I may not have done much writing or blogging over the last few months since Leo’s arrival but my writer friends have certainly been busy, not least of all my good friend, Elaine Jeremiah. Back in August I was one of the bloggers who took part in the cover reveal for Reunion of the Heart and now, after Elaine’s second book has been published for a few weeks, I’m delighted to be able to welcome Elaine back on to my blog to share an extract from it. In this scene, Anna is having a heart to heart with Will, the man she met at her school reunion who was once the boy who tormented her at school.
Anna hesitated, turning away from him. She wasn’t sure she wanted to talk to Will right now. What could she say anyway? She found herself blushing as she remembered how he’d made her feel at the party, and shivered a little. Footsteps sounded behind her getting closer. Taking a deep breath, she turned around. Will was standing there. He too looked unsure.
‘Hi, Will.’ Anna shifted from foot to foot.
‘Would you like a lift home? If that’s where you’re going? That’s my car there.’ He pointed to a smart looking VW Polo.
She thought for a moment. If she allowed Will to take her home, she’d have to talk to him. But she was freezing cold and the buses would be crowded and slow.
‘Yes, a lift home would be lovely,’ she found herself saying. ‘If you’re sure?’
‘Absolutely.’ He grinned at her, rubbing his gloveless hands together.
Feeling a sense of trepidation, she followed him to the car and climbed in, glad of the warmth. As they drove off, Anna wondered at herself for letting Will get anywhere near her, despite her body telling her otherwise. But perhaps her friends were right. Perhaps she should just let bygones be bygones. After a while, he broke the silence.
‘You know, I nearly didn’t go to the reunion,’ he said.
‘Oh really?’ Anna glanced at him, raising her eyebrow.
‘Yes. I wasn’t sure I wanted to revisit my past.’ He paused and took a fleeting look at her before returning his attention to the road. ‘I guess you felt the same way?’
‘What do you think?’ Anna couldn’t keep the bitterness from her voice.
Will swallowed at her caustic answer and nodded, his eyes never leaving the road.
‘I suppose you have me to thank for that.’
She didn’t trust herself to answer. But if he was going to ask her difficult questions like this, he’d just have to accept that the response he got wouldn’t necessarily be to his liking.
‘Well maybe…’ he began.
He didn’t reply. They travelled on in silence. As they got closer to her home, she directed him towards her road. Having pulled over and stopped the car, he turned to look at her, taking hold of her hand. To her own surprise she didn’t snatch it away.
‘Anna, I’m so sorry for what I did to you at school. If there was any way of making it up to you, I’d do it immediately.’ He sighed, his face downcast. ‘I’m not sure there is a way to make amends. But I just wanted to tell you that I care about you and if you ever need a friend, you have one in me.’
She looked at him, open mouthed. This was Will talking, the Will who’d stuffed food in her face in front of most of their year group. The person who, along with his friends, had constantly taunted her about how fat she was, to the point that she’d become suicidal and, for a short while, bulimic.
Now this same person was telling her that he cared about her, that he wanted to be her friend? She shook her head as if to clear her thoughts. Her friends’ words came to her mind, what they’d said about him liking her all along. Perhaps she shouldn’t discount Will as a friend. You could never have too many, that was for sure.
‘Thank you, Will. I’ll remember that.’ He let go of her hand. She managed to smile at him as she got out of the car. ‘And thank you for the lift. It was kind of you.’
‘No problem,’ he replied. He sounded relieved, almost as if he’d been expecting a slap in the face. She turned away from him.
‘Oh, Anna!’ She turned around. Will was leaning out of the car holding something out to her in his hand. ‘My contact details,’ he told her. ‘In case you ever need to chat.’
‘OK, thank you,’ she said awkwardly, taking the card and walked quickly to her house, dashing inside as fast as her fumbling fingers, searching for the keys, would let her.
If you’re interested in reading more, then Reunion of the Heart is available on Kindle here. To find out more about Elaine and her writing then head over to her blog or follow her on Twitter. Happy reading!