Reinvention and Reunion
I’ve read a lot of articles in Magazines and on the internet about reinventing one’s self. While I’ve never really thought of it as reinvention, it does seem that most of us tend to evolve over time. We usually hit a stumbling block or a fork in the road and make choices to change or learn new things that take us in new directions.
My characters in Need Me meet in college where they are filled with enthusiastic dreams and ideas about life. Real life, however isn’t always as wonderful as the one we dream of, and both of them face challenges that tear them apart for several years.
Destiny intervenes, as it often does, and gives them another chance. Much of this story focuses on the idea that each of us chooses a path and seeks that elusive career passion that we are meant to pursue.
Often, the very path we focus on is much more convoluted and treacherous than expected. Some people give up, some turn down another road, and others keep plodding through.
No matter what the choice, I firmly believe we always end up a better and stronger person afterward and therefore are reinvented either by choice or chance.
Here’s an excerpt:
Six years ago…
Caroline Sanders sat in her silver-bullet gray Land Rover outside frat house row. She loved the way the buildings looked—so clean and perfectly manicured. Sure, the frat boys inside were party animals bent on throwing their parents into financial ruin while they drank, chased girls, and studied-slash-cheated their way to fancy degrees. Tonight was no exception. The red traffic light glared at her while rap music blared from the house to her right. Geeze, a party on a Thursday night? Don’t they have exams like the rest of us?
She’d just finished one of the many photography gigs that helped pay the bills while she pursued that elusive journalism degree. The traffic light switched to green, but just as she moved her foot to the gas pedal, her passenger door flew open and a bulky frame dropped into her seat. Was she getting carjacked?
“Go. Go. Come on, the light’s green.” The panicked student-looking carjacker shoved the dash as if to propel them forward.
Caroline didn’t budge. She took in the wavy, brown hair that fell over chocolate eyes, the dimpled face that gave away a propensity to laugh regardless of his current fear. He didn’t look like a criminal. His clothes were clean, though tattered, and he held a can of something in his hand. Not beer. She glanced at his gold fingers. Spray paint?
She lifted a brow then looked behind him. On the trunk of the tree in the front yard of the beautiful house was a haphazard drawing in gold—of a kid whizzing on the tree. How childish. “You did not just do that. What are you, twelve?”
Footsteps thundered toward the car. “You’d better hit the gas unless you want to get blamed, too.”
The guy reached a foot over the console and slammed his flip-flop-clad toes over hers.
Against her will, she sped through the light. He kept his foot in place. No chance of turning at the current speed. Another green light accommodated their escape.
A quick glance in the rearview mirror showed half a dozen preppies standing in the street watching their taillights. Gulp. They probably had memorized her plate number.
“You realize you just made me an accomplice to whatever happened back there. Please tell me I won’t be tracked down for vandalism.”
The guy gave her a quick preview of the dimpled smile he probably used frequently. “Don’t worry, I painted over your license plate before I got in the car. You’re safe.”
Oh, that’s comforting.
He returned his leg to the passenger seat and glanced out the window. “You can pull over up there and drop me off. My house is a couple blocks away.”
Caroline shook her head. “No way. You jump in my car after doing ... whatever you did back there ... and my car is probably the only thing all those guys remember. Plus there’s gold paint on my license plate that just happens to match the crime scene—”
“There’s no crime ... or at least nothing serious. You’ve read too many spy novels. That was payback. Besides, they won’t report anything because they don’t want us to report them.” He rolled the window down. As they passed the lake in front of the student union, he flung the can out hard. Splash.
“Yes, and you just tossed the only thing that linked you to the artwork you left behind. Now my gold-enhanced license plate makes things even worse. No sir, I am not taking you all the way home. Better yet, why don’t I just circle around and drop you right back where I found you?”
The dimples went still. “You wouldn’t do that, would you? They’d beat both of us into oblivion.”
She gave him a look of intimidation. “Not me. I’d just tell the truth. You, on the other hand, would be in deep caca.”
His Adam’s apple lunged. Was her ruse working? He sighed. “Something tells me you’d get a kick out of that—watching me get schooled.” He closed the window.
Using her best crazy eyes, she nodded. “You have no idea.”
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