Yesterday, Elodie tagged me for a writing game. (Definitely check out her shared excerpt--boy, can that girl write romantic tension!)
Here are the rules: “Search the words “moment,” “forever,” “time,” or the like in your writing, pick your favorite chunk, post on your blog, and tag others!”
I'll tag the gals I met up with at SCBWI this winter: Jaime Morrow, Rebecca Behrens, and Ghenet Myrthil!
This chunk is from my WiP, Last, which, despite having been written twice, is still actually a first draft because I'm completely re-writing it this time through. This is what I'll be working on during Ready. Set. Write!--I hope to have it revised and ready for feedback by the end of the summer. But here's a scene for now, in all its unrevised glory!
Maggie is now attempting to show me how to wear makeup, despite the fact that her skin is the color of lakefront sand and mine alternates between the color of a frosted lightbulb and the glowing intensity of Rudolph’s nose. We’ve wisely skipped over the foundation piece and moved on to the eyes. I’m willing myself to believe that the jitters I’m feeling are due to the pointy objects Maggie is wielding right next to my eyeball, and not the fact that her face is about an inch away from mine.
“Close your eyes,” she instructs. I do, and I’m startled by a soft, warm puff of air, followed by the lightest brush of a finger over my eyelids. I jump. "Hold still, Bridget!" Maggie says, and grabs my chin, turning it from side to side to examine her work. “Don’t want little bits of powder all over,” she explains. She brushes away any last lingering imperfections with her thumb.
Her voice is matter-of fact, but her touch lingers on my cheek, just below my eye. I want desperately to open my eyes, to see if I can read anything in her face, but I keep them shut. Her hand moves away and I realize I’ve been holding my breath. I try to let it out quietly, without giving myself away, but then I feel like there’s no air in my lungs at all and I’m left trying to catch my breath without Maggie realizing what she’s done to me. Luckily, I can hear her rooting in her makeup box, so I let myself take a deep breath. I keep my eyes closed to calm myself.
Then, without warning, her hand is on my chin, and I feel her finger, warm and slick with something sweet, running over my lips. A shock runs through my core, and my eyes fly open. My eyes stare straight into Maggie’s dark brown ones, and for a second, we’re both hypnotized.
“Lip stain,” she says in a shaky voice. She holds the little pot out without breaking eye contact. “Here. You can practice putting it on me. Just to see how it goes on.”
I take the pot and break her gaze to look down at it, and contemplate what she’s asking me to do. I swipe my finger over the top of glossy red disc in my hand, and flip it over to look at the color on my fingertip. I glance back up at Maggie, but there’s an excitement in her eyes that I can’t bring myself to confront. So I focus my eyes on her lips, which are smooth and rose-colored, not chapped like mine. I bring my finger up and gently spread the stain across the center of her bottom lip. Her chin tilts up, just a fraction of an inch, and when I look up at her eyes again I see that she’s closed them. I gently rub the color toward each side of her lips, then pause.
Keeping her eyes closed, Maggie reaches up to take my hand. “Like this,” she says, and shows me how to finish off the corners. She moves my hand slowly over her mouth until it’s done, and then she touches her lips together experimentally. “How does it look?” she asks me, opening her eyes. “Anything out of place?”
I look at her red lips, and it does seem like there’s the tiniest bit of a smudge just at the left corner of her mouth. I nod. “Hold still. I’ll get it.” My voice comes out steadier than I expected, and that gives me the courage I need to take her chin in my hand and reach toward her lips again. I slide my thumb down her cheek, toward her lips, and her eyes find mine again. I lean toward her--the better to see the outline of her lips under the bright red stain--and I feel everything inside of me explode with the understanding of what’s about to happen here. I pull her toward me, just another few millimeters, and I know we’ve reached the point of no return.
And then I bail. “Got it!” I yelp, pulling my hands away. “You look perfect.” I turn toward the mirror, because I can’t bear to see what’s going across Maggie’s face. If I was reading things correctly (but how could I have been?) then I’m a coward and I just rejected my best friend and biggest crush of all time, ever. If I was reading things incorrectly (which I can’t have been, I just know I can’t have been) then seeing nothing in Maggie’s face would certainly cause my heart to explode, and I’d like to save her the mess of cleaning that up.