According to the countdown clock on my blog I have twenty-four days left before I’m supposed to start writing my next novel. Of course, “start” is an arbitrary word, because I started writing this novel the moment I began time lining out parts of it back in 2013. I guess I should say, “Putting words into the Scrivener project.” That’s more like it.
In the last few weeks since I decided to get back into this project I’ve been going over some of my last novel so I can remember where certain things happened, as well as how they happened. A lot of that has to do with the developing relationship between Annie and Kerry, which we all know now actually started back when they were young and finally blossomed after Kerry moved to Wales, which placed him in a time zone better equipped to handle a girl coming into his dreams almost nightly.
When it came to the relationship in A For Advanced, Annie was the Go To Girl For Love. That’s because she was the only one of the pairing who remembered that they were a loveteam due to Ser Clueless screwing things up in his mind and their dreamspace–though, to clarify matters, neither of them knew he was a witch at the time. Maybe things would have went a little better if that memo had been sent out, Foundation.
One of the scenes I’ve been laying out in my head of late deals with them discussing those early days at school, when they were together but still sort of apart. And in thinking over those days, and their upcoming discussion, I fixed upon something that happened in the last novel, something right here . . .
(All excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book One: A For Advanced, copyright 2013, 2014, 2015 by Cassidy Frazee)
“Ah—” Kerry’s head shook from side to side. “I’m lucky; I have one of those metabolisms that burns off everything I eat.” He didn’t care to have the focus of the conversation off him and pushed it in another direction. “I like your accent—may I ask where you’re from? I know you’re not from the UK.”
A light chuckle slipped from the girl’s lips. “Oh? You know this, hum?”
“Well . . .” Kerry was on the spot once more. “If you do live here I’m gonna say you weren’t born here.”
She sat upright and locked her hands across her waist. “No, you’re right: I’m not from here. I’m from Pamporovo, Bulgaria”
“Oh, the ski resort.”
Her chuckle was soft yet flat. “Now how do you know that?”
“I did a paper on Romania last year—” His audience raised an eyebrow. “Hold on, hold on . . . and while I was looking around on Google Maps I sort of went south into Bulgaria and saw a bunch of ski slopes. Zoomed in and . . . there it was.” He looked down for just a moment and chuckled. “Plus, the name sorta sounds, you know, easy to remember—”
The girl’s expression told Kerry a far different story. “It’s not that easy to remember.”
“Well . . .” He kept his eyes on his toes as he shuffled his feet. “I know a lot of strange things. I’m sorta like that.”
“Uh, huh.” Kerry though that perhaps the girl would maybe smile, but no, she continued her quiet examination of him standing before her. She slowly crossed her legs. “And what of your accent? You’re not from the UK, either.”
“No, you’re right.” He stopped casting glances at his feet and looked directly at the girl. “I was born in the U.S.—California, actually—but a couple of years ago my family moved to Cardiff . . .”
“Cardiff?” The girl spoke the word with a heavy whisper.
“Yeah.” Kerry was pretty sure he hadn’t misspoken the name of his adopted home. “I’ve been there a couple of year.”
Silence returned, and it seemed to Kerry as if the shadows around the girl had almost thickened. She set her book aside and slowly stood. “I’m sorry; I’ve been so rude.” She stepped out of the shadow and for the first time Kerry saw her in better light. She held out her right hand. “Annie Kirilova.”
“Kerry Malibey.” He hesitated before shaking her hand lightly. It was the first time he’d shook hands with a girl his age. He’d shook hands with women before—like with Ms. Rutherford at the house—but he’d never done this with a girl, and it made him feel sort of funny inside.
Annie’s eyes lingering upon Kerry, seeing him up close for the first time in the dim confines of the bookstore, but the way they darted about it was almost as if she didn’t actually see him. She tilted her head slightly to one side as her eyes finally examined his head of red hair. Her eyes seemed to grow a tiny bit wider before they met his own stare. “Kerry?”
“Yeah . . .” He didn’t know what to make of her reaction; it wasn’t as if he’d a great deal of experience with girls from other countries. “That’s me.”
Her lips pursed and her nostrils flared twice. Her hazel seemed to know nothing but the boy before her, and her intense focus made Kerry incredibly uneasy. She seemed to slide toward him without actually moving, closing the space between them until they were almost touching. Her words came out as a tortured gasp. “Don’t you know me?”
Kerry didn’t know how to respond. He’d never found himself in a situation where someone he didn’t know had mistaken him for another person. “No, I don’t.” He wasn’t sure if he should say more, but he also wasn’t certain if he’d said enough. “I mean, I just met you now—right?” He shrugged. “Sorry.”
Annie pulled back a half-step as a slight redness came to her cheeks. “I’m sorry, too. I thought maybe—”
“I was someone you knew?”
Her head bobbed slightly. “Yes.”
“Yeah.” He offered a smile, trying to lighten the mood. “It happens, you know?”
Their first meeting in the bookstore in London, and also the first mystery. Because if you read the scene, it seems as if Annie doesn’t really know who this boy is standing before her. Keep in mind, Annie’s in shadow and Kerry’s in light, so she has a far better look at him than he at her. Knowing what we know now, Annie shouldn’t have come off as surprised when she heard, “Cardiff,” and she seemed to snap out of that when Kerry told her his name.
What was happening there to The Girl in Love?
That’s one of the questions I’m going to answer in the next novel, because part of the next novel gets deeper into their relationship, talks about some of the things that happens to them, and–yes–shows a bit more of their future together. Will there be a crystal ball into which they will gaze and see the horrors that await? You gotta be kidding: Deanna would probably come close to slapping someone if they asked her to read their future that way. She’s not a crystal ball sort of girl, that one.
With the first novel I knew where I was going with great certainty, but here, this one coming up, it’s a little more daunting, due to now having to move this relationship forward while dealing with other issues that are going to pull the kids in different directions. One of the things I’m playing with is that, even among the Aware, these two are Different. That started with the last story, but it’s going to become far more evident here as well.
And a big part of that difference will be in their relationship, and their love. And, as always, Annie’s heart is gonna get tugged at the most–
Or will it?
That’s gonna to be the interesting to write, to see if she will, once more, be the final arbitrator of their love. I know for a fact she will say one thing that’s going to set the tone for everything that happens to them in the future . . .