We’re celebrating fathers all month long on the blog. Well, father figures anyway. As I mentioned in my post at the beginning of the month, a lot of times in YA and MG novels the father is absent in the book, but there is still a fatherly figure. In my YA novella Passing Notes, Mark has a dad, but he doesn’t play a prominent role. So, I’m going to share a scene between Mark and the ghost that seems to be more than willing to give him some fatherly advice. I promise if you read the book, you’ll understand why the ghost is a good fit for this theme, but I don’t want to give too much away here.
If you’d like to learn more about Passing Notes, skip on over to my page dedicated to it here, or click on one of the buy links posted below. And feel free to scroll back and enjoy the other excerpts from guest authors posted before and/or leave a comment.
Mark has been finding notes giving him advice as to how to write the perfect love letter to impress the girl he loves. He has decided that the notes are coming from a ghost, because they magically appear and are clearly written just for him.
My work schedule started an hour later that day, so I hung out in the locker room after 5th period to work on the letter some more. I finally got out some words that I thought seemed earnest, and then I pulled out a sheet of Jill’s art paper and copied it, trying hard to be neat. Nothing about that letter was attractive by the time I was done. I had written with a ballpoint pen, in print, with no lines to guide me, using the bench of the locker room as a writing surface. The whole thing slanted to the right. It looked terrible. I wadded it up and threw it out. I tried again, but it wasn’t any better. Neither were the next three tries.
Now I’d wasted all of my good paper, and any moment the bell chime would signal the release the poor saps that had a 6th period. Bethany would go to her locker for the last time of the day, and my note wouldn’t be there. Gritting my teeth, I considered sending the last note anyway. Who said it had to be perfect? Instead of tearing that one up, I folded it neatly in thirds. I put my pen to the back and drew a heart. But when I began to write Bethany’s name inside it, the letters refused to cooperate. My B showed up as an S. My e became a t. This continued until the word Stop appeared inside the heart.
“Leave me alone!” I said out loud, glad the locker room was empty.
“What do you want from me?”
Nothing. I want you to be happy.
My shoulders fell and the anger fled. “I’ve been in love with her since 7th grade. I never thought she’d give me a chance.”
And now she has.
She’s going to college. You’re going to war.
“That’s true,” I said. I guess I knew that was in our future, but I hadn’t really allowed myself to think about it yet.
She knows. She will pull away. You have to win her with a deep, true love if you want her to be yours when the years have passed and you can be together again.
“I don’t think she cares for me that way,” I said. “We’ve only had one real date.”
She will care for you if you do this right. “Okay,” I sighed.
“A good letter with the right words, on stationery, in the real mail…”
Written in cursive.
Really. But not now. Go to work. Care for your grandmother. Write it when you are ready to do it with all the love your heart can bear to share with her.
As the words reached the end of that sentence they began to fade, as though the invisible marker was running out of ink.
“Are you there?”
Fading. Not much time left.
Passing Notes is a novella and is sold as an ebook only. But you can find it for whatever ebook device you use at these places:
All Romance ebooks
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.