Here is another taste from my novel, A Tent in Summer (formerly referred to as John):
“For the past month I’ve been seeing a boy. He’s a very lovely, and passionate, and kind-hearted boy. Nothing compared to him, Bishop. Nothing compared. Not long ago we were lying together on a trampoline, looking up into the night sky, finding the constellations of the stars. The stars are so beautiful, Bishop. The moon is so beautiful, but nothing compared that night to him. He outshone the stars. I thought for a moment I must be in heaven, to be so close to a star. I must be a part of that great firmament of holy orbs and sparkling comets.“Because I was so very close, Bishop, to him I mean. He was holding me so close and so tightly. I knew that if he were to let go of me I would just fall and fall and fall, that’s how high up in the sky I felt. So he didn’t let go. Instead he leaned in for a kiss and it was like fireworks exploding in the night. It was my first kiss. He whispered ‘I love you’ into my ear, and I could feel his cool breath like peppermint on my neck. It felt so perfect. It felt so good.
“But all good things must end,” Deborah said flatly. “Love is fragile and boys are clumsy. They break us like China dolls. We shatter like porcelain in their grips. I don’t think this boy meant to destroy me, but he did, Bishop. He did. He took for granted my weaknesses. He took advantage of my vulnerability.
“He began to kiss my neck, and I let him. I looked up at those stars and they were twinkling. They were smiling down on me, shouting their congratulations. I was so wrapped up in those stars and in that moment of sheer bliss that I didn’t notice him slide his hand up my leg. It wasn’t until those clumsy boy hands thrust into me that I realized what was on his mind. That’s when I understood what the words ‘I love you’ meant to a boy. Those three words were like a password, a code, a key to unlock me. He felt he had been granted permission, because he said he loved me and I said it back. How was I to know that’s what he meant, Bishop? How was I to know?
“I asked him to please stop. I tried to pull his hands away, but it seemed like he had so many hands. There were hands all over. I felt hands on my breasts. I felt hands over my mouth. I felt hands on my legs, on my thighs, on my wrists, shoulders, nipples, feet, vagina. The trampoline was a web and he was the spider and I was his fly. He was inside of me again, but this time it wasn’t his fingers. He moved in and out, the coiled springs of the trampoline enunciating the rhythm of his movements. The rhythm of those words, over and over, I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you.
“All I could do was look up at those stars shining down on me. It was clear now that I wasn’t a part of them. They never looked so distant. They just sparkled and shined, gloating their freedom. I hated those stars. I hated them. Shining so brightly while my own light dimmed—while my own light died.”