Page 1.98 later, NEAR EDGWARE is
pretty much cooked!
But isn't 200 such a nice round number?
If you have any thoughts I'm all ears.
Although, as my new nails are pinging off the keyboard keys, finished is good too.
A FEW DIFFERENCES
Sprawled over soft chairs, the students in their office-smart clothes had marked out their territories. At the edges, smaller groups talked quietly. Right at the back of the Common Room, near an open window, three blond boys were huddled together, their heads so close they were almost touching. The different shades reminded me of the colour selection charts at the hairdressers. The boy whose back was towards me had hints of curls in his short hair; very cute.
He glanced around, forehead furrowed, eyes narrowed. He pushed his brothers back a few more steps.
Hmm, not so cute?
The group I was looking for stood in the centre of the room. Close enough, at last, for me to hear what they were saying.
“Another new girl?” said Anna, paying more attention to my clothes. “She dresses like my Mum: subdued.”
Ife laughed, “Anna! You can’t judge people like that.”
“I can: navy trousers and boring, boring, black flats? That’s the choice of the terminally shy.”
“Wearing navy and starting a week late? She needs help. We should see if she sorts out a friend. Just check she’s alright,” Ali muttered, sucking on her short blond plait. Her frown was deep, her cheeks a deeper pink, as she smoothed down her mid-length, dark blue skirt.
I always thought of Mum’s stuff as, “sophisticated”. Subdued was not really on my top ten list of qualities, it would have trouble getting into my top one hundred. Stepping out of the shadows in the corridor, I threw myself forward, arms wide enough to reach around them all.
“Jess?” squealed Ife. She was taller now; her black hair newly relaxed and straightened. Her brown eyes were much blacker with shock. Her smile was as wide as ever.
“They let you back in?” said Ben. We were still jumping. He was straightening his glasses.
“You said you’d arrive next week!” said Anna. “You’ve got to tell us everything.”
“Seats! Seats!” added Ife. She pushed us all to the nearest empty chairs, then we let the stories start. “Honestly, how unhappy were you...?”
“I invented a whole new scale for misery. I missed you all. First I sat and I sulked! Then, I sat and I stressed.”
“We threatened to save up and send Ife over to Guyana to sort you out!” added Ali.
“I was worried. You were coughing, and feeling sick all the time. No matter what the doctor there said I ….” Ife began.
“Ife!” Anna drew an imaginary zip, “Jess?”
“I hit a really low point when my new friends said I was lumpy, spotty, greasy, grumpy, sniffy, wheezy and ... whatever! I was ill and so miserable, I got to love work!”
“Desperate!” added Anna.
First draft 128,300 words last draft 71,500? How is your re-edit going?