I promised some more deleted scenes for you and I found them!! **Spoilers ahead** These are from one of the first versions and take place right after graduation. Originally, I had Desiree so angry she refused to keep converting until….well, you’ll see. It was a temper tantrum, I’m glad I got rid of. However, I do like Nichole in this version (initially, she was a much bigger character). Knowing where book two is going, it made sense to lessen Nichole’s role when the time for ‘killing my darlings’ arrived. Hope you enjoy this peek into the original version! Remember to get your friends to review….I have the first chapter from Blake’s point of view and…well, I think it’s a pretty fun read. All we need is twenty more reviews!!
The Convergence – Deleted Scenes #2 and #3
“Love you!” Nichole exclaims and ends her call to Kyle.
“Love, huh?” I take a sip of my drink then lay back down on my lounge chair to soak up the California sun.
“Does in bother you?” Nichole says in a small voice and stares at me over the rim of her large, white sunglasses.
“No, good for you two.” I glance across the beach. “Better for him, but good for you.”
“Ha!” Nichole says, but instead of relaxing, I hear her swing her legs around. She looks at me as she buries her feet in the sand. In contemplative silence, she does this for a time.
I peer at her under my glasses. She has something on her mind. “Yes?”
“Being mad isn’t hurting him, Dezi. Just you,” she blurts out.
I ease to a sitting position. “Have long have you been wanting to say that?” I ask, forcing the bitterness from my tone.
“Since you’ve gotten angry,” she explains.
I gaze out at the waves breaking onto the shore. Two weeks then.
My mind flashes back to graduation night. The sweat pouring down my brow as I pounded through the pine trees—for once running toward something instead of away from it. Having to go, having to see, having to run. Bursting in Blake’s backdoor, calling his name desperately until I saw it and knew. I knew. He was gone. He left behind his Newton’s Cradle and next to it a folded piece of paper. A paper with three small words on it, the sum of our relationship. Crumpling it to my chest, I slid down the side of the counter. My head thrown back, I took in painful gasping breathes and let my hurt turn to hardness.
The bitterness makes it easier to take–helps hold his memories at bay. That and my obstinate refusal to not convert. Not at all—not even running. I know I’m not good company. Poor Nic. But it’s the only act of defiance, the only retaliation I have against the turmoil.
“You’re right,” I admit. “And I’m sorry I’ve been taking so much out on you. I’ll be better,” I smile at her. “I promise.”
But I won’t convert. And I can’t stop blaming Blake.
“Well, I can’t be too mad,” she says and I can tell she’s relieved I’m not angry. “You did pay for me to come and I’m having a great time.” She leans toward me, her large brown eyes filled with concern. “I’m just worried you aren’t.”
“I guess I better prove it,” I say and stand to take off my swimsuit cover. “Want to go for a swim?”
“You hate water,” she says doubtfully because—in our five days here–beyond wading, we haven’t even gone into the ocean.
“I’ve learned there are worse things,” I say, slipping off my flip-flops. “Let’s go.”
Grinning, Nichole throws off her sandals and together we run into the waves. For awhile we stay together, jumping into the waves and body surfing back to shore. The water crashing over my head still gives me a flash of panic, so I don’t go out too deep. Before long, chasing the bigger waves, Nichole is distanced from me. I laughingly watch her dive under one wave and then another.
But my smile evaporates when I notice her struggling. In fascinated horror I watch her swim furiously toward shore, but she just keeps moving further away.
She’s caught in the undertow.
Motivated by terror, I swim toward her. My feeble strokes don’t seem to be making any headway. In fear and frustration I turn to converting. Giving my limbs additional strength, I push myself harder.
Cutting powerfully through the water, I reach Nichole. In a panic, she grabs, climbs, and pushes me under. I push myself further down and away from her before resurfacing.
I locate Nic again and come up behind her. Grabbing her in a headlock, I yell, “Nichole!” She claws at my arms frantically as I tread water. “NICHOLE!” I scream in her ear. She stills. “Just relax,” I choke out.
Thankfully, she does. I shift my hold to under her arms and start an awkward one armed stroke. I move parallel to the shore, hoping to swim out of the reach of the undertow. Eventually, I angle toward the shore. My arm begins to ache from exertion as I propel us forward.
Once I see that we’re out of the current and making progress, I ask, “Nichole? Nic, can you swim from here?” She doesn’t answer and her head lulls to the side. Passed out. I hope.
I switch arms and propel us onward. Again and again I switch as my arms tire. Soon my adjustments are almost constant. Both arms exhausted, I shove away the horrific memories of my last near drowning experience. I convert my energy but, finally, my body is utterly spent. Each of my limbs are useless, pushed to their limits and beyond. I take a second and float on my back. Still out, Nichole’s head rests on my shoulder. My muscles begin to seize up.
External conversion is all I have left. I search for some calm, but finding none, pull all the fear in instead. Feeling the energy my body is too exhausted to make use of, I force it out of myself into the water. I feel a small movement forward. I continue to gather the energy and project it, but our advance is hopelessly minuscule. Most of my energy is used just keeping us afloat.
“Come on,” I plead. If she woke up, at least she could make it.
A large wave heads towards us. With my puny release of energy, we’re helpless. “Sorry, Nic.”
The wave hits us and we go under.
A strong arm grabs me and pulls up.
“I’ve got the blonde.” A voice says as it pries my fingers from Nichole.
Then someone is holding me under my arms and pulling me to shore. Surprisingly soon, I feel the sand under me. I’m pulled through it and search frantically until I see Nichole. Lying near me, she’s coughing and sputtering.
“Hey,” someone shakes me. “Are you alright.”
“Tired,” I mumble. “So tired.”
Tired and stupid. I should never have been so unprepared.
“It’s always memorable with you Desiree,” Nichole says.
“I do my best,” I respond groggily as she sits down on the bed across from me.
“I’m just glad that you’re awake. It’s like you were in a coma or something.”
“Saving you is exhausting.” I sit up. I’m relieved we’re back in our condo, not a hospital.
“Yeah, well I’m just glad you’re okay,” she says and hands me a glass of water.
“And I’m glad you’re alive,” I return and take a long drink. Guilt washes over me as I set the cup on the nightstand. “Thankfully those guys came to drag us back to shore.”
“Yeah, and thankfully I convinced them not to take us to the hospital,” she says somewhat proudly.
“Just how did you manage that?” I inquire as I tentatively stretch my arms.
“I told them I may be alive now, but if you woke up in a hospital I wouldn’t be for long,” she says with a small smile.
“Sounds pretty convincing,” I laugh. I sliding off the bed, and slowly start pacing the room to stretch out my sore muscles. For a time, Nic watches—still concerned—but eventually she stands and starts going through her suitcase.
More than anything at this moment, I want to express my guilt. To tell her about conversion. To make her understand that I should have been able to do more. I watch her eye a yellow top then toss it to the side. Too many secrets. I have too many secrets from her. “Nic?” I get her attention.
“Yeah?” she answers, now scowling at a red top.
“There’s something I should tell you.” I pause as she looks at me expectantly. “I’m adopted.”
“What!?” Stepping back, Nichole tries to sit and almost falls off the side of the bed.
“My mom was my real mom, but my dad adopted me,” I explain quickly.
“How..?” she stammers.
“I’ve known since my birthday,” I say and sit down next to her. I meet her confounded eyes. “I didn’t want to ruin our last couple of weeks together and didn’t want you to look at me that way.” I gesture at her face filled with pity. Smoothing her expression she attempts a smile. I grin at her effort and put my arm around her. “Sorry I didn’t tell you sooner.”
Still stunned, she says, “It’s your secret to keep I guess.”
“I’m going to find him, my real dad,” I tell her.
“I see,” she says and pauses to absorb it all. “Your mom…?”
I look out the window at the crashing waves. “My mom wanted to keep it secret but my dad wanted to tell me. She made him promise to wait until I was eighteen.”
“I’m not sure. To protect me. Maybe my real father is a jerk.” I glance back at Nic. “I don’t know.” I let out a quiet huff of air. I was so mad at her at first, but I understand better now. Some hurts are easier kept secret and with everything going on, I’ve forgotten my anger.
“You might not have noticed…” I begin sarcastically. “But I’ve shut down since graduation. Forgot what was important, what drives me, what I’ve resolved to do.”
“So your mourning is over?” Nichole says.
“Over,” I declare.
“Wait!” Nichole says bolting upright. “Blake knew didn’t he?”
“Sort found out by default,” I grumble.
She sits back down next to me. “I’m sorry, Dezi. Even harder for someone to leave with your secrets.”
If only she knew. I have secrets I don’t even trust myself with anymore. Rising, I grab my purse from the desk. “Well, we have one last day before you have to go home. What do you want to do?”
Nichole gestures to the spot I vacated on the bed. “I want you to sit down and tell me how you’re going to find your dad.”
With a grateful smile I toss my purse back on the table.
This is why Nic’s the better friend.