I mentioned (in my previous post) in the description of my upcoming book, In the Wake of Wanting, the flustered freshman that Trey Holland would meet. I didn’t mention that the flustered feeling would be contagious.
This excerpt brings back some of your favorites, if you’re a current reader of mine. (Livvy, Jon, Jack and Emi are all at dinner with Trey.) If you’re new to me, don’t worry. This novel is written as a stand-alone, so you’ll be given all the info you need to have. The ‘scene’ told from Trey’s perspective is below the graphic! Meet Cole–er, Coley!
“Hey,” my sister, Livvy, says. “Isn’t this when you get to mentor someone? Be an editor this semester to a newbie?”
“Yeah. I’m surprised you remember that.”
“So? What do you think of your mentee? Give me some details… name, qualifications, first impression.”
“Name is Coley…” I half-mumble.
“Cole?” my dad asks.
“Yeah,” I answer reflexively.
“And what do you think of him?”
“I, uh… I think he’ll be good,” I say. Fix it now, Trey. “He’s from Virginia. His dad’s a secret service agent assigned to the president, actually. His mom’s a cop in DC. They’re divorced, apparently.”
“How’s his writing?”
“He wouldn’t let me see his work. But he has to do that first impression assignment on me, so I’ll get to see something Wednesday. He’s obviously good enough to get on the Wit staff.”
“So, Trey, did he know who you were?” Mom asks.
“I mean, yeah, I guess so,” I answer vaguely. “He didn’t make a big deal out of it.”
The waiter delivers our salads. I stare at mine, knowing that I’m not going to be able to maintain a lie of this magnitude for an entire semester. I’m surprised they’re believing what I’m saying now, since I haven’t given anyone eye contact since I started answering them.
As soon as our waiter leaves, I continue the conversation. “She has a twin brother who’s deaf.”
“Who does?” my brother-in-law, Jon, asks.
“Cole.” I shake my head, still mentally berating myself for being unable to say her name.
“I thought you said she.”
I clear my throat. “Coley. Her name is Coley Fitzsimmons. It is a girl. She is a she.”
All the adults look at me curiously. “Is she, um… gender fluid?” Livvy asks, trying not to make a big deal about it. “Or transgender?” Everyone at the table smiles, showing their open-mindedness as they await my response.
“No,” I say as I exhale the breath I’d been holding in. “She’s a female, feminine girl. I don’t know why I was lying. Why I was saying he. Coley. That’s her name. And yes, she knows who I am, too. Everything else is true.”
Of course, my face is most definitely the color of the tomatoes in my salad. When I look up, everyone is still staring at me. “Is she getting under your skin, there, Trey?” Jon asks.
“What?” I ask, adamantly denying that she is. “No! No, no. She’s just my… I’m just her editor. That’s all it is. It’s just weird to be partnered with a girl. You know, we’re going to be working together a lot this semester. I don’t know how it’s going to go, that’s all. I expected a guy.”
“You were with a girl when you were the mentee, though,” my mom says. “It’s no different, right?”
“It’s very different,” I say defensively, having no rational reason why, though.
From In the Wake of Wanting ©2016 Lori L. Otto • unedited • content subject to change
Kindle US: http://amzn.to/2dEtdws
Kindle UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M0CDNHN
Nook: [available next week]
Signed Paperback: bit.ly/llosignedbooks