Monday, April 23, 2012

T is for To Love Without Hope

Another novel teaser - To Love without Hope is one of the hardest novels that I've written.  It is inspired by a true story.

There was a young man that disappeared from my college campus, Jon.  He was just gone, disappearing one night in January and no one knew he was gone for a week.  Very sad.  I would see his picture on the bus everyday and I couldn't help, but wonder who was he?  I became emotionally attached to the situation.  I started the story, wanting to find out what happened to him, but I stopped.  In April, they found his body.  I mourned for a boy that I never even knew.  It was very hard and I didn't want to continue the story because... Jon was dead.  It took my friend Adam convincing me that this could be my way of dealing with his death and to give him a chance to live.  I'll share you with us just a small scene of Sophie sitting in the diner with her friend Abby and trying to study but looking at the missing poster.

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Abby snapped her fingers to get my attention, but my gaze had fallen elsewhere.  My eyes were focused on the sign on the door to the restaurant.  The smiling face was looking back at me and I couldn’t help but feel pain.  I played with my cross necklace to distract myself.  Abby noticed my expression.  She glanced at the poster, frowning when she too remembered.
“You can’t dwell on that,” she whispered as if she were afraid the restaurant’s two other customers would care.
“I know… but it’s been over a month,” I muttered.
His name was Jordan Michaels.  He had short blond hair, green eyes, weighed 150 pounds, and was five foot, nine inches tall.  Above the picture was the word “missing” in all capital letters.  He’d disappeared on campus two months ago.  The police had no details of the kidnapping and no evidence.  His phone wasn’t receiving a signal anymore and his bank account hadn’t been active.  Everyone assumed that he was dead, but no one would say it.  Jordan was a business major at the same college I attended.  I didn’t know him, but I wished and prayed that he was still alive.  His parents and his sister had written a letter to the college and I had read it weeping. 
“Doesn’t it frighten you?” I asked.
“Sophie… we’ve talked about this,” Abby murmured.
“He’s only a year older than us and attended the same college… do you really feel safe?  His picture is everywhere and no one knows anything.  People don’t even think that his body will be found.  It’s terrifying.”
“Sophie!” she snapped, getting my attention.  “We can’t focus on this.  There’s nothing we can do to help him any more than what the police are doing.  We really should study for our exam.”
            Good old Abby, the voice of reason.  But was it reason or the fact that she didn’t care about the missing boy?  As the months passed… would anyone still care about Jordan?  I sighed, breaking eye contact with the picture and returning to staring at my endless pages of notes.  I couldn’t stop thinking about Jordan and I didn’t know why.  We had never met, but I dreamed about him and thought of him a lot.  His face was everywhere, on every door and on each bus that traveled around campus.  I tried to push those thoughts away and focus on my exam, but it was difficult.  

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Have you even written anything that really hit home with you and was very personal?

11 comments:

  1. Very poignant piece. Even more touching knowing that it was based on a true story.

    Very sad. Did writing help you find closure?

    Michelle
    www.michelle-pickett.com
    A to Z challenger

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  2. Oh it seemed to me just a story but then its a true story
    Really touching
    great :)

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  3. Very lovely story! Yes I have written something like that...I don't know how it made me feel! Relief maybe??x

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  4. Very touching, especially since it's based on truth.

    I imagine it's hard to write something like that--something you feel such a connection to. It must be cathartic, though. I hope you found some peace about it.

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  5. I am writing my first story now, and it's funny how I keep finding myself in it.

    ScribblesFromJenn
    Happy A to Z-ing!

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  6. that is a really hard story for me to hear and it would be equally hard to write about it---but i hope it helped you

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  7. I really liked this excerpt despite the heavy, emotional toll it takes.

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  8. It's a nice thing you're doing by creating a place where Jon can live on through the written word. Maybe it can also possible help you heal or learn how to deal with your feelings about the boy you never knew.

    Yes, I've written something that hit home for me and was very personal. Sometimes I regret writing it and other times, I'm glad that I did.

    ~Nicole

    Blog: The Madlab Post
    *Rockin' the A to Z Challenge*
    @MadlabPost on Twitter

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  9. Did you change the ending from the real life ending? CAN you change the ending? Why would you or wouldn't you change the ending? I guess you can do anything you like, depending on your purpose and your wishes. A great excerpt.
    http://mainelywrite.blogspot.com

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  10. So good! Great passage. These feelings and emotions, even picking them off the street, from a random person -- liking a missing person-- are the impetus for creating a great story. Stick with it!

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  11. Oh, how scary! And this is based on a true story? I know you said they found his body, but did they ever find out what happened to him? Or who took him? Or why? Really unsettling.

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