PW #211: YA Contemporary: THE ACCIDENTS
Mentor Name: Rachel Lynn Solomon
Mentee Name: Tracy C. Gold
Title: THE ACCIDENTS
Word Count: 70,000
All Olivia wants is to go to art college. Then boyfriend-stealing Bethany beats her in an art contest, and Olivia starts a fistfight that gets both girls sent to reform school. When the staff’s twisted therapies threaten Olivia’s identity, she must conspire with Bethany to escape.
I draw the cafeteria around me like it’s the epicenter of an earthquake. Instead of talking and laughing, laughing at me, kids scramble to hide under tables. The quake is so violent the tables slide and scrape the floor. I press down hard and the paper rips—3-D art. I’ll take it. Trays clatter, and food splatters everywhere. One tray hits Bethany Kato’s head.
Two tectonic plates jut through the middle of the page. I draw myself in the chasm between them, falling where no one can see me, like I don’t exist anymore, like my parents never had that condom break.
Someone shrieks, “She did what?”
They’re probably talking about me. I look up, even though I shouldn’t.
Bethany and Alan are sitting a few tables away, surrounded by a bunch of their friends. Bethany looks straight at me and grins. She puts her hand up to her mouth and sticks her tongue into her cheek on the other side, pantomiming a blowjob like Alan used to do to make me laugh. Now she’s doing it for Alan, and it makes me want to vomit. Alan runs his hand through his blond fluff to mess it up the perfect way. I can’t believe I used to think that was cute.
I hardly knew what a blowjob was before I went out with Alan. I thought he was my boyfriend, that he actually liked me. We hung out a few times, and then at Homecoming we danced all night. Afterward, well, I gave him one.