For those of you who know me, you’ll know that only thing I love doing more than writing is procrastination. If there were an Olympic sport for procrastination, I’d stand a good chance at winning. In fact, it takes a lot of brain power to actively put something off for so long so on that front, well done, Brain. Your dedication impresses me to no end.
The point of this post is about my revelation today. I woke up with a genius idea to start my story with, and you know what? I thought, “that’s quite good, okay, Brain.” So I got my phone to type what I wanted while it was fresh and then I read it back. And I was hooked. You know what I’m like, I’m overly attached to my male characters. (Can somebody create a machine to create a man so I can marry one of them already? I’m running out of patience, and affection for these damaged men.)
The story was going to start with Layla post Henry (the God.) But now I’m being pulled into his spell, his damned flawless facial hair and smile, and little dimple. Is it just me, or do other writers find their heart overrules their heads and physically changes the development of the story? I was originally planning on having Layla think back on Henry during the story but now I think actually seeing him in his immoral, unethical yet undeniable love with Layla is more satisfying. And it’s another man I get to swoon over.
Does anyone else have this problem or is just me? Any male writers create female characters and you’re addicted, madly in love? The joys of being a writer.
Just so you understand exactly what swayed me to include Henry from a minor character to a bigger one, ladies, please say you understand. I didn’t want to like Henry but he made me. Please find the prologue for “Infinity” below, not completely edited – but the bare essentials that stole my heart.
“There’s something about you.” Henry’s smooth voice was barely above a whisper, but it sent chills through Layla’s spine.
“Um, thank you, but I’m not sure I understand.” She pressed her hands to her knees. The urge to straighten her uniform left her fingers twitching, but her skirt wasn’t long enough. She couldn’t button her shirt to the top. Not now. And she didn’t want to.
“You’re a smart girl. I’m impressed.” Henry shifted closer toward her, his knee brushing against hers. “We should discus your project.”
Layla nodded and adjusted her hair. The curls had deflated, the touch of hairspray on her fingertips filled her with dread. Why did she even try to make an effort?
As Henry scanned through her project, she studied him. The faint facial hair on his jaw, the dimple on his cheek and the defined collarbone beneath his white shirt left her mesmerized.
When she looked up, she caught his eye. She cleared her throat. “I’m actually paranoid I’m completely missing the point here.” Layla tapped a paragraph and hoped to dear God he took her lead.
“Don’t be. The only possible criticism I could make is to strengthen your introduction. Outline clearly the great detail you pay to the use of metaphors, how the darker tones of the narrative compliment the authors execution of his themes. You’re on the right track.” Henry slid her project across the table and his wedding ring shimmered in the light.
Layla accepted it and slipped it into her red bag. “Thanks…” She mumbled above the sound of her shame. A stupid crush meant nothing compared to a marriage. She took a few seconds to compose herself before she stood.
A bump in her side and poor co-ordinated balance caught her off guard. The strong hands to caught her hips snapped her back to reality. She glanced up at Henry but she couldn’t say a word. He was so close she could catch his scent, see every contour on his face. There was hardly any space between then.
He stared at her before he offered a smile. “Careful.”
“Sorry, I wasn’t looking where I was going. Too busy staring in my bag.” She had never felt more embarrassed.
“Take it easy, okay?”
Layla nodded. She waited but he didn’t take his hands away. It almost felt like he enjoyed the touch as much as she did.
Henry reached out and peeled something away from face. He offered the false eyelash. “These don’t stick very well.”
“No … They don’t. Vanessa made me wear them. She thinks they look good.”
Henry took the other one off and gave it to her. “I think you look far better without them. A natural beauty.”
Layla looked down at her bag and dropped the lashes in. “I should go. My Dad is picking me up.”
Henry pulled his other hand away from her hip and released her. For a moment, she swore that she recognised the glimmer of desire in his eyes. But what did she know? A stupid girl with a stupid crush, gorgeous married men would never look at her twice.
“See you on Monday. We can go over any changes you make. Or if you need any help, feel free to ask me. I’m a multi-talented man.”
Layla smiled. “Well, I am struggling a little with History.”
“Holocaust and the Cold War. So much to remember I don’t know know where to start.”
“I’ll read up and see what I can do. Take it easy, Layla.” Henry took his coat and over the shoulder bag and held the classroom open for her.
As she stepped out, she touched her cheeks. This crush had to end. Soon.