Wednesday, October 30, 2013

An Excerpt From Young at Heart by Muzza

Today's excerpt is from Young At Heart by Muzza. You can read it here:

Frantically doing her sister's hair, Jenny Rhys looked at the sixteen-year-old sitting in front of her. Tegan was absolutely stunning. Everyone in the village knew that…except for Tegan. Her strawberry blonde hair fell down her back, and her emerald green eyes sparkled, but it wasn't with excitement, it was with sadness. She was going on a date with the soccer captain, and although she was dressed smartly, she wasn't dressed seductively. Her dress wasn't sending the message that she was easy. It sent the message that she was intelligent, most definitely female, and not too hung up on her appearance. "Tegan, why even bother going out with Scott?" Jenny finally asked her. "I mean, he is definitely gorgeous, popular, and athletic; but we both know that doesn't matter to you"

Tegan looked at herself in the mirror then looked up to meet the hazel eyes of her older sister. Jenny was pretty; she had inherited her father's hair, which was brown, and she had a slightly upturned nose, which was also inherited by her younger sister. Everyone said it was cute. "To make them happy," was all she needed to say.

Tegan had known for a while that she was gay and Jenny was the only other person alive that knew that. Jenny had been accepting and understanding about it. They both knew, however, it would not be the same with their parents. Their father, Thomas was the Mayor of the town and if word ever got out that his daughter was gay, he would kick her out of the family. Tegan didn't care too greatly about her father, he was abusive to her mother, Jenny and her. She did, however, care about her mother, Brenda, and Jenny. She did not want to lose them.

So she sat down getting ready to go out with the most popular boy in school, and she wasn't even excited. "Tegan, your date is here," her father's voice bellowed up the stairs.

"Come on," Jenny said. "You're almost done." So the two of them finished up.

* * * * *

Downstairs, Thomas Rhys was sitting in the living room grilling her date without subtlety or mercy. Scott Tyler looked extremely nervous as Thomas questioned him. Scott was agreeing with him, with a look of desperation as Tegan finally came into the room. She was wearing a conservative blue dress with a plain chain around her neck that stood out against her skin. She had on slightly heeled black shoes that set off the outfit well.

"You look lovely," Scott said. He was wearing his brother's suit, which was slightly too big for him. His dirty blond hair looked like it had been washed about fifty times and left to dry it self. His blue eyes were, according to nearly every girl in River's End Comp, the most gorgeous blue eyes they had ever seen. Tegan didn't agree, but they were nice. He had a lean body, and even through the baggy suit, Tegan could see he had some muscle under there. He was almost a head taller than Tegan. 'That's unusual,' she thought to herself, sarcastically. It had always bugged her that nearly everyone she knew was taller than her—even her younger cousin Mary. She was fourteen years old, and she was already Scott's height.

"Thanks," Tegan said. "You look nice, too."

Scott just grinned and held his arm out to her.

"Have a good time," her mother said, feeling slightly uneasy about all of this. Tegan looked so pretty and grown up; she wondered just how grown up her youngest daughter was.

"She'd better come back here in one piece," Thomas said as they watched them walk down to the car. "I will not have my daughters sleeping around."

Thomas was strict on sex in the house. His youngest sister had been forced to marry at the age of sixteen because she was pregnant, and he wasn't going to allow that to happen to his daughters.

* * * * *

Tegan and Scott reached the cinema just before the film was due to start. As they walked in, she noticed that there were several couples in parked cars who obviously weren't planning on getting out any time soon. It was embarrassing seeing that with Scott. She hardly knew him, and they weren't friends, but he had asked her out, and she wanted to please her parents. Plus, she was tired of being left out of everything. She never fit in. She was always different. She had always been top of her class, and a lot of kids hated her for that—the rest ignored her. Being the most beautiful girl in the school without even trying also made the rest of the girls jealous. She had a few friends she'd hang around with in school, and sometimes out of it, but mostly she was a loner.

Her parents always embarrassed her when they were in public. Her mother was quiet, but her father was loud, and told everyone else what to do, especially her mother. Her mother was terrified of him and agreed with everything he said, even when he was wrong. Her family had such a narrow-minded view about everything. They were still stuck in the fifties. They had missed things like the sexual revolution and the equal rights revolution. Her father secretly didn't think women needed an education or employment, he still thought a woman's place was in the home with the children.

But Tegan still had her dreams. She wanted to do something with her life. She wanted someone to love and admire, she knew that wouldn't be possible around her father but she still wanted it. She wanted to have children, but she also wanted a good job. Everyone thought she would follow her father into politics, but it wasn't what she wanted. She wanted to get her GCSE's, go to Technical College and get her A levels and then go to university. Then get a good job. Something she enjoyed.

These were her dreams and no-one, not even her father, could take them away from her.

"Do you want a drink?" Scott asked her.

"Huh..." Her mind had been a million miles away. She wasn't even watching the movie "I'm sorry..... I was just thinking.... I'm sorry my father gave you a hard time tonight" She felt awkward as she said it.

"That's ok" He said "I'm used to it" he was obviously lying. It would be all around the town by tomorrow. But she was used to that. To everyone else she was different. She was used to being different and ridiculed. She was always the odd one out, always had been. She suspected that was why Scott had asked her out. He had just split up with his long-time girlfriend Sarah. He needed a distraction. Someone who would go out on a date but who wouldn't expected anything after he dropped her off at home.

She was the perfect distraction. She was five foot six, had strawberry blonde hair and a great figure. She was the perfect date. Nearly all the boys in the school fancied her but wouldn't ask her out because she was weird. So everyone thought anyway.

"Do you want a drink?" He asked again. She didn't and she wasn't sure how to tell him. She wished now she hadn't come. She should have stayed home and watched t.v with her mother "I'll be right back" He assured her and then he left.

'God is this useless or what?' was her thought as she watched him leave. He was good-looking and popular with everyone and knew he could get a date at the click of his fingers. He had been with Sarah for four years, since year 9 and it was the sort of relationship everyone expected to last forever, and everyone expected them to be back together by next weekend, Tegan included.

Tegan glanced around her and she spotted a couple sitting a few rows behind her, side by side. The guy had his arm around the girl and she was pressed close against him. Tegan felt a moment of envy. They were obviously in love, taking in a romantic movie. Impatiently, she pushed the thought aside. There was no time for romance in her life at the moment - just getting from day to day was hard enough without any added complications. The girl was certainly good looking though, with her black hair and bright eyes.

After what seemed like ages Scott came back with a mischievous grin on his face "Here we go." He handed her the cup of Pepsi and she wondered what he was up to. As soon as she tasted her drink she knew.

"What's in this?" She asked, she wasn't really into alcohol mainly because she was too young for a start but she didn't really like it much. She had a glass of wine or champagne on special occasions but that was it.

"Just a little slosh" He grinned. It was at that point Tegan realized what a jerk he actually was and the way he leered at her was giving her the creeps.

"It's not worth trying to get me drunk, Scott" She said, matter-of-factly. Regretting this date, more and more as it went on.

"Come on, Tegan, don't be a square. You won't get drunk. It'll help you relax."

She looked at him and noticed that his eyes were already starting to glaze over. She figured he had been drinking while he went to get her a drink. "How many have you had?"

"Just a couple of sips." He said.

"And you're expecting to drive me home." She stated.

"Come on Tegan."  He said. "It's not like I'm drunk."

"Great." She said, shaking her head.

"Isn't it."  He smiled happily, totally oblivious to her tone. She looked at him with disgust before turning her attention to the film.

* * * * *

They sat through the rest of the movie in silence. Tegan was glad when it was over.

"You ready?" Scott asked

'Am I ever,' She thought to herself, just wanting to go home. "Yeah," was all she said out loud.

As they approached Scott's car, Tegan felt apprehensive. She wasn't sure how Scott wanted to do this. Hopefully he would just drive her straight home, but maybe he would try and take her to Murphy's point, the local 'necking' spot. How would she handle him, if he tried anything on?

As they got into the car, Scott looked her over once again. There was something about her that fascinated him and he didn't want to take her home. He wanted to do what every other boy in River's End wanted to do, get into her knickers.

"Do you want to go for a drive? It's only ten." He asked.

'NO' Her mind screamed "I should go home" She said, cautiously, as he started the car, but he headed in the direction of Murphy's point, instead of her house. She tried to keep calm but she was starting to panic.

'Tegan' She told herself 'You get out of the car this minute young lady. Jump out if you have to'

It didn't work. She froze in her seat.

It wasn't long before they pulled into Murphy's point.

"You're a special girl, Tegan." Scott said, as he turned to face her, and there was little sincerity in his voice.


Young at Heart by Muzza – 220 pages
In this sensitive Uber set in the present day UK, Tegan is barely 16 when, after an assault she ends up shunned by her family and alone. Chance brings her into Jamie’s life, and she not only finds a place to live, but a job, and much, much more than she ever thought she’d find. 

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