Recent Reads Review

Reading slumps suck. So far, since the year has started, I’ve only read three books—one of those I even half-assed and just practically skimmed through.

If you’re looking for more books to read, don’t look here. I’m actually just here to share what I think of these books and, hopefully, stumble upon someone who can recommend me books like the ones I’ve read. These reviews are very short and lazily written (I just copied them from my Goodreads account, actually). Really, they are just begging for more books to be with them. Oh, and tiny spoiler alert!

Eliza and Her Monsters

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Rating: 4/5 Stars

The writing, the story, and the story within the story (Monstrous Sea) were all captivating. It hooked me at once. I could relate with Eliza, with what she’s going through, though my social anxiety ain’t that bad (‘cuz I at least know how to fake knowing how to socialize and don’t let anyone else notice) but I know how it can be draining and overwhelming at times. Yes, the book opens up about social anxiety and what it’s like to have it. The writing is what really got me mesmerized because it flowed and transitioned so well. But the story of Eliza is what made me love the book so much.

What I just didn’t like was Wallace. He was so good in the first half of the book. The second half didn’t justify enough (or apologize enough) how Wallace could be so selfish as to force Eliza to finish the web comic while she’s having a mental breakdown. Like dude. Your life isn’t her responsibility so give the girl a break, please. Anyway, other than that I loved everything about the book. I wish there’s really a Monstrous Sea web comic. Is there? The on-page sketches look cool!

Geekerella

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Rating: 2/5 Stars

In between 2 and 3 stars. Maybe because I have read a book with a similar premise before this and did it much better? Reading this book felt like a chore; I had to skim through most of the characters’ thought process, and the dialogues were too sloppy and cheesy for my liking. Darien and Elle’s chemistry also felt forced, and they are being too dramatic. I also found some inconsistencies with Elle’s personality. Even the side characters seemed so stereotypical and that made them even more unrealistic. This actually reads more like a fanfic than an original YA stand-alone novel.

I usually enjoy feel-good stories with fairy tale-like themes like this one, you know, just for mindless fluffy reading. But Geekerella was just too plain. Kelly Oram’s Cinder and Ella is still the most enjoyable and believable modern Cinderella-meets-Hollywood YA novel I’ve read so far. I should probably read that again to make up for the disappointment that this book gave me. Anyway, nice try for taking on the kind of story concept that has been done over and over again. I am also aware that it’s hard to give this kind of recycled plot an original feel. Still, good try.

Burn Before Reading

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Rating: 4/5 Stars

I probably should’ve burned this book before reading because I fell a little bit in love with it! It’s the kind of book that you would want to read when you’re in need to swoon mindlessly and feel giddy all over. It was so much fun! But it also took on some serious issues, which is very commendable and genuinely well-executed. I admit though at first, I didn’t want to read it because the synopsis screams BOYS OVER FLOWERS. After having seen that a-group-of-rich-and-privileged-bad-boys-against-one-poor-but-stubborn-girl story in three live-action adaptations, I thought I’ve had enough. But Sara Wolf is an instant read to me. I’m so glad I gave this book a chance because, boy, it gave a new spin and depth to that classic plot! What an enjoyable read!

By the way, Bee reminds me so much of Isis (another character from the same author). They have the same wit, and I wonder if that reflects the author’s personality in real life, too. That’s the one thing consistent through-out her books, some more subtle than others. That’s not a bad thing; just a random observation. Hey, her female characters are funny and #relatable!

YA Stock Characters (The ones you always read and write about)

I probably have more story ideas than I could write. But as I was writing the outline of the story that I’m currently working on, I noticed a pattern to my characters. Every time I create a story (usually young-adult contemporary romance set in small town high schools), I just use certain character archetypes and play matchmaker with them in the story. I blame the YA novels I read.

I do it unconsciously, but knowing it now makes me realize how cliche my characters can be. This challenges me to break their mold and give them more depth and development. But for now, let’s just get to know each of them and…make fun of them.

So, I wrote their basic character profiles.

Meet my YA stock characters:

The Bad Boy

A.K.A The Rebel; Female Counterpart: The Bad Girl (duh!)

Brooding, mysterious, damaged, rebellious. Hides a dark, tragic past. Often wears a leather jacket and rides a motorcycle. Needs the right girl to change his rebel ways. Has a tattoo and hides a scar, literally and figuratively. Most likely orphaned to make him even more tragic. Obviously brings trouble but there has to be some redeeming qualities, right?

The Popular Jock

A.K.A The Popular Jock (there’s no other way to do it); Female Counterpart: The Popular Cheerleader

The guy every girl wants. Also a known playboy. Supposedly the epitome of a cool guy. Acts like an airhead on the outside, but keeps a sensible and thoughtful personality. Has honey-chocolate abs to die for. Most likely the town’s golden boy quarterback. Redeeming qualities: HOT. But also his secret philosophical depth hidden behind his good looks and jackass-jerk facade.

The Boy-Next-Door

A.K.A The Nice Guy; Female Counterpart: The Girl-Next-Door

Best friend-to-boyfriend material. Literally the guy that lives next door. Also known as Mr. McPerfectson. Likes basketball and music, plays the guitar, can also sing and cook, loves dogs, love babies, loves you. Gentleman with a killer smile and dimples on both cheeks. Redeeming qualities: EVERYTHING.

The Cute Nerd

A.K.A Totally-Not-A-Nerd-Just-A-Cute-Guy-Wearing-Glasses; Female Counterpart: The Cute Nerd (girl version)

Shy, quiet, awkward. Not necessarily studious but naturally smart (or not). Loves his video games, superhero comic books, and sci-fi/fantasy movies. Often wears glasses. Secretly hot and wild and everything you want him to be. Is working on a sci-fi graphic novel of his own (so he most definitely knows how to draw).

The Good Girl

A.K.A The Mary Sue; Male Counterpart: Definitely NOT The Bad Boy

Innocent, humble, simple (or plain), timid. Doesn’t know she’s pretty until the right guy tells her. Loves reading books, and probably has a book and movie review blog. Has hidden wit and sarcasm (how is she gonna write those killer reviews if she’s not witty like me). Can stand up for herself only when she’s up against her love interest and the love interest’s evil ex-girlfriend.

The Ice Princess

A.K.A Elsa, Concealed, Doesn’t Feel; Male Counterpart: The Ice Prince

Complete straight A’s, no non-sense girl. Perfect in every way except for her cold, uptight, and a little bit (by that, I mean very) naive personality. Trained in some fancy talent like piano, ballet, or painting. Uses only at least three-syllabic SAT words in a casual conversation. Facial expressions are limited to a resting bitch face. Actually has feelings.

The Tomboy

A.K.A The-Girl-You-Didn’t-Realize-Was-Beautiful-Until-A-Makeover; Male Counterpart: (I actually have no idea)

Quirky, sporty, one-of-the-boys. Hates make-up and wearing high heels or skirts. Tough as nails but still a lady at heart. Can play basketball, knows how to skateboard, and beat the boys at it. Secretly a huge fangirl of boy bands. Fashion sense is limited to over-sized T shirts, baggy jeans, sneakers, and other hand-me-downs.

The Queen Bee

A.K.A The Girl You Envy; Male Counterpart: Your Dream Guy

The girl every guy wants. Pretty, sassy, and fierce. Often mistaken as the mean girl. Always the homecoming and prom queen. Also known as the popular girl that rules high school, and your teacher’s favorite student. Probably in a relationship with The Popular Jock. Rival includes The Popular Cheerleader. Struggles to keep her royal image.

This list doesn’t represent all of the stock characters that we have in YA contemporary fiction. These are just the archetypes that I use in my own stories. So, if you think I missed someone, no worries, you can write about them. But don’t forget to try and destroy their tropes. That makes a story more interesting.

Romance Cliches That I Absolutely Love

People hate cliche. But what they don’t realize is that cliches are cliches because they always work! Here are my top 5 favorite cliches in romance that you might hate to death but I absolutely enjoy reading or watching when done right.

1) Love Triangles. It gets tiring when all the mopey main characters  always have a hard time choosing between two equally sexy, equally good, love interests. “Boohoo, I don’t know who to choose. Both of them are hot.” But I love it when Miss MC clearly knows who she likes. No more playing games. It gives me a hard case of second lead syndrome which I enjoy. A lot. It’s a torturous kind of fun when I’m rooting for the other guy but the girl is so damn loyal to the first one so she rejects the other one. Korean dramas are full of that cliche, but I love it! Come to Mama Sophie, you broken-hearted second male lead hottie! Lemme comfort ya in ma lovin’ arms!

2) The Bad Boy. No, not the douche-y kind of bad boy but the bad boy with a soft, big heart. Girls love bad boys and although I often criticize them for going after that type (because when a boy is bad in real life, he is actually bad, not good, not cool—never accept any kind of douche-y-ness even though he’s your one true love) I love the way fiction easily breaks the archetype. The guy might be wearing the stereotypical leather jacket, the stereotypical dark tattoos, and riding the stereotypical big black bike, but this guy ain’t bad. He’s a nice gentleman with just an awful fashion sense.

3) Special First Meetings. It’s a magical, wonderful thing when two people meet for the first time in a happenstance as strangers. They still don’t know yet what comes to them after but as a reader, you already know. Something deep and special will blossom between them. It doesn’t have to be an insta-love, love-at-first-sight kind of thing. I just want to see the two main characters bump into each other one day like it’s fate or destiny that brought them together.

4) A Shared Past. Plot twist, they were actually childhood sweethearts that got separated from each other long before they even realize what love and puberty are. I’m a sucker for that! As a hopeless romantic, I live off stories of true love and soulmates and meant-to-be’s where people still end up together no matter what happened to them and no matter how long they’ve been away from each other to the point that they’ve forgotten one another. Yet, like fate, they meet again years later. Ah, the unrealistic depiction of love and relationships is so much fun.

5) Star-Crossed Lovers. You know, the usual Romeo-and-Juliet forbidden romance plot or the interspecies, vampire-human, love story—they just never get old. Why do you think are we going to have a Beauty and the Beast live action remake next year? (By the way, I’m so excited for that one!) It’s practically bestiality! Don’t tell me it’s not because Belle fell in love when the Beast is still a beast. That’s kind of the requirement to break the spell. Anyway, there’s something fascinating about forbidden love. There’s a reason why Romeo and Juliet is such a popular classic love story. I want to see love conquering all (although Romeo and Juliet were both too stupid so let’s not count them as an example for the “conquering all” part).

Now, can someone recommend me a good cliche YA romance novel? I want to read something with all of these elements present. Should be fun!

Pick a Love Story! (Part Two)

Help me choose! Here’s the next four romance plot ideas. If you want to read the first four, just click this link. Don’t forget to leave a comment of your best pick below and, also, help me come up with a title. I’d really appreciate it. If ever I get to finish the book (which I pray I will), I’ll dedicate it to you, guys. It’s the least I can do for you for helping me out. If you have any comments, suggestions, writing tips, or any form of feedback, don’t hesitate to tell me.

It’s really my dream to get published. Of course, I also want my stories to come out with the best quality. I don’t really care about having readers, I just want to see my stories come to life on bookstore shelves and tell myself, “I wrote that. This book is mine. The name on it is mine. I did that.” But even finishing a draft seems so hard for me. So please feel free to leave comments and criticize my ideas if you want.

5) I’m going to start off with a story of unrequited love. Most love stories are in the perspective of two people who are obviously going to end up together, that’s why this time I want to try telling the story of the guy who doesn’t get the girl.

Caleb is a troubled teen. He’s been in a lot of school fights and into some suspicious stuff. You can say that he’s the typical bad boy you read in romance novels minus the obligatory coolness that often comes with it. He’s just plain problematic. That’s why his grandmother forced him to work in a flower shop. This flower shop is owned by the wife of a police officer that helped them out with one of his cases. His grandmother thought that they will teach how to be responsible, respectful, etc. Turns out, the couple has a daughter his age, Sarah, who is the complete opposite of him. Thoughtful, responsible, and sweet—basically the “good daughter” but she’s also frail—and you guessed it right. He’s totally going to fall in love with her.

The problem is, Sarah has a boyfriend and, worse, he is the star swimmer of the school who is also known for his abrasive personality. Obviously, that’s the reason why this is an unrequited love story.

More than the romance though, I want to focus on the character development and break their archetype. Yes, we’ve got the typical bad boy, the typical good girl, and the typical popular jock. But I want the characters to learn that there’s so much more in a person than the reputation they have. They don’t necessarily need to step out of their personalities and be a changed person but, if I can pull it off, I want them to realized that they are their own person and they don’t need to box themselves into the image others have formed for them.

Caleb, despite him causing trouble for everyone, cares about his grandmother so much that he agreed to work in the flower shop, of all places. If he was the jerk everyone thought he was, he wouldn’t agree to work there despite his hesitance. He worries about his life too.

Sarah, even though she has a weak body, is not afraid to set people straight. Most “good girls” in the romance genre are often the submissive type and they still have to work on their confidence to speak out. On the other hand, most of the “strong heroines” in fiction always fight back, always trying to match the wit of the other person, but not Sarah. She doesn’t bite back but she knows how to put people, Caleb most especially, in their places when needed.

Sarah’s boyfriend, Mikel, is the popular guy but he doesn’t want to be the center of attention. He only cares about two things: Swimming and Sarah. If you’re not one of them, you better expect the cold shoulder from him. Caleb often scoffs at him because he’s supposedly the jock who is confident and oh-so-perfect but he’ll discover a lot of things about him too which will surprise him and he’ll realize how sincere and serious Mikel is about Sarah. Maybe they’ll form a friendship eventually—I want them to—but I’m still not sure how I should do that.

6) This one is about two best friends who, after years of being inseparable, will go their separate ways to different universities miles away from each other. They decided to keep in touch through a series of letters and emails, and I want to tell their story through their messages for one another.

They each have a love story so, unlike the first ideas where I focus on either one pair or a tangle of couples, it’s like I’m telling two stories in one. The main characters just happened to be best friends but they’ll experience romance separately and they’ll also learn to be independent and confident without the other physically on their side.

Mickaela stays in an apartment outside the university because of the cheaper cost, although it takes a longer walk to get there. Next to her lives a mysterious guy named Adam who works multiple part-time jobs. They never really talk—partly because Mickaela is too shy—but they always pass by each other when they go to work or school. One encounter will push them to interact. This will lead to them getting to know each other, becoming friends, and falling in love. But Adam has secrets that he doesn’t want Mickaela to find out. (Of course, we have to make the love story interesting. It can’t be that easy.)

Noah, on the other hand, stays in the university dorm. He has a roommate, Ethan, who he found annoying at first. Since Noah is quiet and a bit of an introvert, he hated how loud and outgoing Ethan is. But through Ethan’s persistence to make him his friend and help him out of his comfort zone, Noah starts to admire his personality and unexpectedly falls in love with him. But Ethan has an on-again-off-again girlfriend so he’s obviously not gay. Or is he? Don’t worry, we’re not turning Ethan gay. You can’t make people go gay or straight like turning an on-and-off switch. But Ethan has been struggling to “be straight” because of his family’s expectations of him. Here’s where Noah comes in and helps him out to come clean and be himself.

It’s going to be fun writing their stories in the form of letters and emails. I also want to see the dynamic of their friendship and just them growing on their own.

7) The next story is about two close families whose surnames I still haven’t come up with. If you have any suggestions, just share it in the comments. That would be real lovely. For now, I’ll just call them Fam A and Fam B. These two families have always lived next to each other and they share everything, from cooking recipes to general life problems. Makes sense because the parents have been friends since college.

Now, there are four “kids” directly involved in the story. From Fam A: Trisha, 16 years old, and Jacob, 20 years old. From Fam B: Marco, 19 years old, and Joshua, 16 years old. While Jacob and Marco are best friends, Trisha and Joshua can’t get away enough from each other. They always fight and it’s almost certain that hate each other. But each of them is keeping a secret and the families aren’t always happy.

In reality, Joshua has a crush on Trisha (which he hides by being a jerk to her, but it’s so obvious that everyone knows except Trisha herself), Jacob is suffering from panic disorder (which he’s keeping a secret specifically from his parents), and both Trisha and Marco are trying to hide their feelings for each other—Marco most especially because he doesn’t want to ruin his friendship with Jacob nor hurt his younger brother. One couple is also going through some relationship difficulties that might lead to divorce (annulment in my country because we don’t have divorce).

Besides the romance, I also want to show how strong the bond these two families have. They’re like the extended family of each other. I want to see how their problems and secrets will affect their relationship, and how they’ll overcome it. I also want to focus on Marco’s relationship with Jacob and Joshua. Jacob is over-protective when it comes to Trisha despite him being the annoying, goofy brother to her. Even if it was his best friend, no brother would feel easily reassured with the fact that their sister is dating some guy. Not especially his best friend whom he’s done some stupid sh*t with. At least, that’s what I know based on what my male friends tell me. So it’s going to be hard for Marco to confess.

There’s also his younger brother, Joshua, who likes Trisha as well. Of course, he doesn’t want to hurt him by dating the girl he likes. Usually, the eldest is the one who gives way for the younger siblings—and Marco is that kind of brother.

8) For the last story idea (finally, this is taking forever), it’s about a girl who everyone thinks is perfect. Emily comes from a wealthy family and it is also believed that she going to inherit her father’s company. She’s beautiful, she’s smart, and she’s also a piano prodigy. Guys want her and girls want to be her. But she’s has a dark, cunning personality that she often hides with a sweet smile. However, she meets a guy that can see beyond her perfect image.

Chris also comes from a well-off family but despite his background, he’s simple and very down-to-earth. He works part-time in his mother’s restaurant as a waiter to learn responsibility and the basics of service (an idea of his mother which he easily agreed to). In return, he gets extra allowance. In his senior year, he moves to a private school where he meets Emily. He discovers her despicable side which causes him to dislike her immediately.

There’s another important element in this story. Emily has a cousin, Tara, whose family owns the school. Because of her privileges, Tara was allowed to put up her very own club in the school and she forces both Emily and Chris to join. Despite being known for her quirks and crazy ideas, she is very observant and level-headed. She knows what Emily has gone through and understands why she is the way she is now. Through the club meetings, Tara will help Chris to be more understanding of Emily and Emily to become a better version of herself. They’ll get to know each other and, long story short, fall in love.

I think this is going to be the hardest to write because I have to justify Emily’s actions. Of course, there’s a reason why she acts a certain way, why she can be so mean. Most of the “mean girls” in fiction are two-dimensional and I hate it because it’s so unrealistic. That’s why I want to try getting into the mind of a “mean girl.” But I just don’t want to teach her a lesson, I also want to give her hope that there will be people who won’t give up on her and believe that she can be a better person. Chris, with the intervention of Tara, will be one of those people but before he’s able to do that, he also needs to learn to be more sympathetic and to have faith in the good in others. So both of them will become better people in the way. He may be the good guy but he’s not perfect either.

It also seems interesting to write in the perspective of rich people. I’m not rich (I could only wish) but I went to a high school that mostly people with money can afford to go to. I only went there because I got a full scholarship, lucky me. The gap between the lifestyles of the rich people and the less privilege ones is a curious thing for me.

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If you want to read the first part, I’ll put again the link here. Just click it. Also, please don’t forget to comment the number of your best pick because I really, really need your opinion on this one. It’s so hard to decide for myself! Ugh.

You might have noticed that my characters are either in high school or college. I’m more in touch with my young-adult self—I am one—that’s why my stories are all about them. So, if you’re looking for a more mature type of romance, sorry I don’t have one. Maybe in the future, I’ll try my hand at adult romance. But I have to finish one of these stories first before I can think of a plot for that. Anyway, thank you so much for keeping up with these longs posts, everyone! Stay awesome!

Pick a Love Story! (Part One)

Help me choose! I have many ideas for a romance plot but I don’t know which one to work on first. It’s so hard to decide. My fickle mind doesn’t let me finish nor start with anything. If I could, I just wanna work on them all at the same time but I don’t have that kind of super power, so! I’ll just ask you, guys, what romance plot idea sounds good to work on first and then I’ll just focus on that from start to finish. Some may be cliche, others just cheesy or silly, and the rest over-dramatic. But what kind of person doesn’t enjoy that kind of romance from time to time? Admit it, you do!

Oh, and I don’t have any titles for these yet—I have some ideas but…meh—so help me choose a title for your best pick! For the second part, click here.

1) The first story is about a group of five friends who will experience how fragile and messy friendship and love can be as they start their senior year in high school. But they will also learn how to make decisions that can strengthen their bond. I already have my characters named and mapped out so I’ll just focus more on that.

Ellie is the one who has a crush on Matt since the first year of high school and she plans to confess to him before graduation or else—she believes that she’ll lose the chance forever if she doesn’t. She loves baking and experimenting with recipes although she often fails with it, and has a popular blog  where she shares them.

Jase is an aspiring musician and Ellie’s next door neighbor who is also an all-around achiever and popular at school despite being ultra lazy and carefree. He’s struggling between supporting Ellie with her plans to confess and keeping Matt’s secret. At the same time, he’s also falling for Ellie.

Matt is a varsity basketball player, always been the nice guy, and a responsible student. He and Jase have been best friends since they were five. He cares about Ellie but only sees her as a little sister. He is in love with their English teacher, a secret that only Jase knows.

Cara is Ellie’s best friend. On the outside, she looks cute and fragile, but she’s actually very blunt, feisty, and spoiled. She’s the first one to notice Jase’s growing feelings for Ellie but still recruits his help to make Kurt feel jealous.

Kurt is another varsity basketball player on the same team as Matt. He often acts smooth and careless around girls which makes him look like a player but he’s actually in love with Cara. He doesn’t want to admit his feelings though because Cara comes from a well-off family while he is from a poor background.

You know how in high school, everything is just so intense, like the feelings we have and the hormones, oh my goodness. They’re all at its peak. We think that what we feel is the real deal and we’ll do anything for that, no matter how stupid it is. But it’s part of growing up and we learn on the way—I think that’s beautiful. That’s the kind of thing I want to capture here. If I can, that is.

2) This one, I posted a one-shot short story based on the characters, like, a few months ago on this blog. If you wanna read that story, just click here. It’s about two high school students, Katie and Andrew, who became step-siblings when their parents (Katie’s mom and Andrew’s dad, to be more specific) got married. Now, they are struggling to keep their feelings because, we all know, even if they’re not blood-related it’s still kind of taboo.

But I changed some ideas.

Here’s where the story turns around. Katie, on the way home from visiting her biological father, meets a guy named Lucas on the bus. When a suspicious looking man seems to be following Katie, she uses Lucas as her shield and asks him to pretend that they know each other so the man will stop targeting her. Supposedly, that was just a one-time encounter. But on the first day of senior year, Lucas enters the same class as Katie.

Everyone in that school knows Lucas. He used to study there but transferred to a different school, junior year, when his father was imprisoned for money laundering, the same time Katie moved there. He was Andrew’s best friend but their friendship became irreparable when Andrew’s dad, a lawyer, fought the case against Lucas’ dad and won it. This is also the reason why Lucas becomes an outcast in school.

When Lucas found out that Andrew is Katie’s step-sibling, at first he uses her against him, often annoying and following Katie around, but later on genuinely falls for her and tries to win her over, for real this time. Eventually, he finds out that Andrew is also in love with Katie. He keeps it a secret but that doesn’t stop him from liking Katie.

At first, I was sure that Katie and Andrew are going to end up together. But as I was imagining the story, Lucas feels like a perfect match for Katie too. I still don’t know who’s gonna end up with. I’ll probably get there as I write the full story.

I want Katie’s character to be strong and true to herself. She speaks her mind when she has to. But she’s having trouble to get closer to other people because she always has this wall that she put up after her dad left her when she was a kid. Andrew is the guy everyone likes because he’s kind, generous, caring, and he’s such a gentleman. In a way, he influences Katie to be more carefree and that makes him good for her. Lucas on the other hand is rough around the edges. He doesn’t easily trust people and part of it is because of what happened to his dad. But he opens up to Katie because of her honesty and also because Katie doesn’t care about his family’s issues.

3) This next story has a little bit of a crime-mystery twist. Sort of. But the romance is still the main focus of the story, of course.

When Erin suddenly disappears, and her body is found lifeless and naked in an empty lot two weeks later with no traces or evidences found in the scene, her twin sister, Rowe, disguises as her and goes to her college so she can get clues about what really happened to Erin and find justice for her, with only the journal her twin left to guide her. There she meets Erin’s best friend-slash-roommate, potential boyfriend, and favorite professor—one of which is possibly connected to what happened to Erin.

Despite being identical twins, Erin and Rowe are opposites. While Erin is the “perfect daughter” with straight A’s, beautiful hair, and clear plans to finish college with a business degree, Rowe is the awkward girl working at a cafe so she can support herself in her dreams to become a comic book artist. But despite their differences, they were very close and supportive of each other. They used to have this game where they would pretend to be the other person and see how long people will notice the charade. So it’s easy for Rowe to pose as her twin.

The plot thickens though when another guy from the university, Adrian, who also might be connected to what happened to Erin, discovers Rowe’s real identity. How? He knows that Erin has a twin and this twin is working at a cafe near the condo where he lives. That’s why he was surprised when he realized that Rowe went to the university in place of Erin.

Even before the incident, Adrian frequents to the cafe where Rowe works, though Rowe is oblivious of him. When he first saw her, she thought that she was Erin and planned to make himself known, but immediately realized that she’s a different person by the way they act (besides the fact that she’s wearing a different name tag, of course). Slowly, he becomes interested in her—yet he never introduced himself—and kept his knowledge of this twin’s existence from Erin and their friends. At first, he was wary of Rowe’s motives for posing as Erin so he confronts her, but eventually helps her out solve the mystery of Erin’s death and falls in love in the process.

I think this might be harder for me to pull off because of the crime-mystery twist—I don’t know how that genre works ’cause read a book on that, honestly—and I have to rationally justify what Rowe and the other characters do. But as I was outlining the plot, it got more and more exciting to build the story.

4) For this one, I also posted an unrevised version of the prologue here on my blog. You may read it here, if you want. It’s your typical amnesia love story with a Hollywood twist.

Four years ago, after a car accident took her parents, her memories, and her potential to become the next top figure skater when she was fifteen, Shannon moved with her aunt and cousin in a small town as she recovered from her trauma and injuries. The only memories she recovered are the ones from her childhood. In the new town, she met her cousin’s best friend, Jared, a boy her age with a knack for cars and mechanics, and his family next door. Despite Shannon’s cold and cynical personality, Jared was able to thaw her with his cheerful and outgoing personality, and his persistence to make her smile. He helped her adjust to the town and they became close friends. Eventually, they started dating.

Present day, Shannon goes to a university in the city, 4 hours away from the town, while Jared decides to continue his studies in the community college to help with his family’s auto repair shop. But they still maintain their relationship, albeit long distance. Don’t worry, there ain’t going to be cheating in this story because I don’t see anything reasonable about cheating and I’m going to have a really hard time if I try to incorporate it into the story. But (oh, there’s a “but”) Shannon suddenly meets someone from her forgotten past in the university.

Ryan is a 20-year-old up-and-coming actor who became popular for his roles in young-adult sci-fi movies, but he is recognized by the industry for his serious and versatile roles in indie films. After a successful three-part movie franchise and an “attitude” scandal, his agency decided for him to take a break from the spotlight, which he took as an opportunity to pursue his studies. In the university, he finds the girl from his past, Shannon, who was his best friend and first love. But the girl has changed and, worse, she doesn’t remember him.

The whole story will revolve around these things: Jared and Shannon trying to keep their relationship intact, Ryan trying to bring back the Shannon he used to know and rekindle their friendship, Shannon trying to piece together her memories with Ryan, and Ryan again struggling with his returning feelings for Shannon. All of these while crazy campus fangirls are following Liam around.

If you read the prologue (which will still undergo some changes), you’ll know that before the car accident and this whole amnesia thing, Shannon also had feelings for Ryan. It was a mutual thing. What I’m still considering is if it would be better if Shannon stays in love with Jared or if I make her fall for Ryan again. Hmm, what do you think? To make it clear, if I’m going to make her fall for Ryan again, there will be no cheating involved, only intense chemistry (also known as sexual tension) between them…if I can pull that off. It will be a clean break up with Jared if ever, don’t worry. But I don’t want to break Jared’s heart too. He’s a good guy so…I don’t know! I still don’t know. We’ll see.

*

I’ll stop at four for now. I have a notebook solely for the plot outlines, character profiles, and story timelines. Actually, I have 8 story ideas for romance alone but this post is getting too long now and I don’t want to spend the whole day writing this. It’s hard to translate everything into short descriptions—and trust me, I tried making these as short yet detailed as possible. But I’ve probably bored you to death with only the first item and you’ve all given up reading this. I doubt anyone has reached this part yet. I could say something really weird and random here and it wouldn’t matter. I know, I know. Sophie is sad. *sigh*

I’ll try to post the last four plot ideas tomorrow but if you feel like voting already among these items, please do so! Just tell me the number and your comments on the plot. I’d really appreciate it if you help me out with this. You can have a second pick in the next one, of course. Feedback is very much welcome as always! Thank you so much, everyone! Stay awesome!

Short Story #5: The Summer We Couldn’t Be

(Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental. Enjoy!)

If I could have a wish right now, it would be that this field turned into a giant quicksand and swallowed us all. That would be much better than standing on the home plate, waiting for the freaking softball—that was anything but soft—to be thrown right at me.

I knew nothing about sports. The only sport I knew was speed reading and that wasn’t even a real sport. Yet, here I was, forced to join a game I had no idea how to play.

Why did we have to do softball for PE again?

Right. Because this school sucked, that’s why.

Okay, fine. Actually, PE was the only thing that sucked here and partly because I hated PE. Go figure.

To be honest, I had only been here less than a year but I’d never felt more at home than here in this town and in this school. I had always been an outsider somewhere else. Here, I still wasn’t friends with everyone, but I was with the people who really cared for me. They accepted me not because they had to, but because they wanted to. For me, that was enough. In fact, I loved it here.

But still. Softball? For PE? Seriously?

Worse, Sarah Curtis, who was very competitive and had no mercy whatsoever when it came to her favorite sport, was the pitcher. What did I have against the captain of the school’s official softball team?

This was torture and everyone on the field was here to witness it. Everyone – including Andrew who was leaning casually on the tall wire fences, his arms folded on his defined chest. His best friend, Derek, was watching along with him.

I could see Andrew directly from my position and knowing that he was here made my knees shake even more. He looked so stunning under the late morning sun, I couldn’t help but look. His teasing smile was distracting me.

Derek was hot and a lot of girls had fallen for him too, but Andrew was on a different level. He looked as every bit as the modern day prince that every girl in this school thought him to be. It wasn’t because he literally looked like a prince. He was gorgeous, alright, but Derek got the looks department, hands down.

What made Andrew prince-like was his personality. You could see it in the way he stood, the way he presented himself. His gentlemanly ways, humble confidence, dimpled smile, and approachable aura—all of it made him the “people’s prince.” He could get away with anything. It was so easy to like him. I would know.

But anyway, he had a class and he should be in that class right now. What was he doing here? He shouldn’t be watching the game.

Worst case scenario, I would get hit by the ball. In the face. If that happened, it would be too humiliating with him and all of these people watching around us. I just hoped that wouldn’t happen. I didn’t care if we lose. My goal was to not get hit by the ball.

“You can do it, Katie!”

“GO KATIE!”

My two closest friends, Trisha and Michael (or Mikey, as we liked to call him), cheered for me from the bleachers.

I smiled reluctantly their way.

It was unfair.

Trisha had a weak heart condition and had been excused from every PE class ever since. Coach Miles gave her a special project instead. “Where else could I get a grade for you,” she had told Trish. So she asked her to write a research paper about the mechanics of softball (duh) which she was half-way through already, by the way. I’d caught her in the library yesterday, busy typing and googling related articles. “I need to get this done immediately,” she’d said. “Or I won’t have time for the projects in other class.”

Mikey, on the other hand, was injured from last week’s PE. Actually, girls and boys were separated in PE class. This year, girls were under Coach Miles (softball) while the boys were under Coach Rico (basketball). Mikey might had the height of a basketball player, but he was far from being athletic. So during the game, when Mikey had to guard Kyle Harris, who was the very popular quarterback of the school, he’d gotten hit instead, lost his balance, and dislocated his elbow on his fall.

So both Trisha and Mikey were permitted to sit the games out. Not that I wanted to be sick or injured but I was the only non-sporty person left on the field. I should be sitting with them too.  “I’m bad at sports,” wasn’t that enough reason? They seemed so comfortable on the sideline. Meanwhile, I was sweating all over, my braid was all messed up, this batting helmet itched, and a ball was going to be thrown at me. So. Unfair.

“Ready?”

No.

I gulped as Sarah stretched for the first throw, smirking at me. It’s like she was telling me, “You’re going down, bitch!”

I adjusted the bat in my hands and readied my stance as how Coach had told us to do so, but I was sure I looked more constipated than anything. Before I knew it, the ball zoomed past me like some invisible whirlwind and I gasped, too late to react.

“Strike!” Coach’s voice boomed.

That ball could kill a person!

I gaped at Sarah who was smiling cockily to herself. No wonder why this girl was the captain of the softball team. But couldn’t she tone it down a notch? This was my first time playing softball, wasn’t it obvious?

With the ball back in her hands, Sarah prepared for the second throw while I remained frozen in position.

I glanced at Andrew (I told you, I couldn’t help it) and he mouthed something I couldn’t make out. What was it?

Woosh!

The ball went flying past me again in an incredible speed.

“Strike two!” Coach called out the second time and I flinched. “Katie, focus! Don’t just stand there. You have to actually swing the bat if you want to hit the ball. Last chance.”

I nodded submissively.

Dang it, Andrew. He was seriously distracting me! I narrowed my eyes at him and he just scratched his head, guilty.

I knew my teammates were getting annoyed of me as well but I couldn’t help it. Fast pitch was too fast for me and I had no idea when to swing the bat. It made me wonder how these people could actually hit the ball and very hard at that. Plus, there was the risk of getting hurt which I was also trying to avoid. How was I supposed to do that? I was too scared to move, more so to swing the bat.

I wanted to cry, scream, and walk out all at the same time. This was too much pressure for me. But I stayed on the home plate and hoped this ended already. Hoped Sarah wasn’t such a great pitcher. Hoped Andrew wasn’t here watching. Hoped wishes were real.

Sarah made her last pitch for me.

Please, don’t let the ball hit me. Please, don’t let the ball hit me. Please, don’t let the ball–

“Swing now, Katie!” Andrew—no doubt it was Andrew—yelled all of a sudden and, on instinct, I did as he said. I swung the bat with all my might. Oh, so that was what he was trying to say earlier.

Thwack! The bat rang in my hands as it hit the ball hard.

No way. I did it. I really did it! My first hit ever.

The ball went flying over Sarah and landed beyond second base. Impossible.

“Run!” Andrew ordered again and my teammates started to cheer along.

“GO KATIE!”

“RUN, KATIE!”

“Hey, that was cheating. Andrew coached Katie!” Sarah exclaimed but everyone ignored her.

So I dropped the bat and ran as fast as I could.

I suddenly felt high. People were cheering for me. It was my first hit and Andrew helped me out with it, so I pushed myself to reach at least the first base. For him. For whatever reason, I didn’t want to fail him. If only I could reach the first base…

And then the unexpected happened. It was so crazy, I couldn’t believe it myself. Maybe it was sheer determination or I was just simply out of my mind. One hit made me feel invincible but, of course, that wasn’t really the case.

I was only a few feet away from first base. The second baseman aimed the ball at first base. Believe it or not, as the ball arched in the air, I jumped with both of my arms out-stretched and dived for first base. But something had gone wrong.

The first baseman, Jessica Callaghan, turned to me, completely ignoring the ball, and saw me charging at her. She shrieked in horror as she fell back on her butt. I landed face-first on the ground, my fingers touching the edge of the plate. We both coughed in the swirl of dirt and dust as the ball rolled quietly past us.

I could feel the tension on the field. Everyone was holding their breath. I couldn’t breathe myself but for a completely different reason. It hurt. It hurt so much.

“Safe!” Coach announced.

Then everyone cheered in chorus. Or more like laughed—in relief or the craziness of it all, I wasn’t sure. I couldn’t share their enthusiasm either way. The pain, the shame…

“Are you crazy?” Jessica hissed at me. “Why the hell did you jump? You were going to kill us both!”

I didn’t answer.

“Katie!” She grabbed my shoulder and shook me. When I still didn’t respond, her tone changed to a more worried one, “Uh, Katie? Are you okay?”

I shook my head no. “Ankle. Twisted,” I breathed through clenched teeth.

“What?”

“My ankle,” I managed to say more clearly. “It twisted.”

“Oh, my gosh! Coach! Help!”

All at once, I heard everyone’s feet stomping towards us but I was too hurt and mortified to lift my head and see. They gathered around me and Jessica, forming a little shade on us. They were whispering and murmuring about me. I wanted to hide and curl up in a ball, preferably forever. I didn’t get hit by the ball but my impulsive jump did a number on me and everyone saw how I fell. Great.

“Excuse me! Let me through! Katie! Katie!” It was Andrew’s voice. Oh God. No. I closed my eyes and groaned. Couldn’t the ground turn into a quicksand already? Swallow me now, please.

“Katie?” I felt him kneel beside me. His face was only inches from mine, I could tell. I felt his breath so close. His voice sounded low and smooth but worried. More worried than anything. “What happened?”

No. No. No. Go away!

“Katie, please…”

“My ankle,” my words were muffled but he still heard me.

“Sprain?”

I nodded and he muttered a curse.

“Which one?”

“Right.”

He touched the injured area and I whimpered even though he was being gentle.

Another curse.

“I’m taking you to the clinic.”

Before I could say anything, I was in his arms in one swoop like a dirty little rug doll. Pressing my face to his shirt, I tried to hide as much as I could from the curious set of eyes. His scent assailed my senses and it gave me a little comfort. He smelled like soap and sweat and something else that was woodsy and earthy. His very own smell. Mmm.

Wait. Did I just smell him?

Coach Miles told him to wait for the wheel chair from the school’s clinic. She had asked some of the girls to go to the nurse’s office and report the incident. But Andrew couldn’t wait. He pleaded Coach to take me to the clinic himself. When Coach couldn’t disagree any longer, Andrew weaved through the crowd like a dashing prince on a mission with a distressed damsel in his arms. He was fast but careful not to move my ankle.

I would have enjoyed it. What kind of girl wouldn’t want to be in the arms of a prince, right? But everyone was gawking at us like crazy. I was too embarrassed to romanticize the turn of events. Besides, I couldn’t think of him that way.

To make matters even worse, Andrew made a comment. “So you’re diving in softball games now, huh? Skipping biology was the best decision ever.”

I blushed and hit his chest, “Shut up.”

He chuckled.

I knew he would tease me right after. Ugh. What was I thinking, attempting such a stupid stunt like that? The ground should have just swallowed me instead. This wouldn’t happen if it had. Too bad wishes didn’t work that way. It had a way of turning things around.

Next week, I would be sitting on the bleachers with Trisha and Mikey during PE, that’s for sure. At least, I got that part granted.

#

“Here you go, Katie.” Mikey dropped a pile of notes on my bed as Trisha sat beside me, grabbing one of my baby blue pillows to hug. “We’ve got homework on English and Chemistry, and a quiz on Algebra this Monday.”

“Thanks,” I sighed.

I’d been excused from school for the rest of the day. After taking me to the nurse’s office, Andrew had contacted Mom about the mortifying incident and she came to school still in her own nurse’s uniform, panicking like any loving mother would. But she was kind of over-reacting. As a nurse herself, she should’ve known that a sprain wasn’t something to be worried about that much. Just put some ice on it and rest, then you’d be fine. But her motherly instincts took over.

“I’m fine, Mom,” I’d said.

But she insisted, “No. You’re not. It’s swelling! I am your mother and I’m going to make sure that you’re 100% okay. I haven’t done so much for you in the past. Let me take care of you…”

She was very close to tears and I felt bad for making her worry.

I grew up living with my grandparents, Granna and Grampa, and my one sassy aunt who never really liked me because she had to kind of babysit me. Well, she had no choice even if she put all the blame on me for turning her into a rotting cat lady (even though she never owned a cat her whole life.) Mom had told her to get a job but she wouldn’t and would rather go clubbing, jumping from one man to another instead. So my aunt got stuck with me.

Mom had been very busy at work, trying to earn a living for me and my grandparents. Because of that, she hadn’t had enough time to personally take care of me. But I understood why. She loved me and she was doing her best to raise me and provide my needs as well as take care of her parents. She’d been sacrificing her own happiness all this time. I even had to convince her to start dating because I knew she wanted too but she didn’t want me to think that she’s neglecting me. She thought it was a distraction. But I just wanted her to be happy too.

Even if she’d never complained, I blamed myself for a lot of things. She’d been alone in taking care of me. She deserved someone who would take care of her but because of me, she’d set aside searching for love. It had been ages since my father left us. It was time that she found someone who’d truly love her. So I couldn’t be any happier when she did find someone. Chris.

Chris Brooke was a widowed lawyer whom she’d met in the hospital where she worked and he was a patient. It was love at first sight, she had told me, but she didn’t want to admit it at first. Not that I believed in such things.

After dating for almost two years, Chris proposed to Mom. They got married and we moved in to his modern suburban home where he accepted me like his own child. But we often visit Granna and Grampa, of course. We couldn’t just leave them. Even though Mom was wary of everything—the change most especially—and was reluctant to leave them, I’d never seen her so happy after watching her walk down the aisle. She glowed. It was what my grandparents wanted for her after all, to finally find her happiness.

It had been hard for me and my mom that we’d been missing each other a lot. We hadn’t had so much mother-and-daughter time. Now that we had settled together, Mom was trying to make up for the lost time. Of course, I wanted it too so I gave in.

After signing a fetcher’s clearance, Mom brought me to the hospital with her (just to be sure, she’d said), making me miss all three of my afternoon classes. When the doctor made sure that I hadn’t broken anything, we went home and I took the time to rest.

The next day, Mom still insisted that I skip classes despite my efforts to convince her that I was feeling much better—which, okay, I was really not. It was still painful whenever I tried to walk so, even though I didn’t want to miss any more of my classes, I skipped another day of school. Mom also took a day-off to take care of me. She wanted to spend the day with me and who was I to refuse? I’d just asked Mikey and Trish for the notes and homework.

Friday night, they both came to Chris’ house—the place I now considered my home—to visit me. I led them upstairs to my room.

“What else did I miss?” I asked.

“Nothing much. The usual. Kyle tried to hit on Sarah during chemistry lab. Again,” Mikey said, rolling his eyes. “You know Sarah. She hates Kyle’s guts. He doesn’t learn every time.”

“But it was hilarious,” Trisha added, giggling. “She got so annoyed that she pinched his nipples hard! He screamed like a girl. Oh, that was the best. Mr. Collins gave them both detention for ‘disturbing the class’ though.”

“Wait. They’ve known each other since they were kids, right,” I pointed out. “I don’t get those two.”

“That’s the thing. She knows him so she knows not to fall for his charms.”

“Speaking of falling,” Mikey grinned and pointedly looked at me. “I still can’t believe that you dived for the base.”

“Ugh. Don’t remind me,” I took the pillow from Trish and pressed it to my face, almost screaming in frustration. What I did was risky and a lot of people had seen it. Knowing that I kind of did it for Andrew and that he was there to witness me fail made it even more embarrassing. It was an impulsive decision that I shouldn’t have done. Stupid, stupid me. What the hell was I thinking?

“That was pretty epic! We enjoyed the game because of you.”

“I’m glad that you did…at my expense!” I lightly hit his face with the pillow. “I will never do anything like that ever again. That was really crazy. Do you know how much it hurt?”

He just laughed. Traitor.

“But Katie, you were so lucky!” Trisha said dreamily. Lucky? What was so lucky about twisting your ankle and falling face-first to the ground? “Andrew helped you in the game and then he rescued you immediately.” Ah. That. I should’ve known where this conversation was going. She had this familiar sparkle in her eyes.

In the few months that I’d met her, she had always been a hopeless romantic. She saw everything as a potential love story and when she started gushing about it, there was no stopping her.

“He was like your knight in shining armor,” she continued. “How did it feel when he carried you? Oh, I bet you felt like a princess. He looked so manly! It was so romantic, don’t you think so?”

Yes, it was. It seemed like I was in a scene of a romance movie and Andrew was the hero. It felt good to be in his arms. I was safe and secure, and it almost felt like that was where I belonged. With Andrew. But I couldn’t admit that out loud.

Even if I felt extremely embarrassed and that he was teasing me, he held me protectively and made sure that I was okay. He stayed with me in the school’s clinic. Only when Mom came to pick me up did he leave me.

At home, he made sure to check on me and keep me company after his class. For a second, I thought that there could be something more between us. That there was something more. Even in the little things he did, he had always made feel something more and there were times that I dreamed of it. Andrew and I.

But I knew better. He couldn’t think of me that way. He was just being himself, always the kind prince. That’s simply who he was. And maybe that’s also the reason why I was feeling this way for him. I was falling fast and I had to find a way to stop very soon because Andrew and I, we couldn’t be.

He was my brother.

“Don’t be silly, Trish,” I finally said.

“Come on. Don’t tell me you didn’t feel anything even just a little bit. There were sparks everywhere! I saw how you two looked at each other—“

“He’s my brother.”

“Not by blood.”

“It doesn’t matter. I don’t feel anything for him,” I lied. “And I’m sure he doesn’t feel anything for me too. He just thinks of me like a little sister.”

Saying that out loud felt like a slap to my face. It was the kind of slap that would wake you up to reality but that didn’t mean it wouldn’t hurt less. I couldn’t stop the growing tightness in my chest. It was consuming and it confused me.

It was winter when I met Andrew. He was just a stranger to me.

Spring was when we became closer. He became special to me, he became a friend.

Summer was what changed everything. Mom got married to Chris and Andrew became my stepbrother. He was the only child of Chris and that made him off-limits to me.

Now, it was fall and I was falling. I shouldn’t feel this way but now that I was living with him, my feelings were getting harder to control. It scared me.

“If he wasn’t your brother—“

“Stop it now, Trish,” Mikey chided but I answered anyway.

“Maybe,” that was all I said. Maybe.

Maybe if I hadn’t met Andrew, I wouldn’t feel this way. Maybe if Mom hadn’t married his father, it wouldn’t be this hard. Maybe if he hadn’t become my brother, I wouldn’t have to hide this. Even if Andrew didn’t like me back, at least I could still let myself feel. Maybe. But that was not how things worked out and it would be too selfish of me to think of a “maybe.”

“It’s getting late. I’m tired,” I confessed. That was their cue to leave.

“Okay,” Mikey stood up. “We’ll get going now. Get well, Katie.”

“Thanks for the notes.”

“No problem.”

Mikey opened the door and let himself out of my room but Trish stayed for a second. “I just want you to have a happily-ever-after.”

That made me smile a bit. She’s always the romantic.

“Someday, Trish. I want that too.”

I followed her out, hopping on my good foot. Downstairs, Mom was busy on the phone talking. Chris and Andrew were watching their favorite TV show on the couch, shouting and laughing at the screen. They looked lively but peaceful. Contented.

Seeing them like this made me happy but it also pinched my heart. This was my family now, I shouldn’t forget that. They welcomed me into their life and I was thankful for having them in mine. But I was having these feelings I shouldn’t have and it scared me that it would ruin everything. If that happened, it would hurt the most important person in my life—my mom—and I couldn’t be the cause of that.

Mom loved Chris. I could see how her eyes twinkled whenever she looked into his eyes. Chris loved her back. I knew he wouldn’t hurt her and he would do anything to make her happy.  When Mom introduced him to me, he had promised me that he would take care of her—of us. I believed him. What they had was the real thing. I couldn’t let my growing silly crush get in between Mom and her happiness. It took Mom so long to find it. I had to stop this nonsense somehow before it got in the way.

Andrew caught my eyes down the stairs, halting my broken steps. His bright blue eyes looked as if they were asking me if something was wrong.

“Trisha and Mikey are going,” I announced.

“Oh, wait a second,” Mom cupped the phone and put it away from her ear. “Take care, you guys.”

“Thanks, Mrs. Brooke,” Trish and Mikey said at the same time.

“Just ‘Jenna,’” Mom blushed, stealing a glance at Chris, and chastised them playfully. “How many times do I have to tell you?”

They laughed.

“Come back anytime you want,” Chris called from the couch.

“Sure, sir. Thank you.”

I led them to the door. Andrew stood up to help me. He grabbed my elbow, placing his other hand on my waist, and assisted me in opening the door for Trisha and Mikey. I tried not react or feel anything.

“Bye, Katie. Andrew,” Mikey nodded at us.

“See ya, Katie,” Trisha waved.

I waved back to her.

Once they were out of sight, Andrew asked, “Are you alright? You looked sick for a moment there.”

I removed his hands from me.

Then and there, I made a decision. Even though it seemed impossible, I had to do something. If I couldn’t stop myself then I had to stay away from Andrew, as far away as my heart and feelings could possibly be. Out of sight, out of mind, right? But would my heart be able to follow? It was the only way I could think of. I just hoped I could do it. I couldn’t let myself fall for the little sweet things he did for me. They didn’t mean anything. That’s just the way he was. I needed to remind myself all the time.

We couldn’t be.

“Yeah, I’m alright,” I forced a smile. “I will be.”

The End.

(When I wrote this, I was planning a novel in mind–actually, I have posted the first half of this before so this is kind of the extended version–but I didn’t know how continue with the story so I just stopped at that. I was too busy to work on this so I’ll just leave it as a short story. For now. You can give me some advice, share your thoughts on this story. What I need to improve on, work on, things like that. Constructive feedback will always be welcome! By the way, I’m not sure about the rules of softball. I played a bit in high school for a P.E. class, but that was a long time ago. I already forgot. My research is also a bit hazy. Sports really aren’t my thing. Forgive the lack of sports knowledge accuracy. Anyway, I hope you still enjoyed this one!)