right? Is there a reason he refers to her as "Lorelai" rather than mum? (It makes me think their relationship is shaky, but I don't know if you meant that to come across or not)


He was still taking his anger out on her. It help alleviate the crushing guilt, but it wasn’t fair and eventually, after he calmed down, it only made him feel guiltier.


Okay, so, multiple things. I'm going to assume that the "still taking his anger out on her" is based on something happening in a previous chapter, so I won't comment on that. However, based on what he says, you really don't need to add this? You're showing us that he's reacting poorly to what she says, but then you're also telling us that right after. I'd honestly cut that line, and if you want to add emphasis, I would just add a dialogue tag? Usually I won't suggest that, but it wouldn't hurt to have a little more oomph to Jess's anger in this case.

Also, I think you meant "it helped" instead of "it help". But the bigger thing is what follows it, the "after he calmed down, it only made him feel guiltier." Two things. First, I know Jess is feeling really guilt, but it's four lines in and it's being pounded on a lot. Like, it's a little excessive in my opinion. Second, you go from describing what's happening in the present to the future, which shouldn't be there. Did you mean "It wasn't fair. Eventually, after he calmed down, he'd regret it" or something similar? As in he knows he'll regret it, but does it anyway because he wants to feel better right now?


it was bad enough to make him seat bullets.


sweat*

She wasn’t exactly a big fan of their friendship


This is already implied in the previous sentence, so this is mostly unnecessary.

“What a nice n surprise.


I don't think that "n" is supposed to be there?

We’ve been friends since for years.


I think you were going for either "We've been friends since *amount of time*" or "We've been friends for years" but then kind of mashed them together haha

His addiction was getting worse. He could tell


Again, based on the last sentence, you don't need this sentence. If you already introduced Jess's smoking addiction, and then show here he craves another one after just having one, you're showing your readers it's getting worse. You don't have to explain that.


Overall, a pretty good chapter! I would have liked the scenes more fleshed out because it jumps around a lot (school>getting picked up early>back to his house to sleep>leaves as soon as he wakes>goes to Dave's house, all in the span of less than 1000 words. That's a lot of transitioning it a very little amount of time) without giving much description or setting (besides the jeep, and besides Jess being Supremely Guilty, there's not much else there?).

Poor Dave :( Drifting away from friends is such a hard thing, especially when you're going through a hard time (in Jess's case). I love how grounded Dave is though, how he sets up the "rules", if you will, to re-establish his relationship with Jess. I love characters who are just really calm and handle things well like this in a kind way!


That's all I have for today! If you have any questions or comments about anything I said, please let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful day, and Happy RevMo!

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Thu Sep 05, 2019 3:40 pm
DougalOfBiscuits wrote a review...



Holy moly so short! One review coming up shortly!

Well, since it's a good bit shorter I have less to say xD Firstly I want to mention that I don't think saying Dave is always nice is quite right. I get what you mean, like he's soft-spoken, but he is saying some harsh (maybe deserved) words, so it just jars a bit. Maybe emphasise his politeness and manners, physicality things that are undeniable no matter what words he's saying. I like that that's his reaction though, and him staying polite too.

I like the focus on the cigarettes. The thought of drugs seems to pop in and out of the story every so often. It's like something far off down the road, but nonetheless the road he's on. Have you ever seen the film Beautiful Boy? It's not exactly unique but it's a film about drug abuse I watched recently and there's a lot of things that remind me of the main character about Jess, making this feel really quite sinister. Like, a large sense of foreboding.

Hope this helps,
Biscuits :)





It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech.
— Mark Twain