80,000 - 100,000
What's it all about?
After December is just over 94,000 words, adult fiction, and recounts the five days in February 1999 that forced Brian Listo to grow up.
After a disastrous Christmas break in which he alienated everyone he knew, Brian Listo returned to school in California to hide. But now Tony is dead and Brian is back in Virginia with five days to bury his best friend, make peace with his ex, renew his parents’ trust, and earn his friends’ respect. Brian doesn’t know how to mend the hearts he’s broken. He can’t even heal himself.
“He’s dead, Kacie.” I choked and didn’t say, "I want him to come up the sidewalk under that beacon. White. Green. White. Green." I felt crazy.
“Can we call a truce?”
“Why?” she asked.
“Because I don’t need this shit this weekend,” I said, the words strung together in a single exhalation.
“Sorry to inconvenience you. Maybe I’ll just leave.”
Would she? Never in a million years.
“Say it,” she said, she was looking at me now.
“Say what you’re thinking."
“You’re hoping I’ll leave.”
“I know you won’t. You have to be here to comfort your new boyfriend.”
“Fuck you, Brian.”
“Not me, Kace. You’re not fucking me.” I felt mean. When I looked at her I could see her naked and when I saw her here I could see her with him and I felt mean and crazy.
She sort of laughed and took another drag. “I deserve this?” she asked.
“Then I’ll earn it. Stay away from me this week, you hear me?” She dropped her cigarette and turned to go inside.
I grabbed her arm though I had no right and she looked at me again. Our faces were close, our breath mingled in puffs of steam between us. Her eyes were wild, they searched mine but I couldn’t keep up. I looked away and let her arm go. She put her hand on the door knob. Then she said to the door “He wouldn’t like this. Us at each other’s throats."
It occurred to me that was why I had grabbed her arm. I wanted to agree with her but before I could she said, “But he’s not here, is he?” and went inside.