Okay peeps. Like in April, I will be sharing my Camp NaNoWriMo updates on my other blog, which is the BLOG tab in the ‘Find Me – Index’ drop menu. But just in case, you can CLICK HERE.
I have been working so hard to get the Black Sunshine sequel moving. And I have decided that I would like to share a little snippet with you. I would like to know if it makes sense. 🙂
I feel like I am twelve all over again. Well, except for the part where Gil keeps putting his arms around my shoulders. Talking about my sixteenth birthday definitely helped clear up some of the hurt I had back then. I really wanted Gil to keep his promise and be my first dance. Not that dancing with my dad was not nice; I just wanted Gil to be there. Gil was always there for my other birthdays, but turning sixteen was a big deal for me. I wanted to show him that I was grown up.
Gil is sitting on a piano bench, his eyes closed, as he plays yet another Kari Jobe song. I am sitting on the edge of the same bench, afraid to get too close because of all the electricity that passes through my body when he touches me. I smile and sing along with him. The other people who are playing the other pianos keep stopping to hear us. Good practice, since I am really considering the audition now that Gil wants me to do it. And to have him sing with me? I think I am looking forward to it.
“So,” I say as Gil starts to play an old orchestra classic. “I have told you about the one boy I thought would work out. What about you? Any girlfriends?”
“You might be surprised,” he chuckles, glancing at me before looking back at the keys. “I went after only one girl before leaving for college and found out she was not what I thought. I went on a few dates in college, but they were not as interesting as they should have been. I think the best answer to your question is, no, I do not have a girlfriend.”
“Okay, I am surprised, and I find that somewhat hard to believe. You, without a girlfriend? Call the New York Times; we have a single guy here.”
Gil stops playing, throwing his head back to laugh. I raise an eyebrow; it was not that funny.
“Girls have tried to get me to give them the time of day,” he explains, turning slightly on the bench to face me. “But none of them seem to fit into the mold. Tell me, Nani; aside of that jerk this morning; was there really no one else you tried to go after? Who took you to prom?”
I look at Gil for a long time before looking down at the piano keys. He is asking me about prom, the one night that I will never remember as a happy night.
“I don’t know if I want to talk about it,” I say after a while, still looking at the piano. “Besides, there really isn’t much to tell . . . since I didn’t go.”
“You didn’t go to prom?” Gil asks softly. “What happened? Did your date stand you up?”
“I didn’t even get a date,” I reply, shaking my head as my vision clouds. “None of the guys in my school thought I was worth it and the few guys I asked brushed me off.”
Gil lifts my chin, making me look at him. His expression is full of concern, just like when he would pick me up from middle school and I was having a bad day. I can remember crying because some of the other girls all had their new clothes and I was second-hand-me-downs. Gil took me out for ice cream and told me that I did not need clothes to show people that I was cool. He told me that what made me special were the people around me; the people who cared about me no matter what I was wearing.
“There’s a lot I don’t know, huh?” Gil asks, using the back of his hand to wipe my tears. “Listen, don’t worry that you didn’t go to prom. It is not as awesome as most people would claim it to be. I feel sorry for all those jerks in your school. They are going to suffer major verbal abuse if I ever run into them. I could have taken you . . .”
“You were working,” I say, shaking my head. “I think what hurt most was the thought that I was not good enough to get a date. I was embarrassed and didn’t want to face anyone.”
He pulls me closer and squeezes me into his chest. I let the tears out for a bit, sobbing softly into Gil’s chest while he murmurs into my ear and rubbing circles on my back. This is one of the reasons it is so easy to trust Gil after so many years.
“You know what you need?” Gil says as I pull away slowly. “A big, ice cream sundae.”
I smile as he uses his sleeve to dry the rest of my tears. He rises from the bench, taking my hand in his to pull me to my feet. Gil thanks the manager as we leave, tucking me safely under his arm as we start to walk up the block. Hesitantly, I wrap my arm around his waist, leaning into him. I fit right into his side, like perfectly. It is as if my body is meant to fit next to Gil.