This is Chapter Nine… I think that I will share one more chapter and then that will be it until I find a publisher. Thank you for all who have taken the time to read this. I love your feedback. It has been like gold to me. For those of you just reading for the first time… this is part of a book… it won’t make much sense unless you follow my blog back to chapter one. Here is Chapter Nine for all those who asked for more….

I am off to work and wanted to get this posted  this morning before I left so there may be a few extra type os than normal… I intend to go back and edit some more after work today!

Thank you for reading.

Diane

open diary

Chapter Nine

In the weeks that followed, Keri learned to handle Jack and her relationship on her own. It was a little like a balancing act. Though she thought that she was doing a fine job, people began asking her if she was okay. “Sure, why?” She would almost snap. Having no one to talk to about Jack’s mood swings, Keri weathered the weight of it all on her own shoulders. Until one day, Mrs. Walker came to her with tears in her eyes. She’d been worried about Keri and actually read her journal, “not all of it, but enough” she confessed. Keri was horrified. She’d always trusted the agreement they’d  shared, without so much of a second thought and through the years, she never suspected otherwise and became quite unconcerned and free about what she’d write. And if truth be known, her teacher never breached that trust ever before, until she had she’d seen a change in Keri, who’d come to class obviously upset  one day to drop off her assignments and hadn’t waited to talk to Mrs. Walker who’d  called after her but Keri had not heard her or at least  acted as if she hadn’t. Though, Mrs. Walker was pretty sure she had.

Keri scrambled inside her head as her teacher stood in front of her with a pitiful look of concern, she tried to recall what she might have recently written. There’d been some pretty bad times lately. Times when there’d been no other place to go but inside the pages of her journal. Mrs. Walker laid the leather-bound book in front of her. Tears of anger burned in Keri’s eyes. All this time, Keri had believed that Mrs. Walker was just initialing each new entry without reading a word. Now, she didn’t know what to believe. Keri snatched the book up and held it tightly against her chest. She wondered how far back that Mrs. Walker might have read.  Her teacher saw the look of betrayal on Keri’s face and rushed to explain. She’d just been concerned,  now, she couldn’t ignore what she’d read. Keri stiffened as Mrs. Walker tried to touch her arm. She pulled away as she picked up her books and ran out of the library without a word.

woman crying

Keri agonized all night long. She couldn’t talk to Jack about this. He would be so angry with her. He did not know about the journals. She’d read poems to him from them, but her journals had been hers. They were not even for Jack to know about. She had not wanted him to ask to read them so she never mentioned them.  Her head swam. All of a sudden the room started spinning. Keri grabbed her mouth and ran to the bathroom and got sick. Keri kneeled by the basin coughing and crying.  She’d never felt so betrayed. And yet the hardest thing about her anger was that  she knew that her teacher really did just care. And yet she was just so ashamed that anyone  knew that she’d allowed Jack to treat her the way she’d described in those sacred pages.  Now, she felt naked and as if she wanted to run away, far away where no one knew her. That night she decided that she was going to finish High School even earlier than she’d planned. She did not want to have to deal with Mrs. Walker or anyone. She was so confused. During their conversation, Mrs. Walker told Keri she’d always be there for her if she needed her and  suggested that perhaps she’d really wanted her to read what she’d written. It just made no sense to Keri  and more angry at her teacher.

The next day Keri  went to her counselor to find out exactly what credits she still needed. She was happy to discover that she could complete them all  by taking the required exams through a few independent study classes that she could do on her own through the counseling office at the local community college. She was surprised how everyone seemed to support her plan. Keri  explained that she wanted to finish her Senior year early since her schedule was so minimal. She told everyone that she planned to start working at the Speech and Development School full-time, and have a little time  in-between before she had to start her college classes. She decided that rather than going away to school, she would take some of her general education classes at the  same community college where the counseling office was that she would be reporting to until she completed her High School credits. Surprisingly,  her counselor and her parents didn’t question her new change of plans even though she’d be forfeiting the scholarships she’d applied for. In fact, her mom and dad didn’t seem to discourage or encourage her to go to college. Jack was the only one who really encouraged her to go and yet the idea of  going away to school now,  seemed less and less appealing to both of them as they fell more deeply in love.

The weeks passed quickly and her own graduation was uneventful. There just wasn’t one. A few months later, after completing all of the requirements.  She’d gone to pick up her report card and diploma from the office, only to be told that her official diploma would not be available until after her graduating class had gone through the actual ceremony in June.  Suddenly the realization of what she’d done and was missing out on, hit her. Her choices impacted many things she’d been looking forward to. She’d known that she would miss her prom and other school activities the following year, but she’d also reasoned that Jack would not have wanted to go to any of it and she did not  want to go without him. And yet, Keri couldn’t help feel a tear slip down her cheek as she headed for the parking lot, with her report card in her hand.

The year before meeting Jack, she’d been invited to a boy’s Grad night who she’d met at church and been dating casually for a few months. He was valedictorian of his class and Keri was honored to be his date.  They’d gone to Disneyland after she’d watched him speak to his graduating class and the entire night had been magical.  She was glad that she had that memory, and decided it was going to have to be enough. She was just relieved that school was  behind her and that  Mrs. Walker  had not said anything to anyone else about what she’d read in Keri’s journals. Keri was sure she would have called her parents but for some reason she hadn’t, and Keri was grateful.

When Keri ripped open her report card and saw the A+  in English, a melancholy feeling came over her. She walked toward her car as she scanned the paper. Memories flooded her thoughts as she remembered  all the things she’d learned about writing from Mrs. Walker. She remembered the first time her teacher approached her with tears in her eyes after reading something that she’d written and telling Keri that she had a gift. Tears blurred Keri’s eyes,  just as she was about to  bump into Mrs. Walker herself, who looked equally surprised. She’d not seen Keri for several weeks though signed off on her class after  learning of her plans to not pursue her current scholarship she’d been disappointed but decided not to interfere. In fact, she decided to do nothing.

Keri had seen the familiar signature and had felt uncomfortable. She hadn’t seen her teacher since that day in the library. Only she and Mrs. Walker knew the truth of why she was really graduating early.  “Thanks for the A” Keri said uncomfortably. “You earned it as always, Keri”. Mrs. Walker smiled “Good luck to you honey, you are very talented, I hope you do something great with your writing.” Keri knew that graduating early had ruined her chances for several of the scholarships she was up for,  ones that they worked on together.  Suddenly they just hugged. Though it wasn’t clear who reached out first. The embrace was long and genuine. “Thanks for everything Mrs Walker” Keri whispered hoarsely and Mrs. Walker hugged her a little tighter and then slowly let go. At that moment, she knew Keri better than any adult in her life. The years of mentoring and long talks about her dreams to write, and then watching her progress and win awards, had been her teacher’s own reward. She wanted to say so many things to Keri at that moment and yet she knew that they were all things she would have to learn on her own.

hug

 

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10 thoughts on “Chapter Nine

  1. Diane,the “hads” are becoming obtrusive in your story. I hope when you edit these again you remove as many as you can I will be happy to show you how without changing your story I too feel a tension building and you do a great job playing Keri against Jack, then drawing them in again to the intimacy that characterized the abusive relationship with him. In this chapter you seems to do more telling than showing. I can see a few places where dialogue would help, in my opinion, develop some more depth in the characters.
    Diane, Your third person narrator reveals the thoughts of all the characters. Have you thought of limiting the narrator’s knowledge of some of the characters and maybe limiting the narrator’s knowledge to just Keri and Jack? There’s a literary term for that I learned in college, but I forgot it. I know it’s probably too late, but have you thought of writing this as a first person account? Being the voice of Keri and her interpretation of the other characters actions? This is still a fascinating story to me. And you are developing suspense for me and making me wonder what’s going to happen next.
    I think you know I am an editor, Diane. I may want to try my hand at editing a portion of one chapter, just to show you some of the suggestions I’ve been making. As I’ve said over and over, you are a great writer, and you have a story to tell that may have a positive impact on others who have gone through abuse. Your story could very well help others break the cycle of abuse, or even help someone else escape it. That would be a wonderful service to your readers. As you said in another reply, Diane, it may be a blessing to pray about all the suggestions folks have given you. I still want to read more.
    Thank you for all the long, focused work you have put into this project. It’s exciting to me to be a friend and SPTF for you as you live out what I hope will be the end of your book. God bless you, my friend. Steve

    1. Hey Steve,
      In honor of you and my friend Debbie… encouraging me to keep working. I tried to edit this with all of your suggestions… I don’t think that I want to go the first person route for this book. Maybe if I do another one that is not so personal… I might do it in the first person format.
      When you have time… see what you think. I also cut Chapter Nine in half because I am trying to shorten the chapters over all.
      Thank you for your patience!
      xoxo

      1. I’m going to finish reading chapter 9 tomorrow.. I sent you a separate email about the beginning and I’m waiting to hear your thoughts on my new suggestions and edits.

  2. I’m so glad that you carry on writing, because you have talent .. even if I don’t have time over for sitting in front of screen to read anything – sorry for that. So happy that you’re going for your goal and dream.

  3. Di,
    Am about halfway through an edit on CH2. How can I send this back to you with recommendations? Email? You can send me your email addr @ pb1943@hotmail.com. By the way, genre doesn’t matter to me. Is it a good story?
    Is it well organized and written? These are what matter to me. Lookin’ good so far !
    Paul

    1. Paul,
      I am blown away by you guys! What an amazing gift! Thank you!! I sent you my email. I think I have it listed somewhere on this thing… lol… on my profile or somewhere… cuz I want to network with people who have published books and have hints for me how to do it too. My husband wants to send me to a seminar this year. I hear that is the place to find good information!
      My email is: crafterdi@aol.com

  4. I don’t know how I managed to read this before but I hung on to the email as the link to comment on it didn’t work. I feel there is this lovely tension building in the story, especially as I know that much more will unfold, the loose ends such as the teacher maybe telling someone (or is that not professional) that may come back to ‘save’ Keri or something else that uncovers her angst and puts an end to it. Please email me emmacapell@gmail.com so I know where to write to you privately (and then edit this comment). Thanks, and thanks for sharing more of the book!!

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