A New Novel in the Making
I'm working on a new novel. Here's the 29th chapter of it. Let me know what you think about it. You find a Facebook comment form below the text. I post each new chapter when it is completed. The first chapter is here: Chapter One
Before Caroline has time to sit down by the breakfast table, her father looks up from his newspaper and speaks to her in a scolding voice.
"It seems we only see you at breakfast, nowadays. Is that how it's going to be from now on?"
Caroline glances at her mother, who makes herself preoccupied by the fried egg on the plate in front of her. George keeps staring at Caroline, while holding on to the newspaper with both hands.
"Well," Caroline begins in a drawling manner, "I can't afford having it on McDonald's."
Her father's face twitches minutely, as if bracing itself against a sudden gust of wind. He keeps his eyes on her.
"I believe I heard some noise from your room quite late last night. When did you really go to sleep?"
Caroline shifts to pouring coffee into her mug and looking around the table for things to stuff in her mouth.
"I don't know exactly," she replies. "Not that late, I think. I listened to the radio. Was it too loud? I'm sorry."
"I didn't notice," Ruth butts in.
"You were already asleep," George is quick to reply. "That's how late it was."
"I said I'm sorry," Caroline says, making her voice grumpy. "It won't happen again. I'll make sure to be very quiet. You won't even notice me."
George puts down the newspaper on the table and lets go of it.
"You know that's not what I mean, Caroline. Both your mother and I are concerned. We wonder if you're as fine as we want you to be. That's why I can seem inquisitive at times. Have you had trouble sleeping, lately? If so, it should not be taken lightly. Sleep deprivation can lead to all kinds of trouble."
A smile appears on Caroline's lips, but she hurries to suppress it.
"Dad, don't you worry about that. I have no trouble sleeping. Waking up is another thing, though. But I guess that's not unique at my age."
"Not at all," Ruth assures her. "Every teenager is the same. But you will find it easier to get up in the morning if you don't go to bed that late at night."
"You got me there," Caroline says and allows her smile to reappear.
Ruth is quick to return it, whereas George might be trying to do the same but his lips don't serve him that well.
"Anyway," Ruth continues, "I share your father's concern. It's like we've drifted apart, these few weeks, although this is the time we really need to stick together. I know we've talked about it before. It's difficult, of course. That's what could be expected. It's like walls grow between us. We talk, but we don't really speak. Instead of sharing our experiences and feelings, we try to hide them. I'm sure that's why we don't really get through to one another. It has to change."
Ruth puts her hand on Caroline's, which is momentarily resting on the table.
"Honesty," she says with emphasis. "We have to be completely honest to each other."
"This early in the morning?"
"Seriously," Ruth replies, squeezing her hand. "We must be able to talk freely about everything."
"I can do that," Caroline says almost cheerfully. "Can I eat now?"
Ruth releases her hand. George returns his attention to the newspaper.
All the chapters posted so far: