For a little post-holiday fun, I thought I’d share a sneak peek at my latest novel. Please keep in mind, this is ultimately an unedited version, destined to change many times before finished!
My titles are always changing, but this one is currently titled SILENCE. This is a NA (New Adult) Contemporary Romance.
The minute the teacher opened his mouth I knew it was going to be a long semester. The booming voice ratcheted an accent off the walls of the small classroom. An accent I identified as… not from around here. Mr. Ashen had a thick, bushy mustache that reminded me of a cowboy from some old movie my mom would watch. The mustache was as long as it was thick and completely covered his top lip. I swear, there was more hair on his lip than the rest of his head.
He said something to the class and gestured to our textbook. Around me students shifted in their seats, pages turned, pens moved.
I sat still. Praying to understand one fucking word that spilled out from his bottom lip. The only thing I caught was spittle splattering his notes. I was in the first row and always, always, always heard my teachers. Until this one.
But Big Fuck Off Mustache + My Ears = Not Happening.
Mr. Scary Mustache glared my way, tapped his textbook, and went right on speaking.
Maybe I wasn’t in an English speaking class? I checked my book = English. I checked my neighbor’s book = the same as mine. Head down, I memorized the layout of her page through my peripheral, all while appearing to look at my own. Then I shuffled through my pages until I found the corresponding layout.
It wasn’t cheating if one was merely tying to figure out what was going on.
I scanned through the words, hoping something, anything, would match what Mr. Scary Mustache was saying. Nothing did. On a sigh I focused on the two women standing by the black board. Both were dressed all in black and talked softly to one another. They looked much too old to be students, but considering this was an undergrad/grad class anything was possible. Perhaps they were assistants to Mr. Ashen? The two women glanced at the clock and moved to get their bags just as the door opened.
You know those corny movies where the love interest walks in and a halo of light flashes behind them? Yeah. That happened. Not because this guy was hot, which he was, but because the hall light was faulty and had been flickering ever since before I walked into the room. The light flared bright and picked up blond highlights in his chestnut hair, a good match for his rich brown eyes and dark olive skin tone, which was either a tan or damn good genetics.
Not that I was paying much attention. I was just bored.
Mr. Scary Mustache stopped talking as Hot New Guy walked over to the two females, shifted his backpack, and began moving his hands in a flurry of activity I assumed was ASL. One female moved her hands in response while the other addressed our teacher. “Sorry. My car broke down and I had to jump on the green line,” the female said.
Car? In the middle of Boston? Was this guy crazy?
Mr. Scary Mustache spit out something intense. The other female signed to Hot New Guy, who in turn nodded and took a seat in the back of the room.
For the next two hours (the joy of a once-a-week part grad class) I watched the two interpreters. Every half-hour or so they switched, with one standing next to Mr. Ashen and having no trouble understanding him.
Me? I understood nothing unless Hot New Deaf Guy said anything via his interpreters.
From the notes the students around me were taking, pages of it according to the girl on my left, I knew this class was a bust. I needed this to graduate. Maybe my advisor could work something out? Maybe—
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Dammit. To add insult to injury my hearing aid, the right one, traitorous bitch, was announcing she needed her battery changed. Right. This. Second. And if—
Beep. Beep. Beep.
I reached into my purse, rummaging around for the slim package of batteries. I had no choice. If I ignored the beeping she’d just—
Beep. Beep. Beep.
Fuck. My left ear still worked, by now the world was half silent. And Mr. Scary Mustache was a mere mumble of incomprehension.