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nowhere to be
15 October 2010 @ 03:10 pm
 

you've reached the writing journal of killsweetwater.



 

(images by gaffe)



 

BLUEJAY/NIGHTINGALE

 

Eliza Jennings gets more than she ever expected in the months leading up to her last year of high school: a new best friend in Lexine Nightingale and a refuge from her dysfunctional household. But when the school year starts, relationships change and develop abruptly. Her friendship with Lexine changes when two new boys enter the picture, and her relationship with her parents is altered when she is reunited with her elusive sister, Sylvie.

Bluejay/Nightingale chronicles Eliza's last year at home, a story of love and denial, and a last chance to make amends with those who have hurt her.


--

CHAPTERS

Prologue

Part One [Summer]
Chapter One
Chapter Two
Chapter Three
Chapter Four

Part Two [Autumn]

Chapter Five
Chapter Six
Chapter Seven
Chapter Eight

Part Three [Winter]

Part Four [Spring]
 
 
nowhere to be
I begin to expect Jay to be leaned up against one of the leafless trees at school, ready to whisk me off on another adventure when he makes a repeat performance day after day. Within a week of dropping me off at home, my mother finally notices this phenomenon.
  
 “Elizabeth, who is that?” she asks, peering out the window as Jay drives away.

    “Nobody,” I say, heading for my bedroom.

    “Hold on a minute.” She grins. “A boy? Really? Oh, I thought this day would never come.” She pulls me into her embrace, and I taste her strong perfume in my mouth. “I was so worried.”

    I pull away and cough, shrugging. “Yes, a friend. Since when do you care who I hang out with?”

    “Oh, don’t be silly! This is a big deal. And I expect to meet this boy soon.” She clasps her hands together and if I didn’t know better, I would have thought she looked nervous. “I have some news.”

    I take in several deep breaths, trying to figure out what I will say to her.Collapse )
 
 
Current Mood: accomplished
Current Music: woodcut - jenny owen youngs
 
 
nowhere to be
Exactly three days after Lex’s infamous party, I see Jay leaning up against a tree as I exit Pomegranate High’s poor excuse for a fine arts building. I am unsure of the proper etiquette in this situation: do I say hi and risk him ignoring me or do I ignore him first, therefore beating him to the punch? I am unable to decide as he begins to approach me, throwing my plans off completely.
   
“Well, if it isn’t. . .Eliza, was it?” he says, a hint of playfulness in his voice.

    “Uh, yup, that’s me,” I reply, picking up the pace of my walking.

    “Where are you off to so soon? Off to reclaim your position as resident third wheel?”

    I fume silently with my back turned to him for a moment. “None of your business.”

    “Well, that may be, but what if I said I could get you away from that dilemma?”

    “Did they send you?” I scoff, turning back around and heading off again.

    “Nope,” he says, following me now. “I sent myself. With some help of your friends, yes, but that’s besides the point. I don’t think we got off to the best start the other day.”

    “No, we didn’t.” I stop, folding my arms over my chest. Maybe he’s right. Maybe I should let Lex and Brandon have their alone time, just for today. “What did you have in mind?”

    I see him grin, and he gestures towards his beat-up blue car parked next to us. “Hop in, Madam. You’re in for a treat.”

   
 
 
Current Mood: blah
Current Music: diamond in the rough - wendy darling
 
 
nowhere to be
Along with Lexine’s bed and dresser, Brandon becomes a permanent fixture in her room. He is her arm chair, her mirror. In true Eliza fashion, she wastes no time claiming her territory and three and a half weeks later we all make it a habit of lounging in her oversized room after school.  I am sitting with my back against the closet door, watching them instead of pretending to do my English homework: Describe two aspects of betrayal Dorian Gray commits for selfish purposes. I look back down at my paper and finally write, “By betraying his friends.” I tap my pencil against my notebook. “By murdering someone who admired him too greatly.” I shut it and look up to see Lexine sitting in front of me.
 
  “Brandon had the best idea,” she says, excitement bubbling in her voice. When I fail to respond, she continues. “There is someone you have to meet. We are going to throw an impromptu party tonight, so forget about your stupid homework.” I hold the notebook close to my chest, trying to calm my heart beat and nod. She grins and pats my knee. “You can--and will--thank me later.”



 
 
nowhere to be
A/N: So I'm back. I've had this written since the end of school, but I finally typed/edited it. Keep in mind NONE of this story is a finished product. I might go back and do a few re-writes in the future.



Lexine is sitting atop a table in the quad, the sun on her face and in her eyes. She is speaking rapidly, hardly giving me any time to process it all. I hear, “He’s so hot,” and “I think I am in love!” but I can’t decipher who with and what it all means. Finally, she says “Brandon,” the word falling slowly form her mouth and settling onto my skin. 
 
    It is only the second week of school, a constant whirlwind, a confusing mess. I see Lexine in the hallways and she waves to me, but she feels so far away, dashing from class to class, only settling down at lunch when she eats cucumber-and-cream-cheese wraps and talks about Music Theory, her new favorite class.
   
 
 
 
nowhere to be
The summer passed us by like a hazy dream. I had quit my job and I spent most of my time eating, sleeping, and waking in the Nightingale household. My father had moved out and back in, fighting and making up, because I guess in the end they were both too scared to be alone for long. I stayed as far away from my house as I could, not wanting to witness any of it. My father didn’t bat an eye when I told him I was quitting, just nodded in acceptance. No one asked where I was. I was home, here, flipping through stacks of Lexine’s books and magazines, eating spinach quiche and wearing my hair in two braids. I was at summer camp in the woods, boarding school in the mountains, away from anything resembling my former life as much as possible.
  
 When I had to go home, to either retrieve more clothes or because I felt guilty for being at Lexine’s house so much, I watched my mother sulk while my father was manning the  family business. He had hired a new girl to replace me, and my mother was full of paranoia.

    “Here he goes again. He has some nerve,” she would mumble while washing the dishes. I would sit at the kitchen table, reading through the old newspapers that lined its surface. “This is a family business. Wholesome,” she would say, setting the dry plates on the counter a little too loudly.

    When my mother was working her shift, my father would sit on the couch and watch television with a blank stare. Sometimes I would sit next to him and watch too, but rarely could I concentrate on what was happening on the screen. I spent most of the time peering at him from the corner of my eye, wondering if my mother was right about him, but mostly wondering why he came back in the first place.




    
 
 
nowhere to be
    The day after my awkward exit, Lexine grabbed herself a a seat at the juice bar. She spun around, her heart-shaped sunglasses encrusted with rhinestones remaining a fixture on her face amidst the indoor light.

    “Waitress!” she called, slamming her palms on the bar. “Give me the usual!”

    I bit my lower lip and poured her mango-orange juice. I checked the time. Thirty whole minutes before my shift was over.

    “Eliza,” Lexine said more seriously, her eyes shifted downward towards her drink, “I’m sorry I acted like such a clingy freak the other day.”

    “You mean yesterday?” I reminded her, softening a bit. “No, I’m just not used to that sort of thing.”

    “I know, I totally thought about it all night and I felt so stupid. Your parents would never allow you to sleep over at someone’s house you barely met, right?” Lexine sipped at her drink, eyeing me expectantly.

    They wouldn’t notice, I thought. Instead I said, “Right. You caught me,” and laughed it off.

    “So, they just need to get to know me. Look, I’ll just come over to your house tonight and I will eat with your family and--”

    “No,” I said, shaking my head. “You can’t. We, uh, don’t eat together usually. Someone always has to be here. It gets crazy some nights.”

    “Yes, because juice bars are where all the crazy parties are at.” Lexine rolled her eyes. “Come on, it won’t be so bad. They can get to know me and love me and all that fun stuff.”

    “Seriously, I mean it. We don’t eat together. Ever. My parents really don’t care where I am, as long as I am ready for work in the morning,” I said as matter-of-fact as I could, shifting my weight from foot to foot nervously. I had never said anything like that out loud. Lexine paused and tilted her head, her hand idly stirring her juice with a straw.

    “Well, then. Problem solved.” She jumped off the stool and brushed down her orange-and-white skirt. “More freedom means more fun, anyway.”

    “Not in this case,” I mumbled, brushing some dirt from the otherwise immaculate countertop.

    “Especially in this case,” Lexine said, looking like she had a plan. “Come on.”

    “I can’t. Thirty more minutes until my shift is over,” I said, sighing and cursing the clock. But Lexine had me by the hand now, and she directed me towards the door. I reached to flip over the OPEN sign to CLOSED as we left, hoping and praying my father wouldn’t notice for the short time I was going to be away.

 
 
nowhere to be
30 April 2008 @ 07:06 pm
When I got off work, I found Lexine propped up against the wall of our family-owned juice bar, my father’s pride and joy. She invited me to dinner over at her house, and though my brain told me to say no to strangers, her friendly smile won me over. My mother was always saying how I needed to make new friends, and here was my chance. So what if the girl with the goth name invited me over with no prior knowledge of me and hardly knew my first name? This summer was about taking chances, I decided.

    Lexine drove us the few blocks it took to reach her house, though we easily could have walked. Her house was two stories and covered in vines, nestled in one of the most expensive neighborhoods in Pomegranate. However, what surprised me wasn’t the decadence of its inside. Lexine’s family stunned me in their sheer normalcy. Her mother made them dinner every night, Lexine told me, sharing laughs and conversation over heaps of buttery mashed potatoes. The last part I might have just imagined, though.

    After dinner, Lexine and I ventured into her room to listen to Feel Good Lost, her favorite Broken Social CD which she insisted I had been deprived from listening to all these years.

    “I’m sorry my family is so ridiculously boring,” she said, pressing play on her stereo. “Sometimes I feel like I’m the only one who has a creative bone in my body.”

  
 
 
nowhere to be
30 April 2008 @ 07:05 pm
    The summer before Brandon and Jay I met Lexine serving her mango-orange juice. I was sitting behind the counter, hugging my knees to my chest, half-asleep. I sprang to my feet at her entrance and tried to be alert, carefully pouring the brightly colored drink.

    “It must suck working summer mornings, when practically the whole town is asleep,” she said.

    “Yeah, it feels pointless sometimes.”

    
 
 
nowhere to be
30 April 2008 @ 07:04 pm
Before autumn we already had sugar in our lungs, the music turned low and the summer sun setting low in the sky just in time for our favorite song.

    “Lex,”I said, sitting up from where I was lying on the soft carpet of her room. She turned her head to look at me, my face cold with dull panic.

    “Shh, this is my favorite part.” She closed her eyes and sang along in a voice that sounded like flowers and honey, and I closed my eyes too because it almost hurt too much to look at her when she was like that. She had this soft vulnerability that I could never expose in the same way she did.

    When the last song of the CD ended, we stayed silent for a few minutes, letting it soak in while the sun finally set. Our whole summer break had been spent in this room, my house feeling all too stifling and unwelcoming. But this, this was so much different.

    Lexine turned to face me and stuck her tongue out, coated red with cherry lollipop residue. I laughed softly, and then yawned. The sugar high was coming down fast, and I closed my eyes, everything slowly drifting away.