I think I chose to write the novel because of politics in 2013.
My main character Natasha Evergreen is caught in a vise, and this is my synopsis:
She’s only twenty two when she falls madly in love for the first time. Only he’s the wrong guy. He’s her married Art teacher, and he’s ruthless when it comes to the pursuit of her. Can she survive him? Will there be another love, later? This novel takes you into the darkness of a love affair and out the other side. Follow Tasha, and see. She’s stronger than you think. Sometimes staying alive will be the hardest thing you ever have to do. Sometimes you just have to get through college.
She is so in love that she doesn’t even see that he is just using her and she means nothing to him. Nothing.
The novel is about feminism as it had to be lived in the 80’s for millions and millions of women. I have called it sort of Love Story meets Bell Jar, because in a sense it is. I’m writing the crux over the next few days and I realized that I have no intention of glamorizing the villains in this. In a sense they are both of the men. And I will show that.
It’s a book about choice, and yet, there is no choice so it’s like NO EXIT in the sense of existentialism.
I’d like it if the novel was good enough to go to a feminist press. I would like for younger girls to be able to read what happened in their mother’s generation.
So here is part of yesterday’s chapter:
“Becca, my period is late,” she says that night, when Becca is sitting at the little table with her glass of wine and her I-Ching coins.
“I don’t know what to do.”
“You need to tell him.”
“I don’t know how.”
“Well, this will be the test to see if he really loves you.”
“He told me that he wanted to plant his seed inside me.”
“That’s hard to take,” she says.
“Becca, I don’t know what I’m going to do.”
“It’s your choice, Tasha.”
There is silence as so many scenarios run through Tasha’s head. She is imagining that he will leave for her. She knows he doesn’t have children, she feels like he loves her, like he is madly in love with her because that is how he acts when he comes up once or twice a week if he can get away. How is she going to tell anyone?
“I don’t know what to do,” she tells Becca in tears.
“Well, if you have to have one it isn’t that bad,” she says tossing her coins on the table.
“I had to.”
“With the guy before I moved in here.”
“The guy from the harbor?”
“He got really drunk one night and he pushed me around. I knew it was over that night.”
“Becca I’m so sorry. I didn’t know.”
“There was one before him, too.”
“Trevor. I was in love with him. We were at an ashram in San Francisco together.”
“He said he didn’t want the responsibility.”
“I’m okay. I just want to meet the guy who wants to get married now, you know?”
“How are they going?”
“Pretty much jerks, all of them.”
“I’m sorry Becca.”
“I wanted a family.”
“I know. Me too.”
“Have some wine.”
The two of them sat with only the light of the Christmas tree on, in the vastness of the empty living room that seemed like it was only a place for passing through, until the next stage with the right guy. Neither of them had made any attempt to actually furnish it.
“You will be okay, Tasha.”
“I’m waiting for them to call with the results.”
“Whatever happens you will be okay.”
But that isn’t how Tasha felt at all. She knew she would never be okay, ever again, depending on what John Sandman was going to say.
“I’m going to go to bed, Becca,” she said. “I know it’s early but…”
Natasha Evergreen ignored the phone that night when it rang. She didn’t know what to say, even though she knew he was on the other end of the line. She had never felt so much sadness well up inside of her heart. It was like it was all her fault, but it wasn’t. She wasn’t trying to trap him, even though those are the rumors most people whisper about girls who get in trouble. All she wanted to do was call her mother, but she couldn’t do that either. What was she going to say?
There are moments in life when you will be all alone. Not all the time, but sometimes. This was one of those for Natasha Evergreen. There was simply nowhere to go, and nobody to tell. She had never felt so alone in all of her life. It was what her mother was going to say that terrified her the most. She hadn’t told her that she had been seeing John Sandman after she had moved. The only person who knew was Tim, because sometimes he dropped by, and asked her to cook something for him. Tasha didn’t mind, she loved making dinners for people.