Firstly, my planned website and domain update will be coming this week, so this website might be down for some people for a short period of time. I'm not going anywhere, though!
Secondly, I want to share a small part of my new book. It's unedited, but I'm really close to finishing!
When I wrote Taking Chances, I took Lauren's issues seriously. I felt her pain as she struggled to control her drinking problem. My heart went out to her as she had to wake up to what she was doing to herself and the people she loved. It was hard and it was heavy. I didn't realise quite how much until a friend of mine told me it was different. I asked how different. She said that she was used to 'light and fluffy' from me, and that this was a lot darker than my previous books.
She was right. It is a serious issue, and I hope I handled it appropriately. I didn't want it to be an issue which was instantly fixed by falling in love, because that's not how real life works. Lauren needed to work out what was important to her and to work on her problems.
This new thing I'm working on was supposed to be a lighter piece, and it is for the most part. There is heartbreak, joy and love with a slightly dark twist. So, here's the first excerpt I want to share with you. :)
There is literally nothing quite like finding out you’ve wasted your whole life on someone who doesn’t love you back. Standing in the middle of the living room, I felt searing pain roll down my face as the tension built inside, my body aching at the realisation that my unrequited love would always be just that.
I’d been on love with Andrew my whole life, and now I stood in front of him and in front of Charlie. She was our other best friend and partner in crime. My mother called us the Three Musketeers.
Where three once stood, there now were two, and I went from being a musketeer to feeling like a third wheel.
Andrew looked at me, rolling his eyes, as if he didn’t care. Charlie was the one who dripped of guilt, her mouth downturned in such a sad expression that if it wasn’t for what had just happened, I would have hugged her tight and told her everything would be all right.
Except it wasn’t.
My life was so regimented, I was a creature of habit who thrived on routine, and my best friends knew it. But this day, this one day, I’d come home earlier than usual, just in time to catch them emerging from Charlie’s room. They were arm in arm and smiling at each other with that intimate look that lovers share. Any earlier and I might have even heard them in the act. My heart ached at the thought of that.
Not that Andrew had ever made a commitment to me, or even told me he loved me. Not in that way. I just always thought we would end up together. He was the first in my life for everything, except for the one thing he now apparently shared with Charlie. They were lovers.
“Rowan, it’s not what it looks like,” Charlie said. I could see the strain on her face as she struggled to hold back the tears. Of all the people in my life, she was the one who knew just how much this would hurt me.
“Of course it is,” Andrew snapped. “I told you we should have told her instead of sneaking around, just in case we hurt her feelings. Now look.”
I just stared at him. Talking about me as if I wasn’t there. He had been my best friend from birth, and he didn’t even have the decency to talk directly to me.
“I’m sorry, Rowan. I knew you wouldn’t like this, so I did ask Andrew to keep it a secret. We never meant to hurt you. I swear. We love you.”
I just shook my head. “No.”
I sat on the couch, flicking on the television as if they weren’t there. They sat either side of me, talking to me as if I was a child. I shut them out, disappearing into my own little world, the world inside my head where no-one can hurt me. There was just noise outside that space, white noise that I couldn't completely get rid of. It was like that sound where the radio is just off the station, the sound of static. When it built to the point that I could no longer ignore it, I stood.
Walking past them, I went into my room and slammed the door. Screw them both.
Ariadne Wayne is the pen name of an overworked, often exhausted mother of two who frequently turns to the internet for relaxation. It doesn't always work...