A little fantasy today… I’m pretending that all you nice readers who wrote and said how much you enjoyed the first page of my novel are in fact – literary agents!
You say you can’t wait to read more, and this means you want me to send my manuscript. This in turn will quickly lead me to a publisher who wants to purchase “If Only You Knew” for immediate release. And of course, the popularity of the book (in print, on line, and so on) will take my creation straight to the New York Times Best Seller list.
Then the movie deal will happen. And won’t I just be rolling in clover! Who will write the screenplay? Who will star in the film adaptation? Who’ll direct? So much to decide…
One person fed my fantasy ever further by giving me something to fret about: He said that I would forget all my friends when I became famous. I told him there wasn’t much chance of that, because once I have a friend, I’m hard to get rid of.
Back to reality. I will soon email the fourth revision to my editor and she’ll no doubt have more suggestions… I’ll take it from there.
If any of you didn’t read page one of If Only You Knew, find it at on Saturday’s post.
Now, make believe that you’re on Amazon’s book site, and there’s a link beside my book’s cover that that says: look inside. You click and read Pages 2 & 3…
The door latched behind me and I headed towards the kitchen looking for a cup of hot tea. There, I spied the long-necked green bottle, and that seemed an even better idea. What the hell, why not? I tipped the tinto into a long stemmed glass and thought about cutting a piece of sharp cheese to go with it. Definitely a plan…
As I re-corked the wine, my ears picked up strange staggering sounds. I went to the living room, the noise got louder. I heard hard breathing, and a voice called out “Amalia! Help me!”
He knew my name! My shoulder muscles tensed like rubber bands, and I had the eerie feeling that my life would be radically altered by whoever lurked on the landing.
My palms turned clammy and anxiety sucked the air from my lungs. I placed both hands on the varnished mahogany door, stretched upward, and peered through the peep hole. I had a pretty good idea of who I’d find out there. Like a phantom from another time, there he stood – Alejandro Mendez.
I stumbled backwards. Sixteen years ago, when we were both way too young, we’d become one another’s first love. A decade had passed since we last spent time together; what could he possibly want from me? As I released the dead bolt, I forced my face to go blank and form a detached smile. I didn’t want him thinking that his unexpected appearance had unraveled my cool.
What cool? My hand flew to my mouth to keep from screaming. Blood ran from an open cut on his right cheek. His white Mao-collared shirt looked ripped and soiled, and his dark curls matted like the fur on a stray dog’s back. He sure didn’t seem proud and confident like I remembered.
“¡Dios mio!” I felt paralyzed as I watched him slump further against the wall. “Amalia, you’ve got to help me!” “I will… of course I will,” I said. But what did he expect me to do? What could I do?
I remembered how he once told me that I’d forever changed his life. I completely fell for him, and I believed his promises of unending love. But his devotion had not lasted. After he left me, I vowed to stay far away from him forever. And now he had barged back into my life.
Sorting out my conflicting emotions seemed impossible. Part of me wanted to slap him, and another wanted to wrap him in my arms. He looked like he’d pass out, and I heard the caretaker limping down the stairs. I may have been confused, but I knew that I could not allow Alejandro to be discovered in a heap right outside my door. If the old snoop found him like that, he’d have him arrested and I’d be in trouble too, just by association.
“Move!” I told him, “Someone’s coming… you’ve got to get out of sight.”
He could barely stand, so I jimmied my arms under his and hauled him along like a sack of rocks. I thought that his weight was a good indicator of the heaviness he’d surely bring to my life. I felt pushed into this. I didn’t want danger threatening my safe world. But I could do little about it. I couldn’t send Alejandro away.
When we got to my room, he flopped down hard on the neatly made bed. As he tucked his legs and arms into a ball, his grimy shoes trampled my white coverlet. “Ay-ay-ay-ay!” The heirloom crochet would be ruined! Countless times I’d pictured him here, but not like this. My self-defensive instincts should have kicked in, but his abrupt arrival brought back memories of sweet nights and tenderness. I couldn’t think straight. His eyes seeped, his lips parted wide and I saw how raw they looked. “Alejandro, what happened to your mouth? Who did this to you?”