It’s Wednesday, and you know what that means! Okay, maybe you don’t, but the more I do these, the more you have to look forward to these things. Last week, I said that I would give you a little update/sneak peek on the new book I’m writing. I know that I told you that it would be the sequel to She Falls Asleep (which you can buy on Amazon + Kindle, if you like)…but I lied.
An idea popped into my mind. Something that happened to me about four years ago had been…eating at me? I’m not quite sure that’s the right word to use in this situation because it was a very positive event. Long story short, it was the firs, albeit only, time a guy has actually called me “beautiful.” No, it wasn’t from a boyfriend (frankly, I’ve never been in a relationship). It came from someone with whom I went to school. It happened at a really random moment, but it was…nice. And it’s definitely something that I will always remember. So I thought, why not write a book based off of that? And by that, I mean how that moment just sticks with you, how it affects the complimentee.
I named the main character, Halsey Benson, but I’m going to do something different. I’m not going to describe her physical attributes whatsoever. This way, it’s all a mystery and girls can envision themselves as her rather than going “oh, she’s this tall, has this type of hair, this colored eyes, etc.” I want Halsey to be whoever is reading the book. I know that a lot of girls complain about authors using only a certain physique to describe their heroines. So I’m going to leave it up to the reader to imagine what Halsey looks like. That’s why I’m not going to write down them down.
Without further ado, this is the first five paragraphs of the first chapter, “Freshman Year.”
I came into high school not knowing what to expect. I’ve seen on TV shows how the upperclassmen would bully freshmen just because they had the power to do so. I didn’t want to believe that any of those pranks could happen to me. I also didn’t want to believe that people would want to spread nasty rumors about me. Then again, why would they? I’m essentially a nobody compared to the likes of Hilary Stewart and her group of friends. They weren’t exactly the “Plastics” of my class, but those girls were close to it.
Luckily for me, Athens High turned out to be…like middle school. Obviously, there were more kids and expectations. The transition from middle to high school was quite easy for my class. A lot of people had senior siblings, which made it a hell of a lot easier for them to gain friends than kids like me who had nobody. But I was alright with it. I didn’t mind. I had my small group of friends who I became really good friends with during middle school. They were all I needed to survive that first year.
The cool kids in my grade took all Honors classes. English, geometry, science, world history, foreign language…everything. As for me? Well, I wasn’t exactly a “cool” kid, but I did happen to take all Honors classes. Everyone in my grade just happened to know who I as because I was either in their classes, their friends’ classes, or because they knew me as the incredibly nice girl who liked to write.
I remember the exact words my older sister, Rachel, said to me upon my first day of school. Rachel wouldn’t be there with me since she was starting university a few weeks later. But to this very day, I treasure the advice she gave me.
It’s okay to want to fit in, but never change yourself for anyone. No potential friend or boy is worth losing your identity. The right people will come when they’re meant to come. Just be yourself and everything will fall into place.
Just like anyone else, I wanted to fit in. I adhered to the fashion rules, tried to listen to the right music (I stopped because I hated what was on the radio at the time. Looking back, there were some proper tunes), and even kept up with the lingo. Yet I knew that I would never be “Miss Popular.” Even during my freshman year of high school, I knew that I wasn’t anyone special. I was just Halsey Benson. I wasn’t the conventionally pretty or popular girl guys paid attention to. I was just another awkward freshman in the crowd going about her daily dose of education and socialization. And I was okay with that. I have my friends, so why would I need any guy to validate my attractiveness? I’d think each time I walked by a couple holding hands and looking at each other with doe eyes.