Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Short Story » Historical Fiction

12+

First Love (1/3)

by Elinor


Nancy Austin was a pretty girl, shy and sweet. Her strawberry blonde hair was cropped at her chin, and her wide eyes and perfect skin made her look like a porcelain doll. She dressed in pastel colors, and had a beautiful smile. Still, she didn’t have many friends. There was always something distant about her, like she didn’t belong.

Nancy was fifteen in the fall of 1949, the start of her sophomore year of high school. She was starting new, this time at George Washington High in Boise. Her freshman year, she’d lived in Miami with her family. Before that, Duluth, Minnesota. Before that, Cleveland, Ohio. Houston, Texas. Phoenix, Arizona. And Denver, Colorado. Nancy had never known a time when they hadn’t moved. Six schools in six years. That was part of being an Army brat, and maybe, part of the reason she didn't want to make friends. Because eventually, she’d have to leave them all behind.So when she caught the handsome boy staring in history class, she didn’t pay it much mind. She wanted to do well in school, and while she was getting to the age where boys were starting to pay attention to her, if she couldn't risk having friends, then she definitely couldn’t risk boys.

The teacher was an old man who spoke slowly, and no matter how hard Nancy tried to listen to him talk about the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and how it led to World War I, she kept nodding off.

The boy was still staring too, and there was something about him that made her want to stare back. The weather was still warm, and while most of the boys wore short sleeves, this one wore a long sleeve shirt, one that seemed to hang tightly at his wrists, almost as if it was too small for him. But it was more than that. She couldn’t put her finger on it, but Nancy felt drawn to him.

That was when she noticed a note on her desk. She opened it.

“With this, who needs The Ed Sullivan Show?”

She looked back at the boy, who gave her a smile. Nancy pursed her lips as she thought about what to write back. “I’ve never been more interested in the history of the first World War than I am now.”

She felt her hands shake as she slipped him the note.

“What class do you have next?” He wrote back.

“English.”

“Mind if I walk you?”

“I’d like that.” It was as she was handing him back the note that she felt the teacher’s eyes on both of them.

“Jay Whitman,” he snapped.

The boy, Jay, sat straight up.

“Would you like to bring me that note?”

Jay knew he didn’t have a choice and obliged.

It was embarrassing, having their notes read aloud for the rest of the class to hear. Nancy buried her face in her arms the whole time. When it was done, the teacher threw it in the garbage and told the class if he caught anyone doing it again it would be automatic detention. He resumed the lecture.

After the bell rang, Nancy saw Jay lingering at her desk.

“Well, can I walk you to English, then?” He asked.

She saw the teacher looking at them. Almost as an act of defiance, she nodded yes.

---

In the hall, they properly introduced themselves to each other. Nancy mentioned that she was new to Boise, that her family moved around a lot. He said he lived with his mother and stepfather.

Nancy wondered what had happened to his father, but she didn’t want to ask now. She could have talked to Jay for hours, but the walk to English class was only a few minutes.

For a moment, they lingered at the door, moving out of the way of students streaming into class. She didn’t want him to leave, and it seemed like he didn’t want to either.

“See you tomorrow?” He said. She could have sworn that he was blushing.

---

It was after class on the second day that he asked her to the movies. They ended up meeting at the theater, since neither had their license yet, even though Jay was learning how to drive. Nancy arrived early, and waited for Jay beside the poster of The Red Shoes, the film they’d decided to see. She waited patiently, and just as she was starting to have doubts about whether he was going to show up at all, a car pulled up and he got out.

A few minutes before it was due to start, a car pulled up and he got out. A blonde woman in the driver’s seat gave Jay a loving look and waved towards Nancy before Jay got out of the car. Nancy assumed it was his mother, but she seemed young.

“Hello,” Nancy said.

“Hi,” Jay replied.

“Was that your mom?”Jay nodded.

“She seems nice,” Nancy remarked.

“Mhmm,” said Jay, but it didn’t go much further than that. They stood in line to buy their tickets, and they went inside.

The movie was in color, about a young dancer who becomes obsessed with her craft. It was romantic, unsettling and sad all at the same time. Jay held her hand all throughout.

It was autumn, and still a warm night. For a moment, they stood under the marquee. “I actually…” Nancy started.

“What?” Jay responded with a smile.

“I’ve actually thought about trying out for the talent show,” Nancy said. “But I’m nervous.” She confessed that she was a singer, and Jay said he wanted to hear her sometime.

“You should try,” he said. “What do you have to lose?”

That was when Jay noticed his mother was already there.

She was young, but very beautiful. She turned to Nancy first, and extended her hand.

“Hello,” she said. “I’m Jay’s mother. Mrs. Flynn.”

“Nancy Austin,” Nancy replied, accepting the handshake.

Nancy knew Jay’s last name was Whitman, but she also remembered he had something about a stepfather. Maybe, if Jay trusted her enough, he would tell her what exactly was going on with his family. Maybe his father had died, and she didn’t want to be insensitive.

That was when she noticed her own father. They said goodbye with the understanding that they would see each other again. 


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
103 Reviews


Points: 19000
Reviews: 103

Donate
Wed Jan 27, 2021 1:11 am
SpunkyKitty wrote a review...



Hi! Spunky here to review!

Grows:

She looked back at the boy, who gave her a smile. Nancy pursed her lips as she thought about what to write back. “I’ve never been more interested in the history of the first World War than I am now.”

The bold should be italicized, just like the rest of the messages.

a car pulled up and he got out.

A few minutes before it was due to start, a car pulled up and he got out.

You shouldn't repeat "a car pulled up and he got out." A quick edit will fix this problem.

“Was that your mom?”Jay nodded.

Besides needing a space between the parentheses, you need to make it a bit clearer that it isn't Jay who is speaking here.

Maybe, if Jay trusted her enough, he would tell her what exactly was going on with his family. Maybe his father had died, and she didn’t want to be insensitive.

I wouldn't start both of these two sentences with a "Maybe." It makes it repetitive.

Glows:

I really love this so far! Very excellent pacing, and I love this story so far. The beginning paragraphs give just enough info without boring you and overwhelming you with unnecessary facts. Well done!




User avatar
117 Reviews


Points: 11781
Reviews: 117

Donate
Mon Jan 25, 2021 6:10 pm
View Likes
LUNARGIRL wrote a review...



Hello, LUNARGIRL here with a review!
Let's get straight to it.

Nancy Austin was a pretty girl, shy and sweet. Her strawberry blonde hair was cropped at her chin, and her wide eyes and perfect skin made her look like a porcelain doll. She dressed in pastel colors, and had a beautiful smile. Still, she didn’t have many friends. There was always something distant about her, like she didn’t belong.


You have a good start to the story, but it feels like it's already moving too fast. It also feels like an information overload. In the first paragraph, you already give us her whole name, personality, what she looks like, and why she is so different. You should try to weave all this information into the story a little bit at a time. This way it will be easier to digest and take in.

Nancy was fifteen in the fall of 1949, the start of her sophomore year of high school. She was starting new, this time at George Washington High in Boise. Her freshman year, she’d lived in Miami with her family. Before that, Duluth, Minnesota. Before that, Cleveland, Ohio. Houston, Texas. Phoenix, Arizona. And Denver, Colorado. Nancy had never known a time when they hadn’t moved. Six schools in six years. That was part of being an Army brat, and maybe, part of the reason she didn't want to make friends. Because eventually, she’d have to leave them all behind.So when she caught the handsome boy staring in history class, she didn’t pay it much mind. She wanted to do well in school, and while she was getting to the age where boys were starting to pay attention to her, if she couldn't risk having friends, then she definitely couldn’t risk boys.


In this paragraph, you repeat a lot of words like "before and start." I think if you changed up so of the words it would make it a lot easier to read and understand. Also, you mention so many places that it's hard to keep track. There are also some parts in here that I think you should reword to make it sound better.

It was after class on the second day that he asked her to the movies. They ended up meeting at the theater, since neither had their license yet, even though Jay was learning how to drive. Nancy arrived early, and waited for Jay beside the poster of The Red Shoes, the film they’d decided to see. She waited patiently, and just as she was starting to have doubts about whether he was going to show up at all, a car pulled up and he got out.


Wow, this relationship is really moving fast.

A few minutes before it was due to start, a car pulled up and he got out. A blonde woman in the driver’s seat gave Jay a loving look and waved towards Nancy before Jay got out of the car. Nancy assumed it was his mother, but she seemed young.


In the last sentence of the paragraph before this you say he got out of the car. In the first sentence of this paragraph you also say that he got out of the car.

Overall, I really enjoyed your story. I liked the interaction that Jay and Nancy had with each other. I saw no grammatical errors, but one thing that I have to say is that I only remembered that this is set in 1949 after you mention that the movie was in color. You might want to add more mentions to make the reader remember when the movie is set. Great job! Can't wait to read what you write next!




User avatar
50 Reviews


Points: 563
Reviews: 50

Donate
Mon Jan 25, 2021 1:48 am
View Likes
JoyDark wrote a review...



Hey! You know, I like this story. It has no typos or grammatical errors that I can see, which I appreciate. And I like the sort of passive writing style of this. It plays out like a timeline, matter-of-fact. For some, people might see this as a classic example of too much tell, not enough show, but I don’t think you were going for something super prosey. So I feel like, at least for an intro, this writing style works.

I can see some chemistry between Nancy and Jay, and I like their interactions. The note scene was well played out, and I could visualize it well. Character-personality-wise, Nancy seems a bit basic, not terribly unique, but I don’t think you’re trying to make her. Same for Jay. I don’t know why meeting Jay’s mom is important, but maybe it will be.

This looks like a promising beginning. I hope this gets more intriguing as time goes on!





Perhaps when we find ourselves wanting everything, it is because we are dangerously close to wanting nothing.
— Sylvia Plath