An excerpt from ALICIA


Happy Wednesday!  Today I'm going to share the beginning of my Camp NaNoWriMo novel, ALICIA.  This is the very beginning of the book and it's only been roughly edited so here we go!

I can’t believe I’m standing next to Pete Frampton.  It’s our end of school dance and everyone is flailing around like crazy people in the middle of the gymnasium and I’m off to the side of the room, sipping punch with one of the cutest boys in school.  If it wasn’t so humid from all of the sweaty bodies pulsing around me, I would think that I was in a dream.  A smelly, disgusting dream. 
But did I mention that Pete got me a cup of punch?  Because he did.  He completely surprised me by being a total gentleman.  I mean, it’s not like I expected him to be rude or anything, but you know what I’m saying.  Boys aren’t always so thoughtful when they’re in middle school. 
“So do you have any big plans for the summer?”  Pete asks, before taking a sip from his punch cup. He normally doesn’t partake in eating or drinking artificial sugars because he’s such a serious athlete, but he decided to make an exception for tonight. 
He looks nervous, like he doesn’t know what to do.  His feet are apart and he has one hand thrust into his pants pocket, I guess trying to appear casual.  But he looks anything but casual.  If anything, he looks anxious. 
“I’m going to an academic program at Eastern Pennsylvania University.” 
“Wow.  Why are you going to school during the summer?” 
“Because it’s an honor to be invited, Pete.”  I look at him, hoping that he understands.  “It’s a program for high school students who are gifted in academics but also dedicated to service and helping the community.” 
Pete nods his head.  “Ok.  That’s pretty cool.” 
Tia, who has been one of my best friends since elementary school, used to compare Pete to a puppy. She would say that both of them are adorable but they differ in that a puppy actually has the chance to become smarter and have a bright future. 
I always called her out on her harsh judgments and defended Pete.  A big part of that might have been because of my huge crush on him.  I can’t help it.  I’m just a total sucker for guys with dark hair and blue eyes. 
“It is.”  I agree with him.  “So what are you doing this summer?  Do you have any trips planned?  Are you going to the beach at all?” 
“I’m a junior lifeguard at Skyview, actually, so I’ll be spending most of my summer making money.” 
Skyview is the local pool that most of the kids on our side of the county go to during the summer months.  Memberships are pretty cheap but they also do day passes.  The only kids who don’t go are the ones who live on the other side of the county and the kids who go to Mayfield Manor, which is a very exclusive country club. 
I’ve only been to Mayfield Manor one time and it was while on a field trip with my girl scout troop when I was in the third grade.  The manor has some sort of historical significance to our town and so we went there for the day to learn about it.  The only thing we really cared about was the water slide, though. 
“Wow.”  I say. 
I temporarily forget that I’m standing in the middle of the middle school gymnasium and there are kids flailing and gyrating to today’s hits all around us.  I glance at Pete and it feels like we’re the only ones in the room.  But then another kid pops into my field of vision and I sigh.  At least Pete and I are the only people that matter. 
“So you must stay pretty busy during the summer.”  I say.  “Have you ever had to save anybody?” 
“No.  It’s not usually that exciting.”  Pete admits.  “But my cousin was a lifeguard at Mayfield Manor a couple of years ago and the craziest thing happened.” 
“What?” 
“There you are!” 
Without much warning a person grabs my wrist and I can tell from the way it feels that they’re sweaty.  Gross.  I do my best to smack the person’s hand away.  I try even harder when I see who it is.  
“Stop it, Tia.”  I tell my best friend.  But considering the fact that she’s ruining the longest conversation that I have ever had with Pete Frampton, she may as well be a former best friend. 
“I can’t.”  She says seriously, reaching her hand out again.  Her long reddish brown is wild and pulled back in a haphazard half bun.  She closes her fist and her grip on me is much harder this time.
“Why not?”  I demand.  Then I turn back to Pete who is looking uncomfortable.  “Sorry about this.”
He steps back.  “No, it’s ok.  Why don’t you guys talk?”
“I really don’t think it’s necessary.”  I say quickly, even though Tia still has a death grip on my arm.
“Yes it is.”
Now someone else has ahold of my other arm.  I turn to see who it is and it’s a boy who I’ve never seen before.  I would be concerned except for the fact that he’s gazing at Tia with that adoring look on his face.  It’s the look that all guys give Tia.  I try to brush him off but he has a tight grip as well.
“Stop it.”  I say to them.  “I’m not in the mood for this.”
“Too late.”  Tia turns to Pete and smiles sweetly.  “We need to talk to Alicia.  Bye!”
Pete lifts his punch glass to me.  “Catch you later, Alicia.”
I don’t even get the chance to respond because Tia and her mystery boy yank me through the crowd and out of the gymnasium doors.  There are supposed to be teachers guarding the doors so that students can’t wander the halls of the school but there’s nobody on post. 
A quick glance tells me that Mr. Kronos and Ms. Busby are too busy flirting with each other to properly look after the students.   
Awesome. 
“Tia.”  I ask.  “Where are you taking me?”
Where is Tia taking Alicia?  You'll have to wait until I'm done editing to find out!  Also, I found out that there is a musician named Peter Frampton so I either have to keep calling Alicia's crush Pete or come up with a different name. Decisions, decisions!

Take care,
Marian

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