So the first evening of NaNoWriMo this past year, I started to write Where I Belong from scratch, but realized I was too invested in the story, so I chucked that idea out the window and pantsed a new novel (read about that decision here).
I finally reopened the draft of Where I Belong that I started, and have decided to share the first chapter with you all, uncut and unedited.
It’s a little long, so I posted it on my Wattpad account. But upon realizing that you must have an account to view, I also decided to publish my G-docs document. The formatting is wonky on G-docs to me, but maybe that’s just my large computer screen making me feel that way.
Here’s a taste, and if you want to continue reading, follow one of the links at the bottom. If you have Wattpad (or want to create an account), select Wattpad. If not, select Google Docs. 🙂
Where I Belong
When I woke up this morning, something felt off. Like the room I was in wasn’t mine. But it definitely was mine. The huge ‘Molly’ sign above the door assured me of that. So then what felt wrong?
It was my dream. I barely remembered it anymore, but everything in my room was different. Instead of blue walls, they were purple. Instead of black curtains, they were white.
What if? No. It couldn’t be.
I rubbed my eyes, and then rolled out of bed and made my way into the bathroom. I put my contacts in, noting my extremely disheveled brown hair in the mirror, and then made my way out of the bedroom while trying to pat it down to a more presentable fashion.
Bacon. The smell hit hard once I opened the door from my bedroom. The popping in the kitchen made it even more evident that Dad was making breakfast. It made sense, I woke up right on schedule for the day.
We had a calendar on the fridge marking every important occasion that there was in our lives lately. Ever since I got in a car accident 6 months ago, life tended to be nothing but a bunch of doctor’s appointments and school. Band practice ate up most of my time lately, now that the appointments had subsided. I was healing wonderfully, they said.
Today was my big audition for the University of Texas Austin School of Music. I’d been working incredibly hard since my car accident to get ready for this day. It was tough, and most of my doctors told me I probably wouldn’t be ready in time. I just wanted to prove everyone wrong.
“Good morning, Molly,” Dad said from the kitchen. “Waffles or pancakes? I made both.”
I smiled and sat down at the breakfast bar. “I’d love a waffle,” I replied sweetly.
A plate was placed in front of me, holding a waffle, eggs and three strips of bacon. I did a three sixty in my stool and looked around the living room. It was a huge mess. The window was open, the curtains blowing in the wind. There were last night’s leftover pizza boxes still sitting on the coffee table. Dad looked pretty disheveled, his beard hair moving in every direction possible.
“Busy day today,” he said as he took a seat next to me. He picked up his newspaper. “Are you ready for your audition?”
“As ready as I can be.” I stabbed my fork through a piece of my waffle and put it in my mouth. Once it went down, I said, “Mr. Skinner thinks I’m definitely ready to go today. And I think so too. I’ve worked way too hard for this.
“Yes you definitely have.” He set his newspaper down and looked at me. “Molly, I know this year has been so hard for you. For all of us. You’ve done so much better than a lot of people thought you would, and I am so proud.”
“For what it’s worth, Dad, I’m glad I made it to this point. But I’m not gonna lie and say that I don’t still wish I could just remember everything.”
Did I mention that I have amnesia? I cannot remember anything from two years prior to my car accident. When I woke up after surgery, I internally went back to age sixteen. But I found out pretty quick that I didn’t have the liberty to stay in that mindset. It was getting around the time to figure out the next step in life. Where was I going after high school? In the midst of all the physical therapy, I also had to figure out how to move on emotionally.
I left a lot of memories behind. I tried for the first few months to remember who I was before the accident. But after so long, my family started pushing me to focus on the present. That pushing the memories was only going to drag me down. I had to move on, and I did.
I won’t lie though and say it was easy. Everyday I longed for my memories. But I was always being pushed away from them.
As a first draft, I’d love feedback if you have any about how the novel opens. (Even if you didn’t click the link to keep reading.) I know it probably needs some fleshing out, but do you want to keep reading it? Or do you lose interest? Do I introduce the MC well?
Thanks for reading!