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My Novel Comes To Life

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I was walking to the TV show was suppose to attend that night. I just parked my car in the misty darkness and shut the door with a click. I was nervous as a person could be, my palms were sweating and my body shook with tension. I was also shivering but not because at the biting cold. I was a writer, I always wrote stories and tried my best to help them succeed, but unfortunately, I wasn’t too successful. When I wrote a book about a girl who was walking home one day, getting stalked, and found out about her mysterious past, I finally felt the rush of success. I guess I was popular enough to be on a TV show in front of many people. I turned around as a chill caressed my spine. I felt someone watching me, somebody following me. I clutched the keys in my pocket with confidence. I could fight off someone if I needed to, but I never had to. If I was a celebrity, I would have someone to escort me to my car with no problem. But this TV show aired at 8:00 and today, out of all winter days, it chose to be dark and murky.


I got to the studio five minutes ahead of time. I was watching the camera man fiddle with the knobs and the audience sends glances to me. The talk show host, Rose Lair, shook my hand with enthusiasm. “Hello, I’m Rose Lair.” I nodded in knowledge and replied with a strong hand shake, “My name is Jillian Flier.” The camera man gave us the cue to take our seats. This was it, my time to shine. I could just picture my mother staring at the TV screen with her hands shaking in her lap. My father, who was never proud of me, finally pointing me out on Fox 5 news. “Good evening America!! This is the Rose show, and today we have a very special guest!” I waved my hand goofily and smiled at the camera. People cheered and clapped for me as a wave of emotion rushed over me. These were my fans, the people who actually liked my writing. “Thanks or introducing me, Rose. I am so glad to be here, I watch the Rose show all the time.” That was a complete lie; I didn’t even know how Rose Lair looked until I Google Imaged her. “So, tell us, Jillian, who exactly are you?” I was taken back by the format of the question that felt kind of rude. I shook the nonsense off, “I am Jillian Flier. I am an author, just like many others, who has never actually had her book hit the shelves until now. I am just so excited about the fame of this book. I never actually knew how it would feel for someone other than me to be reading my book.” Rose smiled at the audience, “You certainly are a good author, Jillian.” People cheered and I nodded politely my thanks to Rose. I bet she never even read the book before. “Thank you.” She folded her hands neatly in her lap, “How did this story come around, Jillian?” I took a small sip from the water cup they had so generously laid out. “Well, I was in Michigan, trying to do some research for a book I wanted to publish. I was sitting in my white robe and staring out at the pool below me. I was wondering whether I should switch the reoccurring theme I had to my books. It was always romance, never something unordinary or a thriller. So I was watching the people swimming, pondering whether if I should make it about a girl who drowned and body was missing. But than I remembered how scary it was when I was 12 years old and saw somebody following me. Turns out it was my grandfather, watching me walk home safely. It was the first time I ever walked home by myself.” People chuckled as I blushed red. Did I say something funny? Did I have something on my face? Did I spit? Oh no, did I drink from Rose’s cup?? Maybe it was courteous laughter, I reassured myself. “That certainly is an inspiring story! What do you have to say to young writers out there?” I knew this question would come around, and I rehearsed it in front of my mirror a couple of times. “For starters, anybody can be a writer. All it takes is an idea, determination, and confidence. If you don’t believe your story is a best seller, no one will. If you don’t stand up for yourself or for your idea, it will never get out there. Editors will so often reject your story or criticize it. It’s your job to take in that advice and use it wisely. Don’t shake it off, or refuse to acknowledge what they are trying to tell you. If I didn’t try as hard as I did, how else would I be sitting here right now?” Rose Lian flashed a dazzling smile, she sure had great teeth. I scanned my eyes over the crowd as the commercial was on. My eyes glazed over people as they flipped out their phones or studied Rose’s face. I saw a man, he looked kind of familiar, and when his eyes met mine, I felt the same lurking feeling I did in the parking lot. Could that be the person following me earlier? I didn’t even see their face and yet I felt so sure that it was him. I made a mental note to try and walk out with someone into the parking lot. The commercial was done as Rose took her seat just in time. “Still here with Jillian, I have one more question for her and than someone from the audience will ask a question.” I smiled nervously to the strangers. “Jillian, do you have any love interest currently?” I felt my cheeks burn scarlet, and my mouth go dry. If I said no, I would sound like a loser, but If I said no, what if the question the audience asks me is related to that? The best thing to say is the truth, I told myself. “No, right now I am not in a relationship with anyone. I’m lying low right now, I’m hoping my prince charming will come around soon.” People clapped and whistled in agreement. “Are you ready to take a question from the audience?” I nodded, truth was, I wasn’t. I just wanted to flee. Rose dug her hand through a brown paper bag and pulled out a piece of small paper. “Seat 67” her voice rang through the studio as people turned around in their seats to glare at the lucky winner. The man stood up as I stifled a gasp. The man I was so frightened of, the man I never wanted to talk to in my life. “What’s your name, sir?” the man smiled at me and said, “Jeffrey Long.” The name blinked behind my eyelids as I sat glued to my seat. “What is your question?” the man smiled at me again as my throat went dry. “My question is, Jillian, are you scared of horror films?” his eyes met mine as the audience laughed loudly, guffawing and slapping their knees. “Um….well….I get scared at really bloody ones, but mostly no.” He winked at me in satisfaction, I was so scared I felt like I was going to wet myself. I saw the man go out the back door when the attention was no longer on him.
“Let’s thank our guest for joining us.” People again hollered and clapped as I gracefully waved, “thank you for having me.” I left the stage and ran off the platform. I was so happy it was done, and yet so scared of what might come.


I got in the parking lot alone, ignoring my precaution note of being with someone. I walked silently, trying not to make a sound that might attract attention. I clicked the car on twice, wincing at the loud noise it echoed through the lot. I slid into my BMW and stuck the key in nervously. I checked my mirrors, and stepped onto the gas pedal. I made a U-turn in the lot, and waited while the guard took my ticket and the gate slid up. I noticed a car behind me as I checked my left mirror. Jeffrey waved at me as I stepped on the gas and fled out into the night.

When I got home, I shut the door of my car, double checked that it was locked, and stuck my key into the house door. My hand was shaking of stress as I clicked it open, threw myself in and locked it behind me. I double locked it and put a chair in front of the knob, just in case. I hated that I was such a wuss, and hated that my fictional story was suddenly becoming more real every second. I noticed that when I was driving on the highway. That my story kind of matched what was happening tonight. I drew the curtains closed and plopped onto my couch with a sigh. If it wasn’t for my Grandmother, who left a fortune for me on her will, I wouldn’t have this house. Or my car. I switched the TV on and watched a re-run of an old show. I was so tired and it wasn’t even that late. I laid my head onto the arm of the couch and drifted to sleep.


My head buzzed when I heard the door bell ringing. It was 10:00 at night, I thought, checking my watch, who would visit at 10:00 at night? I shuffled to the door and peered through the small window I covered up with a small curtain. I unlocked the door and warily opened the door. One of my best friends, Jake, was standing there with a sloppy grin on his face. “For god sakes Jake, its 10:00 at night!!!” he handed me a cake and slid in the house, “I got you something to celebrate your special night.” I looked down at the cake in astonishment and happiness. “Oh, Jake! Thank you so much!!!” I glanced down at my face and Rose Liar’s face sketched in icing. I laughed and set down the cake on the table. I slid into my kitchen and retrieved small plates, forks, and a cup of milk. The cake was delicious, it was moose chocolate and it melted with its sweetness on my tongue. “So, was it bad?” I asked him, gulping down some milk. “You turned cherry red when she asked about the man in your life. I started cracking up!!” I glared at him and spooned some more cake, “shut up.” He laughed harder, slapping the table with his hand. “Other than that, how did you think I did?” he sighed and said, “I personally thought you were great. You actually looked like you were thinking about the question, and your answers were very… to the point.” I nodded, thinking what he might have meant by that. You can’t even tell when your own best friend is trying not to hurt your feelings or not. “What was with you and that Jeffrey guy? You looked terrified.” I stopped in my tracks and put the fork down, “Oh. I don’t know. I was scared of the question, I guess.” I lied, it came rolling out of my tongue, and I immediately felt horrible. But no matter who you tell it to, being scared of a stranger you see in the audience is a dumb excuse. “Well, its getting pretty late, Jake. Take as much cake as you want on your way home. Thank you, it was delicious!” I stood up and hugged him and followed him to the door. “You were great, Jill.” I shrug and open the door for him. I’m scared what might come next as he leans in and I back away. I didn’t want to kiss my best friend, which was just wrong. He turned red and smiled weakly, “I understand.” I looked down at my bare feet as he waved goodbye and walked into the darkness.


I awoke in a startled state, sweat was dripping down my forehead in tiny drops, and I felt like someone was grabbing my stomach in their fist. I dreamed about Jeffrey, that he was stalking be again when I was driving to see my Mother. I dressed quickly and combed my hair out so it looked more or less expectable. Even if you’ve been with her all your life, you have to always impress your mother. She is your mother after all, and you have to show her she did well when raising you. I grabbed a piece of chocolate cake and wrapped it in aluminum foil. I stuffed it into my black, leather purse. The day was bright and sunny; the birds were out, singing happily. I just couldn’t shake away the fear I had crawling up my back. I crawled back into my small BMW with the familiar air scent. I drove with the radio engulfing the silence I couldn’t bare anymore. I parked in front of my mothers’ apartment, and rang the bell. “Hello?” her voice rang on the intercom, “it’s me, mom.” She rang me in as I waited in the lobby for the elevator. Somebody opened the elevator door and almost smacked me in the face, but I jumped back on reflex. “Sorry, I didn’t see you there-” he stopped midsentence and looked at me with blazing eyes. I grasped the knob of the elevator, “I’m sorry, can I help you?” I asked with a bit of annoyance in my voice. Jeffrey smiled, “You’re that author I saw yesterday on Rose’s Show, aren’t you??” I nodded, smiling back with butterflies in my stomach. Maybe I got the wrong impression of him; maybe I just was going crazy because of anxiety. “I saw you yesterday. Do you remember me?” I pondered that, if I told him yes, he’d know I was scared, that was why I remembered his face. “No, I don’t…I’m sorry, would I?” I pulled on a puzzled face as he replied, “Yes, I asked if you were scared of horror films.” I snapped my fingers, making believe my brain just got a mental image of him, “I remember now!” he nodded, his brown hair falling on his eyes. “Do you want to watch a movie this weekend?” he asked me, digging his hands in his pockets. “I’m sorry; I don’t know you that much. Maybe if we got to know each other, but I don’t hook up with random men. Some other time.” I went to grab the knob in defiantly, but he grabbed my elbow, “How about this weekend? Red Lobster? I’ll bring my sister; you can bring a male friend.” Jake’s picture snapped in my brain, “Sure, okay.” He nodded gratefully as I stepped into the elevator with a thudding head.
What have I done?


My moms’ apartment smelled like cinnamon as always. “There’s my star author!” she yelled, her hair bouncing on her shoulders as she ran to me, enveloping me in her arms. “Okay mom,” I said, laughing as she squeezed me around the neck. “You were great!!! Fantastic! The camera loves you! You looked like a princess!!!” she screeched, dragging me to a couch and pushing me to sit down, “I bought you cake. Jake bought it for me last night.” Her eyes sparkled as she waved her eyebrows, “oh, yes, your going with Jake now?” I rolled my eyes in frustration. Mom always wanted me to go out with Jake, even though I liked us better friends. “No mom, I’m not.” She deflated and unwrapped the cake absently. She took a bite and groaned at it’s goodness. “I have a feeling this wont be good for my figure” she mumbled, pushing the cake towards me, “Live a little” I replied, pushing it back to her.





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