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Unlucky 13 - Chapter 19.2

by Liberty


Music was suddenly blaring in my ears and I bolted up, eyes wide in horror. When I realized that the music was softer than it had sounded, my heart beat slowed. A quick glance at the clock told me it was five-twenty-three - had I slept that long? Two hours? I shook my head and slowly got off my bed, and followed the music downstairs and was met with a dark living room.

"Mum?" I called out over the music. It was quieter now. "Grams?" I was getting frantic. "What's going on?" My heart started beating faster again. I reached for the living room lights, and flicked them on. As soon as I did, a burst of confetti came right into my face, and I yelped.

"Happy birthday, love!" A voice said - I couldn't tell who with all the colorful confetti still in the air - and I felt familiar arms wrap around me. "It's me." she whispered.

"Mum!" I exclaimed. "What's going on?" There was laughter in the background.

The confetti settled on the ground, and Mum looked at me. "You didn't like our surprise party?"

I looked around at how many people there were. "Mum..." An uneasy feeling settled in my stomach as I looked around at everyone who had come. Ms Spring - Grams' old neighbour and my principal - Maryam, Imogen, Samantha - a classmate who was sort of my friend - and Grams. I wanted to tell Mum that I didn't want any of this. No party. After what I heard today, at school, it almost felt wrong to party like this.

If Ella were here, her heart would have been torn to shreds. Even if I didn't know her true self, she would've thought the same thing - it would've been wrong to party no matter what.

Maryam and Imogen - who both looked a bit uneasy (I knew why) - carried a big cardboard box, decorated as a gift box towards me. I cocked my head at them, and they both grinned. "What is this?" I asked Samantha.

"You'll see." she grinned. "Maryam, Imogen and I chose."

I raised my eyebrows. I heard a soft growl-whine from the box and my jaw dropped, and I twisted a loose strand of hair in my finger nervously. They set the box down, and as they did, it shook violently. “Mum, oh my gosh, what is it?” I whispered, panicking.

Imogen grinned sheepishly at my behaviour and cut open the top of the box. Out jumped a Border Collie puppy.

I shrieked in joy, and in defense, the puppy crouched down low and let out an adorable growl. Soon, it was jumping around, sniffing at everything that it collided with. I kneeled down to pet it.

Everyone was laughing at the puppy’s antics. “Who did all this?”

“Your mom and Grams.” Samantha said and grinned.

“Really?” I looked around at them.

They both smiled down at me.

“...But,” I started. “None of this feels right right now.” I whispered. Ella. It was torture thinking of her again and again.

“Honey, look,” Mum crouched down beside me. “Ella was your friend - at least, you thought she was - and if she never thought of you as a friend, why does it matter anymore? That means your friendship never was a friendship. She was just a person who was around you a lot.” Mum cupped her hand around my cheek, and I leaned into it, absorbing her warmth.

“I guess, but-” I was interrupted by Imogen.

“I know I haven’t known you guys long, and I’m honored to already be celebrating your birthday, but Julia, you can forget her now. If she likes the way she is now, that’s all that should matter, eh?” she said.

“But her parents.” I said quietly.

Maryam sucked in a shard breath. “Like you said before, Jules, you and her both have similar problems. If you got through it, I believe she can as well. Don’t worry.” she smiled. “Now, let’s continue this party!”

The puppy bounced on the couches, making me laugh. “Alright…” I said. “Is it a he or a she?”

“A he.” Samantha answered.

“He’s adorable!” I said, scooping up the puppy in my arms and cuddling with him. “What’s his name?” I asked Samantha again. “Or can I name him?”

“He has no name.” she answered again, plopping down beside me. Wonderful! I can name him!

“I’ll go get the cake.” Grams chirped, shuffling out of the living with Mum and Ms Spring tailing behind her. Maryam and Imogen sat down around me. The puppy licked me again.

“I heard your mom used to have a border collie.” Maryam said, scratching the panting puppy behind his ear.

“Really? I never even knew that.” I raised my eyebrows. No one said anything. The music was still playing, and it started getting quiet. Soon, there was silence. Names, names, so many names to choose from and I can only choose one! I watched as the puppy raced around the living.

“How’s Alfie?” I told my friends.

“That’s adorable!” Imogen squealed.

“Ooh, suits him well.” Samantha winked.

“Hi Alfie!” Maryam waved at the puppy, who was now sprawled across the floor, panting.

I clicked my tongue, and having no idea Alfie would really come to me, he came bounding into my lap. Everyone laughed.

“We’ll need to go shopping soon for his things.” I said, playing with some of Alfie’s fur. “And we might need a leash. Oh, and thank god our backyard is fenced!” I noted.

“Sweet. Wanna go to PetSmart after school tomorrow?” Samantha asked, tickling Alfie.

We all nodded our heads. Tomorrow we’d meet at the school gates, come to my house, grab Alfie, and go out. I’d take money from Mum or Grams. The cake had arrived. I blew out the candles, making a wish, and cut the cake, giving everyone a slice. Soon, I opened the rest of my presents.

The evening came to a close when everyone started leaving. “Maryam! Imogen!” I called out from my front porch. They turned around. They were about to enter Maryam’s car. Imogen was going to be dropped off by Maryam’s mother. I jogged up to them. “Do you want to stay the night?” I asked.

Maryam’s eyes twinkled. Imogen grinned. “Lemme call Mother real quick.” Imogen said, whipping out her phone, and walking away.

“I’ll ask.” Maryam ducked into her car. I heard laughing, and Maryam popped back out, shut the door, and her mother zoomed away. I took that as a yes. Imogen came bouncing on her heels.

“My first night away from home ever since I came here and it’s barely been two months here!” she shrieked. Maryam and I laughed.

“Let’s go inside. It’s getting chilly.” I shivered. We jogged back in. I told Mum and Grams that my friends were staying for the night. Ms Spring had left.

Mum gave us a bowl of popcorn, a stack of DVDs and a bag of chips, chocolate, and candy. Also, after a bit of hunting, she took out extra clothes, sleeping bags, and more blankets, and ordered us to sleep in the living room.

This was going to be the best night ever.


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Mon Feb 24, 2020 10:32 pm
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Horisun wrote a review...



Hello, Liberty!
This chapter was a pleasant shift in tone from the last chapter, and an enjoyable read. I the pacing was a little off, though. I felt like the party only lasted five minutes. I think it might do some good if you tweak that a bit.
Also, PUPPY! He's soooo adorable! I want him! XD
As always, I loved seeing Julia, Maryam, and Imogen interacting. You always do dialogue and character relationships really well, and I love reading them.
One thing that did bother me, however, is how easily they seemed to brush off Ella. I'm wondering/hoping she'll pop up in later chapters, because I'm getting a bad vibe from her Dad.
But what really bothered me was the line "“Like you said before, Jules, you and her both have similar problems. If you got through it, I believe she can as well. Don’t worry.” she smiled. “Now, let’s continue this party!”" Even if they are going through the same problems, Julia nearly ended her life, and went through some horrible stuff. That's something that you should really consider.
Anyway, other than that, great chapter! I'll get to reading the next right away! :D




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Sun Jan 26, 2020 2:35 am
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EternalRain wrote a review...



Review day review coming in:

A surprise party!!! Weeee. I love surprise birthday parties in novels because it’s a great way for other characters to show appreciation for another character especially when their heads are in a way different space, like we have here with Julia and her thinking about Ella.

I’m gonna agree with Jabber about the advice Julia’s mom gave - it sat wrong with me. Julia is showing so much sympathy towards Ella and I, as a reader, am too! And it just feels wrong when all the other supporting characters are like “no, it’s fine, don’t think about her.” They clearly love Julia but it came across as dismissive to me! The message I was getting was “No, Julia, you guys weren’t really friends anyway, so it doesn’t matter” which felt especially wrong coming from Anthea, who is a strong role model for Julia as well as any readers for the story. Jabber went into good detail with this though, so I’ll just stop here haha. Just wanted to pop in and say I felt the same way.

The puppy surprise is so cute! I’m wondering who Samantha is though?? She seems to be a classmate from school, as Julia notes, but we’ve never really seen her at school or at lunch or anything (at least from what I can remember). Duncan has made more of an impact on me (although I’m just a big Duncan lover at this point LOL). I don’t really see her importance in the story, unless perhaps she’ll be an important figure in the future?

I love this idea of a sleepover, though, with Maryam and Imogen. Sleepovers can be wild experiences and I’m wondering if they’re going to gossip and chat and stay up late and do things like that. OR maybe they’ll try and figure out who released Ella’s diary? Like a mystery :0 The Maryam Julia Imogen mystery solving squad.

Okie dokie, that’s it for this chapter!

Peace!
~EternalRain

Image




Liberty says...


I def agree with the Anthea thing - I'll be fixing it up soon. :)

I mentioned very very shortly in chapter 2 or something that Samantha partnered with Julia to do a science project, and they aced it. Leading to them becoming friends. Not very close though.

Also, Duncan. Lol. Every single time someone mentions Duncan, I go all giggle-y. :p

Thanks for the review!



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Wed Jan 22, 2020 3:19 pm
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JabberHut wrote a review...



SHE GOT A PUPPYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY

omg what a CUTIE I WANT ONE OF MY OWN

Random thought that Julia probably would've recognizd her mother's voice at least by the accent.

ALSO DUDE. I totally relate to how Julia just immeidately freaked out from her slumber. Talk about a rude awakening. It is SO FREAKING TERRIFYING when that happens.

OH HELLO SAMANTHA! WHERE'D YOU COME FROM ??

omg Julia is friends with the principal. Why would Maddie even TRY to bully that like DUDE. THIS GIRL'S GOT CONNECTIONS.

Would Ella's heart have been torn to shreds?! I feel like that's already been done given the situation she's in. But she WOULD probably be more fed-up with Julia probably. REMEMBER JULIA: this is all news to you only today. Ella's been living it for months! (Divorces don't happen overnight. That's a result of an ongoing and worsening problem between a couple!)

D'awwww I wonder how Maryam, Imogen, and Samantha chose the puppy. and how grams and Julia's mom got them to help. They literally just flew in from Canada, so even if Maryam and Imogen knew who Julia's mom was, Samantha would be like wait who are you and why are you talking to me thishasneverhappenedbefore.

JULIA HOW CAN YOU BE SAD WITH A PUPPY IN THE ROOM

but moooom, Ella DID think of Julia as a friend. Their friendship WAS real! If anything, Julia should be comforted by the fact that her friends and family TODAY matter. It's beautiful that Julia is so concerned for Ella after everything that Ella did to their friendship, but I feel like the nugget of wisdom we're looking for here involves more than just hating on Ella. Maybe I'm just really sympathizing with Ella a lot right now, but Julia's mom seems a bit ignorant. Which is the opposite of what I'd like to see considering we spent most of this novel getting her mother back home, so I'd like her to serve some sort of purpose in this Ella situation, and sound wisdom seems like the best way to do that.

Instead, I'd tell Julia (and probably well before the party while in her room) that her concern is right. Clearly Ella HAS been through a lot and needs a proper friend. Julia has the option still to step forward and talk to Ella about it, but if Ella is so resistant despite Julia's efforts, then it IS time to move on. But NEVER move on out of hatred. Ella needs someone that understands her (whether that someone is her friend or not), so helping Julia to understand Ella's position and the emotions she's likely facing could give Julia the motivation to patch things up or move on a bit more gracefully.

MARYAM IS THE WISEST SOUL HERE.

This was such a nice chapter to have for a couple reasons. One of them is the support she gets for the whole Ella situation. She absolutely needed help from her friends and family to fight these emotions, and I really love that they all zero in on the problem immediately when they notice Julia's sadness. Julia really needed this support right now, and to put it off longer would've made it harder to have fun at the party even as a reader. Plus, this moment of support from her friends and family is a pivotal moment in this novel for Julia. This is the moment that defines how Julia might tackle the Ella situation and how this novel might end.

Then we also get a freaking puppy and I mean. What a great way to help Julia move on from her depression and, potentially, her friendship with Ella if that's the way this plot is headed. A new puppy is a symbol of new beginnings and seems rather appropriate considering something new is about to happen in Julia's life, whether that means accepting Ella's absence or patching things up and starting her new life with her mother again.

HNNNNNNNNNNG I can't believe this novel is going to end soon. also movies and popcorn sounds like a great way to spend an evening. me want that.




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review!

Also I getc what you mean about Anthea sounding a bit ignorant with her words. I was trying to make Anthea say something not-very-ignorant, but like, I sorta messed up. So I have a question - what do you think Anthea would say before the party after Grams explains the situation to her? (I'm gonna make that change in Draft 2.)



JabberHut says...


Oh, don't worry! Wisdom is gained with experience. :D //oldfart

It kind of depends on the direction this novel is gonna take as this could be the lesson the reader learns from this story, so I'll give some general ideas on what Anthea might say!

I already kinda touched on what I myself would say to Julia, but I don't think Anthea would be too far off from my way of thinking, and I'll go into depth as to why that is. But basically, Anthea would talk to Julia and help her think through the situation from Ella's perspective, to put herself in Ella's shoes. Julia would feel less hate over time and more sympathy for her ex-best friend. This would then lead to Julia deciding on if she should talk to Ella with a gentler approach or if she can move on silently supporting her friend through her difficult trial. <== This decision is your ultimate goal with Anthea's discussion.

So Anthea will want to discuss the situation from Ella's point-of-view. "Think about how Ella feels!" If Anthea knows anything, it's that losing family hurts. I think she'd have a LOT to say on the loneliness, depression, and general mess of emotions Ella is fighting right now.

To put things in perspective as the writer, remember that Anthea:
- lost her husband (and has far more vivid memories of the moment than either Grams or Julia)
- gave up her daughter (reluctantly but for her child's own good/financial reasons)
- cut off ties with the rest of her family (a common thing to happen with serious depression).

Now consider Ella:
- lost her mother (VERY recently, thus a very vivid memory for her as well)
- gave up riding (reluctantly due to her father's seemingly unreasonable request [could be financial reasons, we don't know])
- cut off ties with her closest friends (a common thing to happen with serious depression).

Julia is also right about herself:
- lost her father (perhaps not as vividly but still a hole in her life)
- she lost her mother (again not as vividly but still a gaping wound in her upbringing)
- she lost her best friend (Ella), and had cut off ties with HER closest friends while in Canada.
* She even had a suicide attempt while in Canada as proof of how serious her depression got.

Of course, in Julia's and Anthea's cases, much of this has been rectified or fixed. The only difference is, Anthea knows how to handle the emotions. Julia is still young and doesn't understand as much, and Ella is still young and freshly wounded.

SO BASICALLY! Anthea can approach it however she wants, but she will put emphasis on Ella's side of the story. "Ella lost her mother, and before that, her parents weren't happy which ultimately led to a divorce, and she can no longer do what she wants. Do you think it's because she's embarrassed? Maybe she's trying to find her place in the world with these new boundaries now in place? Imagine how lonely she's feeling, how desperate she is in comfort or support. Is she trying to distract herself from this new situation by going to extremes, rebelling in a sense, or changing herself entirely in an attempt to find happiness within these new boundaries, or maybe she's even scared of or running away from the happiness she feels with her old friends."

I jabbered. I jabbered so much.



Liberty says...


My first reaction to this reply was: ooh, another review!

But actually, thank you! I definitely get it and I'm probably going to use this advice and maybe maybe not ask yo more questions.

Also, your name is Jabber. You're meant to jabber and it's beautiful. <33



JabberHut says...


Haha, I was worried! I'm glad, though, and feel free to ping me with more questions or discussion. Perfectly normal for writers to do research for their story!

You're absolutely right! I'm Jabber, the One and Only! :D <3



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Tue Jan 21, 2020 8:17 pm
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LadyMysterio wrote a review...



Hello, Lady Mysterio with a review here!
First off I like how you start the chapter off on a negative note then end off on a positive note.
The descriptive word and insight into her thoughts help paint a word picture and feel her feelings.
This is something I just learned that helped me so I will pass it along.

when the tag is at the beginning set the quotation mark off with a comma

When the tag is at the end, place the punctuation mark inside the quotation marks

When the tag is in between, use quotation marks around
each part of the divided quotation and set off the speaker’s tag with commas,
unless the quotation is divided into two complete sentences,
in which case, punctuate as when the tag is at the end.
Its something I noticed throughout the story, a little tip I learned from my English teacher.

I love the names very unique.
-The Lady Of Mystery




Liberty says...


Thanks for the review!



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Mon Jan 20, 2020 5:53 pm
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CassieList wrote a review...



I havent read the first chapter but wow this was good! Everything flowed nicely only a few Grammar issue. Such as in paragraph 2 instead of faster it should say fast. Also in 43 just take out the "and" before more blankets. Everything else seems really good. This reminded me of a tv show series and how each part has its own mini story to the overall story. I really enjoyed reading this thank you!


Reviewed by LP




Liberty says...


Thanks! C:




You wanna be a writer? You don't know how or when? Find a quiet place, use a humble pen.
— Paul Simon