As I promised yesterday, here’s another excerpt from my NaNoWriMo novel. The standard disclaimer applies. It is, by all standards, a very rough draft.
One of the pumpkins was at the other end of the hall. It slipped in through a window, knowing that it was going to have a hard time getting out of here. A middle-aged couple laid in bed, both of them reading. The pumpkin sat in the corner, its face turned away from them. They would give away its identity, and in fact, it was a miracle that they hadn’t already, as Love had been sitting there for several hours before they entered.
“Hello,” Love said, trying to disguise its voice, which fluctuated through time. It failed miserably.
“Derek?” the woman asked. “Are you okay?” She leaned over and shook the man’s arm gently. He still hadn’t looked up from his book.
“I’m fine,” Love replied. “I just want to say I love you.”
The woman gasped. When the last time she had heard this from her son? Ages, it seemed. Too long. He wasn’t shy around them like he was around other people, but it always seemed that expressing love was something that happened infrequently at best.
“But where are you?” the woman asked. “You aren’t in here. You’re in your room, aren’t you?”
“I’m here,” Love said. “I’m wherever you want me to be.”
Then she paid attention to the voice. This wasn’t the Derek she knew today. This was the Derek of today, and yesterday, and the Derek who was just growing facial hair and getting caught naked in the bathroom, and the Derek who was just learning to carve pumpkins on his own, and the Derek who was finally learning to make friends, and the Derek who didn’t have any friends in kindergarten until Miss Thomas introduced him to his first friend, and the Derek who only got along with his twin sister in daycare, and the Derek she held when he emerged from her womb sixteen years ago.
Her son. Her child. She nudged her husband. “Are you listening?” she asked.
“What’s going on?” he asked.
The woman placed her finger over her mouth like a kindergarten teacher. “Sssh!”
“You don’t hear it that often from me because I’m afraid it sounds cheesy, or because I just don’t want to open all of my heart to you after finally being able to open up to those closest to me. But you two have given me everything, from a home to emotional support when I needed it most. Thank you. If I could hug you right now, I would.”
“Then why–” the man asked, only to be interrupted.
“It’s vital that you know this now because otherwise you might not know for a very long time, if ever. Goodnight.” Love floated from its position, and when it did, its carving was revealed.
Derek’s dad jumped out of bed. “It’s, it’s one of Derek’s pumpkins,” he said. He jumped across the room and ran for it. Love was floating toward the window, but Love was faster than Derek’s dad. The window opened, and Love floated out. Derek’s dad reached out the window, but it was in vain. Love was gone. He sat back in bed.
“What just happened?” he asked. His wife turned to him.
“We heard what we’ve been too ignorant to hear for all these years,” his wife told him.
“You’ll figure it out.” She crawled out of bed and walked down the hall. The light was still on at the other end of the hall, so she knocked.
“Come in,” Derek said. Mom opened the door. Derek was in bed, a notepad in his hand. He set his pen aside.
Mom sat at the end of his bed. “You know, I never doubted that you loved us,” she said.
Derek stopped short. What was she talking about? How did she know? “You didn’t?” he asked.
Mom shook her head. “We moms have a way of knowing these things, you know.” She kissed him on the forehead, an action that would normally make Derek blush and say “Knock it off, Mom”. Instead he let her, just for tonight. Just this once.
“Night Derek,” she said, getting up.
“Night, Mom,” Derek said. Mom just reached the door when she turned around and said, “Good luck finishing the pumpkins.”
“Thanks,” he said. He watched as Mom walked out the door and shut it. Then he looked at the drawing on the notepad and began to wonder. He had never said anything about it. Well, not explicitly. He was never one to say that he loved his family, but it was apparent in his actions. What would prompt her to say this all of a sudden? He rushed through his mind, trying to think of reasons. Was it the pumpkin carving contest? The English project? What?
He drew until he began to yawn and could barely hold his head up, then set the sketchpad aside and turned off the light.