My unpublished manuscript ‘Knowing When You’re Too Young to Grow Up’ chronicles Andrew Brown’s struggle to reconnect with his best friend Pete Goodman as a lurid secret Andrew has never told threatens to break them apart for good.
As I mentioned in “A Reintroduction: The Prologue,” I intend to post edited chapters every few weeks. Here’s a sample from Chapter 15. As always, feedback is STRONGLY encouraged via the contact tab or comments section.
She raped me!
Do you know what that feels like?
The words still ring in my head like the last bell of the day, dismissing me to a new life without my best friend. Our last chance to get back to where we were, I think, probably gone just like him, just like the next UNO kid Ms. Benevo was on to.
Except that was a fantasy. And it always was. Because we couldn’t go back to sophomore year any more than we could go back and play in the sandbox. After all, Pete sort of did tell me that:
That’s your problem, Brown. You think you can change the past, but you can’t. Because what’s happened can’t be changed.
It’s just too bad it took me so long to see it.
I don’t know how late it was when Ant woke up to Pete screaming out into the night. She was scared. She wanted to go back to her room. We left him there by himself on that couch and walked down the hallway and up the stairs, one floor up, past the ice machine, all the way to the end.
The door opened.
She pulled me into her, kissing my neck, then my lips, roughly. “Come to bed,” she said dreamily.
“Not tonight; you’re drunk. Another–”
“Now!” She pushed me in.
“What about Charley?” I said, so meekly I could’ve been the virgin she took in her basement. I was running out of excuses. I wanted her more than my first time, our first time.
“She’ll be out till tomorrow. She took a sleeping pill.”
Ant’s face was glowing like a candle in church. Instinctually, my hand gravitated to it, guiding it to mine, uniting our lips. It was the stuff movies were made of – the drawn-out, emotionally cathartic embrace of the star-crossed lovers – missing only the climactic crescendo right as their lips finally touched.