Author of the Month #4 - Amalie Silver Sunday Feature: Exclusive Excerpt Giveaway!Sunday, February 21, 2016
"Author of the Month" is a feature that I created to honour some of my favourite authors by featuring their works for an entire month!
This feature will:
- Run for entire month.
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For the entire month of February, I am proud to feature author Amalie Silver.
Amalie Silver resides in Minnesota with her husband, two toddlers, and German Short-haired Pointer, Saba. She consumes approximately three pots of coffee a day, and credits this for her survival over the past decade. When not completely consumed in her writing, she can be found taking road trips to northern Minnesota, engaging in fierce Scrabble games, or reading a good book. She’s a sucker for all romance genres, literary fiction, and psychological fiction.
Contact her through:
On the way home that night, I hit a baby white rabbit. I looked in the rearview mirror and saw the life ripped from its fragile body, peppering the pavement with white and red pieces of innocence.
We all have to live with the choices we make. Some seem brilliant at the time, and some mistakes we realize right away. Regret isn’t something that disappears, it is something that lives inside of us and alters every path we take from that point on. Sometimes it can be beautiful, and sometimes it’s anything but.
For as proud as I felt about my decision to leave, there hasn’t been a day since that I haven’t wondered what would’ve happened if I had stayed.
I can’t help but think: perhaps I’d started that year beautiful and ended up ugly.
The fury bubbled slowly. It started in my gut and extended out to every limb until my hands balled into fists at my sides. Charlie walked out of my bedroom door and down my steps. The sound of the front door sealed my fate.
I couldn’t believe she did it.
I waited in hope that she might change her mind, and that this wasn’t a strange fairy tale with a wicked and unforeseeable end. I’d given Charlie everything I had to offer. But it wasn’t good enough.
I wasn’t good enough.
The small clock on my nightstand echoed with each tick, making the room feel smaller. The silence in the house made my head spin, my heart rate spike, and my teeth grind. But it wasn’t until I walked to the window and watched her open her car door that it settled in.
You can’t do this to me.
The snow had stopped falling, leaving her green car covered in water. With clouds in the sky, the moon’s presence lingered with a faint glow.
She rubbed her forehead and licked her lips. Glancing up quickly, she saw me standing in the window and looked down again before ducking into the driver’s seat.
And then she was gone.
What had I done wrong? What was the past year for? It wasn’t fair.
The more I thought, the more I paced. I threw on a pair of sweatpants and another surge of adrenaline fought with a contradicting lump in my throat. I’d chosen the wrong girl to trust. She had systematically broken me down over the past twelve months to where there wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do for her. I would’ve maimed, died, killed if she asked me to.
But leaving her alone wasn’t something I’d considered. Could I do it? Was it best for her? For me?
There was no way it could end like this. She didn’t know me at all if she thought I’d allow it.
For every tear, every cigarette, every heartbeat, and every breath, she’d taken what she needed and left me standing with my dick in my hand. She was selfish and cruel. Mean and callous.
She’d become me. And I’d become her. The sensitive had become volatile and the volatile had become sensitive.
Goddammit. This snuck up on me.
More meds. That’s what she needed me to do. More meds, more soft kisses, more compliments, more dates, more meds. That’s what she needs me to do. More meds.
I ran through the hallway, jumped down the steps, and sped into the kitchen. Digging through the cupboard to find the medication I hadn’t taken in months, I dropped bottles of painkillers to the counter. My hands were clumsy and the same words cycled in my head.
“Where are they, where are they, where are they?”
I found the bottles, tore off their caps, and ran the water. The three pills sat in my shaky palm, and for as hard as I tried to keep it still, my mind wouldn’t allow it.
The searing pain in my side returned, and I closed my hand into a fist around the pills. Bottles of painkillers lay on top of dirty dishes surrounding me. The cold water sprayed against the sink and I swore I could still hear the ticking of the clock on my nightstand.
My mind went blank and my anger surged. I threw the pills across the room and tore the cupboard door from its hinges. The sound of my heartbeat drowned out the noises, and my rage was fueled by my hatred for Charlie. The circumstances. The outcome. The faith I’d had in her.
Dishes, bottles, vases—anything within my reach I flung against the bookshelf on the other side of the room, but I couldn’t hear them crash. So I tried again.
Whiz. Chirp. Swish. Honk.
I yanked on the edge of the dining table and flipped it upside down, followed by each chair. My shoulders were tight, every muscle in my face felt strained, and the rush of spins to my head made it feel like I was on the other side of the room watching myself destroy it.
But I didn’t give a shit.
I flipped the television but barely heard the crash to the floor. I tore the drapes from the windows, the books from the shelves, and the paintings from the walls.
Not deserving her was one thing; my temper, my moods, and my impulsive behavior had always gotten me into trouble. But I’d never asked for anything. I’d never wanted anything like I wanted her. And I’d fucking tried. I’d tried so damn hard to keep her, but in the end she didn’t care. She didn’t believe me. She thought she was smarter than me.
I took heavy breaths, pausing to see the damage I’d done to the room. I couldn’t think. My mind wasn’t allowing for the regret and consequences; it only made room to obsess over what the past two hours had done to me.
The walls of Dennis’s house were chipped and cracked. The glass from windows, dishes, and pictures was scattered over the carpet. The television was fucked, along with the small table it had sat upon.
My fingertips were bloody. Small scrapes stung in the cool air coming in from the window, and I stared at my hands, welcoming the pain.
Fuck you, Charlie.
I tried to get the words out of my head, but nothing else would stick. My mind spiraled, my body shook, and I bit down on my tongue until I could taste blood.
I ran upstairs and stopped at the threshold of my bedroom door to catch my breath.
She was here. Just a moment ago.
And now I’ve lost her.
I walked to the edge of my bed and stared down at the messed sheets. It had been a place I’d taken dozens of women, and it hadn’t been special; it hadn’t been sacred.
Fuck you, Charlie.
What had she done to me? Who does something like that?
I picked up a pillow and buried my face in it, smelling her faded perfume. I closed my eyes and went back to the first time I met her. A timid mouse behind the cash register. The pizza was for Olson. It was pepperoni and mushrooms. She wore a wrinkled Crimson T-shirt. Her lipstick was faded. It was raining that night, delivery was busy. She was guarded, uneasy. Prey.
I could remember every moment with her. For the first time in my life, I could remember things. The clarity Charlie gave me, the way she didn’t assume, her red hair, those damn blue eyes…
She was gone.
Like the rest of them.
I grabbed my chest, slid down to my knees, and let it consume me. She’d warned me this was coming; she’d said she wouldn’t be another victim of mine. But I thought I could show her, prove to her, convince her that the way I felt about her was different from anyone who had come before her. If I loved her hard enough, the rest would fall into place.
My body gave out and I slouched on the floor. I stared into the sea of dirty clothes, resting my bloody fingertips on my knees.
“I won’t live a life in love that requires me to stay on guard and cower in the corner,” she’d said. “Love isn’t the place you go when there’s nowhere left to run.”
It was too much.
I couldn’t process the words, our friendship, and the pounds of regret keeping my chest in a constant state of heaviness. I traced the wavy lines of my tattoo, remembering all the damage Charlie had done and dismissing the light she’d brought.
My head hung low, between my knees, and I kept my eyes shut.
“What the ever-loving fuck?”
I looked toward my door at the sound of Jake’s voice from downstairs.
“Shit,” I mumbled, bouncing to a stand and grabbing a shirt from my floor. I pulled my arms through, noticing a smear of blood covering the tattoo on my arm, already dry and brown. I froze, and looked down in thought.
“Jesse Fucking Anders! Where the fuck are you?” Jake bellowed through the house. “I’m going to kill you!” His voice rumbled through the walls and down the hallway, and I quickly grabbed my shoes and keys.
“I’m here,” I said, walking down the steps.
Jake stood in the middle of the shitstorm, assessing the wreck I’d caused. I kept my head down and slipped on my shoes.
“You want to explain this to me?” Jake’s voice cracked.
“Not now. I gotta go.”
His face was red and his eyes bugged out. “What? Hell no.” He breathed heavily and shook his head. “You’re not going anywhere until you tell me who trashed my dad’s house.”
I shrugged. “I did.” Jogging down the steps, I grabbed my coat just before I got to the door.
“That’s all you’re going to say? No explanation?” He stood at the edge of the steps and looked down at me, but I kept my head down.
“Not now. I have to take care of something.” I opened the door and stepped out into the cold night air.
“Fine! That’s how it’s gonna be? Jesus, you’re an asshole. You’ve got one week to find a new place to live,” Jake shouted through the door just as I shut it behind me.
A moment so fragile that if I move or speak, the whole thing will collapse.
So I’ll just sit here, in this dirty chair, in a place that shouldn’t be open at , and listen to a new song in my head.
I’ll watch. I’ll remember the vibration of the needle as it collides with the layers of my skin, giving me a different kind of hope. One that I can make for myself.