Our story started like the fairytales you grew up reading, but it doesn’t end like them.
I was fifteen when I realised I was in love with Cole. He was the foster kid who wore scruffy clothes and never had any money. He was the bad boy, the fighter. The boy who took all the dares—and won. He was the boy that scared me but excited me at the same time. He was the boy I shouldn’t have wanted, but, of course, he was the one I wanted the most.
In the beginning, he was mine. And I was his.
Cole and Evie. Evie and Cole.
But then a lie was told. Lies break people. And broken people shatter into little pieces of tortured pasts and fractured futures.
And then our fairytale beginning morphed into a story of heartache and sadness, instead of happiness and hope. A story that ended with lost love, friendship, and a never-ending cycle of what ifs and if onlys.
Our ending broke me. Shattered me. Destroyed me.
When a story ends like ours did, is it any wonder I never wanted to start a new one again?
Eight years ago
Scorching hot tears streak down my freezing cold cheeks and snake into the corner of my mouth as I walk over the sleet-covered field. When my eyes land on our tree, I suck in a big breath and pull it deep into my lungs, hoping it’ll be enough to suffocate the ball of dread that’s swirling around in my chest.
This used to be a place full of happy memories…the place where I played tag with my brother and best friend until long after the sun had set, the place where I grew from a girl into a young woman, and the place that I ran to when I needed to escape. It’s also where I met Cole for our first date. And where I’m standing now is the exact spot where we shared our first kiss.
But the memories I used to love and cherish are now tainted with anger that boils so fiercely within me that I know I’ll never set foot in this place again after today. It’s something else that he’s ruined for me and something else I hate him for.
I look up and watch the branches of the oak tree bend and whine in the wind as if crying out for me to not do this. I touch the trunk where our initials are carved into the middle of a heart and cough out another huge sob. Cole and Evie won’t be forever. Not now.
I tip my head back, letting the ends of my hair tickle the bottom of my spine, and stare at the angry clouds through the bare branches. The icy-cold rain pelts me from every angle, soaking right through my thin coat until it settles deep into my bones. It pours down my face and mingles with my tears as if it’s trying to hide them for me. I want to shout out that it’s useless, that nothing can hide my tears. I should know because I’ve been trying to hide them every single day for the last five weeks.
I turn when I hear footsteps. The sight of him in a suit momentarily stuns me. It’s far too big for him and looks a little cheap, but he’s still incredibly handsome in it. I’ve never seen him in a suit before, and I can’t get over how much it ages him. For just a few seconds, I let myself imagine my hands pushing the jacket over his shoulders and then unbuttoning his shirt.
“You came,” he says in a voice that’s so familiar to me, I cling to it like a child clings to a comfort blanket.
I shake my head to try and dislodge the images that are whirling through my mind. I’m not supposed to be thinking of him like that. “Yes,” I answer.
“I didn’t think you would.” When he steps closer, I notice that he has tears falling down his cheeks too. “How was the funeral? I wish I had been there. I wanted to be there.”
“Don’t,” I say. “I don’t want to talk about it with you.”
He nods, looking sad. “I’ve missed you so much,” he whispers, reaching his hand out for me. “The last five weeks have felt like five years.”
I take a step back and collide with the trunk of the tree. Hurt flashes across his face.
“I’m confused and I’m hurting,” I blurt before he takes another step towards me. I want to tell him the truth, but I’m scared. I’m scared he won’t understand.
“Confused about what, Evie?”
“I love you,” I breathe, wiping away a fresh set of tears with the back of my hand. “But now I hate you, and I don’t think I will ever be able to forgive you for what you’ve done.” The ball of pain that’s lodged itself in the centre of my chest cracks and starts to bleed down into my stomach, filling it was so much hurt that it makes me feel sick.
Beckie's real name is Rebecca, but she get’s called (and answers to) any of the following…Beckie, Bek, Becca, Rebecca, Pip, Pippy or Stevo.
Beckie is the author of 'Sorrow Woods,' the 'Existing' series and 'Noah and Me.'
She is due to publish more YA and NA novels in 2015/16.
She lives in Staffordshire, England, with her partner and two children.
Beckie likes putting music on in the house and dancing around like a mad woman.
When she isn’t playing with her children, doing housework, dancing around the house like a mad woman, walking, cycling reading or writing, then she can be found working in an investment bank. Or sleeping.
1. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I first realised I wanted to be a writer about 10 years ago. I’d always been an avid reader but I’d never considered writing up until that point. I just decided to write a short story for a newspaper and the feedback I got was unexpected, to say the least. As I was writing, I realised I loved it. Words seemed to flow for me and instead of writing a short story, I’d written nearly 55,000 words. My first book quickly followed afterwards.
2. How long does it take you to write a book?
Unfortunately for me, writing isn’t my only occupation (like it isn’t for a lot of authors). I have to fit writing in around my ‘real’ job and being a mum to my two children (and all the chores that come with running a house with children). When I’m lucky enough to get a ‘free’ day I can usually smash out about 12,000 words a day, and normally a full novel takes me about 4-7 weeks to write.
3. What is your work schedule like when you're writing?
It’s usually sit down around 8pm after the children are in bed with the laptop on my lap until 11pm. I try to do this about 4 evenings a week.
4. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
Hmm, I’m not sure if it’s ‘quirky’ but if I’m setting a book in my home country (England), then I’ll keep all the ‘Britishness’ in there. I’ll keep the weird phrases in etc. It keeps my editor on her toes anyway. Tee hee ;o)
5. How do books get published?
I self publish my books via Amazon and Smashwords.
6. Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I’m still not entirely sure about this myself, to be honest. Sometimes, I’ll just get a particular scene in my head and I’ll write that down and then build the rest of the story around that. Most of my post-it notes say, “Why are they even here?”
7. When did you write your first book and how old were you?
The first book that I wrote and published was Sorrow Woods. I self-published in 2013 and I was 27.
Before that, I first wrote a ‘proper’ book a few years earlier but didn’t do anything with it. It’s still sat in my wardrobe and I’ll pull it out now and again when I fancy a giggle.
8. What do you like to do when you're not writing?
Reading! I love reading. I have the kindle app on my phone and every spare minute I get, I read on it. Other than that, I like cycling, walking, running, swimming and going on holiday.
9. What does your family think of your writing?
Haha. Most of them haven’t read it. I think my Mum, Nan and Auntie have read all of my books, but I don’t actually know what they think of them. I think because I’m not hugely famous because of my writing, it’s just seen as more of a hobby of mine.
10. What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
The most surprising thing for me was that I could actually do it. The second thing was realizing how much of myself I put in there. There are lots of ‘me’ in each of my books.
11. How many books have you written? Which is your favorite?
I’m about to publish my fifth novel. I’ll be releasing it on my 30th birthday on 8th April. My favorite one so far is Sorrow Woods, but the one I’m releasing next (Chasing Butterflies) is quickly becoming my favorite.
12. Do you have any suggestions to help me become a better writer? If so, what are they?
I’d love to think I was qualified enough to give out suggestions. I think being able to take criticism is very important and to remember that it’s how you feel about your writing that matters. Not everyone loves every book. And that’s okay. You need to love your own book before you can expect everyone else to love it.
13. Do you hear from your readers much? What kinds of things do they say?
I hear from them a little bit. Most of them are chasing me up for the sequel to Existing (my second novel), which they’re quite entitled to, seeing as though it should have been released by now.
I love hearing from readers. I’ve taken a screenshot of every single email, tweet, facebook comment that I’ve ever received and I’ll often look at them. Their words inspire me to carry on.
14. Do you like to create books for adults?
Yes and no. I like the Young Adult side of things too, but then I always end up getting carried away in the naughty bits and realise I’m just no good at keeping things clean. ;o)
15. What do you think makes a good story?
Lots of readers like a happy ending. I’ve often had to completely re-write an entire ending because my beta readers have said it’s too sad or that I’ve broken their hearts. Maybe I’m a little sadistic, but I quite like surprising them with something other than a happy ending.
A good story flows through each page. You know you’re reading a good story when you promise yourself that you’ll stop reading when you get to the end of this chapter, but end up reading five more.
16. As a child, what did you want to do when you grew up?
This varied quite a bit. When I was really young, I wanted to be a nurse, but then I passed out when I saw lots of blood. Then I wanted to be an accountant, but then decided that I’d make a better lawyer. I actually ended up working in investment banking.
17. What Would you like my readers to know?
I’d like to thank them if any of them have ever read a single word in any of my books. I’d also like them to know that as an author, I do it all for them.
Thank you so much! It’s been a pleasure!