WHAT I’M CURRENTLY QUERYING:
THE STAINED GLASS SUN AND MOON, a contemporary young adult novel about a 16-year-old girl who discovers she’s pregnant; as she and her boyfriend struggle to make a choice, they are blindsided by a medical emergency neither is prepared to handle.
WHAT I’M CURRENTLY WRITING:
THOSE WILD MARLUCHIANS, a contemporary young adult novel about a 15-year-old girl navigating first love while struggling to save her alcoholic cousin whom she discovers is hiding a secret that forces her to decide between family loyalty and her own happiness.
I lock myself in the bathroom stall and sit down, clutching the test. To my right, someone flushes, and a group of women by the sinks discuss their jobs. This is not the place I want to learn my fate, but I have no choice. If I go home, I risk being caught by my parents and I can’t handle a confrontation, not after what happened with Jesse earlier. It’s better to be surrounded by strangers, even though I suddenly feel both exposed and alone.
“Lauren?” I ask.
“I’m right here,” my best friend answers from the other side of the door and I relax enough to tear open the box. The instructions are a confusing blur of diagrams and words, so I toss them on the floor. I don’t need a step-by-step on how to pee.
“Jules?” Lauren reaches under the door to pick up the paper. “Are you okay?”
“Yeah.” My hands are shaking so hard I almost drop the stick in the toilet. “I just forgot how long this is supposed to take.”
She moves her face to the crack in the door and whispers, “Three minutes. I’ll time it with my phone.”
“Oh, sorry.” She turns around and I almost laugh at her embarrassment. It seems pointless, considering what we’re in the middle of doing.
Lauren’s face briefly reappears. “It’ll be better to know for sure.”
She’s right. As soon as the test confirms I’m not pregnant, my life can go back to normal.
(Wild, rough draft)
I was born on a day that my mom hated my dad, so I got her last name instead of his. I was Emmaline Faith Marluchian, one of those Wild Marluchians, and I’d spent the last fifteen years failing to live up to my family’s reputation.
“Emma!” Bastian greeted, clearly startled as I stepped from the trees and onto the paved road that ran a loop around the campground. He gulped from a plastic water bottle. “What are you doing?”
“What are you doing?” It had been nearly half an hour since my cousin left the lake for the bathroom. His best friend, Nick, said I was worrying for nothing, that Bastian was probably paying the price for the iffy-looking lunch meat he’d eaten for breakfast, but I’d had a feeling it was something more. A couple campers were at the lake that morning, overly chatty and reeking of beer, and while one stayed to flirt with Nick, the other left to go back to their campsite. Not so coincidentally, Bastian disappeared shortly after.